Connect with us

NC State Basketball

Backs Against the Wall as State Visits VT

Published

on

NC State at Virginia Tech
2pm | Cassell Coliseum | RSN/ESPN3

The Wolfpack are on their last legs today as they take on last place Virginia Tech at 2pm.

After a heartbreaking loss to Syracuse and the debacle at Clemson, NC State’s tournament hopes are bleak, but not completely gone. Winning out would certainly give State a great shot at getting an at-large bid, but that means winning today against Virginia Tech. Now sure, the Hokies are only 2-11, but remember, we just saw a 2-10 Boston College team knock off undefeated Syracuse just a few days ago and this State team isn’t exactly setting the world on fire right lately. So, let’s take a closer look at the keys to the game.

Must stop Jarell Eddie
Yep, Eddie is still at Virginia Tech even though it seems like he’s been there a full century. Now a senior he’s leading their team in scoring at 13 point per game. At 6’7 he’s a wing guy that can cause some matchup problems for some teams. However, I think State matches up well with guys like this. They did a good job shutting down the 6’8 CJ Fair and then really didn’t give up much to the 6’6 KJ McDaniels at Clemson.

Guards need to get their act together
Coming into the season you’d have probably though NC State would have most of their trouble inside. With a group of freshmen and Jordan Vandenberg manning the middle, it didn’t seem like this would be an area of strength. We’re not 3/4 of the way through the season and the Wolfpack bigs are really the story of this team. Warren of course is their go-to guy, but Washington, Freeman, Anya and Vandy have provided a huge lift and really haven’t been dominated since early in the season. Where State is getting killed is at guard. Lewis, Barber and Lee are all really struggling right now. Lewis is playing smart, but just isn’t able to defend bigger, strong guards. Barber is playing hard but is still suffering from freshmen brain cramps and his decision making at the point, while Lee has simply gone missing. Dez hasn’t been aggressive and hasn’t played with that type of fire and explosiveness we saw early in the season.

Really your biggest problem of all is that these guys are shooting worse from 3 than any guard group we’ve ever seen. Combined they are only knocking down 22% from beyond the arc. This on it’s own is crippling the Wolfpack’s ability to compete against the zone on most nights. What’s crazy about the whole thing is that Lewis, Barber and Lee are all decent shooters but for whatever reason they have absolutely lost confidence in their ability to shoot from the outside.

Where’s the fire? 
Where’s the ‘us against the world’ attitude that this young team should be taking on? I see it every night from Kyle Washington. I see it from Lennard Freeman when he’s out there. I see it from TJ Warren while he’s carrying the team, but outside of that it’s non-existant. Is anyone else out there aware that they were picked to finish near the bottom of the ACC. That no one thought they had a shot at even sniffing the NCAA Tournament. But here they are with hopes still slightly alive. With the ability to take a group that has no business playing in March on paper, but who are a few wins away from doing just that. Where is that chip on their shoulder? Where is that hunger to disprove doubters? I don’t see it collectively from this team and with their backs against the wall, that is a huge problem.

State’s kind of Game
Now having gotten a lot of criticism out of the way, I really think this game against VT is tailor made for NC State. It’s a team that really can’t shoot it. They don’t defend well and they don’t really play as a team. What they do however, is rebound the basketball. They really get at it on the boards and they have some good size. With that said, State should be able to match them on the boards if Vandy plays strong and Washington stays hungry. The only way State loses today is if they play absolutely flat like they did against Clemson. Play that way and you won’t beat anyone in the ACC, not even VT.

Click to comment
Subscribe
Notify of
0 Comments
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

NC State Basketball

NC State Men’s Basketball 2024-25 Scholarship Breakdown

Published

on

With the announcement of the addition of Forward Ismael Diouf yesterday, and news breaking that MJ Rice and Ernest Ross are no longer with the team this morning, here’s a look at the Scholarship Breakdown for the Men’s Basketball Team for the 2024-25 season.

Senior (1 Year of Eligibility)

Forward/Center Brandon Huntley-Hatfield
Forward/Center Ben Middlebrooks
Forward Guard Dontrez Styles
Guard/Forward Jayden Taylor
Guard Michael O’Connell
Guard Marcus Hill
Guard Breon Pass

Junior (2 Years of Eligibility)

Forward/Center Ismael Diouf
Guard Mike James

Sophomore ( 3 Years of Eligibility)

Guard/Forward Dennis Parker Jr.

Freshman (4 Years of Eligibility)

Guard/Forward Paul McNeil Jr.
Guard Trey Parker

NC State now has 1 scholarship available for the 2024-25 season. 

Continue Reading

NC State Basketball

Ernest Ross is No Longer on NC State’s Roster

Published

on

According to a source, Senior Forward Ernest Ross is no longer on NC State’s roster.

On April 17th, Ross entered the Transfer Portal. On May 10th, Ross verbally committed to UTSA. Then on May 15th, Ross announced that he would in fact be returning to NC State for his final year of eligibility.

Ross played in 14 games this past season, averaging 3.4 minutes per contest. After playing in 34 games last season, averaging 11.4 minutes per contest, Ross saw his participation dip to a career low this season, but that didn’t for a second break his infectious personality.

Ross was a consensus 4-star player in NC State’s 2021 recruiting class, with 247Sports ranking him as the #60 overall player nationally. ESPN ranked him as the #5 overall player in the state of Florida.

According to a source, Ross is leaving the program for personal reasons, that are non-basketball related.

Ross has 1 year of eligibility remaining.

 

 

 

 

Continue Reading

NC State Basketball

MJ Rice is No Longer on NC State’s Roster

Published

on

According to a source, Sophomore Guard MJ Rice is no longer on NC State’s roster.

Rice transferred to NC State last offseason from Kansas, and only played in 9 games for the Wolfpack this past season, averaging 4.1 points in 8.8 minutes per game.

On January 24th, it NC State announced that Rice would be sitting out the remainder of the season, and that they would be submitting a waiver for the season to count as a Redshirt year.

Prior to the beginning of the  season, Rice stepped away from the program for personal reasons, and missed the first 7 games, before joining the Wolfpack against Maryland Eastern-Shore.

The Kansas transfer played in 23 games for the Jayhawks as a Freshman, averaging 2.2 points in 7.6 minutes per game. ON3 ranked Rice as the #24 overall player nationally in the 2022 recruiting class. They also ranked him as the #2 overall player in the Transfer Portal.

It was always ‘iffy’ whether or not Rice would be on next years roster, but he didn’t enter the Transfer Portal, and remained with the team on their magical run, and even after.

According to a source, Rice is leaving the program for personal reasons, that are non-basketball related.

Rice has 3 years of eligibility remaining.

 

Continue Reading

NC State Basketball

NC State Commit Ismael Diouf: VIDEO VAULT

Published

on

NC State just landed a MASSIVE commitment from Canadian Forward Ismael Diouf (6’9″/215). Here’s a VIDEO VAULT of the new NC State big man.

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Dylan (@_shotbydylan)

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Rouge et Or (@rougeetor)

Continue Reading