So You’re Saying There’s A Chance?


A few weeks ago, it is reputed that many NCSU Basketball fans were seeing pieces of sky falling.  A seeming mass exodus from Raleigh was about to happen as Rodney Purvis skipped town for Storrs (by way of twitter) and rumors of other defections were running rampant on a daily basis.

Now that some time has passed and it appears more likely that returning sophomores TJ Warren and Tyler Lewis will remain with the Pack however, and with the announcements of several recent newcomers including yesterday’s addition of big man recruit Lennard Freeman, things no longer seem quite as bleak.

And while next year’s edition of Wolfpack Basketball will likely not be the most overpowering squad ever fielded in Raleigh, it now appears that it won’t likely be the undermanned punching bag many of us feared either.

In this piece, Brett Friedlander ( gives us a nice overview of what the Pack has coming back and coming in for next year.

Yes, the Wolfpack will be lacking in both experience and depth next season. But that’s hardly a surprise, considering that neither Leslie nor Brown ever gave any indication that either was planning to return. With Wood and Howell running out of eligibility, the only unexpected loss was Purvis.

And Gottfried softened that blow almost immediately with the signing of junior college transfer Desmond Lee.

It’s a trade that could ultimately work out in State’s favor, despite Purvis’ stature as a McDonald’s All-America with so much potential that both the media and his rival coaches selected him as the ACC’s preseason Rookie of the Year last fall.

Better to have a proven performer who ranked fifth nationally last season with an average of 20.3 points per game than a possible prima donna whose desire to play the point – a position already well-stocked with the return of Tyler Lewis and the arrival of incoming freshman Cat Barber – could have become poisonous to team chemistry.


Other than sophomores Warren and Lewis, State’s only returning scholarship players are seldom-used senior big man Jordan Vandenberg and junior swingman Ralston Turner – a former four-star prospect who sat out last year after transferring from LSU.

The rest of the roster will be comprised of Lee and a recruiting class ranked among the nation’s top 15 by most services. And that was before 6-foot-8 forward Lennard Freeman committed to the Wolfpack on Monday.

With Freeman joining a front court already bolstered by the signing of BeeJay Anya and Kyle Washington – a former prep teammate of Warren – State has at least a one-in-three chance of finding a serviceable big man capable of rebounding and defending in the low post.

A one-in-three chance, he said.  For some reason I found that both humorous and comforting.

About Wufpacker

A 2nd generation alumnus and raised since birth to be irrationally dedicated to all things NC State. Class of '88 and '92.

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39 Responses to So You’re Saying There’s A Chance?

  1. blpack 04/30/2013 at 10:29 PM #

    It could be a fun season to see our team grow if things come together. State will take some lumps and will have to learn how to win. It may take some time. We could be a force by late Feb. Then again with the strength of the league we could finish in the bottom half. Lots of questions. Gott will have his hands full.

  2. MrPlywood 04/30/2013 at 10:59 PM #

    Nope. Not a chance in hell. Zero. Zip. Nada. No expectations what so ever. (Rinse, Repeat)

  3. Alpha Wolf 04/30/2013 at 11:11 PM #

    Next year’s hoops team will have a rough start, then, barring injuries will become a solid squad capable of doing some great things. Don’t write them off at New Year’s.

  4. TheCOWDOG 05/01/2013 at 7:10 AM #

    Hey Ply…that’s my line !!

    Sneaky boy. 🙂

  5. rdjennin 05/01/2013 at 8:25 AM #

    And the vicious cycle shall continue. We will end strong next year and do better than expected, which will build into offseason expections followed by a devastating underperformance the following year.

  6. Adventuroo 05/01/2013 at 8:40 AM #

    I had had this thought a week or so ago. Coach Gottfried made a statement that is was going to be a lot of fun next year watching his new team develop. Now the definition of FUN might be different to a coach than to a fan. Having FUN or enjoying your job to a coach MIGHT mean getting an unexpected amount of effort or results from a team that really had low expectations. The ultimate FUN was for Jimmy V. watching a team that should have been eliminated many times somehow “Survive and Advance”. That was FUN for the coach, the team and the fans.

    However, there are SOME coaches (I think we had one)that want to see a team perform better than HE thought or perform the things that he got satisfaction from….regardless of the score…..we will not bring up HTWNBSOHA and his regime.

    I certainly HOPE and THINK that Coach G’s definition of FUN is to figure out HOW to take some players and coach them to over achieve and THAT includes winning. Winning in the ACCT or the NCAAT is the ONLY thing that gets his “competitive” bonuses….

    SO, having a satisfied feeling that you achieved MORE than was expected by producing a team that OVER ACHIEVED is obviously FUN for a coach and if they do it with a little MORE than was expected, then it will be FUN to get those little electronic deposit slips from the bank where you got some extra $$’s in March and April, 2014.

    Alas and Alack, the sky was NOT falling afterall….Chicken Little will have to go back into the roost until he next baseball unexpected loss or until football or …….

  7. primacyone 05/01/2013 at 8:53 AM #

    Best thing about next years team – No expectations.

  8. vtpackfan 05/01/2013 at 9:01 AM #

    I don’t think the offensive system we run is too insert new faces in when you have a court general in Tyler Lewis and high effiency, inside and outside, main scorer in TJW. The rest of the guys just need to learn the spacing and angles in order to keep the flow and timing right.

    We have a chance? if we take advantage of this roster turnover and hit the reset button on defense. We have kept Bobby Lutz for at least another year. He scouts and instructs the players the proper defensive approach to each game exceptionally well. We just had a couple important cogs on our roster the past two years who didn’t fully commit to his approach. Simple as that.

    Next year’s team dynamics will be so vastly different that it will be interesting to see if guys fight over the top of screens or if they opt out repeatedly. The Temple game in the first half was the poorest team effort of perimeter defense that I’ve ever witnessed in a NCAA tourney game.

  9. PoppaJohn 05/01/2013 at 9:40 AM #

    Hey, if we are competitive, seem to have potential, and can pull off an upset or two, that’s not a bad year for next season.

    Hard to know what to think about Lee & Turner. Can Lee bring it in the big leagues? Did the year off hurt Turner? And, of course, you never know with the freshmen. I think two of the bigs really need to be able to contribute for us to threaten anyone in the league.

  10. Pack Mentality 05/01/2013 at 11:02 AM #

    As long as the game plan doesn’t involve the “best player” being able to constantly drive into a triple team and turn the ball over without being benched I’ll be happy.

  11. OutWestWolf 05/01/2013 at 11:15 AM #

    ” The Temple game in the first half was the poorest team effort of perimeter defense that I’ve ever witnessed in a NCAA tourney game.” Let’s re-emphasize in a NCAA TOURNEY GAME. I too am still not over it.

    Fine with me if I see a young team struggle, no problem. Just as long as I don’t have to see a squad do what is referenced above in any game. I’m sure there will be some real struggles until they figure out how to generate points (lots of) in the flow of the game outside of what TJW will put in. But, please God, don’t make me watch a team that only plays on one end of the floor.

    I couldn’t be more excited about watching this squad trying to put it all together and compete to win every night!

  12. BJD95 05/01/2013 at 11:27 AM #

    Sure we have a shot. A few thoughts:

    Purvis leaving was/is a mutual thing. If he had come back, at least one or two others would not have.

    We have all offseason to incorporate the dual PG look. That could definitely give us a fairly unique edge. Creating mismatches and confusing opponents is the name of the game.

    Making the tourney really isn’t that hard. This group will still be quite talented, and lots of teams don’t have much experience. Given the chemistry issues last year, sometimes being experienced is a BAD thing. We get a fresh start, plus Turner and Lee aren’t exactly raw freshmen that we add.

    Being able to play loose and free is essential to make our system work. Last year’s team was tight, and alternated thinking too much and thinking not at all.

  13. JohnGalt78 05/01/2013 at 12:34 PM #

    ^”Purvis leaving was/is a mutual thing. If he had come back, at least one or two others would not have. ”

    Really, do you know that for sure? Just asking.

  14. ILPackfan 05/01/2013 at 12:49 PM #

    I just want to see consistent effort and team play on both ends of the court next season. Do that, and a lot of worries are going to take care of themselves.

  15. MISTA WOLF 05/01/2013 at 1:43 PM #


    It was mutual simply for the fact that Rodney has NBA inspirations. With his size he is going to have to transition to PG to make that happen. That was not going to happen in Raleigh. Therefore he transferred to where he will get that oppurtunity (hopefully) and freed up a scholarship heading into next years class of ’14. Win-win for both parties I believe making it seem mutual rather than one side being scorned.

    Bob Seger’s station on Pandora is the f’n sh!t by the way. Random I know, but it’s what’s on during my planning period.

  16. ryebread 05/01/2013 at 4:31 PM #

    I liked Howell, Wood, Leslie and Brown and appreciate all they did while at NC State. I wish them all the success in the world moving forward and hope they make a great living playing basketball.

    Having said that, something wasn’t right about last season and it was obvious from early. First the utter smashing at the hands of Oklahoma State where the team showed no heart, and then the follow up performances against UNCA and Michigan (asleep in the first half) and it was obvious we were critically flawed. There’s no sense in rehashing it, but I didn’t really enjoy last year on the basketball court outside of big home wins against UNC and Duke.

    I’m actually excited about this team. We were in big trouble, but the staff seemingly righted the ship. We should have a top 10-15 recruiting class coming in, a 4 star transfer becoming eligible and a strong JUCO joining us. Honestly, what joins us next year is at least as good as only a few times in the past 20 years. Only the Hodge class, the CJL/Brown/Harrow class, and last year’s class were clearly better.

    That is enough in today’s age of college basketball, with the proper schedule and what we have returning (2 McDonald’s AAs and a 7 footer) to make the tournament. This staff does schedule well, and I think with the addition of the new teams, the league’s RPI will be very high.

    We just need to take care of business in the non-conference (3 or fewer losses), go .500 in the league and we’ll be back in the tournament. I’ll go on record now as saying that I expect that will happen.

  17. bill.onthebeach 05/01/2013 at 4:59 PM #

    …hell yeah.. there’s a chance…..

    a chance Uncle Roy or Coach Rat will retire….
    a chance that Miami will repeat…
    a chance that the Heels will be in class…
    a chance that Dook gets beat….

    a chance that five will beat eight…
    a chance Tech replaces Erick Green….
    a chance that the Deacs won’t be last…
    a chance that Karl Hess won’t be seen….

    and yes there’s a chance that pigs will fly…
    and there’ll be snowballs in hell….

    But…after all those bets are settled….

    I GOTT a lot of confidence that next season…..
    WE All will be proud of our bball team.

  18. doug 05/01/2013 at 5:36 PM #

    I will say this again. We should be very good at the point, better at the two, TJ is a star in the waiting and I like our chances with our young big men. 22 wins and a 3rd straight tourney. GO PACK!!!

  19. doug 05/01/2013 at 6:06 PM #

    Is it fair to say that only 4 of our players performed at or above expectations last year. Howell, Wood, Warren and Lewis. Two of them are back. I think some great additions . Barber is going to be awesome.

  20. TheCOWDOG 05/01/2013 at 7:53 PM #

    I like Bob Seger.

  21. graywolf 05/01/2013 at 7:59 PM #

    We are going to find out how well Gott can coach. This team brings different challenges than he has had previously.

  22. Pack1998 05/01/2013 at 8:35 PM #

    Would not be surprised to see this team gel faster due to AAU, Oak Hill, Tidewater connections.

    Good job by a good coaching staff.

    . . . Where the beer flows like wine

  23. john of sparta 05/01/2013 at 8:36 PM #

    +++1 graywolf.
    show us what you Gott.
    co-eds or court-sense.
    on you.

  24. Adventuroo 05/01/2013 at 9:23 PM #


    Turn the page… or

    Be like a ROCK….or

    This could go on forever….maybe it will NOT be….

    We’ve GOTT tonight….I think I actually DID see that game.

    He was great this weekend. Saw him over a year ago in SC. Had MORE energy this time. Not bad for a guy that is only a month older than me….

    Rock ON…..

  25. MISTA WOLF 05/01/2013 at 10:05 PM #

    K K K K KATMANDU and Sunspot Baby are my go to Seger tunes.

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