#7 North Carolina State Men's Basketball 2012-13 Preview

North Carolina State Wolfpack

2012-2013 Overall Rank: #7
Conference Rank: #2 ACC
North Carolina State Men's College Basketball 2012-2013 Team Preview
North Carolina State Team Page


North Carolina State’s run to the Sweet Sixteen last year has created very high expectations. Perhaps the expectations are a bit too high for the Wolfpack and second year head coach Mark Gottfried. But with four starters returning and a great recruiting class, the expectations are understandable. Having Lorenzo Brown does not hurt either. The 6-5 guard was thrown into the point due to lack of other options last season and did an amazing job. He ranked second in the ACC with 6.3 assists per game. On top of that he led the team in steals and averaged 12.7 points per game. If he can cut down on his turnovers, Brown will be playing in the NBA in a couple years.

2011-12 Record: 24-13, 9-7
2011-12 Postseason: NCAA
Coach: Mark Gottfried
Coach Record: 24-13 at North Carolina State, 303-167 overall

Who’s Out:
The Wolfpack do have some players to replace, most notably C.J. Williams. The 6-5 wing averaged double figures in the scoring department, but every starter did. Williams was a capable shooter and a decent rebounder from the shooting guard position. Williams made half of his shots from the floor and that is very impressive for any guard. Finding that consistency from another player will not be easy. Alex Johnson has also graduated. He was the first, and often only, guard to come in off of the bench. Johnson often provided backup duties at the point and off guard position. Jaqawn Raymond opted to transfer after his freshman campaign. The frontcourt loses are not as significant, but much of the experienced depth is gone with DeShawn Painter and Tyler Harris. Painter, a 6-9 center, was always a good scorer and rebounder off of the bench and even earned seven starts last season. Harris did not play that much as a freshman and is off to try his luck in the Big East at Providence.

Who’s In:
Coach Gottfried grabbed three McDonald’s All-Americans for this recruiting class. Rodney Purvis fills the biggest need at the shooting guard position and will likely step right into a starting role from day one. Purvis, like most freshmen, has a little polishing to do, but he is a great scorer from anywhere on the floor. Tyler Lewis will be the point guard of the future. He is a pass first playmaker who will back up Brown for now. T.J. Warren plays like a big wing and ideally would be at the small forward position, but he could be forced into the four spot if he wants to see minutes this year. Warren is tough enough to defend most opposing power forwards and on offense he can step out and stretch the defense with his outside shooting ability.

Who to Watch:
C.J. Leslie is the other N.C. State star. As a sophomore the 6-9 forward averaged 14.7 points, 7.3 rebounds and 1.6 blocks. He is a lanky, athletic forward who thought about heading to the NBA. Yet, he is a tweener when it comes to the NBA. In college though, Leslie is a matchup nightmare who can use his athleticism to beat bigger defenders to the basket and his strength to fight off smaller defenders. Leslie is not a shooter and that is the one thing he needs to improve on this year. Nobody expects him to start knocking down three-pointers consistently, but Leslie at least needs to shoot better from the charity stripe. Richard Howell will join Leslie in the frontcourt once again. Howell just keeps getting better and better and averaged 10.8 points and 9.2 rebounds during his junior campaign. It is hard to put up numbers like that quietly, but that is what Howell does. Since he keeps improving, Howell should be in for an even bigger senior season. The frontcourt depth will likely be an issue. Thomas de Thaey barely played last season and Jordan Vandenberg only saw action in seven games before succumbing to an injury. If Vandenberg’s shoulder remains a problem, the Wolfpack will have to rely heavily on Warren to provide depth at the four spot. The good news is Leslie does a good job of staying out of foul trouble and can play 30 minutes per game. Howell played 27 minutes per game last season and filling in those other 13 minutes in the post will need to come from de Thaey or Vandenberg. Nobody else on the roster is big enough to play at the five in the ACC.

Final Projection:
Scott Wood is a forward, but the 6-6 senior does not spend much time in the paint. Wood knocked down 40.9 percent of his 6.4 three-point attempts per game. When he is not shooting long balls, Wood is getting his hands on the ball in late game situations to get to the charity stripe. He set an ACC record making 66 straight free-throws last season. He will have one more opportunity to break that record, but more importantly Wood provides North Carolina State with a consistent outside shooter. Purvis will also help out in that regard and Wood and Purvis will get plenty of open looks with Leslie and Howell and dominating in the paint. And with Brown leading the way, this is a team that can live up to those lofty expectations. That may not result in a deeper NCAA Tournament run, but it should result in a serious run for an ACC title.

Projected Postseason Tournament: NCAA

Projected Starting Five:
Lorenzo Brown, Junior, Guard, 12.7 points per game
Rodney Purvis, Freshman, Guard, DNP last season
Scott Wood, Senior, Forward, 12.4 points per game
C.J. Leslie, Junior, Forward, 14.7 points per game
Richard Howell, Senior, Forward, 10.8 points per game

Madness 2013 NBA Draft Rankings:
#24 Lorenzo Brown
#26 C.J. Leslie

Madness 2012 Men’s Basketball Recruit Rankings:
#15 Rodney Purvis
#24 T.J. Warren
#52 Tyler Lewis


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