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OUR TAKE: NC State Squeaks By Detroit 82-79



NC State 82 – Detroit 79

Mark Gottfried Press Conference:


NC State narrowly escaped a late game loss when their 18 point lead disappeared down the stretch. Luckily they got some unexpected production from a few key guys and came away with a 82-79 win.

TJ Warren dropped 29 points to lead State. Another game, another huge scoring output for this kid. He was pretty unstoppable against Detroit and was able to make a ton of tough shots that took the air out of the Titans sails a few times. It’s looking more and more like when the dust settles, TJ is going to find himself atop the ACC in scoring and believe me, NBA scouts are taking note.

State needs to improve on defense. Detroit shot 46% on the night and a lot of that was them just taking the ball to the rack and no one stopping them. I’m not sure if the the guys felt like they had the game in hand or if they were just not all that ready to play after the week layoff, but the D wasn’t pretty and against ACC opponents it’s going to cost them. The help-side defense was pretty nonexistent and when it was there, it was late. This led to some foul trouble, which led to some key guys sitting some key minutes. State must get better here if they want to compete.

Too many turnovers for this team. With the talent level and overall athleticism of this team, there is some room for mistakes, but not a great deal. For instance, overcoming 15 turnovers is not something this team is going to be able to do constantly. They did it against Detroit, but it was thanks to huge offensive production from Warren and Turner.

Cat Barber needs to stay on the court. Don’t get me wrong, Lewis played well. he finished with 6 points and 7 assists, but State needs Barber defensively. He only got 16 minutes in this one thanks to foul trouble and I think that is why Detroit’s dribble penetration was so effective. This team needs Tyler Lewis AND Cat Barber, but 26 minutes of Lewis and 16 of Barber probably isn’t your perfect balance. Barber finished with 4 points, 4 assists and 4 fouls.

– Ralston Turner was on FIRE. There was a stretch there when the guy couldn’t miss. He came off the bench to drop 21 points on 6-8 from 3pt range. Detroit wanted to rely on their zone but Turner’s shooting was putting a damper on that plan. Now, he’s not going to shoot like this every time out, but if he can come anywhere close to this then he’d be doing a pretty nice job of trying to replace Scott Wood. Teams in the ACC are watching right now and if you are making a blueprint to beat the Wolfpack then you are coming out in zone. Ralston is trying to make teams rethink that strategy.

– State couldn’t get much going inside, but it was nice to see Kyle Washington start to gain some confidence (8 points, 6 boards) and  Lennard Freeman continues his onslaught of the boards. This guy is a rebounding machine. Sure, he didn’t score, but he scooped up 9 more boards.

Dez Lee will come around. He’s kind of struggling with his shot right now, but he’s doing a great job on defense. I think when he gets in the groove and starts settling into the level of basketball, he’s going to produce a lot more on offense. Against the Titans he had 9 points and showed flashes of what he’s capable of.

– This is a disciplined team that is doing things the right way. Hey, it’s hard to ask for much more from such a young team. They’re playing together, they’re playing smart, and they’re fun to watch. This is one of the more enjoyable teams the Pack has trotted out there in a long time. There is no attitudes or egos, and they’re playing the game right.

Against Detroit it wasn’t the offense that was hurting. State scored 82 points. They shot 50%, but only knocked down 66% from the foul line. Detroit is not a bad team, so hanging 82 on them is nothing to scoff at. When TJ can get another scorer backing him up, State is very dangerous offensively.

Next game is a real test as the Wolfpack travel to Tennessee on Dec 18 at 7pm on ESPNU. The Vols have beaten Xavier and Wake already and narrowly lost to #12 Wichita State.

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NC State Basketball

Here is the 2024 ACC Women’s Basketball Tournament Bracket



The bracket for the 2024 ACC Women’s Basketball Tournament is here. The 10th ranked NC State is the #2 seed in the tournament, and their first game will be on Friday at 5pm on ACC Network.


The Wolfpack will play the winner of the Duke (7 seed) vs. Georgia Tech (10 seed)/Pitt (15 seed).

NC State defeated Pitt 83-47 on February 11th, and they defeated Georgia Tech 86-85 on February 18th.

The Wolfpack lost to Duke 58-69 on February 25th. NC State entered the game as 1.5-point favorites, but ended up losing in enemy territory.

Georgia Tech defeated Pitt 68-58 on January 7th. Duke defeated both Georgia Tech and Pitt this season, defeating the Yellow Jackets 84-46 on January 14th, and the Panthers on 69-38 on February 1st.

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NC State Basketball

There is Reason to be Frustrated



If you are an NC State fan, it’s only reasonable that you’re frustrated with the state of the Men’s Basketball program.

Under Kevin Keatts, NC State has gone to the NCAA Tournament twice in 7 seasons. The Wolfpack didn’t win a game in the Big Dance in either of those appearances.

Keatts has led NC State to a 3-5 record in the ACC Tournament, failing to reach the semifinals a single time.

You could make an argument that his first season in Raleigh was his best (I don’t think it was), because the Wolfpack finished 5th in the ACC, which is the highest the team has finished in the conference under his watch.

2017-18 – 5th
2018-19 – 8th
2019-20 – 6th
2020-21 – 9th
2021-22 – 15th
2022-23 – 6th
2023-23 – 9th (currently)

Average finish: 8.3

(For context, in 6 seasons, Mark Gottfried’s average finish was 8.7.)

Over the past 7 seasons, NC State has been ranked in the Top-25 in only 8 polls (2 separate seasons), with the highest being on January 7th, 2019, when the Wolfpack were ranked 15th.

Under Gottfried, NC State was ranked in 13 polls (all one season). With Herb Sendek at the helm, the Wolfpack were ranked in the Top-25 in 5 different seasons, in a total of 35 polls.

Do I think Kevin Keatts is the worst coach at NC State in recent memory? No, that award goes to Sydney Lowe. In all reality, NC State’s record overall and in conference play is nearly identical under Keatts, as it was under Mark Gottfried and Herb Sendek.

Kevin Keatts – 58.3/48.3
Mark Gottfried – 58.9/45.3
Herb Sendek – 59.1/45.0

What’s the difference between Keatts and the other two?

A couple of observations.

Sendek finished his time at NC State with 5 consecutive NCAA Tournament appearances, and Gottfried started off his tenure with 4 consecutive NCAA Tournament appearances. The Wolfpack advanced to the 2nd round 3 times, and the Sweet 16 once under Sendek. Under Gottfried, they advanced to the 2nd round twice.

Sendek led NC State to the ACC Championship game 3 times (in 10 years), and the semifinals 4 times. Gottfried led the Wolfpack to the semifinals on 3 occasions. Heck, Sidney Lowe led NC State to the ACC Championship game once, and the semifinals on another occasion.

Is the NC State Men’s Basketball program worse off under Keatts than it was under the previous coaches? If you simply look at total wins and losses, that’s not necessarily the case, but when you look at the Wolfpack’s production in postseason play, there is no other answer besides ‘yes.’

Every now and then you have to be willing to eat crow. Years ago, I was of the opinion that Herb Sendek needed to go. Do I think that Sendek would have brought NC State back to where it was in the 80’s? I didn’t think it then, and I’m not certain my opinion on that has changed, but the past 20 years has proven to me that the grass isn’t always greener.

Call me nostalgic, but from a historical perspective, I believe NC State fans have right to expect their Men’s Basketball program to be successful…to consistently be ranked in the Top-25…to finish in the top half of the ACC…compete for conference championships…and go to the Big Dance on a regular basis.

There is reason to be frustrated.

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NC State Basketball

Madison Hayes Will Be Returning for Her Final Year of Eligibility in 2024-25



Last night NC State Guard Madison Hayes was honored on Senior Night, but she also announced that she would be returning in 2024-25 for her final year of eligibility. She was honored alongside Center River Baldwin and Forward Mimi Collins, who are both out of eligibility after this season.

Hayes is in the midst of a breakout season this year, averaging 11.7 points and 7.0 rebounds per game, which are both career highs. She ranks 3rd on the team in scoring, behind the other two Guards in the starting lineup, Aziaha James and Saniya Rivers, who will also be back in 2024-25. Even though she is a Guard, Hayes leads the Wolfpack in rebounding. Her 44.1% Field Goal Percentage is the best of any of the Wolfpack Guards, and her Three Point Percentage of 41.7% is the best on the squad.

As a Senior in high school, Hayes was named a McDonald’s All-American in 2020, and she earned a spot on the All SEC Freshman team in 2021 as a member of Mississippi St. In 2021-22, she transferred to NC State, and played in 26 games off the bench, but earned a spot in the starting lineup last season.

Big news for the Wolfpack Women’s Basketball program!


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NC State Basketball

NC State 64 #9 Duke 79: BOX SCORE



#9 Duke defeated NC State 79-64 in PNC Arena this evening. With one game remaining for the Wolfpack in the regular season, they are now 17-13 overall, and 9-10 in ACC play. Below is the Box Score.

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