Wood Expects a Versatile Team

Scott Wood is eager to start his sophomore season. With an infusion of talent and quality experience returning, Wood believes NC State has a chance to be special.

Scott Wood is eager to start his sophomore season. With an infusion of talent and quality experience returning, Wood believes NC State has a chance to be special.

However, a lot of that will depend on team chemistry and how well the freshmen mesh with the returning players. According to Wood, head coach Sidney Lowe is making it a point to stress how vital team chemistry is to their success.

"I think he's just trying to get us to come together as a group," Wood said of Lowe. "We had a lot of people leave last year, and we're bringing in a lot of new faces so I think right now he's just trying to get us to mesh and get the team chemistry back to where it was last year.

"I would say [the freshmen] are a lot more wild. They are kind of crazy... I don't know if they bring energy as much as the fans. I just think we're excited as a team that we're bringing in three new players that are going to help make us a better team. I think them coming in is more energy for the fans than us."

Adding creative playmakers like Ryan Harrow and Lorenzo Brown should help free up Wood to get off his dangerous jumpshot.

"Those guys can make it a lot easier on me," he said. "Growing up in high school that's all I had, a little waterbug point guard that would always get in the lane and kick it out when the defense collapsed.

"I think adding Ryan and Lorenzo with Javi... they can do a good job of that. They definitely like to pass so that's going to help me out a lot."

Wood hasn't just been impressed with the freshmen, as he stated a trio of returnees have already caught his eye during fall workouts.

"Deshawn Painter worked his tail off this summer," said Wood. "I know Jordan [Vandenberg] was in the weightroom a lot this summer. C.J. [Williams] didn't go to a summer session, and I was surprised with the shape he came back in this summer. He came in ready to go.

"I mean everyone worked really hard this summer, but the three that really stood out and made big jumps were those three."

Wood played a major role in last year's success. He started 35 of 36 games as a true freshman and averaged 7.7 points and 2.8 rebounds. The 6-foot-7, 170-pounder hit 37% of his 3-point attempts and is known for his outside shooting but spent the offseason working on other aspects of his game.

"Strength is definitely the biggest one and then working on my handles," said Wood. "I played point guard in high school so I felt like I've been able to dribble real well, but the fact that I have a penetration game other teams will see that I have that.. they have to respect it so it should get me even more space on my jumper."

Wood spent nearly all of his time last year at the small forward position but is also expected to provide minutes at shooting guard this season.

"It's on paper... it doesn't mean that's where you're going to play," he stated when asked if he would remain at small forward. "Wherever they put me at on the floor, that's where I'll play at. I guess you can label me a three, but if they want to put me at the five then I'll play the five. It really doesn't matter to me."

Wood's ability to play multiple positions is an asset, and several players on NC State's roster are capable of shifting throughout the lineup which will give Lowe a lot of intriguing options.

"Our versatility, it's a good luxury to have," said Wood. "It's going to be pretty nice. I know C.J. Leslie could probably play the three or the four... if we wanted him to he could play the five. Lorenzo can play the one, two, or three... even I can play the two or the three.

"You've got a lot of interchangeable parts, and I think that will help us with our depth. At the end of the games it should help us remain fresh."

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