#13 North Carolina State Women's Basketball 2019-2020 Preview

North Carolina State Wolfpack
Overall Rank: #13
Conference Rank: #2 ACC
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North Carolina State will be looking for their third consecutive trip to the Sweet 16 this season and are bringing back an experienced team. Head Coach Wes Moore has quickly turned the Wolfpack into a topflight contender in the Atlantic Coast Conference thanks to a consistent brand of basketball, especially at the defensive end of the court every night.
2018-19 Record: 28-6, 12-4
2018-19 Postseason: NCAA
Coach: Wes Moore
Coach Record: 140-58 at NC State, 698-227 overall
Key Departed Players (starters in bold)
Kiara Leslie, Guard, 15.9 ppg
DD Rodgers, Forward, 6.9 ppg
Key Returning Players (starters in bold)
Grace Hunter, Redshirt Senior, Guard, 14.6 ppg
Elissa Cunane, Sophomore, Center, 13.6 ppg
Aislinn Konig, Senior, Guard, 10.7 ppg
Erika Cassell, Senior, Center, 6.6 ppg
Kai Crutchfield, Junior, Guard, 6.2 ppg
Kayla Jones, Junior, Forward, 4.7 ppg
Key New Players
Jada Boyd, Freshman, Forward
Jakia Brown-Turner Freshman, Wing
Kendal Moore, Freshman, Guard
Camille Hobby, Freshman, Forward
Elle Sutphin, Freshman, Forward
Grace Hunter’s return from a season ending ACL injury will be a big boost for NC State offensively as they will need to replace Kiara Leslie’s offensive production. Hunter had a great start to the 2018-19 season as she averaged 14.6 points per game along with 6.9 rebounds. Elissa Cunane will be one of the top post players in the ACC, let alone the nation, heading into her sophomore season. Cunane made the All-ACC Freshman team last season as she averaged 13.6 points per game. In addition, Cunane made 54.9 percent of her shots from the floor which is good for seventh best total for a freshman in the history of NC State. Aislinn Konig can do a little pf everything as she can knock down the three-point shot consistently, played point guard when needed and had an assist to turnover ratio of 1.78. Kaila Ealey’s return from a knee injury will also fortify a strong backcourt and free up Konig to go back to more of a scoring role this season. The experience of the Wolfpack should be enough to help them in tough non-conference games with Texas and Maryland along with the typical ACC gauntlet. If NC State can stay healthy and clean up the free throw shooting, they should contend all year long for the conference title and be a threat to get to the Elite Eight.
Projected Postseason Tournament: NCAA
By the Numbers:
Scoring Offense: 71.0 (73rd in nation, 8th in conference)
Scoring Defense: 60.9 (88, 2)
Field-Goal Percentage: 44.3 (33, 4)
Field-Goal Defense: 36.4 (25, 2)
Three-Point Field Goals Per Game: 7.4 (64, 6)
Three-Point Field-Goal Percentage: 34.3 (67, 7)
Free-Throw Percentage: 70.2 (156, 8)
Rebound Margin: 8.9 (10, 2)
Assists Per Game: 14.6 (85,7)
Turnovers Per Game: 13.9 (73,5)
Madness 2019 Women’s Basketball Recruit Rankings:
#19 Jakia Brown-Turner
#55 Jada Boyd
#121 Camille Hobby