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NC State makes the short trip to Chapel Hill to take on the North Carolina Tarheels Saturday at 8 o’clock. Not only will the rivalry game be front and center but so will the wintry weather. NC State comes into Saturday’s game following an impressive win over Virginia Tech while UNC narrowly escaped Clemson 89-86. What are the keys to the game for NC State to triumph over the Tarheels on Saturday night?

Terry Henderson needs to be solid for NC State to win…

Henderson has been having a great season for NC State averaging 16.2 PPG and giving Mark Gottfried a valued leader. Terry has been a welcome addition both offensively and defensively. Henderson will have his hands full this Saturday as he will most likely be called upon to guard Justin Jackson. Jackson has a height advantage over Henderson; however, Henderson is athletic enough to make him work. Terry must be disciplined and not pick up early fouls that force Gottfried’s hand as he is too important to the Wolfpack. Playing in the Dean Dome NC State needs Henderson on the floor. Offensively Terry must be aggressive like he was aginst the Hokies. Aginst Virginia Tech Terry kept getting to his spots and fought through some early misses consequently leading him to find his rhythm. NC State’s offense is much more fluid when Henderson has it going.

Defensively NC State has to limit Carolina to one shot…

Carolina ranks number one in the NCAA in rebounding margin at plus 14. They also average 16.3 offensive rebounds per game which are a big reason why they average 87.9 PPG. The Wolfpack will need to box out and collectively win 50-50 balls if they are going to beat North Carolina. Malik Abu and company have to take away Kennedy Meeks who leads the Tarheels in boards per game at 9.9.

The Pack needs to attack the paint…

62 is the number of points in the paint for NC State in their win over Virginia Tech. Malik Abu must keep being aggressive hunting for dunks and quick face-up attacks. Carolina is not deep at the forward and center positions making them susceptible to foul trouble. NC State guards need to feed the post as State has an advantage in the paint. An inside-out attack will allow NC State guards to have the needed space to create plays as well as yield open threes. The Wolfpack will need to be physical, not backing down or settling for jump shots if they are going to win Saturday.

Dennis Smith must allow the game to come to him…

Joel Berry is tough and physical on defense. Berry likes to pick his man up early beyond the half court line forcing them to change directions as well as creating problems with entry passes. Smith needs to be patient and ready for this type of physical defense and be smart in attacking with the pass. He needs to trust that he will get the ball back and allow Dorn and Henderson to take pressure off of him by advancing and initiating the offense occasionally. Dennis has all the tools to beat Berry; however, he cannot embark on an individual battle of trying to one up him each possession. NC State will need Smith’s complete arsenal on full display to knock off Carolina.

The Wolfpack are coming off their best game of the season heading into Saturday’s showdown with the Tarheels. NC State must forget that performance as it has no bearing on beating Carolina. Focus and the ability to play through all circumstances will be critical for NC State to beat Roy Williams and company. The Wolfpack and the Tarheels will tip-off at 8 o’clock with coverage on ESPN.

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Wolfer96
Wolfer96
6 years ago

Gott has 3-4 bigs that he can throw at Meeks. Hopefully the refs allow some physical play. The number of whistles will largely determine our effectiveness on defense.

Wolfer96
Wolfer96
6 years ago

This game to me is a coin toss. Wolfpack are bad on the road, but unc not as good as advertised preseason. They are beatable. Would love to spank their asses in Chapel Hill. Dennis needs to continue looking for his guys. He mostly played really smart the last game. Using a combination of pump fakes, strong drives, and good passes to guys where they need the ball.

NC State Basketball

Mady Traore Will No Longer Enroll at NC State

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This unfortunately seemed inevitable.

According to 247Sports’ Travis Branham, 3-Star Mady Traore is no longer planning on enrolling at NC State.

Traore was a member of the Wolfpack’s 2022 recruiting class, but wasn’t able to enroll in the Fall because of Visa issues and the English Competency Test.

Back on November 29th, I posted the following article, saying that Traore was set to join the team for the 2nd semester. Traore himself told me when I posted it, that he was expecting to join the team in December.

I received the intel 2 weeks prior to posting, and prior to things beginning to brew between NC State and Isaiah Miranda. In hindsight, I wish I would have posted it when I got the intel (haha).

4-Star Mady Traore Expected to Suit up for NC State Soon

Obviously, that didn’t happen, and isn’t happening.

When I posted the article, things were in flux, because there was one scholarship available. If Miranda came, he was going to get the scholarship, and the staff was hoping Traore would be willing to wait and enroll in April. If Miranda didn’t come, then the expectation was for Traore to join the team in December, in the way that Miranda just did.

I still believe my source’s info was solid, and there are always a lot of moving pieces in play that can change scenarios quickly.

From what I hear, the staff was genuinely hopeful they could add Miranda in December, and Traore in April, but it didn’t work out that way, and that’s the way it goes sometimes.

We wish you the best Mady! You’ve got a special future in basketball.

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NC State Football

Ben Finley After He Led NC State to a Win Over #17 UNC: BULLETED

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Redshirt Freshman Quarterback Ben Finley defied the odds and led NC State to a 30-27 win over #17 UNC yesterday. He spoke with the media after the game, and you can watch it here, or check out a BULLETED breakdown below.

  • I think he [Ryan Finley] went 2-0 here in Carter-Finley West [Kenan Stadium].
    • But just having my 1st start and being able to go out there with the guys and get the W, this is the greatest feeling ever.
    • 5 weeks ago I was the 4th-string Quarterback messing around on the Scout Team.
      • I was still getting better, and having those guys still trust me when I came back up.
      • It just means the world to have the support from the entire team. They just played so well.
      • The defense. The offensive line gave me so much time. It was like I was just camping back there. It was awesome.
  • My roommate [Matt McCabe], who starts on our artillery, which is just the PAT and field goal unit, we were like ‘dude, the 1st week against ECU, there’s no way we would have thought we both would have been starting at UNC.’ It’s unreal.
  • I was just running around trying to hug everyone. I grabbed an NC State flag and planted it on the field, as I should have.
  • The nerves go away when you take the 1st hit.
    • It helped to get that lead at 7-0.
    • Leading up to the game if you’re not nervous then something is wrong with you.
    • I was a little nervous, but it’s just football.
  • It’s his [Devin Carter] 1st week back in a while.
    • To be honest, I haven’t thrown a pass to Devin Carter in probably over a year-and-a-half.
    • It’s like that with Thayer Thomas and Darryl Jones.
    • I had never thrown a pass to Darryl until last week in Louisville.
    • It’s just kind of weird. It’s like I’m playing on an All-Star team or something. I’ve just got ballers everywhere.
  • We knew if we got this win at UNC that it would be a big old band-aid on the season. Any time you can beat your rivals, especially at their home on Senior Night, it’s just huge.
  • You can never doubt yourself.
    • To be able to persevere, that’s the biggest thing in life. Things are going to happen to you.
    • Just keep fighting and climbing up the hill. You never reach the pinnacle of the mountain.
    • You’ve just got to keep climbing and getting better. That’s what our entire team does. We’re just constantly fighting.
  • It [being on the Scout Team] definitely helped with some of the throw windows and being comfortable in the pocket.
    • It definitely doesn’t help with the speed.
      • I definitely thought the game was going to be pretty slow when I got out there last week in Louisville and this week, and it wasn’t. With the scout team you let up.
      • You don’t get tackled. I haven’t taken a hit in three years. It was just kind of getting back into that.
      • But my O-line, I don’t even look like I’ve played a game. My jersey is pristine white. Any time you can go and just camp back there and deliver the ball, it’s a privilege.
  • I wanted to graduate from NC State [didn’t consider transferring from NC State]. That’s huge.
    • I graduate in December. That’s going to be really important for me to get my degree here.
    • I never tried to get into UNC, but according to Drake [Maye] I couldn’t have. It’s good that I get a nice degree from NC State in finance and go from there.
  • I had to find my parents. I love them so much, and they’ve just been such a big part of my life.
    • They’re the best parents that anyone could ask for. They show constant support.
    • Even when I was fourth string they were coming to every single game. The last three years they haven’t missed a game. I love them so much.
    • The least I can do is go over and celebrate with them. I’m definitely going to be continuing that celebration when I get home.
  • It was Terrell Timmons [was his go-to receiver on the Scout Team], and then I got him moved up. We were just tearing up the defense. He was bumped up.
    • Then it was Jalen Coit.
    • My tight ends were ballers. We were balling. Wake Forest was fun with that slow mesh.
  • I’m glad I could do that, but it’s a team win.
    • I made some crucial mistakes that I wish I could get back that I’ll learn from.
    • It was the entire team, starting with Chris Dunn.
      Jack [Chambers] went in there and put that 1st touchdown in.
    • Our defense was making stops. It was so fun watching our defense out there.
    • This is a big-time NC State win no UNC’s Senior Day. It’s not a Ben Finley win.
  • Oh yeah [wants to be the starter at NC State next year].
    • I’ve got 3 years of eligibility to play, which is crazy that I’m going to be in college just as long as my brother and he was in college for like 20 years.
    • I want to keep playing football. I love this game. I love this team. I love this school.

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NC State Basketball

Kevin Keatts Post Game Press Conference After Exhibition vs. Lees-McRae: BULLETED

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NC State Men’s Basketball Head Coach Kevin Keatts met with the media in his postgame press conference, after the Wolfpack defeated Lees-McRae 107-59 in an exhibition game. You can watch it here, or check out a BULLETED breakdown below.

  • We did some really good things tonight.
    • 1 of the things that was really good is that we had 22 assists on 40 field goals.
      • I don’t think that all of last year we had 22 in a game.
      • We shared the ball and we played with great energy.
  • Guys like Jarkel Joiner did a great job setting the tone on a defensive end.
  • We were able to play a lot of guys and see different combinations.
  • We had 4 games leading up to when we played tonight and I’m counting the 2 games in the Bahamas and the scrimmage and I am proud of our guys.
  • I will look at the tape and see what we need to clean up.
  • Our guys will be off tomorrow and ready to see Austin Peay on Monday.
  • We had 25 [deflections] at the half and I didn’t find out after the game.
    • 40 is our goal and we are trying to get 20 per half.
    • We were +5 at the start of the 2nd half, and I am going to guess and say 42 [deflections for the game].
  • You look at Terquavion Smith and 1 of the things that I wanted him to become, was more of a 2-way player.
    • He leads us with steals with 4
  • Jarkel Joiner can really dog the basketball and turn his guy over.
  • Being able to be play in the rotation of 9-10 guys can help us wear teams down.
  • It was great [watching Ernest Ross and Greg Gantt play together].
    • I didn’t play Gregg in the scrimmage because I wanted him to get an extra few days in before I put him out there.
    • It shows that Ernest and Gregg have the ability to switch 1 through 5 and play different positions.
    • It shows that we can be good with all the players we have. I was proud.
  • When any coach plays exhibitions you are crossing your fingers that nobody gets hurt and we accomplished that.
  • I wanted to go out and find some experienced guys.
    • When you look at us last year, our 4 guards were Freshman and Sophomores.
    • At our Center position, 2 guys had to play who really did not play as Freshmen, so they really were Freshmen even though they were Sophomores by the books.
    • We went out to try to get older guys and try to surround Terquavion Smith with some older guys.
  • I like our team. I like our energy, versatility, and experience.
  • The 1 thing that we ask from every player, even through recruiting, is 100% buy-in.
    • We are in a new age of basketball where there is always going to be a lot of transfers and we have to be selective with the guys that we bring in.
    • I am looking for guys that will play for NC State. If we can play for NC State, we will be fine.
  • When you look at it, because of the way we play there will be a lot of shots to go around.
    • We got 79 shots tonight and it’s enough for everybody to be successful if you share the ball and play together.
  • Give a lot of credit to Jarkel.
    • Here you are talking about a guy who has transferred from the SEC and he has kind of taken Terquavion under his wing as an older guy and embraced him and is excited about playing with him.
    • They feed off of each other.
      • You should see them in practice everyday. They are really excited about it.
      • They compete against each other in practice sometimes.
      • But, when they are on the same team, they just love playing together. I think that has helped our team.
      • Both of them are very unselfish.
        • I want to say in our scrimmage Terquavion led us in assists.
        • He had 6 in that one, you look at tonight he had 7.
        • Jarkel had 5 assists and then 6 tonight.
        • Those guys, we are seeing a path where they know they can score the basketball, but in order for us to be successful we have to get other people involved.
  • It was great to be able to throw the ball into DJ Burns to get some baskets.
  • Obviously, we are going to play a lot bigger teams where they are going to play more post guys, but I just wanted to see a sample size of Dusan Mahorcic, but also DJ where we can score the ball inside.
    • We didn’t have that dimension last year.
      • I feel like we were more perimeter than anything.
    • But those 2 guys [Dusan and DJ] are very unselfish.
  • I think every team is [worried about rebounding], unless you’ve got that 1 dominant rebounder and most teams don’t.
    • There’s a few teams that have that 1 dominant rebounder.
    • I think you have to rebound by committee now because more of basketball has become more positionless.
    • People are more all over the place doing different stuff.
    • We will be a committee rebounding team.
    • Jack Clark has been our best rebounder so far in the 4 games.
      • What did he have tonight…9… and he didn’t play like Jack Clark has played, which is a good sign for us.
      • He has been our leading rebounder.
      • Then we have got guys who get 6, guys who get 4, and guys who get 3.
      • Similar to the way we were last year, I thought we were a really good offensive rebounding team (last season).
        • Where we want to show improvement is on the defensive end.
  • You know he [KJ Keatts] is the smallest guy on our team…I wish I looked like him at times…but I think the and-1 finish…he will be talking about that.
    • But now, his younger brother, Kaden, won’t think it is impressive.
      • He will be like, “it was a weak move” or something like that.
    • I was proud. I was happy. I am happy for all of our guys.
    • Alex Nunnally goes in and bangs a 3 that sends us over 100.
    • Then you see KJ driving. It was a great moment for a Dad.
  • I don’t have to say anything to Chase Graham about his layup.
    • The team is killing him right now just so you know.
    • He tried to tell them he was euro-stepping, but I don’t know. I never thought he got to that part of it.

 

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NC State Football

#24 NC State vs. Virginia Tech: MATCHUP STATISTICAL BREAKDOWN

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#24 NC State hosts Virginia Tech tonight at home at 7:30pm on ESPN. Below is a STATISTICAL BREAKDOWN of the two teams.

 

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