On the heels of this fantastic and comprehensive entry, we get more great work looking to next season from J.P. Giglio at the N&O’s ACCNow. I wouldn’t even know how to begin breaking down the rosters, but he does a great job projecting early departures and new player rotations. Kudos to him for going on record like this!
Where is the Pack? 9th:
9. N.C. State
1. Javi Gonzalez, 5-11, jr.
2. Lorenzo Brown, 6-4, fr.
3. C.J. Williams, 6-5, so.
4. Richard Howell, 6-7, fr.
5. Tracy Smith, 6-8, jr.
We’ve got a lot of versatile parts – note how I didn’t use ‘interchangable’ – for example, Julius Mays (6-2, so.) could start in the backcourt and Dennis Horner (6-8, sr.) could start for Williams.
Pre-summer thought: It is year 4 for Sidney Lowe and, for better or worse, it’s his roster with no more holdovers. Lorenzo Brown and Ricahrd Howell better be his Johnny Dawkins and Mark Alarie (the recruiting class that saved Coach K) or the forecast doesn’t look promising for a year five.
As we noted in the comments section of another entry – every team in the Atlantic Coast Conference has made at least one NCAA Tournament appearance in the last three seasons since Lowe was announced as coach.
Wednesday morning brought us more attention on the Wolfpack Basketball program as Ken Tysiac offered offseason improvement plans for the Wolfpack.
C Tracy Smith: A jump shot. If Smith can learn to score on 12- to 14-foot jumpers rather than just with his back to the basket, he will be much more effective in the post. He ought to particularly work on the same baseline shot McCauley developed last season.
F Dennis Horner: Nerves of steel. Horner was one of N.C. State’s best free throw shooters until the closing minutes of tight games. As a potential starter, he will be in position to shoot more key free throws next season.
G C.J. Williams: A pull-up jumper. Williams improved immensely as a catch-and-shoot scorer last season as a freshman. The next step will be to develop as a slasher, and a pull-up jump shot will help him do that.
F Johnny Thomas: A baseline game. Thomas, who’s N.C. State’s best athlete, has an opportunity to gain huge minutes next season and stands to benefit most from the departures of Costner and Ferguson. He isn’t much of a scorer, though, and could make a huge impact if he can score on baseline drives and jump shots.
G Javi Gonzalez, G Farnold Degand, G Julius Mays: Consistency. At their best, any one of these players is capable of being an ACC-caliber point guard. Problem is, not a single one of these guys stays at his best for any appreciable length of time. Coach Sidney Lowe would love for one of them to seize the reigns this summer.
G Lorenzo Brown, F Richard Howell, G Scott Wood, F Josh Davis: Maturity beyond their years. At least two of N.C. State’s freshmen are going to have to contribute immediately. Brown and Howell in particular need to be ready for vital roles if this team is to have any chance of reaching postseason play.
Coach Sidney Lowe: A new plan. Whatever success N.C. State had last season came as a result of Lowe’s introducing a big lineup with Smith, Costner and McCauley on the floor early in ACC play. The Wolfpack doesn’t have the bodies up front to play big anymore.
Dave Telep of Scout.com was on 850 this morning and gave a good overview of recruiting for the Wolfpack, with his thoughts on John Wall, C.J. Leslie and Seth Curry. Well worth the time to listen.
Here is State’s 2009-2010 BB schedule combined with Giglio’s predictions