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Final Thoughts: On NC State’s 96-89 Loss to UNC



  • You can’t win when you let a team shoot 78% in a half. Carolina didn’t miss, leading to State getting just 3 defensive rebounds in the 2nd half. You can point to the defense all you want, and you’re right, it wasn’t good, but it wasn’t 78% bad. Maye was unreal. He made a bunch of bunnies, but the also hit a number of very difficult shots with hands in his face. I thought State’s biggest mistake was that after it became apparent that Maye wasn’t going to miss, that they didn’t start getting very physical with him on drives. I don’t mean hurting the guy, I mean making it clear that if he’s going to attack the rim with that much aggressiveness, he’s going to feel it. Maye’s inability to knock down FTs in the first meeting helped the Pack close out that game. They didn’t give him the chance to blow this one. Also of note is that the 78% in the second half was a UNC record.

  • Yurtseven didn’t deliver. You can’t pin a game like this on one guy and we won’t, but Omer Yurtseven should have been State’s X-factor today. Instead, he only played 19 minutes, scored 10 points and grabbed 5 rebounds. Meanwhile, his counterpart Maye had a career day with 33 pts and 17 boards. Toughness and physicality is one area where Yurtseven needs improvement and Carolina exploited that yesterday. It’s likely this is Yurt’s last year in Raleigh, but an off-season of serious weight training would likely make him a lottery pick. UNC’s game plan was to bump, push and body him, and it worked, he wasn’t on his game.
  • Torin Dorn has become State’s most consistent player. Dorn had another great game, scoring 21 points and leading NC State with 3 steals. His aggressiveness and ability to move without the ball are huge. He also did a good job keeping Theo Pinson quiet. Dorn has been the team MVP so far in our eyes thanks to both his production and his consistency in every aspect of the game.
  • Where did Beverly go? Braxton Beverly came out red-hot. He hit his first three 3s and looked like he was in for a career day. But that was it. He hit a runner in the lane late in the 2nd half but it would have been nice to see State figure out how to get him more touches. But, it’s hard to really point a figure at anything offensively in this one. State shot nearly 55% from the floor and 54% from 3.
  • Turnovers good, Turnovers bad. State forced 19 turnovers and had 12 steals against a UNC team that only turned it over twice vs Duke a few days earlier. That’s why they were in this game. So, those of you who are talking about how bad the defense was, you can’t go by shooting percentages alone. This Wolfpack team played very aggressive and rattled the Tar Heels. In fact, the NC State guards did a pretty good job of limiting the drives from the UNC guards. Now for the bad. Markell Johnson, whose play won the game for the Pack in their first meeting, was a little careless with the basketball. I mean, his line was good and he actually scored it really well, finishing with 12 points, 9 assists, and 5 rebounds. However, the 6 turnovers he had really stung. They allowed UNC to get out in transition and get some really easy baskets. Against a team like Carolina, you can’t give it away that many times.
  • Where’s the ‘want-to’ on the boards? Against UNC, the one thing you know they are going to do and that is rebound. They aren’t a huge team, but they are one of the best in the nation on the boards. Luke Maye is a 6’8 former walk-on and isn’t all that athletic, so when you see him get 17 rebounds against you there is only one answer. He out-worked you. Plain and simple, NC State’s bigs got out-worked. Yurtseven, Freeman and Abu were punished by someone who just wanted it more. That’s sad to see. Not trying to take anything away from Maye, but if Abu or Yurtseven matched his intensity and physicality, there would be no way he even comes close to 17 rebounds. This has been a big problem all year for NC State that get’s masked by Yurt’s size. They are soft in the middle and expect their size to win rebounding battles. Boxing out is a true lost art in today’s game.
  • Intensity and fight were there. This team will be ok. One thing you can say bout Keatts teams is that they don’t give up or give in. Just like in the first meeting, Carolina made their runs but NC State always answered. The team as a whole has played gutsy basketball, but you really need to call out 2 guys. When opponents make a run more times than not it’s Torin Dorn or Braxton Beverly who are hunting for the basketball and wanting to take the shot that gets their team back on track. Very good to see. This group has been playing extremely good basketball when the bright lights of a big game come on. Makes us believe they’ll be a very tough team down the stretch and one that will be a hard out in the ACC Tournament.
  • Tough ones out of the way. Coming off the win over UNC two weeks ago and examining the remaining games, Ken Pom (statistical analyst) had the game at Virginia Tech and this home game vs UNC as NC State’s toughest remaning games. Every ACC game is tough, but NC State has winnable games from here on out. They need to come up big over this next week.


NC State Ranks 15th in 1st 2018-19 Fall Standings for the Director’s Cup



NC State’s Cross Country teams strong finish have the Wolfpack sitting at 15th in the first 2018-19 Fall Standings for the Directors’ Cup.

The Wolfpack Women’s Cross Country team won their 3rd straight ACC Championship (24th overall), and the Men’s team finished 3rd. In the NCAA Championships, the Men finished 11th, and the Women finished 13th, marking the first time both teams finished in the Top-15 since 2003.

NC State doesn’t have a Field Hockey team.

The Wolfpack finished the 7th in the final Fall Directors’ Cup standings last year, which was the highest Fall finish in school history.

Men’s and Women’s Soccer, Football and Women’s Volleyball will be added to the Final Fall Standings to be released in January.

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NC State Cross Country Secures Pair of Top-15 Finishes at NCAA Championships



MADISON, Wis. – The NC State men’s and women’s cross country teams closed out the 2018 season with a pair of top-15 finishes at the NCAA Cross Country Championships Saturday.

Racing in snowy conditions at the Thomas Zimmer Championship Course, the Pack men placed 11th with 342 points and the Wolfpack women finished 13th with 367 points. It marked the first time since 2003 that both of NC State’s squads finished in the top 15 at the national meet.

The Pack men entered the NCAA Championships ranked No. 16 in the nation and came away with a finish five spots higher at No. 11. NC State and BYU tied for 10th with 342 points, and the head-to-head comparison of the five scorers broke the tie and pushed the Wolfpack to 11th place in the championship 10K.

The Wolfpack’s performance was its best since the 2011 season when it finished 10th overall at the national meet.

Ian Shanklin led the way with the highest NCAA Championships finish of his career, crossing the finish line 54th in 30:10.9.

The rest of NC State’s scorers on the men’s side finished within four seconds of one another. Joe Bistritz clocked a 30:32.9 10K to place 88th and was followed by an 89th-place finish from Gavin Gaynor, who finished in 30:33.0.

Elijah Moskowitz was the next Pack finisher, placing 96th in 30:35.6, and Edwin Rutto rounded out the scoring for the NC State men with a 98th-place finish in 30:36.5.

Patrick Sheehan (180th, 31:22.7) and Ben Barrett (228th, 32:23.4) completed the Wolfpack’s seven-man lineup at the NCAA Championships.

NC State’s women secured a top-15 finish for the fourth season in a row as they finished 13th in the 6K final.

Elly Henes was the Pack’s top finisher with an impressive 16th-place performance. She crossed the finish line in 20:11.6 for the best national finish of her collegiate career.

Nell Crosby was the next to score for the Wolfpack, as she placed a personal-best 54th overall in 20:44.6, and Dominique Clairmonte also secured a spot among the top 100 runners as she finished 62nd with a time of 20:46.6.

Heather Holt continued to build on her solid freshman campaign as NC State’s fourth scorer. She crossed the finish line in 21:25.3 for 146th place, and Nevada Mareno followed by placing 172nd in 21:36.6 to round out the scoring.

Isabel Zimmermann (179th, 21:40.5) and Savannah Shaw (231st, 22:22.0) were also in action for the Pack at the national meet.

Henes gained All-American status for the second season in a row with her 16th-place finish at the 2018 NCAA Championships. After becoming an All-American for the first time during the 2017 cross country season, Henes has garnered All-America honors at the past four national meets across cross country and track and field.

The nod made Henes the first Wolfpack cross country runner since Joanna Thompson in 2013 and 2014 to repeat as an All-American.

The NCAA Championships marks the conclusion of the 2018 cross country season. NC State’s distance athletes will gear up for the start of the indoor track and field season, which is scheduled to open Dec. 1 with the JDL College Kickoff and the BU Season Opener.

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NC State Women’s Volleyball Sweeps UNC For 1st Time Since 1991



RALEIGH, N.C. – For the first time since 1991, the NC State volleyball team defeated UNC-Chapel Hill in straight sets, 3-0 (25-22, 26-24, 25-16), Wednesday night inside James T. Valvano Arena at William Neal Reynolds Coliseum.

It was also the Wolfpack’s first sweep in ACC play this season. Additionally, NC State recorded consecutive home wins versus UNC-CH for the first time since 1990-91 thanks to its 3-2 victory last season.

NC State moves to 14-12 on the year and 8-8 in conference play, while UNC-Chapel Hill falls to 7-18 and 3-13 against league opponents.

Quoting Hampton-Keith

Overall thoughts…

“We’re obviously thrilled to win at home and sweep UNC-Chapel Hill,” said head coach Linda Hampton-Keith. “It’s a great rivalry match and we have a lot of respect for their program and the rivalry between us.

“It’s always great to win at home and to do it in the fashion we did it, was really exciting.”

Worth Noting

– NC State recorded a team attacking percentage of .290 for the match and limited UNC-CH to a .145 clip.

– The Wolfpack moves to 11-0 on the year when tallying a higher attacking percentage than its opponent.

– Additionally, the Pack is 11-3 this season when holding its opponent to a hitting percentage less than .200.

– NC State ranks second in the ACC in digs per set and tallied more digs than the Heels (54-37) to mark the 17thtime that the Wolfpack has out-dug its opponent.

Match Rewind

– NC State closed out the first set with five consecutive points to win the frame, 25-22, and take a 1-0 lead in the match.

– UNC-Chapel Hill went ahead 23-22 after a kill from Skylar Wine, but a service error followed and sparked a 5-0 run.

– Back-to-back kills from senior Teni Sopitan along with a bad set from the Tar Heels prior to a service ace from Kaylee Frazier powered the Pack to the first-set win.

– The second set featured 10 ties, but it was UNC-CH with a pair of critical attacking errors down the stretch that led to a pair of NC State points to clinch the set.

– NC State pulled ahead 24-22, but the Heels fought off two set-point opportunities to knot the set before the Wolfpack took the set, 26-24.

– A 7-2 run gave the Pack control of the third set, as NCSU grabbed a 15-10 advantage at the media timeout.

– Following a UNC-Chapel Hill service error, Keira Moore and Kylie Pickrell combined on a block to spark a Wolfpack run to close out the set, 25-16, and the match, 3-0.

Top Performers

– Sopitan led all players in the contest with 15 kills on 34 attempts to tally a .324 attacking percentage.

– Freshman Jade Parchment put down 10 kills to go along with 11 digs to notch her sixth double-double of the season.

– Lauryn Terry also turned in a strong offensive performance with nine kills and a match-high .643 attacking percentage, as she did not commit an error on 14 swings.

– Pickrell averaged nearly 14 assists per set, finishing the night with 40 assists in the three-set match and also contributed nine digs.

– Defensively, libero Makenzie Kuchmaner collected a match-high 16 digs.

Up Next

NC State will have a week until its next match, as the Wolfpack will host Syracuse on Wednesday, Nov. 21. First serve is slated for 2 p.m. inside Reynolds Coliseum.

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NC State basketball unveils new-look road uniforms



NC State showed off their new road uni’s at the ACC Media kick-off event this past week and while it doesn’t look like much has changed, there are a few differences.

First off, the NC State across the chest has the new font Now, I’m glad NC State got their own font, but to be honest, this font isn’t all that versatile. It may have been nice to have in the toolbox, but maybe not the default on everything. Anyways, it’s here now and it’s not going anywhere.

What’s interesting is the fact that NC State across the chest isn’t outlined in black. Almost every road uni we’ve ever seen over red has had the black outline and actually, the number has an outline. You can see the differences here.

Some other notable differences are the wolf logo on the leg and the bands around the bottom of the shorts and the arm openings. For the arm openings, these used to be white and now they are half white and half black. As for the shorts, they used to be just a white band, but now they go white, to black.

Overall, not a drastic change and something a lot of fans may not even notice.

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