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Gameday: State Needs to Prove Worth vs Clemson

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Don’t say that you were surprised when NC State fell to Boston College immediately after their huge road win at UNC. If you were then you had disregarded the fact that they’ve lost the previous 9 games following a win over UNC. To be honest, we though we could disregard those stats.

See, we thought this team had turned the corner. We thought the defense had finally bought in. We thought we could finally trust this Wolfpack team. I guess we were wrong. Gottfried’s group came out and laid a massive egg. The defense was slow, lazy and not focused. The offense was sloppy, disjointed and not focused. There was a lack of leadership on that court this past Saturday and that is the most disturbing part of it all.

Tonight they look to change their course once again as they travel to Clemson to take on the Tigers. It was only a little over a month ago that the Wolfpack allowed Clemson to walk into their house and beat them like a drum 68-57. With a lot more on the line tonight, let’s hope the Pack can take care of these 3 keys to the game…

 

Stop the Guards
In their last meeting Jordan Roper and Rod Hall ate NC state alive. They hit 5-8 3pointers on their way to a combined 29 points. This time out the Pack will need to make sure this doesn’t happen. Lacey and Berber will be tasked in stopping this. But what should we expect? Who knows. Before the BC loss, in NC State’s previous three games they only allowed an average of 55ppg. Against Boston College (the last place team in the the ACC) they allowed 43 in the first half and 79 for the game. Unacceptable and downright embarrassing. They’ll need a little more ‘want to’ against Clemson.

Get Better Shots
If you remember correctly, the last time these teams met Malik Abu was on fire. He was scoring at will early on and went for 15 points and 12 boards. The problem was that he had no help. State shot an abysmal29% from the floor against Clemson, mostly because they were taking ill advised jumpers most of the night. Caleb Martin was 1-6. Barber was 1-6. Dez Lee was 0-4. Kyle Washington was 1-6. The only people that shot decent were Lacey, Turner and Abu, who all combined to go 15-35 (still not setting the world on fire, but passable.) With State really needing a win, they are going to need to be smarter on offense. Barber will be huge in this one. His ability to break down the Clemson defense and help State get easy buckets will be the difference in the game.

Lacey has been off and State desperately needs him to  turn it around. Over the past 2 games Lacey is 8-26. A number of those misses have actually been bad misses and even a few airballs. If the Pack wants to make a late season run they’re going to need Lacey to get hot and start scoring at a better clip. He’ll have an opportunity to shoot over top and get back in his comfort zone against a smaller defender in Jordan Roper (at 6’0). If Lacey struggles, so will State.

Run Your Offense
There are times (a lot of them) when this team’s brains just goes MIA. I know Gottfried preaches attacking and gives his guys a green light, but there has to be some sort of boundaries. State goes on huge stretches where they take awful shots, long 2’s with no rebounder in place and really get themselves into a hole. After a few possession of misses it’s like no one wants to shoot the ball and State goes into passive mode. This is when teams make giant runs against the Pack. This team needs to learn to get to the line a lot better. Outside of Dez Lee this team doesn’t have a run stopper. A guy that barrels his way to the hoop with his main intention being to get to the foul line. He encourages contact and invites the challenge at the rim, but he understands how to use his body. Barber doesn’t absorb contact well, Lacey doesn’t sell fould on his drive well enough and Raston, well, he usually tries to get contact, but his lack of balance in the paint never gets him the calls. This team needs to figure out other ways to score when shots aren’t falling. Gottfried has a very good, very effective offense, but State rarely takes the time to run the back cuts or the high lows that he has in place. Instead they constantly run corner’s for Turner to get open 3s and if that’s not open it’s one on one time for the guards. That type of play isn’t going to get your far in March and NC State is running out of time to change.

 

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THEOKEEP
THEOKEEP
9 years ago

Have they ever tried a small unit where they put Caleb at the 4 to get more floor spacing, being that state doesn’t usually have to bigs dominating at the same time when they are in anyways.

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.

_______

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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NC State Basketball

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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