NC State dismantled Loyola Maryland 97-64 tonight to close out the 2018-19 non-conference schedule with a 12-1 record heading into conference play.
The 12-1 record marks the best start to a season since 2005-06.
It was a slow start tonight for the Wolfpack, but you wouldn’t know it from the 97 points they put up on the JumboTron.
NC State shot an audacious 62.5% from the field, which is the best they’ve shot in a single game this year (60.7% against Penn State was the prior high). They entered the game leading the ACC in field goal percentage (51.8%), ranking 5th in the NCAA.
The Wolfpack have now won 12 straight games in PNC Arena, giving the Pack their longest winning streak on their court since NC State won 12 consecutive games from February 29th, 2012 to January 26th, 2013.
NC State stayed en fuego from beyond the arch, shooting 43.8% from deep (7-16). They entered the game shooting 41.2%, ranking 2nd in the ACC, and 8th in the nation.
The Wolfpack had 5 players score in double-figures against Loyola Maryland for the 4th time this season (UNC Asheville, Penn State & USC Upstate).
Senior Torin Dorn (7-14 FG) led the Pack in scoring with 17 points, and also led the team with 8 rebounds. The Wolfpack were the best with Dorn on the court, leading the team with a +28 plus/minus rating.
Freshman Jericole Hellems was a huge spark, tying a career high with 16 points (7-11 FG) off the bench. Hellems plays with so much poise and balance for a Freshman, contributing in so many ways, adding 4 rebounds, 4 assists, 2 blocks and 2 steals.
Sophomore Braxton Beverly initially returned from injury ice cold, but he has found his stroke again, hitting 3 of his 5 three-point attempts tonight. He finished with 13 points (5-8 FG).
Redshirt Junior CJ Bryce was a force, filling the stat sheet in every way possible. He finished with 13 points (6-8 FG), 6 rebounds, 4 assists, 3 blocks and 3 steals.
Redshirt Sophomore DJ Funderburk was the final man in double figures, adding 10 points (5-6 FG), 5 rebounds and 3 blocks.
Redshirt Sophomore Devon Daniels led the Wolfpack with 7 assists and Redshirt Graduate Junior Wyatt Walker had 4 blocks.
NC State outrebounded Loyola by 14 (38-24), beating their average +9.8 rebounding margin, which already ranked 3rd in the ACC, and 11th in the nation.
The Wolfpack finished with a season best 24 assists and 13 blocks, marking the most swats in PNC Arena history.
Good shooting from the field and from beyond the arch…Forcing Turnovers…Positive Rebounding Margin…Balance…Bench Production…these have become staples of this team. They don’t seem to be a fluke. They seem to be their DNA.
With that being said, there are two things from tonights performance that are also trending, that need to get turned around.
Loyola Maryland turned NC State over 19 times (the Wolfpack turned them over 24 times). The Wolfpack entered the game tied for the 3rd most turnovers in the ACC (13.5 per game).
Also, Junior Markell Johnson finished with 0 points tonight in 14 minutes of play. He scored 4 points against USC Upstate last game. On the year, Johnson is tied for the 4th most field goal attempts on the team, but leads the team in field goal percentage and three point percentage.
If NC State’s non-conference DNA carries into ACC play, and they can learn how to take better care of the ball, and Markell Johnson can play more aggressively, it could be a special year for the Wolfpack.
ACC play officially kicks off for NC State next Thursday night down in Miami, with tipoff set for 7pm on ESPNU.
NC State Makes Top-10 for Graduate Transfer Guard Justin Kier
George Mason Graduate Transfer Guard Justin Kier (6’4″/197) included NC State in his list of Final 10 schools.
— Andrew Slater (@Andrew__Slater) April 13, 2020
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.
NC State Reaches Out to UAB Transfer Makhtar Guyer
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.
Virginia Tech has offered UAB transfer Makhtar Guyer, he tells @RivalsPortal.
Georgetown, Miami, Mississippi State, NC State and San Diego State have reached out since his transfer yesterday. @Hokie_Haven
— Corey Evans (@coreyevans_10) April 11, 2020
— Makhtar Gueye (@Thelionkilla) April 11, 2020
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.
NC State Accepts Recommendation to Move Case to IARP
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.
Vote For NC State Men’s Basketball Fans in Fox College Hoops 64-Team Bracket
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.
You: So how does this #FOXFanVote thing work?
— FOX College Hoops (@CBBonFOX) April 5, 2020
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.
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.