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Pack Looks To Finish Out Season Strong vs. BC

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NC State vs. Boston College
6pm | Raleigh, NC | ESPNU

NC State isn’t done quite yet. There is still some unfinished business to attend to before they pack it in for the season.

For one, they want to send off senior Jordan Vandenberg in style. While it obviously won’t be his final game, it will be the last time he plays in front of his home crowd (unless State lands a home NIT game). Vandenberg has had a really…let’s say ‘different’ type of career at NC State. He came in as a Sidney Lowe recruit and was really looked at as a project big man. But expectations rose as he came in and won the team dunk contest and showed promise in early games as a freshman. With Tracy Smith suspended, Vandy helped State come close to beating Arizona with 11 boards. At that point, it seemed as if he was in for a very promising career, but with guys like Tracy Smith and Richard Howell in front of him every season, his number was rarely called. He at times suffered from low confidence and injuries, but he refocused this season, got healthy and has been a big part of the Wolfpack’s success. Overall, this guy has kept a great attitude and been a positive influence on the younger guys that have come in after him. Thanks for a great career Jordan! Wolfpack Nation may have been harsh at times, but they’ve always had your back and appreciated your drive and intensity.

TJ Warren also has a ACC POY award he needs to bring home. There are a ton of national media heads that simply don’t pay attention to anything other than UNC and Duke in the ACC. That’s the reason Warren isn’t a unanimous decision. What’s going to make it a little harder is the fact that Jabari Parker (the media darling) just ripped apart UNC on national TV. Now, even with Parker’s performance it still doesn’t warrant ACC POY. Sure he’s a freshman with tons of fanfare, but look at the numbers. Warren beats him in nearly every category and that’s not even taking into account Warren’s defense on the season, which has been great.

The final order of business is the most important. It’s that late season run that could propel them into the NCAA Tournament. Now I wish I could come out and write a high energy piece about how State is going to come out and rip BC to shreds, turn around and take the ACC Tournament by storm. Sadly, however, I can’t. I have no idea what this team is going to do. I’ve seen them take top 10 teams to the wire, but I’ve also seen them crumble against a team like Clemson with their backs against the wall. My educated guess, however, is that they’ll be more than ready. In Gottfried’s first season his team peaked at the end. Last year, it tried to, but certain personalities weren’t buying in. This year it seems to be back on trend. State is playing great right now (outside of the Clemson loss) and seems to have all their parts coming together. Of course, it also doesn’t hurt that Warren is absolutely on fire as of late. But this season isn’t over. If State beats BC, turns around and beats whoever their first round ACCT opponent is (Wake, Miami or Maryland) and then shocks the world with an upset of their 2nd round match with either Syracuse or UVA, then what you have is a 21 win team with wins over Pitt, Tennessee, and a top 10 ranked UVA or Syracuse. That looks like a tournament resume to me, however, it would take a really strong run by the Pack.

Now onto the Boston College game…

This is State’s first matchup of the season against BC. The Eagles are a team that sits 2nd to last in the ACC and has really struggled all season. They’re only quality win is the shocker over Syracuse, but 3 of their 4 conference wins are on the road. State does need to be careful here because the Eagles do have a high-end scorer on their roster than can get red hot. Olivier Hanlan is averaging 18ppg and has 62 points over his last 3 games. You might remember this name from last ACC Tournament where he went absolute bonkers as BC knocked off Georgia Tech thanks to his ACCT record 41 points.

Stopping Hanlan will likely be on Cat Barber and Dez Lee when they’re in, and likely Ralston Turner if they’re not. BC actually poses a decent threat to NC State thanks to their guard size. They aren’t super quick , but their guards are big and strong. Hanlan is 6’4 and Rohan is 6’2 but built well. Here is a game you might see a little more of Cat Barber than Tyler Lewis, simply because Barber played well last time out and Lewis doesn’t really matchup well defensively against BC.

Hanlan isn’t the only guy State needs to worry about either. Remember Ryan Anderson. He was a big recruit for BC a few years back and he’s still there and still pretty decent. Now, he is a little soft and the NC State bigs have been really stepping up their game lately, but Anderson is pretty versatile and can score in a number of ways. The junior big is averaging just under 15ppg and grabbing 7 boards. He can create problems on the offensive boards if State isn’t smart about finding him and boxing him.

If Gott’s group can shut down Hanlan and Anderson then I think State should roll, but BC shouldn’t be taken lightly. Even though they only have 4 wins, they do have a capable group of guys.

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NC State Basketball

NC State Men’s Basketball is Tied for the 20th Most NCAAT Wins Since 2020

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According to College Basketball Report, NC State’s Men’s Basketball team is tied for the 20th most NCAA Tournament wins since 2020.

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Yes, I’m fully aware that all 4 of those wins took place in this years NCAA Tournament, but I don’t care. STATS ARE STATS!

ACC Teams with the Most NCAAT Wins Since 2020

1. Duke – 8
2. UNC – 7
2. Miami – 7
4. NC State – 4
5. Clemson – 3

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NC State Basketball

NC State’s Men’s Basketball Team Produced 2 of the MOST Watched Games of 2023-24, College or Pro

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The Basketball season is officially over, collegiately and professionally. Looking back at the data of viewers for Men’s & Women’s Basketball, as well as the NBA, the NC State Men’s Basketball team played in two of the Top-10 most watched games of the 2023-24 basketball season.

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NC State vs. Duke in the Elite 8 was the 2nd most watched basketball game of the year with 15.1 million viewers, trailing only Iowa vs. South Carolina in the Women’s College National Championship game. The Wolfpack’s game vs. the Boilermakers in the Final 4 ranked 9th, with 11.5 million viewers.

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NC State Basketball

DJ Burns talks keys to recent weight loss during Pre-Draft Workout with Pacers

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Pack fans have been wondering how after 2 years in Raleigh, DJ Burns finally figured out how to drop weight, and keep it off. He spoke to reporters during his pre-draft workout with the Pacers.

“Playing at the pace we played today. Doing the work we did today. I probably would have left out with a full body cramp a couple months ago.”

“Keep on improving my pace. Adjusting to the level and speed I’m going to have to play at, at all times.”

“Lots of running. Lots of figuring out which foods I can no longer have, which were almost all of them that I liked. So, just finding new ones that I do like that go along with the plan.”

“This is the third (workout), and I actually travel to Milwaukee tomorrow to workout with the Bucks. And then some more stuff being confirmed that I won’t speak on just yet.”

Burns has worked out for the Lakers, Pacers and Hornets up to this point.

Plus more…

Listen to the full interview above.

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NC State Basketball

DJ Horne reads his new children’s book “Why Not Me? Why Not Us?” to Wake County Students

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DJ Horne was a huge reason NC State overcame the odds to win the ACC Tournament this past season. Now he’s trying to pass on the ‘Why not us!?” psyche to elementary school kids.

Horne was at Jones Dairy Elementary to read his new children’s book “Why not me? Why not us?” to students yesterday.

This is a pretty cool moment for Horne, who attended elementary school in Wake County (Reedy Creek Elementary School). He now gets to go back and tell his story, in hopes of inspiring the next generation.

The book is based loosely on his life growing up, and the adversity he overcame to become a champion.

Pick up the book today at Amazon.

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