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Wolfpack grinds out victory over Charleston Southern 78-56

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NC State fought off fatigue and a feisty Charleston Southern team as they improved to 2-0 in the Kevin Keatts era with a 78-56 victory.

The Pack, once again, used a balanced attack (5 guys in double figures) to propel their offense.

Al Freeman – 18 pts
Torin Dorn – 14 pts
Markell Johnson – 12 pts
Omer Yurtseven- 11 pts
Sam Hunt – 11 pts

NC State’s defensive intensity wasn’t quite as good as it was in the opener, but with that pace of play and a quick two-day turnaround, it should have been expected.

Offensively, NC State struggled to get things going. Although they forced 24 turnovers, they weren’t really able to play as fast as they did against VMI. This allowed Charleston Southern to get set in their defense and really pack the middle.

Lucky for NC State, Al Freeman and Sam Hunt were able to stretch the defense enough to keep the offense rolling.

The Wolfpack shot 48% from the field, but only  59% from the FT line (we’ere looking at you Dorn .. 3-7) while holding the Buccaneers to only 40% shooting

State shot 39% from beyond the arc, which is pretty good, but all of that was thanks to Al Freeman’s 3-5 and Sam Hunt’s 3-8.

Markell Johnson just missed a double-double for the second straight game. He finished with 12 points and 9 assists, however, he coughed it up 7 times, which is not going to sit well with Keatts.

Charleston Southern did a good job of slowing down the Wolfpack and clogging up the lane. Lennard Freeman ended up with 7 points and 8 boards, but only finsihed with 2 FGs (he was 1-2)

Omer Yurtseven’s second game was much like the first. He finished with a nice stat line of 11 points (on 5-8 shooting) and 4 boards, but you couldn’t help but notice his struggles to corral rebounds or fight through contact. We don’t want to keep harping on this because Yurt is putting up some solid stat lines, but it’s just that this is going to be an issue down the road for NC State. These teams have very weak front lines and they are still outmuscling the 7-foot sophomore. Yurtseven has NBA level talent. He is showing that he can be a big factor knocking down the 10 footer, or hitting his defender with a quick little hook shot, but this team needs to be able to win battles in the paint if they are going to win in the ACC and they also need Yurts height in the middle. It’s going to be up to Keatts to teach him how to throw his weight around and invite contact from the blocks.

At the end of the day, this was still a 22 point win. It wasn’t pretty and it probably didn’t please Kevin Keatts, but it was a win. It’s no wonder that Keatts preaches conditioning. His teams go 100% all the time, and when you have a 2-day turnaround, the guys are bound to be a little heavy in the legs.

Now, the bad news is that they have another two-day turnaround coming up. They will face Bryant on Tuesday, followed by yet another two-day turnaround where they will face Presbyterian.

These aren’t big names teams, but this will be a trying stretch for a Wolfpack team just learning how to sustain effort night after night.

 

NC State Basketball

Jersey Numbers for 2024-25 NC State Men’s Basketball Team Revealed

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The NC State Men’s Basketball team revealed the Jersey Numbers for their 2024-25 team yesterday.

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Numbers that are Staying the Same

Michael O’Connell – #12

Ben Middlebrooks – #34

Dennis Parker Jr. – #11

KJ Keatts – #13

Jordan Snell – #22

Numbers that have Changed

Jayden Taylor – #1 –> #8

Breon Pass – #10 –> #4

Numbers of New Players

Mike James – #0 (He wore #0 at Louisville last year)

Brandon Huntley-Hatfield – #1 (He wore #5 at Louisville last year)

Paul McNeil – #2 (He wore #2 in High School last year)

Dontrez Styles – #3 (He wore #0 at Georgetown last year)

Trey Parker – #5 (He wore #5 in High School last year)

Marcus Hill – #10 (He wore #0 at Bowling Green last year)

We don’t know what number Ismael Diouf will be wearing at NC State next year yet. 

 

 

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Kareem Richardson Promoted To Associate Head Coach at NC State

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RALEIGH, N.C. – NC State men’s basketball head coach Kevin Keatts announced Wednesday that assistant coach Kareem Richardson has been promoted to associate head coach effective immediately.

“I’m proud to promote Kareem to associate head coach,” Keatts said. “He is a valuable member of my staff and has really enhanced NC State both in his relationship with our players and staff, but also his ability to teach, scout and game plan. He is a well-rounded coach that has an impact on every facet of our program, and I feel fortunate to have him as part of my staff.”

The upcoming 2024-25 season will be Richardson’s third at NC State. The Pack has earned bids to the NCAA Tournament in both seasons Richardson has been on staff, including last season when NC State won the ACC Championship and advanced to the Final Four.

NC State has had three different guards (DJ Horne, Jarkel Joiner and Terquavion Smith) earn All-ACC honors under Richardson’s tutelage.

Richardson was previously head coach at UMKC for 2013-19 and has been an assistant coach at power conference programs such as Louisville, Xavier and Clemson in his 25-year coaching career.

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WATCH: Getting to Know NC State’s Dontrez Styles

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NC State Men’s Basketball is releasing videos helping fans get to know the new players on the 2024-25 roster.

Below is the video of Georgetown Transfer Forward Dontrez Styles (6’6″/212), with a transcript underneath.

I’m Dontrez Styles, a transfer from Georgetown University. I knew where I wanted to be. At the end of the day, I knew I wanted to come back home and play for a guy like Keatts. That was the main thing for me.

Being back home is amazing. My family can see me play every game now. An hour from Kinston, North Carolina. It’s a small city. I love it. Just growing there. A lot of great guys. A lot of great basketball players. My family is there. It’s my life.

I grew up in the Brandon Ingram era, so I went to every Kinston High School game. Just seeing him play motivated me to get in the gym and keep working. The grind has paid off.

It’s crazy. I would have never imagined this happening. It’s very rare for someone to go to North Carolina and NC State. Me being one of the first guys to do that, I believe it’s different, but I’m enjoying it so far. I can’t wait to get started.

Coach (Levi) Watkins recruited me when he was at Ole Miss. He’s been with me since my Sophomore year, I believe. Just having that relationship with them makes it easier every day.

Just being back, it’s going to be very fun, especially now. The hype is crazy. I can’t wait to be back home and get started, and hopefully win that National Championship.

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Styles was the 2nd leading scorer for Georgetown this past season, averaging 12.8 points per game, while grabbing 5.8 boards. He shot 36.8% from three.

Originally, Sytles was a consensus 4-Star prospect in UNC’s 2021 recruiting class. 247Sports ranked him as the #62 overall player nationally, and the #2 player in the state of North Carolina, playing for Kinston High School.

After two seasons with the Tar Heels, Styles entered the Portal, and took an Official Visit to NC State and Georgetown, and ultimately chose the Hoyas.

Styles will be spending his final year of eligibility with NC State.

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WATCH: Getting to Know NC State’s Mike James

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NC State Men’s Basketball is releasing videos helping fans get to know the new players on the 2024-25 roster.

Below is the video of Louisville Transfer Guard Mike James (6’5″/200), with a transcript underneath.

I last played at the University of Louisville. I spent three years there. Played two. Redshirted my first year because of injury. I enjoyed my time there, but all good things got to come to an end, and I’m here at North Carolina State. 

Entering the Portal is just like going through High School recruitment again. You’re getting your phone blown up every other hour, every single day. You’ve got to get on long phone calls. You’re kind of going through the process again, but this time, you kind of know what you want. You’ve been through College Basketball, so you know what questions to ask, what to expect, and you kind of just get straight to the point. I feel like the process was similar, but different this time. It went a lot quicker, and I knew exactly what I wanted. I want to win at the end of the day. Playing time is earned, and all that stuff. You’ve got to come in here and take care of that. 

Winning is very important, and I haven’t done that so far, but that’s the one thing I want to change about my college career. Seeing y’all go on that run was really appealing to me. 

I like to get to the basket. Draw fouls. Finish at the rim. Knock down shots on the perimeter. Defend 1-4 positions on the other end. 

I want to come in and win. I want to be a leader for our team. I’m an older guy now, so I want to be a leader. I want to come in and win another ACC Championship, and make another NCAA Tournament run. 

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This past year, James averaged 12.6 points per game (3rd on the team) and 5 rebounds. He’s extremely physical and aggressive, taking 47% of his field goal attempts at the rim (making 46%). As a result, he draws a lot of fouls, ranking 10th in the ACC in Fouls Drawn, and 4th in Free Throw Rate. James made opponents pay this year when they put him on the line, making 81.8% from the charity stripe, which ranked 15th in the ACC.

James shot the ball better as a Redshirt Freshman, than he did this past season. His Effective Field Goal Percentage in 2022-23 was 55.8%, which ranked 19th in the ACC, and his True Shooting Percentage of 59.6% ranked 14th.

News broke about James entering the Transfer Portal back on March 25th, and NC State was quick to reach out. Kevin Keatts and his staff recruited the former 4-star prospect out of high school heavily, but he ultimately chose the Cardinals.

After redshirting his first year in Louisville due to torn achilles, James has been a starter for the Cardinals the past two years.

He does have the ability to knock down a three, making 34.8% for his career.

James has 2 years of eligibility remaining.

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