Well, after one hell of a year, and cinderella-esque ending to the season, Mark Gottfried has been able to quickly add much more athletic talent to run the offense that he wants to instill at NCState. With the key additions of Tyler Lewis, TJ Warren, and the extremely athletic Rodney Purvis, the Wolfpack are setting the foundation to have an extremely solid team for the upcoming season. With the surprise return of Calvin CJ Leslie, BeardGang Richard Howell, the front court starters will be very stable, BUT lack serious depth and lose athleticism when backups Thomas DeThaey and 7footer Jordan Vanderberg step on to the court. They may improve some defensively but on the other the other hand, they will not have much luck on the offensive end of the court....
In the back court you return 2nd team AllACC PG in Lorezo (Zo) Brown. He runs the offense extremely well, and made serious progression as an elite PG as the season went on in under the Gottfather and his coaching staff. Scott Wood will start the season as the legitmate and main 3pt threat once again for the 'Pack. A sure shot from the Free Throw line and always seemed to hit the clutch shot when called upon. He made some great buckets this past season and will be relied heavily upon with Zo to be the outside threats to open up the inside of the court for the big men down low.... And that leaves one spot open to start the season, in replacing the senior who left in CJ Williams.....
Who will take that spot? Will it be TJ Warren or Rodney Purvis? Or maybe they go even bigger and try to get hopeful recruit Amile Jefferson in there, to play opposite Leslie....
I personally think they need another ball handler out on the court. At times this team looked great with two small PG out there, and having a 3rd outside threat with Alex Johnson, and I would imagine that they would play Purvis and Lewis and split time between them and allow them to slowly assimilate to the offense. Purvis is a serious threat from outside or off the dribble to create his own shot and go hard into the lane to make a layup and get himself to the line. This is something that NCState really lacked this past season. It is clear that Woods is a catch and shoot kind of guy, and has very little success beating his man one on one. So I see putting them into the lineup as the best way to go. As well as bring Warren in as a replacement to Leslie/Woods to get them rest, and this would give the team a whole new look to go on to the court with.
Realistic expectations for this upcoming season would be a top 3 finish in the ACC and a return to the sweet sixteen. If Coach Gottfried could do it with the squad he had last year, he can and should be able to do a repeat performance for this upcoming season. Lorenzo Brown will have another season to mesh and gel with a team, in which I already alluded to, has only lost one starter in CJ Williams. The team loses his leadership and length on the court, but I think that can be replaced, and was probably the "best" loss that NC State could've had. Losing Alex Johnson will really hurt, as Tyler Lewis will have to step up as a freshman and help to run the offense for the pack, which will be a huge responsibility that he will have to learn quickly.
As for the top 3 spot in the ACC, I do hear alot of chatter about NC State WINNING the ACC, and I'm not ready to crown them the champs yet, they still have alot of work to do to beat a UNC team, granted UNC is losing.... well.... pretty much their entire starting team, they still are returning some great players and will field a solid team as always with Coach Roy Williams
NC State Basketball 2012-2013
Posted on: May 5, 2012 6:00 am
Edited on: May 5, 2012 1:20 pm