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NC State Basketball

NC State Snaps 3-Game Losing Streak, Holding on to Beat Pitt 79-76 on the Road

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NC State had a double-digit lead for the first time in ACC play this season, but that didn’t prevent today’s game at Pitt from coming down to the final seconds.

Redshirt Junior CJ Bryce did what Clemson’s Marcquise Reed couldn’t do when NC State hit a buzzer beater 2 weeks ago.

Reed missed 4 consecutive free throws with 13 seconds left in the game, opening the door for Braxton Beverly to sink a three with time expiring to give the Pack the victory.

In contrast, Bryce hit 3 of his 4 free throws with 9 seconds left on the clock.

Bryce has been NC State’s best player in conference play, and nothing changed in that regard today. He finished with 21 points and 7 rebounds. Bryce shot 6 of 11 from the field, 4 of 5 from beyond the arch, and 5 of 6 from the charity stripe. Today’s performance marks the second time he has scored over 20 points this season (23 against Notre Dame).

Four other Wolfpack players scored in double digits along side Bryce.

Sophomore Braxton Beverly hit 5 three-pointers for the 5th time in his career, and the third time this season. He was 5 of 9 from deep, paving the way to a 17 point performance.

Junior Markell Johnson’s performance was reminiscent of last year, when he led the ACC in assists. Johnson finished with 8 assists (2 turnovers), and 10 points, hitting 3 of his 6 three-point attempts. The last time he had 8 assists was on February 20th last year against Boston College.

Senior Torin Dorn and Redshirt Sophomore DJ Funderburk both scored in double figures as well, scoring 13 and 12 respectively. Dorn led the Pack with 8 rebounds, and Funderburk was a perfect 6 for 6 from the free throw line.

The Wolfpack didn’t shoot the ball well as a team from the field (40.6%), and didn’t do a great job preventing the Panthers from shooting well. Pitt shot 44.4% from three and 84.2% from the charity stripe (NC State – 61.9%).

So how did NC State do it?

The Wolfpack hit a season high 14 three pointers, connecting on 51.9% from deep range.

They only turned the ball over 10 times, and managed to turn Pitt over 15 times.

NC State also had 20 offensive rebounds compared to the Panthers 13.

Overall, NC State led for 28:28 of the 40 minutes of play.

Enjoy the Ice Cream up in Pittsburgh fellas.

After snapping a losing streak, NC State will look to start a winning streak on Wednesday night, when the Wolfpack will host Syracuse for a 8pm tipoff.

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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