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NC State is back at it Friday against North Florida

I don’t know about this mascot.

NCAA BASKETBALL: JAN 09 Jacksonville at North Florida Photo by David Rosenblum/Icon Sportswire/Corbis/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

NC State returns to Reynolds Coliseum this evening to host a rebuilding North Florida team, and what with the holiday and quick turnaround, I didn’t get around to a full-blown preview. North Florida, bulleted:

— The Ospreys were legit offensively last season, ranking 31st in adjusted offensive efficiency and 12th nationally in 3FG%. They also had the highest three-pointer attempt rate in the country.

— There were four senior starters on that team, though, and the Ospreys lost the bulk of their perimeter production with them. KenPom is quite down on them as a result: after finishing 166th in the ratings last year, they began this year at 283. This really just illustrates how impossible it is for a program like North Florida to replace that much production.

— As good as the Ospreys were last year offensively, they were equally bad at the defensive end. It was one of the least disruptive defenses in the country, ranking 332nd in turnover rate, and UNF struggled to defend the paint or grab defensive rebounds.

— UNF’s lone returning starter is junior Carter Hendricksen, a 6’7 wing who averaged 14.9 points per game last season while shooting 36.2% from beyond the arc. If the team’s game on Wednesday is any indication, Hendricksen will be taking on a big workload this season; he took 16 shots—12 from three—in UNF’s 13-point loss to Eastern Kentucky.

— Despite the roster turnover, UNF is clearly gonna keep bombing away from outside. The Ospreys took 28 threes and 26 twos against EKU. They shot 35.7% from three, which ain’t too bad, but they shot only 42.3% inside the arc—and turned the ball over a bunch.

— The Pomeroy Predictor likes NC State by 21 tonight.