State Now: Anya happy to join Wolfpack's basketball class

jgiglio@newsobserver.comNovember 17, 2012 

BeeJay Anya left N.C. State at the end of October after his official visit and decided he wanted to play basketball for the Wolfpack.

Anya, a top 40 recruit in the class of 2013, also decided he wanted to wait to make his announcement from his high school in front of his family and teammates.

To the surprise of no one, Anya pulled on a red N.C. State hat Friday night at the famed DeMatha Catholic High outside of Washington, D.C. and celebrated his decision.

A day after his choice, Anya was still confused about how his recruitment has been portrayed. N.C. State, Indiana, Syracuse, Pittsburgh and Ohio State all recruited and wanted Anya, a 6-9 power forward who is rated as the No. 32 prospect in the class by ESPN.

But in the days leading up to Anya's official decision, he was portrayed as only having one choice, N.C. State.

Evan Daniels, recruiting analyst for Fox Sports and Scout, reported on Oct. 31 that Indiana had stopped recruiting Anya to focus on forward Noah Vonleh. The Hoosiers eventually landed Vonleh, rated No. 8 in the class.

"It doesn't show much on their part," Anya said of Indiana. "That's fine. I know what happened. I talked to their coaches and wished them luck after my visit to N.C. State."

Anya made his official visit to N.C. State from Oct. 26 to 28.

Anya gives Wolfpack coach Mark Gottfried another top player in the class of 2013 and another big body to help replace senior Richard Howell and junior C.J. Leslie, who is expected to leave for the NBA after this season.

Gottfried also has commitments from point guard Anthony Barber (No. 12 in the ESPN top 100) and forward Kyle Washington (No. 69). N.C. State is one of six finalists for forward Julius Randle, the No. 4 player in the class.

Gottfried's first class, this year's freshmen, included three McDonald's All-Americans.

"It's another top 10 group for N.C. State," ESPN recruiting analyst Dave Telep said. "Gottfried continues to upgrade the talent in the program."

Anya said the Pack's improvement under Gottfried, the Sweet 16 appearance last season after a five-year absence from the NCAA tournament and to No. 6 in the country to start this season, was one of the biggest reasons he chose N.C. State.

"He has pulled the team up from nowhere," Anya said. "He's really a good coach."

Anya gives N.C. State a connection to its championship past. The starting backcourt of the 1983 championship team, Sidney Lowe and Dereck Whittenburg, both came from DeMatha. He also gives the Wolfpack some size.

"He has unusually long arms and he plays bigger than his listed height," Telep said.

Anya's 6-9 and 275 pounds and he has lost 35 pounds since the start of his junior year at DeMatha. Anya has a different skill set from Leslie and is bigger than Howell but he said he will fit into Gottfried's high-post offense.

"I'll do whatever they want me to do to win games," Anya said.

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