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NC State Men’s Swimming & Diving Claim 5th Straight ACC Title!

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GREENSBORO, N.C. – The NC State men’s swimming and diving team won its fifth conference championship in a row and the program’s 29th overall conference title as it took first place at the 2019 ACC Championships.

 

 
After four days of competition in the conference championship at the Greensboro Aquatic Center, NC State finished on top with 1,396.5 team points. Louisville took second place with 1,135.5 points, and Virginia rounded out the top three of the team standings with 1,108 points.

 

Coleman Stewart was honored as ACC Meet Co-MVP after racking up two individual titles and a relay title and breaking a pair of ACC records over the course of the four-day meet. It marks the third straight season that a swimmer from NC State has been honored as meet MVP.

ACC CHAMPIONSHIPS MEN’S MEDAL RECAP:
Every swimmer that competed for the Pack at the 2019 ACC Championships scored points for the team.

NC State picked up a total of 17 podium finishes, including five gold medals. Ten swimmers and divers took home All-ACC honors with podium finishes in their individual events or top finishes as part of a relay.

Gold (5)

  • 200-yard medley relay: Stewart, Graber, Korstanje, Ress (1:22.37 – ACC record, meet record, program record, pool record)
  • 500-yard freestyle: Eric Knowles (4:12.13)
  • 100-yard backstroke: Coleman Stewart (44.44 – ACC record, meet record, program record, pool record)
  • 400-yard medley relay: Stewart, Graber, Korstanje, Izzo (3:03.26 – meet record)
  • 200-yard backstroke: Coleman Stewart(1:39.10 – pool record)


Silver (5)


Bronze (7)


200 BACK:
Stewart once again defended his title as he took home gold in the 200-yard backstroke for the second season in a row. The win on Saturday night secured his second consecutive sweep of the backstroke events after he also did so at the 2018 ACC Championships. Stewart became just the third Wolfpack man in program history to sweep the backstroke events in back-to-back seasons. The Wolfpack junior clocked a lifetime best of 1:39.10 for a pool record.

 

Noah Hensley joined him in the A final. After posting a personal best in the morning’s prelims, Hensley went on to clock a 1:41.83 for sixth place in his third individual A final of the meet.

Jacob Johnson won his finals heat once again, this time in the 200-yard backstroke. He out-touched the field in the B final and posted a personal-best time of 1:42.23.

200 BUTTERFLY:
Andreas Vazaios completed a solid week of competition by picking up his third individual podium finish with a second-place performance in the 200-yard butterfly. The senior touched the wall in 1:41.03 to add to his medal count.

James Bretscher and Zach Brown both qualified for the A final where they secured top-eight finishes. Bretscher placed seventh in 1:53.24, and Brown took eighth place in 1:43.34.

1650 FREE:
The Pack started its evening session strong as all four of its 1650-yard freestyle swimmers clocked lifetime bests in the event.

Jack McIntyre led the way with a podium finish. The Wolfpack junior bettered his time that stands at third in program history as he posted a 14:41.73 in Saturday night’s final heat to take home third place.

Eric Knowles also improved his mark in the event, clocking in at 14:46.85 for fifth place overall.

Danny Erlenmeyer was the first member of the Pack to see action in the mile, and he kicked off the Pack’s final day of competition with the best mile performance of his career. The Wolfpack junior touched the wall in 14:59.51 to drop almost 10 seconds off of his lifetime best and to move into fifth in program history. Erlenmeyer’s time ranked eighth overall in the ACC Championships field.

Gil Kiesler also swam the fastest 1650-yard freestyle time of his career as he clocked in at 15:04.34 for 11th place.

100 FREE:
NC State advanced three swimmers into the A final of the 100-yard freestyle where Justin Ress was the Pack’s top finisher. The senior added a medal to his conference championship tally as he took third place in 42.41.

Nyls Korstanje (42.86) and Jacob Molacek (42.89) finished seventh and eight, respectively, to round out the Pack’s representation in the A final.

Mark McGlaughlin and Giovanni Izzo both managed to improve on their seeds from the morning prelims and each bumped up a few spots in the evening finals. McGlaughlin touched the wall first in the C final in 42.83 to secure a 17th-place finish, and Izzo placed in a tie for 11th with a time of 42.95.

200 BREASTSTROKE:
Daniel Graber qualified for the 200-yard breaststroke A final after turning in a lifetime best of 1:55.52 in the prelims. The senior’s time improved his program record and qualified him for the evening session, where he took eighth in the A final in 1:56.17.

Freshman Rafal Kusto continued to impress for the Pack in the breaststroke events as he secured 10th place in the 200-yard breaststroke. Kusto swam the fastest time of his young Wolfpack career, a 1:56.22 that ranks second in program history.

DIVING:
NC State’s men dove during last week’s conference meet to contribute valuable points to the total team score. James Brady highlighted diving action by finishing on the podium for the second season in a row as he took third place on the platform. His 376.60 was not only good for a bronze medal but also bested the program record that he already held.

Holt Gray and Stewart Spanbauer were also in action last week and secured a series of top-24 finishes to score points for the Wolfpack that were added to the swimming total this week.

400 FREE RELAY:
The Wolfpack men capped off their time at the ACC Championships with another podium finish. The 400-yard freestyle relay squad of Stewart, Vazaios, McGlaughlin and Ress took third place and turned in a time of 2:48.71.

UP NEXT:
NC State’s divers will begin preparation for the NCAA Zone B Diving Championships, which will be hosted by Auburn and will run March 11-13. The men’s swimmers will wrap up the season with the 2019 NCAA Swimming & Diving Championships, held March 27-30 in Austin, Texas.

(Photo Credit: @packswimdive)

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NC State Basketball

Mady Traore Will No Longer Enroll at NC State

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This unfortunately seemed inevitable.

According to 247Sports’ Travis Branham, 3-Star Mady Traore is no longer planning on enrolling at NC State.

Traore was a member of the Wolfpack’s 2022 recruiting class, but wasn’t able to enroll in the Fall because of Visa issues and the English Competency Test.

Back on November 29th, I posted the following article, saying that Traore was set to join the team for the 2nd semester. Traore himself told me when I posted it, that he was expecting to join the team in December.

I received the intel 2 weeks prior to posting, and prior to things beginning to brew between NC State and Isaiah Miranda. In hindsight, I wish I would have posted it when I got the intel (haha).

4-Star Mady Traore Expected to Suit up for NC State Soon

Obviously, that didn’t happen, and isn’t happening.

When I posted the article, things were in flux, because there was one scholarship available. If Miranda came, he was going to get the scholarship, and the staff was hoping Traore would be willing to wait and enroll in April. If Miranda didn’t come, then the expectation was for Traore to join the team in December, in the way that Miranda just did.

I still believe my source’s info was solid, and there are always a lot of moving pieces in play that can change scenarios quickly.

From what I hear, the staff was genuinely hopeful they could add Miranda in December, and Traore in April, but it didn’t work out that way, and that’s the way it goes sometimes.

We wish you the best Mady! You’ve got a special future in basketball.

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NC State Football

Ben Finley After He Led NC State to a Win Over #17 UNC: BULLETED

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Redshirt Freshman Quarterback Ben Finley defied the odds and led NC State to a 30-27 win over #17 UNC yesterday. He spoke with the media after the game, and you can watch it here, or check out a BULLETED breakdown below.

  • I think he [Ryan Finley] went 2-0 here in Carter-Finley West [Kenan Stadium].
    • But just having my 1st start and being able to go out there with the guys and get the W, this is the greatest feeling ever.
    • 5 weeks ago I was the 4th-string Quarterback messing around on the Scout Team.
      • I was still getting better, and having those guys still trust me when I came back up.
      • It just means the world to have the support from the entire team. They just played so well.
      • The defense. The offensive line gave me so much time. It was like I was just camping back there. It was awesome.
  • My roommate [Matt McCabe], who starts on our artillery, which is just the PAT and field goal unit, we were like ‘dude, the 1st week against ECU, there’s no way we would have thought we both would have been starting at UNC.’ It’s unreal.
  • I was just running around trying to hug everyone. I grabbed an NC State flag and planted it on the field, as I should have.
  • The nerves go away when you take the 1st hit.
    • It helped to get that lead at 7-0.
    • Leading up to the game if you’re not nervous then something is wrong with you.
    • I was a little nervous, but it’s just football.
  • It’s his [Devin Carter] 1st week back in a while.
    • To be honest, I haven’t thrown a pass to Devin Carter in probably over a year-and-a-half.
    • It’s like that with Thayer Thomas and Darryl Jones.
    • I had never thrown a pass to Darryl until last week in Louisville.
    • It’s just kind of weird. It’s like I’m playing on an All-Star team or something. I’ve just got ballers everywhere.
  • We knew if we got this win at UNC that it would be a big old band-aid on the season. Any time you can beat your rivals, especially at their home on Senior Night, it’s just huge.
  • You can never doubt yourself.
    • To be able to persevere, that’s the biggest thing in life. Things are going to happen to you.
    • Just keep fighting and climbing up the hill. You never reach the pinnacle of the mountain.
    • You’ve just got to keep climbing and getting better. That’s what our entire team does. We’re just constantly fighting.
  • It [being on the Scout Team] definitely helped with some of the throw windows and being comfortable in the pocket.
    • It definitely doesn’t help with the speed.
      • I definitely thought the game was going to be pretty slow when I got out there last week in Louisville and this week, and it wasn’t. With the scout team you let up.
      • You don’t get tackled. I haven’t taken a hit in three years. It was just kind of getting back into that.
      • But my O-line, I don’t even look like I’ve played a game. My jersey is pristine white. Any time you can go and just camp back there and deliver the ball, it’s a privilege.
  • I wanted to graduate from NC State [didn’t consider transferring from NC State]. That’s huge.
    • I graduate in December. That’s going to be really important for me to get my degree here.
    • I never tried to get into UNC, but according to Drake [Maye] I couldn’t have. It’s good that I get a nice degree from NC State in finance and go from there.
  • I had to find my parents. I love them so much, and they’ve just been such a big part of my life.
    • They’re the best parents that anyone could ask for. They show constant support.
    • Even when I was fourth string they were coming to every single game. The last three years they haven’t missed a game. I love them so much.
    • The least I can do is go over and celebrate with them. I’m definitely going to be continuing that celebration when I get home.
  • It was Terrell Timmons [was his go-to receiver on the Scout Team], and then I got him moved up. We were just tearing up the defense. He was bumped up.
    • Then it was Jalen Coit.
    • My tight ends were ballers. We were balling. Wake Forest was fun with that slow mesh.
  • I’m glad I could do that, but it’s a team win.
    • I made some crucial mistakes that I wish I could get back that I’ll learn from.
    • It was the entire team, starting with Chris Dunn.
      Jack [Chambers] went in there and put that 1st touchdown in.
    • Our defense was making stops. It was so fun watching our defense out there.
    • This is a big-time NC State win no UNC’s Senior Day. It’s not a Ben Finley win.
  • Oh yeah [wants to be the starter at NC State next year].
    • I’ve got 3 years of eligibility to play, which is crazy that I’m going to be in college just as long as my brother and he was in college for like 20 years.
    • I want to keep playing football. I love this game. I love this team. I love this school.

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NC State Basketball

Kevin Keatts Post Game Press Conference After Exhibition vs. Lees-McRae: BULLETED

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NC State Men’s Basketball Head Coach Kevin Keatts met with the media in his postgame press conference, after the Wolfpack defeated Lees-McRae 107-59 in an exhibition game. You can watch it here, or check out a BULLETED breakdown below.

  • We did some really good things tonight.
    • 1 of the things that was really good is that we had 22 assists on 40 field goals.
      • I don’t think that all of last year we had 22 in a game.
      • We shared the ball and we played with great energy.
  • Guys like Jarkel Joiner did a great job setting the tone on a defensive end.
  • We were able to play a lot of guys and see different combinations.
  • We had 4 games leading up to when we played tonight and I’m counting the 2 games in the Bahamas and the scrimmage and I am proud of our guys.
  • I will look at the tape and see what we need to clean up.
  • Our guys will be off tomorrow and ready to see Austin Peay on Monday.
  • We had 25 [deflections] at the half and I didn’t find out after the game.
    • 40 is our goal and we are trying to get 20 per half.
    • We were +5 at the start of the 2nd half, and I am going to guess and say 42 [deflections for the game].
  • You look at Terquavion Smith and 1 of the things that I wanted him to become, was more of a 2-way player.
    • He leads us with steals with 4
  • Jarkel Joiner can really dog the basketball and turn his guy over.
  • Being able to be play in the rotation of 9-10 guys can help us wear teams down.
  • It was great [watching Ernest Ross and Greg Gantt play together].
    • I didn’t play Gregg in the scrimmage because I wanted him to get an extra few days in before I put him out there.
    • It shows that Ernest and Gregg have the ability to switch 1 through 5 and play different positions.
    • It shows that we can be good with all the players we have. I was proud.
  • When any coach plays exhibitions you are crossing your fingers that nobody gets hurt and we accomplished that.
  • I wanted to go out and find some experienced guys.
    • When you look at us last year, our 4 guards were Freshman and Sophomores.
    • At our Center position, 2 guys had to play who really did not play as Freshmen, so they really were Freshmen even though they were Sophomores by the books.
    • We went out to try to get older guys and try to surround Terquavion Smith with some older guys.
  • I like our team. I like our energy, versatility, and experience.
  • The 1 thing that we ask from every player, even through recruiting, is 100% buy-in.
    • We are in a new age of basketball where there is always going to be a lot of transfers and we have to be selective with the guys that we bring in.
    • I am looking for guys that will play for NC State. If we can play for NC State, we will be fine.
  • When you look at it, because of the way we play there will be a lot of shots to go around.
    • We got 79 shots tonight and it’s enough for everybody to be successful if you share the ball and play together.
  • Give a lot of credit to Jarkel.
    • Here you are talking about a guy who has transferred from the SEC and he has kind of taken Terquavion under his wing as an older guy and embraced him and is excited about playing with him.
    • They feed off of each other.
      • You should see them in practice everyday. They are really excited about it.
      • They compete against each other in practice sometimes.
      • But, when they are on the same team, they just love playing together. I think that has helped our team.
      • Both of them are very unselfish.
        • I want to say in our scrimmage Terquavion led us in assists.
        • He had 6 in that one, you look at tonight he had 7.
        • Jarkel had 5 assists and then 6 tonight.
        • Those guys, we are seeing a path where they know they can score the basketball, but in order for us to be successful we have to get other people involved.
  • It was great to be able to throw the ball into DJ Burns to get some baskets.
  • Obviously, we are going to play a lot bigger teams where they are going to play more post guys, but I just wanted to see a sample size of Dusan Mahorcic, but also DJ where we can score the ball inside.
    • We didn’t have that dimension last year.
      • I feel like we were more perimeter than anything.
    • But those 2 guys [Dusan and DJ] are very unselfish.
  • I think every team is [worried about rebounding], unless you’ve got that 1 dominant rebounder and most teams don’t.
    • There’s a few teams that have that 1 dominant rebounder.
    • I think you have to rebound by committee now because more of basketball has become more positionless.
    • People are more all over the place doing different stuff.
    • We will be a committee rebounding team.
    • Jack Clark has been our best rebounder so far in the 4 games.
      • What did he have tonight…9… and he didn’t play like Jack Clark has played, which is a good sign for us.
      • He has been our leading rebounder.
      • Then we have got guys who get 6, guys who get 4, and guys who get 3.
      • Similar to the way we were last year, I thought we were a really good offensive rebounding team (last season).
        • Where we want to show improvement is on the defensive end.
  • You know he [KJ Keatts] is the smallest guy on our team…I wish I looked like him at times…but I think the and-1 finish…he will be talking about that.
    • But now, his younger brother, Kaden, won’t think it is impressive.
      • He will be like, “it was a weak move” or something like that.
    • I was proud. I was happy. I am happy for all of our guys.
    • Alex Nunnally goes in and bangs a 3 that sends us over 100.
    • Then you see KJ driving. It was a great moment for a Dad.
  • I don’t have to say anything to Chase Graham about his layup.
    • The team is killing him right now just so you know.
    • He tried to tell them he was euro-stepping, but I don’t know. I never thought he got to that part of it.

 

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NC State Football

#24 NC State vs. Virginia Tech: MATCHUP STATISTICAL BREAKDOWN

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#24 NC State hosts Virginia Tech tonight at home at 7:30pm on ESPN. Below is a STATISTICAL BREAKDOWN of the two teams.

 

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