2005 NC State Wolfpack Basketball Preview
2005 NC State Wolfpack Team Preview
For the past four years coach Herb Sendek has led his team into the NCAA Tournament, topped by a trip to the Sweet 16 in 2004-05. It’s been a slow building process for Sendek and the Wolfpack with the biggest payoff thus far coming last year. Will the improvement continue this year? Maybe that’s better asked this way—Can N.C. State possibly replace the scoring, rebounding, and assists of star guard Julius Hodge? Scoring 17.0 PPG, pulling down balls at 6.6 RPG and dishing off at 4.8 APG, Hodge was an unstoppable force on the court that made the Wolfpack a constant threat.
The team is still very good. All five seasoned starters, who together last year averaged 45 PPG, are a threat to score from 3-point land. Considering some of those players were coming off the bench that’s an impressive stat.
Although the Wolfpack won’t have Hodge, they are an amazingly well balanced team with ten solid and capable players. With the kind of depth that N.C. State possesses this team has the potential to provide strong defense and offense throughout every minute of every game. Sendek plays a complicated Princeton-style offense that can confuse and wear teams down. This year’s team seems designed to execute that type of offense perfectly.
Returning senior Illan Evtimov has court smarts and a solid shot, while junior guard Engin Atsur, who scored 9.4 PPG and handled 2.4 APG, is the man with the potential to score double digits every game.
The first year class looks good too with forward Brandon Costner, a McDonald’s All-American, able to score inside and outside and guard Courtney Fells tossing the kind of shot that should match nicely with N.C. State’s offensive plans.
Coach Sendek has something most teams in the ACC don’t have—an experienced group of reliable starters who already know how to play at NCAA Tournament level. That may help make N.C. State the second best team in their conference.
For more info on the 2005 Wolfpack check out the official NC State athletic site.