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Many know by now that NC State has hired a new assistant coach by the name of Butch Pierre. However, who exactly is Butch and why is he a good hire? Let’s breakdown where he has been and how he got to NC State.

Playing Career: 4 years Mississippi State Bulldogs (1980-1984) 

Butch Pierre was a point guard for the Bulldogs and was a great defensive player who knew how to set up his team. He finished his playing career with 342 assists, landing him with 9th place all-time. In his four years at Mississippi State he learned the ins and outs of college basketball. His work ethic was recognized throughout his career and was rewarded with an assistant coaching job at Mississippi State upon graduation.

Coaching History: 

  • 1984-86 Assistant Coach Mississippi State
  •  1886-88 Assistant Coach Kentucky State
  • 1988-96 Assistant Coach Southwestern Louisiana
  • 1996-97 Assistant Coach UNC Charlotte
  • 1997-02 Assistant Coach LSU
  • 2002-08 Assistant Head Coach LSU
  • 2008 Interim Head Coach LSU
  • 2008-16 Assistant Coach Oklahoma State

As evident above, Butch Pierre has been around college basketball for quite some time, and has plenty of experience coaching in competitive environments. His experience will be called upon in ACC play, as State will look to rebound from an awful 2015-2016 season.

While Butch was at Oklahoma State he was called upon to build their defensive scheme and philosophy. I cannot think of a greater area that NC State needs help in. It is no secret that Coach Gottfried’s weakness is on the defensive side of the ball, and he has stated that they must all improve heading into next season. Expect Gottfried to call upon Pierre for assistance in building a more respective defensive unit.

Key recruits: 

  • Tyus Thomas
  • Glenn “big baby” Davis
  • Marcus Thorton
  • Stromile Swift
  • Le’Bryan Nash
  • Marcus Smart
  • Garrett Temple
  • Anthony Randolph
  • Brandon Bass
  • Ronald Dupri
  • Jabari Smith
  • Kevin Brooks

In his time with LSU, Pierre helped the Tigers secure 4 McDonalds All-Americans, 9 Parade All-Americans, 7 Junior College All-Americans, and 2 Junior College Players of the Year. While at Oklahoma State, he was instrumental in bringing the program’s highest rated recruit, Le’Bryan Nash (4th overall).

Not only has Pierre been recognized by his peers as an excellent coach/recruiter, but Dick Vitale named Pierre one of the top assistants in the country primed to become a head coach.

Moving forward: 

It is clear that Gottfried doesn’t want to take any chances. Gottfried wants a proven commodity and Pierre fits that description beautifully. Another tidbit that I respect about Butch Pierre is that he knows the importance of education; not only did he graduate from Mississippi State but he also earned his Masters Degree from the Bulldogs.

Loyalty is evident in Pierre’s coaching history, as he has had long stays in both of his previous coaching jobs at Oklahoma State and LSU. NC State will need Pierre more than ever as they must start sealing some deals on the recruiting trail. Recruiting will not get any easier, especially in the ACC and close to Duke and UNC.

It will take some time to tell just how good of a hire Butch Pierre will be, but as of right now he appears to be a good fit and one that has the potential to help the Pack!

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6 years ago

Whiney McWhinerson wolfpack74 Thank you for your compliment.  I am mainly complaining about the number of transfers and the lack of recruiting (except for Smith).  Even with everyone healthy last year, it would have made no major difference in where the basketball program finished.   You should ask yourself what caused the team to be undermanned.  Maybe, just maybe it is the lack in some aspect of Gottfried’s coaching ability.  Way too many transfers to keep the program growing.  Need to start with some long term recruits instead of one or two year players.  Getting a raise and extension for below average performance… Read more »

Whiney McWhinerson
Whiney McWhinerson
6 years ago

You tell it wolfpack74! Screw Yow and her efforts to make NC State better. Did she not see that we finished 13th in the conference this year with an undermanned, injure-laden squad? Hello??? I expected at least a top 3 finish with that! And while the basketball team just epic fails and shows no hope for the future, why should we even acknowledge or waste time with any other sport on NC State’s campus???? ITS BASKETBALL COUNTRY!!! Who cares that NC State won the wrestling NCAA championship for the 15th time, national cheerleading championship, set ACC records in swimming for two… Read more »

6 years ago

How in the hell can someone get an extension and raise with a poorly performing team, losing members to transfer and not recruiting well at all (Smith is the exception although one and done). Yow has lost her mind and needs to be replaced. “Mark and Wes continue to elevate our basketball programs at NC State,” said Yow. “They are both building championship-level programs and are strong ambassadors for Wolfpack Nation who positively impact the experiences of our student-athletes on their respective squads.” Does she not remember we were 13th in conference this year and we continue to loose kids… Read more »

6 years ago

Pierre is probably a great guy and coach, but State needs someone to recruit and teach big guys not point guards.  He will waste Pierre’s time.  Maybe if Pierre works out at State, he can force out the dump shit that is now coaching.

NC State Basketball

Two Power Forwards we think NC State will target in the transfer portal



The picture is becoming more clear for NC State fans. Today we learned that Greg Gantt will be entering the transfer portal. This comes on the heels of both Jack Clark and Ebe Dowuona entering last week. So, as of now, we know that Keatts and company must be pretty confident that they can pull some front court talent out of the portal.

With DJ Burns returning and Dusan Mahorcic set to return (questions still remain about his knee that wasn’t healing as he had hoped), the focus in the front court is going to be at power forward. I’m hearing that the staff wants to bring in a versatile forward who can stretch the defense (but still defend bigger 4s) and a bigger, more physical 4 man who can bang on the blocks when State needs some front court muscle.

Let’s take a look at who I think we should be focused on at this point.

Dontrez Styles
UNC | 6’6, 210lbs | 1.4 ppg, .9 rebounds, 6 minutes per game, 33.3% from 3pt range | From Kinston, NC
Styles is might be a little short for most teams looking to bring in a 4, but he makes up for it by being well-built and pretty athletic. He was a 4 star kid coming out of high school and has a nice midrange game. He’s a longer, more athletic version of Jericole Hellems if you want a Wolfpack comparison. He has a good midrange game and can shoot the 3, but he also can play above the rim.

At UNC he just never really could get on the floor. Last year they had Bacot and Bradley Manek and this year they had Bacot and Pete Nance. UNC likes to play big, so having a big 4 who can stretch the floor is a priority. Style’s height likely kept him off the floor for UNC, however, he fits into how Keatts likes to use his 4 man. Styles is a guy NC State really tried to bring in out of high school, so he knows the program and was likely swayed by the UNC name brand more than the fit for his game. I’m told Styles was on campus this week, so it looks like NC State is certainly in the running to land him. If you’re looking for odds, I’d say the odds are pretty good that Keatts reels him in.


Jae’lyn Withers
Louisville | 6’9, 220lbs | 9 ppg, 5 rebounds, 43.3% from the field, 41.7% from 3pt range | From Charlotte, NC
Withers is an interesting 4 man. He’s a guy who gives you length and some physicality in the paint, but he’s not a back-to-the-basket guy. In fact, he reminds me of a bigger, more forward-oriented, Dereon Seabron. Now, he’s not at polished, as fast, or as slippery as Seabron, but he attacks the same way Seabron did off the dribble. He comes in very physical, takes big, long strides, and is able to make up ground pretty quickly on the drive. Oh and he too can stretch the defense too. In fact, his 41.7% from long range wasn’t just him getting lucky on a few shots, Withers shot 96 3s this season and hit 40 of them. The one thing Keatts will need to work on with Withers is encouraging him to get downhill and press the issue on drives. He’s a good shooter and sometimes would rather pull up than take it hard to the rack, and at 6’9 State will want him getting to the rim more than not. This is a guy that can average 15 a game for the Pack, and really fills that 4 spot with size and scoring ability. Keatts will have a lot of competition for him, as UNC has also reached out. Withers is from Charlotte, so the hometown connection is there.

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NC State Basketball

Clemson PG Brevin Galloway says he loves playing NC State, calls them undisciplined, says they play AAU ball




Clemson’s senior PG Brevin Galloway went in on NC State in a recent Tik Tok video, explaining that in his view, he loves playing the Wolfpack because he feels like they play out of control and are ‘just hooping’ and ‘not going to play disciplined.’

But c’mon. where does some middle-of-the-road PG who didn’t even make the tournament get off talking about the Pack like that?

Oh, he was the lead guard of the team that beat NC State 3 times by a sum total of 65 points? Oh.

I know Pack fans and especially the NC State staff might scoff at Galloway’s comments, and his delivery is pretty harsh, but I think we all know that there is some truth to his statement.

As you know, I think Keatts can end up getting it done at NC State, but the discipline and focus on the little things, the intricacies of the game, need to be cleaned up. State does play hard, but putting some reigns on this offseason would go a long way in turning a talented team into a winning team.

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NC State Basketball

Fleeing Forwards! Greg Gantt enters the transfer portal, following fellow 4-man Jack Clark



I’m not sure if this was expected by most or not, but there had been chatter about Greg Gantt leaving NC State since the season ended. He’s had a rough go of it here and all signs were pointing to Keatts targeting a couple 4s in the portal.

So for Gantt, the hurdles may have seemed too high. First, he needs to recover from a knee injury, then he needs to come back and compete with what might be 2 or 3 other guys for minutes at the 4. And it’s likely he was going to be asked to play the same role. A guy who isn’t really a key part of the offense, and who is being relied upon to do the dirty work under the rim.

All of that said, we’re sad to see him go. NC State played some of their best basketball with Gantt on the floor. When Clark went out Gantt and Ross stepped in and the Pack reeled off wins in 8 of their next 10 games. When Clark came back they went 4-5 down the stretch. And of NC State’s first 8 quality opponents they faced while Clark was healthy at the beginning of the season, they lost 4 of those. So when Clark was on the floor NC State was actually a below .500 team against quality non-conference + ACC opponents.

NC State best games of the season came during the stretch when Gantt and Ross were playing, and in fact, Gantt was a big part of NC State’s beat down of Virginia Tech in round 1 of the ACC tournament.

So was Gantt the key? I dont’ know about all that, but he gave NC State a physical, hard-working, hustle guy at the 4. He could guard both a strong, big PF or a PF who likes to float out to the wing. Meanwhile Clark struggled against bigger opponents who wanted to play more physical.

NC State is going to miss Gantt, even though this 2pt, 4.5 rebound stat line wasn’t all that impressive.

What this tell you though is that Keaetts is certainly about to make some frontcourt moves in the portal and I believe he’s going to make sure whoever he brings in can play as physical as Gantt did (but with a little more offense added in).

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NC State Basketball

NC State’s Terquavion Smith Will Forgo His Remaining College Eligibility & Declare for NBA Draft



Well, it’s official. NC State Sophomore Terquavion Smith will forgo his remaining two years of college eligibility and officially declare for the 2023 NBA Draft.

Here’s what Smith had to say to ESPN’s Jonathan Givony regarding his decision.

“I’m forgoing my college eligibility and going all the way in,” Smith said. “I’m thankful for everything the NC State coaching staff and fans have done for me. This is the right decision for me to take care of my family.”

“I showed a lot of different things this year,” Smith said. “Teams wanted to see me be more of a point guard, making the right play, making the right decisions. They wanted to see me improve my finishing, and I increased that. I showed I can be a leader.”

“I improved my grades. I’m a year closer to getting my degree now. You only get one chance to be a college student and get that college vibe. There was no rush for me. I’m ready to contribute to an NBA team now.”

“I’m feeling good about everything now,” Smith said. “I came back to do what I needed to do. I feel like I did everything the right way. I know what’s coming now in the pre-draft process because I’ve been there already and know what to expect. I’ll be a lot more confident in myself now. It’s going to be a straight grind.” (ESPN)

Smith earned 2nd Team All-ACC honors this year, averaging 17.9 points and 4.1 assists per game.

He currently ranks 30th on ESPN’s Top-100 2023 NBA Draft Prospect Rankings. In most NBA Mock Drafts, Smith is projected as a late first round pick.

Smith’s career scoring average of 17.1 ranks 8th in school history. He made 187 three point shots in two seasons, ranking 8th all-time in NC State history. His 96 made three-pointers last year are the most ever by a Freshman in school history, and his 91 made three-pointers made this year are the most ever by a Sophomore.

If Smith goes on to be taken in the 1st round of the 2023 NBA Draft, it will be the first person to do so from NC State since Dennis Smith Jr. was taken 9th overall in 2017. If Smith is taken in the first round, the would become the 17th player in school history to do so.

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