High Expectations For Lacey

Mark Gottfried is expecting redshirt junior combo guard Trevor Lacey to play a major role this season for the Wolfpack.

Mark Gottfried is expecting redshirt junior combo guard Trevor Lacey to play a major role this season for the Wolfpack.

Lacey, a 6-foot-3 combo guard, was a two-year starter at guard at Alabama and was the only player on the Crimson Tide to start all 36 games in 2012-13. As a sophomore, he averaged 11.3 points and 3.8 rebounds per game and led the team in assists per game (3.2), three-pointers made (62) and three-pointers attempted (166).

During his two seasons at Alabama, Lacey played in 69 contests while making 52 starts, averaging 9.3 points, 3.4 rebounds and 2.5 assists a game.

"We are excited about Trevor," said Gottfried. "I think he's one of those guys a year ago, when you're going against him every day in practice, he was on scout team... I think everybody in the gym gained a great deal of respect for him."

A highly-regarded prep recruit, Gottfried raved about Lacey's overall game.

"He has the high basketball IQ and a great feel for the game," said Gottfried. "He really does. He makes the game easy. He makes the right pass at the right time. I think he can give us some three-point shooting, which we desperately need.

"He's a big, strong guard that can into the paint, make contact... he doesn't get knocked off balance. He has a really good feel for all those types of things."

Lacey is the latest transfer to suit up for NC State under Gottfried. In his first year Gottfried brought in Alex Johnson and last season Ralston Turner provided a huge spark.

NC State has had some players transfer out of the program, but the Wolfpack has also been able to add talent via the same route.

"Guys are impatient, and they want to play," said Gottfried. "For a multitude of reasons, guys transfer. I think for us, we've been fortunate to where we're getting guys on the back-end of the transfer that can really help our team. Good players that take a year... they maximize that year.

"Sometimes if it's the right fit, you can end up ahead... but it has to be kind of the right fit. All the guys we've taken, we feel like it was needed at the time. It's been good for us."

Turner made strides while sitting out, and Gottfried believes Lacey has done the same.

"We talk to them everyday about maximizing the year off," he said. "In the weight room... Trevor, he says 225, I think he was closer to 230 pounds [when he arrived at NC State]. Big, kind of heavy guard... he's probably about 205 right now. He's in much better shape, conditioning... stamina. All those things.

"The level of personal attention for that year becomes really valuable. I thought it really helped Ralston a year ago, and then I thought Trevor... we'll see how it helps Trevor this year."

NC State needs a player to step up following the departure of star wing T.J. Warren. Lacey, who was a leader at Alabama and one of the Pack's most-experienced players, could be that guy this season.

"Trevor Lacey, even though he sat out last year, I think he's a guy that the players on our team kind of naturally gravitate towards in that [leadership] role," he said. "We'll see though. I'm not sure on all that. I used to think that was truly important... I'm not sure. Collectively they could be good leaders."

Either way, Gottfried didn't try to hide his expectations for Lacey.

"My expectations are going to be high for him. I think he can be an impact guy in this league."

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