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Scouting the Competition: #25 Missouri Tigers



The looming Saturday matchup with #25 Missouri is going to be a huge test for this young Wolfpack team. This is their first run in with a ranked opponent and will be playing their first game after a week long layoff for Christmas.

This is also a huge game here at See, my wife is a Missouri grad and a die-hard Tigers fan. After years of rooting for Missouri as my second favorite college team, I will be turning my back on them this weekend.

The good news, however, is that I’m going to be able to give you the most in-depth Missouri preview possible, thanks to the fact that I’ve watched every minute of nearly every game over the past 4 season. With that said, let’s get into it.


Players to Watch
You might remember this team from last year. They were powered by the do-it all point guard Phil Pressey, who has since left for the NBA. This year they’re back with a tandem of dangerous guards in Jabari Brown and Jordan Clarkson. These two guys are both big, fast scoring guards. Clarkson (6’5, 193 lbs) leads the team in scoring at 19 ppg, while Brown (6’5, 215lbs) adds 18 ppg.

Clarkson is a Tulsa transfer who loves to slash. He is taller than most point guards and is very quick for his size. He makes a living slashing and scoring at the rim. He’s very good in transition, but he’s not a deadly outside shooter. State is going to be outmatched size-wise, but can still slow Clarkson by keeping him out of the lane and making him settle for 3s.

Brown, on the other hand, is more of a shooter. He’s hitting 42% of his 3s (which is the same as Ralston Turner for State) and he’s shooting a lot of them. This guy is a lot more physical than Clarkson and has the ability to drive and attack when he wants to. Brown will likely draw Dez Lee, who will need to go over top of screens to stop open looks from the perimeter, but will need the bigs to hedge and help because he’s almost as dangerous when he catches the ball going towards the rim.


– Style and Pace
This is a Frank Haith team. You probably remember Haith from his days at Miami, where he was always running out a lot of good athletes, but year after year his teams lacked discipline. Well, not much has changed. This Missouri team is as talented as they come, but if they’re not hitting their shots, they can get sloppy. They like to play at a pretty hectic pace and would rather not set up in the half court if they can avoid it. The same can be said about NC State, so be ready for a track meet when these teams collide on Saturday night. 


– A Look at the Numbers
Missouri and NC State are really pretty even when you look at the numbers. Missouri averages 78 ppg to NC State’s 77 ppg. The Tigers are a little better on the boards, pulling down 40 rebounds per game to the Wolfpack’s 37. Both teams average 5 steals per game, and State averages 5 blocks to Mizzou’s 4. These teams are only 2 assists apart per game with the Pack at 14 and the Tigers at 12. Both teams also shoot 49% for the season.

Here are a few areas where the numbers differ and how they could affect the game:

• Missouri is a better shooting team from beyond the arc and from the free throw line. They shoot 37% from 3 and 71% from the line, while NC State only shoots 31% from 3 and 66% from the line.

• NC State protects the basketball better. Even though this team is young, they have done a great job at taking care of the ball and really cherishing possessions. State turns it over only 10 times per game, while Mizzou turns it over 14 times. Their main culprits are their guards, Jordan Clarkson and Jabari Brown, both of whom are over 2.5 TOs per game. Only Cat Barber (freshman) turns it over more than twice a game for State.


– Who are their Role Players?
It’s very likely that this basketball game comes down to the team that has the better role players. Sure, Brown and Clarkson will get theirs, but who steps up after that?
Mizzou isn’t as deep as they once were. Even though Haith likes to run out 10 or 11 guys per game, it’s usually to Missouri’s detriment. This is a team with a lot of transfers and a lot of young guys that simply hasn’t gotten to the chance to gel quite yet. In my opinion, the reason for this is Haith never letting a group get comfortable together. He’s constantly subbing and trying new combinations. I’d like to think that this is due to the season being young and him still getting to know his team, but he’s been doing this for years at Miami and now at Missouri. While State does have to game plan for a lot of different guys and combinations, Missouri really only has 6 or 7 guys that are actually dangerous and game changing. Here are some of their ‘glue guys’ that State should plan for:


Earnest Ross (14 ppg / 6 rpg) – You might remember this kid from the local papers in Raleigh. He was a standout at Panther Creek HS and was lightly recruited by Sidney Lowe. He ended up at Auburn and like most of this Missouri team, transferred in after a couple years. This kid has massive shoulders, stands 6’5 and slots in as a guard. Honestly though, Ross isn’t as dangerous as it might seem. He’s a real hustle guy and a true streak shooter, but he doesn’t move that well laterally and he doesn’t really elevate to the rim well. That being said, he can get hot from 3. On the break he likes to drift to the corner for the kick-out 3 ball. His game reminds me a lot of former NC State wingman Courtney Fells. He’s big, athletic, hustles and can really lock down on defense, but he just hasn’t quite seemed to put it all together. Now don’t get me wrong, Ross is a factor for this team. He plays at break neck speed, rebounds well and defends really well, but he’s just a little out of control overall.


• Jonathan Williams III (7 ppg / 8 rpg)- Williams is a freshman big who has come in and really taken the lead in the Missouri front court. He’s 6’9 and weighs in at 210lbs. He’s not a beast by any means, but he’s a fighter on the blocks and he’s pretty quick down there. He was always pegged to be pretty good, a 4 star who ranked #35 in his class according to


• Outside of those guys, Missouri has guys like Tony Criswell who is a decent big who can float out and hit a few mid-range jumpers and can get physical inside when he puts his mind to it, Wes Clark, a talented but short freshman guard who is still looking to break out, and Ryan Rosberg, a 6’10 sophomore big who plays a lot like former Wolfpacker Ben McCauley in the middle.  All three of those guys have a ton of potential but seem to be held back by Haith’s style of play and his constant subbing patterns.




Overall, NC State and Missouri are very, very evenly matched. They are both young and exciting teams that like to play a break-neck speeds. It’s going to be a true battle this Saturday night at the PNC. Make sure you’re tuned in…
NC State Wolfpack vs Missouri Tigers
Saturday, 8pm | PNC Arena Raleigh

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NC State Basketball

NC State’s Terquavion Smith Will Forgo His Remaining College Eligibility & Declare for NBA Draft



Well, it’s official. NC State Sophomore Terquavion Smith will forgo his remaining two years of college eligibility and officially declare for the 2023 NBA Draft.

Here’s what Smith had to say to ESPN’s Jonathan Givony regarding his decision.

“I’m forgoing my college eligibility and going all the way in,” Smith said. “I’m thankful for everything the NC State coaching staff and fans have done for me. This is the right decision for me to take care of my family.”

“I showed a lot of different things this year,” Smith said. “Teams wanted to see me be more of a point guard, making the right play, making the right decisions. They wanted to see me improve my finishing, and I increased that. I showed I can be a leader.”

“I improved my grades. I’m a year closer to getting my degree now. You only get one chance to be a college student and get that college vibe. There was no rush for me. I’m ready to contribute to an NBA team now.”

“I’m feeling good about everything now,” Smith said. “I came back to do what I needed to do. I feel like I did everything the right way. I know what’s coming now in the pre-draft process because I’ve been there already and know what to expect. I’ll be a lot more confident in myself now. It’s going to be a straight grind.” (ESPN)

Smith earned 2nd Team All-ACC honors this year, averaging 17.9 points and 4.1 assists per game.

He currently ranks 30th on ESPN’s Top-100 2023 NBA Draft Prospect Rankings. In most NBA Mock Drafts, Smith is projected as a late first round pick.

Smith’s career scoring average of 17.1 ranks 8th in school history. He made 187 three point shots in two seasons, ranking 8th all-time in NC State history. His 96 made three-pointers last year are the most ever by a Freshman in school history, and his 91 made three-pointers made this year are the most ever by a Sophomore.

If Smith goes on to be taken in the 1st round of the 2023 NBA Draft, it will be the first person to do so from NC State since Dennis Smith Jr. was taken 9th overall in 2017. If Smith is taken in the first round, the would become the 17th player in school history to do so.

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NC State’s Men’s Basketball 2022-23 Season: BY THE NUMBERS



NC State’s Men’s Basketball 2022-23 season has come and gone, and I thought we should take a moment to look back on this season BY THE NUMBERS.

  • NC State finished the season with a 23-11 overall record.
    • The 23 wins are the 2nd most of the Kevin Keatts era.
      • In 2018-19, the Wolfpack had 24 wins (2 in the NIT)
  • The Wolfpack had 22 regular season wins.
    • This was the most regular season wins since 2012-13.
  • NC State had 12 ACC regular season wins.
    • This is the most conference wins since they increased the slate of conference games to 20 in 2019-20.
    • It’s the most conference wins since 1973-74, when the Wolfpack was 12-0 in ACC play. Obviously this stat is not representative of the best conference performance by NC State since 1973-74, because they played significantly more conference games than years past.
  • The Wolfpack’s winning percentage in ACC play was 60%, which is the 2nd highest winning percentage in conference play under Kevin Keatts.
    • In his first season in 2017-18, the Wolfpack’s ACC winning percentage was 61.1%.
  • NC State shot 45% from the field this season;.
    • This is the 2nd to worst shooting season under Kevin Keatts, trailing only 41.3% last year.
  • The Wolfpack shot 34.7% from three-point range.
    • That number is the 4th best in 6 seasons under Kevin Keatts.
  • NC State shot 72.2% from the free-throw line.
    • This is the 2nd best number under Kevin Keatts (72.5% last year was the best year).
  • For the first time since 2018-19, NC State won the rebounding margin over their opponents on the year.
    • It was the 2nd highest rebounding margin under Kevin Keatts, with +1.7 margin. (In 2018-19, the margin was +4.3)
  • NC State averaged 77.7 points per game, which is the third highest number under Kevin Keatts, but the highest since 2018-19.
  • The Wolfpack forced 477 turnovers, which is the 3rd highest total under Kevin Keatts, and the most since 2018-19.
    • NC State only committed 320 turnovers, which is the lowest total under Keatts (328 in 2020-21, which was a shortened season, was the lowest before.)
  • NC State held opponents to a 44.5% field goal percentage, which is the lowest since 2019-20, and the third lowest under Keatts.
  • The Wolfpack held opponents to 31.6% from three, which is tied for the 2nd lowest percentage under Keatts.
  • NC State had 434 assists, which is tied for the 3rd most in a season under Keatts.
  • The Wolfpack had 152 blocks, which is the most in a single season under Keatts.
  • NC State finished ranked 51 in KenPom’s

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UNC Transfer Dontrez Styles Expected to Visit NC State Soon



UNC Guard/Forward Transfer Dontrez Styles (6’6″/210) is expected to be visiting NC State soon. According to a source, he was expected to take an unofficial visit tomorrow, but it has been rescheduled to Monday.

Styles entered the Transfer Portal on March 17th.

Over the past two seasons, Styles has seen limited action for the Tar Heels, averaging 5.9 minutes in 45 total games (15 this season).

Styles is no stranger to NC State. He played high school for Kinston (Kinston, NC), and was offered by Kevin Keatts. Styles was a consensus 4-Star prospect coming out of High School. 247Sports ranked him as the #62 overall player nationally in the 2021 recruiting class, and the #2 player in the state of North Carolina.

ON3 ranks Styles as the #21 player currently in the Transfer Portal.

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All-AAC Temple Transfer Damian Dunn Visiting NC State this Weekend



According to a source, Temple All-AAC Transfer Shooting Guard Damian Dunn (6’5″/195) was expected to be at NC State today on an unofficial visit.

Dunn entered the Transfer Portal on March 20th.

Dunn averaged 15.3 points per game this season, earning 3rd Team All-AAC honors. He shot 41.1% from the field this season, and 34.8% from three-point land.

In 2021-22, he led the Owls in scoring (14.9), and earned 2nd Team All-AAC honors.

Dunn originally is from Kinston, North Carolina, but played his Senior season of High School for Meadowcreek in Georgia, finishing his high school career as a 3-star prospect.

With the almost guaranteed loss of Terquavion Smith, NC State will be in need for a dynamic scorer, and Dunn has proven that he can do just that at the collegiate level.

Currently, Dunn is the 16th ranked player in the Transfer Portal according to ON3.

Dunn is a Redshirt Sophomore this season, with 2 years of eligibility remaining.


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