Plenty can and will change, but last season's Pomeroy Ratings can at least give us an idea of the relative strength of the teams on NC State's non-conference schedule.
Below is a bit more on each non-conference opponent, sorted by how each team finished 2014 ranked in the Pomeroy Ratings. Yes, Tennessee really finished at No. 7. I also included each team's national rank in offensive efficiency, defensive efficiency, and pace.
|2014||Pomeroy Rating||Offense Rank||Defense Rank||Tempo Rank|
The Pack's season begins with those bottom three, all of which will be replacing multiple high-workload players. Jackson State is losing a guy named Julysses Nobles, and that is not the sort of name loss you get over like nothing happened. I have been saying "I am Julysses!" aloud in a matter-of-fact fashion for the last five minutes and I feel 10 feet tall. Just lifted a car with one hand.
Those teams represent the gentle nudge into 2014-15 that Mark Gottfried is giving the Pack, but December is going to be a grind. (There's that Wake Forest game in December, too.) I've been really excited in particular about that Louisiana Tech matchup ever since that news surfaced in early July. Two top-50 teams that don't mind getting up-and-down? Yeah, sign me up for that please. That's gonna be a good time.