The preseason Pomeroy Ratings are here, the preseason Pomeroy Ratings are here! Open a window and scream it to America, the preseason Pomeroy Ratings are here! NC State is No. 41 to begin the season after finishing last season at No. 31. You can find the complete ratings at Ken's site, though you need a premium subscription (which I highly recommend) to dig deeper into the numbers.
Pomeroy's system is really optimistic about the ACC in 2015-16; it's the top-rated conference, and it has TEN top-50 teams. NC State is actually the last of the bunch, so a 10th-place finish is the prediction. NC State is projected to go 18-12 (8-10).
Here full projected pecking order in the ACC, with preseason rating in parentheses:
1. Duke (1)
2. Virginia (3)
3. UNC (7)
4. Notre Dame (16)
5. Miami (21)
6. Louisville (25)
7. Pittsburgh (30)
8. Syracuse (33)
9. Florida State (37)
10. NC State (41)
11. Clemson (56)
12. Wake Forest (60)
13. Georgia Tech (85)
14. Virginia Tech (131)
15. Boston College (157)
The Wolfpack began the 2014-15 season at No. 60 and beat that projection without much trouble. I'd have to do some digging to be sure, but I think the Pack out-performing its preseason KenPom rating has been a pattern under Mark Gottfried. Which is not to say it'll happen again, but just to emphasize that these are projections with a lot of missing data points. They are good projections--read more about how they work here--but that simply means they're educated guesses.
The ratings think State will drop off a bit offensively but maintain a top-40 offense, while moving up to 49th in defensive efficiency. That would make the Pack a more well-rounded team. NC State's best defense under Mark Gottfried was his first, which ranked 78th nationally.
Getting back to the league at large, here is a comparison between each team's final 2015 rating and their preseason 2016 rating, to give you an idea of which teams are the big movers:
|Team||Final 2015 Rating||Preseason 2016 Rating||Change|
The ratings foresee significant leaps forward for Florida State and Wake Forest. Lenny Ham has been recruiting exceptionally well for the Seminoles, and that should pay immediate dividends. The Noles have a trio of four/five-star freshmen who could have big impacts. Wake Forest, meanwhile, returns everyone of consequence while adding a couple of well-regarded recruits. The Deacs' schedule and Codi Miller-McIntyre's injury may conspire to prevent them from improving their overall record too much, though.
Pitt and Syracuse are also expected to bounce back, which is entirely reasonable given each program's recent history and the coaches leading them. Jim Larranaga has one more go-round with his core of Angel Rodriguez, Sheldon McClellan, and Tonye Jekiri. The Canes have another impact transfer ready to debut in former Oklahoma State forward Kamari Murphy, who averaged six points and six boards during his final year there. I really like this Hurricanes team.
As for the flip side of things, there's really only Boston College, which is expected to fall off another cliff. You'd think the Eagles would be out of cliffs by now, but with Olivier Hanlan and a few other major contributors out the door, all signs point to a bleak immediate future. Especially if the ACC is as tough one through 10 as the ratings believe it will be.