The fans on NC State Wolfpack basketball have had knots in their throats the entire offseason, and now they can finally breathe a sigh of relief as Abdul-Malik Abu and BeeJay Anya will be returning to the fold for another season. Both tested the waters of the NBA Draft but had the option to back out prior to May 25 as neither one had agreed to hire an agent.
This is and will continue to be a common theme in NCAA basketball, and you can expect guys to flirt with the draft to test their stock and then return if they don’t like what they’re seeing. Frankly, if you’re one of those people who support the theory of student athletes getting some sort of compensation to assist them with the daily necessities of being in college, it’s hard to blame them.
Anya and Abu were two of the important cogs in the Wolfpack machine last year. That machine would unfortunately finish a game under .500 with a 16-17 record that included 13 conference losses, but in order for this team to be successful, it was agreed upon by many that they needed their frontcourt stars to return.
This is the continuation of a pretty awesome week for the citizens of Raleigh, as a team that was worried about a lack of big men now seems to be very well stocked. The Wolfpack also signed Darius Hicks, a 6-foot-7, 210-pound power forward from Quitman, Ms. and Turkish star Omer Yurtseven. The latter gives the program a dominant presence at center.
Throw in a point guard by the name of Dennis Smith Jr., who’s projected to be a lottery pick in 2017, and the Wolfpack may be looking at one of their most impressive and talented rosters in quite some time. Some might start using the term sleeper pick, as Mark Gottfried has a lot to work with.