Friday, November 14, 2014

Friday Five: Best Five NC State Basketball Players from the Mark Gottfried Era

The NCAA basketball season officially kicks off this evening.  I am doing some blogging on my alma mater, the NC State Wolfpack, this season.  Just following along and giving a little insight.  This is the fourth season that Coach Gott has been on the sideline in Raleigh and the Pack has seen a much better on the court product than the previous regime under Sidney Lowe.  Lowe failed to reach the NCAA field every year he coached the team.  Gottfried has coached the team three years and has a sweet sixteen appearance and two trips into the second round.  One of the biggest improvements has been the level of talent on the floor for the Wolfpack.  Without further delay, the Friday Five edition rates the best five NC State basketball players from the Mark Gottfried Era.

5.  Scott Wood -Shooting Guard

Wood was actually recruited to NC State by Sidney Lowe.  Lowe was a great point guard for the 1983 NC State National Championship team, but had a hard time developing guards during his time on the sideline.  Wood had some nice games under Lowe, but really seemed to take off under Gottfried.  The 6'6 shooting guard became a very dangerous weapon during his last two years in Raleigh and ended his NC State career as the most prolific three point shooter and highest free throw percentage.

4.  C.J. Leslie- Power Forward 

Sometimes I scratch my head think about C.J. Leslie.  He was a highly prized recruit out of a local high school in Raleigh where he teamed with Kentucky/Washington Wizards point guard John Wall to form one of the best tandems at high school level ever.  Rodney Purvis (NC State/UConn) was also on those teams I believe.  You could watch games sometimes and swear C.J. was going to be a force in the NBA and other times you wondered how he was ever considered a highly prized recruit.  He could be first on this list and could also be off of it for the egg he laid his junior year.  He got the team to the Sweet Sixteen, so fourth seems fair.  

3.  Richard Howell- Power Forward

Richard Howell was the ultimate overachiever.  He's someone who everyone wished they had on their team.  He was not the biggest recruit, never won a lot of awards or honors, but did play hard every time he hit the court.  Basically, he made himself a good player through lots of hard work.  

2.  Lorenzo Brown- Point Guard 

Brown was another high end recruit brought into to Raleigh.  He was a really good player at times, but seemed a little bit streaky at times.  He had a good offensive game and also did a good job of running the offense for Coach Gott.  Brown was a huge part of the team's run into the Sweet Sixteen during the 2011-2012 season.  

1.  T.J. Warren- Forward

ACC Player of the Year.  All everything in Raleigh.  Players like Warren do not roll around too often.  The Pack will miss the leading scorer from last year when their season starts this evening.  Warren had a great mid range game and an excellent understanding of where to be and what to do on the floor.  A joy to watch.  Warren single-handedly put the Wolfpack into the NCAA tournament last year with incredible play down the stretch in conference play and an upset of Syracuse in the second round of the ACC tournament.  

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