Basketball Recruiting

NC State adds another big man to basketball team

jgiglio@newsobserver.comApril 30, 2013 

N.C. State men’s basketball coach Mark Gottfried said he wanted more options in the frontcourt next season. The Wolfpack added another big man to its recruiting class Monday with the commitment of forward Lennard Freeman.

Freeman, a 6-foot-8, 215-pound power forward from Oak Hill Academy in Virginia, joins fellow forwards BeeJay Anya and Kyle Washington in the class and will be the fifth newcomer for Gottfried’s third team. Freeman confirmed the decision on his Twitter account Monday.

N.C. State has to replace its top two forwards from this season’s NCAA tournament team. C.J. Leslie, the team’s leading scorer, and Richard Howell, the ACC’s leading rebounder, both averaged more than 31 minutes per game. Gottfried used T.J. Warren as the third forward, but Warren spent the majority of the time on the perimeter.

The addition of Freeman, rated a three-star recruit by ESPN, gives Gottfried more options in what will be a young frontcourt rotation, save for senior 7-footer Jordan Vandenberg. Gottfried said this month he would prefer to use at least three big men, like he did during the 2011-12 season with Leslie, Howell and DeShawn Painter.

“We rotated those three guys around, hopefully we’ll find ourselves back in that situation,” Gottfried said. “We feel more comfortable that way than we did this year.”

Freeman, originally from Washington, chose N.C. State over Pittsburgh, Villanova and Rutgers. He made a name for himself at Oak Hill with his work ethic and rebounding.

Guards Anthony Barber and Desmond Lee, a junior-college transfer, joins the three forwards in the class of 2013. With five of the top six scorers from last season’s team exiting the program, N.C. State still has four available scholarships.

Giglio: 919-829-8938

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