NC STATE BASKETBALL: GOOD Things on the Horizon


NC State Basketball

If you are a Wolfpack supporter and bleed red & white, the upcoming 2015 NC State football and basketball seasons have the promise of being exciting and unpredictable.  For starters, the realization that All-ACC guard Trevor Lacey unexpectantly chose the NBA over finishing his final year in Raleigh had a sobering impact.   By leaving, Lacey in effect severely weakened the Pack’s best chance at winning the Atlantic Coast Conference in decades.

Mar 21, 2015; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; North Carolina State Wolfpack guard Trevor Lacey (1) dribbles the ball against the Villanova Wildcatsduring the second half in the third round of the 2015 NCAA Tournament at the CONSOL Energy Center. NC State won 71-68. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Let’s not sugarcoat it.  The loss of Lacey really hurt.

With basically the entire squad from last season’s Sweet Sixteen appearance returning (minus departing seniors Ralston Turner and Desmond Lee) the Wolfpack would have been a preseason favorite.

Then came the second wave of unsettling basketball news:  Rising junior big man Kyle Washington was transferring.

Mandatory Credit: Adam Hunger-USA TODAY Sports

Geez, can we not catch a break?

I have written before about the WHAT IF’s.

What if  C. J. Leslie and Lorenzo Brown had returned a few years ago?  What if Rodney Purvis and T. J. Warren had not left the program early?  Fortunately, Coach Mark Gottfried has been able to reload and keep the ship afloat while still producing solid basketball teams.

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The 2015 basketball unit will be good…probably not great,  but solid.  It is now Anthony “Cat” Barber’s team.  Rising juniors BeeJay Anya and Lennard Freeman will need to step up and provide leadership and more scoring.  Frosh sensation Abdul-Malik Abu and twins Caleb and Cody Martin will have to earn their keep as they continue to mature and improve their game.  With the addition of West Virginia transfer, 6’4″ shooting guard Terry Henderson, Gottfried may be able to slow the bleeding.  IF Henderson meshes well and quickly, he could fill the void left by Lacey and the Pack could do well in ACC Play and go deep into the NCAA’s again.

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With all that said, there is still a lot of optimism in the air.  The Wolfpack could very well have a very good year.  Or it could all go terribly wrong as we have witnessed other Wolfpack teams with high expectations do.

Lastly, as if there wasn’t enough upheaval to end the 2014 campaign already, we want to wish Wolfpack assistant coach Rob Moxley well as he recuperates from a serious medical issue that has kept him away from his basketball responsibilities.

Up Next:   NC STATE FOOTBALL:  Is this the year?