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NC State will have their final non-conference game on Wednesday as they host Rider. Energy and focus will be front and center coming off the holiday break as State cannot overlook the Broncs before Miami. The game can be watched on ACC Sports Extra at 7 PM. What must NC State do to gain more momentum and close out non-conference play?
NC State must keep the defensive pressure cranked up…
Guards have been much more active pressuring the ball and causing turnovers in the past couple of games. Dennis Smith is averaging 2.7 SPG in his last three games and has been a catalyst for getting everyone else to play better defense. It is their defense that will determine how good of a season they will have and they need to have a clean sheet Wednesday. NC State big men have also benefited from the added pressure on the perimeter. Opposing teams have not been able to catch the ball as deep in the paint. Rider does not stand a chance if State can smother their guard play.
The Wolfpack needs to exploit mismatches as Rider lacks size…
Coach Baggett has four senior starters; however, his forward positions are only 6 feet 7 inches tall. In addition to small big men they also start a freshman guard Stevie Jordan who is only 5 feet 10 inches tall. Dennis Smith, Terry Henderson, and Torin Dorn must recognize who Jordan is guarding and use their size and athletic ability to score over him. Another area where NC State should find success is on the block. Malik Abu, BeeJay Anya, Ted Kapita, and Omer Yurtseven should be able to score over the top of the smaller Broncs as well as draw fouls.  If State takes advantage of these mismatches they will win easily.
Offensively NC State needs to continue getting everyone involved…
Since the arrival of Omer, NC State has recorded their three highest assist outputs of the season. The 25 assists versus Fairfield were the most since 2011. Shooting at a 50% clip from three has helped State rack up the assists as well. Mark Gottfried’s group has done a better job at controlling turnovers also. State has recorded more assists than turnovers in all but two games this season.  Wednesday should also give Rowan the opportunity to find his groove. Rowan should get plenty of clean looks from outside on the break. NC State’s bench has produced by scoring over 29 points in each of the last three games. With Rowan, Yurtseven, Kapita, and Johnson the Pack have options off the bench capable of producing. NC State’s depth will prove to be too much for the Broncs.
NC State has got to be ready to play as Rider will be hungry and desperate to beat an ACC foe. Rider will not stand a chance if State comes out with energy and executes their game plan. What are your thoughts on the final non-conference game?

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Wolfer96
Wolfer96
7 years ago

19 pts and 16 assists. That’s what’s going to make Dennis a great player. Not scoring 30 ppg. I like it when he takes between 12-15 shots and looks to get his team involved. That’s when he’s at his best. Lots of guys can score points but few guys can get double digit assists.

Anthony
Anthony
7 years ago
Reply to  Wolfer96

sometime we are gonna need him to take over and score 30 tho. that versatility makes him dangerous.

Wolfer96
Wolfer96
7 years ago

Was Markell injured? Doesn’t look like he played.

mc991
mc991
7 years ago
Reply to  Wolfer96

Gottfried said Markell Johnson not playing was his decision, but he expects him to play Saturday. “Sometimes young people need to learn”. Not sure what he did, left for speculation. Grades maybe?

Anthony
Anthony
7 years ago
Reply to  Wolfer96

i all i have is second hand info.. but he needs to stop going to ohio over the break and stay in NC that’s all. Nothing serious but Gott is nipping it in the bud right now. Markell is a good kid he’ll respond well tot his and bounce back.

NC State Basketball

Bowling Green Transfer Guard Marcus Hill is on a Visit to NC State

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Bowling Green Transfer Guard Marcus Hill (6’4″/185) confirmed with me that he is currently on a visit at NC State.

Hill averaged 20.5 points and 5.0 rebounds per game for the Falcons this season. He earned 1st Team All-MAC honors. Even though he was only at Bowling Green one season, he had one of the best seasons in school history, scoring 698 points, which ranks 5th all-time in program history for a single season.

For his first two years of collegiate ball, Hill played for Southern Union State College (JUCO) in Alabama. In 2022-23, Hill earned 3rd Team NJCAA All-American honors, and ranked as the #32 overall Junior College prospect.

247Sports ranks Hill as a 4-Star Transfer Prospect, and the #78 overall player in the Transfer Portal, and the #11 Shooting Guard.

According to a source, the NC State Coaching Staff is extremely high on Hill, and they are recruiting him as a Point Guard.

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NC State Basketball

What did an ACC Title & Final Four Mean to NC State Legend Dennis Smith Jr.?

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What did an ACC Title & Final Four mean to NC State Legend Dennis Smith Jr.? The man who won the ACC Rookie of the Year Award in 2017 gave me a statement.

It means a lot. It means a lot to the university, the state of North Carolina and a lot more to my dad, grandma, and myself. They have been NC State fans since forever, so their excitement level was though the roof when they saw BOTH of our basketball teams shining like that. It was a great feeling!

2017 was Smith Jr.’s only year of College ball, averaging 18.1 points, 6.2 assists, 4.6 rebounds and 1.9 steals. He earned 2nd Team All-ACC honors, and obviously, he earned a spot on the ACC All-Freshman Team.

DSJ was drafted by the Dallas Mavericks with the 9th overall pick in the 2017 NBA Draft.

Smith Jr. just wrapped up his 7th season in the NBA. This was his 1st season with Brooklyn, playing in 56 games for the Nets. He averaged 6.6 points, 3.6 assists, 2.9 rebounds and 1.2 steals per game, averaging 18.9 minutes per contest.

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NC State Basketball

NC State’s DJ Horne Named to Portsmouth Invitational All-Tournament Team

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NC State’s DJ Horne played in the Portsmouth Invitational Tournament this weekend, and he was named to the All-Tournament Team.

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In 3 games, Horne averaged 14.3 points, shooting 41.5% from the field, and 30% from three.

Horne’s Portsmouth Partnership team made it to the finals, but lost to Jani-King 68-75.

The Portsmouth Invitational is an annual pre-draft camp that has been showcasing College Seniors to professional scouts since 1953.

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NC State Basketball

NC State Has Shown Interest in Utah Guard Transfer Deivon Smith

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NC State has reached out to Utah Transfer Guard Deivon Smith (6’0″/173).

Smith filled up the stat sheet every game this year, averaging 13.3 points, 7.1 assists and 6.3 rebounds, shooting 46.7% from the field and 40.8% from three for Utah. He earned All-Pac 12 Honorable Mention this season. Smith had 8 double-doubles and 1 triple-double this year.

Wherever Smith lands, this will be his 4th college. He started at Mississippi St., starting in 8 of the 33 games he played in, averaging 22.5 minutes per game. Smith went on to spend his next two seasons at Georgia Tech. Year 1 in Atlanta, Smith started in 5 of the 24 games he played in, averaging 19.7 minutes per game. In Year 2, he carved out more of a role, starting in 13 of the 24 games he played in for the Yellow Jackets, averaging a career high 24.8 minutes per game.

At Utah this year, Smith broke out and had a career year in every possible way.

NC State is familiar with Smith, offering him back when he was a 4-Star prospect out of Grayson High School in Loganville, Georgia. Rivals ranked Smith as the #53 overall player nationally in the 2020 recruiting class. ESPN ranked him as the #5 player in the state of Georgia. 247Sports ranked him as the #11 Point Guard in his class.

 

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