Ted Kapita’s absence from NC State’s rotation since the start of ACC action had been puzzling.
The freshman forward showed considerable promise in early season returns, scoring in double figures in three of his first six contests.
Yet when ACC play began, Kapita was relegated to spot duty before not even getting off the bench. He played 10 minutes in the conference opener against Miami, then a combined total of 16 minutes in the next four league games. In back-to-back contests at home against Pittsburgh and Wake Forest, Kapita did not even make it off the bench.
At one point versus Pitt, with several Wolfpack frontcourt players in foul trouble, head coach Mark Gottfried bypassed Kapita for fellow freshman forward Darius Hicks. Reporters after both games asked about Kapita’s status, no more than a subtle acknowledgement from Gottfried that it was simply a coach’s decision.
Yet at No. 17 Duke, Kapita finally got another chance, and although he fouled out in 19 minutes and picked up a silly technical foul for excessively hanging on the rim, he also contributed a double-double of 14 points and 10 rebounds.
Afterward, Gottfried said that playing him was a hunch, and afterward he admitted that Kapita needs to play more. He noted that previously he was facing a decision between Kapita and senior BeeJay Anya for playing time.
“BeeJay is a senior and he has been there,” Gottfried said, suggesting that experience won out in previous games.
He added that going forward, Kapita’s energy and athleticism might be finding itself on the court more often.
“I’m still learning about our team and still learning who to play because of all the ins and outs we’ve had,” he said. “Ted’s a great example. He gets an opportunity, and he plays great. Now he’s going to find himself in the rotation more.”