Connect with us

NC State Basketball

PLAYER PREVIEW: PG Blake Harris says he’s prepared, but getting in ‘Keatts-shape” wasn’t easy

Published

on

Sophomore PG Blake Harris was very nearly a Wolfpacker coming out of high school. The 4-star prospect attended Raleigh’s ‘Word of God Academy’ and was heavily recruited by Kevin Keatts prior to the 2017-18 season.

While Harris was mulling over his decision, NC State landed a commitment Lavar Batts, another in-state PG that Keatts was after. That commitment gave NC State 3 PGs on their roster and pushed Harris to choose Missouri, where he had a more clear path to playing time.

However, after nearly half a season at Missouri, Harris decided he wanted out and announced his transfer.

As soon as the transfer news broke, we immediately reached out and was told that NC State was a definite possibility. If you remember, we ran a piece the next day hinting at this fact.

Harris has all the tools that Kevin Keatts looks for in a guard. He’s tall, he’s fast, he likes to get up and down, and he can defend multiple positions. He’s also a capable shooter, and while he didn’t show his shot much at Missouri, he has great form. On top of that, sitting out half of last season due to transfer rules put him in a position to really work on improving his shot, and his overall game.

“I’ve been in the gym a lot crafting my skills. Just really getting in the gym and trying to be the best player I can be.” Said Harris. “(Sitting out) was difficult because I wanted to play with my teammates. I was playing with them every day in practice and we were getting better but I couldn’t play in the game, so that was hard.”

Harris is a unique case since he transferred midway through his freshman season but is eligible to play immediately. After sitting out the 2nd half of last season, the NCAA granted him a waiver saying due to a family-related issue, his transfer closer to home wouldn’t require the full 1-year of sitting out. This was huge news for the Wolfpack, giving them good backcourt depth right out of the gate.

And while he may not have any ACC experience, it’s not like Harris didn’t get good burn during his time with the Tigers.

“Playing last year at Missouri, for a little bit, definitely helped. I played 14 games, so I know what college basketball is like. So when the season starts, I’ll be prepared.”

That experience will allow him to slot in right away, but with Markell Johnson locked into the starting role and Braxton Beverly already proven in Raleigh, just how much will we get to see Blake Harris?

Probably a good deal. Harris is very talented, has size and will push the returning guards for minutes, and Keatts isn’t rulin gout playing Johnson, Beverly and Harris at the same time. He hinted at that scenerio in his pre-season presser.

We asked Harris what that might look like…

“Just a fast pace. A bunch of guards trying to get at it. We all want to win, so if we’re all together on the court at the same time, it’s probably going to be a problem for the other team.” Harris told PI.

Going small is something Wolfpack fans should get used to. Last season Keatts system gave only a sample of what he plans to bring this season. With a full roster of guys who can play fast, he’s going to take full advantage. That means everyone needs to be in shape and ready to run.

“Being in Keatts-shape is different from being in normal-shape. He works us out a lot and makes us run a lot so it’s a whole different beast.” Harris said about the training he’s been going through.

Harris is one of three transfers who were sitting out last year, and one of 6 total that are eligable to play this season (3 are grad transfers). So, there are going to be a lot of new faces on this year’s Wolfpack team. Some might wonder if that will make it tough to get this group to mesh. Harris doesn’t think so.

“We all transferred in, we were the new kids. I transferred in last, so I was really the new kid, but being together in practice definitely gave us a better chemistry. Now everybody is close and trying to get to one thing.”

NC State Basketball

NC State’s ACC Leaders Heading Into Week 6 of College Basketball

Published

on

We are heading into Week 6 of the 2018-19 Men’s College Basketball season, and NC State is currently 8-1. Here’s a look at which Wolfpack players rank among the ACC leaders through 9 games of non-conference play.

Senior Torin Dorn is leaving his mark all over the box score, ranking 11th in scoring (16.1), 13th in rebounding (7.2), 7th in steals (2.0) and 6th in field goal percentage (53.3%).

Junior Point Guard Markell Johnson ranks 7th in the ACC (4.22), 6th in Assist/Turnover Ratio (2.53) and 2nd in 3-Point Field Goal Percentage (48.6%).

 

Continue Reading

NC State Basketball

NC State Men’s Basketball Falls to #37 in the Week 6 Coaches Poll

Published

on

The Week 6 Coaches Poll is out, and the NC State Men’s Basketball team fell two spots to #37. Last week the Wolfpack only played one game, defeating Western Carolina 100-67. They will take on Penn State this Saturday in the Boardwalk Classic at 2pm in Atlantic City.

ACC Teams in the Week 6 Coaches Poll Top-25

2) Duke (+1)
3) Virginia (+1)
10) FSU (+1)
12) UNC (-)
13) Virginia Tech (+1)

ACC Teams Receiving Votes

32) Syracuse (+2)
37) NC State (-2)

Continue Reading

NC State Basketball

NC State Moves Up to #32 in the Week 6 AP Men’s Basketball Poll

Published

on

The Week 6 AP Men’s Basketball Poll is out, and NC State moved up 2 spots to #32 after beating Western Carolina 100-67 last Wednesday.

ACC Teams in the Week 6 AP Poll Top-25

2) Duke (+1)
6) Virginia (-2)
10) Florida State (+1)
12) UNC (+2)
13) Virginia Tech (+2)
25) Syracuse (+2)

ACC Teams Receiving Votes

32) NC State

Continue Reading

NC State Basketball

NC State Ranks 15th in NBCSports Week 6 Men’s Basketball Top-25

Published

on

NBCSports revealed their Week 6 Men’s College Basketball Top-25 last night, and NC State moved up two spots to #15.

Week 6 Top-25

1. Duke (9-1, Last week: 2)
2. Michigan (10-0, 3)
3. Tennessee (7-1, 6)
4. Gonzaga (9-1, 1)
5. Virginia (9-0, 4)
6. Kansas (8-0, 5)
7. Nevada (10-0, 7)
8. Auburn (8-1, 8)
9. North Carolina (7-2, 9)
10. Florida State (8-1, 10)
11. Texas Tech (8-0, 11)
12. Michigan State (8-2, 13)
13. Virginia Tech (8-1, 14)
14. Wisconsin (8-2, 15)
15. N.C. State (8-1, 17)
16. Ohio State (8-1, 19)
17. Arizona State (7-1, 20)
18. Purdue (6-4, 18)
19. Villanova (8-2, UR)
20. Syracuse (7-2, UR)
21. Marquette (8-2, UR)
22. Buffalo (9-0, UR)
23. Mississippi State (8-1, 25)
24. Iowa (7-2, 23)
25. Nebraska (8-2, 24)

New Additions: 19. Villanova, 20 Syracuse, 21. Marquette
Dropped Out: 12. Kentucky, 16. Kansas State, 21. Creighton (NBCSports)

NBCSports has been a believer in the Wolfpack from the start this year, ranking them 23rd in their Preseason Poll.

Continue Reading

Trending