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OUR TAKE: Keys in the Pack’s Loss to the Irish

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Trevor Lacey and Ralston Turner weren’t hitting like usual. State’s two leading scorers shot 8-23 and had 24 points combined which is lower than average for they sharp shooting duo.

Abu needs to be on the court. When he was on the court against Miami, State got up by nearly 20. When he got in foul trouble and was forced to the bench, State fell apart. Against ND he was on fire early, State led by 18, and then he got in foul trouble again. State collapsed. There is a direct correlation between Abu being on the court and NC State dominating a basketball game. The talented freshman brings a blend of power, quickness and soft touch to the Wolfpack front court. He was 3-5 and finished with only 8 points, but that was in just 11 minutes of play. He was dominant on the blocks when he was in there.

– More Martins please. These twins are game changers. Cody Martin started for Cat Barber and gave the Pack a new dimension. They can rebound, score and play with the type of energy that can push the Pack to some big leads. The duo combined for 24 points, 10 boards, 4 steals and 6 assists. They load up the stat line and one of them needs to be on the floor at all times (if not both).

– Where was Washington? With Abu out most of the second half, down the stretch Gottfried decided to go with a smaller lineup which left Kyle Washington on the bench. The problem with that is that this always leaves State without a true scorer on the blocks. They become one dimensional and give up their big leads. Washington finally did come in with 7 minutes left and hit a jumper, but he had been sitting for a big chunk of the time that State was really allowing ND back in the game. Gottfried has a lot of weapons but making sure either Washington or Abu is in the game to allow the Pack to have some sort of inside presence is huge. Washington finished with a great line at 6-8 for 12 points and 6 boards.

– Beat on the boards. The only place NC State fell short against ND (other than late game decision making) was in rebounding. The Irish owned the board battle 43-34 and had 18 offensive boards to the Pack’s 12. That was the true difference in the game.

-Always Learning. This is a young team so all of these close calls are good for them, but they need to fail forward. They need to keep their confidence after losing huge leads the last two times out. They have to push harder, dig deeper when they’re up double digits. They have to be hungry not just for a W in the win column but hungry for dominance. When they are up 15, Gottfried should be red in the face demanding 25, and when they are up 25 they should push for 35. This team HAS to get that killer’s mentality and stop allowing teams to come back to life late in games.

-Confidence and belief. You can’t blame the fans for saying “We’ve all seen this before…” when NC State loses a big lead and the other team has the ball with a chance to win or tie. You know something weird is going to happen, something you may have never seen before, and it will fall in the other teams favor. The fans blame the players and I’ve spoken to players from past Wolfpack teams who blame the fans. They say “You can feel the air come out of the arena, it’s like the fans know whats going to happen.” This to me is an excuse. Sure the air comes out of the arena, because as State fans we have seen this a thousand times. But asking the fans to be mentally tough is probably not going to work. The game is played on the floor and whether the fans are going nuts or the fans are silent and negative, the team needs to dig deeper, come together, find a leader who won’t let them lose. They have to shake this complex at some point and demand more. Start nailing coffins, stepping on throats and not letting up. It only takes true confidence and 100% belief from one leader.

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Wolfer96
Wolfer96
9 years ago

I am 100% in agreement with this article when it comes to the Martin twins. I say more Martin Twins! Those kids are now my favorite Wolfpackers. They play with energy, selflessness, and determination. When they are in the game this is a different team. I just wish that the rest of the team could feed off their energy. Fans don’t score any points and they don’t play defense. The players and coaches have to own up to all these close losses. Some Wolfpack fans love to make excuses. I can deal with losing if the game is played smart… Read more »

wormncsu
wormncsu
9 years ago

Another good article. To comment on your statement about the fans. It was hard to watch when the game was tied at the end of regulation at the number of fans or should they be called spectators who left as if they knew. we were going to lose.

NC State Basketball

Jersey Numbers for 2024-25 NC State Men’s Basketball Team Revealed

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The NC State Men’s Basketball team revealed the Jersey Numbers for their 2024-25 team yesterday.

Image

Numbers that are Staying the Same

Michael O’Connell – #12

Ben Middlebrooks – #34

Dennis Parker Jr. – #11

KJ Keatts – #13

Jordan Snell – #22

Numbers that have Changed

Jayden Taylor – #1 –> #8

Breon Pass – #10 –> #4

Numbers of New Players

Mike James – #0 (He wore #0 at Louisville last year)

Brandon Huntley-Hatfield – #1 (He wore #5 at Louisville last year)

Paul McNeil – #2 (He wore #2 in High School last year)

Dontrez Styles – #3 (He wore #0 at Georgetown last year)

Trey Parker – #5 (He wore #5 in High School last year)

Marcus Hill – #10 (He wore #0 at Bowling Green last year)

We don’t know what number Ismael Diouf will be wearing at NC State next year yet. 

 

 

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Kareem Richardson Promoted To Associate Head Coach at NC State

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RALEIGH, N.C. – NC State men’s basketball head coach Kevin Keatts announced Wednesday that assistant coach Kareem Richardson has been promoted to associate head coach effective immediately.

“I’m proud to promote Kareem to associate head coach,” Keatts said. “He is a valuable member of my staff and has really enhanced NC State both in his relationship with our players and staff, but also his ability to teach, scout and game plan. He is a well-rounded coach that has an impact on every facet of our program, and I feel fortunate to have him as part of my staff.”

The upcoming 2024-25 season will be Richardson’s third at NC State. The Pack has earned bids to the NCAA Tournament in both seasons Richardson has been on staff, including last season when NC State won the ACC Championship and advanced to the Final Four.

NC State has had three different guards (DJ Horne, Jarkel Joiner and Terquavion Smith) earn All-ACC honors under Richardson’s tutelage.

Richardson was previously head coach at UMKC for 2013-19 and has been an assistant coach at power conference programs such as Louisville, Xavier and Clemson in his 25-year coaching career.

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WATCH: Getting to Know NC State’s Dontrez Styles

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NC State Men’s Basketball is releasing videos helping fans get to know the new players on the 2024-25 roster.

Below is the video of Georgetown Transfer Forward Dontrez Styles (6’6″/212), with a transcript underneath.

I’m Dontrez Styles, a transfer from Georgetown University. I knew where I wanted to be. At the end of the day, I knew I wanted to come back home and play for a guy like Keatts. That was the main thing for me.

Being back home is amazing. My family can see me play every game now. An hour from Kinston, North Carolina. It’s a small city. I love it. Just growing there. A lot of great guys. A lot of great basketball players. My family is there. It’s my life.

I grew up in the Brandon Ingram era, so I went to every Kinston High School game. Just seeing him play motivated me to get in the gym and keep working. The grind has paid off.

It’s crazy. I would have never imagined this happening. It’s very rare for someone to go to North Carolina and NC State. Me being one of the first guys to do that, I believe it’s different, but I’m enjoying it so far. I can’t wait to get started.

Coach (Levi) Watkins recruited me when he was at Ole Miss. He’s been with me since my Sophomore year, I believe. Just having that relationship with them makes it easier every day.

Just being back, it’s going to be very fun, especially now. The hype is crazy. I can’t wait to be back home and get started, and hopefully win that National Championship.

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Styles was the 2nd leading scorer for Georgetown this past season, averaging 12.8 points per game, while grabbing 5.8 boards. He shot 36.8% from three.

Originally, Sytles was a consensus 4-Star prospect in UNC’s 2021 recruiting class. 247Sports ranked him as the #62 overall player nationally, and the #2 player in the state of North Carolina, playing for Kinston High School.

After two seasons with the Tar Heels, Styles entered the Portal, and took an Official Visit to NC State and Georgetown, and ultimately chose the Hoyas.

Styles will be spending his final year of eligibility with NC State.

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WATCH: Getting to Know NC State’s Mike James

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NC State Men’s Basketball is releasing videos helping fans get to know the new players on the 2024-25 roster.

Below is the video of Louisville Transfer Guard Mike James (6’5″/200), with a transcript underneath.

I last played at the University of Louisville. I spent three years there. Played two. Redshirted my first year because of injury. I enjoyed my time there, but all good things got to come to an end, and I’m here at North Carolina State. 

Entering the Portal is just like going through High School recruitment again. You’re getting your phone blown up every other hour, every single day. You’ve got to get on long phone calls. You’re kind of going through the process again, but this time, you kind of know what you want. You’ve been through College Basketball, so you know what questions to ask, what to expect, and you kind of just get straight to the point. I feel like the process was similar, but different this time. It went a lot quicker, and I knew exactly what I wanted. I want to win at the end of the day. Playing time is earned, and all that stuff. You’ve got to come in here and take care of that. 

Winning is very important, and I haven’t done that so far, but that’s the one thing I want to change about my college career. Seeing y’all go on that run was really appealing to me. 

I like to get to the basket. Draw fouls. Finish at the rim. Knock down shots on the perimeter. Defend 1-4 positions on the other end. 

I want to come in and win. I want to be a leader for our team. I’m an older guy now, so I want to be a leader. I want to come in and win another ACC Championship, and make another NCAA Tournament run. 

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This past year, James averaged 12.6 points per game (3rd on the team) and 5 rebounds. He’s extremely physical and aggressive, taking 47% of his field goal attempts at the rim (making 46%). As a result, he draws a lot of fouls, ranking 10th in the ACC in Fouls Drawn, and 4th in Free Throw Rate. James made opponents pay this year when they put him on the line, making 81.8% from the charity stripe, which ranked 15th in the ACC.

James shot the ball better as a Redshirt Freshman, than he did this past season. His Effective Field Goal Percentage in 2022-23 was 55.8%, which ranked 19th in the ACC, and his True Shooting Percentage of 59.6% ranked 14th.

News broke about James entering the Transfer Portal back on March 25th, and NC State was quick to reach out. Kevin Keatts and his staff recruited the former 4-star prospect out of high school heavily, but he ultimately chose the Cardinals.

After redshirting his first year in Louisville due to torn achilles, James has been a starter for the Cardinals the past two years.

He does have the ability to knock down a three, making 34.8% for his career.

James has 2 years of eligibility remaining.

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