RALEIGH, North Carolina — North Carolina State headed into an offseason full of optimism. Things have been a bit bumpier than expected for coach Mark Gottfried.
There was the unexpected departure of all-conference guard Trevor Lacey for the NBA draft and the transfer of forward Kyle Washington to leave behind a roster of just eight scholarship players. And assistant coach Rob Moxley is on medical leave after being hospitalized for several days in May.
"Obviously Rob's situation is unique and that one's completely in a whole different category," Gottfried said Tuesday during an offseason news conference. "But you know, turnover and guys leaving to go to the NBA, I just think it's part of the landscape of college basketball.
"It's not something you can wake up every day and think every day's going to be peachy, rosy. It's just not that way."
Moxley's health has been the most serious issue for the Wolfpack, particularly as summer recruiting picks up. The school hasn't revealed the nature of Moxley's health issues, citing privacy for the family.
Gottfried said director of basketball operations Jeff Dunlap has taken over Moxley's recruiting duties while he's out on medical leave. Moxley has been an assistant here since Gottfried's arrival before the 2011-12 season.
"I think with Rob it's still kind of wait and see, and to see how well he can progress and see exactly where he can be maybe in the next 60 to 90 days," Gottfried said. "We'll see. ... What he needs right now is just some time to hopefully continue to get better."
N.C. State is coming off a fourth straight trip to the NCAA Tournament and a second appearance in the Sweet 16. But Lacey's decision in April to enter the NBA draft a year early was a big blow, robbing the Wolfpack of a veteran who could play either guard spot and had a knack for hitting big shots.
Lacey wasn't picked in last month's draft.
"To have a fifth-year senior in Trevor, you don't just replace that," Gottfried said. "You don't have another guy sitting over there that's got the age and maturity Trevor has. So we're going to miss that, no question.
"And we weren't expecting it, to be very honest. I wasn't expecting that, but life moves on."
With Lacey and Washington gone along with fifth-year senior Ralston Turner, the Wolfpack will rely on junior point guard Anthony "Cat" Barber to lead the offense along with adding West Virginia transfer Terry Henderson. Three big men return, while Gottfried is hoping this year's bunch has enough versatility to juggle lineups and make up for the short bench.
"The more you're in it, you just get used to it," Gottfried said. "You try to make sure you're building your team almost year to year. It makes it really hard for all of us. But hey, it's part of life."
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