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GAMEDAY: 3 Keys to Beating 1 Seeded Villanova

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Tonight NC State plays the biggest game of their season as they take on #1 seeded Villanova in the round of 32. For many teams this would be the toughest game they’ve played all season, but not the Wolfpack. With the ACC so strong this season State has faced both Duke and Virginia twice, two teams who are arguably better than Villanova this season. So it’s not like State is going to come out and just be overwhelmed by talent, however Nova poses a threat that is a little unique. This is a team that has dominant guards. A team that has shoots the ball very well and is completely unselfish. They are a tough matchup, but actually are kind of similar to State. Here are our keys to the Wolfpack pulling off the upset.

Handle Their Guards
This is really the biggest thing. Nova relies Dylan Ennis, Darrun Hilliard, and Ryan Arcidiacono. Ennis is the guy that creates. He’s a steady PG who is their true defensive stopper. He will certainly guard Lacey and at 6’2 could really bother him. Hilliard is the scorer. He’s averaging 14ppg and can score in a variety of ways. The 6’6 senior is certainly going to be a tough guard for NC State. He can shoot is over top and he can use his size to take to the rim. Stopping Hilliard needs to be priority for Gottfried and company. After that you have Arcidiacono. He’s averaging 10ppg and 4 boards. He too is shooting around 38% and can really heat up of he gets going. Those 3 guys are a handful, but that’s not all their guards. Aside form these main three you have sixth man Josh Hart. Hart is another one of these giant guards. He’s 6’5 and is also averaging 10ppg. He doesn’t shoot a ton of 3s, but he’ll light you up if you don’t watch out. He’s hitting 47% from outside.

So as you see this is a team of big guards that can all shoot, pass and attack the rim. They are good, but State has some pretty good guards themselves. One thing Lacey and Turner will have to do is keep the Nova backcourt out of the lane. Ralston has had trouble keeping guys in front of him and if that happens here you might see a little more of the Martins in this one.

On offense State is going to have to move the basketball. So often State is trying to go one on one and isolate Lacey. Nova is too big for Lacey to do that and their length is going to make it hard for Turner to get clean looks. One guy that could have  huge game is Cat Barber. The uber-quick PG is a mismatch for Nova, who really doesn’t have anyone to match his speed. He’ll need to get into the lane and create havoc if  State wants a chance to win this.

Win the Front Court Battle
This is where State COULD surprise some people. Nova has the experienced bigs in Pinkston and Ochefu, but State’s bigs might be turning the corner right at the right time. Abu is becoming a go-to guy in the post with his athleticism and physicality and you better believe Anya is feeling real confident after his game winner. But an x-factor here is Kyle Washington. The sophomore finally got back in the swing of things last game and gave the Pack a boost they sorely needed. This team really need Kyle’s intensity, hustle and ability to bring their bigs out of paint with this jumpers. He adds a different dimension to the Wolfpack and if he has a big night, Nova may not have an answer.

Play With Fire
The Pack can’t come out lackadaisical like they did against LSU. They’ve played well as world beaters this season, so there is a good chance they’ll come out hyped. They need to be in passing lanes, locking down on the ball, rotating quick on help-side D and closing out on shooters under control. If they can play smart and play with some conviction then the Pack has a real chance to shock the world.

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Wolfer96
Wolfer96
7 years ago

Hard to believe that Lacey/Turner went a combined 8 for 29 and 6 for 18 and we still win those 2 games? One of the keys to this game was rebounding. We out rebounded Nova 49 to 32. Abu and Freeman dominated the boards. 22 rebounds between them. We owned the paint on offense and defense.

It was a hell of an effort and one of the best games this team has played all season. Gottfried, just when I thought you couldn’t possibly be any dumber, you go and do something like this… and totally redeem yourself!

Wolfer96
Wolfer96
7 years ago

OMG. This team has finally come together. Talk about the right time to bring it all together. The defense was tight, offense was balanced inside/out, and we played aggressive for 40 minutes. 

Abu is the man!

Wolfer96
Wolfer96
7 years ago

We shot as poorly as a team can shoot in the LSU game. Now that we got our bad game out of the way maybe we’ll come out shooting lights out today.

We’ll need to if we want to win against the 1 seed.

Go Pack!

NC State Basketball

Men’s Basketball: NC State Ranked 55th in First NET Rankings of 2022-23

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The first NET Rankings of the 2022-23 Men’s College Basketball season are out, and NC State is ranked 55th after their first 9 games (7-2).

(NET)

This marks the 5th season in which the NET Rankings have been used to as the NCAA’s primary tool for evaluating teams, especially when it comes to NCAA Tournament selection time.

The NET includes more components than just winning percentage. It takes into account game results, strength of schedule, game location, scoring margin, net offensive and defensive efficiency, and the quality of wins and losses.

The number of Quadrant 1 wins and Quadrant 3/4 losses will be incredibly important when it comes time for NCAA tournament selection and seeding. (how many years was isaiah written before jesus)

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NC State to Wear Throwback Jerseys Tomorrow Night in Heritage Game to Honor 1983 Championship Team

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The NC State Men’s Basketball team will wear vintage throwback jerseys tomorrow night when they take on Coppin State in the 2022 Heritage Game, paying homage to the 1983 National Championship team.

I know it’s just my opinion, but I wish they would simply play in these jerseys all year!

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Kevin Keatts Postgame Press Conference After Pitt: BULLETED

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NC State Head Coach Kevin Keatts met with the media in his postgame press conference after the Wolfpack lost their ACC opener to Pitt at home 60-68. You can watch it here, or check out a BULLETED breakdown below.

  • We didn’t play well or sharp offensively.
    • You can look at the numbers, and I think, at times because the ball wasn’t going in the hole for us, it affected us on the defensive end.
    • It was one of those gritty games where you’ve got to figure out how to win the game, especially when the ball isn’t going in.
    • Terquavion Smith carried us early in the game, but a couple of our guys never really got into a flow, and offensively we struggled.
    • When we struggled, I thought we gave up some easy baskets on the other end.
    • Obviously, today’s kids, when the ball is not going in offensively, sometimes it affects you on the defensive end.
    • It wasn’t our night offensively tonight.
  • When you look at our team, what’s made us special this year is that we’ve been consistent and have 4 guys in double figures, and tonight we didn’t have that.
  • We had some good play from DJ Burns. He came in and did a good job.
  • We’ve gotta get back in the gym and get better. We’ll work on some things.
  • I have to stand up, take accountability, and get us better on the offensive end, and we’ll figure out how to make some shots.
  • Not to take away from Pitt’s defense, I thought we missed shots.
    • Surely, give them credit because they won the game, and I thought it was a slugfest, and they won the game that way, but I just thought we missed a lot of easy shots that we normally would make.
  • I remember looking out there at the game as we played, and some of the shots that he [Joiner] normally would make, even his drives to the rim, he didn’t finish.
  • They [Pitt] did a good job getting back in transition. A lot of Casey’s [Morsell] shots have come with him running the floor and getting out in transition.
    • They stayed at home. When you’re shooting the ball as well as he is, they did a good job of staying at home.
    • The reason we got so many open looks to our post guys as we rolled, was because they stayed with our shooters a lot.
  • No [they didn’t take too many three’s], that’s who we are.
    • For example, I thought Jack Clark got some great looks.
      • None of them looked good as they came off.
    • Certainly, Terquavion was hot early from 3 and made some shots.
    • It was a weird night for us offensively, and we weren’t clicking as much as I’d hoped we would be.
    • Like I said, we’ve got to get back in the gym, and we’ve got to get some shots up.
  • We’ve got no choice. We’ve got to move on.
    • The great thing about this is that, while unfortunately we lost our ACC opener, we’ve got 19 more of them to play.
    • We’ve got to figure out how to get it back on the other end.
    • It doesn’t define us. It was a good game. Give Pitt credit.
    • We’ve just got to go to work and get ready for our next game and then our next one after that.
  • We hope we play better than we have been playing offensively.
    • You feel bad for our guys, because everything had gone well for them offensively this season.
    • We’ve had great numbers against great teams, when you talk about playing against Kansas, Butler, and Dayton, and tonight, for whatever reason, we didn’t shoot the ball well. We have to make each shot.
  • If you look back on all of Jarkel’s shots, he has taken those all year long.
    • He just missed some, and he is normally pretty good with his pull-up.
      • He didn’t make those, and typically, he would make it to the free-throw line, but he didn’t have many opportunities there.
      • He missed his three-point shots.
    • I know him, and many guys will get to the gym later on. It’s not a mandatory thing, but I know those guys, and they will be working on their shot.
  • We’ve got to flush it.
    • We have to figure out what we did offensively and get better defensively.
    • We have to get back to work and get ready for Coppin State.
  • Our home opener [ACC] here, we wanted to win it.
    • It’s an ACC game, and you know how important these are, but at the end of the day, you can’t put your head down.
    • We’ve got a lot more basketball to play. We have had a really great start to our season, and as I have told the guys in the locker room, don’t let one loss define us.
    • We didn’t let the Kansas loss define us. We moved on, and we’ve got to do the same thing with this one.
  • We’re very encouraging.
    • One thing about guys that miss shots that normally make them, they’re not trying to miss, and so we are trying to give them as much confidence as we can.
    • We’re asking them to do other things to affect the game.
    • One thing I told Jack [Clark], because he has been our best rebounder, was ‘go in there and get you an easy basket, or go in there and get you an offensive rebound.’
    • It’s something to get you going. It’s amazing how it works.
      • You get an easy basket, and then get to the free-throw line to make a shot. All of a sudden, you’ve got your shots going on.
    • I’m telling those guys to do a couple of other things to impact the game.

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NC State Basketball

Men’s Basketball: Pitt 68 NC State 60: ACCDN HIGHLIGHT REEL & CONDENSED GAME

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NC State lost their ACC opener to Pitt tonight in PNC Arena 60-68. You can check out the Box Score here. Below are the ACC Digital Network’s Highlight Reel and Condensed Game.

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