Scouting the Wolfpack's projected starting five.
G Lorenzo Brown
Jr., 6-5, 186 pounds
12.7 ppg, 6.3 apg
One of the best all-around guards in the ACC last year, Brown led the league in steals (1.8) and ranked second in assists, he also added 4.5 rebounds per game.
Still, Brown, who has NBA size and ability, remains under the national radar, where his name is missing from most preseason All-American lists.
"I think Lorenzo Brown is as good as any point guard in the nation, period," coach Mark Gottfried said. "I've seen the list of all them and I wouldn't trade him for anybody."
G Rodney Purvis
Fr., 6-2, 195 pounds
26.1 ppg, 6.7 rpg (high school stats)
The most physically prepared of N.C. State's three freshmen, Purvis has the strength to withstand contact and get the ball to the basket. He will have to develop his outside shot, but he can score in transition and has the potential to create his own offense with his defense.
"He's really strong and athletic," Richard Howell said. "I didn't know how explosive Rodney was."
G Scott Wood
Sr., 6-6, 169 pounds
12.4 ppg, 2.3 rpg
N.C. State is at its best when Wood is at his best. There's a pretty clear correlation between Wood's scoring State was 20-5 last season when he hit double-figures and when he's not. Wood led the ACC in 3-pointers (95), 3-point percentage (40.9) and he would have led in free-throw percentage (90.7), if he had the qualifying number of attempts.
"There's no reason he can't have a great year," said assistant coach Rob Moxley, who worked with Wood this summer on shooting more off the dribble.
F C.J. Leslie
Jr., 6-9, 200 pounds
14.7 ppg, 7.3 rpg
Leslie got better as the season got longer last season and the Wolfpack is banking on him to pick up where he left off. Leslies averaged 17.1 points over the final 16 games, about a five points a game better than the first half of the season, and he outplayed big-name forwards from UNC, Duke, Florida State, Georgetown in the process.
For the season, he led the team in scoring, was second in rebounding (7.3 per game) and first in blocked shots (54).
"In his last 10 or 15 games, I thought he played as well as any forward in the nation," Gottfried said.
F Richard Howell
Sr., 6-8, 257 pounds
10.8 ppg, 9.2 rpg
Howell continues to change his body, he dropped 30 pounds last offseason, and he has toned up this summer. He ranked third in the ACC in rebounding last season, despite only playing an average of 27 minutes per game. Foul trouble plagued Howell as a junior, he fouled out of five ACC games and had four fouls in 14 other games. Without the transfer of forward DeShawn Painter, staying out of foul trouble is point of emphasis for the forwards.
"We definitely can't get in foul trouble again," Howell said in reference to him and Leslie. "We know that."