The Wolfpacker

September 2015

The Wolfpacker: An Independent Magazine Covering NC State Sports

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52 ■ THE WOLFPACKER "It's part of our game, part of college basketball. You are building your team al- most year to year. It makes it hard, but it's part of life." When Gottfried spoke, he was fresh off a trip to Greece in what would prove to be an unsuccessful effort to lure 7-1 center Georgios Papagiannis to the United States. Papagiannis decided to sign a contract with a Greek club team rather than play colle- giate basketball. Gottfried was also battling Louisville, St. John's and West Virginia for the ser- vices of the sharp-shooting Rowan, a 6-7, 210-pounder who played his last high school season for Cardinal Gibbons in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. Rowan signed with NCSU in August, completing the formation of the Pack's roster. Gottfried does not hide his belief that Lacey should have been on that squad rather than signing a contract to play pro- fessionally in Europe after going undrafted. Lacey led the Pack in scoring at 15.7 points per game as a redshirt junior last year and established a knack for making big-time, clutch shots. He also provided the depth behind Anthony "Cat" Barber at point guard. "The loss of Trevor makes us in some- what more of an unknown," Gottfried said. "Trevor was such a big part of what we did last year." Despite Lacey's surprising departure and junior forward Kyle Washington's transfer to Cincinnati, Gottfried remains upbeat and confident about State's potential. "I like our team; I really like where we can get to," he said. Point guard depth is Gottfried's chief concern. Barber, a junior, is entrenched as the starter after averaging 15.3 points and 4.0 assists per game, while shooting 40.3 percent from three-point range over the final 14 contests of last season. Gottfried believes Barber is in a position "to have an unbelievable year." "I think he's improved to the point where he should be in the conversation as one of the best point guards in the nation," Gott- fried added. The coach mentioned redshirt junior Terry Henderson, eligible after sitting out last season following his transfer from West Virginia, and sophomore Cody Mar- tin, a forward last year, as potential backup point guard options. "Cody doesn't have a position," Gott- fried stated. "I don't think you can define him with a position." Henderson averaged 11.7 points per con- test in 28 games as a sophomore for WVU. Henderson, sophomore wing Caleb Martin and newcomers Rowan and Shaun Kirk will try to fill the void left by the gradua- tion of Ralston Turner, who led the ACC in total three-pointers made over the past two seasons. Henderson is the latest transfer to suit up for the Pack on the wing, following in the footsteps of Turner and Lacey. Gottfried continued that trend in the spring when he brought in Charlotte transfer Torin Dorn. The 6-5, 200-pound Dorn was the Con- ference USA Freshman of the Year after averaging 12.0 points per game last season. Kirk, like Rowan, was a reclassification from 2016 to 2015. The Whiteville, N.C., native picked up offers from NC State and Kentucky in April after impressive show- ings on the AAU circuit. He measured in at 6-8 when he checked in at NCSU over the summer. "He'll have some opportunities to play this year because of our numbers, but my hope for Shaun is he'll continue to work and be patient because he might blossom here into a good player," Gottfried said. Another one of Gottfried's hopes is the continued development of sophomore for- ward Abdul-Malik Abu. Abu averaged 6.4 points and 4.8 rebounds per game last season. "He has to become more of a guy that becomes a legitimate first, second or third option on offense," Gottfried noted. Junior post players Lennard Freeman and BeeJay Anya are both working on their respective bodies. Freeman is out until late September or early October after having a 14-inch rod inserted on his shin to alleviate problems that dated back to late last season and did not subside after two months rest. Anya is back on a mission to get his weight down, with Gottfried noting that as of early July his current weight number did not start with a two, implying he was in the 300s. The Pack coaching staff also had to make an adjustment this summer. Assistant coach Rob Moxley remained on leave with health issues that struck in May. Director of basketball operations Jeff Dunlap took Moxley's place on the road during the sum- mer evaluation period. ■ Offseason Moves April 15 — NC State takes a double hit on the same day. Junior guard Trevor Lacey reveals he will enter the NBA Draft, and sophomore forward Kyle Washington announces he is transferring. Lacey went undrafted while Washington matriculated at Cincinnati. April 29 — Shaun Kirk, a 6-8 forward from Whiteville, N.C., verbally commits to NC State. He reclassified from the class of 2016 to 2015 and earned an offer from Kentucky before picking the Pack. June 6 — Charlotte wing Torin Dorn, the Con- ference USA Freshman of the Year, announces he will transfer to NC State after also visiting Miami. July 8 — Georgios Papagiannis, a 7-1 center from Greece, informs schools that he will sign a contract with a club team in his native country. NCSU head coach Mark Gottfried had traveled to Greece in an effort to sign Papagiannis for the Pack for the upcoming season. Aug. 2 — After months of speculation, 6-7 small forward Maverick Rowan finalizes plans to reclas - sify from the class of 2016 to 2015 and commits to State over Louisville, St. John's and West Virginia. Gottfried believes Anthony "Cat" Barber, who averaged 15.3 points and 4.0 assists per contest over the final 14 games of last season, will be one of the top point guards in the nation in 2015-16. PHOTO BY KEN MARTIN

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