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Surprise! Pack, Anya Shock LSU 66-65

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LSU took a 21-20 lead over the Pack with 8:30 in the first half. NC State would not get the lead back until Beejay Anya hit the improbable game winning left handed hook with .01 left on the clock.

Unbelievable. That’s really the only way to describe it. The Pack looked beat for most of this basketball game. The Tigers were setting the pace, owning the boards and getting the crowd going with highlight reel dunk after dunk. But State never went away. Barber and Abu kept them in it with 17 and 13 respectively and Kyle Washington made a rare appearance that really gave his team a spark down the stretch.

Washington has lost a lot of his playing time to Lennard Freeman over last half of the season, but he never pouted and knew his chance would come. When it did, he didn’t disappoint. His stretch of tip in dunk, blocked shot, 3 pointer and assist to Abu for a dunk, not only energized State but it also cut their deficit from 9 to 4.

But State didn’t really take over this basketball game. To be honest, this game was gifted to them. LSU hit their last FG with 10:24 left in the game. Yes, you read that correctly. In fact, they only scored 5 points over the final 10 minutes of the game. They were all FTs. Even with that, the Pack needed the Tigers to miss their final 5 FTs and hit an improbably left handed hook by Anya to survive and advance. Lets take a closer look at what happened:

It wasn’t the bigs that killed State, it was the LSU guards
I know that above statement seems wrong when you look at the stats, but it’s not. State’s perimeter defense was plain awful. Not only did they give up 17 points to guard Tim Quarterman (who only averages 11) They jumped at ball fakes, allowed penetration and didn’t recover around screens. This created all kinds of havoc down low. The bigs needed to help and this was one of those games where State’s help and recover defense was just sooo slow. This is where the bigs were really getting a lot of their points. When Mickey and Martin were posting up Abu and Anya, they really didn’t have much success. It was when they were forced to help, or when the Pack guards turned it over and allowed the Tigers to get into transition that they really hurt State. This is not about talent or quickness, this is about ‘want to.’ from the Wolfpack guards. It’s about getting down in a stance and really locking down. No reaching, no jumping, just good old fashion position defense.

Barber and Abu Kept State Afloat
Lacey and Turner have carried NC State all year, but tonight the shots weren’t falling. This was a little dissapointing for me. These two guys are your leaders, your upper classmen and the guys who should come ready. They didn’t. Sure, Lacey did hit a few big ones down the stretch and Ralston his a few early, but in the end, these guys did not give Gottfried the type of focus and ‘refuse to lose’ attitude that is needed. Instead is was underclassmen Cat Barber and Malik Abu who carried the weight. Barber had 17 (7-16) and Abu added 13 (5-7 shooting) to keep the game close. Against Villanova, State is going to need all of their weapons.

Washington Makes His Mark
Say what you want about Kyle Washington, but the guy brings it. His intensity and his hustle can’t be questioned and is something the Pack has really been missing. Sure, he shoots nearly every time he touches it on the wing, sure he leaves much to be desired with his position defense, but Washington kind of saved State on this night. His tip in dunk, his 3 and his assist to Abu really changed things, but it was his intensity that finally had his team believing.

The Hook
Of course State would go to Lacey on the final shot, but as you can see, teams have figured this out. Lacey was draped by a defender that was not going to go for his pump fake. He finally elevated for his shot, but a hand was right in his face. This is when he dropped it off to Anya, hoping to get it right back. But Beejay had seen enough of the guards missing on this night. He took the ball and backed down the lane, then with 2 seconds left, he took a left handed hook, it hung on the rim, and finally fell…sending the Pack to the next round.

Next up is #1 Nova on Saturday at 7pm on TBS. We’ll have much more on that coming up…

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wolfpack74
wolfpack74
8 years ago

Wolfer96 Is it the Les Robinson, Lee Fowler,  Sendek, or Lowe curse?

wolfpack74
wolfpack74
8 years ago

PackJunky wolfpack74 Caleb did a good job tonight.  My man, Lee, finally got to play.  His defense is so good.  If Turner could play on defense like Lee, he would be really good.  Our bigs came to play and did a fantastic job.  Go pack.

Wolfer96
Wolfer96
8 years ago

It felt so weird to be on the good side of luck. As a State fan we’ve been screwed so many times by bad calls, half court shots that steal a win away from us, inexplicable breakdown at the FT line late in the game (last season), etc. And to be on the receiving end of the opponent’s failures is just weird. We had no business winning that game. We lost practically every statistical category. They out-physicaled us, the refs screwed us several times, Turner and Lacey went 8 for 29, LSU ran a dunk drill on us in the… Read more »

PackJunky
PackJunky
8 years ago

wolfpack74 PackJunky Well there is more to being useful than scoring. He is one of our absolute best defenders, he is a good passer, a good rebounder for a wing, and he is super aggressive. Last night, he had a bad game. He is still figuring things out as a freshman. I could ask the same question about Kyle… if Kyle is so useful why hasnt he had more playing time lately? Well I think both of them are very useful, it’s just that we have a ton of depth and we need the right fit for the matchups we encounter.… Read more »

wolfpack74
wolfpack74
8 years ago

Wolfer96 wolfpack74 Can’t relax.  We need to win more so our recruiting does falter anymore than it has so far this year.  Yes, they have overachieved again, but that game last night was almost as bad as the last Duke game.  If LSU had any discipline and floor leadership,  we would have lost by 20 or more.

wolfpack74
wolfpack74
8 years ago

PackJunky If he is so useful then why didn’t he get more playing time last night?  He has scored 17 points in the last five games, shooting about 22%, 20% for 3’s.  I will give him one thing, he has 3 times the turnovers vs 3 pts field goals lately.  I would just like to see Cody get more playing time when it means something.  Caleb has always been rated higher than Cody, and I don’t see it.  I believe if  you play one then play both at the same time.  They have played that way their entire life.

PackJunky
PackJunky
8 years ago

If you think Caleb is useless you haven’t been watching this team all year, or you don’t know much about basketball.

Wolfer96
Wolfer96
8 years ago

wolfpack74  Gott definitely made the adjustments at half time. The key was the team playing more physical. It started with Dez getting all into Quarterman who was killing us all game. Then the rest of the team started matching that intensity.  We continued to give up some offensive rebounds but not the put back dunk kind that really hurt us in the 1st half. Anya will get all the press which is well deserved but Kyle had several plays that really got us back in the game. I just want to know what was going on with Lacey? He just… Read more »

Wolfer96
Wolfer96
8 years ago

I mean this is it. This is the end of the road if you don’t bring all that you’ve got. Gott needs to somehow use this game as motivation for Nova. I didn’t like how the guys came out in the 1st half. The transition D was just awful. Guys were fumbling the ball or turning the ball over. We left too many guys open on 3’s. To beat Nova this team will have to come out with razor sharp focus. Hopefully they shook off the tourney jitters this game. Now that the 1st game is out of the way… Read more »

wolfpack74
wolfpack74
8 years ago

Gott got smart or desperate.  He took out that useless Caleb and replaced him with Kyle.  Smart move to use Lee as well.  Lacey looks dead tired,  CAT still has energy.  Go pack for one more.

NC State Basketball

Key Takeaways from Kevin Keatts’ Preseason Press Conference

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NC State head coach Kevin Keatts met with the media for his preseason press conference last week. Here’s the key takeaways from what he had to say.

Point Guard Position

  • It’s a lot of competition.
    • You got Michael O’Connell, who has played a lot of basketball at Power Five [Stanford Transfer] that can play the point.
    • With D.J. Horne [Arizona St. Transfer], he’s in the same situation, but he’s been more of a combo guard his whole life.
      • It’s always great to get a young man to come back home [he played at Trinity Christian in Raleigh].
      • He’s here, he’s been positive, and he’s been great.
      • He’s older…a great older guy to have in the locker room, let alone his ability to score the basketball.
      • He will put you a little bit in the mindset of Terquavion and Jarkel, because he’s a really offensive-minded player.
    • Then, you’ve got 2 guys who completely had to play against Jarkel Joiner and Terquavion Smith in Breon Pass and L.J. Thomas.
  • We’ve got a lot of options. I don’t know who we will go with ultimately at the end.

Power Forward Position

  • Power forward, we’ve got a lot of options.
  • We could play big.
    • We could go back to when we had D.J. Funderburk and Manny Bates playing, because I love what Mohamed Diarra [Missouri Transfer] is bringing.
  • I love what Ben Middlebrooks [Clemson Transfer] brings, and then you’ve got Dennis Parker [Freshman], and then you’ll have the opportunity to play M.J. Rice [Kansas Transfer] at some of those positions also.

Depth

  • We have possibly 10 guys that we can put in the game.
  • I won’t make hockey substitutions where we go five in and five out, but I do think for the first time in a long time, we have 2 point guards, 2 shooting guards, 2 small forwards, 2 power forwards, and 2 centers.
    • Then we’ve got a lot of interchangeable parts that can play different positions.

D.J. Burns

  • He’s going to be mayor of this city one day. He is. He is what he is.
  • I’m going to have the best back-to-the-basket post guy.
  • He’s tough. He’s lefty. He can score it in different ways.
  • You don’t get any assists off of him because he’ll catch it and dribble 4 or 5 times to be able to score the basketball.

D.J. in Foul Trouble

  • Because his hands are so good, he reaches a lot.
    • Even on ball screens, he’s always thinking he can pick somebody.
    • What we’ve said is, “Hey, man, you can’t do that. You’ve got to wall off. You’ve got to do a good job. You can’t reach. You’ve got to stay in the game. You have to do your work early on the defensive end.
    • A lot of his fouls don’t come off the guy he’s guarding.
      • It’s our guards getting blown by, and he’s reaching and not rolling up or jumping when he’s in a restricted area.
      • Part of that, as we’ve talked about, our guards have to guard the basketball…and then, D.J., when they do come in, you can’t give up stupid fouls.

D.J. Getting Fouled

  • I think he gets clobbered. He plays through it.
  • The biggest conversation that we’ve had [with officials], is that when he catches the ball almost close to the 3-point line, you shouldn’t be able to have a closed elbow.
    • When he starts there, technically, he’s a perimeter player that time.
    • Once he gets close to the block is when you can use your elbow.

D.J.’s Passing

  • I see him as a passer.
    • His assist to turnover ratio is not great. But, think about this now…he makes every big pass and big play that you need to.
    • We’ll run the offense through him at times where he can become a passer and all that stuff.
    • We will run some things where he’ll be able to make some plays out of the post by passing the ball.
    • He’s going to get all type of double teams and everything else because he has all year long.

True Freshman Dennis Parker Jr. 

  • What makes Dennis Parker really, really unique is that he plays hard.
    • One thing I’ve always said is that the hardest-playing team typically gives us the best chance to win, and when you look at Dennis, he won’t put you in the mindset of a Freshman.
  • He runs the floor. He’s athletic. He can play multiple positions. He can guard more than one position.
  • I’m really excited about him as a Freshman.
  • He’s going to play some Small Forward for us. Also when we play small ball, I think he can play that ‘Torin Dorn role’, being able to play some 4 for us.

Kam Woods Availability to Play [North Carolina A&T Transfer]

  • Well, we had those conversations up front. We talked about the opportunities here.
    • “We would have to file a waiver for you to be eligible under the current situation, but if the waiver doesn’t go through, then, if you’re going to come to NC State, you’ll have to accept the fact that you’re going to have to sit out a year, like it used to be.”
    • He was completely fine with that.
    • I tried to set the expectation where it was and make sure that we both understood this as what it could be.
  • We should be filing a waiver for him soon, and we’ll live with whatever the results are.
  • He’s good. You don’t average 17 points in Division I, no matter what level, unless you can really score the basketball.
    • He’s gotten a lot stronger. He’s shooting the ball a little bit more consistently at this level.
    • He would be a great addition to our roster.
    • Once again, I’ll go back and say it…I don’t know if he’s going to be eligible or not, but if he is, I think he could help us.

Mohamed Diarra

  • He’s been our most complete player from the summer until now. He’s been really good.
  • He’s talented. He rebounds the basketball. He can step out and shoot it.
  • He handles the ball on a break.
    • He thinks he’s a point guard. I know he’s not, but he thinks he is.
  • He’s been really good. I’ve been impressed with him.
  • His work ethic has completely changed since he got here.
    • He wasn’t into it as much, but now he’s found some success through practice.
    • He’s kind of taken off to another level.
  • He’ll play some 4 and 5 for us.
    • He won’t play Small Forward, like he may think, but he’ll help us out a lot.

Ben Middlebrooks

  • We talked about the opportunity to play.
    • We don’t have a starting Power Forward.
    • There’s opportunities to play minutes at the 5. There’s opportunity to play minutes at the 4.
    • There’s opportunities to play.
  • Ben just wanted a different role. He was stuck behind a really good basketball player in P.J. Hall, and he wanted the opportunity to play some Power Forward, and that’s why he’s here.

Best on-the-ball defender

  • “I like Jayden Taylor.
  • Last year I said that Casey Morsell would be on the all-defensive team.
    • Casey didn’t listen to me enough.
    • He’s a really good defensive player.
  • I would say Jayden or Casey could play that role more than anything. More so Jayden than Casey.

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NC State Basketball

NC State’s 2023-23 Men’s Basketball Schedule Has Arrived

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NC State’s 2023-24 Men’s Basketball schedule has arrived!

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NC State Basketball

NC State to Honor David Thompson with Statue Outside Reynolds Coliseum

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RALEIGH – NC State University will pay tribute to three-time All-American David Thompson with a statue sculpted in his honor that will be placed outside of Reynolds Coliseum.

The unveiling will take place at 11:30 a.m. on Wednesday, Dec. 6, the day of the Wolfpack men’s basketball team’s annual Heritage Game at Reynolds Coliseum, and will be open to the public.

“This is such a deserved honor for the greatest basketball player to ever wear an NC State jersey,” NC State Director of Athletics Boo Corrigan said. “He is one of the most iconic players to ever play in the ACC and our hope is that this statue will ensure that generations of NC State students and fans will always remember the legacy and contributions of David Thompson.”

Thompson is widely recognized as one of the greatest players in college basketball history. A 2008 ESPN story ranked him as one of the ten best college basketball players of all-time, and he is regarded as one of greatest athletes in Atlantic Coast Conference history.

The Boiling Spring, N.C., native played three seasons at NC State from 1972-75 and was a unanimous first-team All-American at the conclusion of all three seasons. He was also named the ACC Player of the Year all three seasons.

He was named the Associated Press National Player of the Year in 1974 and 1975 and remains one of just five players in college basketball history to win multiple AP National Player of the Year honors.

Thompson immediately made his mark on the Pack, helping lead NC State to an undefeated season (27-0) in 1973. The Pack dominated the 1972-73 season and was at the top or near the top of the polls all season as Thompson averaged 24.7 points and 8.1 rebounds per game.

Thompson returned in the 1973-74 season and led the Wolfpack to a 30-1 record and the school’s first NCAA Men’s Division I Basketball National Title.

In the Final Four, Thompson and the Wolfpack met up with UCLA, the seven-time reigning National Champions and the only team to have defeated NC State that season. The Pack trailed 74-67 in the second overtime when Thompson’s heroics helped lead NC State back. Thompson pulled down a defensive rebound and made the go-ahead basket with under one minute remaining and then made two free throws with 38 seconds to go to give the Pack a 78-75 double overtime win in a game that is still considered one of the greatest Final Four games ever played.

Thompson finished the game with 28 points and 10 rebounds in the win over Bill Walton and the Bruins.
Two nights later, the Pack won the National Title over Marquette, 76-64, behind 21 points from Thompson. Thompson was named the Most Outstanding Player of the tournament.

To make it into the NCAA Tournament, the Pack defeated fourth-ranked Maryland, 103-100, in overtime in the 1974 ACC Championship, in a game that is routinely considered one of the best games in college basketball history.

As a senior, Thompson averaged 29.9 points, still the highest single season average in NC State history. He scored an NC State and ACC record 57 points in an early season win over Buffalo State. The Pack started the season ranked No. 1 in the nation and never fell out of the top-10, but lost in the ACC Championship game to end its season. The Pack finished the season ranked seventh in the nation but because the NCAA Tournament at that time only allowed the conference champion into the tournament its season was over.

Thompson closed his career with 2,309 points in 86 career games. He led the ACC in scoring all three seasons and was NC State and the ACC’s career scoring leader when he graduated.

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NC State Basketball

Former NC State Basketball Player Torin Dorn Joins Coaching Staff of G-League SLC Stars

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Former NC State basketball player Torin Dorn has joined the staff of the Salt Lake City Stars, the G-League team for the Utah Jazz. Dorn’s title is Player Development Associate/Assistant Coach.

After playing 3 seasons at NC State, Dorn went on to play professionally overseas in Poland and Czech Republic, before joining the Wolfpack coaching staff last season as a Graduate Manager.

Dorn will be working under newly appointed head coach Steve Wojciechowski (former Duke PG), who was the head coach at Marquette the past 7 seasons.

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