Team of the Week: NC State
NC State (13-8, 3-5 ACC)
RPI: 102 (kenpom.com)
Strength of Schedule: 65 (overall), 235 (non-conference)
Games last week: W 70-59 @ then-#18 Virginia Tech, W 83-79 vs. then-#3 North Carolina
Given the process that the North Carolina State program went through in finding their new basketball coach this past off-season, along with the opinion of some that Herb Sendek didn’t get enough respect from the people in Raleigh, many expected the Wolfpack to be the doormat of the ACC. Well, with a thin roster consisting of six scholarship players and a first-time college head coach in Sidney Lowe, NC State has found a way to compete in the ACC. To get an idea for this team’s lack of depth look no further than the scoring breakdown. Five players average double digits in scoring, led by freshman forward Brandon Costner, and the sixth is all the way down at 5.4 points per game (Dennis Horner).
Given the talent that North Carolina has this season, it would be easy to say that the win over the Heels was the more impressive of the two results. However, getting the win in Blacksburg, which ended the Hokies’ ten-game home winning streak, was huge given the fact that five of their last eight are on the road. The chances of State making the NCAAs are slim, but look out for this team in the ACC Tournament, especially with the return of guard Engin Atsur.
Honorable Mention: Duquesne (wins over Xavier and St. Bonaventure put the Dukes two games out of first place in the Atlantic 10); Texas A&M (win at Kansas puts the Aggies atop the Big 12 standings); Iona (Gaels get their first win in a 79-67 triumph over Rider); Yale (sweep of Princeton and Penn put the Bulldogs atop the Ivy League.. guess I shouldn’t have been so eager to name the Quakers the class of the league)
Previous Week: Stanford