The Wolfpacker

November 2012

The Wolfpacker: An Independent Magazine Covering NC State Sports

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Page 79 of 131

Power IN THE BKB PREVIEW 12-13 Potential To Pack's Inside Punch Promising Transfer Brings New Paint N BY BRIAN RAPP C State assistant coach Stephanie McCormick is grinning like a kid whose biggest Christmas wish has come true. That might seem weird considering Mc- Cormick, who coaches the Wolfpack's for- wards and post players, just lost a career 1,000-point scorer and 900-plus rebounder in Bonae Holston, the "power" in the Pack's inside game for most of the past four years, along with fifth-year player Tia Bell, who provided critical points and boards off the bench late last season despite a rebuilt knee that limited her to just 23 appearances. But with four returning veterans from last year's inside corps, including the Pack's No. 3 scorer and No. 2 rebounder, McCormick was already smiling. And that was before it was confirmed last fall that Markeisha Gatling, a 2010 product of Raleigh's Athens Drive High School, was planning to transfer to NC State after her two-year stint at Florida's Gulf Coast Com- munity College ended this past spring. Gatling was a 1,273-point scorer at Athens Drive who still holds the North Carolina single-season record of 74.1-percent field goal accuracy. She averaged 11.8 points and 9.2 rebounds on a FGCCC team that did not emphasize her in its offense. So her arrival has Pack coaches — including McCormick — excited about the potential of what they might be seeing the next two years in the paint. "She is going to be as good as she allows herself to be," was McCormick's conserva- tive assessment — and, in the next breath, she added, "And that could be one of the best post players in the country." The last time that kind of talk was heard around Reynolds Coliseum, the subject was 78 ■ THE WOLFPACKER Junior Kody Burke was the Pack's No. 3 scorer in 2011-12 (10.5 points per game) and second- leading rebounder (5.3 per game), and with 110 blocked shots in her first two seasons she already ranks eighth on NC State's career list in that category. another junior college transfer, 6-6 Gillian Goring, in 2005. Although Goring did play a key role in NC State's memorable 2006-07 season, which saw the Pack go 25-10 (still the most wins since 1998's NCAA Final Four appearance), upset then No. 1-ranked and undefeated Duke in the ACC Tourna- PHOTO BY ROB BRADLEY ment semifinals, and advance to the NCAA Regional semifinals, she never proved to be the dominating force on the block that head coach Kay Yow was expecting and often proved to be a defensive liability instead of a lane-blocking advantage. But both McCormick and Pack head

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