While NC State awaits TJ Warren’s decision on whether or not to enter the NBA Draft, the Wolfpack also needs to worry about losing players to transfer.
Approximately one in 10 college players transfer at some point in their career, so the Wolfpack aren’t the only team worried about players looking for greener pastures elsewhere. However, State lost freshman Rodney Purvis to transfer shortly after last season ended. This year, another talented freshman is sharing time at his position, and there’s concern that he may be thinking about his options at other schools.
Anthony “Cat” Barber came to State as a McDonalds All American and started 18 games as a freshman. He was eighth in the ACC in assist-to-turnover ratio.
However, sophomore Tyler Lewis also came to State as an All American and started 18 games this year, including the last 14 of the season, while Barber entered the game off the bench. Lewis was sixth in the nation in assist-to-turnover ratio.
Both players were rumored to be unhappy sharing time at the position at points during the season. Lewis logged 20 minutes or more in a game just twice during Barber’s starts and had below 10 minutes on six occasions. Barber had below 20 minutes in eight of Lewis’ final 14 starts, and two games with playing time in single digits.
Now that the season is over, Barber transfer rumors appear to be heating up again, triggered by the belief that he wants to be someplace where he is the clear-cut starter at point guard.
“(Wolfpack head coach Mark) Gottfried clearly showed that he could manage the minutes of Lewis and Barber and that those two guards could co-exist and both be valuable contributors,” Veteran NC State beat writer Austin Johnson said. “Ultimately, it’s up to Barber and his family to decide whether that’s what he wants, or if he feels like he needs to be the only guy at that position on the team. But Gottfried has handled that situation as well as he possibly could.”
Based on the team’s performance this season, Barber may have a point.
The team’s plus/minus (scoring differential against opponents) when Barber was on the floor without Lewis was +103. When Lewis was on the floor without Barber, the team was -36. When both players were in the lineup together, the team was +10.