Last season: 15-16 (5-11 ACC)
Key returnees: Lorenzo Brown (6-5, Soph., G); C.J. Leslie (6-8, Soph., F); Scott Wood (6-6, Jr., F); Richard Howell (6-8, Jr., F)
Top newcomers: Alex Johnson (5-10, Grad., PG); Thomas de Thaey (6-8, Fr., F)
Bottom line: New coach Mark Gottfried is asking for patience, but the Wolfpack has the talent, especially in Brown and Leslie, to contend with Virginia, Miami or Clemson for fourth place in the conference. The first four games of the ACC schedule are especially inviting, giving Gottfried a chance to start the conference schedule fast.
As Gottfried correctly points out, though: "They want to win and be successful, but they don't necessarily know how to get there."
If the inconsistencies in effort and defense from last season can be corrected, Gottfried should be able to finish among the top half of the conference and point the program in a promising direction.
It's possible the same issues could sink them early in a difficult nonconference schedule, which is where Gottfried's plea for patience rings true.