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#3 Cavs Outlast Wolfpack 61-51

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A road game against the #3 ranked team in the country  and one of the nation’s toughest defensive units didn’t look too good for the Wolfpack coming into Wednesday’s showdown in Charlottesville.  The Pack, however, came out and had a pretty decent performance.

Early on NC State was hot. Ralston Turner started 4-4 from beyond the arc while Trevor Lacey and Kyle Washington were hitting as well. State jumped out to an early 8 point lead, but that run was short lived, as the Cavs muscled their way back in and eventually wore out the Wolfpack.

Here are some of our post game thoughts on what happened to the Pack.

Soft in the Middle
State had to work hard for their buckets. Virginia will allow you to shoot semi-contested jumpers all day long, but they’re not going to let you pack it in and beat them in the paint. They also did a great job at stopping penetration, allowing their team defense to stay in tact and make it hard for State to get any true, clean looks.

Kyle Washington did have 13 points but he had to work hard for those. It was either severely contested baby hooks or midrange jumpers .Virginia rarely gave up a layup all  night long. But that was really it for State. Anya, Abu and Freeman combined for 0…yes that is ZERO points on the night. That was a combined 34 minutes on the floor and zero points.

To be honest, State fans should be a little disappointed in this group. Especially in Freeman and Anya. Abu only played 4 minutes due to foul trouble, but the other two played regular minutes and were man handled by the Virginia bigs. Anya couldn’t even muster a single rebound in that time.

The takeaway here is that State needs to get some sort of offense going near the basket. I think the guy you look to right now is Abu. He’s the most equipped to step into a scoring role. Washington hasn’t seen a shot he doesn’t like, so that’s never a problem, but for him it’s more of a ‘pick your times’ type of situation. All in all, State has to become more balanced or they’re going to have a tough go of it during ACC play.
Get Clean Looks
If you want to gripe about State’s offense, I think you have the right. Sure they are having games where they put up points, but they are doing it the hard way. Every shot is over the top of somebody or very contested.  Very rarely is the Pack getting a wide open look or a clean layup. That is the fault of the offense. ONCE last night, State ran their offense and got a nice little curl and layup by one of the Martins. Other than that it was Washington shooting with sometimes 2 hands in his face, Ralston forcing (and hitting) conetested 3s, and Lacey pulling up and shooting over the top of his defender. This is great that they can hit those shots, but that isn’t the type of basketball that is going to win many games.

State HAS to buy into the offense. They HAVE to start doing the little things that will create them space. They HAVE to start slowing down, understanding spacing and understanding how to read their defenders. If they don’t, to put it harshly, they are doomed.

Cat Not Clicking
Just when we thought he was turning the corner, Cat comes out and plays a game like this. Not that it was all that bad when you look at the stat line or what him play defense, because those things were so-so. I’m talking about him playing point guard. Watching Virginia play was pretty refreshing to be honest with you. They were smart basketball players. They drove to the lane, not simply to score, but to disrupt the defense, draw them in and then kick to the open man. Did you watch how they actually were dumping it into the post in hopes of State bringing the double team. As soon as the 2nd man committed, and the back side man began to rotate, Virginia’s big skip passed to a wide open shooter. Their guards were constantly in the paint or under the basket looking to hit a cutter or kick it out.

This is where Barber needs the most work. Last night he wasn’t doing much of anything. He wasn’t creating, he wasn’t making plays, he wasn’t creating havoc. With his quickness he should be a pest on the court. He should be slippery and crafty, getting into the lane, drawing defenders and kicking it to the open man. That part of his game doesn’t exist yet and without it, State is in trouble.
Not All is Lost
Obviously. But what I’m saying here is that, yeah, we’re being tough on the kids in this piece and yeah, Virginia is the #3 ranked team in the nation, but this stretch that State is facing right now is the toughest I’ve ever seen in the ACC and a losing streak is out of the question if they want to make the tournament this season.

This team is young and they are showing it, but now is not the time to hang their heads and sulk. Now is the time to understand theirs shortcomings and work on minimizing these mental mistakes. Because that’s what a lot of this is. Mental. This team has the talent, they have the scorers, but they’re just playing mindless basketball right now. They need to step back and slow down. They need to buy into Gottfried’s offense and start creating opportunities for themselves.

 

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Wolfer96
Wolfer96
9 years ago

Well it turned out pretty much as I expected. We again got out-physicaled by another team. Cat looks like he needs to add about 30 pounds to his frame. On offense and defense he is getting pushed around by the opposing player. The lack of inside game exposed this team yet again. Anya showed again that he is incapable of passing or scoring from the blocks. While Kyle’s stats looked decent, practically every shot he took was a bad one. Long jumpers, against double teams, etc. He’s just lucky to have made those buckets. If Kyle had been scoring as… Read more »

NC State Basketball

NC State is Adding UMASS’ Brett Nelson as an Assistant Coach

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According to reports, NC State is adding UMASS’ Brett Nelson as an Assistant Coach.

Nelson was only at UMASS for 1 season under Frank Martin. Prior to that, Nelson was the Head Coach at Holy Cross for 4 seasons, posting a 27-84 record.

Prior to taking the Head Coaching mantle at Holy Cross, Nelson was at Marquette for 5 seasons, spending the first 3 as an Assistant Coach, and the final two as an Associate Head Coach. Prior to Marquette, Nelson also served as an Assistant Coach at Ball St., Drake, Arkansas and Marshall.

Before coaching basketball, Nelson played for the University of Florida from 1999-2003. He was All-SEC twice, and earned Third Team All-American honors. When he left Gainesville, he was the Gators’ all-time leader in three pointers made, and ranked 2nd in steals.

As a Senior in High School, Nelson was a McDonald’s All-American.

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NC State Basketball

Ernest Ross Announces He is Returning to NC State

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Power Forward Ernest Ross announced this morning that he is returning to NC State for his final year of eligibility.

 

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Last Friday, Ross committed to UTSA after entering the Transfer Portal on April 17th, but it looks like he had a change of heart over the past couple of days.

NC State has been in desperate need to add a Big out of the Portal. They have hosted ECU’s Ezra Ausar and Georgia’s Frank Anselem-Ibe, but neither of them have found a home yet. With the addition of Ross, NC State has added depth in the Frontcourt, and unless something changes, their roster is full with 13 scholarship players.

Ross played in 14 games this past season, averaging 3.4 minutes per contest. After playing in 34 games last season, averaging 11.4 minutes per contest, Ross saw his participation dip to a career low this season, but that didn’t for a second break his infectious personality. On the sideline, you could count on Ross every single game to be the heart and soul of the Wolfpack on the bench. To watch a player who played as little as he did, care as much as he did, makes me super proud that this young man represented NC State so well.

Ross was a consensus 4-star player in NC State’s 2021 recruiting class, with 247Sports ranking him as the #60 overall player nationally. ESPN ranked him as the #5 overall player in the state of Florida.

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NC State Basketball

A Matchup Between NC State & Marquette Next Season Might be in the Works

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According to NCAA.com’s Andy Katz, a matchup between NC State and Marquette next season might be in the works.

This past year, the Wolfpack defeated the Golden Eagles 67-58 in the Sweet 16 of the 2024 NCAA Tournament.

NC State and Marquette have played one another 6 times overall, with the Wolfpack holding a 4-2 lead in the series, winning the past two matchups.

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NC State Basketball

NC State Men’s Basketball Will Play in the 2025 Maui Invitational

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The NC State Men’s Basketball Team will be playing in the 2025 Maui Invitational, on November 24-26 in Hawaii. This will mark the first time that NC State has ever played in the Maui Invitational.

NC State will be joined by Baylor, Oregon, Seton Hall, Texas, UNLV, USC and Chaminade.

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