The Wolfpacker

November 2015 Issue

The Wolfpacker: An Independent Magazine Covering NC State Sports

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84 ■ THE WOLFPACKER 2015-16 WOLFPACK BASKETBALL PREVIEW BY JACEY ZEMBAL N C State ended last year with the sixth toughest schedule in the country, and the Wolfpack hope history repeats itself. NC State hosts Michigan in the ACC/ Big Ten Challenge and plays Arizona State in Brooklyn, N.Y., as part of the Legends Classic. The Wolfpack will also play either Marquette or LSU in the Legends Clas- sic. NCSU had hoped the trip to Missouri would have been a good game, but the Tigers have imploded following a coaching change and went 9-23 last year. "I think we put together another sched- ule that, hopefully by the end of the year, will be one of the tougher schedules in the country," Gottfried said. "We try to do that every year, and there is no magic formula. Sometimes you get a little bit lucky." NC State is being picked anywhere from fourth to ninth in the ACC this year, and Gottfried believes the depth of the confer- ence will be strong. "Our league could truly be a league that gets eight to 10 teams into the NCAA Tour- nament," Gottfried said. "That is realistic for our league this year. I don't think we'll be a six-bid league this year. I think it's set to be- come the league we all thought it would be. "Our league schedule will be very dif- ficult, maybe one of the most difficult in the conference." The expectation each year is for NC State to challenge for a spot in the top 25 and be one of the top four to six teams in the ACC. The Wolfpack have sometimes started off with bumpy non-conference losses but find their stride down the stretch. "I say this all the time, I don't care how good we are in October or November," Gott- fried said. "For me, it's all about how you finish. You have to finish well. Does the last four years give us confidence? Sure it does. "It doesn't guarantee you anything for this year's team. We could be very average at the end, but I hope we are not. I hope we figure out how to be good." The ACC is going through a bit of a tran- sition year with so many players leaving to the NBA prematurely, which has also affected NC State. Both Trevor Lacey and T.J. Warren could have been on this year's squad, but turned pro early. Gottfried does see one clear-cut leader in the league head- ing into the season. "I look over there at North Carolina and I see a national championship talent-level team, period," Gottfried said. "There's not anybody in America more talented and deeper than North Carolina, period. You can put that one in the books." Gottfried knows his team will get tested throughout the ACC slate. Outside of per- haps rebuilding Boston College, each squad has capable proven talent. "Duke obviously will be very good," Gottfried said. "Virginia has a lot of guys back. Louisville should be good. I look at Miami and Florida State, both with a ton of returning players; I think both Miami and Florida State should be really good this year. Notre Dame will still be good. Pittsburgh is still going to be good." Transfers Succeed Under Mark Gottfried College basketball used to consider four-year trans- fers as other coaches' problems, but that has drastically changed over the last decade and they are now thought to be possible solutions for their new schools. The spring and summer in recruiting have become dominated by colleges chasing transfers from other four- year schools, hoping a change of scenery is all that is needed to find success. Players used to have to go down a level when transferring, but now lateral moves have become the norm. NC State has been as active as any college in the coun - try and landed four transfers who sat out a year under fifth-year head coach Mark Gottfried (Alex Johnson came to NC State in Gottfried's first year as a post-graduate transfer and was eligible immediately). It helped that the first two were players he recruited when he was the coach at Alabama. Small forward Ralston Turner of Muscle Shoals, Ala., Pack Plays Another Tough Schedule 2015-16 NC State Men's Basketball Schedule Date Opponent Time (ET) Nov. 8 Cal St. Los Angeles 2 p.m. Nov. 13 William & Mary 8 p.m. Nov. 15 South Alabama 6 p.m. Nov. 18 IUPUI 7 p.m. Nov. 23 Arizona State* 9:30 p.m. Nov. 24 LSU or Marquette* TBA Nov. 27 Winthrop 7 p.m. Dec. 1 Michigan 7 p.m. Dec. 5 Bucknell 12 p.m. Dec. 13 at South Florida 4 p.m. Dec. 16 High Point 7 p.m. Dec. 19 at Missouri 6 p.m. Dec. 22 UNC-Greensboro 7 p.m. Dec. 29 Northeastern 7 p.m. Jan. 2 at Virginia Tech 2:30 p.m. Jan. 7 Louisville 7 p.m. Jan. 10 at Wake Forest 8 p.m. Jan. 13 Florida State 9 p.m. Jan. 16 at North Carolina 12 p.m. Jan. 19 at Pittsburgh 8 p.m. Jan. 23 Duke 2 p.m. Jan. 27 Georgia Tech 8 p.m. Jan. 30 Miami-FL 3 p.m. Feb. 1 at Florida State 9 p.m. Feb. 6 at Duke TBA Feb. 13 Wake Forest 12 p.m. Feb. 15 at Virginia 7 p.m. Feb. 20 Clemson 3 p.m. Feb. 24 N. Carolina 8 p.m. Feb. 27 at Syracuse 2 p.m. Mar. 2 Boston College 9 p.m. Mar. 5 at Notre Dame 12 p.m. March 8-12 ACC Tournament # * Legends Classic in Brooklyn, N.Y. # at Washington D.C. WOLFPACK BASKETBALL Wolfpack Transfers Who Sat Out Under Mark Gottfried Season Min. FG Pct. 3-pt. Pct. Pts. Reb. Ast-TO Ralston Turner Last year at LSU 29.9 37.0 37.2 9.1 3.0 53-58 First year at NCSU 26.1 40.6 37.2 10.5 2.5 33-34 Trevor Lacey Last year at Alabama 31.3 39.2 37.3 11.3 3.8 115-81 First year at NCSU 35.9 43.6 39.2 15.7 4.6 121-67 Terry Henderson Last year at WVU 27.0 43.9 37.6 11.7 2.9 31-30 Torin Dorn (will be eligible in 2016-17) Last year at Charlotte 27.5 50.5 34.2 12.0 3.7 40-59 Head coach Mark Gottfried believes in sched- uling tough to get his team ready for the post- season and playing in the always-competitive ACC only bolsters the quality of opponent. PHOTO BY KEN MARTIN

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