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An all NC State fantasy basketball draft

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The BTP staff got together for a fantasy basketball draft featuring NC State players from the last two decades

NC State v Xavier Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

Following in the footsteps of the fun all-NC State fantasy football draft we did back before the football season got underway, we decided to get the band back together for a men’s basketball version!

So here’s the format:

  • Every team drafts 15 total players, including two real-life walk-ons.
  • The lineup is completely up to the drafter. Want to run a 4-guard scheme? Go for it!
  • You’re drafting the player as though you’re getting their best season in a State uniform. It doesn’t matter how good or bad they were anywhere else or at any other level.
  • Only players from the last 20 years of NC State basketball who have actually suited up for and played in a game are eligible to be drafted.
  • Draft order is randomly selected, and will proceed in a snake draft format.

Drafted rosters are listed below, with the round that each player was drafted in parentheses after their name. The order of teams listed below is based on the draft order, so if you want to follow along the snake order to go pick-by-pick, you can do that.

After each team, the BTP writer/drafter gives a little insight into their thoughts on their team.


PirateWolf

Starting 5

PG - Engin Atsur (4)

SG - Cat Barber (2)

SF - T.J. Warren (1)

PF - Tracy Smith (3)

C - Josh Powell (5)

Bench

Andrew Brackman - SF/PF (6)

Scooter Sherrill - SG (7)

Marcus Melvin - SF/PF (8)

C.J. Bryce - SG (9)

Kenny Inge - PF (10)

Archie Miller - PG (11)

Damon Thornton - PF (12)

Maverick Rowan - SG/SF (13)

Jevoni Robinson - F - WO (14)

Brian Keeter - G - WO (15)

“I like this team a lot! The offense features T.J. Warren (24.9 PPG, 7.1 RPG) and Cat Barber (23.5 PPG, 4.6 RPG, 4.5 APG), who combined put together the two best offensive seasons of any NC State player over the last 30 years. With that much offensive firepower, having a selfless, efficient player like Engin Atsur (11.3 PPG, 4.2 APG) running the point is only going to make it that much better. The fact that Atsur is a plus defender is gravy. Having Tracy Smith (16.5 PPG, 7.3 RPG his junior year) and Josh Powell (12.4 PPG, 5.3 RPG) down low adds efficient scoring, rebounding, and solid defense.

Now you want to talk about a bench that’s going to come in and bury teams, let’s look at this. Andrew Brackman (.540 eFG%, .347 3P%), Scooter Sherrill (.529 eFG%, .350 3P%), Marcus Melvin (.537 eFG%, .378 3P%), Archie Miller (.589 eFG%, .428 3P%), C.J. Bryce (.508 eFG%, .340 3P%), and Maverick Rowan (.492 eFG%, .345 3P%) can all hit from anywhere on the floor. You want some low post enforcers? Kenny Inge (11.9 PPG, 7.2 RPG, 0.9 BPG) and Damon Thornton (9.5 PPG, 7.6 RPG, 1.6 BPG) got you covered, not to mention Melvin (14.3 PPG, 8.1 RPG, 0.7 BPG) was a rebounding machine and Brackman was no slouch at grabbing boards either.

Actually, thinking about it now, I think I might start Melvin instead of Powell and let Smith bang with the big boys while having Brackman as the match-up nightmare off the bench. There are just so many possibilities with this roster.

I changed my last walk-on pick to Brian Keeter after seeing that dude started six games in his career and shot over 57% from 3-point range. He had a 0.291 Win Share per 40 Minutes, which was actually the best on my entire roster, believe it or not (small sample size, but still). Pair him up with Jevoni “block that shit!” Robinson, and you have a fearsome walk-on pair!

This team has the top two single-season Offensive Win Share efforts among those players eligible in this draft and four of the top 10 Defensive Win Share seasons. You have shooters. You have scorers. You have defense. You have size. You have speed. You have versatility. This team would destroy all!”


AlecLower

Starting 5

PG - Lorenzo Brown (3)

SG - Trevor Lacey (4)

SF - Julius Hodge (1)

PF - J.J. Hickson (2)

C - Omer Yurtseven (5)

Bench

Markell Johnson - PG (6)

Brandon Costner - PF (7)

C.J. Williams - SG/SF (8)

DeShawn Painter - C - (9)

Gavin Grant - SF (10)

Courtney Fells - SG (11)

Braxton Beverly - PG (12)

Tyler Lewis - PG (13)

Bartosz Lewandowski - C - WO (14)

Spencer Newman - G - WO (15)

“I think my team is good, so you should vote for it in the poll at the bottom. If you don’t, I’ll be very disappointed in your decision-making and will have no choice but to tell your mom what you did. “


JEOHankins2

Starting 5

PG - Dennis Smith Jr (2)

SG - Ralston Turner (5)

SF - Caleb Martin (4)

PF - C.J. Leslie (1)

C - Cedric Simmons (3)

Bench

Cameron Bennerman - SG (6)

Allerik Freeman - SG (7)

Manny Bates - C (8)

Cody Martin - SF (9)

Levi Watkins - SF/PF (10)

Tony Bethel - PG (11)

Abdul-Malik Abu - PF (12)

Jericole Hellems - SF (13)

Will Roach - SF - WO (14)

Darrell Davis - G - WO (15)

“I think my team def makes an NCAA tournament...probably a Sweet 16...but all of it would seem like a disappointment that they didn’t reach their potential. The worst draft position ever is being 3rd in a 4 person draft! Missed out on anchors like TJW & Hodge, while also not getting the back to back picks positions 1 & 4 got. Add that to a couple of picks I’d like to have back and when I woke up this morning I just shook my head a bit, wondering if the owner is about to have a “very important conversation” with me.

All that said...with the right coach (considering many of these ahem “personalities”)...I believe this to be a team that could make a Final Four. It’s understood that guys like DSJ, CJL & Abu had disappointing years to end off on, while guys like Ced Simmons & the Martins left before their potential at State was fully realized. Yet when you look at this team offensively we have guys like DSJ and Al Freeman who can create their own shots from anywhere, versatile midrange forwards in CJL & Abu who can finish and 3pt shot makers in Freeman, Ralston Turner & Tony Bethal (who shot almost 40% on nearly 5 attempts a game). On defense this is a long, athletic team that has the aggressive Martin twins, Manny Bates as an anchor and DSJ with his 2 steals a game (oh and just imagine DSJ, CJL and Cam Bennerman out on the break after a steal or rebound...). Finally Bethal & Levi Watkins will bring the leadership, Cole Hellems & Martins bring the fire and we have the intangibles on lock. That plus former State WR Darrell Davis could always just tackle somebody.

Despite some other very valuable pieces going elsewhere (YOU know who you are), at the very least this team will be fun to watch and a tough out for anyone (again I stress...can’t stress enough...with the right coach)“


TheRealEssad

Starting 5

PG - Anthony Grundy (3)

SG - Scott Wood (1)

SF - Ilian Evtimov (4)

PF - D.J. Funderburk (5)

C - Richard Howell (2)

Bench

Torin Dorn - SG (6)

Kyle Washington - PF (7)

Terry Henderson - SG (8)

Devon Daniels - SG/SF (9)

Rodney Purvis - SG (10)

Sam Hunt - SG (11)

BeeJay Anya - PF/C (12)

Dennis Horner - PF/Tattoo Extraordinaire (13)

Staats Battle - G - WO (14)

Chase Cannon - G - WO (15)

“My strategy was to pick up the players I enjoyed watching during their time at NC State. These are some of the grittiest players State has had. I’ve always cheered the hardest for the guys that gave it all they had. The one outlier I missed is Mr. Hodge, but having the 4th pick wasn’t going to leave him on the board. If Kevin Keatts could add the 2020 version of Scott Wood, I’d want him to do it. I have to put Howell and Evtimov on the team so they can set those wicked screens for Wood to run the baseline for an open 3. Evtimov and Grundy fit into the Herb Sendek play style perfectly, both are becoming lost to time for their impact on that stretch of consecutive NCAA tournament appearances during that era. You’ll be drunk from all the times “wingspan” is used to describe these guys on the defensive end. These guys are tall, long and will really impact the defensive end of the floor. Having Evtimov, DJ and Howell on the floor at the same time would be a problem for opponents to handle. Subbing them out for Anya or Kyle Washington won’t provide much relief.

Same goes for Guard with Dorn or Daniels coming off the bench. My one controversial pick was Rodney Purvis. I drafted him based on the setup for the draft saying we are taking them at their NC State apex. Purvis may have had off court disagreements leading to his departure, but at his peak he really seemed to enjoy playing in front of the Wolfpack crowd and could be an impact coming off the bench for this roster for some instant offense. Add to that Sam Hunt for some clutch corner 3’s and this squad will be a tough out. And any time you can draft a guy who loves basketball so much he puts a flaming basketball tattoo on his arm, you literally can’t pass up on him. It’s in the bylaws. Round off the squad with the All-Name Team first ballot hall of fame duo of Staats Battle and Chase Cannon. When I first drafted I wasn’t sure if my team was the best but now I’ve convinced myself this roster would have won multiple championships. Hope you agree.”


Steven

Starting 5

PG - Ryan Harrow

SG - Julius Mays

SF - Damien Wilkins

PF - Thomas de Thaey

C - Ian Steere

Bench

Javier Gonzalez - PG

Jordan Vandenberg - C

A.J. Taylor - SG/SF

Ted Kapita - PF

Wyatt Walker - PF/C

Shaun Kirk - SF

Darius Hicks - PF

Mike O’Donnell - PG

Chris Corchiani Jr - G - WO

Kenneth Pittman - G - WO

“Steven decided to skip the draft to get a full night’s sleep, so we collectively drafted on his behalf (again). We felt these players embodied the essence of what Steven desires in an NC State Basketball player, for one reason or another. And, why yes, Ryan Harrow is a starter on Steven’s football and basketball teams.“


Postscript

Certainly not as many head-scratching snubs in this one compared to the football draft we did, but there were a few players who probably deserved to get picked up who weren’t.

Ben McCauley should have been drafted. Had I (PirateWolf) not been looking for a guard with my last pick, I would have grabbed him. The dude averaged 12.4 PPG and 7.8 RPG as a senior. Put McCauley with Ron Kelley and Lennard Freeman and you have a pretty good front court. Cliff Crawford - a guard I should have drafted instead of panickily picking Rowan - gives you a damn good point guard, so now you’re just another guard (Farnold Degand?) away from having a pretty good starting five.


Let us know who you think picked the best team and what you thought were the biggest surprises!

Poll

Who drafted the best team?

This poll is closed

  • 48%
    PirateWolf
    (110 votes)
  • 30%
    AlecLower
    (69 votes)
  • 4%
    JEOHankins2
    (11 votes)
  • 8%
    TheRealEssad
    (20 votes)
  • 8%
    Steven
    (19 votes)
229 votes total Vote Now