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Cat Barber scored 21 points and Caleb Martin added 14, but it wasn’t enough as Virginia Tech took a 73-68 OT win away from the Pack .

State started off strong, playing patient inside-out basketball and getting out to a commanding 16 point first half lead. But as the game wore on and the Seth Allen and Jalen Hudson got hot, the Wolfpack reverted to this teams #1 weakness…poor shot selection. As the Pack settled for contested 3s and long 2s, the Hokies were attacking the basket and putting pressure on the Pack.

Caleb Martin and Mav Rowen combined to go 3-17 from beyond the arc in a game where NC State led for most of the game. State also outrebounded the Hokies 50-41, but could not overcome the onslaught of Allen and Hudson down the stretch.

As far as positives go, Cat played well. He really has come on as a go-to scorer and play maker for this team. He once again got over the 20 point mark even added 7 boards. The bigs rebounded the ball well and Anya was a block machine (5 total). Although Gottfried pointed out rebounding as a area that needed improvement after this game, I am not fully in agreement. Abu and Anya did great work on the boards and State actually won the rebounding battle 50-41. Yes, at the end of the game there were a few key missed rebounds that led to the loss, but overall I thought the bigs worked  hard on the glass. Lastly, Cody Martin filled his niche with 7 points (3-4 FG) and 4 boards in limited time. I think it’s time to see more Cody. He’s not ever going to be a big time scorer, but he really is the type of do-it all player who isn’t afraid to get his hands dirty. He shares the basketball, has a great nose for it and constantly finds himself in the right place at the right time. I know this team is dying for scorers, but they are also in need of a guy who practices patience and runs the offense with ease and efficiency.

Gottfried harped post game on a few calls he wished could have gone their way and the fact that his shooters couldn’t hit shots tonight, but when he goes back to watch the tape I think what might stand out is the decision making by his players when they got rattled. This is a young team, no one questions that, but they need to keep improving in this area. Tonight was an early step in the right direction, but then two steps in the wrong direction when the Hokies surged back in the 2nd half.

We’ve taking a bit of heat recently for being too critical of a team that came in 10-3. We’ve been doing this for a while now and we think that the fans of this site don’t just want to know if we won or if we lost (they watched the game), but they want to know why. How can this team let a 16 point lead slip away? Why did we look so good early on and what happened in the 2nd half?

Tonight you saw the points we have been trying to make all season long. This team is very talented and they have been out-athleting teams early this season, but now we’ve reached prime-time. Now every team is on the same level athletically, so intricacies of the game come into play. The small things start paying off, and being able to run faster and jump higher no longer gain you the advantage they did against teams like High Point or UNCG.

Tonight NC State came out and played Mark Gottfried basketball early on. They were patient, they were sharing the ball, dumping it down and causing VT to make decisions. Do they double down or allow Anya and Abu to go one on one on the block? Buzz Williams chose to have his guys double down. This opened up some great interior passing and a few high lows. It also opened up some great kick outs for uncontested 3s. They had the high pick and roll working and they were, allowing the ball to get into the high post. These are areas that the ball needs to go to make the defense react, and it was working to the Pack’s advantage in the first half.

In the second half it was a different story. As VT started making their run, the Pack started to panic. No longer where they working the ball inside-out. They retreated into the thing that has plagued them since day one. They started settling for forced shots. They stopped running through the offense and really let the Hokies off the hook. Too much dribbling, too much one and one at the top of the key. All of the sudden there were shot clock violations, guys taking 3s with 2 hands in their face, not even squared up. You’d have thought it was NC State team that was fighting back from a 16 point early deficit. At the end of the day, this is what really cost them.

Now, don’t lose hope. Does this mean that this team won’t figure out this issue and play like the team you saw in the first half? No way. This team is slowly improving. They are young, they are still finding their roles and learning what they can and can’t do at this level. The point we are trying to make is that we are now 14 games in. We are almost halfway through the season. This team has the talent to be a contender, they just need to focus on patience, execution and togetherness and they need to work on that until it becomes their default. When the going get’s tough this team needs to rely on each other. Cat is a great scorer, but they need more than just him if they want to make a run this season. They need to figure this out quick.#18 Louisville rolls into town in 5 days.

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JohnAllen3
JohnAllen3
8 years ago

I generally agree with you, but am pretty discouraged about the VT loss. Outside of Cat, our next best offensive options are two sophomores (Caleb & Abu) and a freshman (Mav). So, besides Cat, our offense is pretty young and will get better. Reviewing the VT game: Cat – Good game – too few assists, too many turnovers – but 21 pts and 7 boards is a good game Caleb – Pretty good game, but if he is going to play the 2, he should get some assists – 14 pts, 4 boards – good stuff BeeJay – Good game,… Read more »

wolfpack74
wolfpack74
8 years ago

Where is all this talent that you write about?  I don’t see it on the court as a team.  I see people confused, in the wrong position, shooting shots at the wrong time, and loosing games against inferior teams.  To me that spells below average talent.  Just because you can jump out of the gym, and are faster than lightning, stronger than the average bull, doesn’t mean you can play basketball.  This team has too many role players and not enough complete players playing as a team.

wormncsu
wormncsu
8 years ago

I hate to say this because I think he has done a lot for this program. But really with this product that we have on the floor I believe Gottfried should be worried. Let’s look he missed a whole draft class this year he was lucky to get Kirk and Rowan. Next year he only has one guy who is coming off a blown out knee. He missed the guy that everyone said was a lock to be at state. If cat leaves which I am sure he will you will be in same boat next year a team with… Read more »

wolfpack74
wolfpack74
8 years ago

PackJunky No $hit.  I told you guys last year that this team would suck.  Well you guys must see what I see now.  Anya, Freeman, and Abu should do nothing but practice free throw shooting.  The offense scheme also suck and does not fit these guys.  Please change something before we meet some good teams.

PackJunky
PackJunky
8 years ago

It’s offiicial… we suck.

NC State Basketball

NC State Forward Ernest Ross Enters the Transfer Portal

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NC State Forward Ernest Ross announced today that he is entering the Transfer Portal.

 

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Ross played in 14 games this year, averaging 3.4 minutes per contest. After playing in 34 games last season, averaging 11.4 minutes per contest, Ross saw his participation dip to a career low this season, but that didn’t for a second break his infectious personality. On the sideline, you could count on Ross every single game to be the heart and soul of the Wolfpack on the bench. To watch a player who played as little as he did, care as much as he did, makes me super proud that this young man represented NC State so well.

Ross was a consensus 4-star player in the 2021 recruiting class, with 247Sports ranking him as the #60 overall player nationally. ESPN ranked him as the #5 overall player in the state of Florida.

Ross has one more year of eligibility remaining.

NC State has 3 scholarships available now.

Best of luck Ernest!

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NC State Basketball

What did the Wolfpack’s Incredible Run to the Final Four Mean to NC State Legend Chris Corchiani?

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What did NC State’s miraculous run to the ACC Championship and Final Four mean to Wolfpack legend Chris Corchiani? I caught up with the man who is still NC State’s all-time leader in Assists and Steals to get his take.

What was it like for you watching NC State go from the #10 seed in the ACC Tournament, to winning the Championship, to going to the Final Four?

Man, it was unreal. They caught lightning in a bottle and it was an absolute amazing run. They were a mediocre team all year that turned into a feared team that nobody wanted to play! To win the ACC championship in 5 days and to get to Final Four…..Wow!!

What did this run say about Kevin Keatts and these players? In what ways did you see them adapt, change or persevere?

Keatts received a lot of criticism for 7 years and after this run is deserving of great praise. I think shortening the lineup to 7-8 guys and doing away with the full court press and playing solid half court defense was a great move that obviously paid huge dividends. He also kept this team together which was not easy as they lost last 7-9 going into the. postseason. The guys also grew confident in their roles and played possessed!

As one of the best players to ever wear the Red & White, what did this run mean to you personally?

This run was something I have dreamed about happening and the fact it was so unexpected made it so much sweeter! To see the students, alums, boosters, and fans get what we all have been waiting for was the best!

What was the most memorable moment for you?

Most memorable for me was going to Final Four with my family and enjoying catching up with old friends, boosters, friends and teammates!

How do you think this run can change things for the NC State Basketball program going forward?

This run gives us momentum in so many ways. Listen, this was good not only for our hoops team but for our University! Hopefully our recruiting will take a big step forward with kids wanting to run with the Pack! A month of free advertising should be Huge for the future of our Men’s and Women’s basketball programs!

_______

When NC State legend Chris Corchiani left NC State, he not only held the school’s record for career Assists and Steals, but he also was career leader in ACC conference history. His 40.8% career Three-Point Percentage ranks 7th in school history. Corchiani was the first player in NCAA history to have 1,000+ career assists.

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NC State Basketball

ON3’s Jamie Shaw Puts in a Prediction Georgetown SF Transfer Dontrez Styles will Land at NC State

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ON3’s Jamie Shaw put in an RPM earlier today for Georgetown Small Forward Transfer Dontrez Styles to land at NC State. All-time, Shaw’s prediction accuracy is 87%.

I spoke with a source, and it seems like this prediction has some merit.

ON3 ranks Styles as the #66 overall prospect in the Portal.

Styles was the 2nd leading scorer for Georgetown this season, averaging 12.8 points per game, while grabbing 5.8 boards. He shot 36.8% from three.

Originally, Sytles was a consensus 4-Star prospect in UNC’s 2021 recruiting class. 247Sports ranked him as the #62 overall player nationally, and the #2 player in the state of North Carolina, playing for Kinston High School.

After two seasons with the Tar Heels, Styles entered the Portal, and took an Official Visit to NC State and Georgetown, and ultimately chose the Hoyas.

With his final year of eligibility, maybe he’ll make the right choice this time.

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NC State Basketball

Tennessee Guard Freddie Dilione V is Visiting NC State Tomorrow

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Tennessee Transfer Guard Freddie Dilone V (6’5″/195) is visiting NC State tomorrow.

Dilone V just wrapped up his Redshirt Freshman season with the Volunteers, averaging 1.7 points in 5.2 minutes of play per game (18 games).

In 2022, Dilone V was a consensus 4-Star prospect, and the #33 overall prospect nationally according to Rivals. ON3 and 247Sports both ranked Dilone V as the #1 player in the state of North Carolina, playing right down the road at Word of God Academy in Raleigh.

Currently, 247Sports ranks Dilone V as the #71 overall player in the Transfer Portal, and the #10 Combo Guard. He played his first three seasons of high school ball down in Fayetteville at Trinity Christian.

Dilone V has 3 more years of eligibility.

 

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