Friday, November 9, 2007

6. N.C. State

2007 ACC Record: 5-11, t-10th Place
Projected 2008 Record: 7-9 (1092 PARTOBS*, .445 Raw W%)

State plays a completely unremarkable conference schedule in 2008, and it's unlikely to play much of a role in the Pack's progress.

Projected Player Contributions:

Gavin Grant predicts his team will only lose four games and make the Final Four. Some sportswriters think so, too. Three-quarters of the ACC sports media think the Wolfpack will finish in the league's top three. The future in Raleigh is brighter than Sidney Lowe's jacket (no fence is safe!).

I'm not buying it. State was a nice feel-good story last year. They exceeded all expectations (expectations that were unreasonably low, in retrospect). The wins over Carolina, the three-game sweep of Virginia Tech, and the runs in the ACC and NIT tournaments were impressive. But let's not get carried away here.

With everyone but Engin Atsur returning from last season's team, as well as the addition of talented freshmen J.J. Hickson and Tracy Smith, the Wolfpack will be better this year than last. They just won't be that much better. A .500 conference record should be a nice accomplishment for a young team without any experience at the point guard position, but it will probably be seen as a disappointment for this group.

*The PARTOBS number next to the team's projected record uses the projected Points, Assists, Rebounds, Turnovers, Blocks, and Steals to arrive at a number that correlates pretty strongly with a team's overall and conference record. The order of the PARTOBS number correlates even more strongly with the order of finish. The predicted order of finish and number of conference wins will be based on that number.

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