ESPN: Preseason Power Rankings
ESPN has released the Preseason Power Rankings and NC State checks in at No. 15 overall.
"Mark Gottfried will have his most talented team since arriving in Raleigh. He'll have stud freshman point guard Dennis Smith Jr., plenty of wings with Maverick Rowan, Terry Henderson and Torin Dorn and no shortage of quality bigs with Omer Yurtseven, Abdul-Malik Abu and BeeJay Anya". -- Jeff Goodman
Best case: NCAA Sweet 16. The Wolfpack won only 16 games last season with Cat Barber at the point, and ESPN.com is ranking NC State in the preseason top 25. That should give you an indication how well-regarded freshman Dennis Smith Jr. is. In fact, Smith is talented enough to find himself at the top of the NBA draft in June. Not your average freshman, Smith enrolled last January to rehab an injured knee. He can score, but he can also make Terry Henderson (back from injury) and Maverick Rowan more effective options. A key will be performances from frontcourt players Abdul Malik-Abu, BeeJay Anya and freshman Omer Yurtseven from Turkey. He needs help, but Smith is why NC State is on this list.
Worst case: NCAA first round. NC State has been its best under Mark Gottfried when the group has been a little bit older. Not to say this team cannot do it, but the worst case is always in play when relying upon younger players. The best case is the more likely outcome.