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NC State’s Special Season was Possible Because of Al Freeman’s Special Season

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NC State’s first year under Kevin Keatts was a special one.

Allerik Freeman’s special performance yesterday in the Wolfpack’s 83-94 loss to Seton Hall in the first round of the NCAA Tournament was a glimpse of why the Wolfpack were able to exceed expectations in a major way this season.

Freeman scored 36 points against the Pirates, which is the 2nd most points ever scored by an NC State player in an NCAA Tournament game (4 points behind David Thompson’s record 40 points). He was 12 of 19 from the field and 6 of 8 from three.

This game wasn’t an anomaly for Freeman. It was fitting that it was his best game of the season, and aguably the best game of his career, but Freeman showed up in big games like this all season long.

This team didn’t know who they were or what they were capable of early in the season, but that all changed against #2 Arizona down in the Bahamas. Who led the charge? Freeman.

He had one season left to show the world what he could do, and in only his 5th game with NC State, he did just that, scoring 24 points in the Wolfpack’s signature win.

On January 27th, Freeman put together one of the most iconic performances ever by an NC State player against rival UNC, and to put a cherry on top, it came in the Dean Dome. He earned national player of the week honors for dropping 29 on the Heels, going 7-of-7 from three-point land.

In NC State’s 5 Top-25 wins, Freeman averaged 21.4 points per game.

The Wolfpack was picked to finish 12th in the ACC in Kevin Keatts first year. No one expected a big year, and the failure to do so wouldn’t have been held against Keatts. He was implementing a new system. There were a lot of new faces to the program, and the faces that were familiar hadn’t been significant contributors for the Wolfpack in the past. This team lacked depth.

There many reasons that NC State had the special season it had, but it would have been impossible without Freeman.

This team didn’t have a player that exuded confidence. It didn’t have a player who wanted the rock in their hand. It didn’t have a player that was a natural scorer. A player that could create their own shot. A player that could take over the game if need be. A player that was clutch.

That player on this team was Allerik Freeman.

For his final year of college basketball eligibility he moved back to his home state and took a chance with a new program with a first-year coach. It paid off. The 4-Star high school prospect that never really flourished at Baylor, did so at NC State, leading the team in scoring with an average of 16.1.

NC State fans should be forever grateful to Allerik Freeman. Instead of being what easily could have been a transitional rebuilding season, he helped Kevin Keatts resurrect NC State now, instead of later.

Allerik Freeman deserves to get paid to play this sport somewhere in my opinion, and he proved that at NC State. I’m glad he was a part of NC State’s story, and we were a part of his.

Thanks Allerik.

 

2 Comments

2 Comments

  1. Dof87

    March 16, 2018 at 12:56 pm

    I also agree. Lots of players made significant contributions this year, but the one guy that was a key element in every big win was AF. Not to take away from steady work of Dorn and almost steady work of Y7.

  2. Papajohn

    March 16, 2018 at 12:12 pm

    Agree completely. One of the questions for next year will be ‘who wants the ball at gut check time?’
    And clearly, Al wasn’t just ‘dropping by’ for the season. He’s one of us and will always be, it was very important to him. He gave it his all.

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NC State Basketball

NC State Makes Top-10 for Graduate Transfer Guard Justin Kier

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George Mason Graduate Transfer Guard Justin Kier (6’4″/197) included NC State in his list of Final 10 schools.

Kier was granted a fifth year of eligibility after missing all but 9 games last season due to injury. He was expected to arguably be George Mason’s best returning player next year, averaging 14.5 points and 6.5 rebounds, earning All-Atlantic 10 2nd Team honors.

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NC State Reaches Out to UAB Transfer Makhtar Guyer

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According to Rivals’ Corey Evans, NC State has reached out to UAB Transfer Forward Makhtar Guyer (6’10″/210), after he announced he was transferring on Friday.

Guyer has one year of eligibility remaining. Last year as a Junior at UAB, Guyer averaged 6.8 points and 5.1 rebounds, starting in 27 of 31 games.

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NC State Accepts Recommendation to Move Case to IARP

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NC State has accepted the recommendation to move their violation’s case from the NCAA’s Committee on Infractions to the Independent Accountability Resolution Process.

“We’ve stated throughout this process that NC State will accept accountability for any shortcomings and defend ourselves aggressively where we feel it is appropriate and necessary to do so,” Woodson wrote in a statement released by the school on Wednesday. “As our response to the Referral Petition demonstrates, we do not think NC State can receive an objective or fair hearing before the Committee on Infractions in this matter. We believe the only remaining option is that our case be moved to the Independent Accountability Resolution Process.

“NC State has a long history of working cooperatively with the NCAA, and we remain committed to working collaboratively through the IARP to address concerns and to resolve this matter as fairly and efficiently as possible.” (WRAL)

The IARP is made up of decision makers that are investigators and legal advocates that are independent of any NCAA teams.

The difference between the traditional process, and the IARP, is that the latter’s decision is final, unable to be appealed.

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Vote For NC State Men’s Basketball Fans in Fox College Hoops 64-Team Bracket

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In the absence of the NCAA Tournament, Fox College Hoops has created a 64-team bracket to determine the best fanbase of Men’s Basketball teams.

They determined 60 of the contestants based of the Men’s Basketball teams with the most Twitter followers. The final four were determined by the highest rated teams not yet selected according to the NET Rankings.

The winner of each matchup is determined by fan vote, obviously.

NC State’s Men’s Basketball fans were given a #8 seed in the East Bracket.

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The winner of the bracket, will earn quite a gift. Fox College Hoops will place a billboard of that team in close proximity to their rival.

Go ahead and vote for NC State to beat Alabama in the 1st round right now.

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