North Carolina State preview capsule

North Carolina State preview capsule

Eds: With BKC–NC State Preview

By The Associated Press=

North Carolina State

Last season: 15-17, second straight losing season.

Nickname: Wolfpack.

Coach: Kevin Keatts.

Conference: Atlantic Coast.

Who’s gone: PG Dennis Smith Jr., G Terry Henderson, G Maverick Rowan, F Ted Kapita, C BeeJay Anya.

Who’s back: Sophomore Markell Johnson is expected to inherit Smith’s starting job and join junior Torin Dorn as returning guards. N.C. State will have much more returning experience up front with sophomore Omer Yurtseven, senior Abdul-Malik Abu (recovering from a sprained knee ligament) and fifth-year senior Lennard Freeman.

Who’s new: N.C. State brought into two graduate transfer guards in Allerik Freeman (Baylor) and Sam Hunt (North Carolina A&T), as well as freshman Lavar Batts Jr. to the backcourt. The school had hoped to have freshman guard Braxton Beverly, but the NCAA has denied an appeal to its ruling that he must sit this year after taking summer classes at Ohio State before getting his release following a late coaching change.

The Skinny: Keatts is taking over for Mark Gottfried, who got the Wolfpack to four straight NCAA Tournaments then saw things come undone in the past two years (9-27 in the ACC those seasons). Keatts, the former UNC Wilmington coach, has pushed his new team in conditioning for his up-tempo offense and a version of the fullcourt press from his time under Rick Pitino at Louisville. This is a reboot year for N.C. State, picked 12th in the 15-team ACC with only four players back from last year’s main rotation and putting in a new system.

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