The North Carolina State Wolfpack came into the 2012-13 college basketball season as the team to beat in the ACC, not to mention, a top 10 ranking. The Wolfpack may have made the Sweet 16 last year, and had very high expectations coming into the new season, but their horrible start points to a very long season. That is if they do not get better.
NC State has a record of 4-2 on the season. Its two losses came against two very good opponents in the No. 15 Oklahoma State Cowboys and the No. 3 Michigan Wolverines. However, the Wolfpack got blown out by 20 points against Oklahoma State and rallied back against the Wolverines on the road. They still lost the game though 72-79.
This team clearly has a lot of talent, but it absolutely needs its two stars to step up their game. Sure, the ball is distributed a lot on this team, with six players averaging in double-digits, but C.J. Leslie and Lorenzo Brown should be the leaders of this team. Brown is shooting absolutely horrible on the year, with a field goal percentage of 33.9 percent. He was never an accurate three-point shooter, but 10 percent from behind the arc on the year is rather pathetic.
Leslie may be averaging three points less than he did last year, with 11.7 points per game, but he is still rebounding at a high rate with 7.5 boards per game.
Surprisingly enough, a senior and a freshman on the Wolfpack are leading the team in points. Senior Richard Howell is averaging 14.2 points per game and 7.8 rebounds per game, while T.J. Warren (15.3 ppg) is leading the team in points as a freshman.
While this team has talent at every position, it has lost the only tough games on the schedule so far this season. North Carolina State doesn’t need to panic, but it does need to beat the Connecticut Huskies on Dec. 4. Luckily the Wolfpack are struggling to start the season, and they should be ready by the time conference play starts, but Brown has to get better and lead this team with Leslie. If not then they will be no better than last year’s team. The only difference being that this year a Sweet 16 appearance would be a huge disappointment.
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