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NC State vs. UNC: Joel Berry Doesn’t Know What a Rivalry Is

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This week, UNC guard Joel Berry gave NC State some material to hang up in the locker room for motivation.

“I don’t necessarily treat that as a rivalry,” said Berry of the Wolfpack. “When you talk about a rivalry, you always talk about Duke-North Carolina. That’s the biggest one. I love being a part of the Duke-Carolina rivalry, but NC State, I just don’t consider that being a rivalry — we just don’t like them. But it’s not a rivalry like Duke and North Carolina.” (NBC)

Do I expect Berry, or any recent UNC basketball player to look at NC State in the same way they look at Duke?

Of course not.

Duke is less than 10 miles down the road, and the series has been one of the nations most epic rivalries in all of college basketball.

The series between the Tar Heels and the Blue Devils has been much more competitive than the series between UNC and NC State. There is no denying that.

Duke and UNC also have had much more at stake when they have faced one another for decades now, because nearly every time they have faced each other, ACC Championship implications are on the line. They have been two of the best programs in the country. So when you hate each other, you’re right down the road from one another, and a lot is on the line, it makes perfect sense for the rivalry to be bubbling.

But for Berry to act like NC State vs. UNC isn’t a rivalry simply reveals a case of historical ignorance.

It’s clear that Berry’s head coach Roy Williams views the matchup against NC State much differently than him. Williams famously said that he’d rather “beat State than eat.”

Williams didn’t like N.C. State before he got to Chapel Hill. His mentor, and high school coach, Buddy Baldwin was a big Carolina fan. Williams learned the game and a distaste for Wolfpack red from Baldwin and then played for the UNC freshmen team in 1968-69 season.

“It was my freshman year here that I thought this rivalry is unbelievable,” Williams said. “To me, they were the biggest rival, it wasn’t Duke. But it was because my buddies would agitate me all the time.”

“What I try to do is, every game is important, but there are some games that you get more fired up for,” Williams said. “I get pretty fired up for this one.” (N&O)

I also guess Berry and I have different working definitions of what a rivalry is. He clearly stated that they don’t like NC State, but don’t consider them a rival.

There are many reasons why as an NC State fan I consider UNC our rival, but at it’s core is the fact I don’t like them.

The teams that I despise are my rivals.

UNC isn’t our rival because I think that the series record is anywhere close to even, because it’s not. They are our rival because we don’t like them…at all…not one bit. We don’t like their players. We don’t like their fans. We don’t like their university.

NC State is a blue collar school, and UNC is the antithesis of that.

Do I dream of a day when UNC is forced to take the rivalry with NC State more seriously because we pose a continual threat to them?

Absolutely.

But until then, if Joel Berry continues to suffer from historical amnesia and struggle with defining a ‘rival’ accurately, so be it. I’m content that he and his teammates don’t like us.

We don’t want them to like us, because we despise them, because that’s what a rivalry is all about.

 

NC State Basketball

Previewing NC State’s Opponent: Maine

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Maine is bad at basketball.

In fact, they are one of the worst teams in college basketball.

KenPom ranks them 335th out of 353 teams.

The Black Bears have started the 2018 season 0-3.

Maine is shooting 36.5% from the field (332nd), 27% from three (310th) and 63.3% from the free throw line (269th).

The Black Bears return 3 starters from last year:

JR Forward Andrew Fleming
SR Forward Ilija Stojiljkovic
JR Guard Isaiah White

White and Fleming are the only players scoring in double digits, averaging 13.3 and 9.7 respectively. Sophomore Vilgot Larsson leads the team in rebounding (6.7).

Richard Barron is the new head coach of the Black Bears. He previously served as the Maine Women’s Basketball Coach. He inherits a program that is 24-100 over the past 4 seasons.

NC State has beat their 1st three opponents by an average of 49 points, and I wouldn’t be shocked in the least if they did so once again against Maine.

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NC State vs. Mercer Tip-off Time Moved Back

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RALEIGH, NC – The NC State men’s basketball game against Mercer on Saturday, Nov. 24 will now tipoff at 5:30 pm.

The game originally scheduled for 2:00 pm was moved to allow fans the opportunity to attend the NC State football game at UNC-Chapel Hill. The football game against the Tar Heels will kickoff at 12:20.

The basketball game will still be shown on ACC Network Extra.

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NC State Women’s Basketball Signs #7 Class in the Nation

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It was a good day for the NC State Women’s Basketball program yesterday. A really good day.

6th-year head coach Wes Moore celebrated four 2019 prospects signing their letter of intent to run with the Pack yesterday.

Currently, ESPN ranks the NC State’s 2019 recruiting class 7th nationally.

5-Star Wing Jakia Brown-Turner (6’0″) is the #17 overall player in the 2019 class according to ESPN. She averaged 19.7 points per game for Bishop McNamara High School (Oxon Hill, Maryland) as a Junior.

Wes Moore: “Jakia is a big-time scoring threat. She can really stroke the three, is explosive, and has the size to take people off the bounce to get to the rim and finish against contact. She is used to winning, both in high school and with Team Takeover during travel ball. She’s someone who we are really excited about from the standpoint of being able to count on her as a consistent scorer. She scores in so many ways. She has good size, good athleticism, and is someone who can really fill up a scoresheet.” (GoPack)

5-Star Forward Jada Boyd (6’2″) is the #32 overall player in the 2019 class according to ESPN. She averaged a gaudy 35.9 points, 13.3 rebounds, 8.5 blocks, and 4.1 steals per game as a junior for Appomattox County High School (Petersberg, Virginia). Boyd was the Virginia Class 1 Player of the Year last season.

Wes Moore: “Jada Boyd is a strong forward who is a relentless rebounder on both ends of the floor. She is strong inside and can also step out and shoot the three. She’s going to create matchup problems for people because of her ability to score inside and out. She brings a toughness and a presence out there and we feel like she will be able to be a double-double type player, much like (former NC State 1,000-point scorer) Chelsea Nelson. Having played a major role for a strong BooWilliams program, she too is used to success.” (GoPack)

3-Star Camille Hobby (6’1″) is the #18 post-player in the 2019 class according to ESPN. She averaged 14.2 points and 9.7 rebounds per game as a junior for Nease High School (Jacksonville, Florida).

Wes Moore: “Camille has good strength on the block and plays extremely hard. She can score in a variety of ways, whether it be inside with post moves or from the trail position with a soft touch on the three. She’s someone who works hard on the court, works hard in preparation, and puts in the time that it takes to play at the ACC level. Consequently, she’ll keep getting better.” (GoPack)

3-Star Kendal Moore (5’6″) is the #27 point guard in the 2019 class according to ESPN. She averaged 21.2 points, 6.3 assists, 6.1 rebounds, and 2.6 steals per game as a junior for Northwood Temple Academy (Fayetteville, North Carolina).

Wes Moore: “Kendal has a high motor and is someone who is going to get the ball and push it in transition. She can be a facilitator at the point position, much like a quarterback running the team, but can also put up some points. She takes people off the bounce and either creates her own shot or sets up teammates. She can also knock down the three, and competes on every play. She will lead by example, much as she did with a good Carolina Flames team.” (GoPack)

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NC State’s Opening 3-Game Dominance Breaks ACC Record

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The NC State Men’s Basketball team has started off the season 3-0 It’s not the record that’s most noteworthy, but the way in which they have won.

The Wolfpack have defeated their opponents by an average of 49 points.

Mount Saint Mary’s – 105-55 – 50 points
Maryland Eastern Shore – 95-49 – 46 point
UNC-Asheville – 100-49 – 51 points.

They became the 1st team in ACC history to win their opening 3 games by 46+ points.

This has come as a result of an offensive explosion, and a defensive onslaught.

The last time the Wolfpack scored 90+ points in three consecutive games was back in 1995-96. Also, NC State has held their opponents to 33.3% or lower shooting from the field through three games. The Wolfpack didn’t hold a single opponent to that poor of shooting all last season.

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