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NC State Basketball

Closer Look: Wake Forest



7:30 PM| PNC Arena| ESPNU| WatchESPN App

This Saturday NC State will square off against the Demon Deacons in an early ACC battle. Lets take a closer look at the Deacons and give a preview of what to expect out of them come Saturday.

Top Players:

Codi Miller-McIntyre | PG | 11.1 PPG | 4.3 RPG | 2.5 APG | 6-3 195lbs

Junior Guard that leads Wake Forest in scoring and is undoubtedly their most lethal option on the perimeter. Codi has the ability to create his own shot with a variety of moves off the dribble; however, he has struggled with his shot early as he is shooting below 40% from the field. State must be careful with Codi, he has shown the ability to score in bunches. Last season Codi scored more than 20 points in a grand total of 9 times (scored 20 and 15 versus the Pack last season).

Devin Thomas | PF | 10.8 PPG | 10.0 RPG | 1.5 APG | 6-9 245lbs

Bounds of energy and emotion are what drive Devin, as he tends to outwork his opponents. Averaging a double-double on the season he has proved that he is a force to be reckoned with underneath the basket. New coach Danny Manning has compared Devin to Kenneth Faried as he has had a nose for the ball.  On the offensive end Thomas has a solid face-up game and uses a quick first step to beat opponents to the cup. One area of weakness for Thomas has been his inability to control his emotions, as he has been called for a couple of technical fouls thus far. As long as he controls his emotions and stays focused he could cause problems for the Pack on the interior.

Konstantinos Mitoglou | C | 8.3 PPG | 5.3 RPG | 1.3 BLK | 6-10 225Lbs

Freshman out of Greece has been a pleasant surprise for the Deacons early. Sporting excellent touch and a decent mid-range game Mitoglou has the tools to become a weapon for the Deacons as he continues to adjust to the college game. A facet of his game that he uses well is ball fakes and footwork to get his defenders off balance, and then Mitoglou finishes well in traffic. Thus far he has shown a willingness to shoot the 3-ball; however, he is only converting 21% from distance. Look for Mitoglou to carve out space for Thomas, as he will space the floor to allow more room for him by pulling the help side defender out of the lane.


The Deacons have been able to produce on the offensive end despite shooting under 45 % as a team. On the season they are averaging 72.1 points per game which ranks them 115th in the NCAA. Codi Miller-McIntyre spearheads the attack with Devin Thomas flashing the high post and getting put backs off of the glass. Codi and Devin have shown great chemistry creating opportunities for each other in the 2 man game off of pick and rolls.

Another strength for the Deacons offensively is their ability to crash the boards. Even though they are shooting a low percentage on the season they have made up for this by getting put backs off of misses.

Pace will be on display as the Deacons look to push the ball up the court as they look to hit Devin early in the shot clock as he races up the court. Wake Forest is at its’ best when they push the ball and hit Thomas cutting through the lane before opposing big men get down the court. Codi has also shown the ability to finish in transition using his lower body strength to over power thinner guards. The Deacons offensive attack will be even more efficient once they start knocking down their open looks.


Danny Manning has tried to ingrain into his team a defensive philosophy that caters on effort and heart. He has spoken at length about how important it is for his team to hang their hat on that end if they want to have any chance at being competitive this season. Thus far Wake Forest have been up and down on this end which has lead to four losses on the season. Look for the Deacons to come out and pressure the ball early to make up for their poor effort against Minnesota this past Tuesday.

Last 5 Out (2-3): 

Wake Forest-69 vs Minnesota-84 (L)

Wake Forest-65 vs Delaware State-72 (L)

Wake Forest-83 vs Mount St. Mary’s-49 (W)

Wake Forest-75 vs Nicholls St.-48 (W)

Wake Forest-81 vs Iona-85 (L)


Wake Forest is a team in transition; Danny Manning has inherited a program that has been in decline for a number of years following Skip Prosser’s death. However State must not overlook the Deacons.  Codi Miller-McIntyre and Devin Thomas have the ability to carry Wake Forest and give the Pack problems both inside and out. If these two players get in a groove early the Deacons will not go away and will look to steal a game in the PNC. Also do not underestimate the intensity of a conference game! Blowouts and easy victories are few and far between in the ACC.



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8 years ago

Great post.  I especially like the concluding comment regarding blow-outs; it’s a truth of ACC life that my father burned into my mind growing up.  What will be interesting to see is what NC State has improved on from the previous several games.  During the first half, we saw a huge improvement in shooting from the FT line.  Even though our horrible performance in the 2nd half was a key factor in the Purdue lost, the improvements we saw in the 1st shouldn’t be so quickly overlooked.  That seems to imply (to me, at least) that the coaching staff is… Read more »

8 years ago

Great breakdown Tyler, always enjoy your analysis. 
Will be interesting to see how the team responds to a frustrating loss. That’s on the coaches, and I think they have been doing well this year in preparing the team. But we are still a very young, emotional, team.

Another worry is plugging this game into a Saturday night. We have three this year, WF, WV, and VT. Unusual, hope we get the crowd we need.

NC State Basketball

Two Power Forwards we think NC State will target in the transfer portal



The picture is becoming more clear for NC State fans. Today we learned that Greg Gantt will be entering the transfer portal. This comes on the heels of both Jack Clark and Ebe Dowuona entering last week. So, as of now, we know that Keatts and company must be pretty confident that they can pull some front court talent out of the portal.

With DJ Burns returning and Dusan Mahorcic set to return (questions still remain about his knee that wasn’t healing as he had hoped), the focus in the front court is going to be at power forward. I’m hearing that the staff wants to bring in a versatile forward who can stretch the defense (but still defend bigger 4s) and a bigger, more physical 4 man who can bang on the blocks when State needs some front court muscle.

Let’s take a look at who I think we should be focused on at this point.

Dontrez Styles
UNC | 6’6, 210lbs | 1.4 ppg, .9 rebounds, 6 minutes per game, 33.3% from 3pt range | From Kinston, NC
Styles is might be a little short for most teams looking to bring in a 4, but he makes up for it by being well-built and pretty athletic. He was a 4 star kid coming out of high school and has a nice midrange game. He’s a longer, more athletic version of Jericole Hellems if you want a Wolfpack comparison. He has a good midrange game and can shoot the 3, but he also can play above the rim.

At UNC he just never really could get on the floor. Last year they had Bacot and Bradley Manek and this year they had Bacot and Pete Nance. UNC likes to play big, so having a big 4 who can stretch the floor is a priority. Style’s height likely kept him off the floor for UNC, however, he fits into how Keatts likes to use his 4 man. Styles is a guy NC State really tried to bring in out of high school, so he knows the program and was likely swayed by the UNC name brand more than the fit for his game. I’m told Styles was on campus this week, so it looks like NC State is certainly in the running to land him. If you’re looking for odds, I’d say the odds are pretty good that Keatts reels him in.


Jae’lyn Withers
Louisville | 6’9, 220lbs | 9 ppg, 5 rebounds, 43.3% from the field, 41.7% from 3pt range | From Charlotte, NC
Withers is an interesting 4 man. He’s a guy who gives you length and some physicality in the paint, but he’s not a back-to-the-basket guy. In fact, he reminds me of a bigger, more forward-oriented, Dereon Seabron. Now, he’s not at polished, as fast, or as slippery as Seabron, but he attacks the same way Seabron did off the dribble. He comes in very physical, takes big, long strides, and is able to make up ground pretty quickly on the drive. Oh and he too can stretch the defense too. In fact, his 41.7% from long range wasn’t just him getting lucky on a few shots, Withers shot 96 3s this season and hit 40 of them. The one thing Keatts will need to work on with Withers is encouraging him to get downhill and press the issue on drives. He’s a good shooter and sometimes would rather pull up than take it hard to the rack, and at 6’9 State will want him getting to the rim more than not. This is a guy that can average 15 a game for the Pack, and really fills that 4 spot with size and scoring ability. Keatts will have a lot of competition for him, as UNC has also reached out. Withers is from Charlotte, so the hometown connection is there.

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NC State Basketball

Clemson PG Brevin Galloway says he loves playing NC State, calls them undisciplined, says they play AAU ball




Clemson’s senior PG Brevin Galloway went in on NC State in a recent Tik Tok video, explaining that in his view, he loves playing the Wolfpack because he feels like they play out of control and are ‘just hooping’ and ‘not going to play disciplined.’

But c’mon. where does some middle-of-the-road PG who didn’t even make the tournament get off talking about the Pack like that?

Oh, he was the lead guard of the team that beat NC State 3 times by a sum total of 65 points? Oh.

I know Pack fans and especially the NC State staff might scoff at Galloway’s comments, and his delivery is pretty harsh, but I think we all know that there is some truth to his statement.

As you know, I think Keatts can end up getting it done at NC State, but the discipline and focus on the little things, the intricacies of the game, need to be cleaned up. State does play hard, but putting some reigns on this offseason would go a long way in turning a talented team into a winning team.

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NC State Basketball

Fleeing Forwards! Greg Gantt enters the transfer portal, following fellow 4-man Jack Clark



I’m not sure if this was expected by most or not, but there had been chatter about Greg Gantt leaving NC State since the season ended. He’s had a rough go of it here and all signs were pointing to Keatts targeting a couple 4s in the portal.

So for Gantt, the hurdles may have seemed too high. First, he needs to recover from a knee injury, then he needs to come back and compete with what might be 2 or 3 other guys for minutes at the 4. And it’s likely he was going to be asked to play the same role. A guy who isn’t really a key part of the offense, and who is being relied upon to do the dirty work under the rim.

All of that said, we’re sad to see him go. NC State played some of their best basketball with Gantt on the floor. When Clark went out Gantt and Ross stepped in and the Pack reeled off wins in 8 of their next 10 games. When Clark came back they went 4-5 down the stretch. And of NC State’s first 8 quality opponents they faced while Clark was healthy at the beginning of the season, they lost 4 of those. So when Clark was on the floor NC State was actually a below .500 team against quality non-conference + ACC opponents.

NC State best games of the season came during the stretch when Gantt and Ross were playing, and in fact, Gantt was a big part of NC State’s beat down of Virginia Tech in round 1 of the ACC tournament.

So was Gantt the key? I dont’ know about all that, but he gave NC State a physical, hard-working, hustle guy at the 4. He could guard both a strong, big PF or a PF who likes to float out to the wing. Meanwhile Clark struggled against bigger opponents who wanted to play more physical.

NC State is going to miss Gantt, even though this 2pt, 4.5 rebound stat line wasn’t all that impressive.

What this tell you though is that Keaetts is certainly about to make some frontcourt moves in the portal and I believe he’s going to make sure whoever he brings in can play as physical as Gantt did (but with a little more offense added in).

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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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