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Cardiac Hill ACC Preview: #7 NC State Wolfpack

The Wolfpack is our pick to finish seventh in the ACC

Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

Coach - Mark Gottfried (3 seasons at NC ST, 70-38 record, 3 NCAA Tournament appearances)

Arena - PNC Arena (19,722 capacity)

2013-14 Record - 22-14 (9-9 ACC) Lost to St. Louis 83-80 in the NCAA second round

Game with Pitt -  @NC ST Saturday, January 3 12:00

Top Returning Players (Bold = projected starter)

-- Ralston Turner 6'5" SR SF   10.5 PPG  2.5 RPG

-- Anthony Barber 6'2" SO PG    8.5 PPG  3.5 APG

-- Desmond Lee 6'4" SR PG  8.4 PPG 2.9 RPG

-- Kyle Washington 6'9" SO PF  4.8 PPG  3.9 RPG

-- Leonard Freeman 6'8" SO PF  4.0 PPG  5.7 RPG

-- BeeJay Anya 6'9" SO C  2.1 PPG  2.1 RPG

Impact Newcomers

-- Trevor Lacey 6'3" JR SG  Transfer from Alabama

-- Caleb Martin 6'6" FR SF  #60 Overall Recruit by RIvals

-- Cody Martin 6'6" FR SF #81 Overall Recruit by Rivals

-- Abdul-Malik Abu 6'8" PF #45 Overall Recruit by Rivals

The Scoop - NC State has one big thing missing from their NCAA tournament team, and that is leading scorer TJ Warren. The Wolfpack relied so much on Warren for scoring last season, and he put them on his back down the stretch and led a late rally to the NCAA Tournament.

The Wolfpack will now look to veteran wings, Ralston Turner and Desmond Lee to pick up their scoring.  Anthony "Cat" Barber is a very quick guard that can get to a speed very few can. The backcourt and wings will be aided by the Martin twins and Trevor Lacey, the transfer from Alabama.  The frontcourt is young, but talented. Abdul-Malik Abu is a highly rated recruit that may very well come in and start. Kyle Washington, Leonard Freeman, and Beejay Anya will also see minutes. Washington is the best on the bunch right now, but Anya could be a good one. He was once a Pitt target, but was overweight last season. If he is in shape, he can be very good.

Final Outlook - Mark Gottfreid has had some really good talent in his tenure at NC State, but they have yet to put together a really good season. I think they will have a similar year to the past four in which they will be very competitive but a notch below the top tier teams. They have plenty of depth in the post and on the wings, but it will be Cat Barber running the show almost exclusively with the transfer of Tyler Lewis. NC State will have a different feel without Warren, and they will need to find a go-to-guy or two in his absence.
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