The Wolfpacker

November 2019

The Wolfpacker: An Independent Magazine Covering NC State Sports

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Page 41 of 139

40 ■ THE WOLFPACKER BASKETBALL PREVIEW 2019-20 Oshae Brissett are the latest to go pro early. Redshirt junior wing Elijah Hughes, who transferred in from East Carolina two years ago, leads the way. Hughes was second on the team with 13.7 points per game and shot 36.9 percent from the field in 2018-19. He'll be helped by Boeheim's son, sophomore wing Buddy Boeheim, who averaged 6.8 points per game and shot 35.3 percent from three-point land in his debut. Freshman forward Quincy Guerrier is a well-respected four-star prospect coming out of high school in Canada. 9. Pittsburgh (14-19, 3-15 ACC) Second-year coach Jeff Capel found three good ones with his 2018 spring additions of point guard Xavier Johnson, shooting guard Trey McGowens and wing Au'Diese Toney. The three sophomores plus junior cen - ter Terrell Brown form the foundation of Capel's rebuild- ing efforts. Freshman post player Karim Coulibaly — a three-star prospect from Scotland (Pa.) Per- formance Institute — could surprise inside. Johnson led last year's Panthers with 15.5 points and 4.5 assists per game, while McGowens proved crafty off the ball at 11.6 points per contest. Toney did some of the dirty work, chipping in 7.5 points and 5.6 rebounds per game. The 6-10 Brown is one of the better shot blockers in the ACC at 1.8 per game. 11. Georgia Tech (14-18, 6-12 ACC) The Yellow Jackets were slapped with a postseason ban in late September. Georgia Tech would have likely have been on the bubble thanks to senior center James Banks, junior point guard Jose Alvarado and junior power forward Moses Wright of Raleigh. Junior guard Bubba Parham, a VMI transfer who averaged 21.4 points per game last year, was awarded immediate eligibility to play this season. Banks was granted a waiver last year after transfer- ring back home from Texas. He went on to average 10.5 points, 7.7 rebounds and 2.5 blocks per game. Wright improved to 6.7 points and 3.7 rebounds in 18.5 minutes per contest. Alvarado is a steady floor general who led the team with 12.5 points and 3.4 assists per game. 12. Boston College (14-17, 5-13 ACC) The Eagles return three starters, but the lineup took a hit when sophomore guard Wynston Tabbs suffered a season-ending injury in the preseason. BC will miss his 13.9 points per game. Senior center Nik Popovic, junior power forward Steffon Mitchell, and former Duke and USC point guard Derryck Thornton will lead the way. Popovic has steadily improved each season, and av - eraged 14.5 points and 7.2 rebounds per game last year. Mitchell is an active rebounder at 7.9 boards per contest, plus 4.6 points. Thornton, who once ranked No. 14 overall in the class of 2015, averaged 7.7 points and 4.3 assists per game at USC last year. 13. Clemson (20-14, 9-9 ACC) Head coach Brad Brownell usually does two things — rely on transfers and squeeze the most out of whatever talent is on the roster. Junior guard Clyde Trapp, junior post player Aamir Simms and two graduate transfers on the wing — Alabama's Tevin Mack and Tulsa's Curran Scott — lead this year's edition. Projected post starter Jonathan Baehre, a UNC Asheville transfer who sat out last season, tore his knee ligament this spring. Simms is the top returning scorer (8.1 points per game) and rebounder (4.6). Trapp came off the bench, but averaged 24.0 minutes and 6.0 points per contest. Mack, who previously played for Texas and Alabama, could be an explosive scorer. He averaged 9.0 points per game last year, while Scott chipped in 8.9 points a contest at Tulsa. 14. Wake Forest (11-20, 4-14 ACC) WFU head coach Danny Manning enters the season on the hottest of hot seats in the country. Charlotte trans - fer Andrien White, a fifth-year senior shooting guard, and senior point guard Brandon Childress will lead a young, unproven roster. Junior wing Chaundee Brown and sophomore wing Sharone Wright Jr. combined for 19.0 points per game last year. Childress, who is the son of former Wake Forest star and current assistant coach Randolph Childress, led the team with 14.7 points and 4.0 assists per game a year ago. White, the younger brother of former Syracuse star Andrew White, scored 15.0 points per game at Charlotte in 2017-18. 15. Virginia Tech (26-9, 12-6 ACC) The Hokies are essentially starting from scratch under new head coach Mike Young. Buzz Williams left for Texas A&M, while star center Kerry Blackshear graduated and transferred to Florida. Junior point guard Wabissa Bede, redshirt freshman wing Landers Nolley and sophomore forward Isaiah Wilkins return. Bede averaged 3.8 points and 2.3 assists in 25.3 min - utes per game last season, while Wilkins added 4.7 points in 14.4 minutes a contest. ranked Nol- ley the No. 49 overall player in the country in the class of 2018, but he was academically ineligible last year. By The Numbers 2 Players who return out of the 15 members who made the first, second and third All-ACC teams last year. Notre Dame senior forward JOHN MOONEY and Louisville junior forward Jordan Nwora were both third-team selections. 3 No. 1 seeds in the NCAA Tournament last year were from the ACC — Virginia, Duke and North Carolina. That was the first time in conference history and only the second time a league had achieved that (Big East in 2009). 5 ACC players currently projected to be first-round NBA Draft picks by NBADraft. net — UNC freshman point guard Cole Anthony (No. 6), Louisville freshman small forward Samuell Williamson (No. 17), Duke freshman center Vernon Carey Jr. (No. 21), Louisville fifth-year senior center Steven Enoch (No. 26) and Louisville junior power forward Jordan Nwora (No. 30). 74 NCAA Tournament wins by ACC teams over the last five years, 24 more than any other league. The conference has gone 74-35 in the Big Dance during that time, which includes six matchups where league foes faced each other. The Best In The ACC Top Shooter Syracuse redshirt junior Elijah Hughes is the top returning three-point shooter (36.9 percent) in the ACC among those that had enough attempts to qualify (87 of 236). However, NCSU's Markell Johnson made 42.2 percent of his 161 three-point attempts. Virginia junior guard Tomas Woldetensae of Bologna, Italy, made 47.6 percent of his three-pointers and 88.5 percent of his free throws at Indian Hills Community College. Top Rebounder Notre Dame senior forward John Mooney crushes it on the boards, to the tune of an ACC-best 11.2 rebounds per game last year. He had a season-high 20 rebounds in a 64-62 loss versus Clemson March 6, and grabbed at least 10 caroms in 24 contests. Top Passer North Carolina freshman point guard Cole Anthony can blend into whatever his team needs. He averaged 10.1 assists per game for Oak Hill Academy, but then upped his scoring (26.8 points per game) and lowered his assists (3.8) with the PSA Cardinals in the Nike Elite Youth Basketball League. Top Defender Duke sophomore point guard Tre Jones earned a strong reputation for his on-ball defense last year en route to first-team All-ACC defensive honors. He averaged 1.9 steals per game to finish third in the ACC. The younger brother of former Duke point guard Tyus Jones was ranked the No. 14 overall player in the class of 2018 by Notre Dame senior forward John Mooney finished last year fifth nationally in re- bounds per game (11.2) and was the highest among major-conference players. PHOTO BY COREY BODDEN

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