As the season has extended into March there is no question that Trevor Lacey’s performances have been a little uneven. What is the cause for the inconsistent performances? Too many minutes? Scouting? Personally I think it has more to do with the scouting instead of Lacey being tired. Yes, Trevor leads our team in minutes per game at 35.7, but I think as the season has progressed more teams have understood the importance of putting length on Trevor in order to disrupt his signature pull up. Many people have been quick to point out how Lacey hasn’t been as efficient scoring the basketball; however, he has not allowed his offense to affect the rest of his game. Look at his performance versus LSU he had 9 points (4-15 fg), 9 rebounds, and 4 assists. He struggled to score but he made his impact on the boards and he still set his teammates up.
The main quality that I love in Lacey is his leadership and ability to stay positive. Against LSU he could have easily given in, but he trusted his teammates and coaches which resulted in a nail biting win. I forecast that Trevor will have a big game tonight as he will find his spots against Villanova. It will be critical that Trevor take care of the ball as the Wildcats are excellent at forcing turnovers and converting them into transition 3’s. Villanova will most likely put Dylan Ennis their best perimeter defender on Trevor in hopes of taking away NC State’s leading scorer. In my opinion this will be a great match up that will be tilted in Lacey’s favor. Ennis is a junior guard who stands at 6-2 and weights roughly 190 pounds, which means Trevor will have the size advantage. All season Lacey has been crafty at creating space by employing a number of hesitations, step backs, and shot fakes to beat his defender 1 on 1. I think his tricks will be mighty effective working against the smaller Ennis and he could be in a position to have a big night.
I want to see Trevor come out and be super aggressive offensively in the way he attacks. Being aggressive doesn’t mean taking a lot of shots but looking to create. If Trevor can use his strength to get his shoulders past his defender and bully his way into the paint I am confident that NC State will give the Wildcats all they can handle. As Lacey gets into the paint he will be set up for his one dribble pull up as the defense will play off of him. The engine that makes the Wolfpack go is without a doubt is Trevor Lacey, sure Cat is a great catalyst but he really gets to the rim much easier when defenders are forced to cling tight to Lacey and Turner. Look for Gottfried to get Lacey going early with some ball screens to get him into a rhythm. I predict that Trevor will find his scoring touch tonight and there will be plenty of shots of his grin as the Wolfpack looks to play spoiler once more!
NC State Guard MJ Rice Will Be Returning Soon After Stepping Away for a Period of Time
NC State Guard MJ Rice (6’5″/215) announced yesterday that due to personal reasons, he had to step away from the basketball program, but was excited to be back with his teammates soon. He was clear that his commitment to NC State hasn’t wavered.
Life is much bigger than sports. These young men are human beings first and foremost, and as we all know, this life is never simple and easy.
Rice transferred to NC State this offseason from Kansas with three years of eligibility remaining. The former High School McDonald’s All-American didn’t get a lot of playing time in his Freshman season at Kansas, averaging 7.6 minutes per game in only 23 games played.
Coming out of Prolific Prep in California, Rice averaged 20.1 points and 5.3 rebounds per game as a Senior. Rivals ranked him as a 5-star prospect, ON3 ranked him 24th nationally, and ESPN ranked him as the #1 player in the state of North Carolina.
Whatever Rice is working through, we value him as a person more than we do a player.
NC State Announces Hiring of Larry Dixon as NC State Assistant Men’s Basketball Coach
RALEIGH – NC State men’s basketball head coach Kevin Keatts announced Wednesday that Larry Dixon has joined his staff as an assistant coach.
Dixon comes to NC State after spending the last five seasons as an assistant coach at South Florida.
The NCAA Division I Board of Directors voted in January to allow two more assistant coaches on men’s basketball staffs. Dixon, will serve as one of the Pack’s two new assistant coaches that can engage in coaching activities but may not recruit off campus.
“I think Larry is a great addition to our staff,” Keatts said. “He’s a North Carolina native that has dedicated himself to a coaching career since graduating from college. He started at the high school level in North Carolina and eventually moved up to college and now has been a Division I assistant coach for almost 20 years. I think his experience is going to be a great asset for me and our coaching staff, as well as the young men in our program as we develop them on and off the court.”
Larry Dixon joined the USF coaching staff as assistant coach on May 12, 2018.
In just his second season with the team in 2018-19, Dixon helped USF to the top win turnaround in the NCAA during the 2018-19 season, as the Bulls won 14 more games than the previous season. In addition, USF turned in a 24-14 overall record to set a new single-season school record for wins. The Bulls would go on to win the College Basketball Invitational (CBI) championship and claim the program’s first postseason title since 1990.
Dixon also played an instrumental role in the development of 2019 American Athletic Conference Defensive Player of the Year Laquincy Rideau and 2019 American Athletic Conference Freshman of the Year Alexis Yetna.
Dixon helped USF become one of the top defensive teams in the NCAA during the 2019-20 season, finishing the year ranked 20th in scoring defense by allowing only 62.7 points per game. The Bulls limited eight teams to fewer than 60 points during the season and held 27 of their 31 opponents under their scoring average at the time of play. The Bulls also ranked 44th in the nation in turnovers forced with 15.6 per game, and stood 65th in the NCAA in steals with 7.5 thefts per game.
In 2021-22, Dixon helped develop Russel Tchewa and Corey Walker Jr. into one of the best frontcourt tandems in the league. The Bulls were again among the top defensive teams in the country, ranking 45th in the NCAA in scoring defense (64.9 ppg).
Dixon came to Tampa after five seasons as an assistant at Georgia Southern under head coach Mark Byington. Prior to his stint with the Eagles, Dixon had collegiate assistant coaching jobs at Winthrop (2007-12), East Carolina (2005-07), South Carolina State (2003-05) and St. Andrews College (2002-03).
In his final season at Georgia Southern, Dixon helped lead the Eagles to a 21-12 record, including an 11-7 mark in the Sun Belt. In 2016-17, he helped Georgia Southern reach the postseason for the first time since 2006, playing in the College Basketball Invitational.
Prior to arriving at Georgia Southern, Dixon spent the 2012-13 season as head coach at York Comprehensive High School in York, S.C.
During his five seasons (2007-12) on the coaching staff at Winthrop under head coach Randy Peele, Dixon was recognized as the top assistant coach in the Big South by Fox Sports.
Before entering the college game, Dixon served as the head coach at Garinger High School in Charlotte, N.C. for three seasons. In 2001, he led Garinger to a North Carolina High School sectional championship and earned Mecklenburg County Coach of the Year honors from the Charlotte Observer. Dixon also spent one season as an assistant at Carver High School in Winston-Salem, N.C. and one season at South Rowan High School in his hometown of Salisbury, N.C.
Dixon graduated from Johnson C. Smith University (Charlotte, N.C) in 1996, where he was a four-year letterman as a player. He was named the team’s most improved player following his junior season and the top defensive player after his senior season. He helped the Golden Bulls to a pair of CIAA Southern Division titles and a championship game appearance as a sophomore.
A native of Salisbury, N.C., Dixon has two children, Devin and Leah.
NC State Releases 2023-24 Men’s Basketball Non-Conference Schedule
NC State released their 2023-24 Men’s Basketball Non-Conference Schedule today.
Below is a look at each teams 2022-23 record, postseason play results, followed by their final rankings according to the NET and KenPom.
The Citadel – 2022-23 Record – 10-22. NET Ranking: 330/KenPom: 327
Abilene Christian – 2022-23 Record – 13-17. NET Ranking: 204/KenPom: 193
Charleston Southern – 2022-23 Record – 10-21. NET Ranking: 304/KenPom: 302
(Vegas Showdown) Vanderbilt – 2022-23 Record – 22-15. NET Ranking: 81/KenPom: 81 (Won 2 games in the NIT)
(Vegas Showdown) Arizona St. – 23-13. NET Ranking: 61/KenPom: 55 (Lost in 2nd Round of NCAA Tournament)
(Vegas Showdown) BYU – 2022-23 Record – 19-15. NET Ranking: 84/KenPom: 77
@ Ole Miss – 2022-23 Record – 12-21. NET Ranking: 129/KenPom: 122
Maryland Eastern Shore – 2022-23 Record – 18-13. KenPom: 251
UT Martin – 2022-23 Record – 19-14. NET Ranking: 251/KenPom: 273
(Hall of Fame San Antonio) Tennessee – 2022-23 Record – 25-11. NET Ranking: 5/KenPom: 6 (Lost in Sweet 16 of NCAA Tournament)
Saint Louis – 2022-23 Record – 21-12. NET Ranking: 97/96
Detroit – 2022-23 Record – 14-19. NET Ranking: 212/KenPom: 200
NC State Men’s Basketball to Play Vanderbilt in Opening Round of Vegas Showdown
The bracket for the Vegas Showdown on November 23-24 has been released, and NC State will play Vanderbilt in the opening round on ESPN2. They will either play Arizona State or BYU the following day, depending on how it shakes out.
Vegas matchup is set 👀
— NC State Men's Basketball (@PackMensBball) August 8, 2023
Vanderbilt finished the regular season last year with a record of 22-15, and were ranked 81st according to KenPom. Arizona St. finished the regular season with a record of 23-13, and were ranked 55th according to KenPom. BYU finished the regular season with a record of 19-15, and were ranked 77th according to KenPom.