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NC State Basketball

Scouting the Competition: Cincinnati Bearcats

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On Tuesday night NC State will travel to Cincinnati to face off against the Bearcats. Both teams will come in at 1-0, and having played pretty weak first opponents. So what can Pack fans expect in this young team’s first road game? First, let’s take a look at who they’ll be facing.

Player to Watch
Redshirt Senior Sean Kilpatrick returns to the Bearcats where a season ago he averaged 17ppg in 34.4 minutes. He’s a NBA hopeful, standing  at 6’4 and weighing in at 210lbs. A good sized guard who can attack the basket and can score from deep. Last season he  hit 82 3s, but only shot 30.7%. This year he’s going to be relied on even more as the Bearcats look to replace their next top 2 scorers from a year ago.

Style of Play
It will be interesting to see how Cincy attacks NC State. I’m sure they’re looking at the roster and salivating at the inexperienced backcourt that State puts out there, but in reality that’s where the Pack is the strongest. Mick Cronin, Cincy’s head coach, loves to play uptempo and will probably keep full court pressure on the Pack until they prove they can handle it. With Lewis, Barber and Lee all showing they can handle, I think State is going to be able to handle it fine. The only worry is that the Bearcats have pretty good length at the guard position and might be able to cause a few turnovers in the press.

How State can beat them…
Over the last few years it’s been the teams that have slowed down Cincinnati that have had the most success. This team loves to play helter-skeltor and wants the game to be as sloppy as possible. They’re physical, but they’re also not very disciplined and not very skilled overall. If the Wolfpack can really handle the press and slow down the Bearcats they’ll find it a lot easier on themselves. That being said, I don’t think Tyler Lewis and company would mind playing uptempo either. If they can beat the Bearcat press, then it might be off to the races where State excels.

How State could lose…
This on is pretty simple. If the young backcourt can’t handle the pressure or if the bigs just get out physicalled. I really think the true problem could be the latter. State hasn’t faced a team of real men yet and it’s going to be interesting to see how Washington and Freeman match up down low. It would be nice to have Vandy back for this one, but the Aussie is still out with a high ankle sprain. I think body-wise, Freeman could match some of the Cincy bigs, but the Wolfpack just is so young and inexperienced. If Cincy goes right at the State bigs, these guys could be in trouble.

Other players to watch:
Cincy isn’t just Kilpatrick. He’s the star, but Titus Rubles and Jermaine Sanders (both forwards) have shown the ability to score as well. They have a front line of 6’7, 6’7, 6’8 and they bring Sanders off the bench at 6’5. It will be touch and go for Gottfried on whether he wants to go big to defend their size, or he wants to go small to beat their pressure and get the quickness advantage. That is something to watch out for…

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Remember, game time is at 5pm because the game is in Cincy. Make sure to get off of work a little early and tune into ESPN for this one.

 

 

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NC State Basketball

Jersey Numbers for 2024-25 NC State Men’s Basketball Team Revealed

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The NC State Men’s Basketball team revealed the Jersey Numbers for their 2024-25 team yesterday.

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Numbers that are Staying the Same

Michael O’Connell – #12

Ben Middlebrooks – #34

Dennis Parker Jr. – #11

KJ Keatts – #13

Jordan Snell – #22

Numbers that have Changed

Jayden Taylor – #1 –> #8

Breon Pass – #10 –> #4

Numbers of New Players

Mike James – #0 (He wore #0 at Louisville last year)

Brandon Huntley-Hatfield – #1 (He wore #5 at Louisville last year)

Paul McNeil – #2 (He wore #2 in High School last year)

Dontrez Styles – #3 (He wore #0 at Georgetown last year)

Trey Parker – #5 (He wore #5 in High School last year)

Marcus Hill – #10 (He wore #0 at Bowling Green last year)

We don’t know what number Ismael Diouf will be wearing at NC State next year yet. 

 

 

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Kareem Richardson Promoted To Associate Head Coach at NC State

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RALEIGH, N.C. – NC State men’s basketball head coach Kevin Keatts announced Wednesday that assistant coach Kareem Richardson has been promoted to associate head coach effective immediately.

“I’m proud to promote Kareem to associate head coach,” Keatts said. “He is a valuable member of my staff and has really enhanced NC State both in his relationship with our players and staff, but also his ability to teach, scout and game plan. He is a well-rounded coach that has an impact on every facet of our program, and I feel fortunate to have him as part of my staff.”

The upcoming 2024-25 season will be Richardson’s third at NC State. The Pack has earned bids to the NCAA Tournament in both seasons Richardson has been on staff, including last season when NC State won the ACC Championship and advanced to the Final Four.

NC State has had three different guards (DJ Horne, Jarkel Joiner and Terquavion Smith) earn All-ACC honors under Richardson’s tutelage.

Richardson was previously head coach at UMKC for 2013-19 and has been an assistant coach at power conference programs such as Louisville, Xavier and Clemson in his 25-year coaching career.

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WATCH: Getting to Know NC State’s Dontrez Styles

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NC State Men’s Basketball is releasing videos helping fans get to know the new players on the 2024-25 roster.

Below is the video of Georgetown Transfer Forward Dontrez Styles (6’6″/212), with a transcript underneath.

I’m Dontrez Styles, a transfer from Georgetown University. I knew where I wanted to be. At the end of the day, I knew I wanted to come back home and play for a guy like Keatts. That was the main thing for me.

Being back home is amazing. My family can see me play every game now. An hour from Kinston, North Carolina. It’s a small city. I love it. Just growing there. A lot of great guys. A lot of great basketball players. My family is there. It’s my life.

I grew up in the Brandon Ingram era, so I went to every Kinston High School game. Just seeing him play motivated me to get in the gym and keep working. The grind has paid off.

It’s crazy. I would have never imagined this happening. It’s very rare for someone to go to North Carolina and NC State. Me being one of the first guys to do that, I believe it’s different, but I’m enjoying it so far. I can’t wait to get started.

Coach (Levi) Watkins recruited me when he was at Ole Miss. He’s been with me since my Sophomore year, I believe. Just having that relationship with them makes it easier every day.

Just being back, it’s going to be very fun, especially now. The hype is crazy. I can’t wait to be back home and get started, and hopefully win that National Championship.

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Styles was the 2nd leading scorer for Georgetown this past season, averaging 12.8 points per game, while grabbing 5.8 boards. He shot 36.8% from three.

Originally, Sytles was a consensus 4-Star prospect in UNC’s 2021 recruiting class. 247Sports ranked him as the #62 overall player nationally, and the #2 player in the state of North Carolina, playing for Kinston High School.

After two seasons with the Tar Heels, Styles entered the Portal, and took an Official Visit to NC State and Georgetown, and ultimately chose the Hoyas.

Styles will be spending his final year of eligibility with NC State.

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WATCH: Getting to Know NC State’s Mike James

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NC State Men’s Basketball is releasing videos helping fans get to know the new players on the 2024-25 roster.

Below is the video of Louisville Transfer Guard Mike James (6’5″/200), with a transcript underneath.

I last played at the University of Louisville. I spent three years there. Played two. Redshirted my first year because of injury. I enjoyed my time there, but all good things got to come to an end, and I’m here at North Carolina State. 

Entering the Portal is just like going through High School recruitment again. You’re getting your phone blown up every other hour, every single day. You’ve got to get on long phone calls. You’re kind of going through the process again, but this time, you kind of know what you want. You’ve been through College Basketball, so you know what questions to ask, what to expect, and you kind of just get straight to the point. I feel like the process was similar, but different this time. It went a lot quicker, and I knew exactly what I wanted. I want to win at the end of the day. Playing time is earned, and all that stuff. You’ve got to come in here and take care of that. 

Winning is very important, and I haven’t done that so far, but that’s the one thing I want to change about my college career. Seeing y’all go on that run was really appealing to me. 

I like to get to the basket. Draw fouls. Finish at the rim. Knock down shots on the perimeter. Defend 1-4 positions on the other end. 

I want to come in and win. I want to be a leader for our team. I’m an older guy now, so I want to be a leader. I want to come in and win another ACC Championship, and make another NCAA Tournament run. 

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This past year, James averaged 12.6 points per game (3rd on the team) and 5 rebounds. He’s extremely physical and aggressive, taking 47% of his field goal attempts at the rim (making 46%). As a result, he draws a lot of fouls, ranking 10th in the ACC in Fouls Drawn, and 4th in Free Throw Rate. James made opponents pay this year when they put him on the line, making 81.8% from the charity stripe, which ranked 15th in the ACC.

James shot the ball better as a Redshirt Freshman, than he did this past season. His Effective Field Goal Percentage in 2022-23 was 55.8%, which ranked 19th in the ACC, and his True Shooting Percentage of 59.6% ranked 14th.

News broke about James entering the Transfer Portal back on March 25th, and NC State was quick to reach out. Kevin Keatts and his staff recruited the former 4-star prospect out of high school heavily, but he ultimately chose the Cardinals.

After redshirting his first year in Louisville due to torn achilles, James has been a starter for the Cardinals the past two years.

He does have the ability to knock down a three, making 34.8% for his career.

James has 2 years of eligibility remaining.

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