The Wolfpacker

November 2013

The Wolfpacker: An Independent Magazine Covering NC State Sports

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Ba ketball Preview 2013-14 are low and that they can build on that. For us, even as a staff, you want to put recruiting classes on top of each other where in time you can have a program that has good freshmen, good sophomores, good juniors and good seniors. We aren't there yet." NC State is already doing well in recruiting for next year with Alabama junior shooting guard transfer Trevor Lacey sitting out this season, and three senior verbal commits ranked in the top 110 with Abdul-Malik Abu of Boston, and twin brothers Caleb Martin and Cody Martin of Mocksville, N.C. Tournament Motivation chance. It's a tall order for our team." Gottfried half-joked that sophomores T.J. Warren and Tyler Lewis, who play small forward and point guard, respectively, and fifth-year senior center Jordan Vandenberg haven't amassed enough college highlights to make a video yet. They are the remnants from last year's 24-11 squad, which went 11-7 in the ACC and finished in fifth place during the regular season. The expectations have been considerably lowered outside of the program — the ACC media tabbed the Wolfpack 10th out of 15 teams in the new and improved league — but earning a third straight trip to the NCAA Tournament remains the long-range goal. "I think there is some self-pride with our players that they want to make their own mark," Gottfried said. "They realize fully they are young, but the expectations The future appears bright, but one game from the past could help put things in perspective leading into the season opener against Appalachian State Nov. 8. Warren and Lewis both played in the 76-72 loss to Temple in the NCAA Tournament last March. Warren was kept in check with four points and four rebounds in 33 minutes, and Lewis was scoreless in five minutes against the Owls. Warren got a taste of what the NCAA Tournament was like, and he hopes to play in it again despite the turnover on the roster. The way last year ended helped fuel Warren and the returning players during the offseason. "It is a lot of motivation," said Warren, who averaged 12.1 points per game with a high of 31 against Florida State last year. "Losing in the second round against Temple was heartbreaking. The type of team we had and the talent we had, no way we should have lost that game. We are going to build off last year." NCSU might be inexperienced, but does have six players who were in the Rivals150, including three McDonald's All-Americans, plus junior college AllAmerican wing Desmond Lee. The perimeter is expected to be the strength of the team with point guards Lewis and freshman Anthony "Cat" Barber, and wings Lee, Warren and redshirt during the non-conference slate, but Vandenberg will get his first shot at establishing himself with a prominent role. Freshmen Kyle Washington, Lennard Freeman and BeeJay Anya will all get the chance to play right away. Conditioning, however, could be a concern with the 6-9 Anya, who weighed 337 pounds in mid-October. "Early, our scoring is going to come a lot more from the perimeter than inside," Gottfried said. "Our perimeter guys are more ready to score at this level than the three freshman bigs and Jordan Vandenberg. "Some of the things we do offensively will be geared more toward the perimeter players and we can get out and run. To run, we have to be a good rebounding team. For us, the mystery is how will we score inside. We don't have a proven scorer inside. That will be a big question for us." Developing Leadership Getting everyone to mesh will be a challenge, but Lewis is optimistic about the squad's chances thanks to a new slogan. "We can be a great team if we just put our minds to it," Lewis said. "We have the talent, we have the pieces and I've seen it in practice. We just need to put it together, play unselfishly and everybody become one. "Our four returning players came up with the motto, and that is something we put on the board every day — Together Is One." Finding new leaders is always tricky and usually revolves around starting players, especially point guards. NC State had only four scholarship players during spring workouts, so finding a leader wasn't hard in the offseason. Lewis has always oozed leadership potential and wants to be a basketball coach one day. He wasn't in a position to showcase his leadership skills on last year's veteran-laden team, but could be the driving force this season. Lewis averaged 3.5 points and dished out 48 assists in 34 games last year. "Right after our last game, like a week "We can be a great team if we just put our minds to it. We have the talent, we have the pieces and I've seen it in practice. We just need to put it together, play unselfishly and everybody become one." ■ Sophomore guard Tyler Lewis junior Ralston Turner, a LSU transfer and former two-year starter. Barber could also play some at shooting guard with Lewis, and Warren played both forward spots a year ago. The frontcourt could remain unsettled after we got beat by Temple, Coach Gottried said, 'Tyler, we need you to step up and be more vocal,'" Lewis said. "Since our first workout we had with the four returning players from last year, I've been every day being more vocal and in your face, November 2013  ■ 23 22-24.Men's BKB Overview.indd 23 10/22/13 12:56 PM

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