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Sloppy Pack Squeaks By FSU 72-63

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NC State came out firing. They looked like a team that just convincingly beat Duke and then took UNC to the wire. They were hungry on defense, they were knocking down shots on offense. It looked like we were about to witness a pretty bad beat down, but then things got weird.

FSU’s Xavier Rathan-Mayes got hot and knocked down a few contested jumpers, but instead of locking down, refocusing and competing, it was like the Wolfpack just went into coast mode. They stopped running the offense, they started taking poor shots and they stopped playing physical. FSU climbed all the way back from a 19 point deficit to tie the game at 60 late in the second half before Ralston Turner hit a 3 that gave the Pack the lead for good.

Let’s take a look at what happened:

State Needs Barber
Cat was in street clothes due to the death of his younger brother. He had only found out the night before the game, so it makes sense that he probably was not mentally ready to take the floor. But make no mistake, State needs this kid. Barber hasn’t quite been the dominant PG State fans were hoping for (yet), but he’s gotten better as the season has progressed. He’s started to understand his role and that is a role that the Pack has no backups for.

Lacey was given the reigns at PG in this one but as you could see, that’s not where he’s most comfortable. To be honest, I don’t really think Gottfried wants him to get comfortable there. Coach has worked hard to turn Lacey from a pass first makeshift point guard into one of the top scoring shooting guards in the country. With Cat out he struggled to find the balance between scorer and creator. This was apparent when shots stopped falling as the Pack was never really able to get into their offense to get the bigs some easy looks.

Ralston Turner Has Arrived
Turner has always been a good shooter, but this year he’s turned the corner. Turner has become elite. He’s asking for the big shot and knocking it down. He’s hitting 41% of his 3s this season which is about the career number Scott Wood finished at. Turner has become a guy you not only expect to knock down shots but also someone this team counts on and needs to be successful. As teams start to scout him and attempt to take away those looks, he’s moved his range out further, quickened his release and even added a mid range jumper. Ralston Turner has been and will continue to be a huge piece of the puzzle for the Pack.

Against FSU he was as advertised. He can get a bit streaky, but seems to focus in and hit shots when State needs him to. Case in point, FSU has mounted a big comeback and the Pack looked lazy, tired and without answers as the Noles tied it at 60. That’s when Gottfried turned to Turner to end the drought. They found him in the corner and with hands in his face he hit the shot that stopped the bleeding. That 3 gave State the momentum they needed to close this one out.

Where is the Defense?
Washington had 8 and 6, Freeman had 7 and 6, and Anya finished with 7 and 5. The FSU bigs had a total of 17 points (thats all 5 of their bigs combined). State out-rebounded FSU 38-34. The bigs pulled their weight in this one.

Sure Lacey had 17 and Ralston added 15, but the FSU guards went for 20, 11 and 15. They were killing State all night. Now maybe this was all due to the fact that State really didn’t have any depth at the guard position with Barber out. Maybe they were tired and therefore allowing open looks and allowing their men to get into the paint. Maybe that is why then went zone, to conserve energy.

Whatever it was, they need to fix it. Their zone is weak, soft and full of holes and if the FSU guards can expose it, anyone can. Their guards are decent, but Lacey, Turner and Lee needed to do a better job of limiting open looks. This, again, is one of those little things you don’t realize that Cat does. he limits drives and limits open looks that his man gets. Lacey and Turner looked too slow, or too tired to do that in this one.

To their defense, Turner was being asked to guard someone quicker than he usually does (a 2 guard), and so was Lacey (a PG), this seemed to create a lot of mismatches, but State needs to figure that out if they are going to go far this season. They can’t be just one injury away from collapsing.

Martins Maturing
These kids looked great again. They still need that offensive refinement, but overall they are hustling, making plays and defending as good as anyone on this roster. They combined for 15 points and 4 boards while also providing good defense most of the game.

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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 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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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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