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NC State vs. #20Duke
2pm – PNC Arena – CBS

NC State is coming off their most impressive outing of the season, crushing a ranked Pitt team 78-61. Today they take on their next challenge, a #20 ranked Duke team that has dropped their last 3.

Now, don’t go thinking that this Duke team is going to lay down for NC State. They have had a week off and are starving for a victory. You know that Coach K will have his group ready. On the other hand, this NC State team is starting to gel and starting to trust each other. These factors should make for a very hard fought and intense matchup at the PNC.

Let’s take a look at the advantages NC State will have coming into this game…


Momentum rides with the Pack
State is coming off their biggest win of the season while Duke is looking for their identity after dropping 3 in a row. Look closer, however, and it become a lot deeper than the wins and losses.

State’s last two games have looked much different. They’ve gone with Cody Martin at the 3, giving them a true do-it-all guy who is willing to do the little things. Cody has been good at attacking the lane and not settling for jumpers. He’s also a good passer, and has helped move the ball in what was once a pretty stagnant offense. This has taken some of the pressure off of Barber, who needs to really keep his focus on scoring. The slight change in the lineup has also shifted NC State away from taking unnecessary 3s and allowed them to focus on getting the ball in the paint, which has ignited a surging Malik Abu. Cody Martin has also been vital on defense. In the past two games the Pack has looked much more aggressive and a ton more physical. He was able to shut down Marcus Paige and then did a great job against Pitt as well and it’s bled over to his teammates. Overall, this is a State team is doing the little things that were missing early in the season. They are focusing on fundamentals and it’s really starting to pay off.

For the Blue Devils, they are in a state of flux. They knew coming in that they would be a little thin in the middle, but after losing Amile Jefferson to a foot injury, they have been slow to adapt. They have had trouble finding out who they are. They have Marshall Plumlee in the middle, but aside from him they’ve had to rely on freshman Brandon Ingram. If you remember, Ingram was a Wolfpack recruit who picked Duke late in the process. Ingram is a talented player, but he’s raw and not great when you make him get physical. This has turned Duke into somewhat of a jump shooting team that is taking a lot of 3s. If Jones, Allen and Kennard get hot then they could be dangerous, but if they don’t then Duke struggles.

Physicality and Rebounding favors Wolfpack
This, to us, is going to be a major factor in this game. NC State comes in as the top rebounding team in the ACC with almost 43 boards per game and they out-rebound their opponents by 6 per game. This is a big deal because Duke is getting crushed on the boards lately. Against Syracuse they were murdered on the offensive glass, giving up 26 to the Orange.

Another key is front court depth. State isn’t super deep, but they do have Anya, Abu and Freeman who have been playing at a high level. Duke only has Plumlee as a reliable force in the middle. If State can get him in foul trouble, this game changes dramatically in favor of the Pack.
Interesting Matchups Could Favor NC State
Duke is going to come out with three 6’5 guards in Jones, Kennard and Allen. NC State is likely going to come out with Barber, Rowan and Cody Martin. It will be interesting to see who guards who. Jones is the least dangerous in terms of scoring, while Kennard and Allen are both good shooters who can attack the basket. Allen is more aggressive off the bounce while Kennard will opt to pull up or shoot from 3. Barber would be fine on Jones or Kennard, while Cody Martin will likely guard Allen. Cody give you length and physicality that can match the talented 2 guard pretty well.

The key for NC State’s defense will be their 2 guard spot. We’ll have to see how it plays out, but Rowan obviously is only in there to provide offense. His defense hasn’t been great, especially against guards who push the issue and try to get to the rim. If that ends up happening, you may see a little more Caleb Martin, as he brings a little more on the defensive end.

While those guard spots seem pretty evenly matched, size and athleticism wise, NC State may have a big advantage in paint. With Duke forced to go with Plumlee and Ingram, they will be giving up a lot of size, experience and physicality at the 4. Anya and Plumlee should be a decent matchup. Both are not great on the offensive end and both are mainly there for defense and rebounding. Anya needs to make sure he does not get in foul trouble and force Plumlee to shoot over top of him. If State has to guard Plumlee with Freeman (because of foul trouble then Duke gets the advantage.)

As for the 4 spot…this is where a lot of our focus is going to be. How will this Abu vs. Ingram matchup play out. First and foremost, Abu needs to be smart against Ingram. The freshman can shoot it and likely is not going to want to bang on the blocks with the bigger, stronger Abu. Malik has got to close out under control, and force him into tough long 2s. On offense, however, Abu should be massively aggressive. Ingram is no match for his size and athleticism. If State plays it right you should see him being fed on nearly every possession. K will almost certainly be forced to double this matchup…and how NC State responds to this will dictate the outcome of this game. If Abu can find the open man and exploit these double teams, then they will be able to really bother the Devils. If Duke is smart, they will try to mitigate risk and just go zone.

Cat must come out with killer mentality and laser focus
He’s certainly got a chip on his shoulder after being shut out in the last matchup with Duke, but he needs to be careful. Coach K knows he doesn’t have a single guard that can stay in front of Barber. If he goes man to man, Barber will put up massive numbers. K will likely throw a ton of zone at State, double Barber to get the ball out of his hands, and make the rest of the Pack beat them. Cat needs to understand this and realize how to beat it. He can’t try to do it all himself. He’ll need to trust his guys and let the game come to him. Establishing a dominant inside game will lead to Duke being forced to ease up on Cat. Taking quick shots is going to play into the Blue Devils hands, so you might see a press of some sort that attempts to speed State up. Staying patient and focused is vital. Let Duke show their hand, then adapt. Cat will have a big game if he can be patient and and strategic with his attack

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wolfpack74
wolfpack74
6 years ago

wormncsu We need bigs that can play, not a bunch of transfers.

wormncsu
wormncsu
6 years ago

Packinsider this season is a lost one at this point but I would like to hear what you think of the team as far as next year. Let’s assume we keep everyone and don’t get any other recruits. We would look at a team of Cat, Smith Jr, Henderson, Rowan, Martin twins, Abu, Anya, Freeman, Kirk, dorn. Do you think these added players will make enough difference to get us back to the top of acc?

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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