Last season, the women’s basketball team led by NC State coach Wes Moore beat top-ranked teams such as Iowa (national runner-up), three other teams in the top 25 of the NCAA’s NET rankings, and Miami (Elite Eight participant).
The Wolfpack had a .500 record in their league and lost seven out of their last 11 games, including defeats in the ACC Tournament quarterfinals and the first round of the NCAA Tournament.
“We were slightly less consistent than our usual standard last year,” stated Moore, who achieved his 800th career victory at the end of the season. “I enjoy amusement park rides, but roller coasters are not my preference. Therefore, I aim to achieve greater consistency this year.”
Guard Saniya Rivers was named the ACC’s Sixth Player of the Year during her debut season in Raleigh. She previously won a national championship as a substitute player with South Carolina in 2022. Rivers is now assuming a leadership position, specifically with highly acclaimed guard Zoe Brooks, in hopes of guiding the team back to its former successes.
The Wolfpack achieved three back-to-back wins in the ACC tournament between 2020 and 2022 and progressed to the Elite Eight in 2022.
According to Rivers, who was named the ACC’s Sixth Player of the Year last season, it will require a significant amount of hard work. He believes that the team has the necessary skill and components, but they must effectively unite them in order to succeed. He is confident that they are capable of achieving this.
The current head coach of NC State is Wes Moore, who has been with the team for 11 years. During his time at NC State, Moore has achieved a record of 242 wins and 81 losses. Overall, in his 35th season as a coach, he has a total record of 800 wins and 250 losses.
Record for the 2022-23 season: 20 wins and 12 losses (9 wins and 9 losses in the ACC), eliminated in the first round of the NCAA Tournament.
Preseason AP Poll: Teams Receiving Votes
The players who will be starting again for the team are G Saniya Rivers, who is 6-1 and a junior. She averaged 8.6 points per game, 5.2 rebounds per game, and had the most assists on the team with 91. The other returning starter is G Madison Hayes, who is 6-0 and a senior. She averaged 7.0 points per game, 3.8 rebounds per game, and had a 3-point shooting percentage of 36.4%.
New additions to the team include F Lizzy Williamson, a 6-5 graduate transfer from Southern Utah who was named the WAC defensive player of the year. She averaged 9.6 points, 10.0 rebounds, and 2.3 blocks per game. G Zoe Brooks, a 5-9 freshman, is also joining the team. She was ranked as the No. 4 guard and No. 9 overall player in the Class of 2023 by ESPN and was selected as a McDonald’s All-American. F Katie Peneueta, a 6-2 junior transfer from Sacramento State, is another new addition. She averaged 8.4 points, 5.8 rebounds, and 2.0 assists per game and had a 45.5% 3-point shooting percentage.
Notable departures: PG Diamond Johnson left to play for Norfolk State (averaging 12.3 points, 4.2 rebounds, shooting 36.2% from 3-point range, and making 77 assists); Jada Boyd (9.2 ppg, 4.6 rpg); Jakia Brown-Turner (9.1 ppg, 3.9 rpg) transferred to Maryland.
The first game of the season will be on November 7 against Charlotte and will be broadcasted on ACC Network.
Important out-of-conference matchups: On November 12th, facing UConn on ABC; On November 23rd, playing against Kentucky in St. Thomas on ESPN+; On November 29th, competing against Vanderbilt on the ACC Network.
NC State’s basketball team, the Wolfpack, has been on a winning streak in the ACC Tournament for the past three years (2020-2022). They were also able to achieve a regular-season/tournament title in 2022. However, their streak of being ranked in the top 25 for six consecutive years was stopped last year with an 8-8 conference record. Despite this, they still made it to the NCAA Tournament for the sixth year in a row under Moore’s leadership. The team has also made some key additions, including interior presence Williamson and shooting forward Peneueta. The Wolfpack’s top-10 recruiting class is led by Brooks, who is expected to be an influential point guard. In addition, NC State has had the last three Sixth Player of the Year winners, a fact that Moore appreciates as it brings a boost of energy and momentum to the team during games. Their focus is not on who starts the game, but rather on having a strong and dynamic bench.
They are expressing that they have recently updated their locker room and film room with a focus on teamwork. While personal achievements and recognition are important, the speaker wants their team to prioritize working together and fully buying into the team dynamic. They believe that losing oneself in the team leads to a more enjoyable experience and better overall results, including improved food and travel.
In Part II of their conversation, they stated, “She has a lot of talent. I believe she hasn’t fully recognized her own potential. Once she discovers it, the possibilities are limitless.” – Hayes commenting on Brooks.