N.C. State coach Mark Gottfried lamented his team’s rebounding troubles in an 81-79 win over Georgia Southern on Friday night.
Help is on the way for the Wolfpack. Freshman forward Ted Kapita was cleared by the NCAA on Friday and will be eligible to play in N.C. State’s next game on Sunday against St. Francis (N.Y.).
Kapita, a 6-8, 219-pound forward, missed Friday’s opener while the school and NCAA sorted his eligibility status.
“The NCAA conducted a thorough, and thoughtful evaluation of Ted’s complete situation,” N.C. State athletics director Debbie Yow said in a statement released by the school. “We appreciate their diligence in reaching this outcome.”
Originally from the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Kapita signed to play at Arkansas last year but was not academically cleared.
There were reports last year that Kapita was going to play in two different pro leagues, one in France and one in Las Vegas. He ended up playing for a prep school in Florida last season.
He averaged 12 points and 7 rebounds per game for DME Academy in Melbourne, Fla. He was rated as the No. 56 player in the class by 247 Sports.
The addition of Kapita gives Gottfried an extra forward and rebounding help while the Wolfpack waits on forward Omer Yurtseven.
The NCAA gave Yurtseven a nine-game suspension after he played for a Turkish pro club for three years. He’s eligible to return on Dec. 15.
Georgia Southern had 20 offensive rebounds in Friday’s game and out-rebounded N.C. State 46 to 44. Gottfried used a four-guard lineup against the Eagles and forward Abdul-Malik Abu and guard Torin Dorn each had 11 rebounds.
Gottfried used forwards BeeJay Anya (10 minutes, 1 rebound) and Darius Hicks (7 minutes, 2 rebounds) off the bench on Friday.
“We better figure out how we’re going to rebound the ball if we’re going to play small,” Gottfried said after the game.
With Kapita available, the Wolfpack won’t have to go small anymore.
Joe Giglio: 919-829-8938, @jwgiglio