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Anya Throws Block Party, Pack Stifles Jacksonville 79-43

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Looks like the days are no more where when NC State struggles on offense they struggle to win. This team is built on solid defense and max effort. They showed those things all night against Jacksonville as they took them to the wood shed 79-43. Here are some notable from last nights game.

Defense, Defense, Defense
Sure, it’s exciting to watch a fast paced, high octane offense, but you know what’s even better? Watching a hard nosed, gritty team that relies on it’s defense to create their offense. Now, this isn’t just your ‘solid,’ ‘smart’ defensive team that is all about position and communication, this is a defense that wants it, they’re in the passing lanes, starving for the steal, dying to turn you over. Yeah, they communicate and have shown great positioning and help side D, but the difference is the effort. In fact, you can see a difference on the sidelines as well. Coach Gottfried, who was always known as an offensive coach is screaming at his players to get in the passing lanes, provide more effort and to turn them over. With a team this deep, this long and this quick, teams are going to have a heck of a time trying to get clean shots off.

Just take last night for example. Jacksonville shot only 23% for the game and struggled to even get the ball to the basket at times. More on that later. The point is, this Wolfpack team is buying in on the defensive end of the floor and it’s very exciting to see. It’s starting up top with the constant harassment that Lacey and Barber and putting on the opposing guards and it’s trickling down to the bigs.

Beejay Anya’s Block Party
The big man was just insane last night. Beejay swatted almost every shot Jacksonville put up in his vicinity. At one point he had blocked 4 consecutive shots and should have had a 5th but the ball went in the basket (counting as a made FG instead). When the dust settled NC State had a new single-game blocks leader. Anya finished with 10, passing Todd Fuller and Thurl Bailey who both were tied with 9. The crazy thing is, he could have had a couple more. His 10th block came with 15 minutes left in the game, but he didn’t play much more as the Pack already had the game in check.

Beejay is going to be a huge factor for the Pack this year. Every great defensive team has an enforcer in the middle and there might not be a better one in the ACC .

Caleb Earning PT?
State’s offense was really struggling at the start of this one, but when Caleb Martin entered things started changing. The freshman forward came in and ignited a 13-0 run that gave State that momentum they carried through the rest of the game. We’ve been wondering who was going to step up and be the go-to scorer for the Pack and we were having a hard time figuring it out. Lacey was always the defacto choice and Ralston Turner was another guy we thought could be the guy, but early on neither of those two have shown elite scoring abilities.

Turner is hampered by his inability to score going to the basket and Lacey, while silky smooth, seems like more of a secondary scorer than a go-to type guy. I’m not claiming Caleb Martin is going to lead this team in scoring, but I think you’re going to see him blossom into that go-to guy role. The twins have always been two of our favorite recruits State has landed since Julius Hodge and they are already showing you why. Their coachability, their motor and their skill set has Gottfried already finding it hard to take them off the floor, Caleb especially.

Last night when it seemed like everyone was off and State was going to have one of those nights offensively, Caleb entered and immediately got aggressive, taking the ball to the rim and making something happen on both ends of the floor. A few 3s and a couple steals later and State is off and running. Caleb finished with a game high 16 points on 6-10 shooting and 3-5 from 3point range.

Cat Barber Working Into Role
You might see Barber’s 9 point, 1 assist, 5 turnover line and think he played awful. While he was off and did have some miscues with the ball, I think you got to see a more patient player last night. He was getting into the lane, creating havoc and finding the open man. The problem was that the open men were not making shots. Cat really should have had around 5 or 6 assists in this one (maybe more?). Now, there’s no excuse for the turnovers, but he’ll work that out.

I just think he played a smarter game as a PG last night and although the stats tell a different story, I’m pleased with the way he ran the team when he was in there. He picked his spots, didn’t get caught inside amongst the trees trying to make something out of nothing, and when in doubt he shook his man and got a nice clean look at the mid range. These shots will fall and he’ll be smarter with the basketball as the season goes on, but the thing that was great to see was his patience and his desire to get his teammates good, clean looks. Barber is an x-factor on this team, as we keep saying, and him being a floor general is paramount to this team’s success and to his future at the next level as a PG.

Freeman, The Quiet Workhorse
You’re not going to see him with many highlight reels and you’re not going to see him lead the team in scoring, but Lennard Freeman is doing a TON of dirty work for this basketball team. He’s filling the Richard Howell role pretty nicely right now and it won’t be going unnoticed for much longer. Freeman put up another nice game, notching a double-double with 10 points and 12 boards. He didn’t turn the ball over and he only fouled one time. He also took a charge. Freeman was an afterthought in the rankings when he was recruited and not many people saw him as a starter this season, but low and behold Lennard is State’s most important big at this moment and it’s going to be very hard to keep him off the court.

Next up is USF on Sunday at 4pm at the PNC. We’ll have more on that game as it approaches.

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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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NC State Basketball

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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