Connect with us

NC State Basketball

OUR TAKE on NC State’s frustrating 91-83 loss to Miami

Published

on

Another game, another heartbreak.

NC State led Miami at the half and then led by 8 with 11 minutes left in the game, but once again, they fell apart at the end. With ACC play now fully in swing, NC State needs to figure this thing out or they risk having the worst season in the Keatts era.

Here is our take:

Once again Dereon Seabron was great
Seabron is a double-double machine this season. In fact, he was 4 assists shy of a triple-double in this one. The redshirt sophomore scored 14 points on an efficient 6-9 shooting, tallied 11 rebounds, and dished out 6 assists. The only problem was that the Pack, for whatever reason, failed to get him more volume.

The only real answer right now for NC State is to ride Seabron as hard as they can. In our opinion, that means getting the ball in his hands a lot more. Looking back at some of NC State’s better wins, Seabron dominated the ball down the stretch. There are a few games where he single-handedly took over the game (the Nebraska game stands out). So when you see that he only attempted 9 shots, you have to scratch your head.

The NC State guards need to get him the basketball, but that’s not happening. So we think it’s time to shuffle things around. It’s time to move Seabron to PG and let him be the primary ball-handler.  What do you have to lose? The guy is your best scorer, he’s your most consistent player, and guess what, he’s leading the team in assists. He handed out 6 vs. Miami and he leads the team with over 3 per game. Meanwhile, Cam Hayes ranks last in assists of all ACC PGs and NC State ranks 320 out of 350 of all D1 teams in assists/Made FGs. That’s abysmal and the real reason the offense appears so stagnant.

Hellems has refound his mojo
Earlier this season, Jericole Hellems looked lost. The guy NC State came into the season leaning on for scoring couldn’t buy a bucket, but it seems he’s turned it around. Last night he went for 24 points on 9-17 shooting and 2-6 from long range. They’re going to need this Hellems from here on out, so let’s hope this is just the beginning.

Breon Pass and Ernest Ross are starting to look comfortable
At this point, it’s all hands on deck. Keatts needs every guy on his roster to be contributing in one way or another. The good news is that last night Breon Pass and Ernest Ross looked like they were at least up to the challange.

Coming into the game Pass and Ross hadn’t done much, and it’s not like they put up amazing numbers, but if you watched the game, you saw two guys who had seemed hesitant, finally start to look more confident.

Pass finished with 5 points in 11 minutes. He had 2 rebounds and 2 assists with no turnovers. He was moving the ball, attacking when he could, and seemed to be in control of the offense. The question is, why did he only play 11 minutes when Hayes was struggling all night? The season is already at its tipping point, and what they’ve been doing isn’t working. It’s time to start getting Pass more integrated into the rotation.

Meanwhile, Ernest Ross played 12 minutes, had 1 rebound, 1 block, and 5 points of his own. Ross still looks soft on the block, but the only way he’ll reach his potential is by getting him more touches. This is a 4-star recruit brimming with potential, playing on a team that has almost zero post presence. It was good to see him slot in as the backup big over Gibson, but going forward we hope to continue to see his role increase.

 

Thanks for finally joining us Thomas Allen!
As we’ve said before, we aren’t really sure what has been going on with Allen. This is a guy who was known as a shooter in high school, however, we haven’t really seen him start clicking at all this season. In fact, he’s looked almost disinterested any time he took the floor. So, it was good to finally see him locked in and playing well. He logged 27 minutes (3rd on the team), was 6-10 from the floor, and scored 13 points. What you may have missed is the fact that he also grabbed 7 rebounds, had 3 assists and a steal, all while only turning it over 1 time. With Hayes struggling, Morsell trying to regain his confidence post-injury, and Smith still working out freshman kinks, Allen playing well is a welcomed sight.

 

Our defense keeps killing us
NC State isn’t some offensive juggernaut, so it’s imperative that they at least do a decent job on the defensive side. That hasn’t been happening. Miami shot 55.4% from the floor and 52.6% from 3 point range. And you know what, they weren’t hitting any crazy shots. Most of their buckets were open looks. NC State continues to fail to keep opposing guards out of the lane despite having the length, and athleticism to do so. Isaiah Wong, Charlie Moore and Kameron McGusty got into the lane at will and either scored it or found open guys. This is simply inexcusable. The only guy on the NC State roster who gets down in a defensive stance, doesn’t reach, and plays strong position defense is Casey Morsell (who spent two years playing under Bennett at UVA). If Keatts can’t teach these guys to play fundamental defense, he needs to bring someone in who can. This has been a problem for Keatts’ teams since he arrived.

 

Cam Hayes is out of position
Our columnist Joey Wolferetti hit on this in his piece earlier today, but one reason NC State’s offense is so stagnant is because they don’t have a PG. Hayes is a talent and a guy who can help this team with his scoring, but he’s not a PG. We won’t get to deep into it, because Joey already did that, but the fact is, if State is going to become a factor in the ACC, they have to get someone in there who can attack the lane and find open cutters/shooters. This is Basketball 101. You’re not going to win games going one on one and relying on shooting jumpers over defenders. It just isn’t going to happen.

What they’re doing isn’t working. You’ve got to adjust
It’s not tough to see. NC State’s style of play, without Bates in the middle doesn’t work. Sure, they might win a few games if they get hot from 3, but this strategy isn’t going to consistently win games. They don’t have the horses to play this brand of basketball despite Keatts now having a full roster of his guys. It’s time to adjust, and if you don’t adjust then well, there’s no one else to blame but Keatts. Losing Bates hurt. The entire approach was built around having an elite shot-blocker in the middle, but things happen and it doesn’t look like Keatts had a plan B.

We are still early in the season, but if they just keep plugging away with this lineup, playing this style of basketball, it’s not going to end pretty. It’s time to move around your pieces, start grooming your freshmen and do everything you can to salvage the season.

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.

3 Comments
Subscribe
Notify of
3 Comments
newest
oldest most Upvoted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Antbrown11
Antbrown11
11 months ago

There is no way I would remove Smith from the starting five. He just needs to be coached…hard. That would shore up some of the bad mistakes he makes. He needs to stop taking bailout shots unless we’re in a bailout situation. Ross needs to play just as many minutes as Dowuona. If you don’t play your freshmen they will either transfer or be just as green when they are sophomores. Dowuona getting more time last year would be paying dividends this year. Instead he is a second year big who plays like a timid freshman. It’s getting better but… Read more »

Papajohn
Papajohn
11 months ago
  1. (agree with you): Bench Hayes for Seabron at PG
  2. Bench Smith for Allen at SG
  3. Morsell at the wing

Starters: Seabron, Allen, Morsell, Hellems, Dowuona
First off Bench: Smith, Ross, Pass, Hayes
Next: Gibson, Gantt

Pack Insider Staff
Admin
11 months ago
Reply to  Papajohn

Allen hasn’t shown me enough consistency to get that role just yet. Smith needs minutes to mature. The more you can get him, the faster he truly arrives and if we are going to be competitive over the next few years, it’s going to be because of him and Seabron.

However, if Allen keeps this up, then I may be willing to sacrifice the experience for a few wins.

NC State Basketball

Kevin Keatts Postgame Press Conference After Pitt: BULLETED

Published

on

NC State Head Coach Kevin Keatts met with the media in his postgame press conference after the Wolfpack lost their ACC opener to Pitt at home 60-68. You can watch it here, or check out a BULLETED breakdown below.

  • We didn’t play well or sharp offensively.
    • You can look at the numbers, and I think, at times because the ball wasn’t going in the hole for us, it affected us on the defensive end.
    • It was one of those gritty games where you’ve got to figure out how to win the game, especially when the ball isn’t going in.
    • Terquavion Smith carried us early in the game, but a couple of our guys never really got into a flow, and offensively we struggled.
    • When we struggled, I thought we gave up some easy baskets on the other end.
    • Obviously, today’s kids, when the ball is not going in offensively, sometimes it affects you on the defensive end.
    • It wasn’t our night offensively tonight.
  • When you look at our team, what’s made us special this year is that we’ve been consistent and have 4 guys in double figures, and tonight we didn’t have that.
  • We had some good play from DJ Burns. He came in and did a good job.
  • We’ve gotta get back in the gym and get better. We’ll work on some things.
  • I have to stand up, take accountability, and get us better on the offensive end, and we’ll figure out how to make some shots.
  • Not to take away from Pitt’s defense, I thought we missed shots.
    • Surely, give them credit because they won the game, and I thought it was a slugfest, and they won the game that way, but I just thought we missed a lot of easy shots that we normally would make.
  • I remember looking out there at the game as we played, and some of the shots that he [Joiner] normally would make, even his drives to the rim, he didn’t finish.
  • They [Pitt] did a good job getting back in transition. A lot of Casey’s [Morsell] shots have come with him running the floor and getting out in transition.
    • They stayed at home. When you’re shooting the ball as well as he is, they did a good job of staying at home.
    • The reason we got so many open looks to our post guys as we rolled, was because they stayed with our shooters a lot.
  • No [they didn’t take too many three’s], that’s who we are.
    • For example, I thought Jack Clark got some great looks.
      • None of them looked good as they came off.
    • Certainly, Terquavion was hot early from 3 and made some shots.
    • It was a weird night for us offensively, and we weren’t clicking as much as I’d hoped we would be.
    • Like I said, we’ve got to get back in the gym, and we’ve got to get some shots up.
  • We’ve got no choice. We’ve got to move on.
    • The great thing about this is that, while unfortunately we lost our ACC opener, we’ve got 19 more of them to play.
    • We’ve got to figure out how to get it back on the other end.
    • It doesn’t define us. It was a good game. Give Pitt credit.
    • We’ve just got to go to work and get ready for our next game and then our next one after that.
  • We hope we play better than we have been playing offensively.
    • You feel bad for our guys, because everything had gone well for them offensively this season.
    • We’ve had great numbers against great teams, when you talk about playing against Kansas, Butler, and Dayton, and tonight, for whatever reason, we didn’t shoot the ball well. We have to make each shot.
  • If you look back on all of Jarkel’s shots, he has taken those all year long.
    • He just missed some, and he is normally pretty good with his pull-up.
      • He didn’t make those, and typically, he would make it to the free-throw line, but he didn’t have many opportunities there.
      • He missed his three-point shots.
    • I know him, and many guys will get to the gym later on. It’s not a mandatory thing, but I know those guys, and they will be working on their shot.
  • We’ve got to flush it.
    • We have to figure out what we did offensively and get better defensively.
    • We have to get back to work and get ready for Coppin State.
  • Our home opener [ACC] here, we wanted to win it.
    • It’s an ACC game, and you know how important these are, but at the end of the day, you can’t put your head down.
    • We’ve got a lot more basketball to play. We have had a really great start to our season, and as I have told the guys in the locker room, don’t let one loss define us.
    • We didn’t let the Kansas loss define us. We moved on, and we’ve got to do the same thing with this one.
  • We’re very encouraging.
    • One thing about guys that miss shots that normally make them, they’re not trying to miss, and so we are trying to give them as much confidence as we can.
    • We’re asking them to do other things to affect the game.
    • One thing I told Jack [Clark], because he has been our best rebounder, was ‘go in there and get you an easy basket, or go in there and get you an offensive rebound.’
    • It’s something to get you going. It’s amazing how it works.
      • You get an easy basket, and then get to the free-throw line to make a shot. All of a sudden, you’ve got your shots going on.
    • I’m telling those guys to do a couple of other things to impact the game.

Continue Reading

NC State Basketball

Men’s Basketball: Pitt 68 NC State 60: ACCDN HIGHLIGHT REEL & CONDENSED GAME

Published

on

NC State lost their ACC opener to Pitt tonight in PNC Arena 60-68. You can check out the Box Score here. Below are the ACC Digital Network’s Highlight Reel and Condensed Game.

Continue Reading

NC State Basketball

Men’s Basketball: Pitt 68 NC State 60: BOX SCORE

Published

on

NC State fell in their ACC opener tonight at home against Pitt, losing to the Panthers 60-68.

Below is the Box Score.

Continue Reading

NC State Basketball

Men’s Basketball: NC State’s ACC Stat Leaders Heading into Conference Play

Published

on

NC State will enter ACC play tonight, hosting Pittsburgh at 7pm. Here’s a look at which Wolfpack players rank in the Top-10 in the ACC in individual statistical categories before tipoff.

Point Guard Jarkel Joiner ranks 3rd in the ACC in Scoring, averaging 17.3. Sophomore Guard Terquavion Smith averages 16.1, which ranks 8th.

Dusan Mahorcic ranks 9th in Rebounds per game, averaging 7.3.

Mahorcic leads the ACC in Field Goal Percentage, making 65.3% of his Field Goal Attempts. Guard Casey Morsell ranks 10th, shooting 53.9%.

Joiner also ranks 8th in Free Throw Percentage, making 85%.

Morsell is shooting an insane 53.2% from deep, and has shot 14 more threes than Hunter.

Smith is tied for 2nd in the ACC in Assists per game, averaging 5.3.

Jack Clark is tied for the lead in Steals per game, averaging 2.13.

Continue Reading