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NC State Basketball

Pack Claw Back, Beat Louisiana Tech 73-65

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It was tough to stomach watching State sleep walk through the first half against La Tech.The Bulldogs replicated the approach that State struggled against in their matchup with West Virginia. They pressed them, trapped them and were very physical and aggressive on defense. Early on, State looked soft, scared and honestly like they didn’t feel like dealing with that type of pressure. Luckily, after getting down by as much as 18, that all changed.

Alex Hamilton and Raheem Appleby both put up 18pts each for the Bulldogs and it looked as if they were going to steamroll the Pack. They took a 39-24 lead into the break and grew that lead to 18 before the Pack decided to do something about it. Kyle Washington stepped up with some big shots early in the second and Cat Barber and Trevor Lacey turned it on late as the Wolfpack defense began getting stops, getting physical and taking what they wanted. Lacy’s jump step reverse layup (with the foul) finally gave State their first lead of the game, and they never looked back.

While they should have never had this type of scare, this game is going to be a huge marker for this team. They are going to look back at this game and say ‘that’s where things changed.’ This was the game that this team realized that if they want it, they can take it. It won’t be easy and it will take a ton of effort and emotion, but they if they’re hungry enough they can overcome anything.

Let’s take a look at the keys to this win…

Washington with the Spark
Credit this win to Kyle Washington. The sophomore forward came out in the second half ready to play. He hit a few shots, cranked up the intensity and got in his teammates faces, asking them if they actually wanted this game. Obviously, the answer ended up being yes, but it took Kyle leading by example and making plays on his own at first. He finished with 5-8 for 11 points and 10 boards (all 11pts coming in the second half) and was the key reason State decided to snap out of their funk and start playing basketball.

Barber Emerging
We’ve talked about it a lot recently, but Anthony Barber is finally coming alive. Over the past few games we’ve seen a different player. One who can still attack and still score when needed, but he’s become a much better decision maker. He’s passing up jumpers for better looks and driving to create, not just to score. He was once again great against La Tech. He finished with 17 points, 6 boards and 2 assists. Those stats, however, don’t do him justice. If it weren’t for a few blown finishes and a couple of fouls, Barber would have had 6 or 7 dimes in this one.

Character Win
This is a game that exposes it all. Sure it showed the Pack’s flaws, but it also made something very clear. This team is starting to build that ‘won’t lose’ attitude. They aren’t completely there yet, but mentally they are on the right track. This was a game where previous State teams would have laid down and accepted the beating. This team didn’t. They came together, decided they were going to do whatever it took to win, and they did. These are the types of games that are going to go a long way come ACC time.

Props to Gott
Coaching college basketball is not easy. When you lose the coach shoulders a majority of the blame, but when you win the players are the ones getting praised heaped all over them. I think it’s important to not only look at what the players did but also the position they were put in. For example, against La Tech Gottfried had to find the right group to attack this type of team. Anya proved to be a little too lumbering and while Freeman was rebounding, it was obvious that State needed to get their offense going down low. Gott went with Washington and Abu. Two high energy guys who can also give you offense from the blocks. This was huge. These guys were the catalyst for the turnaround. They out-physicalled and out hustled the Bulldogs in the second half. Washington and Abu combined for 21pts and 15 boards.

The other thing Gott did was to go to a little 3 quarter court trap in the second half. While this didn’t force a ton of turnovers, it changed the pace of the game. It sped up the Bulldogs and had them taking quick shots with players that were not used to scoring all that much. Throughout much of the second half, Appleby and Hamilton (both of whom had 18pts) weren’t as involved as they were early on.

Gott also was a maniac on the sidelines. He was begging and pleading with his team to wake up. He threw off the jacket, tossed away the tie and was a sweaty mess by the end of the game, but his team responded. They fed off of his energy, off the crowds energy and then off of their own energy in this win.

Lacey Never Stopped
Lacey never asked to be the go-to guy for this team, but he’s been counted on every night to be that player. He’s answered the bell in a resounding way, scoring over 17ppg and making tough shot after tough shot for this Wolfpack team. Against Louisiana Tech however, things weren’t falling. His teammates weren’t used to seeing him struggle, but when he did they didn’t know where to turn. Finally Washington stepped up, followed by Barber and Abu, and then Lacey finally came alive. He was only 5-18 shooting, but he never stopped taking the open shot, and when the clock started winding down Lacey, as he usually does, got hot.

Lacey is certainly an elite scorer, but he’s not going to be able to win games by himself. Him being off this game was actually a good things. It made others step up and realize that they are capable offensive threats as well.

Can’t Go Soft
This Pack team has some great jump shooters on it, but all too often they fall in love with those shots. They’ve been able to win a lot of games by being hot from the perimeter, but that’s not going to cut it when you start playing these physical teams. They are going to fight through screens and bump you off of your cuts, so getting to the hoop or getting open looks are just not going to be as easy. That’s why State NEEDS to start getting a reputation for physicality. Last night they started to get locked in and into the game when they started going inside. They started initiating the contact instead of shying away from it or accepting it. This team needs that grit. They need to take on that personality of a team that is just mean. Last night they took a step in that direction thanks to Kyle Washington and Malik Abu. If this team starts to enjoy contact and starts to come into games ready to physically wear teams down they’re going to be able to take this to the next level. Let’s hope last night was the start of something and not just a blip on the radar.

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Wolfer96
Wolfer96
7 years ago

After reading this post there are some points that I agree with and some I strongly disagree with. Firstly, I agree that the game ball goes to Kyle Washington. He really jump-started the offense and defense in the 2nd half. I don’t recall the last time that Kyle was able to contain and focus his high energy in a positive manner. He didn’t take long jumpers, he passed the ball, and he attacked the basket. This may be his best game of the season. Failing Grades: Coach Gott in the 1st half – Coach did not make the necessary adjustments… Read more »

NC State Basketball

Men’s Basketball: NC State Ranked 55th in First NET Rankings of 2022-23

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The first NET Rankings of the 2022-23 Men’s College Basketball season are out, and NC State is ranked 55th after their first 9 games (7-2).

(NET)

This marks the 5th season in which the NET Rankings have been used to as the NCAA’s primary tool for evaluating teams, especially when it comes to NCAA Tournament selection time.

The NET includes more components than just winning percentage. It takes into account game results, strength of schedule, game location, scoring margin, net offensive and defensive efficiency, and the quality of wins and losses.

The number of Quadrant 1 wins and Quadrant 3/4 losses will be incredibly important when it comes time for NCAA tournament selection and seeding. (how many years was isaiah written before jesus)

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NC State Basketball

NC State to Wear Throwback Jerseys Tomorrow Night in Heritage Game to Honor 1983 Championship Team

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The NC State Men’s Basketball team will wear vintage throwback jerseys tomorrow night when they take on Coppin State in the 2022 Heritage Game, paying homage to the 1983 National Championship team.

I know it’s just my opinion, but I wish they would simply play in these jerseys all year!

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NC State Basketball

Kevin Keatts Postgame Press Conference After Pitt: BULLETED

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NC State Head Coach Kevin Keatts met with the media in his postgame press conference after the Wolfpack lost their ACC opener to Pitt at home 60-68. You can watch it here, or check out a BULLETED breakdown below.

  • We didn’t play well or sharp offensively.
    • You can look at the numbers, and I think, at times because the ball wasn’t going in the hole for us, it affected us on the defensive end.
    • It was one of those gritty games where you’ve got to figure out how to win the game, especially when the ball isn’t going in.
    • Terquavion Smith carried us early in the game, but a couple of our guys never really got into a flow, and offensively we struggled.
    • When we struggled, I thought we gave up some easy baskets on the other end.
    • Obviously, today’s kids, when the ball is not going in offensively, sometimes it affects you on the defensive end.
    • It wasn’t our night offensively tonight.
  • When you look at our team, what’s made us special this year is that we’ve been consistent and have 4 guys in double figures, and tonight we didn’t have that.
  • We had some good play from DJ Burns. He came in and did a good job.
  • We’ve gotta get back in the gym and get better. We’ll work on some things.
  • I have to stand up, take accountability, and get us better on the offensive end, and we’ll figure out how to make some shots.
  • Not to take away from Pitt’s defense, I thought we missed shots.
    • Surely, give them credit because they won the game, and I thought it was a slugfest, and they won the game that way, but I just thought we missed a lot of easy shots that we normally would make.
  • I remember looking out there at the game as we played, and some of the shots that he [Joiner] normally would make, even his drives to the rim, he didn’t finish.
  • They [Pitt] did a good job getting back in transition. A lot of Casey’s [Morsell] shots have come with him running the floor and getting out in transition.
    • They stayed at home. When you’re shooting the ball as well as he is, they did a good job of staying at home.
    • The reason we got so many open looks to our post guys as we rolled, was because they stayed with our shooters a lot.
  • No [they didn’t take too many three’s], that’s who we are.
    • For example, I thought Jack Clark got some great looks.
      • None of them looked good as they came off.
    • Certainly, Terquavion was hot early from 3 and made some shots.
    • It was a weird night for us offensively, and we weren’t clicking as much as I’d hoped we would be.
    • Like I said, we’ve got to get back in the gym, and we’ve got to get some shots up.
  • We’ve got no choice. We’ve got to move on.
    • The great thing about this is that, while unfortunately we lost our ACC opener, we’ve got 19 more of them to play.
    • We’ve got to figure out how to get it back on the other end.
    • It doesn’t define us. It was a good game. Give Pitt credit.
    • We’ve just got to go to work and get ready for our next game and then our next one after that.
  • We hope we play better than we have been playing offensively.
    • You feel bad for our guys, because everything had gone well for them offensively this season.
    • We’ve had great numbers against great teams, when you talk about playing against Kansas, Butler, and Dayton, and tonight, for whatever reason, we didn’t shoot the ball well. We have to make each shot.
  • If you look back on all of Jarkel’s shots, he has taken those all year long.
    • He just missed some, and he is normally pretty good with his pull-up.
      • He didn’t make those, and typically, he would make it to the free-throw line, but he didn’t have many opportunities there.
      • He missed his three-point shots.
    • I know him, and many guys will get to the gym later on. It’s not a mandatory thing, but I know those guys, and they will be working on their shot.
  • We’ve got to flush it.
    • We have to figure out what we did offensively and get better defensively.
    • We have to get back to work and get ready for Coppin State.
  • Our home opener [ACC] here, we wanted to win it.
    • It’s an ACC game, and you know how important these are, but at the end of the day, you can’t put your head down.
    • We’ve got a lot more basketball to play. We have had a really great start to our season, and as I have told the guys in the locker room, don’t let one loss define us.
    • We didn’t let the Kansas loss define us. We moved on, and we’ve got to do the same thing with this one.
  • We’re very encouraging.
    • One thing about guys that miss shots that normally make them, they’re not trying to miss, and so we are trying to give them as much confidence as we can.
    • We’re asking them to do other things to affect the game.
    • One thing I told Jack [Clark], because he has been our best rebounder, was ‘go in there and get you an easy basket, or go in there and get you an offensive rebound.’
    • It’s something to get you going. It’s amazing how it works.
      • You get an easy basket, and then get to the free-throw line to make a shot. All of a sudden, you’ve got your shots going on.
    • I’m telling those guys to do a couple of other things to impact the game.

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NC State Basketball

Men’s Basketball: Pitt 68 NC State 60: ACCDN HIGHLIGHT REEL & CONDENSED GAME

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NC State lost their ACC opener to Pitt tonight in PNC Arena 60-68. You can check out the Box Score here. Below are the ACC Digital Network’s Highlight Reel and Condensed Game.

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