ACC Basketball Preview: #8 NC State Wolfpack

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The Sports Bank’s college basketball season previews undergo a face lift this season. Rather than counting down the top 111 teams in 111 days, we will go conference-by-conference.  I’ve already counted down the Pac-12, Big 12, SEC, and AAC, and now turn my attention to the already new-look ACC.

While Mark Gottfried has taken the N.C. State Wolfpack to the NCAA Tournament in each of his three years as head coach, the program hasn’t been able to get out of the first round the past two seasons. They will likely be in a similar situation again this year.

N.C. STATE WOLFPACK
Last Season: T-7th, 9-9 in ACC, 22-14 overall
Predicted ACC Finish: 8th

Projected Depth Chart
C: Lennard Freeman (So)/BeeJay Anya (So)
PF: Kyle Washington (So)/Abdul-Malik Abu (Fr)
G/F: Ralston Turner (Sr)/Caleb Martin (Fr)/Cody Martin (Fr)
G: Trevor Lacey (Jr)/Desmond Lee (Sr)
PG: Anthony Barber (So)

Gone: F-T.J. Warren, C-Jordan Vandenberg, PG-Tyler Lewis (transfer-Butler)

2014-2015 Outlook:
Though the Wolfpack lose prolific scorer, T.J. Warren, the team returns their next four leading scorers led by guards Ralston Turner and Anthony Barber. Turner is a three-point threat who made his impact felt after transferring from LSU while Barber is at his best creating off the bounce for himself or teammates. With Tyler Lewis leaving the program, Barber will be the primary ball-handler this season.

Alabama transfer Trevor Lacey can also handle the rock if needed but more importantly, must help fill the offensive void left behind by Warren. Desmond Lee should provide some offense in a reserve role after starting 19 games last season. The Martin twins bring a ton of athleticism on the wing and are at their best attacking the tin.

For N.C. State to reach their potential this season, their young frontcourt must take a step forward. Kyle Washington is the most skilled offensively while Lennard Freeman makes his mark on the glass. BeeJay Anya has battled weight fluctuation issues since arriving in Raleigh but seems to be in better shape this season. His ability to bully people around inside will still be his strength. Top 50 recruit Abdul-Malik Abu should factor into the equation as well since he plays with a high motor and is another physical forward for the Wolfpack frontcourt.

Gottfried once again landed a key transfer this off-season in former West Virginia shooting guard, Terry Henderson. He is a capable all-around scorer who will help replace the losses of Turner and Lee when Henderson becomes eligible in the 2015-16 season.

Key Non-Conference Games:
11/23 vs. South Florida
11/26 vs. Richmond
11/28 vs. Boise State
12/2 at Purdue (Big Ten/ACC Challenge)
12/17 vs. Tennessee
12/20 vs. West Virginia (in New York)
12/23 vs. Louisiana Tech
12/30 vs. Cincinnati

 

OTHER ACC PREVIEWS:

#9 NOTRE DAME FIGHTING IRISH

#10 CLEMSON TIGERS

#11 WAKE FOREST DEMON DEACONS

#12 MIAMI HURRICANES

#13 BOSTON COLLEGE EAGLES

#14 GEORGIA TECH YELLOW JACKETS

#15 VIRGINIA TECH HOKIES

 

AAC PREVIEWS:

#1 UCONN HUSKIES

#2 SMU MUSTANGS

#3 MEMPHIS TIGERS

#4 TEMPLE OWLS

#5 CINCINNATI BEARCATS

#6 TULSA GOLDEN HURRICANE

#7 UCF KNIGHTS

#8 SOUTH FLORIDA BULLS

#9 HOUSTON COUGARS

#10 TULANE GREEN WAVE

#11 EAST CAROLINA PIRATES

 

SEC PREVIEWS:

#1 KENTUCKY WILDCATS

#2 FLORIDA GATORS

#3 ARKANSAS RAZORBACKS

#4 OLE MISS REBELS

#5 GEORGIA BULLDOGS

#6 TENNESSEE VOLUNTEERS

#7 LSU TIGERS

#8 ALABAMA CRIMSON TIDE

#9 MISSISSIPPI STATE BULLDOGS

#10 TEXAS A&M AGGIES

#11 SOUTH CAROLINA GAMECOCKS

#12 AUBURN TIGERS

#13 MISSOURI TIGERS

#14 VANDERBILT COMMODORES

 

BIG 12 PREVIEWS:

#1 KANSAS JAYHAWKS

#2 TEXAS LONGHORNS

#3 IOWA STATE CYCLONES

#4 OKLAHOMA SOONERS

#5 KANSAS STATE WILDCATS

#6 BAYLOR BEARS

#7 WEST VIRGINIA MOUNTAINEERS

#8 OKLAHOMA STATE COWBOYS

#9 TCU HORNED FROGS

#10 TEXAS TECH RED RAIDERS

 

PAC-12 PREVIEWS:

#1 ARIZONA WILDCATS

#2 COLORADO BUFFALOES

#3 UTAH UTES

#4 UCLA BRUINS

#5 CALIFORNIA GOLDEN BEARS

#6 STANFORD CARDINAL

#7 WASHINGTON HUSKIES

#8 OREGON DUCKS

#9 ARIZONA STATE SUN DEVILS

#10 WASHINGTON STATE COUGARS

#11 USC TROJANS

#12 OREGON STATE BEAVERS

 

David Kay is a senior feature NBA DraftNBA, 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 Milwaukee to Honolulu.  He also had the most accurate 2011 NBA Mock Draft and the most accurate 2012 NBA Mock Draft on the internet (Yup, repeat champ… #humblebrag), and finished with the second most accurate 2013 NBA Mock Draft (nearly a three-peat.) You can follow him on Twitter at David_Kmiecik.

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