This week Mark Gottfried met with the media and discussed several items about the upcoming year. Here are some of the items that I found to be most interesting:
1. Referring to life after last year’s ACC Player of the Year T.J. Warren became a lottery pick:
“Our team is probably going to be much more balanced,” said Gottfried, who has a 70-38 record at N.C. State.
“I like our team. I like the talent level that we have.”
Gottfried’s first two teams had more scoring balance than last year’s version. He thinks this team could be more like those that featured five players with double-figure averages.
2. Offseason Conditioning… Very Impressive.
Following in the footsteps of Richard Howell, Warren and Jordan Vandenberg, sophomore forward BeeJay Anya and Trevor Lacey have taken advantage of the offseason conditioning program with strength coach Bob Alejo.
Anya, who tipped the scales into the 340s last season, is down to 302 pounds. His goal is to get to 280 pounds by the start of the season.
Lacey, who was up to around 230 last season, is down to 205.
3. New number for Cat Barber.
4. Incoming Freshman.
A. Forward Abdul-Malik Abu,
the highest rated incoming recruit in the class (No. 32 in the country by ESPN), has a chance to be a great player.
“He’s like all young players, physically very gifted, unbelievably coachable — he’s anxious and ready every day — but we’ve put him in some of our live drills and he looks like a guy three months out of high school,” Gottfried said of the 6-8, 230-pound power forward. “He looks a little bit lost at times.”
B. Gottfried also discussed Caleb Martin and his earlier surgery.
“We will hold Caleb Martin out for about 2 months, but he should be ready to go before we start practice.