#30 North Carolina State Women's Basketball 2017-2018 Preview

North Carolina State Wolfpack
Overall Rank: #30
Conference Rank: #6 ACC
 North Carolina State Logo
North Carolina State had a breakthrough season last year as the Wolfpack had several signature wins over teams like Notre Dame, Duke, and Louisville resulting in a trip to the NCAA Tournament. Head Coach Wes Moore has done a nice job of rebuilding this North Carolina State program and earned ACC Coach of the Year honors. The Wolfpack have a bit of reloading to do but with Moore’s track record as a head coach they are going to be a tough out once again in 2017-18.
2016-17 Record: 23-9, 12-4
2016-17 Postseason: NCAA
Coach: Wes Moore
Coach Record: 86-43 at NC State, 644-212 overall
Key Departed Players (starters in bold)
Dominique Wilson, Guard, 13.9 points per game
Miah Spencer, Guard, 12.8 points per game
Jennifer Mathurin, Forward, 9.0 points per game
Ashley Williams, Guard, 7.8 points per game
Key Returning Players (starters in bold)
Chelsea Nelson, Senior, Forward, 11.2 points per game
Aislinn Konig, Sophomore, Guard, 7.1 points per game
Akela Maize, Senior, Center, 3.1 points per game
Nae Nae Cole, Junior, Center, 2.8 points per game
Erika Cassell, Sophomore, Forward, 2.1 points per game
DD Rogers, Junior, Forward, 1.9 points per game
Lucky Rudd, Sophomore, Guard, 2.2 points per game
Kaila Ealey, Redshirt Sophomore, Guard, 2.9 points per game
Key New Players
Kai Crutchfield, Freshman, Guard
Kiara Leslie, Redshirt Junior, Guard, Transfer from Maryland
Kayla Jones, Freshman, Forward
Armani Hawkins, Redshirt Junior, Guard
Chelsea Nelson is the best all-around returning player for North Carolina State. Nelson shot 56.7 percent from the field last season and collected six rebounds per game as well. Aislinn Konig should take a bigger role in the backcourt this season provided she has recovered from her season ending foot injury against Wake Forest. Erika Cassell will be expected to take a step forward in the frontcourt and will need to average closer to 6-8 points per game this season.  Kai Crutchfield is a very highly regarded incoming freshman that should be able to contribute in the starting lineup right away. The non-conference schedule is not overly taxing so it will buy Coach Moore time to bring this Wolfpack team together by ACC play. If North Carolina State can stay healthy, they should about 20-22 games and get back to the NCAA Tournament.
Projected Postseason Tournament: NCAA
By the Numbers:
Scoring Offense: 71.2 (59th in nation, 8th in conference)
Scoring Defense:59.2 (60, 4)
Field-Goal Percentage: 42.0 (87, 7)
Field-Goal Defense: 36.8 (35, 3)
Three-Point Field Goals Per Game:  7.5 (49, 3)
Three-Point Field-Goal Percentage: 33.1 (108, 7)
Free-Throw Percentage: 71.0 (127, 6)
Rebound Margin: 2.8 (101, 8)
Assists Per Game: 14.6 (90, 8)
Turnovers Per Game: 13.4 (40, 2)
Madness 2017 Women’s Basketball Recruit Rankings:
#82 Kai Crutchfield