Jan 6, 2013
Mar 28, 2012
Mar 21, 2012
NBA Comparison: Robert Traylor
Strengths: Anya is a gifted athlete and, as documented, has the longest wingspan in basketball history. He has great size and strength down low and in the post and is a capable defender. He is an extremely gifted shot blocker and despite his 275+ pound frame, he has unbelievable hops. He is a game changer defensively as he has shown the Wolfpack faithful during his first two+ years on campus. He set a school record early during his sophomore season recording 10 blocks in one game. He’s entering Anthony Davis territory when looking at his blocks per 40 minutes. He has a developing back to the basket game and while he’ll never be a go-to player in the post, he is showing signs of becoming a more consistent option down low. He has great touch around the basket and uses his long arms to get his shot up and over defenders. The NC State offense doesn’t necessarily suite him as he’s not a guy who can run the high post very well, so his offensive numbers, or lackthereof, should be taken with a grain of salt. He does draw his fair share of fouls as he can just move most guys out of his way if he gets low enough.
Weaknesses: His weight has been a problem ever since he walked on campus. He came in as a freshman right around 340 pounds and while he’s gotten that down to around 280 during his time with the Wolfpack, he’ll need to get down to 265 is he wants to be able to stay on the floor for extended periods of time. He projects as a center at the next level and while he’s got the length to do it, he’s only about 6’8 in shoes. His jump shot leaves a lot to be desired as he really isn’t an option from beyond 8-10 feet and even then you’d just rather him not. He’s slow and lacks any sort of lateral quickness which hurts him when having to guard guys that like to face him up on the elbow. While he just overpowers people when he gets deep enough position, he still needs to work on his post moves when forced to post up further from the basket. Free throw shooting will hurt him as he become more of a threat in the post and teams start fouling him more.
Overall: Anya is a game changer defensively when he’s on the floor, the problem is just keeping him on said floor. His coaches have really raved about how much he has worked on his weight since his arrival on campus but he still has a ways to go. His playing weight should be no more than 260 but he’s with the right coaching staff for that as Mark Gottfried and company were instrumental changing Richard Howell’s body. He is arguable the best pure shot blocker in college basketball and with his wingspan he is without a doubt an NBA prospect. But the transition from prospect to player is where he might have some difficulty. He took a large step forward during his sophomore season on both ends of the floor but has regressed during his junior campaign as the entire NC State team has struggled. He needs to be more assertive and aggressive on the offensive end as the Wolfpack are a very guard oriented team. Guys with his combination of size, strength, length and athleticism don’t come along very often.
Clayton Crowe 2/19/2016