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Abdul-Malik Abu finally had his breakout game, but it wasn’t enough as the Pack fell to 0-4 in the ACC with their 85-78 loss to the Seminoles.

Where is the defense?
“78 points should have been enough to win this game.” said Gottfried after the game. He’s right. As we stated earlier this season, this Wolfpack team will need to become a lock down defensive team if they want to compete in this league. Right now they are anything but. FSU shot 50% from the field and the Wolfpack defense looked out of sync and undisciplined. Too often they jumped at pump fakes, were late to rotate on help side and simply failed to box out. These are the little things that are losing this team basketball games and things that quickly need to be fixed going into a game against #5 UNC.

Abu breaks out
There he is!! This is the Abu this team has desperately needed. He came out against a much taller front court and put up a monster of a game. He beasted his way to 21 points, 13 boards and 6 assists. With the offensive struggles this team goes through in stretches, Abu needs to become a major focal point of this offense. If he plays with this type of aggression and physicality, NC State might have found the balance from the front court that they’ve been missing. If you remember late last season, NC State’s surge was in direct correlation to Abu’s breakout. Maybe this performance will be the springboard for a monster 2nd half of the season.

Caleb Martin struggling
NC State needs to make adjustments. Caleb Martin is a talented player, there is no doubt about it. He is going to be a big part of this basketball team’s future, but at 0-4 in the ACC you’d have to think that there is going to be some sort of reevaluation.

The quagmire here is that Gottfried knows his team needs scoring. Early in the season it was Caleb who backed up Cat in that category. Right now, however, State is giving away too many possessions by settling for 3s from guys who simply aren’t really shooting it that well right now. Instead of attacking the rim, getting to the line or dumping it down to the post and making the defense adjust, they are simply settling for 3’s that they just aren’t hitting.

Over the last 9 games Caleb Martin is shooting 22-80 from the field. That is 27.5%. He’s hit 13-60 from beyond the arc, for 22%. He’s grabbed 45 rebounds in that span and has 12 assists in 292 minutes of play.

State needs to maximize their possessions and really work on their offensive efficiency. You know Caleb wants to get his shot going, but volume shooting and hitting under 30% of your shots isn’t going to turn this season around.

Where to turn? 
There are a lot of options here. You can keep playing how you are playing and hope things simply shake out (however, you are starting to run out of time), or you can make a few minor adjustments. Going forward, you’ll likely see Abu playing a bigger role. After Barber, no one should touch the ball more than Abu. He’s going to need to be a major force if State is going to make any sort of run.

Rewarding the fundamentals is hopefully what you see next. Putting up big points is sexy, but boxing out, getting in the passing lanes on defense, taking smart shots and being patient on offense are what is going to make this team a contender. Those who can do this should see an uptick in minutes, while those who don’t should find extra bench time. This means Freeman and Cody Martin should and could find themselves in starting roles and seeing increased minutes. They aren’t going to put up points, but they are the two that are up for taking care of the dirty work that others fail to do. With the emergence of Abu over the past weeks and his huge game last night, you have to believe you’ll see him and Cat be the focal points with State looking for ways to rotate Mav and Caleb together in and out at the 2 until they can start knocking down shots more consistently.

Hopefully they find something that helps them turn the corner, because #5 UNC is up next on Saturday.

 

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wolfpack74
wolfpack74
6 years ago

The problem is that the big guys can’t create or shoot.  If they get fouled, they can’t shoot free throws.  Should have thought about this problem last year and the year before and next year.  Hire someone that can get some quality big guys at State.  This year is over.  Time to regroup and make some changes.  Might even consider joining the High Point conference.

NC State Basketball

Men’s Basketball: NC State Ranked 55th in First NET Rankings of 2022-23

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The first NET Rankings of the 2022-23 Men’s College Basketball season are out, and NC State is ranked 55th after their first 9 games (7-2).

(NET)

This marks the 5th season in which the NET Rankings have been used to as the NCAA’s primary tool for evaluating teams, especially when it comes to NCAA Tournament selection time.

The NET includes more components than just winning percentage. It takes into account game results, strength of schedule, game location, scoring margin, net offensive and defensive efficiency, and the quality of wins and losses.

The number of Quadrant 1 wins and Quadrant 3/4 losses will be incredibly important when it comes time for NCAA tournament selection and seeding. (how many years was isaiah written before jesus)

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NC State Basketball

NC State to Wear Throwback Jerseys Tomorrow Night in Heritage Game to Honor 1983 Championship Team

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The NC State Men’s Basketball team will wear vintage throwback jerseys tomorrow night when they take on Coppin State in the 2022 Heritage Game, paying homage to the 1983 National Championship team.

I know it’s just my opinion, but I wish they would simply play in these jerseys all year!

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NC State Basketball

Kevin Keatts Postgame Press Conference After Pitt: BULLETED

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NC State Head Coach Kevin Keatts met with the media in his postgame press conference after the Wolfpack lost their ACC opener to Pitt at home 60-68. You can watch it here, or check out a BULLETED breakdown below.

  • We didn’t play well or sharp offensively.
    • You can look at the numbers, and I think, at times because the ball wasn’t going in the hole for us, it affected us on the defensive end.
    • It was one of those gritty games where you’ve got to figure out how to win the game, especially when the ball isn’t going in.
    • Terquavion Smith carried us early in the game, but a couple of our guys never really got into a flow, and offensively we struggled.
    • When we struggled, I thought we gave up some easy baskets on the other end.
    • Obviously, today’s kids, when the ball is not going in offensively, sometimes it affects you on the defensive end.
    • It wasn’t our night offensively tonight.
  • When you look at our team, what’s made us special this year is that we’ve been consistent and have 4 guys in double figures, and tonight we didn’t have that.
  • We had some good play from DJ Burns. He came in and did a good job.
  • We’ve gotta get back in the gym and get better. We’ll work on some things.
  • I have to stand up, take accountability, and get us better on the offensive end, and we’ll figure out how to make some shots.
  • Not to take away from Pitt’s defense, I thought we missed shots.
    • Surely, give them credit because they won the game, and I thought it was a slugfest, and they won the game that way, but I just thought we missed a lot of easy shots that we normally would make.
  • I remember looking out there at the game as we played, and some of the shots that he [Joiner] normally would make, even his drives to the rim, he didn’t finish.
  • They [Pitt] did a good job getting back in transition. A lot of Casey’s [Morsell] shots have come with him running the floor and getting out in transition.
    • They stayed at home. When you’re shooting the ball as well as he is, they did a good job of staying at home.
    • The reason we got so many open looks to our post guys as we rolled, was because they stayed with our shooters a lot.
  • No [they didn’t take too many three’s], that’s who we are.
    • For example, I thought Jack Clark got some great looks.
      • None of them looked good as they came off.
    • Certainly, Terquavion was hot early from 3 and made some shots.
    • It was a weird night for us offensively, and we weren’t clicking as much as I’d hoped we would be.
    • Like I said, we’ve got to get back in the gym, and we’ve got to get some shots up.
  • We’ve got no choice. We’ve got to move on.
    • The great thing about this is that, while unfortunately we lost our ACC opener, we’ve got 19 more of them to play.
    • We’ve got to figure out how to get it back on the other end.
    • It doesn’t define us. It was a good game. Give Pitt credit.
    • We’ve just got to go to work and get ready for our next game and then our next one after that.
  • We hope we play better than we have been playing offensively.
    • You feel bad for our guys, because everything had gone well for them offensively this season.
    • We’ve had great numbers against great teams, when you talk about playing against Kansas, Butler, and Dayton, and tonight, for whatever reason, we didn’t shoot the ball well. We have to make each shot.
  • If you look back on all of Jarkel’s shots, he has taken those all year long.
    • He just missed some, and he is normally pretty good with his pull-up.
      • He didn’t make those, and typically, he would make it to the free-throw line, but he didn’t have many opportunities there.
      • He missed his three-point shots.
    • I know him, and many guys will get to the gym later on. It’s not a mandatory thing, but I know those guys, and they will be working on their shot.
  • We’ve got to flush it.
    • We have to figure out what we did offensively and get better defensively.
    • We have to get back to work and get ready for Coppin State.
  • Our home opener [ACC] here, we wanted to win it.
    • It’s an ACC game, and you know how important these are, but at the end of the day, you can’t put your head down.
    • We’ve got a lot more basketball to play. We have had a really great start to our season, and as I have told the guys in the locker room, don’t let one loss define us.
    • We didn’t let the Kansas loss define us. We moved on, and we’ve got to do the same thing with this one.
  • We’re very encouraging.
    • One thing about guys that miss shots that normally make them, they’re not trying to miss, and so we are trying to give them as much confidence as we can.
    • We’re asking them to do other things to affect the game.
    • One thing I told Jack [Clark], because he has been our best rebounder, was ‘go in there and get you an easy basket, or go in there and get you an offensive rebound.’
    • It’s something to get you going. It’s amazing how it works.
      • You get an easy basket, and then get to the free-throw line to make a shot. All of a sudden, you’ve got your shots going on.
    • I’m telling those guys to do a couple of other things to impact the game.

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NC State Basketball

Men’s Basketball: Pitt 68 NC State 60: ACCDN HIGHLIGHT REEL & CONDENSED GAME

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NC State lost their ACC opener to Pitt tonight in PNC Arena 60-68. You can check out the Box Score here. Below are the ACC Digital Network’s Highlight Reel and Condensed Game.

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