State Now

Notes from NC State coach Mark Gottfried’s summer press conference

Jeff Dunlap has stepped in as an off-campus recruiter with assistant coach Rob Moxley on medical leave, N.C. State coach Mark Gottfried said on Tuesday.

Dunlap, the team's director of operations, has previously been an assistant on the college level, including a stint with Gottfried at Alabama.

Moxley suffered what Gottfried could only describe as a "very critical" medical situation on May 6 and was hospitalized for several days. Citing the family's privacy, the school and Gottfried have not gone into detail about Moxley's health.

Gottfried said Tuesday that Moxley continues to make improvement and that their only goal is to see that Moxley makes a full recovery.

"The most important thing right now is that he gets better," Gottfried said.

Moxley, 46, is considered one of the best recruiters in the country for his work at N.C. State and previously at Maryland and Charlotte. He has been on the Wolfpack staff since Gottfried was hired in 2011.

FREEMAN OUT OF ACTION: Gottfried doesn't expect junior forward Lennard Freeman to be cleared to return to practice until mid-September and maybe into October.

Freeman had surgery on June 3 to heal a fracture in his right leg. Gottfried said Freeman had a 14-inch rod inserted in his leg after playing through shin pain during his sophomore season.

The recovery process lasts about four months, Gottfried said.

"I hate it for Lennard," Gottfried said. "He'll have to make some time up. We'll see how he can recover, hopefully he jumps right back in without any complication."

Freeman led the team with 5.6 rebounds per game and helped spur the team to an NCAA tournament run after being inserted into the starting lineup before a Feb. 14 win at Louisville.

With only two others forwards on the roster, N.C. State will need a healthy Freeman by the start of the season.

"We're a team, obviously, that doesn't have a lot of guys," Gottfried said. "We need everybody. We need Lennard. He's a critical piece for us."

ANYA'S WEIGHT CONTINUES TO YO-YO: Junior forward BeeJay Anya is on the wrong side of 300 pounds, Gottfried said Tuesday.

Anya's weight has become a "tired subject" for the Wolfpack coach but he reiterated that with only three forwards on the roster, Anya needs to be in better shape to be consistently effective next season.

Anya led the ACC with 91 blocks and his best games — at home against Duke, at North Carolina, at Louisville — coincided with N.C. State's best wins last season.

Anya had ballooned to nearly 350 pounds during his freshman year in 2013-14 but was down to less than 290 pounds at the start of last season.

By the time he hit the game-winning shot against LSU in the Round of 64 in the NCAA tournament, Anya was back up to 311 pounds, Gottfried said, and he hasn't lost any significant weight during the offseason.

Gottfried, who was clearly frustrated by the topic on Tuesday, said Anya "has been challenged every single day," to get in better shape.

KIRK ADDS VERSATILITY: Shaun Kirk will be the only freshman on the roster next season and the 6-7 wing has already impressed the coaches with his raw talent.

A late-bloomer in the recruiting process, Kirk committed to N.C. State after a standout performance in the adidas Uprising event in Indianapolis in April.

Kirk, who's from Whiteville, will add versatility, especially on defense, on a shortened roster.

"I like his future, if he's patient," Gottfried said. "He's long, really athletic, attacks the rim and has surprised somewhat that he can make some 3s."

Gottfried also complimented Kirk's attitude but said he needs to learn how to play at this level.

"It's a big step for him," Gottfried said. "We'll see, he's going to have an opportunity to play."

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