The floodgates are already open for NC State, and it appears the waters might be getting murkier. Abdul-Malik Abu, who entered the 2016 NBA Draft without an agent, might transfer from the Wolfpack basketball program.
Abu’s plans are to depart from Raleigh whether he’s drafted or not, according to Jeff Goodman of ESPN.
NC State forward Abdul Malik-Abu told ESPN he is “seriously considering transferring or hiring an agent.”
— Jeff Goodman (@GoodmanESPN) May 2, 2016
Last season, Abu developed into a powerful big man who could score and defend in the post. He averaged 12.9 points, 8.8 rebounds and 49 percent shooting percentage in 28.3 minutes per game in 2015-16.
Presumed to be the best big man on the court for the Pack in 2016-17, Abu was predicted to carry the load offensively down low. With BeeJay Anya entering his name into the NBA draft, both were expected to see huge minutes next season with a solid backcourt in Maverick Rowan, Dennis Smith Jr., Terry Henderson and Torrin Dorn leading the rotation.
The reaction from Twitter, of course, was fantastic.
Oh, Abu is considering transferring? Don’t mind me. pic.twitter.com/2dikSjthub
— Weather Moose (@WXMoose) May 2, 2016
Exclusive footage of Goodman’s interview w/ Abu: pic.twitter.com/zLio9zVX7D
— Bronce the 4th (@bronceIV) May 2, 2016
Abu was not invited to the NBA Combine — Cat Barber was the only NC State player invited — and has yet to hire an agent. Leaving the Pack would be a questionable move with the likely emphasis that would be placed on him in the paint next season, but not an outlandish one.
Dating back to the 2009 recruiting class, 11 of the 23 scholarship recruits have gone on to play for different colleges. That includes players like Rodney Purvis, Tyler Lewis and Jaqawn Raymond — all three playing in the NCAA Tournament this year.
Abu would just be the latest to leave Mark Gottfried’s program, but likely the most shocking given the opportunity he has to shine with NC State next year.
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