Fox Sports spent a little time with NC State’s incoming freshman Anthony Barber and the young man is not afraid to say what he expects in season one.
From Fox Sports Carolina:
“I’m expecting to be a starter coming in as a top recruit,” Barber said. “Everybody else expects me to be a starter, but I’m just going to continue to work hard.”
Barber is one of the better talents headed to the ACC this coming season. Rivals has shown the most love, ranking the Hampton, Virginia native as the third best point guard, 11th overall player.
With only three scholarship players returning to Mark Gottfried’s NC State squad, there are certainly starting spots for Barber to have. The only small issue is that one of those three returning scholarship players is another McDonald’s All-American point guard, sophomore Tyler Lewis.
Obviously it’s too soon for Gottfried to announce any kind of starting rotation, but he did say that starting both Lewis and Barber together in the back court is a legit possibility.
“I think he’s going to be an awfully good player over time,” Gottfried said. “Even in the pickup games our guys have played, the word is he and Tyler feed off each other and like playing together. We’ll see how all that works out. We’re excited about both of them, both of those two guys.”
Now my two cents.
First, I think Barber is the better of the two. Don’t get me wrong, Lewis is a solid talent, but Barber has game-changing abilities. Armed with a wicked crossover, he’s nearly impossible to stop going to his right. He’s aggressive on both ends of the floor, capable of turning defense into offense in a flash.
Second, I do think Gottfried has to start both Barber and Lewis. The only two shooting guards on the roster are both transfers (Ralston Turner is from LSU, Desmond Lee is from New Mexico junior college). Turner is the better of the two. He led LSU in scoring as a freshman and would do a fine job starting at the two spot.
However, if the Wolfpack want to really compete in 2013-14, they’re going to need to think outside the box and by having two McDonald All-American point guards on the floor at the same time, they could be hard to stop on the perimeter. I’d love to see NC State go super small, start both Lewis and Barber, with Turner on the wing. They’ll have freshman BeeJay Anya at center, which leaves their go-to guy, T.J. Warren playing the four spot (think P.J. Hairston for UNC at the end of last season).
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