N.C. State Wolfpack

anya2
Getty Images

N.C. State’s Beejay Anya continues weight battle

Leave a comment

N.C. State junior big man Beejay Anya has struggled to maintain a consistent playing weight during his basketball career, but it appears that he’s making progress as we get closer to the 2015-16 season.

In a tweet this week from Jon Rothstein of CBS Sports, Anya’s weight was reported at 284 pounds, down from 320 that Anya was at during the offseason. That’s great news for Anya and the Wolfpack, but we’ve also heard this same song-and-dance about his weight loss before.

Before the start of his sophomore season last fall, Anya’s weight loss was once again a focus, as we found out that he had gone down from 349 pounds at one point in his N.C. State career to 290 pounds. Fox Sports’ Lauren Brownlow chronicled in an October 2014 story how this had become somewhat of a trend with Anya over the last few years of his career:

That’s been Anya’s struggle. His weight yo-yoed up and down for much of his final two years of high school, and he was listed at 275 as a senior. Then he reported to Raleigh in the summer of 2013 at 337 pounds, somehow. They started him with a nutritionist and strength and conditioning coach Bob Alejo right away. Somehow, he gained weight before the start of the season, exasperating his head coach Mark Gottfried.

He was able to drop about 20 pounds before the start of last season, but the weight gain-loss-gain-loss-gain roller-coaster continued, seemingly never-ending. He averaged 11.8 minutes a game and scored 2.1 points, adding 1.4 blocks and 2.1 rebounds, but he ended the season back to where he had been before it started, weight-wise.

Things didn’t look good for Anya even as soon as a few months ago. Powell Latimer of Greensboro.com mentioned in a report from July that Anya was over 300 pounds again with head coach Mark Gottfried saying, “that’s kind of a tired subject to me.”

Anya issues maintaining his ideal playing weight aside, he does deserve credit for figuring things out before the season to get in better shape. It’s not ideal that Anya continues to put on weight in the summer, as he might get hurt and it also might burn him out a little bit earlier in the season.

Either way, N.C. State needs Anya to produce down low this season as their interior depth took a hit with the loss of transfer Kyle Washington. If Anya is reliable, the Wolfpack could be in solid position for another postseason run.

Did N.C. State commit a recruiting violation?

NC State v Louisville
Leave a comment

N.C. State made a big splash in the recruiting world earlier this month by landing a commitment from five-star point guard Dennis Smith Jr. Before Smith pledged to the Wolfpack, however, head coach Mark Gottfried and assistant coach Orlando Early visited the future All-American by taking a helicopter to Trinity Christian High School.

The grand recruiting gesture by Gottfried was unique enough that the school alerted local media of what was about to happen and some went to the school to document Gottfried’s arrival. There’s only one problem with the media coming to see Gottfried’s helicopter arrival: it’s a minor NCAA violation.

According to a report from Powell Latimer of the Greensboro News & Record, N.C. State compliance is looking into the matter, as the NCAA does not allow coaches to have recruiting contact in the presence of media.

“In our situation, the media member was present without our knowledge or involvement,” N.C. State assistant athletics director for compliance Steve Shults said to Latimer. “Had our coaches known media was present, then they would have ended the contact immediately in order to avoid a violation.”

Even if N.C. State is found guilty of this violation, it wouldn’t do much but be a slap on the wrist. Since Trinity Christian notified the media of what was happening, you can hardly blame Gottfried for the minor violation — although I’m sure he wasn’t upset about the national publicity.

In the end, Gottfried landed his top target and now he’s focused on trying to put talented pieces around Smith.

N.C. State non-conference schedule includes hosting Michigan, trip to Legends Classic

Mark Gottfried
Leave a comment

N.C. State released its non-conference schedule on Friday as the Wolfpack will face plenty of interesting opponents before ACC play begins.

Hosting Michigan in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge will be a big game on the schedule while the Legends Classic in Brooklyn, featuring games against Arizona State before facing LSU or Marquette on the other side of the bracket.

The Wolfpack also travel to South Florida and Missouri for the return of two home-and-home games and they’ll face some decent mid-major tests like Winthrop, William & Mary and Bucknell.

With Mark Gottfried’s team coming off of a Sweet 16 appearance, expectations will remain high for N.C. State this season and this schedule will be tough to run through before the difficult journey through the ACC begins.

Report: Louisville, West Virginia back in the mix for four-star Class of 2015 guard

adidas
1 Comment

Most college basketball programs have figured out their roster situation entering the 2015-16 season by now, but one important piece remains on the market for a select group of teams.

Four-star shooting guard Maverick Rowan recently decided to take some summer classes so that he could reclassify into the Class of 2015 and now he’s focused on four schools after initially looking at three. St. John’s and N.C. State remain on Rowan’s list, while Louisville and West Virginia have made their way back onto the list, according to a report from Evan Daniels of Scout.com.

Wisconsin, previously on Rowan’s list of three schools, seems to have been dropped from the equation and it could be because head coach Bo Ryan plans to retire after the 2015-16 season.

The Red Storm are in strong after receiving the most recent official visit from Rowan and new head coach Chris Mullin can play the legacy angle since Rowan’s father, Ron, also played there. Louisville making the list again is intriguing because the Cardinals were thought to be a major factor in his recruitment after receiving an official visit earlier this year.

Regardless of where he ends up, the 6-foot-7 Rowan is the type of player who can come in and immediately provide scoring help for whatever program he selects. He has an advanced feel for the game on the offensive side of things and can score from all three levels on the floor.

Before he makes his decision, Rowan is playing with Each 1 Teach 1 in the Peach Jam and hopes to lead the Florida-based grassroots program to the title.

Class of 2015 four-star wing down to three schools according to report

adidas
1 Comment

Four-star guard Maverick Rowan recently enrolled in summer school classes to reclassify to the Class of 2015 and according to a report from Evan Daniels of Scout.com, the scoring wing is focused on three schools.

After announcing his reclassification, Rowan took an official visit to St. John’s, where Rowan’s father, Ron, was a one-year teammate of head coach Chris Mullin. The 6-foot-7 wing is also looking to take visits to N.C. State and Wisconsin, his two other schools he prefers at the moment. Even though Wisconsin head coach Bo Ryan announced one more season as head coach, Rowan spoke with him and remains interested.

“It’s pretty much down to those three,” Rowan said to Daniels, noting that he’d like to make a decision in August.

If Rowan can finish the courses and enroll in school this season, he’d add a dynamic scoring wing to all three programs and he could likely receive some immediate playing time at all three schools.

N.C. State lands commitment from athletic 2015 forward

Temple v North Carolina State
1 Comment

N.C. State landed a surprise commitment on Monday night as three-star Class of 2015 guard Shaun Kirk committed to the Wolfpack.

Kirk’s commitment was confirmed by the Twitter account of his grassroots team, Team Loaded.

Over the weekend, Kirk played in the adidas Gauntlet event in Indianapolis and N.C. State head coach Mark Gottfried and assistant coach Orlando Early were present at both of his games on Sunday. The 6-foot-6 Kirk is a bouncy and athletic wing forward who can crash the glass, run the floor and make a lot of plays in transition. He also knocked down some mid-range jumpers and has a chance to develop into a decent ACC player with some additional skill work.

A native of Whiteville, North Carolina, Kirk recently took an official visit to Charlotte during the spring and there were questions about whether he would reclassify to the 2016 class.

Obviously, the Wolfpack felt he could immediately contribute and brought him in only hours after losing out on five-star wing Brandon Ingram earlier in the day.