RALEIGH — Coach Mark Gottfried said N.C. State needed a great recruiting class for 2013, to build on the momentum of the NCAA tournament run from March and this years heralded freshmen class.
Anthony Barber got the Wolfpack off to a good start in the class of 13 with his commitment Saturday. Barber, a 6-2 point guard from Hampton, Va., is ranked No. 9 in the class by Rivals.com, 11th by ESPN.
Barber wrote in a text message Saturday that he chose the Wolfpack over Kansas and Alabama. Barber attended States football game Saturday during his official visit.
"N.C. State is the perfect place for me to reach my potential and to compete for ACC championships and a national championship!," Barber wrote in a text message. "Coach Gottfried and (assistant) coach (Rob) Moxley made me believe we can be great."
Gottfried led N.C. State to a 24-13 record and a spot in the Sweet 16 in his first season and added three McDonalds All-Americans in this years freshmen class. Barber, who averaged 21.3 points per game as a junior at Hampton High, has a chance at the prep honor next March.
Barber, who goes by the nickname Cat, jumped up 15 spots this summer in the recruiting rankings with strong play on the AAU circuit, ESPNs Dave Telep said. Telep said Barber, who plays for Boo Williams, was particularly effective at NBA Players Association Camp in June.
"Hes at the top of the heap in terms of ability to get in the lane," Telep said. "The guy is fast and difficult to stay in front of."
Barber is the first commitment in the class of 2013 for Gottfried, who has four more available scholarships with another two possibly coming open after the season.
N.C. State had an in-home visit with forward Julius Randle, the No. 3 prospect in the class, last Sunday and has an in-home visit with forward BeeJay Anya, 29th in the class, scheduled for today.
Barber gives the Wolfpack roster a boost at guard, where it will lose senior shooting guard Scott Wood after this season and possibly junior guard Lorenzo Brown, who could jump early to the NBA.
State will have point guard Tyler Lewis, combo guard Rodney Purvis both freshmen this season and LSU transfer Ralston Turner to play in the backcourt with Barber for the 2013-14 season.
Barber, an aggressive defender whose speed would complement Lewis pass-first game, led Hampton to the Virginia Group AAA state title last season.