The Wolfpacker

January 2015

The Wolfpacker: An Independent Magazine Covering NC State Sports

Issue link:

Contents of this Issue


Page 41 of 87

42 ■ THE WOLFPACKER BY BRIAN RAPP A team is composed of stars, the most gifted members whose talents make them stand out, and backups, those whose contributions typically come as supporters to the stars. And then there are those that are neither stars nor backups — the individuals known as role players. Their function is to partici- pate in the team in a specific way, usually in a capacity that makes use of their dominant talent. In basketball, a role player is typically one who excels in a particular area of the game. And for most of the past three years, that is the role that NC State's Krystal Barrett has filled for the Wolfpack. The 5-9 senior wing from Dallas known simply as "KB" has been a regular in the Pack's starting five at small forward since her sophomore year, pitted against play- ers that are usually taller and physically stronger. "I'd say I'm more of a guard, but all of our guards are smaller than me," Barrett pointed out. "So I really have no choice but to play [small forward]." Barrett's primary role, one she has filled since first stepping on Kay Yow Court four years ago, has been to be the Pack's primary perimeter defensive stopper. "I feel like pretty much every game, I get the challenge of taking the other team's best perimeter player," she agreed. "I take that as a compliment. "I take pride in both my offense and de- fense, but definitely more my defense. I'm a very competitive person — I hate losing more than I like winning — so whenever I'm guarding the other team's best player I tie my shoes up, it's go time, so I'm ready for it." Head coach Wes Moore appreciates what Barrett brings to the team. "She has the quickness to guard people," Moore said. "She's capable of cutting off the drive, drawing the charge — and she does a pretty good job of getting inside and getting an offensive rebound or two at critical times. "She is a bit undersized at times, but for that reason she has to really compete. For the most part, she tries to do that, tries to help us as far as team defense. She's definitely willing to do the role she's asked to do." "She's willing to do whatever you ask," assistant coach Gene Hill added. "If it's driving, trying to get to the rack, working on her shot — all the 'little things' — she'll do it. All the things she does may not show up on the stats sheet — but as a coach, you know the importance of those things." Barrett's approach to this, her final season in Raleigh, hasn't changed, she said, though she and point guard Len'Nique Brown- Hoskin are the two seniors on this year's NC State roster. "I just want to do all the little things that the coaches ask us to do," she said. "Boxing out, being vocal, being a leader by example — I just want to do whatever I need to do to help us win games. If that's being a cheer- leader, I'll be a cheerleader. "My job is to do all the little things right and show my teammates the right things to do, too. And even when things go wrong, to still be positive and keep a positive mindset, keep them going and uplift them in adver- sity. I'm a very optimistic person in any situation — I don't look at the negative side of things. I feel if you can stay positive, you can get through anything." Moore does feel that Barrett's role has changed slightly this season from what it's been the past three years. "We've talked about being more of a leader this year," he said. "I don't know that's in her personality, but sometimes you have to step outside that personality. I've had a couple of players in the past that maybe were pretty quiet and just kind of fit in their first three years, and then their senior year they realized, 'Hey, if I don't do it, nobody's going to do it.' "So they've stepped up, and learned to be vocal and learned to say the things that need to be said. You have to hope that KB will continue to mature into that role." The coaching staff has also asked Bar- rett, a career 31.9-percent shooter who has averaged 6.7 points per game, to raise those numbers this year. Through the Pack's first nine games this season (in which NC State went 6-3), Bar- rett was hitting 37.9 percent (22 of 58) from the floor and averaging 7.8 points a contest, including a 7-of-24 effort (29.2 percent) from three-point range, basically in line with her 29.7-percent career three-point accuracy. "[My shot] is not where I'd like it to be," she admitted. "It's crazy how much effort you can put into one thing and it just doesn't go your way, but I'm staying positive, just continuing to work on it, and eventually it will start going in like I want it to." While her field goal attempts may not be dropping every time she shoots, the same can't be said of her free throws. Through nine games, Barrett — a 65-percent career foul shooter — had not missed in her first 19 trips to the foul line, and was leading the ACC. "I haven't done anything special, like drills for foul shooting," she said. "I work on my shot every day — I do a lot of shoot- ing drills — so I guess that's just helped me at the foul line." On track to graduate next May with a de- gree in sports management, Barrett — who eventually hopes to either coach or become a personal trainer — is keeping her goals simple for this final season with the Pack. "I just want to help my teammates every day, and help myself, improve, learn from our mistakes and continue to get better as we go along so that by the end we're play- ing at our highest level so we can challenge for an ACC championship and make it back to the NCAA [Tournament]. Last year was a step, but you always want to take that next step." And Barrett is confident that it's "the little things" that will help her and the Pack take that step next March. ■ Doing The LiTTLe Things Senior Krystal Barrett's Contributions Go Beyond The Stat Sheet Barrett, who was tabbed the Wolfpack's top defender a year ago, has been asked to take on more of a leadership role this season. PHOTO BY KEN MARTIN "I feel like pretty much every game, I get the challenge of taking the other team's best perimeter player. I take that as a compliment." ■ Krystal Barrett

Articles in this issue

Archives of this issue

view archives of The Wolfpacker - January 2015