One Word: All Things NC State Women’s Basketball
Here we go folks. The two-time defending ACC Champs and nationally ranked State women’s basketball team is BACK. We’re taking the One Word concept for a spin, to ask the four biggest questions on what this Wolfpack team all has in store.
Who is you breakout candidate of the year?
Vonwolf: Diamond Johnson
As if this team needed more firepower, in walks Rutgers transfer Johnson. I don’t know the last time I thought a State transfer was going to play this big a role in a team’s success right off the bat. She has a killer’s scoring mentality, while also excelling on defense. When asked, “Well, how does she fit in?”, the answer is actually very easy. Look at the comparison to Crutchfield;
Crutchfield: 34 minute average, .445 FG% (.473 from three), .947 FT%, 3.2 rebounds, 27 total steals (State leader in 3FG% and Steals)
Johnson: 34 minute average, .512 FG% (.455 from three), .902 FT%, 4.2 rebounds, 44 total steals
Pretty even across the board. The difference? Johnson had double the shot opportunities. So while Crutchfield put up 8 a game, Johnson was pushing 18. Same efficiency, slightly better defense, but over twice as many points. That’s HUGE.
Wolferetti: Jakia Brown-Turner
I know she’s already getting honors left and right, but her ceiling still has a ways to go. If this was MVP, I’d pick Cunane because she might end up being State’s best player ever, but this is about breakout potential. Keep coming back to the two games last year that got her ACC Player of the Week;
@ Wake Forest – 21 pts | 64.3 FG% | 66.7 3FG% | 5 Rebs
UNC – 25 pts | 62.5 FG% | 80 3FG% | 6 Rebs
Took on the task of being an elite scorer and did it. She ended the season averaging 13.5 pts | 5 rebs. While there are a whole lot of mouths to feed offensively, I think 15 pts | 8 rebs with solid number of double-double performances is going to take her to the next level.
Who is going to struggle this year?
Vonwolf: Wes Moore
Is this a cop out? Haha, I had to say it. I think this season is going to be quite the task balancing everything out. Boyd out early, who steps in? Do you give more time to a senior like Crutchfield or a transfer like Hayes? Do you worry about Cunane’s workload, thinking ahead about the ultimate goal?
With great talent, comes great responsibility…or something like that…but Wes Moore is the man. While everyone talks about how State doesn’t have big time coaches, there sits Moore doing EVERYTHING right. I just wonder how he plays this roster to ensure big wins, while keeping folks content with playing time and rested for a big stretch run in March.
Wolferetti: Genesis Bryant
This girl has swagger. Love watching the behind the scenes film and seeing her just being herself out on the court. The problem is, I think she’s kinda the fifth wheel of this team. She’ll get playing time, but I just don’t know how much. There were times this offseason I thought she’d leave for playing time elsewhere. It’s tough being on the bench and then trying to produce at a level that State is now expected to be at.
It’s harsh to list her, but when this team is this good, someone has to get the short end of the stick.
Biggest game this year?
Vonwolf: South Carolina
THIS IS WHY YOU PICK FIRST! Last year, State went out on the road and beat South Carolina. Now the number one team in the country comes to Raleighwood. This is masssssssssssssssiiivvvveeeee. Primetime on ESPN, first game of a hopeful season. If they lose, you refocus and go on a tear. But if you win? All the momentum in the world is with State. Wouldn’t be surprised if State moves up to #1 in the country and holds out until their first loss.
Wolferetti: Louisville (1/20) followed by VT (1/23)
Vonwolf is a jerk…the SC game is a no brainer and he still went there. So I’m going to turn the table and pick two games. Louisville is easily the other contender in the ACC, as they are picked to finish second this year. Virginia Tech gave State problems last year, albeit without Cunane. To have these games in back-to-backs is tough. It’s also that weird late January timeframe where the wear and tear of the season starts to show.
If State can win both, at home, then it could be assumed the first half of the season went well and they’ve positioned themselves to be a number one seed come March.
What does State end up doing this season?
Vonwolf: ACC Champs, Final Four
I just don’t know how anything less won’t be a major, major disappointment. While I believe in Wes Moore, I don’t know if State will ever have THIS talented of a roster. They’ve proved they can win the ACC tournament, now let’s just win the whole damn thing, regular season and all. Last year’s game against Indiana in the NCAAT was brutal. Team looked tired at moments and Indiana was all about physicality. Let’s see them get to the Final Four and have a go at this thing.
Wolferetti: ACC Champs, Final Four
Yeah, I’ll make it short and sweet. They need to find a way into the Final Four. In fact, I’d even trade an ACC Championship for a Final Four birth. You can continue to build this program regardless, but a deep tourney run will fast-track everything.
VIDEO: NC State women fall 64-63 to Princeton on late three in NCAA 1st Round
The NC State women were a 7 seed, picked to move on over 10-seeded Princeton, but that’s not how it worked out.
The Pack women were plagued by turnovers (20) and Princeton capitalized with a late 3 to clinch the win. Highlight above.
Sad day for NC State all around.
WOMEN’S BASKETBALL: NC State Moves Up to #15 After Win Over Notre Dame
The NC State Women’s Basketball (16-5) team moved up 5 spots in the Week 13 AP Poll, after defeating Notre Dame 69-65 yesterday, who was ranked 7th then, and ranked 9th now.
ACC Teams in the Week 13 AP Poll
9. Notre Dame
13. Virginia Tech
15. NC State
The Wolfpack’s next game will be on Thursday night on the road at Georgia Tech at 8pm on ACC Network.
NC State Signee Zoe Brooks is a McDonald’s All-American
NC State Women’s Basketball 2023 signee Zoe Brooks was named a McDonald’s All-American yesterday.
|Player||High School||Position||Height||Committed to|
|Zoe Brooks||Saint John Vianney (NJ)||G||5-10||NC State|
|Essence Cody||Valdosta (GA)||F||6-3||Alabama|
|Aalyah Del Rosario||The Webb School (CA)||F||6-5||LSU|
|Jadyn Donovan||Sidwell Friends School (DC)||G||6-0||Duke|
|Milaysia Fulwiley||W.J. Keenan (SC)||G||5-6||South Carolina|
|Hannah Hildalgo||Paul VI (NJ)||G||5-6||Notre Dame|
|Riley Nelson||Bullis School (MD)||W||6-0||Maryland|
|Courtney Ogden||Westminster School (GA)||W||5-11||Stanford|
|Laila Reynolds||Shabach Christian (FL)||F||6-2||Florida|
|Emma Risch||Palm Bay Magnet (FL)||G||6-1||Notre Dame|
|Taliah Scott||Saint John’s Country Day (FL)||G||5-9||Arkansas|
|Ashlynn Shade||La Lumiere (IN)||G||5-9||UConn|
|Player||High School||Position||Height||Committed to|
|Kamorea Arnold||Germantown (WI)||G||5-9||UConn|
|Sofia Bell||Jesuit (OR)||W||6-1||Oregon|
|Madison Booker||Germantown (MS)||W||6-1||Texas|
|Addyson Brown||Derby Senior (KS)||W||6-2||Iowa State|
|Breya Cunningham||La Jolla Country Day (CA)||F||6-4||Arizona|
|Kymora Johnson||Saint Annes-Belfield (VA)||G||5-7||Virginia|
|Tessa Johnson||Saint Michael Albertville (MN)||G||5-10||South Carolina|
|Amanda Muse||Heritage (CA)||F||6-4||UCLA|
|Judea Watkins||Sierra Canyon (CA)||G||6-0||USC|
|Mikaylah Williams||Parkway (LA)||G||6-0||LSU|
|Jada Williams||La Jolla Country Day||G||5-6||Arizona|
|Sahara Williams||West (IA)||W||5-10||Oklahoma|
Here is what ESPN had to say about Brooks being named a McDonald’s All-American.
Zoe Brooks, G
Signed with: NC State | 2023 ESPNW 100 ranking: 9
St. John Vianney HS (New Jersey)
Brooks is a gifted scorer who can flat out put the ball in the basket. Over the past 18 months, she has really gone to work on her conditioning and it brought her game to another level. She is a true three-level scorer. Defenses must be there on the close out, but containing Brooks is no easy feat as she attacks angles, changes speeds, and has the footwork and handle to counter. Her strength allows her to finish with contact at the rim and her touch provides an array of floaters and usage of the glass for buckets. Brooks sees the floor well and zips passes to teammates for open looks. Defensively, she has fantastic instincts and is good in passing lanes and in the press. Brooks is averaging 24 points, 6.5 rebounds, and 4.1 assists per game this season. (ESPN)
Women’s Basketball: #20 NC State 71 Miami 61: Box Score & Highlights
#20 NC State picked up a much needed win last night against Miami, defeating the Hurricanes 71-61 in PNC Arena, avoiding a 3-game skid.
Sophomore Guard Saniya Rivers led the pack with 14 points, 6 steals, 3 rebounds and 3 assists.
As long as she keeps working, @PackWomensBball Saniya Rivers ( @Ihoop___22 ) is going to be a really fun @wnba player to cover in a few years.
(Until then, I’ll enjoy watching her, @haileyvanlith , NC State & @LouisvilleWBB on ABC Sunday at 1pm et.)
— Rebecca Lobo (@RebeccaLobo) January 19, 2023
Seniors Camille Hobby and Mimi Collins both had 11 points.
Sophomore Guard Aziaha James had 10 points, and led the Pack with 6 rebounds.
The Wolfpack was without Jada Boyd and Jessica Timmons last night, and River Baldwin went down with an injury, and will have an MRI tomorrow.
NC State is now 14-5 overall, and 4-4 in ACC play, and will play at Louisville on Sunday at 1pm on ABC.
Finally, we have one of the most talented teams in the country with the experience to match, and excellent coaching. A team that absolutely could win it all. It’s a long season, and there are a lot of good teams in play, but everyone of them is keeping an eye on us. Football is having an exceptional season. WBB has about as high a profile as anyone nationally. Baseball should be really good again. Keatts better step up, he’s looking weak by comparison. With all of this good stuff going on, patience may wear thin in the new AD’s office.… Read more »