38.4 Points returning per game. Senior guard Ralston Turner (10.5) is the only player on the roster who averaged double-figures last season.
Go-to guy: Junior guard Trevor Lacey (6-foot-3, 213 pounds) can score; he averaged 11.3 points per game as a sophomore at Alabama in 2012-13 and led the Crimson Tide with 3.2 assists per game.
Lacey, who will play both guard spots, has impressed coach Mark Gottfried the most with his smarts.
“He knows how to play,” Gottfried said.
Sign Up and Save
Get six months of free digital access to The News & Observer
Impact rookie: Freshman forward Abdul-Malik Abu (6-8, 240 pounds) has the natural talent to help right away. It’s just a matter of how quickly he can make the transition to the ACC.
Best case: The collective effort to replace ACC Player of the Year T.J. Warren starts with Lacey and continues with breakout efforts from sophomore guard Cat Barber and sophomore forward Kyle Washington. The team finds its identity earlier than last season and wades through a difficult start to the ACC schedule for 12-6 conference finish and a second Sweet 16 trip for Gottfried in four years.
Worst case: Warren can’t be replaced, neither guard takes control and the forwards remain status quo instead of stepping up. The start of the ACC schedule snowballs into a 6-12 finish and the Wolfpack misses the National Invitation Tournament.
X-factor: Sophomore Cat Barber showed the ability to carry the team for stretches last season. He also struggled with his decisions at times. But by the end of the season, Gottfried had balanced the roles of Barber and point guard Tyler Lewis. With Lewis off to Butler, Barber will run the point, with some help from Lacey, but there will be a consistency to his role. After spending his first season in a supporting role, the Wolfpack needs more from Barber.
Where to attack: You’re probably always going to be able to trade 3s for 2s against Gottfried’s teams. The Wolfpack doesn’t shoot the ball especially well from deep and often has struggled to defend the perimeter.
332 Magic number. N.C. State ranked No. 332, out of 347 teams, last season in defensive rebounding percentage. The Wolfpack rebounded only 64.3 percent of its opponents’ misses.
|Nov. 14||Jackson State||7 p.m.|
|Nov. 17||Hofstra||7 p.m.|
|Nov. 20||Jacksonville||7 p.m.|
|Nov. 23||South Florida||4 p.m.|
|Nov. 26||Richmond||7 p.m.|
|Nov. 28||Boise State||7 p.m.|
|Dec. 2||at Purdue||9 p.m.|
|Dec. 6||Wake Forest||7:30 p.m.|
|Dec. 12||x-Charleston Southern||7 p.m.|
|Dec. 14||x-Wofford||4 p.m.|
|Dec. 17||Tennessee||7 p.m.|
|Dec. 20||vs. West Virginia (at New York)||9:30 p.m.|
|Dec. 23||Louisiana Tech||7 p.m.|
|Dec. 30||Cincinnati||4 p.m.|
|Jan. 7||at Virginia||7 p.m.|
|Jan. 14||UNC||7 p.m.|
|Jan. 17||at Florida State||1:30 p.m.|
|Jan. 22||at Miami||8 p.m.|
|Jan. 25||Notre Dame||6:30 p.m.|
|Jan. 28||Clemson||9 p.m.|
|Jan. 31||at Georgia Tech||noon|
|Feb. 3||at Wake Forest||8 p.m.|
|Feb. 11||Virginia||8 p.m.|
|Feb. 14||at Louisville||4 p.m.|
|Feb. 21||Virginia Tech||6 p.m.|
|Feb. 24||at UNC||8 p.m.|
|Feb. 28||at Boston College||noon|
|March 3||at Clemson||9 p.m.|
|Note: x-at Reynolds Coliseum|