#70 North Carolina State Men's Basketball 2014-2015 Preview

North Carolina State Wolfpack

2014-2015 Overall Rank: #70
Conference Rank: #10 ACC

NC State Team Page#70 North Carolina State Men's Basketball 2014-2015 PreviewBuy NC State Basketball Tickets

North Carolina State was extremely lucky to make it into the NCAA Tournament last season. Not many saw that coming after a 9-9 mark in ACC play. But the Wolfpack beat Xavier in one of the play-in games and should have upset #5 Saint Louis before blowing it at the end and eventually losing in overtime. This group will find it more difficult to reach the NCAAs. As usual, there is plenty of talent at NC State, but inexperience and a lack of ACC level playmakers could make this a tough year.

2013-14 Record: 22-14, 9-9
2013-14 Postseason: NCAA
Coach: Mark Gottfried
Coach Record: 70-38 at North Carolina State, 348-193 overall

Who’s Out:
T.J. Warren opted to head to the NBA early after leading this team with 24.9 points and 7.1 rebounds. When the Wolfpack needed a bucket, it was almost always Warren who could make it happen. Nobody else on the team averaged over 10.5 points per game. Also gone is 7-1 center Jordan Vandenberg who did a great job stepping into a starting role during his senior season. He rarely scored much, but Vandenberg could play some defense and help out on the glass. Tyler Lewis was a part-time starter before opting to transfer. He only averaged 4.4 points per game, but he could create his own shot.

Who’s In:
Once again there is plenty of freshmen talent on the roster. Coach Mark Gottfried brought in four freshmen, including highly regarded Abdul-Malik Abu, Caleb Martin and Cody Martin. Abu is a big 6-8, 235 pound power forward who is a very skilled scorer at this point in his career. Abu is not going to bring any experience to a very inexperienced frontcourt, but he does bring more talent. Twins Caleb and Cody are 6-6 small forwards who can do just about everything. Caleb is the better shooter, while Cody has a little more girth on his frame. While those three will certainly compete for minutes as freshmen, the biggest impact will be made by Alabama transfer Trevor Lacey. He was usually a starter for the Crimson Tide during his two seasons and proved to be a decent scorer and a solid defender and ball handler.

Who to Watch:
Lacey could step right into the starting lineup, but Anthony Barber will have something to say about. Barber was a big surprise as a freshman and averaged 8.5 points and 3.5 assists. However, he is not much of a shooter and nearly all of his scoring comes from attacking the basket. If NC State wants to play both Lacey and Barber, expect Lacey to slide off of the ball, but having a point guard on the floor that can shoot will help this offense get over losing Warren. If Barber moves to the bench, that would likely put Desmond Lee and Ralston Turner in the starting lineup on the wing. Lee shot just 28.0 percent from beyond the arc last season, but still found a way to average 8.4 points per game. He is a scorer and could be in for a big senior season, but that is not going to happen if the shooting numbers do not improve. Turner was easily the teams most prolific and consistent long range shooter. The team as a whole hit just 4.4 three-pointers per game and just about half of them came from Turner.

Final Projection:
Sophomore forwards Kyle Washington, Lennard Freeman and BeeJay Anya are all coming off of decent freshmen campaigns. Washington started 25 games and was the best interior scorer by the numbers, averaging 4.8 points per game. He is also beefing up nicely and should be tougher on the glass this year.  Freeman averaged 4.0 points and 5.7 rebounds and showed last year that he can be a pretty consistent player.  Anya is the most interesting of the options, but also played the fewest minutes of the sophomore big men. He has a massive wingspan and is listed at 6-9 and 300 pounds. Despite averaging less than a dozen minutes per game, Anya led the team with 46 blocks on the year. All three will have to play major minutes and two are likely starters unless this team plays small or Abu is ready to crack the starting five. Anya, mostly due to potential foul trouble, is the odd man out for now, but Coach Gottfried will have him on the floor as much as possible if he puts his game together and turns into more than a shot blocker.

Projected Postseason Tournament: NIT

Projected Starting Five:
Trevor Lacey, Junior, Guard, DNP last season
Desmond Lee, Senior, Guard, 8.4 points per game
Ralston Turner, Senior, Guard, 10.5 points per game
Kyle Washington, Sophomore, Forward, 4.8 points per game
Lennard Freeman, Sophomore, Forward, 4.0 points per game

By the Numbers:
Scoring Offense: 71.1 (170th in nation, 5th in conference)
Scoring Defense: 69.6 (159, 11)
Field-Goal Percentage: 46.1 (77, 3)
Field-Goal Defense: 42.6 (120, 11)
Three-Point Field Goals Per Game: 4.4 (330, 14)
Three-Point Field-Goal Percentage: 30.5 (NR)
Free-Throw Percentage: 65.7 (301, 12)
Rebound Margin: -0.8 (213, 13)
Assists Per Game: 12.9 (149, 8)
Turnovers Per Game: 10.4 (32, 7)

Madness 2015 NBA Draft Rankings:
#38 Anthony Barber

Madness 2014 Men’s Basketball Recruit Rankings:
#45 Abdul-Malik Abu
#64 Caleb Martin
#90 Cody Martin


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