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Wolferetti: You ready for tonight’s NC State vs. Miami game to be canceled?

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It’s late December, and you know what that means. It’s Covid Cancellation Season!

Yesterday we learned at the last minute that NC State’s bowl game vs. UCLA was going to be canceled because of Covid. We also learned earlier in the week that Duke vs. Clemson, UNC vs. VT and BC vs. FSU basketball games were being postponed for the same reason.

So we sit and wait (until the last minute) to see if NC State’s game tonight vs. Miami will have the same fate.

Now, at this moment there isn’t any talk about the game being canceled, there are no reports of Covid cases for either team. But as the old adage goes “Fool me once, shame on.. you? Fool me …. can’t get fooled again.”

Our baseball team was ripped of a chance at the National Championship thanks to Covid protocols. Our football team was ripped of a chance at a 10 win season thanks to Covid protocols. Our basketball team kicked this whole damn pandemic off with their ACC Tournament game cancellation (just minutes before tip) in March of 2020. So do you really think we’re going to see this game played?

Look, maybe it gets played and maybe not, but me, I’m over it. It’s time to suck it up and play ball.

But Wolferetti, you’re killing people!

Let’s get a little consistency here, folks. The pandemic is constantly moving and changing. Those who want to cheer on these cancellations for the sake of safety had a point two years ago, and hell, they may have had a point last season. But this year, you’re just regurgitating old talking points.

Why are you canceling games right now? Unless you can’t field enough guys to take the field/court, the games should go on.  What is the excuse? “An abundance of safety?”, “We don’t know enough about the virus?”

We’re two years in, people. The virus that took its toll in 2020 and early 2021 isn’t the same virus. It’s not nearly as lethal and it’s not producing near as many bad outcomes.  The numbers are there, right in your face. They’ve changed, and so should you.

The NFL has. They changed their protocols to reflect the current situation and so should the NCAA.

These are 18-21-year-old healthy kids. They are almost all vaccinated. They are now back from their holidays with their family. They are isolated from those at risk and they, themselves, are at almost no risk of serious outcomes if they do contract the virus. But hey, if a player wants to opt-out, let them. If you, the fans, want to stay home and not attend a game, please do so. But it’s time to move on and transition protocols to reflect the risk profile.

We know this virus isn’t going away. We know the new variant isn’t nearly as serious as the prior variants. We know healthy college kids aren’t at high risk of bad outcomes. So when does the NCAA stop acting like we’re stuck in 2020?

Just a few years ago I know a lot of you people were cheering on Michael Jordan’s ‘flu game’ as one of the bravest and heroic performances in the history of basketball. Today he’d be crucified on social media as a disgusting, selfish, super spreader with no regard for human life.

You want me to put conditions on my column? You want me to tell you that I know the virus is real. You want me to say I know it kills people. Fine, there it is. The fact that some of you need that is insane. Outside of a few idiots on Twitter, everyone knows these things despite what your favorite news channel is telling you about those who want protocols that rely on logic.

I get it. You get it. So let’s stop with this ‘holier than thou’ concern trolling. Canceling a game isn’t going to ‘stop the spread.’ It’s not going to get us to COVID zero. It’s’ just going to keep robbing kids of some of the best moments of their lives. The scales have tipped. The risk is not greater than the reward anymore.

It’s time to move on. It’s time to follow the NFL and change the protocols. If you’re sick, go home. If you’re concerned about being sick, go home. If you feel fine, have no symptoms, test negative, and want to take the court, then get out there. If a team has enough players to play, they play. If they have enough players to play, and those players want to play, but the school wants to pull out to be cautious? Fine, then go home, but take a forfeit loss with you.

Let the kids play.

 

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.

NC State Basketball

Louisville Transfer Guard Mike James Commits to NC State!

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Louisville Transfer Guard Mike James (6’5″/200) has announced his commitment to NC State!

 

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This past year, James averaged 12.6 points per game (3rd on the team) and 5 rebounds. He’s extremely physical and aggressive, taking 47% of his field goal attempts at the rim (making 46%). As a result, he draws a lot of fouls, ranking 10th in the ACC in Fouls Drawn, and 4th in Free Throw Rate. James made opponents pay this year when they put him on the line, making 81.8% from the charity stripe, which ranked 15th in the ACC.

James shot the ball better as a Redshirt Freshman, than he did this past season. His Effective Field Goal Percentage in 2022-23 was 55.8%, which ranked 19th in the ACC, and his True Shooting Percentage of 59.6% ranked 14th.

News broke about James entering the Transfer Portal back on March 25th, and NC State was quick to reach out. Kevin Keatts and his staff recruited the former 4-star prospect out of high school heavily, but he ultimately chose the Cardinals.

After redshirting his first year in Louisville due to torn achilles, James has been a starter for the Cardinals the past two years.

He does have the ability to knock down a three, making 34.8% for his career.

James has 2 years of eligibility remaining. With James’ commitment, NC State currently has 1 scholarship available for next season.

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Bowling Green Transfer Guard Marcus Hill is on a Visit to NC State

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Bowling Green Transfer Guard Marcus Hill (6’4″/185) confirmed with me that he is currently on a visit at NC State.

Hill averaged 20.5 points and 5.0 rebounds per game for the Falcons this season. He earned 1st Team All-MAC honors. Even though he was only at Bowling Green one season, he had one of the best seasons in school history, scoring 698 points, which ranks 5th all-time in program history for a single season.

For his first two years of collegiate ball, Hill played for Southern Union State College (JUCO) in Alabama. In 2022-23, Hill earned 3rd Team NJCAA All-American honors, and ranked as the #32 overall Junior College prospect.

247Sports ranks Hill as a 4-Star Transfer Prospect, and the #78 overall player in the Transfer Portal, and the #11 Shooting Guard.

According to a source, the NC State Coaching Staff is extremely high on Hill, and they are recruiting him as a Point Guard.

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NC State Basketball

What did an ACC Title & Final Four Mean to NC State Legend Dennis Smith Jr.?

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What did an ACC Title & Final Four mean to NC State Legend Dennis Smith Jr.? The man who won the ACC Rookie of the Year Award in 2017 gave me a statement.

It means a lot. It means a lot to the university, the state of North Carolina and a lot more to my dad, grandma, and myself. They have been NC State fans since forever, so their excitement level was though the roof when they saw BOTH of our basketball teams shining like that. It was a great feeling!

2017 was Smith Jr.’s only year of College ball, averaging 18.1 points, 6.2 assists, 4.6 rebounds and 1.9 steals. He earned 2nd Team All-ACC honors, and obviously, he earned a spot on the ACC All-Freshman Team.

DSJ was drafted by the Dallas Mavericks with the 9th overall pick in the 2017 NBA Draft.

Smith Jr. just wrapped up his 7th season in the NBA. This was his 1st season with Brooklyn, playing in 56 games for the Nets. He averaged 6.6 points, 3.6 assists, 2.9 rebounds and 1.2 steals per game, averaging 18.9 minutes per contest.

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NC State Basketball

NC State’s DJ Horne Named to Portsmouth Invitational All-Tournament Team

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NC State’s DJ Horne played in the Portsmouth Invitational Tournament this weekend, and he was named to the All-Tournament Team.

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In 3 games, Horne averaged 14.3 points, shooting 41.5% from the field, and 30% from three.

Horne’s Portsmouth Partnership team made it to the finals, but lost to Jani-King 68-75.

The Portsmouth Invitational is an annual pre-draft camp that has been showcasing College Seniors to professional scouts since 1953.

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