CASLEE SIMS | Staff Writer
“Appetizing”, was the word that sophomore forward LenNard Freeman used to describe this 2014-15 N.C. State basketball season, “we definitely aren’t done, we have a lot more to accomplish together”.
It was a very eventful season and interesting offseason for the Wolfpack.
Mark Gottfried has managed to take the Wolfpack to the NCAA Tournament each of his four seasons while at the helm, advancing to the Sweet Sixteen twice. Before the arrival of Gottfried, the Wolfpack made it to what he calls “greatest show on Earth” five times in a 20-year span.
The departure of last season’s ACC Player of the year T.J. Warren left the team with huge holes to fill. He had been averaging 22 points per game, including a long stretch in which he scored 30 or more points.
Fortunately, the second of N.C. State’s transfers from the SEC, junior guard Trevor Lacey was able to pick up where Warren left off. The attention he garnered defensively opened up opportunities for senior guard/forward Ralston Turner, enabling him to knock down a career high of 3-pointers this season.
While Lacey led to Pack in scoring at almost 16 points per game, it was the emergence of Sophomore guard Anthony “Cat” Barber over the last half of the season that helped the Pack deliver three top-15 victories this season, including a win at #15 North Carolina, ending a 12-game road skid versus the Tar Heels.
Gottfried’s recruiting has also been a major component of the success he and the team has enjoyed in recent years. The additions of freshman forward Abdul-Malik Abu, twins Caleb and Cody Martin and transfer guard Terry Henderson gives the Wolfpack faithful something to look forward to.
These three freshmen along with the sophomore Henderson will be stalwarts in Gottfried’s rotation next season and their maturation will be key in helping the team have sustained success.
Why? Trevor Lacey has left for the NBA draft and sophomore forward Kyle Washington is reportedly transferring.
Lacey’s early departure is characteristic of the state of college basketball. His departure leaves another hole to fill, just as Warren’s bolt for the draft did. His success in the NBA will be something that fans will be rooting for. His shot creating ability, isolation prowess, leadership and willingness to play defense shall be coveted at the next level.
The news of Washington transferring could be looked at as something that was inevitable. Inevitable how? Washington is a highly skilled forward with the ability to knock down mid-range jumpers and the occasional 3-pointer. His streaky jump shot can generate offense in a hurry. Washington started a span of 15 straight contests this season and abruptly seen his minutes decreased and Gottfried deferring to Abu as the starting forward. His offense and his energy will be missed in the Wolfpack’s rotation next season.
So far, N.C. State has not acquired any recruits for this upcoming season, but there are a few top undeclared recruits considering taking their talents to Raleigh. Mark Gottfried and this still very talented roster will be looking to go 5-for-5 in NCAA tournament appearances during Gottfried’s tenure next season.
Joseph McRae, jumping hurdles, moving forward
JILLIAN SMITH | Staff Writer
There are many words that describe senior Joseph McRae. He describes himself as just a “simple guy.” I found that hard to believe. Spontaneous, talented, and inspired are just a few adjectives that came to my mind when we met.
McRae is an electrical engineering and applied mathematics major. He was one of the only non-textile students to participate in last month’s 18th Annual Fashion Expose. This annual event was hosted by the African American Textile Society in the Atrium of the College of Textiles.
McRae was the 1st place winner in the advanced category out of 18 designers and received a $500 gift card, according to Gabriel Murphy, a junior in polymer and color chemistry and the event planner for the African American Textile Society.
McRae proved how far he can extend himself from the structured world of math and science into the free, creative field of fashion design.
The differences in these two fields of study that he is interested in are what McRae called his “hurdle,” and it is one that he just recently got over. This was part of the inspiration for his collection as well.
McRae said he struggled with his major his first few years in college, but ultimately decided he would finish up his degree to eventually combine it with his interest in fashion and clothing design.
His clothing line, much like his time in college, progressed from a structured, business feel, to more artsy and relaxed. The collection was called “TribeKa Haze,” a name that came to McRae based on two simple ideas he had for his models: barefeet and sunglasses.
“Creativity is my outlet,” said McRae, “I express myself through art.”
McRae is from Charlotte, NC and grew up with an older sister and a younger brother. Their mother made many of their clothes, so he was able to observe sewing and design from a young age. However, he did not begin until years later when he went into high school.
He admitted he was nervous about entering the fashion show as he lacked some of the technical skill and formal design education that other participants have received, but when a designer dropped out and a spot opened up, McRae jumped on the opportunity.
“Joseph had about 20 pieces in his collection, most of the other designers had somewhere between three and eight,” said Murphy.
McRae credits his number of pieces to an early start, as he began making them in January, and adjustment of the designs.
Following the themes of transformation and creative freedom, McRae allowed for mistakes and changes to occur within his designs. He did not start with any sketches, he let his loosely established ideas turn out however they might as he created his patterns and sewed away.
“I feel like with anything when you plan it out, to a certain degree, you’re limiting yourself,” he said.
McRae will be graduating in Summer 2015 after his last few courses are finished. He plans on going back home for a few months after graduation to take some time off before jumping into new opportunities.
“I’ve gotten to a point where I’m content with the fact that I don’t know where I’m going to go and I don’t know what will happen” he said.
Much like his designs, McRae prefers to let his creativity guide him, never knowing what the final product will be like until it’s done.
“What this collection taught me was that you can never fully plan out something and expect it to be the way that you planned it. Just go with the flow, if it’s meant to happen, it will happen,” he said.
NIA DOAKS | Managing Editor
On Saturday, April 18, the Kappa Omicron Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. and the Eta Omicron Chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. collaborated to throw the Golden Ivy Affair charity ball.
The event, which was created to raise money for March of Dimes, was held at the JC Raulston Arboretum and attracted dozens of N.C. State students who enjoyed refreshments, hors d’oeuvres, and music courtesy of D.J. Rich Sosa.
Attendees had the opportunity to dance the night away in formal eveningwear, mingle with one another, and have photos taken with the backdrop of the botanical gardens.
Students enjoyed the change of pace that this ball provided.
“I liked the fact that it was a formal event. It was good that we were all able to ‘clean up’ and look nice,” said Gift Coker, a junior majoring in bioprocessing science. “A lot of times you don’t get to see your peers in that kind of setting.”
Along with the attire, attendees also enjoyed being out on the dance floor.
“I really think that the night could be summed up by the soul train line,” said Dez Sellman, member of the planning committee and President of the Eta Omicron Chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. “That was one thing that I really enjoyed, seeing everyone put down their guards and do crazy things in front of their peers and not feel judged.”
The Golden Ivy Affair is an event that had been thrown in the past, and this was the first time the charity ball had been thrown in three years. When planning for the Golden Ivy Affair, each organization chose two representatives from their respective chapters to form a planning committee. After four months of planning and collaboration, the event was finally able to come to fruition.
“People who attended said that it was definitely a good program that they would want to see in the future,” said Tolu Oyelowo, a member of the planning committee and parliamentarian of the Kappa Omicron Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. “There were some kinks here and there, as there are with any event- but overall I think it was very successful.”
Along with the night being successful for the attendees, over $500 was raised to be donated to March of Dimes. March of Dimes is an organization that funds research and programs to end premature birth, birth defects and infant mortality.
Sellman offered some final words regarding this collaborative event. “Stop worrying about what is ‘cool’ and what looks ‘good’,” he said. “People oftentimes feel judged by their peers, and I’m glad the ball kind of broke that down. We need to continue to foster an environment where that can happen, because that type of attitude is counterproductive to unity in the community.”
Both Sellman and Oyelowo agreed that they hope to see the event continue to expand in the future.
The Kappa Omicron Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc., and the Eta Omicron Chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc., offer their gratitude to all who attended and made the ball happen.
“It was not only us who did it,” said Oyelowo, “but everyone who attended definitely helped to make it a success for us.”
JESSICA STUBBS | Staff Writer
The newly crowned, 2015 Pan Afrikan King, Matthew Wright, is the first freshman to win the title.
Wright studies graphic design and, upon graduation from N.C. State University, he plans to pursue a career in the Visual and Performing Arts. The student from Fayetteville has hopes of becoming a professional designer or performer.
“Since childhood, I have honed skills in Music, Theatre, and Art, but I have only been dancing for two and a half years. Which is weird because everyone here knew me first as a dancer, then an artist, instead of the other way around,” said Wright.
- What does it mean to you to be crowned the 2015 Pan-Afrikan King?
To be crowned Pan-Afrikan King was crazy. I am the first freshman to ever win the King title, and I am always humbled by that. It’s definitely an honor.
- You are involved in A LOT of activities around campus, how you stay focused and balanced?
I have to be sure I manage my time very well; I can’t let anything slip. My schedule is like a minefield sometimes where things are so close together but never touch or everything blows up [laughs]. But it’s only by the grace of God I’m able to do any of these things I love so much.
- What would you say is your biggest accomplishment this year?
My biggest accomplishment this year was probably performing at the Symposium showcase back in August. I say that because that’s when I made the decision to do what I loved in front of everyone despite whatever negative response I could’ve received. That took away all my inhibitions and gave me confidence to join crews, make friends, and ultimately compete in the pageant.
- To whom would attribute much of your success and why?
I attribute my success to God, who instilled within me the gifts and drive to do great things in His name, and my parents who were led by God to raise me in a way that assured greatness. I love those guys.
- What advice would you give to incoming freshman now that your freshman year is coming to a close?
My advice to freshmen coming in is to simply be Unapologetically You. Break out of your shell (and the shells you put yourself in to “fit in” with the crowd) and be yourself! Do what you love because that is what matters most. God doesn’t make copies, so don’t try to be one.