While the potential losses of players from the NC State program due to graduation, turning pro or even transferring will be heavy, the roster for next year will definitely see an infusion of talent into the program that will pave the way for a solid squad that will be the core of a potential ACC championship-level squad over the next few years. Â The ’13-’14 class players are incredibly talented, have a high level of basketball IQ and are going to make the Wolfpack faithful quite happy while they are here in Raleigh.Â Â They are
The nationally third-ranked point guard in the class of 2013, according to CBS Sports, Cat Barber has the tools to be a starter in Raleigh from day one over Tyler Lewis, who proved himself to be an effective player at the ACC level in the second half of last season.Â He has excellent speed — and a lightning fast first step — and has the moved to beat defenders off of the dribble into the lane.Â There, Barber is a solid finisher with a high scoring percentage.Â He’s also got good accuracy from beyond the three point line, making him a double-threat who will serve to loosen up packed in defenses that want to stop the Wolfpack bigs from scoring.Â Barber is also in superb condition now — he won’t come into the program as a young stick-figure type still growing into his body.
One of Barber’s skills — jumping into passing lanes and going the other way on the fast break — will be something that can change games in a hurry and will be a skill that will suit the uptempo style of ball that has become the standard since Mark Gottfried came to Raleigh.
Here’s a couple quick looks at Barber:
Hailing from Germantown, Maryland, BeeJay Anya follows a long line of Wolfpack players to come from top-notch DeMatha Catholic High School: former Wolfpack greats Kenny Carr, Sidney Lowe and Derek Whittenberg are former Stags, as are other great players such as Keith Bogans, Adrian Dantley, Joseph Forte and Danny Ferry.Â He could well be the replacement for the graduating Richard Howell, a player who’s post presence was quite often the savior of many a Wolfpack offensive possession the past couple of seasons.Â The 6’9″ Anya is a muscular 265 pounds, and will be a load for defenders to keep away from the rim.
He’s been described as an “old school center” – the kind of player who makes the paint his own and one who is not afraid to use his bulk to earn himself room to operate.Â He’s also been described as having “freakishly long arms” – he has a 7’9″ wingspan but still needs to work a bit on his offense.Â The upside on Anya is incredible, and depending on how quickly the young man grows his game at the college level, the Wolfpack could have Richard Howell’s replacement in uniform at the start of the season.
Kyle Washington, a four-star recruit, may have a lot to talk about with “Washington is an extra long and athletic lefty power forward that is oozing with potential,” according to ESPN.com’s scouting report. “He runs the floor effortlessly. Can finish drop off passes created by dribble penetration on the break and in the half court with length not strength.” Washington chose N.C. State over Louisville, Ohio State, Washington, Marquette and several other Division I schools.
Brewster Academy’s head coach, Jason Smith, told [bleacherreport.com’s Jon Hancock] of Washington, “Kyle is an excellent forward who can be successful at any program in the nation. He’s a tremendous young man who would be a great asset to any college community and program.”
Washington is also a good defensive rebounder, blocks shots, hustles constantly and often scores easy baskets as a result of his hard play.Â From the looks of the tape I have seen, Washington has a sweet hook shot and in some ways recalls Thurl Bailey with stronger defense at this point in his career.Â Those comparisons can be dangerous, however, as Bailey was a bona fide ACC stalwart who then had a 11-year stint in the NBA, followed by four in Europe before finally finishing out his pro days back in the Association for one last year.Â Washington has yet to accomplish any of that, of course, but at first look, he definitely stirs memories of Bailey…and if he turns out to anything like Bailey was in a Wolfpack uniform, State fans will be happy indeed with this young man’s play.
Obviously, Gottfried does have some holes to fill, however, as the misses on Julius Randle and other players, plus players like Lorenzo Brown and CJ Leslie turning pro could leave the Pack in a pinch for bodies to put on the floor.Â Some of that will come from Ralston Turner, the LSU transfer that becomes eligible next year, and still other help could come from SG Desmond Lee, a highly sought SG from the Juco ranks who’s visiting Raleigh this week.Â CJ Leslie — whose draft stock took a dip in 2012/13 — could return and give the Wolfpack some scoring power.Â If Leslie does return, and if his defense and mid-range jumper were to improve over the offseason, then State could be a young but quite dangerous squad in the 2013/14 season.