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Wolfpack Basketball Notes: 10/29

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– Exhibition game this Wednesday 10/30
The Pack will take on UNC Pembroke at Reynolds Coliseum on Wednesday night at 7pm. Admission is free if you bring an unwrapped toy, which will be given to a local chapter of Toys for Tots.  The game will be your first chance to see State face off against a real opponent. It will also be the first chance to get some real questions answered. What is the starting 5? Which freshman have earned the most minutes? Who will be the 3rd scoring option?

– Warren and Lewis worked hard this offseason. 
We reported earlier in the summer that Tyler Lewis had put on considerable ‘good’ weight and that TJ Warren was working hard on thinning up. According to the WRAL, Lewis gained 15 pounds of muscle and Warren lost about 20lbs this offseason. This is really good news for State, because these guys need to be on the court for 35 min per game. These are the two guys that need to be in elite physical condition. Lewis’ game will never be about quicks, but added muscle and strength at the PG position goes a LONG way. In the ACC, refs allow defenders to ride the PG’s hip on drives. Just the very smallest amount off pressure on the hip can throw a drive to the basket off-course. This is why you usually see smaller, weaker guards flail on drives to try to draw attention to the slight contact, but rarely ever get the call. The reason you see them get so upset about it is because they’re used to getting that call in high school. Think Javi Gonzalez and Tyler Lewis at the beginning of last year. Added strength will allow Lewis to fight through this type of contact and get to where he needs to go against stronger guards. He also has added muscle to his shoulders, another must for ACC guards. This allows Lewis to muscle through contact on drives and initiate contact on contested layups.

As for Warren, the thinner frame will definitely help him get to the hoop quicker and attack the basket with a lot more ferocity, however I think Warren needs to continue to build muscle and keep his current weight on if he wants to be as effective as he wast last year in the post. Warren is never going to be a bouncy wingman who can take you off the dribble, beat you with his speed and dunk over your help D. He is very reliant on his footwork, his body control and his knowledge of positioning on the court. It’s easy to lose weight and tough to keep on muscle with all the cardio these guys are getting. It’s going to be important for them to stay in the weight room, drink a ton of water and eat lots and lots of lean protein throughout the season.

-Anya working harder and harder to get on the court
We were a little disappointed that Anya showed up to State a little overweight, and then we weren’t that impressed with his conditioning at the Red/White scrimmage. However, that might all be in the past for Beejay. We’ve been told that Anya has been the first one in the gym lately, showing up before many players wake up to get to the Dail Center and train. This morning, Beejay clocked in at 6:45am for his morning workout. If this becomes a season-long habit, you might see the big freshman really start to push his way into the lineup earlier than we thought. It’s always great to see a young kid with a hard work ethic and a great attitude and that’s what Anyay is starting to show. Maybe he’s the (eventual) answer to Richard Howell after all.

-Real leaders. A new concept for NC State. 
I found this article, from over a week ago, very interesting.  It’s a N&O piece by Joe Giglio that goes back and tries to really understand what happened to last years team. We’ve talked about it on here at times, but you never really want to call out a player in the middle of a season. These guys work so hard and really do try their best, so we try to respect that in our analysis. Remember, these are 19 year old kids we’re talking about.

With that said, this article was spot on. It had great quotes about the dynamics of the team that often isn’t talked about during the season. It had a lot of truths in it, and honestly backed up what a lot of people on the message boards said everyday. Last year, the teams problem was obviously the lack of leadership. There were giant egos that were not ‘team first’ and there were guys with alternative agendas.

No disrespect to CJ Leslie, but the guy wasn’t a true leader and according to this article the players looked to him for leadership. We hinted at this numerous times last season and felt like that teams identity was lost because of it. Again, no disrespect to Leslie, but a true team leader needs to be more in tune with his emotions and with the personalities of his teammates. He needs to know what the coach wants and what he is thinking without having to  look to the sideline every time down. Leadership isn’t something you just turn on one day, it’s something that you’re born with and personality trait that is nurtured throughout your youth. This year NC State finally has a real leader. Tyler Lewis may not be the oldest or wisest player on this roster, but he has the ability to lead. He is vocal, he is smart and he is not a me-first player. I think for the first time in a long, long time, you’re going to see a team that loves to play together and a group that has a ‘me against the world attitude.’ I, for one, am excited about that.

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NC State Basketball

Kevin Keatts Postgame Press Conference After Pitt: BULLETED

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NC State Head Coach Kevin Keatts met with the media in his postgame press conference after the Wolfpack lost their ACC opener to Pitt at home 60-68. You can watch it here, or check out a BULLETED breakdown below.

  • We didn’t play well or sharp offensively.
    • You can look at the numbers, and I think, at times because the ball wasn’t going in the hole for us, it affected us on the defensive end.
    • It was one of those gritty games where you’ve got to figure out how to win the game, especially when the ball isn’t going in.
    • Terquavion Smith carried us early in the game, but a couple of our guys never really got into a flow, and offensively we struggled.
    • When we struggled, I thought we gave up some easy baskets on the other end.
    • Obviously, today’s kids, when the ball is not going in offensively, sometimes it affects you on the defensive end.
    • It wasn’t our night offensively tonight.
  • When you look at our team, what’s made us special this year is that we’ve been consistent and have 4 guys in double figures, and tonight we didn’t have that.
  • We had some good play from DJ Burns. He came in and did a good job.
  • We’ve gotta get back in the gym and get better. We’ll work on some things.
  • I have to stand up, take accountability, and get us better on the offensive end, and we’ll figure out how to make some shots.
  • Not to take away from Pitt’s defense, I thought we missed shots.
    • Surely, give them credit because they won the game, and I thought it was a slugfest, and they won the game that way, but I just thought we missed a lot of easy shots that we normally would make.
  • I remember looking out there at the game as we played, and some of the shots that he [Joiner] normally would make, even his drives to the rim, he didn’t finish.
  • They [Pitt] did a good job getting back in transition. A lot of Casey’s [Morsell] shots have come with him running the floor and getting out in transition.
    • They stayed at home. When you’re shooting the ball as well as he is, they did a good job of staying at home.
    • The reason we got so many open looks to our post guys as we rolled, was because they stayed with our shooters a lot.
  • No [they didn’t take too many three’s], that’s who we are.
    • For example, I thought Jack Clark got some great looks.
      • None of them looked good as they came off.
    • Certainly, Terquavion was hot early from 3 and made some shots.
    • It was a weird night for us offensively, and we weren’t clicking as much as I’d hoped we would be.
    • Like I said, we’ve got to get back in the gym, and we’ve got to get some shots up.
  • We’ve got no choice. We’ve got to move on.
    • The great thing about this is that, while unfortunately we lost our ACC opener, we’ve got 19 more of them to play.
    • We’ve got to figure out how to get it back on the other end.
    • It doesn’t define us. It was a good game. Give Pitt credit.
    • We’ve just got to go to work and get ready for our next game and then our next one after that.
  • We hope we play better than we have been playing offensively.
    • You feel bad for our guys, because everything had gone well for them offensively this season.
    • We’ve had great numbers against great teams, when you talk about playing against Kansas, Butler, and Dayton, and tonight, for whatever reason, we didn’t shoot the ball well. We have to make each shot.
  • If you look back on all of Jarkel’s shots, he has taken those all year long.
    • He just missed some, and he is normally pretty good with his pull-up.
      • He didn’t make those, and typically, he would make it to the free-throw line, but he didn’t have many opportunities there.
      • He missed his three-point shots.
    • I know him, and many guys will get to the gym later on. It’s not a mandatory thing, but I know those guys, and they will be working on their shot.
  • We’ve got to flush it.
    • We have to figure out what we did offensively and get better defensively.
    • We have to get back to work and get ready for Coppin State.
  • Our home opener [ACC] here, we wanted to win it.
    • It’s an ACC game, and you know how important these are, but at the end of the day, you can’t put your head down.
    • We’ve got a lot more basketball to play. We have had a really great start to our season, and as I have told the guys in the locker room, don’t let one loss define us.
    • We didn’t let the Kansas loss define us. We moved on, and we’ve got to do the same thing with this one.
  • We’re very encouraging.
    • One thing about guys that miss shots that normally make them, they’re not trying to miss, and so we are trying to give them as much confidence as we can.
    • We’re asking them to do other things to affect the game.
    • One thing I told Jack [Clark], because he has been our best rebounder, was ‘go in there and get you an easy basket, or go in there and get you an offensive rebound.’
    • It’s something to get you going. It’s amazing how it works.
      • You get an easy basket, and then get to the free-throw line to make a shot. All of a sudden, you’ve got your shots going on.
    • I’m telling those guys to do a couple of other things to impact the game.

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NC State Basketball

Men’s Basketball: Pitt 68 NC State 60: ACCDN HIGHLIGHT REEL & CONDENSED GAME

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NC State lost their ACC opener to Pitt tonight in PNC Arena 60-68. You can check out the Box Score here. Below are the ACC Digital Network’s Highlight Reel and Condensed Game.

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NC State Basketball

Men’s Basketball: Pitt 68 NC State 60: BOX SCORE

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NC State fell in their ACC opener tonight at home against Pitt, losing to the Panthers 60-68.

Below is the Box Score.

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NC State Basketball

Men’s Basketball: NC State’s ACC Stat Leaders Heading into Conference Play

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NC State will enter ACC play tonight, hosting Pittsburgh at 7pm. Here’s a look at which Wolfpack players rank in the Top-10 in the ACC in individual statistical categories before tipoff.

Point Guard Jarkel Joiner ranks 3rd in the ACC in Scoring, averaging 17.3. Sophomore Guard Terquavion Smith averages 16.1, which ranks 8th.

Dusan Mahorcic ranks 9th in Rebounds per game, averaging 7.3.

Mahorcic leads the ACC in Field Goal Percentage, making 65.3% of his Field Goal Attempts. Guard Casey Morsell ranks 10th, shooting 53.9%.

Joiner also ranks 8th in Free Throw Percentage, making 85%.

Morsell is shooting an insane 53.2% from deep, and has shot 14 more threes than Hunter.

Smith is tied for 2nd in the ACC in Assists per game, averaging 5.3.

Jack Clark is tied for the lead in Steals per game, averaging 2.13.

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