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LOVED IT, HATED IT | From NC State’s win over Colgate

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I’m back with another installment of 3 things I loved and 3 things I hated. Today I’m getting candid on the Pack’s weekend win over what was a pretty darn good Colgate team. Let me jump right in…

3 Things I LOVED about NC State’s win over Colgate

 

  1. The emergence of Casey Morsell
    Morsell’s offensive output was a ‘love’ in my last installment, but I had to add him here again, because boy, oh boy, did he bail out State in this one. He went 6-9 from the field and 2-4 from 3, finishing with a team-high 22 points. And that’s great and all, but it was his play down the stretch that had me hyped. He was hunting his shot as the game was in its most pivotal moments. His demeanor on the court and his ability to hit big shots just show you that this kid (as we predicted) is going to be not just a major contributor, but one of the leaders of this ballclub. Here’s what we at PI agreed upon publishing for our Casey Morsell prediction.
  2. Another Dereon Seabron double-double
    After 2 games, Dereon Seabron looks like he’s going to be one of Keatts’ go-to guys this year. He once again notched a double-double, going for 21 points and 10 boards. Heck, he even added a team-high 3 assists. Keatts is putting him in positions to get the ball in spots where he can take advantage, and he’s doing that. This team needs guys who can get into the lane and attack, and it looks like Seabron is showing us all that he’s going to be that guy. Oh, and it’s not just about scoring. This team NEEDS rebounding now that Bates is lost for the year, and the big question was going to be where those come from. It looks like Seabron is giving us a hint.
  3. Keatts moving Seabron to PG when the game was on the line
    This one I didn’t see coming. Cam Hayes is going to be a big part of this team, we all know that, but early in the season, Hayes has struggled to make plays by attacking the rim. He’s been a little too passive and has been settling for jumpers in the lane. This team, without Bates, needs a guy who is going to put pressure on the defense by getting into the lane and making plays. Seabron was doing that, so Keatts moved him to the 1. This allowed them to play Smith at the 2, Morsell at the 3, Hellems at the 4 and Dowuona at the 5. This is a pretty potent lineup for State, and if you remember, he tried out Seabron at the point a few times last year, and while he wasn’t ready then, he might be ready now. This would put a new wrinkle on things, and honestly, I love it.

 

3 Things I HATED about NC State’s win over Colgate

  1. Colgate’s bigs were having their way in the paint
    If Colgate is willing to clear the lane and try to get a 1 on 1 matchup in the paint, then you know you have a problem. But that’s what they were doing and no one on NC State could stop them. Dowuona and Gibson both were getting taken to task down low. Now, Jeff Woodward (their center) is 6’11 and 270, so he’s a hoss, but he’s not even half as athletic as Dowuona. That said, he was using his frame to back him down and get easy buckets. NC State has to fix this. They are young and thin in the middle, and if they are going to compete, they need their bigs to at least be able to stop lumbering opponents from getting easy buckets.
  2. Lack of ball movement creating bad shots and a stagnant offense
    NC State finished the game with only 9 assists. That’s right, the whole team, just 9. That is coming off a game where they had just 7 vs. Bucknell. These are pretty pitiful numbers, and you can trace them back to the fact that the Pack simply isn’t getting into the lane and making things happen. They are usually taking shots off the dribble or passing the ball around the perimeter until something opens up. This might win games early in the season, but in the ACC, you need to start attacking, making the defense react, and finding the open man. I believe this is why you saw him go to Seabron at the point late in the game. Cam Hayes will need to start taking on that role as the season moves forward.
  3. Still not getting out and challenging the 3 pointers
    We talked a lot about NC State’s defense and how overplaying on the ball is leading to the need for help-side defense to step up, thus leading to open shooters on the perimeter. This happened yet again and will bite NC State soon if they don’t sure it up. The guards have got to keep ball handlers out of the lane and allow help-side to stay home and challenge those outside shots. Colgate hit 12 of 26 3s (46%), but it could have been worse as they started the game pretty cold from outside.

 

A pasta eatin', Wolfpack lovin' loudmouth from Raleigh by way of New Jersey. Jimmy V and Chuck Amato fanboy. All opinions are my own and you're gonna hear'em.

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Papajohn
Papajohn
2 years ago

Excellent analysis. It’s still early, but KK’s got to find a formula for winning. It’s simple math. You either have to shoot better than the opposition or shoot more often. Meaning, additional possessions by forcing turnovers and/or rebounding. Defensively, teams are going to clog the interior and force us to hit outside shots since the 3PT shot hasn’t been our friend , yet, and we don’t have a strong interior game. We’ll see that until we can beat it. Offensively, we’re going to see teams go inside more and more frequently until our bigs get better at defending the post.… Read more »

NC State Basketball

NC State is Adding UMASS’ Brett Nelson as an Assistant Coach

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According to reports, NC State is adding UMASS’ Brett Nelson as an Assistant Coach.

Nelson was only at UMASS for 1 season under Frank Martin. Prior to that, Nelson was the Head Coach at Holy Cross for 4 seasons, posting a 27-84 record.

Prior to taking the Head Coaching mantle at Holy Cross, Nelson was at Marquette for 5 seasons, spending the first 3 as an Assistant Coach, and the final two as an Associate Head Coach. Prior to Marquette, Nelson also served as an Assistant Coach at Ball St., Drake, Arkansas and Marshall.

Before coaching basketball, Nelson played for the University of Florida from 1999-2003. He was All-SEC twice, and earned Third Team All-American honors. When he left Gainesville, he was the Gators’ all-time leader in three pointers made, and ranked 2nd in steals.

As a Senior in High School, Nelson was a McDonald’s All-American.

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NC State Basketball

Ernest Ross Announces He is Returning to NC State

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Power Forward Ernest Ross announced this morning that he is returning to NC State for his final year of eligibility.

 

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Last Friday, Ross committed to UTSA after entering the Transfer Portal on April 17th, but it looks like he had a change of heart over the past couple of days.

NC State has been in desperate need to add a Big out of the Portal. They have hosted ECU’s Ezra Ausar and Georgia’s Frank Anselem-Ibe, but neither of them have found a home yet. With the addition of Ross, NC State has added depth in the Frontcourt, and unless something changes, their roster is full with 13 scholarship players.

Ross played in 14 games this past season, averaging 3.4 minutes per contest. After playing in 34 games last season, averaging 11.4 minutes per contest, Ross saw his participation dip to a career low this season, but that didn’t for a second break his infectious personality. On the sideline, you could count on Ross every single game to be the heart and soul of the Wolfpack on the bench. To watch a player who played as little as he did, care as much as he did, makes me super proud that this young man represented NC State so well.

Ross was a consensus 4-star player in NC State’s 2021 recruiting class, with 247Sports ranking him as the #60 overall player nationally. ESPN ranked him as the #5 overall player in the state of Florida.

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NC State Basketball

A Matchup Between NC State & Marquette Next Season Might be in the Works

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According to NCAA.com’s Andy Katz, a matchup between NC State and Marquette next season might be in the works.

This past year, the Wolfpack defeated the Golden Eagles 67-58 in the Sweet 16 of the 2024 NCAA Tournament.

NC State and Marquette have played one another 6 times overall, with the Wolfpack holding a 4-2 lead in the series, winning the past two matchups.

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NC State Men’s Basketball Will Play in the 2025 Maui Invitational

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The NC State Men’s Basketball Team will be playing in the 2025 Maui Invitational, on November 24-26 in Hawaii. This will mark the first time that NC State has ever played in the Maui Invitational.

NC State will be joined by Baylor, Oregon, Seton Hall, Texas, UNLV, USC and Chaminade.

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