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State Starts Strong, Finishes Sloppy in Win vs. Hofstra

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The Pack came out guns blazing, taking an early 20 point lead over Hofstra in the first half. It looked like they were on their way to another gigantic victory, but cold shooting in the second half and a red hot Juan’ya Green (19pts) helped the Pride outscore the Pack 35-31 in the second half. In the end it was another double digit victory for the Wolfpack, but this game exposed that there is still a lot of work to be done on this young team. Here are our main talking points:

Efficiency Against the Zone?
The Pack really went cold when they were slowed down via the Hofstra zone. It’s still early in the season and the zone offense still needs some work, but the Pack quickly found out that heaving up 3 after 3 rarely works. When State got out on the break they were dominant. Everyone was in rhythm, shots were falling, and the guys were attacking aggressively. Against the zone they were timid and quickly took the easy way out by shooting the 3s Hofstra was giving them. Luckily Ralston Turner was hot or this game could have quickly gone in a different direction.

Teams are going to zone this team quite a bit. With two dynamic guards that can get in the lane, and an athletic front court that can finish, it’s going to be in teams best interests to pack the middle and make State shoot it form deep. While Lacey and Turner both are better than average shooters they need to play inside out against these defenses. For instance, when Hofstra went 1-3-1 for a bit, Kyle Washington was sealing the backside guy and asking for the lob. No one wanted to risk throwing it. They also weren’t using the middle flasher as the number one option. Washington was flashing, but rarely getting the ball. When he did he was shooting it instead of either dumping it down to the other big (who should be sealing) or reversing it for a squared up, wide-open 3 ball. This is going to take work, but it’s necessary for State to figure this out before ACC play.

 

Cat Barber Nearing Potential
I know it probably seems like we’re nitpicky on this site when we talk about Cat. We are, but it’s only because we believe that he’s not only the key to this team, but has the ability to be one of the most dynamic point guards State has seen in a very, very long time. After 2 games it seems like he is certainly making strides in the right direction. After his big 25 points, 6 assist, 6 rebound, 0 turnover performance against Jackson State, he turned around and went for 15 points, 6 assists, 7 rebounds and only 1 TO. Very, very impressive. Add in the fact that he was one of State’s best defensive players in this one and you’re looking at a kid that is close to being All-ACC caliber.

There’s only really one area that Cat really needs to start focusing on improving and it’s on his drives. When a player like Cat has gone his whole life as his team’s top scoring option, it’s normal for him to be focused on scoring as he drives the lane. In the league  however, where the bigs are just dying for a guard to come in and challenge them, Barber MUST get better at driving, drawing and dishing. He gets in the lane at ease, he draws help defense with ease, and then he usually takes an off balance floater or attempts to draw the foul. If he can, at that moment, see the help coming and find the open man (whether it be a dump off or a kick-out) State’s offensive efficiency would be through the roof.

So far Barber’s stat line has been very impressive, but just like last year he tends to turn into more of a volume scorer than a ‘find your spots’ scorer. Don’t get us wrong, this team needs Barber to score at a high rate, but shooting percentage matters, especially for a PG who should be attempting to maximize points per possession.
Trevor Lacey and Ralston Turner
Lacey was off in this one but Turner picked him up by going 5-9 from 3 and notching 24 points. These 2 guys give State some real scoring options and seem like they really work well off each other. Lacey was off but is looking really good to us. He’s such a smart player, understands space and constantly making smart decisions. Lacey has the ability to get into the lane, read the defense and then find the open man. Having 2 legitimate PGs on the court at all times is really going to be a plus for Gottfried.

 

The Bigs Struggled (Except for Freeman)
Again, I’d love to see Kyle Washington get a few physical lay ups before he starts falling in love with that baseline jumper. I know that if he was hitting it we would be praising him, but he’s not right now so I think instead of shooting until he makes one, he’d be better off getting inside, getting to the line and easing into his scoring. It’ll come for Washington, who is likely pressing right now to get off to a good start this season.

Many questioned why Freeman would start over Anya, but I think he kind of showed people why in this one. 9 points and 13 boards later he was the most dominant big that the Pack had out there. With Hofstra going zone, State was unable to really get their bigs much work. The bigs need to demand the ball against the zone and then create enough trust with the guards that they know if they dump it down it’s not a black hole.  They need to use the bigs as a way to shift the zone, turn defenders heads, and then find the open man.

 


Next game is Thursday at 7pm against Jacksonville at the PNC Arena.

 

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Watson
Watson
8 years ago

Has Lee completely fallen out of the rotation? With Lacey/Cat/Ralston, I can understand. Just don’t think this he has been properly utilized since he arrived last year.
Hoping for some small ball rotations with Lennard, one Martin and 3 of the guards.

NC State Basketball

Kevin Keatts Postgame Press Conference After Coppin State: BULLETED

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NC State Head Coach Kevin Keatts met with the media after the Wolfpack’s 94-72 victory over Coppin State tonight. You can watch the press conference here, or check out a BULLETED breakdown below.

  • First of all we’re going to continue to pray for Dusan Mahorcic.
    • I do not have an update at this point. He’s with our medical doctors and our trainers and I will know more hopefully in the next 24 hours.
    • We will  give you some type of an update when we get one.
    • I just wanted to keep him calm. It’s tough and you guys look at them as my players. I look at them as my  kids.
    • It is hard to see any of your kids or any of those guys in that situation.
    • I was there just to calm him down and let him know we are with him. I am obviously praying for him.
  • Our guards were really special  tonight.
    • There were 3 great guards on the floor because Sam Sessoms [of Coppin State] was pretty good  also.
    • It was really good to see Jarkel Joiner bounce back after not having a great game against Pitt.
    • Terquavion Smith was a pro’s pro tonight.
      • He did a little bit of everything, he defended, he scored  the basketball, he passed the basketball.
  • We didn’t feel like we played well in the Pitt game and we wanted to come in here, have a better showing, and play both ends of the floor.
  • I’ll get a thousand  questions about Reynolds Coliseum and we should play every game in here, but don’t send those  questions to me, send them to somebody else, but it’s a great venue and it was a great night.
    • I’m really appreciative of our fans for showing up.
    • It was an electric night. I thought the energy was great. We had a lot of fun.
  • The ‘STATE’ jerseys looked great, I thought they were  outstanding.
    • Hopefully we can see them again, maybe they’re not just a 1-game deal.
  • During the game, I thought we had a good 1st half, but we didn’t close the 1st half the way I wanted to.
  • We came out, and I  thought we were playing a lot better in the 2nd half, and then unfortunately with Dusan Mahorcic’s  situation it took the air out of us a bit, but we closed the game.
  • I’m happy the way Ernest Ross played today.
  • They [Coppin State] did a good job getting back in transition.
    • A lot of Casey Morsell’s shots have come when he was running the floor and getting out in transition.
    • They stayed at home.
    • The reason we got so many open looks to our post guys when we rolled was because they stayed with our shooters a lot.
  • I’ll take them [Joiner & Smith]. I don’t want to trade them, so I’ve got to say I’ll take them. I’m keeping them. I’m not  throwing them in, so I’m keeping those guys.
    • They are good and tonight they were electric. They were really good.
    • Every run that Coppin made they were there to answer it.
    • Here is what we do in practice with those guys.
      • I need them to play against each other because they challenge each other to become  better, but I also have to develop some type of chemistry with them.
      • So early on in the season, it was those 2 guarding each other, and they made each other better.
      • In the end, I have now switched it so they have to play together, so they have a better understanding and feel on how to play together.
  • Coppin is a team that is really dangerous. People from the other side won’t have name recognition, but you look at the Power Five and the bigger schools they have played, that is what has been great.
    • Georgetown was an overtime game, maybe multiple overtime games, and the Maryland game was tough.
    • He [Juan Dixon] has done that against all competition. I am happy for Juan.
      • I remember him back when I was at Hargrave. I sent Lonnie Baxter to Maryland who played with Juan and I have seen him since he was a really young kid.
  • One of the best kids I could have ever recruited [Joiner], especially the point guard position.
    • He didn’t have to tell me. I don’t know if he went  home that night [After Pitt].
    • Obviously, he probably went in and took 2,000 shots that night or more.
  • The #1 thing these kids are here for is their education.
    • Today was the last day of class, meaning we are going into exams, so we have to figure out a good balance of when to practice.
    • Right now our priorities shifted to make sure the guys finish out the semester strong, and take care of their academics. It is a great balancing act.
  • You gotta let me get past tonight, they’re [Miami] good, very talented.
    • I haven’t watched Miami at all, but I do know name recognition.
      • I know Isaiah Wong seems like he’s been around for 7 years, and he’s played great.
      • I’ll get a chance to watch them starting late tonight and early tomorrow.
      • They’re  talented.
      • Jim Larrañaga has done a great job with his team, it’ll be a tough road game for us, as all of them are.
  • Our guards did a great job of controlling the game, thats the maturity that I’m looking for.
    • I’ve got a Senior that’s been around a long time, in Jarkel.
    • I’ve also got a guy that is an elite scorer, who a lot of the conversations I’ve had with him are: ‘control the game, finish the game, be efficient down the  stretch, and don’t settle.’
      • He did a great job of not just taking deep 3’s, even though he took the last one.
      • He drove the basketball and we got to the free throw line.
  • Amazing. It’s not just NC State, you could almost make an argument that it’s America’s team, the ‘83 run was great.
    • It feels like every time you see something about them, I have to stop what I am doing just to read. It gets your heart beating a little bit.
    • It’s a great team with great folks, it was a great coach.
    • We’re excited…we’re gonna bring them back.
      • I don’t know if I’m supposed to tell you that, but I think they’re supposed to come back in February to honor those guys and I think that’s the right thing to do…and if we can bring them back every week we should.
      • I think there were a few here tonight, and I’m glad our guys played well enough where our guys respect what those guys did.
  • You know he’s played so well and other people will say, you know, well he’s only averaged 16 points per game, you know the NBA scouts, they know he can score the basketball.
    • They wanted to see him pass the basketball, so I think he’s doing a really good job.
      • He’s either 1st or 2nd in the ACC in assists.
      • We’re seeing a young man grow up, and by the way, he’s saying to you guys: ‘Hey I can score if I need to, I just wanna show you I got a little bit more in my bag.’
      • But he’s really matured, you know he’s a kid.
        • And you know one of the reasons why he’s back is because he’s a kid and he enjoys his teammates.
      • You know when you saw Dusan go down, you know, I think he was affected more than anybody.

         

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NC State Basketball

NC State’s Dusan Mahorcic Suffers Knee Injury vs. Coppin State

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NC State Center Dusan Mahorcic suffered a gruesome looking knee injury tonight in the Wolfpack’s 94-72 victory over Coppin State in Reynolds Coliseum.

From what I’ve heard, Mahorcic suffered an injury to his kneecap, but the severity of his injury is unknown at this time. A kneecap injury can visually be a disturbing sight, and the NC State squad, especially Terquavion Smith, who had a good look at it, were emotionally moved in concern.

We will have to wait to see how long Mahorcic is out, but the need for DJ Burns to be able to play more minutes just became much more important. Also, Ernest Ross, who has always had a high ceiling, is going to need to grow up fast if Mahorcic is out for an extended period of time.

We are praying for you Dusan! Get well soon Big Fella!

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NC State Basketball

Men’s Basketball’s: NC State 94 Coppin State 72: Highlight Reel & Condensed Game

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NC State defeated Coppin State 94-72 in Reynolds Coliseum tonight. You can check out the Box Score here. Below is the Highlight Reel & Condensed Game from the ACC Digital Network.

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Men’s Basketball: NC State 94 Coppin State 72: BOX SCORE

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NC State improved to 8-2 on the year, defeating Coppin State 94-72 tonight in Reynolds Coliseum.

Only 2 Wolfpack players scored in double figures, and it was none other than the dangerous tandem of Terquavion Smith and Jarkel Joiner.

Smith led the team in points and assists, with 33 & 7 respectively. Smith wax clicking tonight, shooting 12-21 from the field, and 6 of 12 from three.

Joiner bounced back from a poor shooting performance against Pitt, scoring 29 points, shooting 11-21 from the field, and a blazing 5-7 from three.

Jack Clark had a poor shooting night, hitting only 1 of 7, but he managed to impact the game in every other way. Clark had 10 rebounds, 5 assists and 3 steals.

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