N.C. State was counting on junior guard Terry Henderson to pick up some of the perimeter scoring slack lost with Trevor Lacey and Ralston Turner.
Instead, the Wolfpack will have to figure out how to play without Henderson for the majority of the nonconference schedule.
Henderson will miss six to eight weeks with an ankle injury, the school announced on Saturday. Henderson injured the ligaments in his right ankle in the first half of Friday’s 85-68 home loss to William & Mary.
The optimistic return date for Henderson would be Dec. 26; the longest would be Jan. 9, or two games into the ACC schedule.
N.C. State lost its top two scoring guards, Lacey (15.7 points per game) and Turner (12.8 ppg), and had hoped Henderson, a transfer from West Virginia, could help fill the void.
Henderson averaged 11.7 points per game as a sophomore at WVU in 2013-14 before sitting out last season under NCAA rules. He started against William & Mary but didn’t score in seven minutes.
Freshman Maverick Rowan had 16 points in 34 minutes on Friday and could move into the starting lineup. Henderson’s absence also might mean more minutes for freshman wing Shaun Kirk, who didn’t play in the opener.
N.C. State (0-1) hosts South Alabama on Sunday at 6 p.m.
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South Alabama at N.C. State
When: 6 p.m.
Where: PNC Arena, Raleigh
TV/Radio: ESPNU, 101.5-WRAL
Projected starting lineups
South Alabama (1-0)
G Ken Williams 21.0 ppg, 4.0 rpg
G Barrington Stevens 9.0 ppg, 5.0rpg
F Georgi Boyanov 5.0 ppg, 10.0 rpg
F Nikola Marijan 4.0 ppg, 6.0 rpg
F Nick Stover 17.0 ppg, 9.0 rpg
N.C. State (0-1)
G Cat Barber 11.0 ppg, 6.0 apg
G Maverick Rowan 16.0 ppg, 3.0 rpg
G Caleb Martin 21.0 ppg, 3.0 rpg
F Abdul-Malik Abu 17.0 ppg, 6.0 rpg
FLennard Freeman 0.0 ppg, 4.0 rpg
Without injured guard Terry Henderson, N.C. State probably needs to start a second big and save Cody Martin’s minutes for the perimeter. Freshman Maverick Rowan played well off the bench in Friday’s loss and will need to shoot well for N.C. State’s offense to click.