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Looking Ahead

Caulton Tudor says...

9. N.C. STATE (15-16, 4-12)

PROJECTED STARTERS: Brandon Costner, Jr., F; Ben McCauley, Sr., F; Courtney Fells, Sr., W; Julius Mays, Fr., G; Farnold Degand, Jr., G.

If J.J. Hickson pulls out of the draft, the entire offensive equation will change. But unless that happens, the Wolfpack has to hope Costner reverts to the productive scoring ways (16.8 ppg) of 2006-07. Either way, the addition of the 6-2 Mays should improve team quickness and provide more perimeter scoring punch. The bench could be a plus, if Dennis Horner, Tracy Smith and Trevor Ferguson just make average offseason improvements.

OVERVIEW: The pressure is beginning to mount on Sidney Lowe as he enters his third season, and there's no question that a healthy Degand is the key to the Pack's progress.

Much more on Tudor's piece to come. For now, take a look at the adjusted conference standings, which are based on efficiency margin:

 Off_Eff(Rk) Def_Eff(Rk) ExpW-L ActW-L
UNC 113.8 (1) 99.0 (3) 13-3 14-2
Duke 111.7 (2) 98.7 (2) 13-3 13-3
Clemson 108.0 (3) 99.8 (4) 11-5 10-6
VT 98.0 (12) 97.6 (1) 8-8 9-7
UMD 103.8 (7) 104.3 (5) 8-8 8-8
GT 105.1 (5) 105.9 (8) 8-8 7-9
Miami 105.8 (4) 107.2 (9) 7-9 8-8
Wake 102.0 (9) 105.1 (7) 7-9 7-9
FSU 99.6 (11) 104.5 (6) 6-10 7-9
UVA 102.7 (8) 108.1 (10) 6-10 5-11
BC 104.1 (6) 111.1 (11) 5-11 4-12
NCSU 100.9 (10) 114.1 (12) 3-13 4-12