NC State came into the game squarely on the bubble (according to ESPN’s Joe Lunardi) and needing a win over Pitt in their ACC Tournament opener.
Thanks to one of their best overall team performances of they got it.
Devon Daniels was locked in from start to finish, leading all scorers with 23 points and chipping in 6 rebounds. He shot 9-14 and only turned the ball over once. It’s safe to say that Daniel, who was once a guy that couldn’t really find his role on this team, has become one of their most important pieces. His hustle and physicality has helped give this ballclub an identity and has been a big part of their late-season surge.
Before we move one, I think we need to credit Kevin Keatts here. Keatts took a lot of heat earlier this season with those Carolina losses and the team underperforming at times. But credit where it’s due, people. Devon Daniels on earlier State teams may have never come around. In fact, high confidence players who have struggled to fit into State’s systems in the past have usually been the ones that ended up dividing up the locker room and putting the season in a tailspin. These are the intangibles that people are missing with Keatts. He runs a tight ship and it’s really his way or the highway. Daniels ended up buying in and NC State is now a potential tournament team because of it.
NC State also got great performances from Funderburk who pitched in 10 and 7, Beverly who scored 10 of his own, and Bryce, who started slow but finished strong with 13 points and 10 boards. Oh, and let’s not forget Markell Johnson, who looked very comfortable against Pitt. While I know we all love when Johnson gets hot and starts scoring, its seems he would much rather his teammates take on that role and he finish with a line like yesterday (7 points, 11 assists.
Another great sign was to see NC State really look comfortable against a 2-3 zone. The 3s weren’t falling (25%) so they made a concerted effort to get the ball in the middle and down on the blocks. This led to them shooting an amazing 47.5% from the field.
Next up is Duke who certainly will sprinkle in a good deal of zone (today at 2:30 pm). With a win the Wolfpack are dancing. A loss and they have to wait for the committee to decide.
*Games will be played today with no fans in attendance due to COVID-19.
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.