Mark Gottfried didn’t need the statistical proof to know that N.C. State lost a lot of its 3-pointing shooting from last year’s Sweet 16 team.
The fifth-year coach decided to look up the numbers anyway before the Wolfpack’s media day on Thursday.
Without guards Ralston Turner or Trevor Lacey, the Wolfpack will need to find new outside scoring sources this season.
“We made 236 3s last year, as a team, those two guys made 172 of the 236,” Gottfried said. “That tells me we’re very unproven behind the 3-point line.”
Turner (94) and Lacey (78) provided a luxury from the 3-point line for Gottfried and the Wolfpack last season and helped N.C. State win 22 games and make the NCAA tournament for a fourth straight year.
Junior point guard Cat Barber, junior guard Terry Henderson, freshman small forward Maverick Rowan and sophomore forward Caleb Martin will have to pick up the slack this season.
Barber, who made 27 of 71 from 3-point range last season, is the top returner. Asked Thursday if he was the best 3-point shooter on the team, Barber didn’t hesitate with his answer.
“Yep,” Barber said.
Henderson, who made 47 3s for West Virginia during his sophomore season in 2013-14, said he was the best shooter on the team.
“I’m not going say I’m better than Terry,” Barber said. “But it’s close.”
“Mav can’t shoot,” Barber joked. “Nah, he’s a really good shooter.
Gottfried said that Rowan might have been the best shooter in high school basketball last year.
“He hasn’t done it at our level,” Gottfried said. “It’s a little bit different to do it in here and it’s a little bit different to do it when the popcorn’s popping and people are in the gym.”
Rowan, in particular, is a promising scoring prospect, and could complement Barber. The 6-8 wing has already had an unusual path to college.
Rowan played three seasons of high school basketball, two in Pennsylvania and one in Florida, and then took summer school classes to graduate in July and enrolled at N.C. State in August.
He picked N.C. State, in part, because he could see how he fit into the Wolfpack’s offense.
“I didn’t want to go to a team where there 14 other guys or they already had the team set and I was just going to come and be another body,” Rowan, 19, said. “Here, I can be a big piece of this puzzle here and hopefully we can win a lot of games and make a good run.”
Gottfried said Rowan is a “hair” behind because most freshmen get to campus for summer school but he was confident in the freshman’s skill set and that he would catch up quickly.
The coach also likes Rowan’s track record as a winner, pointing out that he helped both of his high school teams win state championships.
“I think he has a chance to be a really good player here,” Gottfried said. “He’s got a little chip on his shoulder, a little edge to him. I like that about him.”
Rowan understands he will be need to provide some 3-point shooting but he also knows he can help in other ways.
“I’ve been working on my 3,” Rowan said. “I’ve been working on other things, too. Just in case other teams take away my 3, I can do something else, instead of being taken out of the game.”
Gottfried said his team is full of question marks right now. He might know the answer for who will help from the perimeter this season but he’s waiting for the statistical proof.
“I think that we have good shooters, they just haven’t done it yet,” Gottfried said.