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NC State falls to 0-3 in the ACC with the loss last night to Wake Forest, 77-74.

In what was another roller coaster ride of a game, NC State fought hard to come back, but eventually fell short to a Deacon team that used their size and their depth to outpace the Pack.

With Abu and Anya battling foul trouble, NC State was forced to go small, allowing Wake big man Devin Thomas to have a big night. Thomas dropped 20 points and grabbed 11 boards in the win.

 

Barber Becoming a Leader
For State it was another huge game for Cat Barber. The junior PG is getting better and better as the season goes on and this may have been his best overall performance. If you’re watching closely, Cat is becoming a team leader. He’s still scoring at a great clip (26pts) but tonight he started to distribute. His 7 assists were a season high, and honestly, the kid is doing all he can to help this team get an ACC win. He just needs a little help.

 

Where is the help?
State is desperate for some scoring help. They were hoping to get a lot more from Caleb Martin, but he’s been ice cold. Over the last 8 games he is 19-76 (25%) from the field and 12-51 (23.5%) from beyond the arc. That from a guy who is shooting the most 3’s on the team (over 7 per game).

Then there’s the freshman Mav Rowan who has also stepped in to attempt to help with the scoring. He’s also been very streaky, with numbers prior to ACC play that mirrored Martin’s. However, since league play started, Rowan has been a decent option. The 6’7 guard is shooting 10-29 (35%) from the field and 7-19 (37%) from 3 point range.

Outside of those two guys, NC State simply does not have a consistent scorer. Abu has been decent this season, but his offensive game has been nowhere near where many expected it to be coming into the season.

This team is desperately missing Terry Henderson (who was hoping to be back by mid January, is now looking like he wont’ be back for another month.)

 

Time to turn to Cody?
With Cat Barber doing his part and NC State still struggling, it’s time to make some adjustments. The team has some glaring holes. Obviously, scoring is an issue, but shooting more contested 3’s isn’t the answer. NC state needs to start allowing their offense to create opportunity. They also need to start defending better. Both of these issues could be worked out by moving Cody Martin into a starting role.

While Caleb will still see minutes, this team can ill-afford to allow him to work out his shooting kinks in the middle of the ACC season. Cody, meanwhile, has had his intangibles on display since the start of league play. He is 8-16 (50%) from the field has 9 assists and 16 rebounds over the 3 games. Add in the fact that he’s NC State’s best defender and that he’s done all of this while playing only 24 minutes per game. Outside of Cat, Cody has been the most efficient player on the court as of late. He has earned his minutes and allowing him to become a more central figure on this basketball team is definitely warranted and certainly worth experimenting with.

 

Bigs got to produce
Simply put, NC State needs more from their bigs. Abu has been producing with double-digit scoring in all but 3 games this season, but they just need more from him. I know asking a sophomore to carry a scoring load isn’t something you’d love to do, but Freeman and Anya just aren’t build to put up points. This means that Abu needs to attack more and not stop. Foul trouble has hurt him, but when he’s in the game he needs to be in attack mode. He needs to polish his post game and his release and he needs to become the Abu we saw at the end of last season. He has the skills to be a monster on the blocks, and right now State needs him more than ever.

Meanwhile, Freeman has been playing his role. He’s rebounding, playing tough, and putting up solid numbers. The problem is, when Abu gets in foul trouble and he and Anya are on the court together, State really has no option but to try to score with their guards. Freeman is limited by his size, but has still done his job. Anya on the other hand, is struggling. The junior big man just isn’t ready to a scoring force on the blocks. He has 8 points over the last 3 games and while he rebounded the ball well in the first two outings, last nights 3 just won’t cut it for a team that needs to rely on him.

 

Showing Fight…Turning the corner?
While many fans left early when the Pack was down by 14 with just 3 minutes to play against Louisville, the team fought back and had it to a one possession game. Again last night against Wake, they got down big, only to fight back and make this one a one possession game. This team has shown short spurts of being very efficient and very dangerous when they are focused and playing together. Unfortunately, these were games State could have won and they now find themselves 0-3. This might be a big hole to dig out of, but with wins over FSU and an upset over UNC this Saturday, many of the early season woes could be forgiven.

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wolfpack74
wolfpack74
8 years ago

0-4 and the beat goes on.

thecrowdgoesmoo
thecrowdgoesmoo
8 years ago

Kirk is very talented to be honest. He’s just not showing it due to lack of confidence. His game isn’t shooting 3’s like he’s doing. but since he rarely plays, he’s going to have a lack of confidence and do things he shouldn’t. Play him more and we will have a much more stable 8 man rotation.

wolfpack74
wolfpack74
8 years ago

wormncsu He loaded up on guards because 1) that’s all he knows how to coach or recruit; 2) He doesn’t have any coaches that improve bigs or he has no faith in the coaches he has.  He won’t last past next year, if the team performs like this.  They play hard sometimes but still make silly mistakes.  If we lose the next third or four games, I would go small and play Kirk instead of Anya or Freeman.   Go small and press like hell.  Kirk has no confidence.  Give him some and play him.  Anya and Freeman have peaked or… Read more »

wormncsu
wormncsu
8 years ago

I think we really are seeing how the transfers have hurt us now. Gottfried in his first years try to load up on guards. Now look we only have one when he hope to have a rotation of cat, purvis, and Lewis. Take in Lacey leaving early and Washington’s transfer Gottfried went from a chance to be loaded to basically back to square one. With the outlook so far on next years recruiting class I do not see a lot to be hopefully about in the next couple of years.

wolfpack74
wolfpack74
8 years ago

“This might be a big hole to dig out of, but with wins over FSU and an upset over UNC this Saturday, many of the early season woes could be forgiven.”  What in the world are you smoking?  Plant and sell that stuff, if you really believe they will win those games.

wolfpack74
wolfpack74
8 years ago

Another one bites the dust.  Get this tone in your head, there will be many more examples this year.

NC State Basketball

NC State Men’s Basketball 2024-25 Scholarship Breakdown

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With the announcement of the addition of Forward Ismael Diouf yesterday, and news breaking that MJ Rice and Ernest Ross are no longer with the team this morning, here’s a look at the Scholarship Breakdown for the Men’s Basketball Team for the 2024-25 season.

Senior (1 Year of Eligibility)

Forward/Center Brandon Huntley-Hatfield
Forward/Center Ben Middlebrooks
Forward Guard Dontrez Styles
Guard/Forward Jayden Taylor
Guard Michael O’Connell
Guard Marcus Hill
Guard Breon Pass

Junior (2 Years of Eligibility)

Forward/Center Ismael Diouf
Guard Mike James

Sophomore ( 3 Years of Eligibility)

Guard/Forward Dennis Parker Jr.

Freshman (4 Years of Eligibility)

Guard/Forward Paul McNeil Jr.
Guard Trey Parker

NC State now has 1 scholarship available for the 2024-25 season. 

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NC State Basketball

Ernest Ross is No Longer on NC State’s Roster

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According to a source, Senior Forward Ernest Ross is no longer on NC State’s roster.

On April 17th, Ross entered the Transfer Portal. On May 10th, Ross verbally committed to UTSA. Then on May 15th, Ross announced that he would in fact be returning to NC State for his final year of eligibility.

Ross played in 14 games this past season, 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.

Ross was a consensus 4-star player in NC State’s 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.

According to a source, Ross is leaving the program for personal reasons, that are non-basketball related.

Ross has 1 year of eligibility remaining.

 

 

 

 

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NC State Basketball

MJ Rice is No Longer on NC State’s Roster

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According to a source, Sophomore Guard MJ Rice is no longer on NC State’s roster.

Rice transferred to NC State last offseason from Kansas, and only played in 9 games for the Wolfpack this past season, averaging 4.1 points in 8.8 minutes per game.

On January 24th, it NC State announced that Rice would be sitting out the remainder of the season, and that they would be submitting a waiver for the season to count as a Redshirt year.

Prior to the beginning of the  season, Rice stepped away from the program for personal reasons, and missed the first 7 games, before joining the Wolfpack against Maryland Eastern-Shore.

The Kansas transfer played in 23 games for the Jayhawks as a Freshman, averaging 2.2 points in 7.6 minutes per game. ON3 ranked Rice as the #24 overall player nationally in the 2022 recruiting class. They also ranked him as the #2 overall player in the Transfer Portal.

It was always ‘iffy’ whether or not Rice would be on next years roster, but he didn’t enter the Transfer Portal, and remained with the team on their magical run, and even after.

According to a source, Rice is leaving the program for personal reasons, that are non-basketball related.

Rice has 3 years of eligibility remaining.

 

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NC State Basketball

NC State Commit Ismael Diouf: VIDEO VAULT

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NC State just landed a MASSIVE commitment from Canadian Forward Ismael Diouf (6’9″/215). Here’s a VIDEO VAULT of the new NC State big man.

 

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