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The problem Gottfried faces…
When Trevor Lacey decided to forego his senior season it left a gaping hole in the NC State offense. Lacey was supposed to be State’s go to scorer, best shooter and team leader. Without him they were left relying on transfer Terry Henderson. Henderson is an athletic 2 guard who can score off the bounce and also fill it up from 3 point range. He wasn’t supposed to totally fill Lacey’s shoes, but he was supposed to play his role.

Unfortunately for State, Henderson suffered a serious ankle injury in the first game of the season and has been sidelined ever since. This has forced Gottfried’s hand in relying on sophomore Caleb Martin and freshman Mav Rowan as his secondary scorers.

What has been the outcome?
While Caleb delivered some big games early on and looked to be a nice stop gap until Henderson returned, he’s since gone ice cold. This opened up the door for Mav Rowan to try his hand as State’s secondary scorer. While he’s had some great games himself, he’s a freshman and has been hurt by poor shot selection as he assimilates to the college game. With the Pack now 0-4 in ACC play and Caleb and Rowan struggling shooting the ball, they may be rethinking their plan of attack.

Statistically, NC State ranks dead last in effective FG% among power conference teams. Let me repeat…dead last. So there really is nowhere to go but up. That being said, allowing  low percentage shooters to take a majority of your shots from the perimeter is not going to be the answer. Caleb and Mav are capable of being very good shooters if they can square up and get clean looks, but off-balance, often contested high-volume shooting is not going to solve any problems.

So what are the options?

Let’s take a closer look…
NC State needs to make adjustments. Caleb Martin and Mav Rowan are talented players, there is no doubt about it. They are 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 of how these guys are used.

The quagmire here is that Gottfried knows his team needs scoring. Early in the season it was Caleb and Rowan 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 well. 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 off of perimeter passes (many of which are contested).

Watching the games and looking at the box score, Rowan and Caleb are producing at a very similar level. They are both streaky shooters who don’t have much success getting to the rim, and who don’t really put up great numbers across the board (outside of points). Right now Caleb gives you better defense, rebounding and slightly better assist numbers. But Rowan currently is shooting it better (especially since ACC play started.)

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. He’s also blocked 6 shots and 4 steals. All of that in 292 minutes of play.

Meanwhile, during that span, Mav Rowan is shooting 35-113. That is about 31% from the field. He’s hit 20-64 for 31% from 3 point range. Over that span he has 27 rebounds and has dished out 7 assists. He’s also tallied zero blocks and 2 steals. All of this in a total of 294 minutes.

With Terry Henderson out, it’s obvious that the Pack needs someone on the perimeter than can help score it, but it’s really hurting them that they have guys shooting in the high 20’s to low 30% range taking a total of 193 shots over the span we’re looking at. If you’re wondering about total percentage of shots taken over that span, that comes out to about 35%. That’s certainly too much.

So what are the options for Gottfried? He doesn’t really have another scorer to sub in.

One option is to split Caleb and Mavs minutes between the two. Which ever one is on that day gets the minutes. You then have the ability to play Cody at the 3. While he isn’t going to put up points, he is going to give you two things you desperately need: A guy who will be your best defender on the floor, and someone who is patient on offense and looks for high percentage scoring opportunities. Let’s look at Cody’s numbers over that 9 game span.

Cody is shooting 44%, going 15-34 from the field. He has 35 rebounds and 15 assists. Add in 6 blocks and 11 steals. He’s done all of that in only 199 minutes of play over those 9 games (almost 100 minutes less than Caleb or Mav).

So while he’s not scoring a ton, he’s also not shooting a ton. The shots he is taking are of a higher percentage. If you look at points per minute, Caleb comes in at .22 while Cody is right behind him at .21 over the aforementioned span. He’s rebounding, assisting, blocking and getting steals at a much better clip when you look at per minute production.

At this point you really are looking at 2 lines of thinking. Up until a few games ago, most fans were likely onboard with the idea that if you let Rowan and Caleb Martin shoot out their kinks, they’ll eventually become the go-to shooters you are looking for. But as State finds themselves in a deep hole at 0-4 in ACC play, you have to start questioning this strategy.

By allowing Cody Martin to step in at the 3 and have the 2 guard responsibilities shared between Mav and Caleb, you are losing a potential scoring threat on the perimeter. This would feel risky if these guys weren’t shooting a combined 25% from 3 point range since the team started playing stiffer competition.

The other factor to consider is that while shooting percentages from these guys are a worry, there are other problems that are causing NC State to come up short. Their defense has been less than stellar, they aren’t creating turnovers at the rate they could (considering their size, length and athleticism at numerous positions) and they are simply not being patient on offense. These are all areas that Cody could help if given more court time. With Abu seemingly turning the corner and showing signs of being able to become a consistent scorer from the block, you could see Gottfried transition into a team that relies on Cat and Abu, supplemented by either Mav or Caleb at the two.

Sidenote: Over that span of 9 games we’ve been talking about, Abu has gone 41-88 from the floor. That’s 47%. 

With arch rival #5 UNC coming up on Saturday, these are certainly things NC State needs to consider if they are going to take the pieces that they have and try to make a run for it.

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8 years ago

I’m a NC State Graduate, class of ’75, I played football at State.I’m a diehard fan ever since my dad, also a State graduate, had me sit next to the radio with him starting about 4 years old and listen to Wolfpack football and basketball games.Since Valvano left in early ’90’s the State basketball program has never been able to win an ACC basketball championship.I am a retired Army Colonel and I believe for any organization to be successful it needs good leadership, but leadership is not enough.In sports you have to be able to recruit the quality players year… Read more »

8 years ago

I respectively disagree with ThatWiggaJigga from the standpoint that the offensive scheme presently used sucks and does not fit this group of players.  Bigs can’t score or create therefore we are left with shooting the three and hoping that works.  We need Henderson to come back and Kirk to get more playing time.  Our only chance of going to the post season is to win the ACC tournament.  With what we have on the court right now, no way in hell we are going anywhere this year or next. We have to have bigs that can create and score.  Get… Read more »

8 years ago

My biggest reason on wanting Cody over Caleb, besides the shot selection of course, is the flow of the offense when he is in.  Caleb seems unable to see more than 1 pass ahead.  Often catching the ball and looking to shoot or drive.  That is fine at times, but it must be there.  Many times, especially the other night against a zone, you need to catch and pass, moving the ball quickly to beat  the movement of a zone.  Cody did a good job of moving the ball quickly, all be it because he is not a great scorer,… Read more »

NC State Basketball

Jersey Numbers for 2024-25 NC State Men’s Basketball Team Revealed



The NC State Men’s Basketball team revealed the Jersey Numbers for their 2024-25 team yesterday.


Numbers that are Staying the Same

Michael O’Connell – #12

Ben Middlebrooks – #34

Dennis Parker Jr. – #11

KJ Keatts – #13

Jordan Snell – #22

Numbers that have Changed

Jayden Taylor – #1 –> #8

Breon Pass – #10 –> #4

Numbers of New Players

Mike James – #0 (He wore #0 at Louisville last year)

Brandon Huntley-Hatfield – #1 (He wore #5 at Louisville last year)

Paul McNeil – #2 (He wore #2 in High School last year)

Dontrez Styles – #3 (He wore #0 at Georgetown last year)

Trey Parker – #5 (He wore #5 in High School last year)

Marcus Hill – #10 (He wore #0 at Bowling Green last year)

We don’t know what number Ismael Diouf will be wearing at NC State next year yet. 



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NC State Basketball

Kareem Richardson Promoted To Associate Head Coach at NC State



RALEIGH, N.C. – NC State men’s basketball head coach Kevin Keatts announced Wednesday that assistant coach Kareem Richardson has been promoted to associate head coach effective immediately.

“I’m proud to promote Kareem to associate head coach,” Keatts said. “He is a valuable member of my staff and has really enhanced NC State both in his relationship with our players and staff, but also his ability to teach, scout and game plan. He is a well-rounded coach that has an impact on every facet of our program, and I feel fortunate to have him as part of my staff.”

The upcoming 2024-25 season will be Richardson’s third at NC State. The Pack has earned bids to the NCAA Tournament in both seasons Richardson has been on staff, including last season when NC State won the ACC Championship and advanced to the Final Four.

NC State has had three different guards (DJ Horne, Jarkel Joiner and Terquavion Smith) earn All-ACC honors under Richardson’s tutelage.

Richardson was previously head coach at UMKC for 2013-19 and has been an assistant coach at power conference programs such as Louisville, Xavier and Clemson in his 25-year coaching career.

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NC State Basketball

WATCH: Getting to Know NC State’s Dontrez Styles



NC State Men’s Basketball is releasing videos helping fans get to know the new players on the 2024-25 roster.

Below is the video of Georgetown Transfer Forward Dontrez Styles (6’6″/212), with a transcript underneath.

I’m Dontrez Styles, a transfer from Georgetown University. I knew where I wanted to be. At the end of the day, I knew I wanted to come back home and play for a guy like Keatts. That was the main thing for me.

Being back home is amazing. My family can see me play every game now. An hour from Kinston, North Carolina. It’s a small city. I love it. Just growing there. A lot of great guys. A lot of great basketball players. My family is there. It’s my life.

I grew up in the Brandon Ingram era, so I went to every Kinston High School game. Just seeing him play motivated me to get in the gym and keep working. The grind has paid off.

It’s crazy. I would have never imagined this happening. It’s very rare for someone to go to North Carolina and NC State. Me being one of the first guys to do that, I believe it’s different, but I’m enjoying it so far. I can’t wait to get started.

Coach (Levi) Watkins recruited me when he was at Ole Miss. He’s been with me since my Sophomore year, I believe. Just having that relationship with them makes it easier every day.

Just being back, it’s going to be very fun, especially now. The hype is crazy. I can’t wait to be back home and get started, and hopefully win that National Championship.


Styles was the 2nd leading scorer for Georgetown this past 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.

Styles will be spending his final year of eligibility with NC State.

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NC State Basketball

WATCH: Getting to Know NC State’s Mike James



NC State Men’s Basketball is releasing videos helping fans get to know the new players on the 2024-25 roster.

Below is the video of Louisville Transfer Guard Mike James (6’5″/200), with a transcript underneath.

I last played at the University of Louisville. I spent three years there. Played two. Redshirted my first year because of injury. I enjoyed my time there, but all good things got to come to an end, and I’m here at North Carolina State. 

Entering the Portal is just like going through High School recruitment again. You’re getting your phone blown up every other hour, every single day. You’ve got to get on long phone calls. You’re kind of going through the process again, but this time, you kind of know what you want. You’ve been through College Basketball, so you know what questions to ask, what to expect, and you kind of just get straight to the point. I feel like the process was similar, but different this time. It went a lot quicker, and I knew exactly what I wanted. I want to win at the end of the day. Playing time is earned, and all that stuff. You’ve got to come in here and take care of that. 

Winning is very important, and I haven’t done that so far, but that’s the one thing I want to change about my college career. Seeing y’all go on that run was really appealing to me. 

I like to get to the basket. Draw fouls. Finish at the rim. Knock down shots on the perimeter. Defend 1-4 positions on the other end. 

I want to come in and win. I want to be a leader for our team. I’m an older guy now, so I want to be a leader. I want to come in and win another ACC Championship, and make another NCAA Tournament run. 


This past year, James averaged 12.6 points per game (3rd on the team) and 5 rebounds. He’s extremely physical and aggressive, taking 47% of his field goal attempts at the rim (making 46%). As a result, he draws a lot of fouls, ranking 10th in the ACC in Fouls Drawn, and 4th in Free Throw Rate. James made opponents pay this year when they put him on the line, making 81.8% from the charity stripe, which ranked 15th in the ACC.

James shot the ball better as a Redshirt Freshman, than he did this past season. His Effective Field Goal Percentage in 2022-23 was 55.8%, which ranked 19th in the ACC, and his True Shooting Percentage of 59.6% ranked 14th.

News broke about James entering the Transfer Portal back on March 25th, and NC State was quick to reach out. Kevin Keatts and his staff recruited the former 4-star prospect out of high school heavily, but he ultimately chose the Cardinals.

After redshirting his first year in Louisville due to torn achilles, James has been a starter for the Cardinals the past two years.

He does have the ability to knock down a three, making 34.8% for his career.

James has 2 years of eligibility remaining.

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