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Tony Bennett’s Press Conference After #3 UVA Squeaked by #23 NC State 66-65 in OT

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Cavaliers head coach Tony Bennett spoke with the media after #3 Virginia held on to beat #23 NC State in OT in his postgame press conference. The video is ABOVE, and a bulleted breakdown is below.

  • I thought we played well enough to win, but a couple of those key stats stick out: the 16 offensive rebounds (NC State’s) and the 16 turnovers.
  • NC State plays good defense. They’re good with their hands. They’re athletic. They’re aggressive. They did rattle us and take us out of our rhythm.
  • Some of our offensive fouls and decision-making or defensive fouls at inopportune times almost cost us the game.
  • Of course, I thought (Wyatt) Walker was just a man on the glass. I thought he was hard to handle. We didn’t do a great job in those areas. Usually when you give up that many offensive rebounds and that many turnovers, you’re not going to be successful.
  • We made enough good plays and hung in there and got some good lifts from guys. I thought we had some chances to separate a little bit, but they made some big plays.
  • We’re thankful for the win, but we need to grow from this and learn from it. We brought losing into the equation when I didn’t know we had to in certain situations with fouls and turnovers and unsound decisions.
  • It was just one of those games. You could feel it with the crowd. You could feel it with the intensity. I thought we had it, and then we fouled the three-point shooter.
    • A lot of people say, ‘Should you foul to put them on the line?’ We decided to foul the three-point shooter. That was our theory on that, which wasn’t sound.
  • We’ll live and learn. We’re fortunate to get out of here. NC State’s a good team, especially when they’re at full strength, which they’re now getting back to.
  • You have to earn it in here (PNC).
  • I want to watch the film, but he’s (Wyatt Walker) very physical.
    • He was first to get position. He’s strong.
    • I saw him move Jack (Salt) a couple times, which guys don’t do.
    • We were just a little sluggish to the block out on the ball. There were a lot of bobbles in there, and he carved out space.
    • I had flashbacks to getting owned on the glass by Richard Howell. I mean we couldn’t handle him. I remember that feeling. They’re different players, but he’s physical and does a good job on the glass. He knows his role, and he’s very effective. 

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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