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NC State Beats #7 Auburn 78-71, 1st Win Over Top-10 Non-Conference Opponent at Home Since ’86

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NC State has been denied a spot in the Top-25 through the first 6 weeks of play, but after tonight’s 78-71 victory over #7 Auburn, they won’t be denied next week.

Tonight’s victory marks the 1st time the Wolfpack have beaten a Top-10 non-conference opponent at home since February 2, 1986, when NC State took down #8 Kentucky 54-51 in Reynolds Coliseum.

Junior Point Guard Markell Johnson carried the Wolfpack on his back, scoring a career high 27 points, fueled by a career high 5 three-pointers (5-8).

In the first half his scoring buddy was Sophomore Point Guard Braxton Beverly, who chipped in 15 points, knocking in 4 of his 5 three-pointers. He scored 14 of his 15 points in the 1st half.

In the 2nd half Johnson’s scoring compadre was Redshirt Sophomore Devon Daniels, who scored all 15 of his points in the 2nd half. He also snagged 7 rebounds.

It wasn’t a pretty game. It was a turnover fest, with Auburn turning the ball over 25 times, and the Wolfpack handing it over 22 times.

The Wolfpack managed to win a game against a Top-10 opponent while shooting dismal 52.2% from the charity stripe (12-23), but Auburn was actually worse, connecting on only 50% of theirs (6-12).

The Tigers came in as one of the best three-point shooting teams in the nation, but only connected on 5 of their 25 (20%) attempts from deep. On the other side, NC State continued to blaze from beyond the arch, hitting 10 of 22 (45.5%).

NC State dominated from the tip to the final buzzer.

Auburn led for a total of 44 seconds in the contest.

That’s the definition of domination.

The Tigers tried to make runs, but the clutch play of Johnson, Beverly and Daniels was too much for them to handle.

Kevin Keatts told the ESPN2 commentators that if his team won tonight, they would be a year ahead of schedule.

It looks like this program is ahead of schedule.

Look out ACC. Look out NCAA.

Kevin Keatts is a winner.

 

 

 

NC State Basketball

NC State Moved up to #31 in the NET Rankings After Syracuse

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NC State moved up 6 spots, from #37 to #31, in the NET Rankings after beating Syracuse 73-58 on Wednesday night. 

The NET Rankings have replaced the RPI as the primary shaper of the NCAA Tournament field.

The NCAA Evaluation Tool, which will be known as the NET, relies on game results, strength of schedule, game location, scoring margin, net offensive and defensive efficiency, and the quality of wins and losses. To make sense of team performance data, late-season games (including from the NCAA tournament) were used as test sets to develop a ranking model leveraging machine learning techniques. The model, which used team performance data to predict the outcome of games in test sets, was optimized until it was as accurate as possible. The resulting model is the one that will be used as the NET going forward.

The NET was built to create a ranking system that was as accurate as possible while also evaluating team performance fairly. To ensure fairness, certain types of data were omitted from the model. Of key importance, game date and order were omitted to give equal importance to both early and late-season games. In addition, a cap of 10 points was applied to the winning margin to prevent rankings from encouraging unsportsmanlike play, such as needlessly running up the score in a game where the outcome was certain. (NCAA)

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NC State Basketball

NC State’s Men’s Basketball ACC Slate for the Next 3 Years

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The ACC released the conference schedules for Men’s Basketball for the next three years today.

Why is that noteworthy?

Well, beginning next year, the ACC slate will increase from 18 games to 20 games.

Here’s a look at what conference play will look like for the Wolfpack the next three seasons.

It’s worth noting that NC State will play the team that wears dark blue over in Durham twice tomorrow.

The 20-game ACC slate is locked in for three years.

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NC State Basketball

Sacha Killeya-Jones is No Longer on NC State’s Basketball Team

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Former Kentucky player and 5-Star prospect in High School, Sacha Killeya-Jones, is no longer a member of the NC State Men’s Basketball team.

Under transfer rules, Killeya-Jones is sitting out this season as a redshirt, and would have had two years of eligibility left in Raleigh.

Wolfpack head coach Kevin Keatts addressed Killeya-Jones’ absence from the bench last night after the game.

(Sacha) Killeya-Jones is currently not a member of our program and that’s all I can say right now. (Link)

Exactly why he is no longer a member of the program is unclear at this point.

Killeya-Jones is originally a native of Chapel Hill, but played his high school ball at Virginia Episcopal School in Lynchburg, Virginia. After originally committing to UVA, Jones eventually committed to go to Kentucky. Jones was a consensus 5-Star recruit, and ranked as the #23 overall player in the class of 2016.

Standing 6’11”, Killeya-Jones was a big component of the future of NC State’s frontcourt. This year, the Wolfpack have no depth in this area, with Wyatt Walker (GR JR) and DJ Funderburk (RS SO) serving as the only “big men.” Next year was going to be a luxury, with both Walker and Funderburk returning, and the addition of Killeya-Jones and Manny Bates (FR), who had shoulder surgery this season.

NC State still has 2 scholarships available in 2019. The Wolfpack coaching staff is in hot pursuit of Christian Brown, and has space to add a big man alongside of him.

 

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NC State Basketball

NC State’s Eric Lockett Charged With Assault, Suspended Indefinetly

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UPDATE

Graduate Senior Eric Lockett wasn’t with his NC State teammates last night in their 73-58 victory over Syracuse because he was charged with assaulting his girlfriend on Tuesday night.

He was arrested this morning.

Before last night’s game, NC State released that Lockett wasn’t with the team due to a “personal matter.”

After the game when asked, Wolfpack head coach Kevin Keatts didn’t have any further comment.

“I won’t comment on (Eric) Lockett or (Blake) Harris further than what we’ve released.” (Link)

Lockett came to NC State this offseason as a Graduate Transfer from Florida International. He has played in 22 games (starting 2) for the Wolfpack this year, averaging 5.0 points and 3.3 rebounds in 16.9 minutes per game.

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