When N.C. State needed him most Wednesday night, BeeJay Anya was not there.
That’s because the senior forward was left in Raleigh before the Wolfpack’s game against No. 14 Florida State (21-4, 9-3 ACC). Anya did not travel with the team due to a disciplinary issue that happened in practice.
When asked about the situation, N.C. State coach Mark Gottfried declined to comment.
“Nope, it’s my decision,” Gottfried said. “He didn’t come with our team.”
Gottfried did say that Anya is still on the team.
Anya has had a history of weight problems in the past. Anya tested the NBA draft waters after his junior season and came back to school in August and reported at 344 pounds, which angered Gottfried.
Anya and Gottfried have been at odds before over Anya’s conditioning. Anya started his junior season at his best weight, 288 pounds, and had his best season with 4.7 points, 5.3 rebounds and 2.2 blocks per game.
But he has made a habit of gaining weight during each of his four seasons.
The Seminoles took advantage of the Wolfpack’s lack of depth in the front court Wednesday night and won 95-71. Although Anya had only played a total of 17 minutes in the past four ACC games, he’s still arguably the Wolfpack’s best defender in the post.
Anya, a 6-9 forward from Washington, leads the team with 32 blocked shots this season and is the school’s career leader in blocked shots (242). He averages 3.1 points and 2.7 rebounds this season in 23 games and has started nine games.
On Wednesday, Gottfried rotated forwards Omer Yurtseven and Ted Kapita. But when both struggled, the Wolfpack didn’t have many options at the 5, and had to go small. That didn’t bode well for the Wolfpack.
The Seminoles are one of the longest teams in the ACC, and their length often bothered N.C. State. More than half of Florida State’s 95 points came in the paint. They led the Wolfpack in that category 48-28.
Senior guard Terry Henderson said he wasn’t sure whether Anya’s situation had an effect on the team.
“But I know when that ball goes up, all that stuff goes out the window and we’ve got to come to play,” he said.
Staff writer Joe Giglio contributed to this report