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The Wolfpack looked like an unprepared, inexperienced group of freshmen and sophomores. William and Mary looked like a bunch of experienced vets as they surgically dismembered the Pack 85-68.

I’m not sure how else to describe it other than NC State looked slow, weak, and confused all night. The Tribe just played good old fashioned fundamental basketball. They protected the ball, knocked down open shots, and ran their offense to precision (52% from the field).

There honestly isn’t too many positive takeaways from this game. As for the players, Barber looked sluggish, Caleb Martin shot the ball well, but needs to expand his game and become more of a slasher and less of a spot shooter. Cody Martin is still looking for his role. Abu started off the game soft, but played like a monster after getting an earful from Gottfried. Anya looked thinner but still played way too slow for a Gottfried offense, Terry Henderson left early with a ankle injury, and Mavrick Rowan was probably the most versatile offensive weapon on the floor for the Pack (and he’s a slower than average freshman). Oh, and no one played any defense.

While that might sound negative, it’s not the end of the world. This Wolfpack team is young and there are still a lot (and I mean a lot) of basketball left to be played, but they better get their act together pretty quick because game #2 is only 2 days away.

By the Numbers:
State was out-rebounded by W&M 42-38. That’s inexcusable. The Tribe won the battle of the boards by purely out-hustling the Pack.

State shot 38% and only 27% from 3 pt range. This has got to get better and it’s going to start with shot selection. Way too many quick shots and ill-advised 3s from this team. They need to play inside out and get into an offensive flow (something we saw none of tonight.)

W&M shot 51% from the floor and 41% from 3. Sure, these guys had a great shooting night, but it’s not like State wasn’t expecting that. They jus simply missed assignments, were caught out of position and that spells disaster against a veteran team.

Caleb Martin had 21 pts, which is encouraging. But he took a lot of ill-advised shots over the course of the night and needs to become more than just a shooter if State is going to be a complete ball club.

Maverick Rowan had 16 pts, but was only 1-8 from 3pt range. The reason we were so impressed with Rowan is his style of play. Sure, the ball didnt’ go down tonight, but he played good basketball. He took mostly good shots, did not settle for only 3s, and constantly attacked the rim when no one else would. Those 3s are going to fall and I wouldn’t be surprised if Rowan is one of State’s top scorers this season (that is , if he can play good enough D to stay on the floor).

Nowhere to go but up
It’s probably not going to get any worse than it was tonight. This team does have talent, they do have length and they do have good speed. If they play together, get physical and play within the offense, they are going to improve a lot over the next few weeks.

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wolfpack74
wolfpack74
7 years ago

Where is all this talent that you guys keep talking about?  Haven’t seen much of it during game time.

NC State Basketball

NC State’s Ebe Dowuona Enters Transfer Portal

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NC State Junior F/C Ebe Dowuona has entered the transfer portal, with two years of eligibility remaining.

This year, Ebe played in 30 games, averaging 1.7 points and 1.9 rebounds in 10.9 minutes per game. As a Sophomore, after the injury to Manny Bates in the first game of the season, Dowuona went on to start in 27 of the 31 games he played in, averaging 4.1 points and 4.1 rebounds per game.

I’m not shocked. I don’t blame Dowuona for wanting to find a place where he would get more playing time.

Nonetheless this is a hit to the Wolfpack’s front court. While he didn’t offer much on the offensive end, he continually altered shots on the defensive end.

Ernest Ross will be a Junior next year, and fans will likely get to see Freshman Isaiah Miranda for the first time after redshirting after arriving to Raleigh midseason. Greg Gantt will be a Redshirt Junior next season as well.

Other questions loom for the Wolfpack front court as well. Will DJ Burns and Jack Clark return for their final year of eligibility? Will Dusan Mahorcic be granted a medical waiver for an additional year of eligibility?

Time will tell.

We wish Ebe all the best!

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NC State Basketball

NC State Ranked in Top-25 in Men’s Basketball Attendance in 2022-23

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When it was all said and done, the NC State fans represented in 2022-23, ranking 20th amongst Division-1 teams in Men’s Basketball attendance. The Wolfpack ranked 4th in the ACC, behind UNC, Syracuse, and Virginia.

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NC State Basketball

Wolferetti: Feed me my crow. NC State lost to Creighton and I’m here to break it down (and admit I was wrong)

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I was wrong.

I thought this matchup was a good one for NC State. I watched a lot of Creighton this year and to me, they looked like a team that NC State could roll over. Let me explain why.

I knew a few things. I knew Nembhard was a PG that could get a little out of control if sped up. I knew with a little defense and physicality, Sheierman could be made uncomfortable. I knew Kalkbrenner was a good defender but was going to sink on the pick-and-roll to protect the basket.

Joiner’s pull up just wouldn’t fall

I figured that Joiner, the pull-up king would be taking that DJ Burns screen, getting to the middle, and pulling up as Kalkbrenner sank. I figured Smith would exploit this as well. Well, turns out Joiner was off and couldn’t get his pull-up game going and Smith, well yeah Smith did exploit this pretty well.

Burns didn’t look like Burns

The other thing I’d figure would happen is that I thought DJ Burns would really frustrate Kalkbrenner. If you’ve looked at games where Kalkbrenner had to face a really good, physical back-to-the-basket big man, those bigs usually had pretty good games in the scoring column.  I honestly don’t understand what happened to Burns in this one. Sure he got a few stupid early fouls, but before he even picked up a foul he looked out of it. With no double teams coming, Burns is usually calculated, slowly backing you down and hitting you with a flurry of head fakes, pump fakes or spins. If the big doesn’t bite, Burns can fade away, go with a contested hook shot, or pass out.

In this game, Burns looked sped up for some reason. The first time he got the ball he quickly backed in and threw up a hook that rattled out. Not awful, but usually you see him probe a little more. Then the next time he didn’t even look for contact, instead, he threw up a little floater that didn’t fall. While neither were awful shots, both were uncharacteristic of Burns. On top of those things, he looked absolutely gassed within minutes of coming in. My guess is that it was the altitude, but either way, it took a toll on him.

Whatever it was, it had him frustrated and he had two really bad fouls where he just shoved Kalkbrenner (he also had a phantom foul that was ridiculous). That said, it just wasn’t his night and this made NC State a lot more one-dimensional.

Casey Morsell came to play, but this NC State roster just wasn’t built to get a guy like him going, which is a shame. Jarkel Joiner was a huge reason why NC State got to where they got. His scoring ability, his speed and his toughness and leadership skill were huge. But Joiner is a scoring guard, and great basketball teams need POINT guards.

What is a point guard, and why can’t we have one?

A point guard isn’t just a guy who dribbles it down. It’s a guy who understands the games within the games. Guys who dictate pace, call plays (sets) and are essentially coaches on the floor. NC State and Kevin Keatts never had that this season, and while you can get a long way with scoring guards and good big men, you’ll never compete for anything of worth until you prioritize the skill set of a true point guard. I think that has been NC State’s problem for years, and I find it kind of insane that coach after coach falls into this idea of having a scoring guard play as a PG for more offense to get on the court.

This is no shot at Jarkel, either. The guy was one of my favorite players to watch on this team, but it just is what it is. He is a scoring guard who happens to be slotting in at PG. When you see Keatts bring in a guy whose priority is getting his guys open and dictating pace, then you can start to believe that this program may be close to arriving. Until then, sneaking into the tournament and hoping guys get hot hands is as good as it gets.

Look at Kihei Clark (Virginia’s PG). I know it’s not a great time to be talking about Clark, whose errant pass ended up losing the game for Virginia on Thursday, but look at Clark’s build.5’10, 170lbs. Look at his stats. Mid-30s shooting % from 3. Hight 70s from the FT line. The guy is nothing special when it comes to the numbers, but he’s a leader and he distributes the basketball to the right guys at the right time. Tony Bennett has started Clark for 4 years despite the fact that he’s coaching a team that is always in the running to win the ACC and won a national championship less than 5 years ago.  He could replace Clark with an elite, tall, athlete at any moment. But he doesn’t. Why? Because he understands what I’m talking about. It’s a puzzle that coaches need to put together, and one piece of that puzzle is a guy like this.

I was wrong about this game. I thought things would play out differently. They didn’t. I’m not blaming anyone in particular, but the makeup of this team vs. the makeup of teams that play deep into March are different. Maybe this is step one to getting there. We’ll have to see how the roster shapes up next season.

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NC State Basketball

VIDEO: NC State falls to Creighton 72-63 in first round of NCAA Tournament | Extended Highlights & Box Score

NC State came out flat, DJ Burns looked gassed, and for the most part, the Pack looked shell-shocked vs. Creighton from the opening tip. However, Terquavion Smith is excluded from all of that. He was amazing and in what was likely his final game at NC State, he kept the Pack afloat, dropping 32 points on 12-25 shooting. In the end, it wasn’t enough as their big man, 7’1 Ryan Kalkbrenner went for 31.

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NC State came out flat, DJ Burns looked gassed, and for the most part, the Pack looked shell-shocked vs. Creighton from the opening tip. However, Terquavion Smith is excluded from all of that. He was amazing and in what was likely his final game at NC State, he kept the Pack afloat, dropping 32 points on 12-25 shooting. In the end, it wasn’t enough as their big man, 7’1 Ryan Kalkbrenner went for 31.

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