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NC State Basketball

Player Preview: Get to know grad-transfer SG Sam Hunt



Over the next two weeks we will be previewing the NC State Basketball team prior to their first exhibition game on Nov 4th. Today, we take a closer look at grad-transfer, Sam Hunt.

How did he get here?

This has been a pretty crazy off-season, so if you’ve kind of lost track of the NC State basketball roster, you’re not alone.

After Kevin Keatts was named head coach the dominos began to fall. Obviously, Dennis Smith Jr opted for the NBA Draft, but with him went Maverick Rowan and Ted Kapita. Also gone were Beejay Anya (graduated) and Terry Henderson (was not granted injury waiver, and graduated).

Suddenly, Keatts was left with a depleted roster, especially at the guard spot. The only remaining player who played any sort of significant minutes was Markell Johnson. That meant Keatts needed to pick up a few guys and fast.

One of those pickups was from right down the highway. Sam Hunt had just finished his junior season, but he also had finished his coursework and North Carolina A&T and graduated. This allowed him to become a grad-transfer and not have to sit out a season.

Meanwhile, Keatts quickly looked around the nation at coaching changes to see if he had relationships with any players who were now looking for a different situation. One of those kids was Lavar Batts, who had recently de-committed from VCU and knew Keatts well. After picking up Batts, the dots began to connect for Hunt. He was close with Batts and he had always wanted to play in the ACC.

“That’s (Lavar Batts) my little brother,” said Hunt. “He’s a great kid, and he’s so competitive. That’s what I really love about him, he competes. And he listens. A lot of kids don’t want to listen.” he told the N&O back in May.

That connection and the opportunity to play right down the road, but for an ACC team was exactly what he was looking for. Hunt decided on NC State shortly after Batts did.

What kind of player is he?
Hunt is a 6’2, 175lb guard. He’ll likely slot in as a 2 guard on this roster since Batts and Johnson will be more than enough to go around at the point.

Hunt averaged 15 points his sophomore year and 12 his junior year at NC A&T. He is a crafty guard who a nice lefty jump shot. He likes to shoot off the dribble and did a lot of isolation scoring at A&T. He has a quick release and a solid handle.

How will he fit at NC State?
It’s yet to be seen how Keatts will use his players, but in the past (at UNCW) he has been guard heavy. This year he will be counting on major minutes from Abu and Yurtseven, so you likely will see a 3 guard, 2 big lineup.

In that lineup, you will certainly see Markell Johnson, Torin Dorn and Al Freeman heading things up. You will also get Lavar Batts in there to spell Johnson and maybe even Dorn or Freeman if he wants more ball handling.

With the news that Braxton Beverly has been ruled ineligible, it might open up some extra minutes for Hunt. He showed that he can really get hot on the teams trip to Italy where he dropped 21 points in a loss. However, NC State has filed for a Braxton Beverly appeal, so if he were to get reinstated it might eat into Hunts ability to find minutes.

At the end of the day, the truth is that Hunt will have to earn his minutes, but NC State is at a spot where if you can score, you will play. With Henderson and Smith Jr. gone, NC State really needs guys who can fill it up and Hunt is looking to show that he’s that guy.

Hunt will wear #15 for NC State this season.

Check out these highlights of Sam Hunt while at NC A&T’s summer league.

NC State Basketball

NC State Beats Maine 82-63 to Improve to 4-0



It wasn’t nearly as convincing as the previous three games, but the NC State Men’s Basketball Team beat Maine 82-63 to improve to 4-0. The Wolfpack beat their opponents by an average of 49 points in the first 3 games, but you won’t see me complaining about a 19-point victory.

Sure, these games are against less than intimidating opponents, but NC State has lost games like these in the past, and others have been nail-biters.

Three Wolfpack players were in double-figures.

Senior Torin Dorn led the way with 15 points (7-13 FG) 5 rebounds and 4 steals (career high). Junior Markell Johnson had 13 points (4-6 3PT) and 5 assists (team high). Junior CJ Bryce had 14 points (4-7 FG/2-2 3 PT), 8 rebounds (team high) and 4 assists.

The Wolfpack had held there opponents to under 33.3% shooting from the field the first theee games, but the notoriously poor shooting Black Bears shot 55.8%. The Princeton style offense gave the Pack some troubles, but good can come from this early season struggle. Having this on tape, should help it not end up on tape later.

NC State’s next game is Tuesday night against St. Peter’s at 7pm at PNC.


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NC State Basketball

Previewing NC State’s Opponent: Maine



Maine is bad at basketball.

In fact, they are one of the worst teams in college basketball.

KenPom ranks them 335th out of 353 teams.

The Black Bears have started the 2018 season 0-3.

Maine is shooting 36.5% from the field (332nd), 27% from three (310th) and 63.3% from the free throw line (269th).

The Black Bears return 3 starters from last year:

JR Forward Andrew Fleming
SR Forward Ilija Stojiljkovic
JR Guard Isaiah White

White and Fleming are the only players scoring in double digits, averaging 13.3 and 9.7 respectively. Sophomore Vilgot Larsson leads the team in rebounding (6.7).

Richard Barron is the new head coach of the Black Bears. He previously served as the Maine Women’s Basketball Coach. He inherits a program that is 24-100 over the past 4 seasons.

NC State has beat their 1st three opponents by an average of 49 points, and I wouldn’t be shocked in the least if they did so once again against Maine.

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NC State Basketball

NC State vs. Mercer Tip-off Time Moved Back



RALEIGH, NC – The NC State men’s basketball game against Mercer on Saturday, Nov. 24 will now tipoff at 5:30 pm.

The game originally scheduled for 2:00 pm was moved to allow fans the opportunity to attend the NC State football game at UNC-Chapel Hill. The football game against the Tar Heels will kickoff at 12:20.

The basketball game will still be shown on ACC Network Extra.

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NC State Basketball

NC State Women’s Basketball Signs #7 Class in the Nation



It was a good day for the NC State Women’s Basketball program yesterday. A really good day.

6th-year head coach Wes Moore celebrated four 2019 prospects signing their letter of intent to run with the Pack yesterday.

Currently, ESPN ranks the NC State’s 2019 recruiting class 7th nationally.

5-Star Wing Jakia Brown-Turner (6’0″) is the #17 overall player in the 2019 class according to ESPN. She averaged 19.7 points per game for Bishop McNamara High School (Oxon Hill, Maryland) as a Junior.

Wes Moore: “Jakia is a big-time scoring threat. She can really stroke the three, is explosive, and has the size to take people off the bounce to get to the rim and finish against contact. She is used to winning, both in high school and with Team Takeover during travel ball. She’s someone who we are really excited about from the standpoint of being able to count on her as a consistent scorer. She scores in so many ways. She has good size, good athleticism, and is someone who can really fill up a scoresheet.” (GoPack)

5-Star Forward Jada Boyd (6’2″) is the #32 overall player in the 2019 class according to ESPN. She averaged a gaudy 35.9 points, 13.3 rebounds, 8.5 blocks, and 4.1 steals per game as a junior for Appomattox County High School (Petersberg, Virginia). Boyd was the Virginia Class 1 Player of the Year last season.

Wes Moore: “Jada Boyd is a strong forward who is a relentless rebounder on both ends of the floor. She is strong inside and can also step out and shoot the three. She’s going to create matchup problems for people because of her ability to score inside and out. She brings a toughness and a presence out there and we feel like she will be able to be a double-double type player, much like (former NC State 1,000-point scorer) Chelsea Nelson. Having played a major role for a strong BooWilliams program, she too is used to success.” (GoPack)

3-Star Camille Hobby (6’1″) is the #18 post-player in the 2019 class according to ESPN. She averaged 14.2 points and 9.7 rebounds per game as a junior for Nease High School (Jacksonville, Florida).

Wes Moore: “Camille has good strength on the block and plays extremely hard. She can score in a variety of ways, whether it be inside with post moves or from the trail position with a soft touch on the three. She’s someone who works hard on the court, works hard in preparation, and puts in the time that it takes to play at the ACC level. Consequently, she’ll keep getting better.” (GoPack)

3-Star Kendal Moore (5’6″) is the #27 point guard in the 2019 class according to ESPN. She averaged 21.2 points, 6.3 assists, 6.1 rebounds, and 2.6 steals per game as a junior for Northwood Temple Academy (Fayetteville, North Carolina).

Wes Moore: “Kendal has a high motor and is someone who is going to get the ball and push it in transition. She can be a facilitator at the point position, much like a quarterback running the team, but can also put up some points. She takes people off the bounce and either creates her own shot or sets up teammates. She can also knock down the three, and competes on every play. She will lead by example, much as she did with a good Carolina Flames team.” (GoPack)

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