#67 N.C. State Wolfpack: College Basketball 111 in 111


n.c. state cheerleaders

Welcome to The Sports Bank’s second annual college basketball season preview series.  Last year we looked at 99 teams in 99 days.  This year, we are being slightly more aggressive and expanding to 111 teams in 111 days.  We will rank the 74 power conference teams and top 37 mid-majors in reverse power ranking order.  We’ll break down rosters, non-conference schedules, and pick a player to watch for each team.

Count me in as one of the many who was drinking the N.C. State Wolfpack Kool-Aid last off-season.  With a highly touted recruiting class coming in, the Pack was supposed to make some noise in the ACC.  Instead, they struggled and it ultimately cost Sidney Lowe his job.  Now, Mark Gottfried takes over and will try to make N.C. State a relevant hoops program.

Last Season: T-10th, 5-11 in ACC, 15-16 overall
Predicted ACC Finish: 8th

Projected Depth Chart
F/C: Richard Howell (Jr)/Deshawn Painter (Jr)/Jordan Vandenberg (Jr)
PF: C.J. Leslie (So)/Tyler Harris (Fr)/Thomas de Thaey (Fr)
SF: Scott Wood (Jr)/C.J. Williams (Sr)
SG: Lorenzo Brown (So)/Jaqawn Raymond (Fr)
PG: Alex Johnson (Sr)

Gone: F/C-Tracy Smith, PG-Javier Gonzalez, PG-Ryan Harrow (transfer-Kentucky)

2010-2011 Outlook:
Gottfried was not exactly the first choice to replace Lowe, but after several other potential candidates including Arizona’s Sean Miller turned down the offer, Gottfried decided to return to coaching after spending the past couple years doing TV work for ESPN.

The cupboard is not bare for Gottfried.  There are some talented young players on the Wolfpack roster led by former McDonald’s All-American C.J. Leslie.  The 6-8 forward is a gifted athlete who will look to build off a solid but still not completely fulfilling freshman campaign.

Richard Howell and Deshawn Painter will see increased roles in the middle due to the graduation of Tracy Smith.  Howell is a load down low, a terrific rebounder, and slightly more skilled offensive player than Painter.  7-1 Jordan Vandenburg offers even more size inside.  Freshman Tyler Harris is a versatile forward who should compete for playing time along with fellow newcomer Thomas de Thaey.

Part of that hyped 2010 recruiting class, Lorenzo Brown returns to his starting spot at shooting guard.  Like Leslie, Brown had a productive freshman season but did not come close to reaching his full potential.  He will need to mature a bit this season with his decision-making and also show better shot selection.

Sharpshooter Scott Wood will take on more of a leadership role and should re-join Brown as a starter on the wing.  C.J. Williams was a solid reserve last season and will provide some experience off the bench.  Jaqawn Raymond is the only other guard under scholarship and should get a chance to crack the rotation.

Ryan Harrow had a very inconsistent freshman year but his decision to transfer left a huge hole at the point.  That is where Cal-State Bakersfield transfer Alex Johnson comes into play.  Johnson graduated and decided to attend N.C. State for grad school and becomes eligible right away.  He is more of a scoring point guard who should immediately step into the starting role.  With no true back-up, Brown will also see some time running the point.

This is not necessarily a re-building year at N.C. State but it certainly will be a transitional period.  If Leslie and Brown can elevate their games and Johnson is able to make an instant impact at the point, the Wolfpack could sneak into the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 2006, especially since the middle of the ACC is rather unproven this season.  More than likely though, the Pack is another year or two away from reaching that level.

c.j. leslie n.c. state

Player to Watch: C.J. Leslie
Every season, I enter the year really hyped about a few freshmen.  Leslie was one of those guys at this time a year ago.  It is hard to say a freshman was disappointing when he averaged 11 points and 7 boards a night, but like many N.C. State fans, I expected more.  He can leap out of the gym and excels on the break, but Leslie needs to become a more well rounded offensive player in the half court if he is going to take his game up a notch and develop into the NBA Draft lottery prospect that many think he is capable of becoming.

Key Non-Conference Games:
11/13 vs. Morehead State
11/16 vs. Princeton
11/19 vs. Vanderbilt (Legends Classic)
11/21 vs. Texas/Oregon (Legends Classic)
11/30 vs. Indiana (ACC/Big Ten Challenge)
12/4 at Stanford
12/17 vs. Syracuse
12/20 at St. Bonaventure

OTHER 111 IN 111’S
#68 Fairfield Stags
#69 George Washingon Colonials
#70 Indiana State Sycamores
#71 Oklahoma State Cowboys
#72 Indiana Hoosiers
#73 UAB Blazers
#74 Iowa State Cyclones
#75 Creighton Bluejays
#76 USC Trojans
#77 Weber State Wildcats
#78 Maryland Terrapins
#79 Tulsa Golden Hurricane
#80 Minnesota Golden Gophers
#81 Western Michigan Broncos
#82 Dayton Flyers
#83 Stanford Cardinal
#84 Yale Bulldogs

#85 Georgia Bulldogs
#86 Rutgers Scarlet Knights
#87 Richmond Spiders
#88 Ball State Cardinals
#89 Utah State Aggies
#90 Arizona State Sun Devils
#91 Marshall Thundering Herd
#92 Oregon State Beavers
#93 Washington State Cougars
#94 Iowa Hawkeyes
#95 Ole Miss Rebels
#96 Nebraska Cornhuskers
#97 Oklahoma Sooners
#98 South Florida Bulls
#99 LSU Tigers
#100 Colorado Buffaloes
#101 DePaul Blue Demons
#102 Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets
#103 Wake Forest Demon Deacons
#104 Seton Hall Pirates
#105 Providence Friars
#106 Auburn Tigers
#107 South Carolina Gamecocks
#108 Texas Tech Red Raiders
#109 Penn State Nittany Lions
#110 Boston College Eagles
#111 Utah Utes

David Kay is a senior feature NBA Draft, NBA, and college basketball writer for the Sports Bank.  He also heads up the NBA and college basketball material at Walter Football.com and is a former contributor at The Washington Times Communities.  David has appeared on numerous national radio programs spanning from Cleveland to New Orleans to Honolulu.  He also had the most accurate 2011 NBA Mock Draft on the web.

You can follow him on Twitter at DavidKay_TSB.

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