If freshman Marquis Teague enters the NBA Draft, as widely predicted by many national analysts, the next Kentucky playmaker likely will be Ryan Harrow, formerly of N.C. State.
How N.C. State's 2012-13 basketball roster would look if the season started today (listed numbers are for scholarship-counting purposes, not jersey number):
While North Carolina got a clearer picture of what its roster will look like in 2013, with the early exit of three underclassmen to the NBA on Thursday, Duke and N.C. State are still waiting.
The Blue Devils, on forward Mason Plumlee, and the Wolfpack, on forward C.J. Leslie, are both waiting for their respective pro prospects to make a decision about the NBA draft. The two Triangle teams are also waiting on Kentucky and the fate of a few key recruits. The Wildcats, the prohibitive favorite to win the 2012 NCAA title, are holding all the recruiting cards with the class of 2012.
For only the sixth time in 25 years, the Final Four will not include an ACC team, which means it's not too early to look at what the league could potentially look like in 2013.
Working under the premise that there will be a mass exodus from the Triangle — UNC (sophomore Harrison Barnes, junior John Henson and sophomore Kendall Marshall), Duke (freshman Austin Rivers and junior Mason Plumlee) and N.C. State (sophomore C.J. Leslie) — to the NBA, the league race will be wide open. So much so, I like Florida State and Maryland to contend for the regular-season title.
Mark Gottfried and players after tough loss to Kansas
ST. LOUIS — History was waiting for N.C. State. Kansas decided to make its own instead.
With a date with North Carolina in the Final Eight on the line, N.C. State bowed out of the NCAA tournament on Friday night in a 60-57 loss to second-seeded Kansas in the Midwest Regional semifinals.
Instead of an historic fourth meeting between the Wolfpack and Tar Heels — what would have been the first in the NCAA tournament between the two rivals — the Jayhawks will get a rematch of the 2008 Final Four with their former coach, UNC's Roy Williams.
ST. LOUIS — When Duke beat Kansas, at a neutral site, back in November, the Blue Devils made 11 3-pointers, compared to only two for the Jayhawks.
When Davidson beat Kansas, at a neutral site, a month later, the Wildcats made 11 3-pointers, compared to only six for the Jayhawks.
In all six of its losses this season, Kansas — a prototypical inside-out team — was out-scored from 3-point range. And four of those losses came at a neutral site.
ST. LOUIS — Bill Self has won an average of 29 games a year in eight seasons at Kansas with the 2008 national title and five Big 12 titles to his credit. Still, N.C. State assistant coach Bobby Lutz, who spent last season in the Big 12, considers this season to be Self's best work.
"When you consider what they lost and how they've progressed, I think it's his best coaching job ever," Lutz said.
The Jayhawks (29-6) had to replace three NBA draft picks from last season's team, which won 35 games before bowing out to Virginia Commonwealth in the Final Eight.
ST. LOUIS — Raleigh holds a special place in Ohio coach John Groce's heart, and not just because it's where he got his first break into major college basketball. Groce met his wife, Allison, when he was an assistant at N.C. State under Herb Sendek in the late 1990s.
"Obviously, that's a big part of it," Groce said. "I really enjoyed my time there. I learned a lot there at a very young age."
Groce, 40, in his third season as the head coach of the Bobcats, who face North Carolina tonight in the Midwest Regional semifinals.
This was a good year for big men in the ACC, from North Carolina’s John Henson and Tyler Zeller to Virginia’s Mike Scott to Duke’s Mason Plumlee to Florida State’s Bernard James to N.C. State’s C.J. Leslie and Richard Howell to Miami's Reggie Johnson.
But Leslie had a hard time finding anyone to compare to Kansas’ Thomas Robinson, who along with Kentucky’s Anthony Davis is part of a two-man national-player-of-the-year conversation.