NC State. The school that’s made its modern living as an ACC underdog.
So how does an underdog team turn itself into a proverbial top-dog in one of the toughest conferences in the nation?
Well, you start by getting a group of guys whose motivation comes from being overlooked or underappreciated. Guys who themselves are underdogs. You get enough of those guys, who thrive with that chip on their shoulder and suddenly, you start to win. And once you start winning, those guys get to taste success. Once they get the taste of success, after all the work they’ve put in, well then you’ve created a player addicted to winning.
I only point this out because, on Saturday, two NC State recruits, Breon Pass. (see highlights) and Terquavion Smith (see highlights), will face off against each other in the 3rd round of the 2A North Carolina state playoffs.
Two players who no one was recruiting when Kevin Keatts started recruiting them. Both of whom are now 4-star players. Two players whose high school teams were seeded 5th (Breon Pass & Reidsville) and 9th (Terquavion Smith and Farmville Central) in the brackets and whose teams will now meet in the 3rd round, with the winner heading to the Final Four.
Breon Pass goes for 37, outplays UNC recruit in round 2 win
Reidsville may have been the 5 seed playing against a 13 seed in Kinston High, but the guys over at HoopState (in-depth Highschool basketball coverage) didn’t think Reidsville had much of a chance. This was Breon Pass vs. Dontrez Styles. An NC State commit vs a UNC commit. Of course, everyone was sure the UNC recruit was going to lead his team to victory. But Breon Pass had other plans.
The 2021 NC State PG commit went off, dropping 37 points and bringing in 12 rebounds while leading his team to the next round.
Congrats to the Varsity Boys on their 60-57 Sweet 16 Victory over Kinston! Great team win!!
Breon Pass 37 pts
Yoshua Courts 8 pts
Ste’vian Harrison 4 pts
Eric Neal 3 pts
Rams are home Sat. for an Elite 8 matchup vs. 2x defending State Champs Farmville Central. Game time TBD. pic.twitter.com/ToUbpoTmh3
— Reidsville Basketball (@ReidsvilleBB) February 26, 2021
Terquavion Smith leads cinderella Farmville Central to win with 31 points in win over #1 seed South Granville High.
Meanwhile, 2021 SG commit, Terquavion Smith was busy knocking off the #1 seed, seemingly all by himself.
— Phenom Hoop Videos (@PhenomMixtapes) February 26, 2021
Now the two will meet. Both kids who were overlooked at the start of high school, and whose teams have been overlooked for most of this season are meeting head-on. Something has to give. However, whatever happens, NC State fans win.
The Pack is getting two elite basketball players whose skill set is advanced, but whose competitive nature is off the charts. Keatts isn’t strictly recruiting talent in Raleigh, he’s picking skilled kids with specific character traits. Low ego, hard-working, gym rats with a chip on their shoulder. Tomorrow we’ll get to see two of those guys in action.