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Players to Watch: LSU’s Versatile Bigs, Mickey and Martin

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Jarell Martin stands at 6’10 and weighs in at 236lbs. His front court mate, Jordan Mickey isn’t far behind at 6’8 and 235lbs. These are the guys that make LSU go. They are a team that will go as far as their bigs can take them Mickey is a double-double machine that averages 15.5pts and 10rebounds per game while adding 3.6. Martin is putting up even better numbers at 17ppg and 9.2 rebounds per game.

First let’s have a look at Martin.

Jarell Martin: Martin isn’t your average 6’10 big man. He’s not a big, lumbering back to the basket type guy. He is agile, strong and can attack off the dribble. His jumper is decent but you’d much rather him be spotting up than attacking the rim. He’s going to be a major mismatch for NC State and how they decide to guard him could be a deciding factor on Thursday.

Jordan Mickey: Watching those Martin highlights you’d think he was the athletic one, but he’s not. Mickey is a CJ Leslie type athlete with more strength and better shot blocking anticipation. This guy can rise and can also attack off the dribble. He’s more average sized and should be a little more natural for NC State to matchup against, but honestly, I’m not sure State has faced a guy as bouncy and long as Mickey.

Matchups
State is going to have a tough time matching up here in the middle. The problem for LSU is that State is going to have the advantage on the perimeter. For the Pack though, the question is how will they guard these two monsters in the middle. Abu matches up well physically with Mickey but his position defense and propensity to foul is going to be a problem. Freeman is a guy who can really body up Mickey and throw him off balance. Sure he’ll get around him some, and he’ll rebound over top of him, but he’s not going to be able to just out physical him. That means you’ll need Anya in there to deal with the 6’10 Martin. The problem here is that Martin is agile and Anya has trouble stopping attacks off the dribble.

These are the major questions surrounding this game. Their answers will be the difference between going home and advancing to the next round.

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Wolfer96
Wolfer96
9 years ago

From everything I’ve seen on LSU it appears that it will be a battle of their Front Court vs our Back Court. If our interior guys play smart we can match up fairly well on defense but not sure how much scoring we’ll be doing from the paint? It will be an interesting matchup. 

Just remember one thing Wolfpack… when they press, attack, attack, attack. Hopefully we’ve learned this by now having played half a dozen pressing teams this season.

ThatWiggaJigga
ThatWiggaJigga
9 years ago

I’m Ok with this team basing everything around their bigs.  If we can effectively double team their big and rotate back on D well we should be able to shut down to a degree their bigs.  Anya has the power to battle down low and a second defender should take away that drive.  Then we have Freeman and Abu who can matchup with the other big.  If Ralston isn’t hitting I expect to see alot of the twins.

wolfpack74
wolfpack74
9 years ago

Their bigs can get their points.  State needs to stop Hornsby.  If he get 15 or more, we are in trouble.

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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