2009-2010 NC State Wolfpack Basketball Preview
Last year, the NC Wolfpack (16- 14 overall, 6- 10 ACC) were tenth in the ACC and for the second straight year missed the post-season. It was in 2005 that the Wolfpack made it to the Sweet 16 of the NCAA Tournament. In 2006, they won another berth in the tourney and then the next two seasons, NC State attended the NIT. Then the well went dry. Coach Sidney Lowe, who came on board in 2006, has been playing with inherited players. This is the first time that Lowe will work with an entire team that he has recruited.
NC State was pretty much a middle of the road ACC club last season. Although their field goal percentage was rated third (46%) and their three-point shooting was second (36%), they put an average of 73.0 PPG (6th) on the board and allowed 69.6 PPG (6th). This season would look brighter if top-recruit guard Lorenzo Brown had not been sent to a prep school for a year due to academic weakness. However, there are some fine freshmen coming in and some decent experienced players coming back.
Last season, forward Tracy Smith (10.0 PPG, 4.5 RPG, 0.6 APG) proved to be a quality player. In 30 games, with 10 of those being starts, he showed amazing prowess in the post and an ability to score. Senior forward Dennis Horner (6.4 PPG, 2.8 RPG, 1.2 APG) will get the nod to start, while freshman forwards Richard Howell and DeShawn Painter will both see playing time. Both frosh are rated amongst the top 75 recruits in the nation.
There are a lot of options in the backcourt. Javier Gonzalez (6.6 PPG, 2.0 RPG, 3.3 APG), the club’s finest three-point man, and Julius Mays (4.7 PPG, 1.3 RPG, 1.9 APG), who can score bunches of points and is a fine leader, will see considerable time. Freshman swingman Scott Wood is a true shooter who offers fine size in his position. Sophomore C.J. Williams (3.7 PPG, 1.2 RPG, 0.7 APG), who saw limited action last season, has an accurate shot from downtown.
This club is improving but that will not be as evident as it will be by next season. A last place ACC finish seems to be in order. But with just two seniors on the roster, NC State should be much stronger next season. This year will be a great time for the Wolfpack to find its chemistry and develop its dynamics. Wait until next year!