North Carolina State already had all but one starter coming back after reaching last season's Sweet 16, beating Georgetown on the way and losing by three to eventual finalist Kansas. With the announcement that incoming freshman Rodney Purvis is eligible, the Wolfpack have the one player who ensures this year's starting five will be even better.
Departed shooting guard C.J. Williams, who averaged 10.6 points, was no slouch. But the addition of Purvis, a 6-foot-4 slasher from Raleigh, means C.J. Leslie can focus on his work in the paint and won't be the only one attacking the basket. Purvis also complements the perimeter skills of Scott Wood, who went 4-for-5 from 3-point range against the Hoyas.
It's still early to talk about how far N.C. State might go in this year's NCAA tournament. But while the Wolfpack can start to get accustomed to using Purvis in games -- until now he could only practice -- they'll also have to start to embrace something else: that they've become the prohibitive favorites in the ACC.
- Craig Stouffer