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NC State Basketball

The Sprint to March Begins Now

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All that stands between NC State and the greatest show on earth is 5 games. Two of these game are within the friendly confines of the PNC. This Saturday the Hokies make the trip down from Blacksburg to try and gain a rare ACC win. On the season VT has only registered 2 wins in the ACC, but the Pack cannot simply overlook them come Saturday. If State comes out flat and drops the game against the Hokies then we have zero chance of punching our ticket to the NCAA Tournament. Following our game this Saturday State travels to bitter rival UNC to try and atone for a loss earlier in the season where the Tarheels were able to squeak by with the win.

Momentum is on the Pack’s side coming off a huge win at Louisville. Caution must be heeded for a young team as they recently beat a top ranked team only to face an unheralded opponent after a week off. This is where we will be able to see how effective Coach Gottfried is at reaching his team. As they practice these next few days it will be critical to keep a one game approach as looking behind or ahead can easily result in a devastating home loss. The key to the last five games are the same keys that have been important the whole season.

1. Limit Turnovers:

Cat has done an extraordinaire job in the past five game of taking care of the ball without sacrificing the attacking nature that must be employed to win. Others have followed Cat’s lead by not turning the ball over in our end of the court. The best example of this came last game as the Pack handled one of the best pressing teams in the ACC and country in Louisville. If the Wolfpack can continue to take care of the ball there is no reason why they cannot win out over these last five games.

2. Control the Glass:

NC State has shown that they are capable of out-rebounding any team on a given night; however, they must protect the offensive glass.  All five guys must crash the boards on the defensive ends to cut down on second chance points. Recently I have been impressed with Trevor Lacey and his willingness to mix it up underneath. The burden will be on Abu, Washington, Anya, and Freeman to step up to the challenge of not allowing any team to out-rebound the Pack.

3. Defend:

Make no mistake about it the main reason why State beat the 9th ranked Cards this past weekend is because they stepped up to the challenge and played excellent defense. Throughout the game State didn’t allow the leading scorer in the ACC (Terry Rozier) to have any clean looks and even held him under double figures on the day. As we look ahead there will be ample opportunities for State to prove that this defensive effort wasn’t a fluke. A week from today State faces UNC and must be ready to stop Marcus Paige. Paige has been a thorn in the Pack’s side since his arrival on campus a few years ago. Cat and company must step up and provide great effort and help in order for State to finish this season on a high note.

4. Energy:

In these last five games I am 100 percent confident that at least one of these games NC State will have an off night shooting the ball; but that is no excuse to pack the tent. The Wolfpack must summon all the required energy each and every time out if they want to achieve their goals of making the Tournament. Depth is not an issue so there is no reason why any one player should be taking any plays off. I am confident that we can go 8 or 9 deep if needed and still be competitive in stretches. Our guys must recognize this fact and leave it all on the court.

What are your keys to State finishing the season a perfect 5 and 0?

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wolfpack74
wolfpack74
9 years ago

You fought to add hitting free throws.  If we could shoot 75% as a team, we won’t be in the position we are now.   Free throw shooting has killed us for the past three years.  Gott needs to stay off the Rome show and teach the players how to shoot free throws.  Free throws, free throws and more free throws.

NC State Basketball

NC State Men’s Basketball 2024-25 Scholarship Breakdown

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With the announcement of the addition of Forward Ismael Diouf yesterday, and news breaking that MJ Rice and Ernest Ross are no longer with the team this morning, here’s a look at the Scholarship Breakdown for the Men’s Basketball Team for the 2024-25 season.

Senior (1 Year of Eligibility)

Forward/Center Brandon Huntley-Hatfield
Forward/Center Ben Middlebrooks
Forward Guard Dontrez Styles
Guard/Forward Jayden Taylor
Guard Michael O’Connell
Guard Marcus Hill
Guard Breon Pass

Junior (2 Years of Eligibility)

Forward/Center Ismael Diouf
Guard Mike James

Sophomore ( 3 Years of Eligibility)

Guard/Forward Dennis Parker Jr.

Freshman (4 Years of Eligibility)

Guard/Forward Paul McNeil Jr.
Guard Trey Parker

NC State now has 1 scholarship available for the 2024-25 season. 

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NC State Basketball

Ernest Ross is No Longer on NC State’s Roster

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According to a source, Senior Forward Ernest Ross is no longer on NC State’s roster.

On April 17th, Ross entered the Transfer Portal. On May 10th, Ross verbally committed to UTSA. Then on May 15th, Ross announced that he would in fact be returning to NC State for his final year of eligibility.

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.

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.

According to a source, Ross is leaving the program for personal reasons, that are non-basketball related.

Ross has 1 year of eligibility remaining.

 

 

 

 

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NC State Basketball

MJ Rice is No Longer on NC State’s Roster

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According to a source, Sophomore Guard MJ Rice is no longer on NC State’s roster.

Rice transferred to NC State last offseason from Kansas, and only played in 9 games for the Wolfpack this past season, averaging 4.1 points in 8.8 minutes per game.

On January 24th, it NC State announced that Rice would be sitting out the remainder of the season, and that they would be submitting a waiver for the season to count as a Redshirt year.

Prior to the beginning of the  season, Rice stepped away from the program for personal reasons, and missed the first 7 games, before joining the Wolfpack against Maryland Eastern-Shore.

The Kansas transfer played in 23 games for the Jayhawks as a Freshman, averaging 2.2 points in 7.6 minutes per game. ON3 ranked Rice as the #24 overall player nationally in the 2022 recruiting class. They also ranked him as the #2 overall player in the Transfer Portal.

It was always ‘iffy’ whether or not Rice would be on next years roster, but he didn’t enter the Transfer Portal, and remained with the team on their magical run, and even after.

According to a source, Rice is leaving the program for personal reasons, that are non-basketball related.

Rice has 3 years of eligibility remaining.

 

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NC State Commit Ismael Diouf: VIDEO VAULT

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NC State just landed a MASSIVE commitment from Canadian Forward Ismael Diouf (6’9″/215). Here’s a VIDEO VAULT of the new NC State big man.

 

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