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NC State vs. #19 Clemson: Game Info, Preview & How to Watch

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NC State Wolfpack vs. #19 Clemson Tigers
Gametime: 9:00 pm
TV: ESPN
Location: Raleigh, NC

Last time out…

It’s kind of strange to see two ACC teams play each other twice in such a short window, but that’s going to be the case when the Pack faceoff against Clemson tonight in Raleigh.

The two just met on December 30th, with State falling 78-62 in their ACC opener.

Clemson had 5 guys in double figures and really just played a cleaner, more efficient basketball game.They shot the ball better (43.3% to 34.8%) and they really shared the basketball. They had 17 assists on 29 made FGs and only turned it over 9 times.

Meanwhile, the Wolfpack were throwing up bricks from long range (22.7%), only had 9 assists on 23 made FGs and turned it over 14 times. They did, however, out-rebound the Tigers (45 to 40) which is really the only positive takeaway for the Pack in their first meeting.

Clemson was led by their guards Marcquise Reed and Gabe Devoe who combined to go 11-28 from the floor and 4-11 from beyond the arc. Devoe got it started early with some deep 3s and Reed was dicing up the Pack’s defense all night long (team-high 5 assists).

Donte Grantham was a matchup problem for NC State in the first meeting. The versatile 6’8 senior scored 13 points and grabbed 9 boards, while 6’9 big, Elijah Thomas, backed him up with 10 points and 10 boards.

Overall, this was just a flat-out bad performance by NC State. Looking at Clemson’s stats, they didn’t really have a dominant game. They just defended really well, didn’t turn over the basketball and shot it decently.

 

Keys for NC State…

  • Control pace. Last time out, Clemson really dictated the pace and made the Pack play a lot slower than they’d like. That threw off the NC State offense, leading to a lot of one on one play and poor decision making.
  • Own the boards. Abu and Lennard Freeman both had really bad games in the first matchup. They combined to only play 28 minutes, score 11 points and bring down 7 rebounds. That is unacceptable for two seniors and they’ll need to correct that in this one. Abu looked a lot better vs. Duke and seemed to be getting back to attacking the basket and playing above the rim. That is where they need him in this one.
  • Dorn and Batts need to show up again. These two were the difference makers in the Duke win on Saturday and it’s obvious that if they play well, NC State will be hard to beat. Against Clemson in game 1, this duo combined for 10 points on 2-15 shooting and turned it over 4 times. Dorn did grab 10 boards, but offensively he looked bad. Batts gives State a PG who can really push the pace and create havoc on defense. That is the type of guy who is going to frustrate Clemson and negate the advantage their guards had on the first go-round.
  • Beverly needs to continue his play. Braxton has had a really good run lately. Over his past 4 games, he’s averaging 13 points, 6 assists and 2.7 TOs. This, coupled with his  leadership at the end of the Duke game is a good sign that he’s starting to get comfortable and with comfort comes consistency. Crazy to say for a freshman who has only played 15 games in his college career. Last time out vs. Clemson he had a really good game, going 6-9 from the field and 3-5 from 3pt range for 15 pts.
  • More Yurt. Omer played well against Clemson. He scored 12 points and gobbled up 10 rebounds. He’s been a pretty consistent force for Keatts in the middle. The Notre Dame game (4 points, 4 boards) seems to be the outlier, so look for him to have another big game against Clemson tonight.
  • Share the basketball. You saw against Duke what this team can do when they play together. Clemson plays good defense and if oyu aren’t sharing the basketball they’ll beat you. As we stated, State only had 9 assists on 23 made FGs in the first meeting. Against Duke they had 17 assists on 34 made FGs. If they are about that 50% mark, then they’ll find success. The big output was thanks to an uptick in assists by Al Freeman and Lavar Batts.

NC State Basketball

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

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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

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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?

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

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NCAA.com 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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