Obviously, the events of this past week serve to completely change the outlook for NC State Basketball, at least for the 2016-2017 season. Suddenly, NC State has enough talent among our top seven players to compete for an NCAA Tournament berth if we can avoid key injuries throughout the season. But, depth, experience and cohesion remain as major question marks for the next version of Wolfpack Basketball.
We’ve got a lot more discussion below the following table.
Current 2015-2016 NC State Basketball Program Configuration
(1) BeeJay Anya (5C)
(2) Lennard Freeman (4F / 5C) [Potential Redshirt this year]
(3) Terry Henderson (2G / Wing)
(4) Abdul Malik Abu (4F)
(5) Shaun Kirk (F)
(6) Torin Dorn (SG)
(7) Maverick Rowan (3F)
Freshman Class (2016 Commits)
(8) Dennis Smith, Jr
(9) Omer Yurtseven
(10) Darius Hicks
(11) Spencer Newman
(1) Anya’s scholarship
(2) Henderson’s scholarship
(3) Projected Abu’s scholarship
(4) Projected Smith’s scholarship
(5) Projected Yurtseven’s scholarship
(6) Potential Freeman’s scholarship
State’s roster remains unbalanced with scholarship spacing and quality depth amongst upperclassmen — a state of operations that now has to be accepted as annual fact for Mark Gottfried since it happens every single year. The Wolfpack could easily lose 6 of the top 8 players after this season; Mark Gottfried appears to have scrambled together enough talent to compete for an NCAA Tournament berth in 2017.
When you look at the scholarship spacing of the program and you consider what we will probably lose after next season, I can’t imagine there is other option but to try to take Gibson Johnson a forward from Salt Lake Community College. It would be helpful for the 2017-2018 season to go ahead and take some other/more transfers and JUCOs to bolster experience and depth for the future and avoid the potential of having as many as NINE scholarships to deploy in the next recruiting class.
What is probably most frustrating about all of this roster turnover related to next season is that State’s biggest weaknesses for next year would have been perfectly mitigated by Cody and Caleb Martin. If the Martin twins would’ve stayed, this roster and the balance of the scholarship spacing of the program, would’ve been SO SOLID. The quality depth that the Martins’ EXPERIENCE, versatility, basketball IQ, shooting, rebounding and defensive capabilities would have been the perfect tonic for this roster.
Ultimately, the coaching staff’s inability to retain solid upperclassmen contributors continues to set State apart from the elite programs that find a way to have significantly more stability and maintain more experience and balance on their rosters. Just imagine how the last five years could have looked if State could’ve kept:
* DeShawn Painter for his senior season
* CJ Leslie for his senior season instead of leaving for the ‘NBA’, where he has NEVER played
* Lorenzo Brown for his senior season instead of leaving to be a 2nd round pick
* Tyler Lewis as backup support for a single point guard on our roster last year
* Trevor Lacey for his senior season instead of never playing in the NBA
* Kyle Washington for last year
* Cableb Martin
* Cody Martin