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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

Kevin Keatts Leads NC State Men’s Basketball Team in Beach Workout in Wilmington



This past weekend NC State Men’s Basketball head coach Kevin Keatts took his Wolfpack squad down to his old stomping grounds, Wilmington, North Carolina, for a beach workout. Keatts served as the head coach at UNC-Wilmington for three seasons (2014-2017) before taking the reins at NC State. He has been an active advocate for helping those that have been effected by Hurricane Florence, and if you purchase a $10 ticket for this Friday’s Primetime with the Pack, all the proceeds will go to charity to assist those in need.

As you can tell from the video above, and the photos below, these boys have been putting in their work in the weight room this offseason.

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NC State Basketball

MIC’D UP MONDAYS: Go inside practice with new assistant Roy Roberson



In what is becoming our new favorite series from @PackMensbball, new assistant coach Roy Roberson is mic’d up during an NC State practice.

Go behind the scenes and inside Roberson’s coaching style as he begs his guys to take charges and helps the upperclassman with leadership strategies.

If you missed last weeks’ episode with Coach Siddle, check it out now.

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NC State Basketball

Could NC State Start the 2019-20 Basketball Season in ACC Play?



According to CBSSports’ College Basketball Insider Jon Rothstein, numerous ACC schools have been informed by the ACC to not schedule games for the first two days of the 2019-20 college basketball schedule, because they are planning conference games to open the year.

Why would the ACC do this, when it hasn’t been done in decades?

The launch of the ACC Network is scheduled to launch in 2019.

This looks like a ploy to spike the ratings of the new network to start their 1st basketball season.

The last time NC State opened up the college basketball season against an ACC opponent was when the Wolfpack faced Wake Forest and North Carolina in their 1st two games of the 1979-80 season in the Big Four Tournament. The Big Four Tournament was an early-season tournament consisting of the ACC teams on Tobacco Road: NC State, North Carolina, Wake Forest and Duke. The Big Four didn’t always kick off the season, but it always fell early in the year. In the 11 seasons of the Big Four Tournament (1971-81), the Wolfpack started the season facing two of their ACC Tobacco Road rivals only twice (also the 76-77 season).

Prior to the Big Four Tournament, the Wolfpack only started the season with two ACC games twice (1962-63 & 1967-68).

In total, since the formation of the ACC in 1953, NC State has only started the college basketball season against an ACC opponent 4 times, let alone 2 consecutive ACC games to open the season.

1979-80: UNC – 84-97 (L) & Wake Forest – 70-65 (W)
1976-77: UNC – 66-78 (L) & Duke – 82-84 (L)
1967-68: Wake Forest – 79-63 (W) & Maryland – 75-62 (W)
1962-63: Clemson – 56-55 (W) & Wake Forest – 58-66 (L)

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NC State Basketball

NC State’s PNC Arena is the 8th Largest Arena in College Basketball


on ran a piece earlier his week breaking down the 9 largest arenas in college basketball, and PNC Arena, the home of the Wolfpack, is the 8th largest.

1) Carrier Dome/Syracuse/34,616
2) Rupp Arena/Kentucky/23,000
3) KFC Yum! Center/Louisville/22,090
4) Dean Smith Center/UNC/21,750
5) Thompson-Boling Arena/Tennessee/21,678
6) Capital One Arena/Georgetown/20,356
7) Madison Square Garden/St. John’s/19,812
8) PNC Arena/NC State/19,722
9) Bud Walton Arena/Arkansas/19,200

Here’s what they had to say about PNC Arena:

The Wolfpack made the move from Reynolds Coliseum to PNC Arena in 1999. North Carolina State’s home can accommodate 19,722 fans on game days. Unlike many other college basketball arenas, Wolfpack fans can dine at a 300-seat restaurant without leaving the action. The NHL’s Carolina Hurricanes also play at PNC. (NCAA)

NC State ranked 12th in average attendance in 2017-18.

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