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2020-21 N.C. State men's basketball preview

North Carolina State Wolfpack

2019-20 record: 20-12, 10-10 in the ACC

Head coach: Kevin Keatts 

Tenure at NC State: 4th season 

Career coaching record: 137-64

Home court: PNC Arena

Starters: G Cam Hayes, G Devon Daniels, F Jericole Hellems, F D.J. Funderburk, C Manny Bates

Bench: G Braxton Beverly, G Shakeel Moore, G Thomas Allen, G Chase Graham, F Dereon Seabron, F Manny Bates, C Ebenezer Dowuona

Overview: After a decent, albeit cut short, season last year, the NC State Wolfpack are entering this season with high hopes and expectations. Head coach Kevin Keatts is starting his fourth season at NC State with three years of twenty-plus wins during his tenure. The Wolfpack last year, just as the year before, went .500 in ACC play. And, despite the decommitment of Josh Hall, Keatts in bringing in a nationally ranked recruiting class. 

NC State has promising returners in D.J. Funderburk and Devon Daniels. Funderburk is an absolute powerhouse for the team at the post and will likely be a critical offensive player all season long, as Keatts has been relatively vocal about wanting him to expand his skillset and from behind the arc. Despite the strength in the returners, the many freshmen joining the team this year mean that N.C. State will have to spend a bit more time on fundamentals, which they won’t get as much of without preseason exhibition games. 

Keatts is looking forward to the super versatile roster he has prepared for this year. With nine or ten players that can play more than one position, the team has a lot of different options for scoring. Ultimately, N.C. State has a well-rounded roster this year and definitely has the potential to be an ACC leader. 

Team ceiling: If NC State takes advantage of their better-developed seniors and strong freshman class, they will hopefully perform better than their recent typical .500 ACC performance and could potentially string together a few wins in the ACC tournament. 

Team floor: If NC State’s defense doesn’t develop more, they could be looking at a losing season without a chance of an appearance in the NCAA Tournament. 

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