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OUR TAKE: NC State impressive in win over Northwestern

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BOXSCORE: NC State 69 – Northwestern 48

Gottfried Press Conference Audio

This NC State team is really starting to gel. After a few bumps in the road early on, Gottfried has finally gotten his guys to settle in to their roles and play good basketball. All of this was apparent last night when the Pack took down a pretty decent Chris Collins coached Northwestern team, 69-48.

Sure, it’s nice to see them beat a Big 10 team by 21, but the real thing to focus on is how they won. For the first time since the Hodge, Atsur, Evtimov days NC State is playing as a team. They’re playing together. There is no ego or jealously. There is no one hunting points or trying to do too much. Watch after great passes or made baskets. For the first time in a long time we’re seeing genuine teamwork. Guys pointing at other guys, telling them nice pass, or great shot. I know team chemistry is a much debated topic on the forums. Is chemistry that important or does it come down to talent? Well, we’ve seen first hand for the past 10 years that talent without teamwork is worthless. This year is different, and it was on display last night.

Here are a few of our takeaways from last night:

– State looked amazing in almost every aspect of the game. They locked down on defense, playing great help and recover, they denied passes and they didn’t give up many open looks, holding the Wildcats to 25% shooting (they also forced 11 turnovers).  They attacked the glass and won the battle of the boards 39-37. They took good shots and knocked down open looks on their way to a 46% shooting night. They took care of the basketball, turning it over only 5 times. It was a very nice all around win and wonderful team showing by NC State.

TJ Warren has taken it to the next level. Last year we saw him start to understand that he could really score on this stage. Then this year, early on, he showed that he had added to his arsenal, trimmed down his body and still could score at the same clip. Now, he’s taken it up a notch. Warren has become State’s leader. He’s become their go-to guy and he’s embracing that role. He’s looking more and more comfortable attacking when the team needs him to. But, the real key here is not how many points Warren is putting up, but it’s how he’s doing it. He’s not an ego maniac who’s worried about keeping his average up or making sure he’s the guy on Sportscenter the next day. Warren is picking up his guys, sharing the ball, and making everyone feel comfortable playing with him. He’s playing hard, smart and team basketball and it’s trickling down to the rest of the guys. If Warren keeps  playing this way, this team could be special.

Cat Barber and Tyler Lewis showed us that they can coexist. This was one major area of concern for me coming in. I wasn’t sure how Lewis would take the fact that Barber had won the starting job over him.  Early on, and even early in last night’s game, Lewis was trying to prove his worth by trying to score a little more. He has been taking a few questionable shots and kind of altering his game a little bit. Lewis is not and never will be a ‘force the issue’ scorer. He’s more of a ‘take what you give me scorer.’ I think Lewis realized last night how to earn major minutes and co-exist with Barber. He needs to create havoc off the dribble and find the open man. That’s his strength. It might not be the most exciting role, but it’s a very important one and one Lewis is very good at. Lewis was on point once he started doing this last night. He was an assist machine, dealing out 7 on the game in only 16 minutes. Barber also played well. He had 7 points and 5 assists. He’s going to play a lot of minutes and he’s a guy that has really won his PT with his defense and his athleticism. If he keeps playing smart ball he’s going to keep the starting job, but Lewis is a major player for State as well. If both guys can embrace their roles, State becomes that much harder to beat. I think last night was a huge step forward.

Lennard Freeman is a pleasant surprise. This kid has come in without much fanfare and simply earned minutes. He’s slowly but surely coming around offensively, but that’s not why Gott runs him out there. The kid put up his first double-double with 10 points and 10 boards. He is battling so hard every minute of every game. I’m not going to say he’s replaced the gap left by Richard Howell, but he’s the youngest guy on the team. He has a lot of time to grow and if he keeps on his current trajectory he might become Richard Howell with more athleticism.

Ralston Turner is starting to find his place as well. He’s becoming a shooter/defender type role player who has the skills to really impact a game if he’s hitting. Last night he was hitting. Turner 4-8 and 3-7 from 3 point range for 13 points. Add in the fact that he can defend and you have yourself a really good piece of the puzzle. Turner is going to be huge against the zone for State. In the 2nd half last night he really came in and ruined everything NW was trying to do.

Vandenberg is king. I’m so happy for this kid. He’s worked his tail off and been so loyal to this program and he’s finally reaping the rewards. Look, face the facts, Vandy has the chance to be one of the ACC’s best bigs. He’s scoring on the break, scoring a bit on the blocks, but his real worth has been on defense in the middle. He’s altering a ton of shots, blocking some and throwing around his weight on the boards. He finished with 12 points, 3 boards, but added 5 blocks last night. He’s been the key piece in State’s surge over the past 3 games since his return.

 

Next up is a struggling Long Beach State team who has played a really tough schedule up to this point. That game is Saturday at 2pm on ESPN3.

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NC State Basketball

Matt Chazanow Joins NC State as New Voice of the Wolfpack

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RALEIGH, N.C. – NC State Director of Athletics Boo Corrigan and Learfield’s Wolfpack Sports Properties, have announced that Matt Chazanow has been named the Wolfpack’s Director of Broadcasting and will serve as the play by play announcer for football and men’s basketball. The veteran broadcaster was chosen for the coveted role following a national search that included more than 150 applicants.

“I’m so excited to welcome Matt Chazanow as our new ‘Voice of the Wolfpack,’” said Corrigan. “Chaz understands that this role isn’t only about calling games, but about bringing special moments and memories to Wolfpack fans of all ages. While he is a very talented radio announcer, he will also be a great representative of our university, our brand, and our culture.

“I also want to thank Gary Hahn for his period of service to NC State. There are generations of NC State fans that have memories of Gary calling their favorite Wolfpack plays, and he will always be a part of Wolfpack Nation.”

Chazanow becomes just the fifth play by play announcer since the Wolfpack Sports Network was formed in 1961. He replaces Gary Hahn, who was behind the microphone for 34 years, and will also enjoy a variety of additional roles for NC State and Learfield in Raleigh.

Hailing from Westfield, N.J., Chazanow joins the Wolfpack after serving as the Director of Broadcast Operations for Learfield at Washington State since 2015.  During his tenure in Pullman, he served as the play-by-play broadcaster for Cougar football, basketball and baseball, hosted and designed weekly hour-long coaches shows, and created and hosted videos and podcasts. He also coordinated efforts with sales staff and helped with donor relations.

“I am so thrilled for this incredible opportunity,” said Chazanow.  “The passion and power of the Pack is renowned in college athletics and to be entrusted to take the baton from Gary Hahn and tell the stories of NC State is truly humbling. I can’t wait to get started.”

Chazanow has also served as a national play by play voice for Westwood One Radio (since 2022) and Learfield (since 2008), covering football, men’s basketball, baseball and the NCAA Regional semifinals and finals for women’s basketball. Much of his national work has been covering ACC and SEC games.

No stranger to the state of North Carolina, Chazanow’s years of experience include seven years as Learfield’s Senior Network Manager based out of Winston-Salem. In that role, he managed the network broadcasts for eight schools (Arizona, Cal, Gonzaga, Oregon, Texas, UCLA, Washington and Washington State).

“An established voice in the broadcasting world, Chaz will bring a wealth of experience and knowledge to the Wolfpack Sports Network,” said Kyle Winchester, General Manager of Wolfpack Sports Properties. “We’re delighted for him to join our world-class team and lead our coverage of the Wolfpack starting this season.”

A 2006 graduate of the Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse, Chazanow began his career as the play by play announcer for High Point women’s basketball, ironically calling his first game in Reynolds Coliseum as HPU faced Kay Yow’s Wolfpack. He also worked briefly for UNC Greensboro before being hired by ISP (now Learfield).

Chazanow is married to the former Ashley Randleman, a native of Jonesville, N.C., and they have a three-year-old son, Nathan. Ashley won two state volleyball titles in Reynolds Coliseum while playing for Starmount High School in 2003 and 2004.

About Learfield 

Learfield is a diversified and influential media and technology company powering college athletics. Through its digital and physical platforms, Learfield owns and leverages a deep data set and relationships in the industry to drive revenue, growth, brand awareness, and fan engagement for brands, sports, and entertainment properties. With ties to over 1,200 collegiate institutions and over 12,000 local and national brand partners, Learfield’s presence in college sports and live events delivers influence and maximizes reach to target audiences. With solutions for a 365-day, 24/7 fan experience, Learfield enables schools and brands to connect with fans through licensed merchandise, game ticketing, donor identification for athletic programs, exclusive custom content, innovative marketing initiatives, NIL solutions, and advanced digital platforms. Since 2008, it has served as title sponsor for the acclaimed Learfield Directors’ Cup, supporting athletic departments across all divisions.

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NC State Basketball

NC State Women’s Basketball will Host Ole Miss in the ACC/SEC Challenge in 2024

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The NC State Women’s Basketball team will host Ole Miss in the 2024 ACC/SEC Challenge in 2024 on Thursday, December 5th.

The Rebels are ranked 23rd in ESPN’s Way-Too-Early 2024 Preseason Top-25 rankings.

NC State is 3-1 all-time against Ole Miss, in a series that dates back to 1979. The last time the two teams played was in 2008, when the Wolfpack defeated the Rebels 46-42 in Reynolds Coliseum.

Last season the Wolfpack defeated Vanderbilt 70-62 in the inaugural ACC/SEC Challenge.

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NC State Will Host Texas in the 2024 Men’s Basketball ACC/SEC Challenge

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NC State’s Men’s Basketball team will host Texas in the 2024 ACC/SEC Challenge.

This will mark the 5th time that the Wolfpack and the Longhorns play one another. The series is split down the middle currently, with each team winning 2 games each.

The Longhorns could be right on the edge of being a Preseason Top-25 heading into next year.

NC State’s 2024-25 Non-Conference Strength of Schedule is shaking out to be pretty impressive. The Wolfpack will be playing in the Rady Children’s Invitational Tournament, which will feature Purdue, BYU and Ole Miss. Purdue was the National Runner-Up last year, and will likely be a Preseason Top-15 team. Ole Miss is ranked in the Top-25 in ESPN’s Way-Too-Early Preseason Top-25.

NC State will be also be playing at Kansas next season, and the Jayhawks are likely going to the Preseason #1 team.

Also, a game against Marquette might be in the works next year, which would be a rematch from their Sweet 16 matchup this past season. The Golden Eagles are likely a Preseason Top-15 team.

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NC State Basketball

NC State’s Career 3-Point Leader Scott Wood Named Head Varsity Boys Basketball Coach at Broughton

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Former NC State 3-Point Specialist Scott Wood (2009-13) has been named the Head Varsity Boys Basketball Coach at Broughton High School in Raleigh.

Wood holds the school record for most games played (138), games started (136), career minutes (4,318) and career 3-point field goals (334).

After graduating NC State, Wood went on to play professional ball overseas for 6 seasons (2013-2020), playing in Spain (3 years), Turkey, France & Montenegro. He also played one year (2016-17) in the G-League with the Santa Cruz Warriors. In 2017, he won the 3-Point Competition at the G-League’s All-Star Weekend.

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