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As the season started many questioned if Anthony Barber was the right guy to lead NC State in the coming years, and for a good part of the season the answer seemed to be no. After the death of a close friend Cat chose to heed the staff’s advice about not overthinking the position and from the Georgia Tech game forward he gave us plenty of flashes of the speed and scoring ability that made him a five star recruit. However with such magnificent games there were still some games that left us scratching our heads. Take for example the Duke game in the ACC Tournament where he had 0 points and failed to make any impact. This was especially puzzling following such a world class performance the game prior versus Pittsburgh. Let’s breakdown Cat’s season and see what to expect from him moving ahead.


Only one word can accuratly describe Cat and that is electric. No player can reach the same top speeds as Cat in the NCAA. The kid is simply a blur with the ball in his hands. This attribute alone was a factor in many of his struggles in the first 20 or so games of the season; as he failed to dial back his speed in the half court. Too often Cat would go full speed into the lane or traffic only to lose his balance or put up a weak shot with no power. From the sidelines and TV many of us beckoned for him to slow down. His struggles early were compounded by his opponents as they dared him to shoot from the outside, this made things frustrating as his defender was able to leverage his blazing speed by not pressing up on him outside the three-point line.

Then his game started to come together as he found his stroke from distance. Over the last 10 ACC games Cat shot a respectable 42 % from three allowing him to use his greatest strength which is his speed. Not only was Cat running the team more effectively but he finally displayed good decision making as he used his speed to get himself out of trouble instead of into it. Another area that improved greatly was his passing. Cat was able to get into the lane late in the season which caused the other team’s big men to help cut off the open lane, this gave way to a handful of easy dunks as Cat would drop it off to Abu, Anya, and Freeman. Now this is a skill that Cat must continue to work on. NC State became an upper echelon team when Cat Barber scored the ball efficiently as he was a great barometer for the Pack, he will have to improve in the off season if State wants to reach greater heights next season.

Grade: C+ 


Blessed with good length and outstanding quickness Cat was able to turn himself into a pesky defender who showed the ability to take away other team’s star players. This season Cat found himself matched up with some great guards as the ACC schedule threw top level talent at the Pack each and every night. In my opinion this is why Gottfried wanted Cat to be his featured point guard as he had the greatest ability to be a great two way guard. On the season Barber was able to shut down some great guards which allowed the Wolfpack to knock off a couple of nationally recognized programs. In the UNC game in Chapel Hill Cat stayed in Paige’s back pocket which resulted in a 3-8 night from the field. Then at Louisville Barber used the same grit and toughness to lock down the lead scorer in the ACC Terry Rozier. One of the main strengths in Cat’s defense is his versatility to guard shooters off the ball as well as pressing the ball handler full court. In more than one occasion we would see Gottfried sic Cat onto opponent’s point guards to make their life difficult as he would disrupt their flow. Look at the Syracuse game where Cat completely took them out of their offense as the point guard could not call his plays or get them into a position to attack. State doesn’t win those games without Cat’s effort on defense it is that simple.

Grade: A- 


This is a difficult category as it can be hard to gauge certain intangibles when you are not in the inner circle of a team, but what I saw this season was a team that believed in Cat. He wasn’t the most vocal leader but he was a willing communicator on defense. I could hear him talking to his big men to help them navigate ball screens, I could hear him pleading with his teammates to keep playing, and I saw him respond to his coaches. I think being coachable is a great skill and it is one that Cat has. Early in the season Cat could of thrown this season away as he found himself benched and excluded from the starting lineup; however, he made the choice to keep working and listen. He stayed focussed and learned from the bench. His teammates recognized his desire to take a backseat at a time when he wasn’t at his best in order to put them in the best position to win. After he figured things out he made sure he played with great effort and intensity.

Let’s take a look at this kid’s mental toughness. Cat loses one of his best friends and has to sit out the FSU game in Tallahassee as he tells Gottfried he isn’t in a good mental state to help his team win that day. The next game State plays at Miami where Barber had a mediocre game 6 points and 6 assists. The thing that stuck out to me in this game was the maturity he displayed in the last minute of that game. Let’s paint a picture, NC State was up big on the road only to lose by 5 points. With the game unravelling before our eyes Cat finds himself near the out of bounds line when a fan unexpectedly reached out and makes contact with him. At this moment catastrophe could of struck, but Cat simply gave the fan a dirty look and walked away. In the heat of the action Barber kept his cool and showed me that he is capable of becoming a great leader and player for State. His intangibles should help him reach greater heights in the coming season.

Grade: B+

Offseason Checklist: 

The biggest thing Cat must gain this offseason is consistency. He must work extremely hard offensively to be able to counter opposing teams game plans which will focus on keeping him out of the paint. The best way to counter that is being able to consistently hit open jump shots that will make a defender pay for playing off of him. In my opinion the player Cat should model his game after is Tony Parker! I don’t know if many of you watch the NBA but personally I am an NBA junkie who pays close attention to the point guard position. Tony Parker has reinvented himself throughout his career to stay in consideration of being one of the top guards in the association. Early in his career Parker relied solely on his speed and ability to finish in the paint to be effective. Sound familar? Sooner rather than later the league took notice of his inability to make an outside shot which neutralized his ability to get to the rim easily. Like Barber, Parker isn’t the most explosive athlete when it comes to jumping but he has learned how to use a mid-range jumper to terrorize defenses.

I would love to see Barber develop a deadly 12-18 foot jump shot that he can get off against any defender. There is no reason why Cat cannot incorporate some of the same principles that Parker uses to score and distribute in the NBA. Cat has the same speed and quickness that Tony Parker possesses and has a great handle for the ball that he can use to get his defender off balance. That is the key for Cat as he must keep other teams off balance by attacking and probing constantly. If Cat can take another step forward offensively and find consistency there is no reason why NC State cannot be a contender in the ACC next season. In addition to improving offensively I would like to see him get stronger in his lower body which will allow him to finish at a greater rate underneath. Too often this season he was knocked off his line as he attacked the rim which resulted in missed layups.

This off season is of monumental importance for Barber as he will be a keystone to the Pack next season!


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8 years ago

packman70 Wolfer96 What is it with you and trying to erect statues for average players? How are you using Alex Johnson as a barometer on how well the coaching staff is doing with transfers? What did Alex Johnson do exactly? Calling an average player average is not denigrating that person, it’s called an honest assessment.  Calling Julius Hodge average would be unfair criticism. You understand the difference? Whether Alex played 1 game or 50 games what’s that matter? He was average. Why would you use a player like that to show that the coaching staff does a great job with transfers?… Read more »

8 years ago

Wolfer96 packman70 When I have to remind someone what they said, I have little faith that person will acknowledge they were wrong. “Shelton has not played one minute for the Pack so why would I have anything positive or negative to say about him” So you wait until someone is on our team before you denigrate them? As you have with Barber, Gottfried, and now Alex Johnson. AJ played 37 games with the Pack. When I mentioned him as proof that Gott and staff have done a better than “fairly” good job with transfers, you pointed to 2 plays in one… Read more »

8 years ago

packman70  You really are dense. I reviewed the performance of players who actually played for the Wolfpack. See this kid Shelton has not played one minute for the Pack so why would I have anything positive or negative to say about him. He has not done anything yet. Does that make sense for your confused brain?  Yes I think that those transfers deserve a “fairly good” track record for the staff. I guess you forgot how Alex Johnson made a couple of the biggest untimely turnovers in the ACC tournament that cost us the game against unc. Alex filled a… Read more »

8 years ago

packman70 That’s catatonic Cat for you.  One game excellent, the next he disappears.  He needs to improve his consistency, and predictability.  Obtuse is a good term for me because I can be annoyingly insensitive when it comes to people that are getting a free ride and not performing as advertised.

8 years ago

On the same note, how do we allow so much talent in Raleigh to get away?  It looks like Mitchell (in the right environment)  could be a good backup in the future. Published on Dec 28, 2012 Anthony “Cat” Barber and Shelton Mitchell went head to head at the 2012 High School OT Holiday Invitational in Raleigh. Mitchell led all scorers with 30 points on 11 for 18 shooting while Cat Barber went for 26 points on 8 for 19 shooting and led his Hampton Crabbers to a 2 point overtime victory. On the other hand,  it might upset packman70… Read more »

8 years ago

funny how quick your tone changes to suit your arguments. Now you are the” give every kid a trophy”, optimistic fan. One day after a great run in March (according to me) you are more than willing to point out this team’s flaws. You respond at length to my circumstantial defense of the team asking for facts and stats, and mock me and my rose colored glasses for days. But after a post by the site making every argument I made, you don’t want to discuss it anymore. Your last response on the other thread was the same day this… Read more »

8 years ago

packman70 I think I’ve already discussed Cat’s strengths and weaknesses at length. So why belabor the point? I simply made an evaluation of the guy and responded to to people who agreed and disagreed with my points. I’m not obsessed with him as you seem to be. You really need to learn how to read. I never stated that this guy was the future of Wolfpack basketball. I simply stated that he is transferring and the Wolfpack are high on his list. Whether the guy will succeed or not is wholly up to him and the coaching staff. But I… Read more »

8 years ago

On a related note?!?! All of a sudden you don’t want to disagree that Cat’s passing and court vision improved?
What did you do to Wolfer96?
But you do want to support a mediocre PG as Cat’s successor?
Bad 3 pt%, bad steal %, led the team in TOs per minute (you should appreciate that)
This was a whole post about Cat, are you tired of pointing out his ceiling or what?

8 years ago

On a related note it looks like we have a potential PG transfer from Vanderbilt (Shelton Mitchell). This is Cat and Shelton going at it in H.S. His performance at Vandy wasn’t great but maybe a redshirt year is just what he needs. This coaching staff has had fairly good results from transfers so hopefully this works out. Apparently he played with the Martin twins at Oak Hill so maybe that will play a factor in his decision. Heard it was down to us and clemson. Best case scenario he gets 10-15 minutes a game in 2016-2017 and becomes the… Read more »

8 years ago

There may be a couple of people who disagree with your assessment of Cat’s improvement in the 2nd half. Just saying…

NC State Basketball

Key Takeaways from Kevin Keatts’ Preseason Press Conference



NC State head coach Kevin Keatts met with the media for his preseason press conference last week. Here’s the key takeaways from what he had to say.

Point Guard Position

  • It’s a lot of competition.
    • You got Michael O’Connell, who has played a lot of basketball at Power Five [Stanford Transfer] that can play the point.
    • With D.J. Horne [Arizona St. Transfer], he’s in the same situation, but he’s been more of a combo guard his whole life.
      • It’s always great to get a young man to come back home [he played at Trinity Christian in Raleigh].
      • He’s here, he’s been positive, and he’s been great.
      • He’s older…a great older guy to have in the locker room, let alone his ability to score the basketball.
      • He will put you a little bit in the mindset of Terquavion and Jarkel, because he’s a really offensive-minded player.
    • Then, you’ve got 2 guys who completely had to play against Jarkel Joiner and Terquavion Smith in Breon Pass and L.J. Thomas.
  • We’ve got a lot of options. I don’t know who we will go with ultimately at the end.

Power Forward Position

  • Power forward, we’ve got a lot of options.
  • We could play big.
    • We could go back to when we had D.J. Funderburk and Manny Bates playing, because I love what Mohamed Diarra [Missouri Transfer] is bringing.
  • I love what Ben Middlebrooks [Clemson Transfer] brings, and then you’ve got Dennis Parker [Freshman], and then you’ll have the opportunity to play M.J. Rice [Kansas Transfer] at some of those positions also.


  • We have possibly 10 guys that we can put in the game.
  • I won’t make hockey substitutions where we go five in and five out, but I do think for the first time in a long time, we have 2 point guards, 2 shooting guards, 2 small forwards, 2 power forwards, and 2 centers.
    • Then we’ve got a lot of interchangeable parts that can play different positions.

D.J. Burns

  • He’s going to be mayor of this city one day. He is. He is what he is.
  • I’m going to have the best back-to-the-basket post guy.
  • He’s tough. He’s lefty. He can score it in different ways.
  • You don’t get any assists off of him because he’ll catch it and dribble 4 or 5 times to be able to score the basketball.

D.J. in Foul Trouble

  • Because his hands are so good, he reaches a lot.
    • Even on ball screens, he’s always thinking he can pick somebody.
    • What we’ve said is, “Hey, man, you can’t do that. You’ve got to wall off. You’ve got to do a good job. You can’t reach. You’ve got to stay in the game. You have to do your work early on the defensive end.
    • A lot of his fouls don’t come off the guy he’s guarding.
      • It’s our guards getting blown by, and he’s reaching and not rolling up or jumping when he’s in a restricted area.
      • Part of that, as we’ve talked about, our guards have to guard the basketball…and then, D.J., when they do come in, you can’t give up stupid fouls.

D.J. Getting Fouled

  • I think he gets clobbered. He plays through it.
  • The biggest conversation that we’ve had [with officials], is that when he catches the ball almost close to the 3-point line, you shouldn’t be able to have a closed elbow.
    • When he starts there, technically, he’s a perimeter player that time.
    • Once he gets close to the block is when you can use your elbow.

D.J.’s Passing

  • I see him as a passer.
    • His assist to turnover ratio is not great. But, think about this now…he makes every big pass and big play that you need to.
    • We’ll run the offense through him at times where he can become a passer and all that stuff.
    • We will run some things where he’ll be able to make some plays out of the post by passing the ball.
    • He’s going to get all type of double teams and everything else because he has all year long.

True Freshman Dennis Parker Jr. 

  • What makes Dennis Parker really, really unique is that he plays hard.
    • One thing I’ve always said is that the hardest-playing team typically gives us the best chance to win, and when you look at Dennis, he won’t put you in the mindset of a Freshman.
  • He runs the floor. He’s athletic. He can play multiple positions. He can guard more than one position.
  • I’m really excited about him as a Freshman.
  • He’s going to play some Small Forward for us. Also when we play small ball, I think he can play that ‘Torin Dorn role’, being able to play some 4 for us.

Kam Woods Availability to Play [North Carolina A&T Transfer]

  • Well, we had those conversations up front. We talked about the opportunities here.
    • “We would have to file a waiver for you to be eligible under the current situation, but if the waiver doesn’t go through, then, if you’re going to come to NC State, you’ll have to accept the fact that you’re going to have to sit out a year, like it used to be.”
    • He was completely fine with that.
    • I tried to set the expectation where it was and make sure that we both understood this as what it could be.
  • We should be filing a waiver for him soon, and we’ll live with whatever the results are.
  • He’s good. You don’t average 17 points in Division I, no matter what level, unless you can really score the basketball.
    • He’s gotten a lot stronger. He’s shooting the ball a little bit more consistently at this level.
    • He would be a great addition to our roster.
    • Once again, I’ll go back and say it…I don’t know if he’s going to be eligible or not, but if he is, I think he could help us.

Mohamed Diarra

  • He’s been our most complete player from the summer until now. He’s been really good.
  • He’s talented. He rebounds the basketball. He can step out and shoot it.
  • He handles the ball on a break.
    • He thinks he’s a point guard. I know he’s not, but he thinks he is.
  • He’s been really good. I’ve been impressed with him.
  • His work ethic has completely changed since he got here.
    • He wasn’t into it as much, but now he’s found some success through practice.
    • He’s kind of taken off to another level.
  • He’ll play some 4 and 5 for us.
    • He won’t play Small Forward, like he may think, but he’ll help us out a lot.

Ben Middlebrooks

  • We talked about the opportunity to play.
    • We don’t have a starting Power Forward.
    • There’s opportunities to play minutes at the 5. There’s opportunity to play minutes at the 4.
    • There’s opportunities to play.
  • Ben just wanted a different role. He was stuck behind a really good basketball player in P.J. Hall, and he wanted the opportunity to play some Power Forward, and that’s why he’s here.

Best on-the-ball defender

  • “I like Jayden Taylor.
  • Last year I said that Casey Morsell would be on the all-defensive team.
    • Casey didn’t listen to me enough.
    • He’s a really good defensive player.
  • I would say Jayden or Casey could play that role more than anything. More so Jayden than Casey.

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NC State Basketball

NC State’s 2023-23 Men’s Basketball Schedule Has Arrived



NC State’s 2023-24 Men’s Basketball schedule has arrived!

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NC State Basketball

NC State to Honor David Thompson with Statue Outside Reynolds Coliseum



RALEIGH – NC State University will pay tribute to three-time All-American David Thompson with a statue sculpted in his honor that will be placed outside of Reynolds Coliseum.

The unveiling will take place at 11:30 a.m. on Wednesday, Dec. 6, the day of the Wolfpack men’s basketball team’s annual Heritage Game at Reynolds Coliseum, and will be open to the public.

“This is such a deserved honor for the greatest basketball player to ever wear an NC State jersey,” NC State Director of Athletics Boo Corrigan said. “He is one of the most iconic players to ever play in the ACC and our hope is that this statue will ensure that generations of NC State students and fans will always remember the legacy and contributions of David Thompson.”

Thompson is widely recognized as one of the greatest players in college basketball history. A 2008 ESPN story ranked him as one of the ten best college basketball players of all-time, and he is regarded as one of greatest athletes in Atlantic Coast Conference history.

The Boiling Spring, N.C., native played three seasons at NC State from 1972-75 and was a unanimous first-team All-American at the conclusion of all three seasons. He was also named the ACC Player of the Year all three seasons.

He was named the Associated Press National Player of the Year in 1974 and 1975 and remains one of just five players in college basketball history to win multiple AP National Player of the Year honors.

Thompson immediately made his mark on the Pack, helping lead NC State to an undefeated season (27-0) in 1973. The Pack dominated the 1972-73 season and was at the top or near the top of the polls all season as Thompson averaged 24.7 points and 8.1 rebounds per game.

Thompson returned in the 1973-74 season and led the Wolfpack to a 30-1 record and the school’s first NCAA Men’s Division I Basketball National Title.

In the Final Four, Thompson and the Wolfpack met up with UCLA, the seven-time reigning National Champions and the only team to have defeated NC State that season. The Pack trailed 74-67 in the second overtime when Thompson’s heroics helped lead NC State back. Thompson pulled down a defensive rebound and made the go-ahead basket with under one minute remaining and then made two free throws with 38 seconds to go to give the Pack a 78-75 double overtime win in a game that is still considered one of the greatest Final Four games ever played.

Thompson finished the game with 28 points and 10 rebounds in the win over Bill Walton and the Bruins.
Two nights later, the Pack won the National Title over Marquette, 76-64, behind 21 points from Thompson. Thompson was named the Most Outstanding Player of the tournament.

To make it into the NCAA Tournament, the Pack defeated fourth-ranked Maryland, 103-100, in overtime in the 1974 ACC Championship, in a game that is routinely considered one of the best games in college basketball history.

As a senior, Thompson averaged 29.9 points, still the highest single season average in NC State history. He scored an NC State and ACC record 57 points in an early season win over Buffalo State. The Pack started the season ranked No. 1 in the nation and never fell out of the top-10, but lost in the ACC Championship game to end its season. The Pack finished the season ranked seventh in the nation but because the NCAA Tournament at that time only allowed the conference champion into the tournament its season was over.

Thompson closed his career with 2,309 points in 86 career games. He led the ACC in scoring all three seasons and was NC State and the ACC’s career scoring leader when he graduated.

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NC State Basketball

Former NC State Basketball Player Torin Dorn Joins Coaching Staff of G-League SLC Stars



Former NC State basketball player Torin Dorn has joined the staff of the Salt Lake City Stars, the G-League team for the Utah Jazz. Dorn’s title is Player Development Associate/Assistant Coach.

After playing 3 seasons at NC State, Dorn went on to play professionally overseas in Poland and Czech Republic, before joining the Wolfpack coaching staff last season as a Graduate Manager.

Dorn will be working under newly appointed head coach Steve Wojciechowski (former Duke PG), who was the head coach at Marquette the past 7 seasons.

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