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NC State vs. UMKC: Preview, Info & How to watch

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NC State Wolfpack vs. UMKC Kangaroos
Gametime: 2:00 pm
Streaming: Watch ESPN App (ACC Network Extra)
Location: Reynolds Coliseum (Raleigh, NC)

Get to know the University of Missouri Kansas City:
UMKC comes to Raleigh with a not-so-impressive 2-7 record. Notable losses include a 52 point beat-down at the hands of #9 Witchita State and a 21 point thumping from unranked Kansas State,

The Kangaroos are led by Brodrick Robinson, a 6’1 senior who is averaging 12ppg and likes to shoot the 3. He’s hitting 39% of them on the season. In fact, it isn’t just Brodrick who’s putting up a lot of 3 balls, this entire team likes to shoot them. So far this season they have attempted 269 3s, which makes up 46% of all their shot attempts.

Aside from Robinson, UMKC relies on a trio of sophomores in Isaiah Ross (6’4), Xavier Bishop (5’8) and Jordan Giles. (6’7). To put it bluntly, this team is young, small and love to hoist up 3s. It’s not exactly the type of team that you’d, on paper, think would cause NC State any real trouble.

 

What to watch for from NC State

Feed the bigs: Omer Yurtseven has arrived for NC State. He’s score 17 or more in 3 of the past 4 games. During that span, he’s shooting an insane 74% from the floor, including 5-6 from 3pt range. Meanwhile, not to be outdone, Lennard Freeman has quietly become the NATION’S LEADER in offensive rating. These guys are big, strong, and efficient and it’s slowly becoming apparent that the Wolfpack’s real strength lies in their frontcourt. Against UMKC be ready to see a heavy dose of these two as the ‘Roos really don’t have a single guy on their roster who can match up.

The return of Abu?: No word yet on whether this is happening, but Keatts mentioned to the press that Abu has been practicing with the team and is making great progress. Will he suit up in this one? If he does, he’ll likely see minimal minutes. The Pack needs Abu for their ACC run, so don’t be surprised to see them baby him back into game shape. We could be wrong, be we don’t expect them to fully take the reigns off the senior big man for another week or two.

Domination on the offensive glass: If you win the battle on the offensive glass, you are certainly going to give yourself a good chance to win the game. Lately, NC State has been doing a pretty good job there. Torin Dorn has become a rebounding machine from the wing position and Omer Yurtseven currently ranks TOP-10 IN THE NATION in offensive rebounding percentage. UMKC doesn’t have the size or physicality to hang in the paint with these guys, so unless the Pack comes out soft, they should obliterate the Kangaroos in this category.

Trying to figure out the Beverly, Markell balance: NC State has two good point guards. Beverly has done a good job since he’s gotten settled in. He’s really running the team well, dictating pace and protecting the basketball. Meanwhile, Markell Johnson has seen his productivity slip. It’s clear that he is searching out his role right now, and it’s not about minutes. Johnson is going to play, but what is he supposed to do if Beverly is doing a lot of the stuff he wants to do. Keatts is trying to find a balance where both guys can feel comfortable on the floor together. Even with a fall off in production during the Bahama trip, Markell Johnson still is TOP-1o in the nation in assist %,  meaning he’s obviously still making things happen. Keatts is trying to get him to be more of a leader and to be able to play fast but also take care of the basketball.We’re watching this closely, because if he can get these two guys clicking at the same time, along with Al Freeman’s play and the dominance of the frontcourt, then NC State is going to be tough to beat.

NC State Basketball

VIDEO: Kevin Keatts Talks Before #19 NC State’s Matchup vs. #23 Louisville

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#19 NC State head coach Kevin Keatts spoke with the media today before Thursday’s road game against #23 Louisville. He broke down the latest on Junior Point Guard Markell Johnson’s availability…

The video is ABOVE (Via TheWolfpacker), and a bulleted breakdown is BELOW.

  • I think I said it the other day, he’s (Markell Johnson) a guy that could play on Thursday, or could play three or four weeks from now. I’m not going to play him until he feels mentally and physically ready to play.
    • There won’t be any pressure on our end. We’re prepared to go into every game without him. If he’s able to play…feels he can play…and the doctors and trainers say he can play…we’d definitely love to have him back in our lineup
    • He’s getting shots up with no contact at this point. He’s not moving really fast, but anything we do at the beginning where we get shots up and there is no contact, he participates in that.
    • I think he feels better each day. I typically get a report from our trainer right after practice and every night, and the report last night was he felt better after working out yesterday.
    • He took a pretty nasty fall. He doesn’t have a lot of meat in that area. He’s really, really sore.
  • DJ Funderburk’s been great. He’s long and athletic, and can get to a lot of offensive rebounds. He’s been great in that area, but he’s also done a great job with defensive presence.
    • Against Pitt he had to play a lot of minutes and did a tremendous job without getting into foul trouble. Made some shots. Ran the floor.
    • He gives us the ability on the defensive end where we can switch all screens if we have to, because he’s the only guy on our roster who can guard all five positions on the floor. He’s been very valuable to us.
    • When he’s in the game, we typically don’t have a true center. Wyatt Walker is the closest we have to a true center. We have two power forwards or two forwards when he’s on the floor.
    • At Hargrave, he was always on the front of a press. Played with energy. He played hard. Affected every aspect of the game.
    • Went JUCO and some projected him as the No. 1 JUCO in the country. He’s only going to get better as the years go on. He’ll continue to put on weight. Next year I’d love to see him add 20 more pounds to his frame.
    • It’s a couple of different things (On why he doesn’t start). I don’t like him getting into early foul trouble. He’s also played so great off the bench. Gives us a great lift. He will start games before the season is over. Don’t know when that will be, but he’s so valuable to our program.
    • I felt we had a little bit of advantage (recruiting Funderburk) because AW (Hamilton. Former Assistant Coach who is now at Eastern Kentucky) had coached him. A lot of schools backed off because they thought if NC State wanted him, we’d get him because of his relationship with AW at Hargrave.
  • I think we have to play high-level basketball to win there (Louisville). They are playing as good as any team in our conference. After the Pitt loss, I don’t think they’ve had a game closer than 10 points. They had an unbelievable win at Carolina and on the road with Georgia Tech.
    • (Jordan) Nwora is playing very good basketball. He’s shooting the ball extremely well. They are talented and play hard.
    • Chris (Mack) is doing a great job with the program.
    • My emotions are I’m hoping we can go there and get a win. I’m the NC State coach and excited about our guys. For me, it’s another great opponent on their floor. It’s so hard to win in the ACC on the road.
  • We have to be there on the catch (On what you have to do to stop Nwora). He’s really good. He reminds me so much of Cam Johnson with how he can shoot the ball with his height.
    • He’s very good around the NBA line, but he can also step back and take shots. Right now, he’s shooting into a big rim.
    • The only game in the ACC they didn’t win (Pitt), he didn’t have a great game.

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NC State Women’s Basketball Stays Put at #8 for 3rd Straight Week

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The NC State Women’s Basketball team stayed put at #8 in the Week 12 AP Poll, after defeating Virginia Tech 70-61 in overtime this past Sunday in their only game of the week.

Need I remind the voters that the Wolfpack is 18-0, and the only remaining undefeated team in all of Division-I College Basketball…Women or Men.

The Wolfpack will host the Clemson Tigers on Thursday night at 7pm.

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Remembering when Martin Luther King Jr. Spoke in NC State’s Reynolds Coliseum

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On a day when we remember Martin Luther King Jr., you might not realize that the country-shaping Civil Rights leader once spoke in NC State’s legendary Reynolds Coliseum.

On July 31st, 1966, Dr. King spoke to an integrated audience of an estimated 5,000 people in Reynolds Coliseum. Simultaneously, the Ku Klux Klan was marching the streets of Raleigh in protest to his presence. Much of Raleigh was in an uproar with King in town. Numerous churches in the area took out ads in the News & Observer inviting people to their church that week to denounce him, and oppose integration.

The night before King’s speech, there was an event in the iconic Memorial Auditorium portraying King as a communist.

Rather than a representative from NC State introducing King on their own campus, the President of Shaw University, Dr. James Cheek, introduced him.

King’s presence in North Carolina through the years wasn’t isolated to this one speech. In fact, his first “I have a dream” speech was in Rocky Mount.

As a pastor, I grieve that there were churches that denounced King that week. The integration they opposed is integral to the Gospel of Jesus. We needed to do better then, and we need to do better now. In my opinion, reconciliation, and the fighting of injustice is not optional for anyone that wants to call themselves Christian.

While we have a long way to go in our our society, I’m thankful that Raleigh and NC State aren’t in the same place they were back in 1966.

Check out all of the work and activities going on at NC State surrounding the impact of Dr. King. 

Also, please make sure to read W. Jason Miller’s article at the News & Observer, which shaped this entire piece. It’s wonderful piece of journalism. 

 

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NC State Remains in Top-20 in Week 12 Coaches Poll

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The Week 12 Coaches Poll is out, and after another 1-1 week, NC State remains in the Top-20, falling back 3 spots to #19.

ACC Teams in the Week 12 Coaches Poll Top-25

2) Duke (-)
3) Virginia (-2)
8) Virginia Tech (-1)
12) UNC (+3)
19) NC State (-3)
23) FSU (-12)
24) Louisville (+2)

 

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