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NC State vs Pitt
7pm | PNC Arena | ESPNU

NC State hosts Pittsburgh tonight at 7 o’clock as they look to end a three-game losing streak, ESPNU will have coverage. The Panthers have been struggling of late due to injuries, including second-leading scorer Michael Young, who fractured his orbital bone. Senior Michael Young will be in the lineup wearing a custom fit mask to protect his eye. What must the Pack do to end their three-game skid?

NC State will need to give maximum defensive effort to win.

Pittsburgh has the two leading scorers in the ACC in Jamel Artis and Michael Young. The two seniors are quite the one-two punch as they average 22.3 and 20.8 points per game. Their size presents a unique challenge for defenders as Artis stands 6-7 and Young is 6-9. Mark Gottfried will most likely put Henderson on Artis and Malik Abu on Young. Terry will have to be ready to run Artis off the three-point line as he can fill it up from the outside. Another thing Terry can do to keep Artis from getting into a rhythm is to work hard at denying him the ball. Jamel plays heavy minutes (35 per game) it will be critical that NC State doesn’t give him anything easy in that time.

Abu, on the other hand, will need to be disciplined in extending his defense to the three-point line. Michael Young is a good shooter from three as he is connecting on 40% of his attempts from the arc. This is a scary mismatch for NC State. Abu has hasn’t been good when asked to guard a more versatile big. Tonight, he must contest under control because he cannot afford to foul Young on three-point attempts. It will be NC State as a whole’s responsibility to take away these two scorers. All five players on the court need to be locked in, with a mindset that they are not going to give up easy baskets.

Offensively NC State needs to move the ball and limit empty possessions.

Dennis Smith controls the ball a lot, which means he has a responsibility to get the offense moving in the right direction. He has to do a better job getting everyone involved early. Smith leads the ACC in APG; however, he can help his team by eliminating his “no one else touches the ball” jump shots. NC State has plenty of weapons, they just need to get the ball in their spots. The Pack will be more fluid if they allow Abu to catch the ball deep in the paint and give him 1-on-1 matchups out of the high post. Guards will then have more space on the outside to attack the paint. Malik Abu and company will also demand attention with double teams which will yield open looks from three. An inside-out attack from the start will help NC State beat Pitt.

NC State needs to make Jamel Artis and Michael Young play defense.

Jamel Artis and Micahel Young are the heart and soul of the Panthers. NC State needs to make them work on both ends by making them play defense. If either one of these guys gets into foul trouble, forcing Coach Stallings to sit them for an extended period, they will struggle. Michael Young was less than himself aginst Miami as he struggled to adjust to playing with a mask, and because of this Pitt only scored 46 points. Both Artis and Young rely on each other to take pressure off of one another. Pittsburgh is not as difficult to matchup against if they are not on the court together.

Tonight’s game will be a glimpse into the type of team we will see for the rest of the season. Mark Gottfried did not hold back in his postgame by calling out his team’s defensive effort, or lack thereof. The players have to hold themselves and each other accountable defensively and not let one another shirk on the job. Can NC State get a win over Pittsburgh tonight? They have the talent; however, it will be all about working hard and leaving it all on the court. Game time is at 7 o’clock with coverage on ESPNU.

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wolfpack74
wolfpack74
7 years ago

Finally off the bottom.

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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