Good for TJ.
Because of his emotional connection to WolfpackNation and his fantastic play he will go down as a fan favorite. Heck, in today’s ‘new world’ of college basketball he may end up as the most popular two-year player in NC State history to leave the program early. To compete for the honor of favorite two-year player ever he will have to beat out the likes of Spud Webb and Nate McMillan.
Below you will find a current scholarship configuration of the NC State program. It appears that Coach Gottfried’s program is mired in a cycle of ‘perpetual youth’ as every year a couple of key players that would be contributing upper-classmen choose to leave the program. It is interesting that the only juniors and seniors currently in the NC State program are players who have transferred into the program in recent years as all of Gottfried’s first recruiting class has left west Raleigh.
This year’s DeShawn Painter is Tyler Lewis — an experienced, contributing player that knows the system and the team and can be counted on to deliver. Best as I can tell, if we need anything for next season it would be an “Alex Johnson” type of transfer of an experienced point guard who can be relied upon to contribute as needed and even start in the event that Cat Barber got injured. Additionally, the loss of Lewis now means that the coaching staff MUST recruit a top point guard in next year’s recruiting class.
You should check out some of BJD’s comments from last week linked here. Relevant and great stuff.
I think that’s workable. You have 3 guards, 3 wings, and 4 low-post players (with some overlap into other position groups as need/matchups may dictate). That’s a pretty good distribution, deep enough to handle fouls/illnesses/injuries without being a sure recipe for discontent. I most certainly DO NOT think we could easily absorb another transfer, however.
Another Alex Johnson would be a welcome addition, though. Devonte Graham, maybe?
Current 2014-2015 NC State Basketball Program Configuration
(1) Ralston Turner (Wing) – transfer from LSU sat out 2012-2103
(2) Desmond Lee (2G) – JUCO transfer from New Mexico Junior College
(3) Trevor Lacy (2G/PG) – transfer from Alabama; sitting out 2013-2014; will be a junior in 2014-2015
(4) Anthony Barber (PG)
(5) Kyle Washington (4F/5C)
(6) BeeJay Anya (4F/5C)
(7) Lennard Freeman (4F)
(8) Caleb Martin (wing)
(9) Cody Martin (wing)
(10) Abdul Malik Abu (PF)
(11) Scheduled departure of Vandenberg
(12) Tyler Lewis’ transfer
(13) TJ Warren to NBA
(1) Ralston Turner scholarship
(2) Desmond Lee scholarship
As Coach Gottfried said, we’ll look a lot different next year.
“If you think about the way this particular team this year needed to win it needed T.J. Warren to score a lot. Now next year… I can see our team next year being a lot more balanced,” said Gottfried.
But with a more balanced team on the horizon, losing the ACC player of the year and the team’s go-to scorer wouldn’t mean just one person has to fill Warren’s shoes.
“I think it could be a number of guys. Ralston Turner gained great confidence as the year went on,” said Gottfried. “Trevor Lacy, Desmond Lee will be better. Those inside guys [Kyle Washington and Lennard Freeman] I think they’re going to really improve, they’ve got a year under their belt and Cat [Barber's] another guy, he’s not afraid to be that guy.”
Alabama transfer Trevor Lacy had to sit out last season but practiced with the team every day. At 6′ 4″ Gottfried said the guard can play point or the off guard positions. During two seasons at Alabama Lacy averaged 9.4 points per game and 3.2 assists.
Gottfried also said that freshman forward BeeJay Anya’s ability to lose more weight will be a big thing for the team.
“If he gets down under 300 and plays at 280, he becomes a really really good player,” said Gottfried. “We gotta work hard this summer, we gotta get better. But we do have some pieces in place that are going to make it exciting.”