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NC State Blasts Mount Olive 113-73 in Exhibition Game

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NC State blasted Mount Olive by 40 points yesterday, defeating the Trojans 113-73 in the Wolfpack’s one exhibition game before the season opener next Tuesday (November 5th), at home against Georgia Tech.

The Wolfpack had 3 players score 20+ points. Senior Point Guard Markell Johnson did whatever he wanted, finishing with 26 points (6-12 FG), 9 assists and 6 steals. Redshirt Senior Guard C.J. Bryce showed his versatility, splashing the box score for 20 points (8-13 FG), 10 rebounds (team lead), 6 assists and 4 steals. Redshirt Junior Guard Devon Daniels also chipped in 20 points (6-7 FG), with 6 rebounds, 4 assists and 3 steals.

New addition Graduate Forward Pat Andree nearly joined the 20-point club, scoring 17 points, hitting 3 three-pointers, tying Johnson for the team high.

With Redshirt Junior D.J. Funderburk still suspended indefinitely, Redshirt Freshman Manny Bates saw significant playing time in his first collegiate game, and showed the difference maker he can be on the defensive end. Coming out of high school, Bates was one of the best shot blockers in the nation, and he blocked 6 shots yesterday (box score was wrong), and also scored 10 points on 5 of 6 shooting.

As a team, the Wolfpack played disruptive defense, forcing 24 turnovers. They also shot the ball extremely well at all three levels, shooting 52.7% from the field, 41.7% from beyond the arch, and 83.3% from the free throw line.

Johnson, Bryce and Daniels accounted for 13 of NC State’s 15 steals. It’s encouraging to see your veteran guards leading the way in takeaways in an exhibition game.

Yesterday’s starting lineup probably won’t be what you see all year long.

G Markell Johnson
G C.J. Bryce
G Devon Daniels
F Jericole Hellems
F Manny Bates

Redshirt Junior D.J. Funderburk will likely start in the place of Bates when he returns from suspension. Redshirt Junior Guard Braxton Beverly has been a starter for the past two years, starting 55 of 66 games. He played limited minutes yesterday, coming into the game with a knee bruise. Hellems didn’t start a single game last season, and I don’t expect him to be a regular starter this season. Even though he started, Hellems only played 9 minutes after dinging up his shoulder in the game (should be fine).

Freshman Guard Dereon Seabron didn’t play yesterday, sitting on the bench yesterday in street clothes. Head Coach Kevin Keatts said after the game that Seabron turned his ankle in practice the other day. The x-rays were negative, and Keatts said he should be fine, but doesn’t know when he will return yet.

NC State will host Georgia Tech next Tuesday to open the season on ACC Network at 8:30pm.

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NC State’s Jericole Hellems Released from Hospital, in “Good Spirits”

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Sophomore NC State Forward Jericole Hellems took a scary fall yesterday with 28 seconds left in the Wolfpack’s game in Wake Forest, eventually being taken off the court in a stretcher, transported to the hospital to check on injuries to his head and lower back.

Wolfpack nation received good news today.

Hellems has been released from the hospital in Winston-Salem, and has returned to Raleigh in “good spirits.”

While these two updates don’t explain the seriousness of Hellems injuries, it does reveal that he is doing okay.

Some things are much bigger than basketball.

Pray for Jericole.

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NC State Men’s Basketball Ranked 24th in BPI After Wake Victory

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NC State’s Men’s Basketball team beat Wake forest 91-82 on the road yesterday, improving to 7-2 on the year, and picking up their first ACC win of the 209-20 season.

Even though NC State didn’t pick up any votes in the AP or Coaches Poll this week, after the victory over the Demon Deacons, the Wolfpack is ranked 24th in ESPN’s BPI rankings, which is 5th best in the ACC.

It’s worth noting that archival UNC is sitting in 39th, which is their lowest ranking since 2014.

According to ESPN’s BPI ranking, the Wolfpack’s offense ranks 7th nationally, and their defense ranks 85th.

As of right now, the BPI picks NC State to finish with 20 wins, and the 4th most ACC wins.

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Kevin Keatts Presser After Wake Forest: BULLETED

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Head Coach Kevin Keatts met with the media in his post game press conference after NC State’s 91-82 victory over Wake Forest today. You can watch it here, or check out the bulleted breakdown below.

  • Our guys did a tremendous job of coming in here on the road and getting a good road win.
  • We played really good basketball the last 4 halves…dating back to the second half of the Memphis game and then the entire Wisconsin game.
  • Six guys in double digit figures…shows you how balanced we are.
  • Manny Bates was tremendous.
    • 8 points and blocked a lot of shots.
  • Happy with what we have with our rotation.
    • Everybody that’s playing in the game is contributing.
  • We’re going to get our first ice cream of the year (Road Win). So, I’m excited about that.

On historically struggling to win at Wake Forest…

  • We’ve had some success in here. My last 2 out of 3 years, we’ve been able to win.
  • It’s a tough place to play.
  • Had a chance last year, but we were without Markell Johnson.

Success from 3…

  • We shot the ball well from 3.
    • 12 for 22.
  • Was a little mad because I thought we passed up on some shots that we could have made.
    • Jericole had a 3 in the corner that I thought he should have taken.
    • Same thing with C.J. Bryce.
  • We’ve been putting a lot of work on making shots.
  • We expected when we came into this game that we could see a mixture of man-to-man and that 3-2 matchup, so we spent a lot of time the last few days on making shots from behind the arc.

Jericole Hellems…

  • If you guys would do me a favor and obviously keep Jericole Hellems and his family in your prayers, it would mean a lot to us.
  • I didn’t see what happened.
  • I was able to talk to him, and I told him to hang in there. He was talking. He was communicating with those guys. After I leave you guys, I’m going to go by and check on him.
  • It was hard for me the last 28 seconds of the game, because it was hard for me to focus on the game knowing that we had one of our kids hurt.

Where they are at now…

  • I love the way we’re playing.
  • With this team, it has been a little bit slow developing roles.
  • They’re starting to understand their roles and how to play.

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NC State 91 Wake Forest 82: BOX SCORE

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NC State had 6 players score in double figures this afternoon in a 91-82 victory over Wake Forest. The Box Score is below.

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