2022-23 N.C. State men's basketball season preview

N.C. State Wolfpack

2021-22 record: 11-21, 4-16 in the ACC

Head coach: Kevin Keatts

Tenure at N.C. State: Sixth year

Career coaching record: 90-68

Home court: PNC Arena

Starters: G Jarkel Joiner , G Casey Morsell, G Terquavion Smith, G Jack Clark, F DJ Burns

Bench: G Breon Pass, F Ebenezer Dowuona, G L.J. Thomas, F Dusan Mahorcic

Overview: N.C. State finished dead last in the ACC last season with a tough 4-16 conference record. This accompanied its 11-21 line on the season, creating the lowest win percentage since head coach Kevin Keatts joined the team in 2017. The Wolfpack are looking to turn the page on last season and engage in a new hunt for a more successful 2022-23 campaign, and unlike other ACC powerhouses, they plan to do it with a new form of metaphorical cubs—cubs that are not cubs at all, but new members of the proverbial Wolfpack—with experience from prior seasons.

Keatts and N.C. State took advantage of the new transfer portal rules this offseason and acquired a bunch of new assets to help revive the program. In fact, 247 Sports has ranked its transfer portal recruiting class the third-best in the ACC and the 18th-best in the nation. Jarkel Joiner, a guard from Ole Miss, Jack Clark, another guard from La Salle, and reigning Big South Player of the Year DJ Burns are just three out of the four transfers that Keatts and the Wolfpack have brought to Raleigh. The three mentioned are also all projected starters for the team, adding substantial experience to the rotation.

Team ceiling: In an era full of one-and-done players, experience is a huge asset. Division I teams that have been able to retain their stars have proven to be the most successful programs in recent years: teams like Villanova, Gonzaga and North Carolina, to name a few. While the Wolfpack are not projected to be national championship contenders like those other schools, their experience will definitely make them a threat to surprise younger teams with arguably more talent and hype. If their new transfer pieces are able to play well together within Keatts’ system, the Wolfpack could very easily see themselves in the middle to upper half of the ACC with a couple impressive victories under their belt.

Team floor: The big question surrounding this team will be if its new transfer players will be able to work fluidly together in Raleigh. Transfers are great for adding experience, but they necessarily come from different situations with different teammates and different coaches that may operate in a dissimilar manner to their new group. If the new members of the Wolfpack play in an incompatible way, either with each other or in Keatts’ system, it is possible that their fate this season could be a similar one to that of last year: bottom-three in the ACC or worse.


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