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PLAYER PREVIEW: Eric Lockett is the guy nobody is talking about, but that may not be the case for long

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Grad-transfer Eric Lockett hasn’t been talked about much this offseason,

He decided to transfer back at the beginning of April two days after former head coach Anthony Evans was let go. He started 31 of 32 games last season, averaging 14.3 points, 6.5 rebounds and 3.1 assists.

Lockett began his career at George Mason, but suffered a season-ending injury in the 5th game. He then sat out a year transferring and spent the past two seasons at FIU.

Now at NC State, he steps into a program that has six quality guards (Markell, Beverly, Harris, Daniels, Lockett and Bryce) all looking to fill 3 spots. So what can Lockett bring to the table that will set him apart?

“Leadership first and foremost. Being able to show the guys how to work hard on a consistent basis. On the court, being aggressive and doing what I do well.”

If you look a little deeper, you can start to see a pattern with Kevin Keatts. Here we are again, this year the roster may be more talented, but there still isn’t a lot of veteran leadership. Like last year, Keatts has looked outside the program to bring in proven leaders. A year ago it was Al Freeman and Sam Hunt. This year it’s Wyatt Walker and Eric Lockett.

Lockett is also another player that his staff had targeted. This time it was a connection to Coach Siddle that started the process…

“Coach Siddle recruited me and throughout the whole process me and Coach Keatts talked a lot and built a relationship. I knew what he was looking for and what I wanted out of my next program and this is what I wanted.”

“(Coach Siddle) recruited me out of high school. That was a while ago but I kind of remembered him when he reached back out.”

The more we watch the decision Keatts makes and how he goes about building his roster, the more it’s apparent that this guy is organized, calculated and laser-focused on building his roster exactly the way he wants it.

Lockett is another 6’5 tweener. He’s another guy that is extremely physical and extremely aggressive. He’s athletic, he’s fast, and he has a great motor. He’s a Keatts-guy. He’s another Torin Dorn (albeit a little lighter) if you need a comparison.

This is why there’s no doubt that Lockett made the right choice coming to NC State. This is a sytem that fits his playing style, Keatts has shown he really liked versatile 6’5 guys who can guard multiple positions, and he’s proven he puts his grad transfers in a position to succeed. Lockett saw all of this too.

“(Seeing how the grad transfers were used and performed last year) definitely played a role in my decision. I felt I could come in and kind of do what they did. I’m a different player and will affect the program in a different way, but the opportunity that’s there, I like it.”

As far as transition goes, Lockett says it’s been easy and having a bunch of new guys on the team makes it easier to acclimate.

“It’s been fun. I’m enjoying playing with a new team. It’s not really difficult, it’s kind of easy because we have a bunch of new guys learning a new system, trying to do what Coach Keatts wants on the court.  It’s been pretty easy and I like the process.”

One source told us that Lockett isn’t just acclimating, he’s been a handful for the returning guards to deal with on the court. His physicality and ability to finish at the rim has surprised some who didn’t know much about him coming in.

So, when you’re trying to predict NC State’s rotation, make sure you don’t leave out Lockett. In fact, if you paid attention last year, you saw that it was guys like him who ended up playing big roles down the stretch for the Wolfpack.

NC State Basketball

The NEW & HUGE Video Board at PNC Arena has been Raised!

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Back in the Spring, news broke that a new video board was going to be hung up in PNC Arena before NC State’s upcoming Men’s Basketball season, and today we got our first look at it raised up in the rafters.

The video board is a whopping 4,000 square feet hanging in the air.

That’s 180% larger than the old one.

 

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Tip-Off Times Set for Most of NC State’s 2019-20 ACC Slate

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The NC State Men’s Basketball schedule was released last Thursday, but the tip-off times for all but one of their ACC games now have been revealed.

The only ACC game we don’t know the tip-off time for is the game at Wake Forest on December 7th.

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Katz Projects NC State as a #10 Seed in the 2020 NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament 50 Days Out

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We are 50 days out from the start of the 2019-20 College Men’s Basketball season, and NCAA.com’s Andy Katz released an early Bracketology, projecting that NC State will be a #10 seed in the 2020 NCAA Tournament, playing St. Mary’s in the 1st Round.

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Athlon Predicts NC State’s Men’s Basketball Team to Finish 5th in ACC in 2019-20

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Athlon released their 2019-20 College Basketball preview, and they predict that NC State’s Men’s Basketball team will finish 5th in the ACC this season.

  1. Duke
  2. Louisville
  3. UNC
  4. UVA
  5. NC State
  6. FSU
  7. Notre Dame
  8. Miami
  9. Syracuse
  10. Georgia Tech
  11. Clemson
  12. Boston College
  13. Wake Forest
  14. Pittsburgh
  15. Virginia Tech

Here’s a rundown of what they had to say about the Wolfpack.

  • Returning 6 of top 7 scorers from last year
  • Redshirt Junior D.J. Funderburk needs to rebound more consistently, and stay out of foul trouble.
  • The version of Senior Markell Johnson that finished the season will be needed for NC State to get back to the NCAA Tournament.
    • Needs to be a consistent leader and scorer.
  • Junior Braxton Beverly needs to figure out a way to run more hot than cold.
  • Consistency from Redshirt Junior Devon Daniels would go a long way.
  • Team should be back in the NCAA Tournament.
  • With a reloading year for Duke, UVA and UNC, Keatts will get few opportunities like this one.

Pick up your own copy of Athlon’s 2019 College Basketball Preview at your local store.

 

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