Mark Gottfried met with the media on Tuesday afternoon for his annual summer press conference and spoke at length about the state of the program and what he expects from the Wolfpack this coming season. Pack Pride has the full audio.
Is Cat doing what Cat do? Well, yeah. Gottfried had nothing but great things to say about Barber, who is the beginning and the end for this team.
"Cat Daddy.. he's done an amazing job. In today's generation of young guys... so many guys, that when you say you need to get better... they hear so much how great they are."
"He has been as hungry to get better as anybody we've had."
"If you go back and rewind the clock and think about that first year... he wasn't a great shooter, wasn't a confident shooter. He got better and became a better shooter. He's shooting the three as well as anybody we have in the gym."
I love how Gottfried managed a Cat Daddy mention, which is a sign of confidence in the maturation of his point guard. I can't read stuff like that and not get excited. We have the Cat Daddy on our side; what's there to worry about?
I try to get better every time I lace my shoes up HONEST!!— CAT (@catbarber1994) July 7, 2015
Okay, sure, depth beyond Barber may be a problem. While Gottfried admitted that the lack of depth at point guard is worrisome, he also confirmed the assumption we've had that Cody Martin could get the ball in some situations.
"Cody might play some forward and some point guard. He might be the most unique guy in the country who will play all five."
"Cody can handle the ball and pass it well enough... he might be able to play a little at point guard."
"We'll see. He's kind of the wildcard for our team... he's just so active and I like that about him."
Cody isn't a perfect fit in any one spot, which might make him perfect for this roster. Plug and play and let's go see what happens. That is going to be the exciting part about this season--with the athletic wing players State has on hand, there's flexibility, if not bonafides.
Gottfried also talked a bit about BeeJay Anya's weight, and is just about done with the matter.
Anya's weight: "does not start with a 2" Gottfried said. Voicing some frustration at still talking about it on summer no. 3— Powell Latimer (@PowellLatimerNR) July 7, 2015
Anya, who is one of the most popular players in recent memory, has nonetheless been a constant source of frustration. Gottfried aired some of that on Tuesday.
"If BeeJay can develop into a more consistent player, because of his weight, where he needs to be... he has the potential to be as good as a rim-protector, protect the basket with his size and strength. He's not where he needs to be right now with his weight. He's not there. Some of how well we're going to be defensively depends on that."
That's a pretty explicit challenge to Anya, and Gott is right about BeeJay's value at the defensive end. The better shape he's in, the more inclined he'll be to block everything in this hemisphere, and that will win State some games in the margins.
It boils down to this, for BeeJay and everybody else on the roster: be you, but also don't forget to do what Cat do. Never forget that.