Connect with us

NC State Basketball

Inside the (advanced) Boxscore: How NC State toppled #2 Duke



Al Freeman
vs Duke – 109 Offensive rating, 118 defensive rating, 17.7 assist%, 9.1 rebounding%, 21.6 usage rate
on average – 98.2 Offensive rating, 101.6 defensive rating, 13.7 assist%, 7.5 rebounding%, 25.2 usage rate

Takeaway: Less is more for Al Freeman. Against Duke, Freeman played within the offense, took good shots and shared the basketball. His advanced stats were way up across the board with the exception of one thing: Usage. This just goes to show that quality to quantity is the name of the game for Freeman. If he doesn’t force the issue, he’s a dangerous player who gives NC State a guy who can really put the pressure on the defense.


Braxton Beverly
vs Duke – 159 offensive rating, 114 defensive rating, 20 assist%, 2.1 rebounding%, 13.3 usage rate
on average – 118.7 offensive rating, 105.7 defensive rating, 22.9 assist%, 3.8 rebounding%, 16.9 usage rate

Takeaway: Beverly played a solid game all around. He knocked down his shots, played better defense than usual and actually upped his usage a bit. What’s interesting with that is that he actually shot the ball less. His 5 attempts were the lowest since he started getting significant minutes in late November. If the Pack is really rolling this is probably the type of stat line that is most efficient for Beverly. High assist totals, low turnover totals and a high percentage from the field with relatively low attempts on most nights.

Omer Yurtseven
vs Duke – 115 offensive rating, 106 defensive rating, 0 assist%, 21.4 rebounding%, 25.1 usage rate
on average – 124.2 offensive rating, 96.6 defensive rating, 4.3 assist%, 18.3 rebounding%, 23.4 usage rate

Takeaway: Yurt had a big game all around, but what really stands out is the uptick in rebounding %. You have to understand that his averages factor in all of non-conference, where the Pack played a lot of smaller teams. Against Duke, he was facing one of the biggest frontcourts in the nation, and he actually increased his rebound %. He also was stronger on defense and increased his defensive rating despite going up against the guy who might be the #1 pick in next year’s NBA draft. He also increased his usage percentage.

Torin Dorn
vs Duke – 147 offensive rating, 107 defensive rating, 15.7 assist%, 9.4 rebounding%, 25.5 usage rate
on average – 121.9 offensive rating, 100.3 defensive rating, 10.5 assist%, 14.4 rebounding%, 21.2 usage rate

Takeaway: Looking at these numbers, one of the guys with some the biggest swings is definitely Torin Dorn. His offensive rating was insane against Duke thanks in part to his 2 big 3s at the end of the game. But he also didn’t turn the ball over one time, and that has been an area where Dorn has struggled. Dorn finished an efficient 6-11 and 2-3 from long range. Defensively, he also was better than normal, and his usage rate jumped a bit as well.

Malik Abu
vs Duke – 122 offensive rating, 122 defensive rating, 0 assist%, 7.7 rebounding%, 22.7 usage rate
on Average – 97.2 offensive rating, 97.4 defensive rating, 4.4 assist%, 14.3 rebounding%, 20.7 usage rate

Takeaway: Another key factor in this game was the offensive play of Malik Abu. A huge jump in his O-rating was thanks to him not settling for jumpers and instead mixing it up around the rim. This is where Abu is at his best and taking advantage of his frame. He was 5-8 from the floor in only 18 minutes of play. Very efficient offensive game for Abu. He also really saw a huge uptick in his defensive rating. He played strong and made it tough for Duke to get easy looks or second chance points. He also saw his usage rate climb, however he didn’t rebound as well as usual (likely because of the size of Duke’s bigs and the fact Yurt7 was hogging them all).


Lennard Freeman
vs Duke – 124 offensive rating, 112 defensive rating, 0 assist%, 11.9 rebounding%, 18.4 usage rate
on average – 144.3 offensive rating, 96.8 defensive rating, 0 assist%, 13.4 rebounding%, 18.6 usage rate

Takeaway: Lennard saw a drop off in his offensive rating, but 124 is still very good. His 144 is completely unsustainable and those numbers were buoyed by 70% from the floor and dominance against smaller teams. He played really well on offense and finished with 13 points on 5-8 shooting. He also upped his defensive rating vs. Duke, while his rebounding % and usage rate where pretty close to normal.


Lavar Batts Jr.
vs Duke – 138 offensive rating, 114 defensive rating, 35.3 assist%, 14.5 rebounding%, 17.5 usage rate
on average – 104.6 offensive rating, 101.7 defensive rating, 17 assist%, 4.1 rebounding%, 18.6 usage rate

Takeaway: Aside from Dorn, the biggest difference in this Duke game vs. the rest of the season, was the play of Lavar Batts. This kid increased his numbers drastically all over the place. Offensive rating off the charts, Defensive rating jumped. Assist % just went bonkers. If he was able to sustain that 35.3 assist % he would find himself as the ACC leader in that stat. He also was the team’s 4th best rebounder which surprised me when I saw this stat. All of this while lowering his usage rate. That is efficiency folks. Batts didn’t try to do too much, but what he did, he did extremely well. If this is who Batts really is, then NC State is about to surprise a lot of people.

Sam Hunt
vs Duke – 160 offensive rating, 122 defensive rating, 0 assist%, 5.7 rebounding%, 14.7 usage rate
on averag – 125 offensive rating, 105 defensive rating, 3.7 assist%, 3.4 rebounding%, 13.4 usage rate

Takeaway: Hunt only played 12 minutes, so these numbers are a little deceiving. What Hunt did do was play a better than average game. He knocked down a 3, got a rebound and hit 2 FTs, all while playing solid defense. He really did what was asked of him and didn’t allow for any drop off when he entered the game.


Overall Takeaway
In short, the recipe for success against Duke was a much better, more efficient version of Torin Dorn, an unexpected superstar performance from Lavar Batts, an increase in efficiency by Abu on both sides of the ball, and a huge rebounding game for Omer Yurtseven. The other key was getting this new version of Al Freeman that plays within the offense. That led to a decrease in usage and an increased assist %, rebounding % and offensive and defensive rating.

Is this sustainable? Maybe not all of it, but if Dorn is turning the corner, Al Freeman is playing a team game, and Lavar Batts has arrived, it would allow the rest of the team to float closer to their average numbers and have State still be a pretty darn good basketball team.


What is Offensive Rating?  

“Individual offensive rating is the number of points produced by a player per hundred total individual possessions. In other words, ‘How many points is a player likely to generate when he tries?'”

The basic building blocks of the Offensive Rating calculation are Individual Total Possessions and Individual Points Produced. The formula for Total Possessions is broken down into four components: Scoring Possessions, Missed FG Possessions, Missed FT Possessions, and Turnovers.

  • ScPoss = (FG_Part + AST_Part + FT_Part) * (1 - (Team_ORB / Team_Scoring_Poss) * Team_ORB_Weight * Team_Play%) + ORB_Part

What is Defensive Rating?

Defensive Rating estimates how many points the player allowed per 100 possessions he individually faced while on the court.

The core of the Defensive Rating calculation is the concept of the individual Defensive Stop. Stops take into account the instances of a player ending an opposing possession that are tracked in the boxscore (blocks, steals, and defensive rebounds), in addition to an estimate for the number of forced turnovers and forced misses by the player which aren’t captured by steals and blocks.

  • Stops = Stops1 + Stops2

To figure out how they calculate all of these things, here is the breakdown.


NC State Basketball

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



#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.

Continue Reading

NC State Basketball

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



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.

Continue Reading

NC State Basketball

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



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. 


Continue Reading

NC State Basketball

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



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)


Continue Reading