The Wolfpacker

November 2015 Issue

The Wolfpacker: An Independent Magazine Covering NC State Sports

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Page 47 of 155

46 ■ THE WOLFPACKER 2015-16 WOLFPACK BASKETBALL PREVIEW if someone makes a funny joke, but he doesn't laugh that much. "I think Terry or Maverick will get cor- ner. That play is special." Junior power forward Lennard Freeman could be the one setting the picks to free up the shooters. He has his favorite for top three-point shooter on the team. "We got some shooters on the team with Maverick, Terry and Caleb, and they are the top three," Freeman said. "I'd take Terry. It's definitely tight, but I'd put my money on Terry. If they had a shootout, I'm taking Terry." Rowan's shooting résumé is impressive, and he went through a wild recruitment — twice. He originally verbally commit- ted to hometown Pittsburgh, but then he made the move to Fort Lauderdale (Fla.) Cardinal Gibbons for what was thought to be his junior year and re-opened his recruitment. He later decided to make the move from the class of 2016, where Rivals. com ranked him No. 43 in the country, to the class of 2015, setting off a recruiting frenzy. The Wolfpack made their move, and Gottfried and assistant coach Orlando Early patiently recruited him for the next 10-plus months. Lacey's departure in April opened the door for playing time, and Rowan will be battling sophomore wings Caleb Martin and Cody Martin for playing time opposite Henderson. "I think he was as good a perimeter shooter as maybe there was in the country last year as far as high school players go," Gottfried said. "But he hasn't done it yet on our level. It's a little bit different to do it when the popcorn's popping and people are in the gym." Rowan played three years of high school basketball, but maximized his opportuni- ties. He helped lead Cardinal Gibbons to a 32-1 mark and a state title, and was named the 5A Player of the Year in Florida. He averaged 28.5 points, 7.0 rebounds and 4.0 assists per game. Rowan also won a state title at Lincoln High in the Pittsburgh area in 2014. He averaged 24.3 points per game and was tabbed as the 1A Player of the Year for his efforts. Rowan's winning background was at- tractive to Gottfried during the recruiting process. "What stands out to me when I recruit guys is if their high school teams win," Gottfried said. "His team in Pennsylvania as a sophomore won a state championship. He moved to Fort Lauderdale and took a team that had never won a state champion- ship in the history of their school, and won The Wolfpack's Five Best Shooters 1. Rodney Monroe (1988-91): Though Chris Corchiani famously thought Monroe might be competition for him at point guard, there was no doubt that from the time he first arrived that Monroe was a shooter, unquestion- ably the best in school history. His sweet jump shot and relentless competitive spirit allowed him to surpass David Thompson as NC State's and the ACC's all-time leading scorer, with 2,551 points in four years. He set the school mark with 104 three-pointers in a season and 322 in his career, and he is still among the best free-throw shooters in school history (sixth all time at 83.6 percent). 2. David Thompson (1973-75): Thompson was known for his alley-oop artistry during the days when the dunk was illegal in college basketball, but people sometimes forget just how smooth his jump shot was. That he often took his jumpers at the height of his 44-inch vertical leap was simply amazing. Someone once calculated that about a third of Thompson's field goal attempts were beyond today's three-point line, and if that line had been in place he would still be among the top three scorers in ACC history in just three years of action. For his career, Thompson made 55.3 percent of all his field-goal attempts, which is remarkable considering the defensive attention he drew and the number of jump shots he attempted. 3. Scott Wood (2009-13): His name is at the top of the NC State record book for a good reason: he could shoot from the field and from the free-throw line. He made more shots (334) from behind the arc in his four-year career than anyone in State history. He also set the career free-throw shooting percentage record of 88.6 percent and was the only player in school history to make more than 90 percent of his free throws in a season, which he did as both a junior and senior. Overall, his three-point percentage was relatively low, at 41.3 percent, but it still stands as the seventh-best all-time at State. 4. Dereck Whittenburg (1980-83): There's a famous story from Whittenburg's senior year, the only season he played with a three-point line. When the 1983 team showed up in Ogden, Utah, students from host Weber State greeted Whittenburg at the arena and said he was no match for college basketball's longest experimental three-point shot, the 21-foot, 3-inch line used that year by the Big Sky Conference (each of the 14 major conferences were al - lowed to set their own three-point distance; the ACC chose an ultra-short 17-foot, 9-inch three-point line). Straight off the bus, wearing a heavy overcoat against the snowy winter weather, Whittenburg accepted the stu- dents' challenge to make a shot from a "real" distance. Whittenburg easily drained his first shot, coat and all. Then he did it again. He winked at the students and went to the locker room to get dressed for practice. That weekend, he scored 51 points in wins over Utah and Virginia. And no one ever questioned how good a shooter he was, even after he missed the most famous jump shot in NCAA Tournament history. 5. Terry Gannon (1982-85): Like Whittenburg, Gannon only played one year with a three-point line. No one, however, made the most of the ACC's short line like Gannon, hitting a hard-to-imagine 58.9 percent of his long-range shots during the Wolfpack's ACC and NCAA championship season in 1983. It was the best of any player in the nation. His career shooting percentage is not much to look at, mainly because he wasn't as effective without the three- point shot. But his deadly shooting was huge for the Wolfpack in 1983, and he remains second only to Wood in free-throw shooting percentage at 85.4 percent. Special shout outs to T.J. Warren, Archie Miller, Dick Dickey, Thurl Bailey, Vinny Del Negro, Jon Speaks and Tom Gugliotta. No one is suggesting they couldn't light it up from the outside. — Tim Peeler Monroe's 2,551 career points rank first all-time at NC State and fourth in ACC history. PHOTO COURTESY NC STATE MEDIA RELATIONS

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