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NC State squares off aginst Wake Forest at 2 PM this Saturday. Wake Forest rides into Raleigh off of a big win over Miami. The Pack looks to win back to back ACC games before a brutal two-game stretch traveling to Duke and Louisville. What are the keys to the game for NC State to beat Wake Forest?

The Wolfpack will need to be prepared for ball screens, lots of ball screens.

The Demon Deacons use the ball screen as much as any team in the country. They like to initiate their offense with a flat high ball screen a couple of feet above the key. Bryant Crawford is lethal at utilizing the screen to get downhill quickly with his athleticism. The Pack will need to hedge efficiently to reroute Crawford horizontally instead of allowing him a direct line to the paint. John Collins has thrived as a pick and roll partner with Crawford as he has caught lots of alleys from him.

In addition to flat ball screens at the top of the key, Wake runs a two man game with a guard and big man from the wings. This action gives Wake an opportunity to exploit a potential mismatch as a result of teams switching. The other three players space the floor which strains help-side defense.

NC State can take away Wake’s pick and rolls by mixing in zone looks. Running a zone can also help take away the interior scoring of John Collins. Throwing different looks at Wake should slow down their lethal offensive attack.

Fouls will play a big part in Saturday’s game as Wake Forest ranks 24th in the NCAA in free throw percentage.

Omer Yurtseven and Malik Abu must play it safe the first half of the game by not picking up dumb fouls. NC State cannot afford to have either one of these players picking up quick fouls due to reach-ins and senseless off-ball calls. The Pack guards will need to be aggressive pressuring the ball without fouling because Wake shoots 75.9% from the foul line. Allowing them to get into the bonus early could be catastrophic.

Offensively NC State needs to have a balanced attack.

The Pack beat Pittsburgh with a balanced attack offensively. Maverick Rowan and Terry Henderson both scored 21 points apiece with Smith and Yurtseven getting into double figures as well. 20 assists on 29 made field goals helped NC State win the game. They will need to work together penetrating and kicking to get good looks. Markell Johnson and Dennis Smith give the Wolfpack versatility by having two players capable of getting into the paint to distribute the basketball. NC State will need to have everyone involved to score with the Demon Deacons.

Saturday’s contest should be entertaining theater as it features two teams capable of lighting up the scoreboard. The offenses will take center stage Saturday at 2 o’clock as both NC State and Wake average 81 PPG. Can the Wolfpack get enough stops to beat the Demon Deacons? They will need to bring energy and build upon their win over Pittsburgh as Wake Forest is a talented team.

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wolfpack74
wolfpack74
7 years ago

Stop writing, you know nothing. 2-5 it what it is.

“Big picture NC State stands 1-2 in the ACC with 15 games remaining. If they can rip off four straight wins against BC, GT, Pittsburgh, and Wake Forest they will be 5-2 going into back to back road games against Duke and Louisville. 5-2 doesn’t sound bad. Mark Gottfried and company have plenty of film to show his guys to light a fire under each”

Tyler White
Tyler White
7 years ago
Reply to  wolfpack74

I can’t stop writing I look forward to your comments too much. Thank you for visiting our site and sharing your views on NC State.

wolfpack74
wolfpack74
7 years ago
Reply to  Tyler White

Your welcome. Just don’t drink the Kool-Aid too much. You and I both knew that the way this team played against nobodies early on and had trouble with them, that this was going to be a long season. The one thing we didn’t know was that Yurts would not be very good and highly overrated. Just be more realistic in the articles. This goes for all PackInsider’s writers.

NC State Basketball

NC State Men’s Basketball 2024-25 Scholarship Breakdown

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With the announcement of the addition of Forward Ismael Diouf yesterday, and news breaking that MJ Rice and Ernest Ross are no longer with the team this morning, here’s a look at the Scholarship Breakdown for the Men’s Basketball Team for the 2024-25 season.

Senior (1 Year of Eligibility)

Forward/Center Brandon Huntley-Hatfield
Forward/Center Ben Middlebrooks
Forward Guard Dontrez Styles
Guard/Forward Jayden Taylor
Guard Michael O’Connell
Guard Marcus Hill
Guard Breon Pass

Junior (2 Years of Eligibility)

Forward/Center Ismael Diouf
Guard Mike James

Sophomore ( 3 Years of Eligibility)

Guard/Forward Dennis Parker Jr.

Freshman (4 Years of Eligibility)

Guard/Forward Paul McNeil Jr.
Guard Trey Parker

NC State now has 1 scholarship available for the 2024-25 season. 

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NC State Basketball

Ernest Ross is No Longer on NC State’s Roster

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According to a source, Senior Forward Ernest Ross is no longer on NC State’s roster.

On April 17th, Ross entered the Transfer Portal. On May 10th, Ross verbally committed to UTSA. Then on May 15th, Ross announced that he would in fact be returning to NC State for his final year of eligibility.

Ross played in 14 games this past season, averaging 3.4 minutes per contest. After playing in 34 games last season, averaging 11.4 minutes per contest, Ross saw his participation dip to a career low this season, but that didn’t for a second break his infectious personality.

Ross was a consensus 4-star player in NC State’s 2021 recruiting class, with 247Sports ranking him as the #60 overall player nationally. ESPN ranked him as the #5 overall player in the state of Florida.

According to a source, Ross is leaving the program for personal reasons, that are non-basketball related.

Ross has 1 year of eligibility remaining.

 

 

 

 

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NC State Basketball

MJ Rice is No Longer on NC State’s Roster

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According to a source, Sophomore Guard MJ Rice is no longer on NC State’s roster.

Rice transferred to NC State last offseason from Kansas, and only played in 9 games for the Wolfpack this past season, averaging 4.1 points in 8.8 minutes per game.

On January 24th, it NC State announced that Rice would be sitting out the remainder of the season, and that they would be submitting a waiver for the season to count as a Redshirt year.

Prior to the beginning of the  season, Rice stepped away from the program for personal reasons, and missed the first 7 games, before joining the Wolfpack against Maryland Eastern-Shore.

The Kansas transfer played in 23 games for the Jayhawks as a Freshman, averaging 2.2 points in 7.6 minutes per game. ON3 ranked Rice as the #24 overall player nationally in the 2022 recruiting class. They also ranked him as the #2 overall player in the Transfer Portal.

It was always ‘iffy’ whether or not Rice would be on next years roster, but he didn’t enter the Transfer Portal, and remained with the team on their magical run, and even after.

According to a source, Rice is leaving the program for personal reasons, that are non-basketball related.

Rice has 3 years of eligibility remaining.

 

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NC State Basketball

NC State Commit Ismael Diouf: VIDEO VAULT

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NC State just landed a MASSIVE commitment from Canadian Forward Ismael Diouf (6’9″/215). Here’s a VIDEO VAULT of the new NC State big man.

 

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