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Sweet 16 Coverage: State’s Keys Against Louisville

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As we mentioned earlier, this isn’t the same Louisville team that NC State faced, and beat over a month ago. That Louisville team was peaking. Harrell was being looked at as one of the best bigs in the ACC and Chris Jones was one of their leading scorers. Fast forward to today and while Harrell might not be the offensive beast we once thought, and Chris Jones has been dismissed from the team, this group is creating a much more balanced attack. Let’s take a look at the keys for NC State surviving and advancing against the Cardinals…

Make it tough on Rozier and Snider
Sophomore guard Terry Rozier has been putting up some big numbers as of late. With the dismissal of Chris Jones, Rozier has taken the team on his back and took the role of team leader. He went off for 25 against Northern Iowa last round and scored 20 in the Cardinals loss to UNC just 3 games ago. In State’s win on Feb. 14th, Rozier was shut down with only 7 points. State had him in foul trouble a lot of the game before fouling out, but it was their physical defense and lane presence that really bothered him.

In their first meeting it was Chris Jones who was a handful for the Pack (20pts), but in his place is another talented guard. This time it’s Quentin Snider. Since Jones was kicked off the team Snider has slowly but surely been coming into his own. He’s combined for 26 points over his 2 tournament games and has shot the ball well (10-21). He’s a 6’2 freshman that’s pretty thin so physicality from Lacey might really bother him.

These two guys really control the pace and the flow for Louisville so bottling them up will be the difference for State.

 

Limit Turnovers
Louisville is going to try to turn State over. No doubt about it. They’ve forced 24 turnovers over the past two tournament games and will look to keep that train rolling. For the Pack, playing at their pace and handling the pressure from the Cardinals scrappy guards will be big. State turned it over 8 times against Louisville in their first matchup. That’s a pretty good number against this team, but they could even improve a bit on that.

As of late you’d have to say that handling pressure has been a plus for this team. With the emergence of Cat Barber, State all of the sudden has a very reliable backcourt who can make teams pay for pressing.
The Barber, Turner and Lacey Show
Pitino can’t stop talking about Anthony Barber. He recruited him, decided to let him get away and then was ravaged by him (21 points, 4 assits) in State’s win in mid February. Now in all of the pregame articles you’re seeing quotes from him talking about how important it is to stop Barber. They’ll be keying on him, helping off on him and really overcommitting on ball screens with him. That means someone is going to be getting less attention. That someone will likely be Ralston Turner or Trevor Lacey. Lacey’s confidence is riding high after a huge game against Villanova and Ralston Turner is still looking for a big breakout game in the tournament. This one is likely to be it. Pitino might game plan to slow down Barber, but he better have an answer for the other two scoring threats if he wants to play on Sunday.

 

Stay Physical with Harrell and the Bigs
State did a great job of making it hard on Harrell in their first matchup. He managed only 7 points, 5 of which came in the 2nd half. He’s still a beast, but most of his damage is done against teams that done have true physical bigs. State has a ton of them and will likely key on taking away position from Harrell. If he gets going, watch out, but if Gottfried game plans properly, State should be able to limit his looks like they did last time out.

This team is physical. It’s a Pitino team. So they’re going to want to win the battle of the boards. That starts with Harrell but doesn’t end there. Physicality, boxing out and being aggressive on the glass is another big time key. Abu, Freeman and Anya will likely see most of minutes in this matchup and will need to make sure the Cardinals know they aren’t getting anything easy. State dominated them 45-37 on the boards last time out and it was a huge reason why State was able to pull off that upset.

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Wolfer96
Wolfer96
7 years ago

I’ve got my NC State shirt on that I wore through the first 2 wins. Hopefully it will continue to bring this team wins. 

#GoPack

Wolfer96
Wolfer96
7 years ago

DaPack Winning is the cure-all. Helps recruiting, helps national image, helps get calls from refs. I’m still hoping we win it all like a true Cinderella but this team has turned around what was a few weeks ago a largely forgettable season and that is an accomplishment all on its own.

DaPack
DaPack
7 years ago

I would still prefer the survive and advance type of winning. You’re right though leave it all on the court and there’s nothing to feel bad about regardless of outcome. Go Pack!
I wonder how a few more wins will affect recruiting. As you look at this team’s progress it seems pretty clear to me that State is getting the brand back together!

Wolfer96
Wolfer96
7 years ago

How physical we play and how physical Louisville plays will be completely dependent on the refs. Yesterdays games were called really tight by tourney standards which hurt physical teams like WVU. I think if the refs allow physical play then it’s just a matter of who wants it more. But I’m afraid the refs will cause players like Anya to have limited minutes. I thought Anya got called for a couple a fouls in the Nova game that should have been no calls. We’ll see I guess. As for turnovers, this team has handled the pressure well enough. Aside from… Read more »

NC State Football

Ben Finley After He Led NC State to a Win Over #17 UNC: BULLETED

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Redshirt Freshman Quarterback Ben Finley defied the odds and led NC State to a 30-27 win over #17 UNC yesterday. He spoke with the media after the game, and you can watch it here, or check out a BULLETED breakdown below.

  • I think he [Ryan Finley] went 2-0 here in Carter-Finley West [Kenan Stadium].
    • But just having my 1st start and being able to go out there with the guys and get the W, this is the greatest feeling ever.
    • 5 weeks ago I was the 4th-string Quarterback messing around on the Scout Team.
      • I was still getting better, and having those guys still trust me when I came back up.
      • It just means the world to have the support from the entire team. They just played so well.
      • The defense. The offensive line gave me so much time. It was like I was just camping back there. It was awesome.
  • My roommate [Matt McCabe], who starts on our artillery, which is just the PAT and field goal unit, we were like ‘dude, the 1st week against ECU, there’s no way we would have thought we both would have been starting at UNC.’ It’s unreal.
  • I was just running around trying to hug everyone. I grabbed an NC State flag and planted it on the field, as I should have.
  • The nerves go away when you take the 1st hit.
    • It helped to get that lead at 7-0.
    • Leading up to the game if you’re not nervous then something is wrong with you.
    • I was a little nervous, but it’s just football.
  • It’s his [Devin Carter] 1st week back in a while.
    • To be honest, I haven’t thrown a pass to Devin Carter in probably over a year-and-a-half.
    • It’s like that with Thayer Thomas and Darryl Jones.
    • I had never thrown a pass to Darryl until last week in Louisville.
    • It’s just kind of weird. It’s like I’m playing on an All-Star team or something. I’ve just got ballers everywhere.
  • We knew if we got this win at UNC that it would be a big old band-aid on the season. Any time you can beat your rivals, especially at their home on Senior Night, it’s just huge.
  • You can never doubt yourself.
    • To be able to persevere, that’s the biggest thing in life. Things are going to happen to you.
    • Just keep fighting and climbing up the hill. You never reach the pinnacle of the mountain.
    • You’ve just got to keep climbing and getting better. That’s what our entire team does. We’re just constantly fighting.
  • It [being on the Scout Team] definitely helped with some of the throw windows and being comfortable in the pocket.
    • It definitely doesn’t help with the speed.
      • I definitely thought the game was going to be pretty slow when I got out there last week in Louisville and this week, and it wasn’t. With the scout team you let up.
      • You don’t get tackled. I haven’t taken a hit in three years. It was just kind of getting back into that.
      • But my O-line, I don’t even look like I’ve played a game. My jersey is pristine white. Any time you can go and just camp back there and deliver the ball, it’s a privilege.
  • I wanted to graduate from NC State [didn’t consider transferring from NC State]. That’s huge.
    • I graduate in December. That’s going to be really important for me to get my degree here.
    • I never tried to get into UNC, but according to Drake [Maye] I couldn’t have. It’s good that I get a nice degree from NC State in finance and go from there.
  • I had to find my parents. I love them so much, and they’ve just been such a big part of my life.
    • They’re the best parents that anyone could ask for. They show constant support.
    • Even when I was fourth string they were coming to every single game. The last three years they haven’t missed a game. I love them so much.
    • The least I can do is go over and celebrate with them. I’m definitely going to be continuing that celebration when I get home.
  • It was Terrell Timmons [was his go-to receiver on the Scout Team], and then I got him moved up. We were just tearing up the defense. He was bumped up.
    • Then it was Jalen Coit.
    • My tight ends were ballers. We were balling. Wake Forest was fun with that slow mesh.
  • I’m glad I could do that, but it’s a team win.
    • I made some crucial mistakes that I wish I could get back that I’ll learn from.
    • It was the entire team, starting with Chris Dunn.
      Jack [Chambers] went in there and put that 1st touchdown in.
    • Our defense was making stops. It was so fun watching our defense out there.
    • This is a big-time NC State win no UNC’s Senior Day. It’s not a Ben Finley win.
  • Oh yeah [wants to be the starter at NC State next year].
    • I’ve got 3 years of eligibility to play, which is crazy that I’m going to be in college just as long as my brother and he was in college for like 20 years.
    • I want to keep playing football. I love this game. I love this team. I love this school.

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NC State Basketball

Kevin Keatts Post Game Press Conference After Exhibition vs. Lees-McRae: BULLETED

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NC State Men’s Basketball Head Coach Kevin Keatts met with the media in his postgame press conference, after the Wolfpack defeated Lees-McRae 107-59 in an exhibition game. You can watch it here, or check out a BULLETED breakdown below.

  • We did some really good things tonight.
    • 1 of the things that was really good is that we had 22 assists on 40 field goals.
      • I don’t think that all of last year we had 22 in a game.
      • We shared the ball and we played with great energy.
  • Guys like Jarkel Joiner did a great job setting the tone on a defensive end.
  • We were able to play a lot of guys and see different combinations.
  • We had 4 games leading up to when we played tonight and I’m counting the 2 games in the Bahamas and the scrimmage and I am proud of our guys.
  • I will look at the tape and see what we need to clean up.
  • Our guys will be off tomorrow and ready to see Austin Peay on Monday.
  • We had 25 [deflections] at the half and I didn’t find out after the game.
    • 40 is our goal and we are trying to get 20 per half.
    • We were +5 at the start of the 2nd half, and I am going to guess and say 42 [deflections for the game].
  • You look at Terquavion Smith and 1 of the things that I wanted him to become, was more of a 2-way player.
    • He leads us with steals with 4
  • Jarkel Joiner can really dog the basketball and turn his guy over.
  • Being able to be play in the rotation of 9-10 guys can help us wear teams down.
  • It was great [watching Ernest Ross and Greg Gantt play together].
    • I didn’t play Gregg in the scrimmage because I wanted him to get an extra few days in before I put him out there.
    • It shows that Ernest and Gregg have the ability to switch 1 through 5 and play different positions.
    • It shows that we can be good with all the players we have. I was proud.
  • When any coach plays exhibitions you are crossing your fingers that nobody gets hurt and we accomplished that.
  • I wanted to go out and find some experienced guys.
    • When you look at us last year, our 4 guards were Freshman and Sophomores.
    • At our Center position, 2 guys had to play who really did not play as Freshmen, so they really were Freshmen even though they were Sophomores by the books.
    • We went out to try to get older guys and try to surround Terquavion Smith with some older guys.
  • I like our team. I like our energy, versatility, and experience.
  • The 1 thing that we ask from every player, even through recruiting, is 100% buy-in.
    • We are in a new age of basketball where there is always going to be a lot of transfers and we have to be selective with the guys that we bring in.
    • I am looking for guys that will play for NC State. If we can play for NC State, we will be fine.
  • When you look at it, because of the way we play there will be a lot of shots to go around.
    • We got 79 shots tonight and it’s enough for everybody to be successful if you share the ball and play together.
  • Give a lot of credit to Jarkel.
    • Here you are talking about a guy who has transferred from the SEC and he has kind of taken Terquavion under his wing as an older guy and embraced him and is excited about playing with him.
    • They feed off of each other.
      • You should see them in practice everyday. They are really excited about it.
      • They compete against each other in practice sometimes.
      • But, when they are on the same team, they just love playing together. I think that has helped our team.
      • Both of them are very unselfish.
        • I want to say in our scrimmage Terquavion led us in assists.
        • He had 6 in that one, you look at tonight he had 7.
        • Jarkel had 5 assists and then 6 tonight.
        • Those guys, we are seeing a path where they know they can score the basketball, but in order for us to be successful we have to get other people involved.
  • It was great to be able to throw the ball into DJ Burns to get some baskets.
  • Obviously, we are going to play a lot bigger teams where they are going to play more post guys, but I just wanted to see a sample size of Dusan Mahorcic, but also DJ where we can score the ball inside.
    • We didn’t have that dimension last year.
      • I feel like we were more perimeter than anything.
    • But those 2 guys [Dusan and DJ] are very unselfish.
  • I think every team is [worried about rebounding], unless you’ve got that 1 dominant rebounder and most teams don’t.
    • There’s a few teams that have that 1 dominant rebounder.
    • I think you have to rebound by committee now because more of basketball has become more positionless.
    • People are more all over the place doing different stuff.
    • We will be a committee rebounding team.
    • Jack Clark has been our best rebounder so far in the 4 games.
      • What did he have tonight…9… and he didn’t play like Jack Clark has played, which is a good sign for us.
      • He has been our leading rebounder.
      • Then we have got guys who get 6, guys who get 4, and guys who get 3.
      • Similar to the way we were last year, I thought we were a really good offensive rebounding team (last season).
        • Where we want to show improvement is on the defensive end.
  • You know he [KJ Keatts] is the smallest guy on our team…I wish I looked like him at times…but I think the and-1 finish…he will be talking about that.
    • But now, his younger brother, Kaden, won’t think it is impressive.
      • He will be like, “it was a weak move” or something like that.
    • I was proud. I was happy. I am happy for all of our guys.
    • Alex Nunnally goes in and bangs a 3 that sends us over 100.
    • Then you see KJ driving. It was a great moment for a Dad.
  • I don’t have to say anything to Chase Graham about his layup.
    • The team is killing him right now just so you know.
    • He tried to tell them he was euro-stepping, but I don’t know. I never thought he got to that part of it.

 

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NC State Football

#24 NC State vs. Virginia Tech: MATCHUP STATISTICAL BREAKDOWN

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#24 NC State hosts Virginia Tech tonight at home at 7:30pm on ESPN. Below is a STATISTICAL BREAKDOWN of the two teams.

 

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NC State Women’s Volleyball Picked 7th in 2022 ACC Preseason Poll

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The 2022 ACC Preseason Volleyball Poll is out, and the NC State Women’s Volleyball team is picked to finish 7th.

This is on par from last year, when the Wolfpack finished 7th in the ACC, finishing 10-8 on the year.

But this team is a very different team from last year. Wolfpack Head Coach Luka Slabe brought in a Top-20 2022 recruiting class made up of 6 Freshman, and he also added 5 transfers.

The Wolfpack’s season gets started on Friday in the K-State Invitational, facing Florida A&M in the A&M and Kansas State that evening.

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