Some Basketball Talk


The ’13-’14 version of Wolfpack Basketball got underway Tuesday, as pre-season practice tipped off , and Pack players and coaches met with the media.

The Wolfpack started practice a little earlier than usual this year, as a new rule in college basketball holds that college programs can start practicing 42 days before their first game. The NC State coaching staff has titled the first set of practices before the university’s fall break a “mini-camp.”

Head coach Mark Gottfried liked the intensity and competitive nature the players showed in the first day of the “mini-camp.”

“Number one, they competed hard. And that’s important,” Gottfried said. “We were able to put some things in during the fall so we’re a little ahead offensively, but we still have a way to go yet. But what I did like was that they did compete. They competed hard and that’s a good place to start.”


After winning 48 games and playing in the last two NCAA Tournaments, NC State has a young and inexperienced, but extremely talented, squad. Gottfried’s 2013 recruiting class was ranked in the top 15 in the nation by most recruiting publications.

By all accounts, TJ “Buckets” Warren is now a trimmed down beast ….

T.J. Warren lost a lot of weight, and Tyler Lewis gained it. That was by design.

After last season, N.C. State’s basketball coaches asked Warren to take off some of his freshman fat, and he complied.

“I was about 235 or 240 last year,” Warren said. “Right now I’m about 218 or 217. I haven’t played at this weight since my freshman year in high school.”


Warren said people tell him they no longer recognize him.

“I look in the mirror and wonder who I am,” he said.

And a picture is worth a thousand words….

TJ Gunns WarrenIt seems Mr. Warren might need a new “SFN meme” before all is said and done.  My personal vote is for “TJ Gunns”.  Or perhaps, “Slim Shady”…

I repeat, will the real Slim Shady please stand up?
We’re gonna have a problem here..

In any case, I for one do hope that the sullen “ready to do bad things to bad people” look in his eyes is for real.  The more muscle we can get down low this season, the happier we are all apt to be.

Some Links

Young Wolfpack basketball team will count on Lee, Turner (

The description “young” definitely applies to freshman forward Lennard Freeman, who’s only 17, and also the trio of newcomers Cat Barber, Kyle Washington and BeeJay Anya, who are all expected to be major contributors as freshmen.

But the Wolfpack does have a pair of older players in junior guards Des Lee and Ralston Turner, who Gottfried will count on for some leadership, despite the fact that neither has played a minute in the ACC.

Sophomores Tyler Lewis and T.J. Warren are the only major contributors back from last year’s team. Warren, who averaged 12.1 points as a freshman, is the only returning player who averaged more than 15 minutes a game last season.

That’s where the maturity of Lee, a 6-foot-4, 194 pound junior college transfer, and Turner, a 6-6, 209 pound transfer from Louisiana State, will factor into the leadership equation.

“We’ll be able to help,” Turner said. “And with Tyler and T.J. coming back, collectively, we’ll be alright.”

DeCock: Wolfpack relying on freshmen up front (

Wolfpack prepare for season with overhauled roster (

N.C. State basketball faces challenge with new roster (


Point guard is a position where the Wolfpack has some intriguing options. Sophomore Tyler Lewis saw time last year and returns with a bigger frame and some glowing reviews from his coaches about his defense. Freshman Anthony “Cat” Barber is quicker and possesses a more refined scoring touch.

This summer, the pair has played together at times. And it’s an option Gottfried said he’ll likely employ at points this season.

“I think you turn into a really good running team,” Gottfried said. “You’ve got two guys that can quarterback your team. So we’ll see how that works out. That’s not something I’m opposed to looking at.

I added the bold within that quote above because it addresses something we’ve talked about often here since last season.  I think we were all rather pleased with how Tyler Lewis ran the team on the offensive end when he was pressed into duty after Zo Brown went down with his injury.  But at times he did have some defensive lapses.  Some of that I personally also believe was a strength factor in transitioning from HS to college ball.

Thus a bigger frame and glowing defensive reviews is music to my ears.  But please Tyler…not TOO much bigger.  You must always remain the “Wee Baby Seamus”. 😀

Photo Gallery (N&O)

And just to get your blood pumping, a little bit of highlighted remembrance from ’12-’13…Oh, what could have been….

And last, but by no means least….

The Pack will again tip off the season for the fans with a “midnite madness” type of event this year on Friday October 18th (a midnite madness of sorts…do note that it starts at 7pm please)….


On THAT issue, Coach Gottfried and I are in full agreement.
Great time of year, indeed.
It won’t be long now….TICK TOCK…


About Wufpacker

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

13-14 Basketball Mark Gottfried Media Miscellaneous & Fun Stuff Multimedia

30 Responses to Some Basketball Talk

  1. PoppaJohn 10/02/2013 at 8:18 AM #

    Thanks for some hoops news for those of us starving for it. This is the first year in a while when we really don’t know for sure what to expect.

    Are we going to play defense this year?
    Where are those 80 ppg coming from, besides TJ?
    Who’s going to be our outside threat(s)?
    Are Lee & Turner going to be able to produce in the ACC?
    Will the freshmen step up this year?
    What’s “TJ-Skinny” going to be like?

    I read all of the press in the last couple of days about the team. The sentence that jumped out at me and caught me by surprise was, “the sky is the limit for Kyle Washington.” That’s exciting! We all expect Cat to be really good, but were cautiously optimistic about the rest of the frosh. Gonna be fun to watch them grow.

  2. Texpack 10/02/2013 at 8:24 AM #

    This will be a very interesting season for the Pack. Gott has his work cut out for him. He has a bunch of players that need to contribute and he doesn’t really know what most of them can do well in game situations. I predict the outcome of the season will depend on the following factors.

    1. How soon the freshman bigs figure out how to play and rebound effectively without fouling.

    2. Finding at least one, preferably two guys to be dependable scorers along with Warren.

    3. The staff’s ability to keep the team positive after we get our tails kicked a couple of times before January and after the first blowout conference loss.

  3. old13 10/02/2013 at 9:03 AM #

    Have all the new players submitted a list of tendencies to the chief ACC official!

  4. TeufelWolf 10/02/2013 at 9:30 AM #

    WBS is a horrible nickname. No grown or young man could possibly take that as a compliment or “term of endearment”. It’s condescending if not plain rude. His mama call him Tyler, Imma call him Tyler.

  5. YogiNC 10/02/2013 at 9:34 AM #

    old13, that’s what the extra days of practice are for so the officials can come in and watch them. Of course Karl won’t be one of them.

  6. LifeLongWolf 10/02/2013 at 9:38 AM #

    Two words: Playing. Time.

    That is going to be Gott’s major challenge, keeping everyone happy with enough PT while remaining competitive. I think he is capable of making the hard decisions (see Purvis, Rodney), but I think his abilities to keep players happy will be put to the test this year. Hopefully this group of guys have good attitudes. Anybody with inside info have any insight on any potential “chemistry” issues?

  7. JohnGalt78 10/02/2013 at 10:46 AM #

    I’ve got 10 extra pounds that I’m willing the transfer to Tyler (I agree Teufel) although dead weight lumpy fat is probably not what he’s looking for.

  8. Mike 10/02/2013 at 11:24 AM #

    Howell just got whistled for a foul even though he is no longer there.

  9. PoppaJohn 10/02/2013 at 11:35 AM #

    Thank you for the update! Basketball season is finally here. It’s been a while since the team was such a mystery going into the season.
    1. Who’s going to score those 80 points Gott is hoping to get, besides TJ?
    2. What’s the new “TJ-Skinny” going to be like? Even better?
    3. Will they consider playing defense as a possible strategy this year?
    4. Will JV even get on the court this season?
    5. Can Gott coach? For the first time, he has “his” recruits and no one left from the old regime that he has to ‘make work.’ He’ll have to integrate freshmen and key transfers with the verterans to create a brand new starting lineup.

    I’ve read all of the press in the last few days, the one sentence that jumped out and got me excited was, “The sky is the limit for Kyle Washington.” We expected Cat to be special, but the other guys were just “the other guys.”

    Play ball!!

  10. vtpackfan 10/02/2013 at 11:38 AM #

    Think it was quite telling what TL mentioned:

    “It was first day and the offense was a little sloppy but I liked the way guys WANTED to learn”.

    The difference between Gotts first year squad and last was that guys thought they had it down. Unless your a sure thing lottery pick there is no reason a player should believe he can’t learn new facets of the game from their coaches and each other.

  11. redcanine 10/02/2013 at 11:50 AM #

    I’m eager to see how efficient our high-post offense is without running thru Calvin every play. Maybe better, maybe worse?

    Defensively, I’m less concerned with our big men and more concerned with staying in front of their point guard. Less gambling for steals (Zo) might be a good thing. If neither Tyler nor Cat can stop the ball, we’ll wish we had Zo back.

  12. old13 10/02/2013 at 12:46 PM #

    No particular expectations for this season. But I think it’s going to be fun watching the young guys learn and grow and, hopefully, some helpful leadership from the older guys. There will probably be some frustrations caused by “freshman mistakes,” but that just goes with the territory. Thought CT had a good article today:

  13. eas 10/02/2013 at 12:55 PM #

    As for Tyler I will call him what I always have “white chocolate”. Maybe I can use hot sauce as a little as well.

  14. 1time 10/02/2013 at 12:58 PM #

    New day for the entire program, and IMO, time to set a entirely new standard for what it takes to wear that WOLFPACK uniform. Openly reward effort and consistency, and just as openly PUNISH for anything less. This is Gottfried’s team now, I hope he’s not the least bit shy about demanding maximum effort from day one.

  15. DC_wolf 10/02/2013 at 1:25 PM #

    “Sophomores Tyler Lewis and T.J. Warren are the only major contributors back from last year’s team. Warren, … , is the only returning player who averaged more than 15 minutes a game last season.”

    Wow. If you have the time, go back & re-read that… & let it sink in. This is why I say my prayers @ night & don’t walk on any cracks during the day…

  16. travelwolf 10/02/2013 at 1:59 PM #

    Gee, how can Lewis have a receding hairline already?

  17. PoppaJohn 10/02/2013 at 2:07 PM #

    And another great thing is, other than TJ, the whole team is probably here for a while. We’ll get to watch them grow … and conquer!

  18. bill.onthebeach 10/02/2013 at 2:57 PM #

    ^agreed…. watching this groups of guys come together and grow up both as a team and as individuals… is going to be great…

    and if one doesn’t understand…. that two steps forward, one step backward thing… it might be a good idea to get comfortable with that before the season starts…

    that said… I think the sky is the limit for them…

  19. pack44fan 10/02/2013 at 6:39 PM #

    I really don’t have any expectations for this team other than I hope to see maximum effort and growth. I think one of the biggest challenges facing Gottfried is managing playing time. It will be difficult to keep everyone happy if he only plays 7. Kids now want instant gratification and appear to be less willing to wait their turn.

  20. choppack1 10/02/2013 at 7:12 PM #

    Pack44fan – I don’t think it’s necessarily favor to criticize kids for leaving if a coach only plays a handful of guys. It’s one thing to bolt if a coach plays a lot of upperclassman and you are a freshman…. its another thing if a coach basically chooses to play 7-8 guys and you don’t see yourself being one of those 7.

  21. GeneralNuisance 10/02/2013 at 7:47 PM #

    Barber suffered a concussion in practice and is day to day. Apparently got it when he collided with TJ going after a lose ball. I believe the offseason workouts are to blame. . . if he still had those 20+ ibs then maybe the extra cushioning could have prevented this. . . .

  22. redcanine 10/02/2013 at 7:48 PM #

    As long as we are a program that talented young men want to transfer INTO (Turner, Lacey), I don’t mind occasionally losing an unhappy/under performing player. We’re getting there.

    Duke has lost players (Paulus, Gbinjie, Joey Beard) and accepted outstanding transfers (Curry, Hood).

    I don’t believe that Gott is flawed in terms of losing players to transfer. It’s just a part of the game, and he is aware of it, and hopefully he winds up with the long straw.

  23. MrPlywood 10/02/2013 at 7:51 PM #

    According to the promo pic, it appears that not only has Tyler gotten stronger, but taller too. What are they feeding these kids? Or in TJ’s case, not feeding…

  24. choppack1 10/02/2013 at 8:39 PM #

    Red canine – that is a fair point, but I think the transfers hurt us in 2013.

    But its only fair to give gott a pass since he’s only been here 2 years.

  25. packalum44 10/02/2013 at 9:08 PM #

    I like BJD’s analysis/perspective of our program. Sure you might have down years b/c you have players leave early or transfer, but at least your ceiling with a bunch of 4/5 star young rotation is much higher than a Tony Bennet type of grind it out play rough defense paradigm with players no one else really wanted.

    Said another way, we could make the dance in a down year and make some noise every few years when the stars align. UVA struggles just to dance every several years. No thanks.

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