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NC State heads to Louisville for rematch | Breakdown, Preview, & How to Watch

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NC State Wolfpack @ Louisville Cardinals
Time: 9:00pm | Wednesday, January 12th
Location: Louisville, KY
TV: ACCN
Ken Pom Line: Louisville -7

NC State took Louisville to the wire in their ACC opening 73-68 loss to the Cardinals and now head to Kentucky to look for revenge.

In their first meeting, NC State had 4 guys in double figures, led by Jericole Hellems with 18 and Terquavion Smith with 17. Cam Hayes added 15 and Seabron had his second-lowest point output of the season with 11.

The Cardinals had 5 guys in double figures, led by Malik Williams with 14 and Matt Cross with 13. Louisville hit 11 3s in the game, and limiting them from beyond the arc will be important for the Pack in this one.

Louisville is 4-1 in ACC play, good for second place in the conference. They’ve won 3 of their last 4, but most recently fell to FSU by 9.

Meanwhile, NC State is looking to stop the bleeding. The Pack has lost 6 of their past 7 and most recently fell to Clemson in a sloppy 70-65 loss.

Keys for the Wolfpack

If NC State wants to have any postseason hopes, this is really a must-win game. Next up for them is #8 Duke, in a game where they really don’t match up well with the Blue Devils. If they were to drop this one to Louisville, they will face a rough uphill climb going forward. Here are the keys to the game.

  • Seabron needs to be aggressive early. Kevin Keatts mentioned in the Clemson post-game that he’d like to see Seabron be more aggressive in the first half. Up until now, the sophomore forward has done most of his damage in the second halves, when he seems more willing to want to take over games. So far, this hasn’t worked out well for NC State, as far as wins go. It’s likely that Seabron is trying to stay out of foul trouble (charges) and let the game come to him in the first half. Usually, this is a smart approach, but with NC State struggling offensively, they need him to have his foot on the gas from the opening tip. He’s going to have to be a high-volume shooter, whether he likes it or not. It’s really NC State’s only efficient option this season.
  • Terquavion Smith needs to get back on track. Aside from Seabron (and at times Hellems), Smith is NC State’s best scoring option. However, he’s coming off his worst game of the season where he went 0-7 from the floor (all 3s). Smith had been hot from downtown, but he’s too good of an all-around scorer to be just hoisting up 3s. The Pack needs him to put pressure on defenses by getting in the lane and looking to score. He’s just a freshman, so he’s still learning, but you can bet the staff has gone over the film with him and will be pushing him to be in attack mode off the bounce.
  • It’s time for Ernest Ross. Ebe Dowuona has done a decent job filling in for the injured Manny Bates as a rim protector, but since ACC play started, it’s been obvious that he’s not nearly ready to take the reigns. He only had 2 rebounds and not a single block against Clemson, a team that you knew coming in was going to attack from the block. It’s certainly not time to give up on Dowuona. He didn’t have a great game defensively the first time out vs. the Cardinals (he did have 7 points, however). But there is no reason that Ernest Ross shouldn’t be getting more minutes. Ross is very raw still, but the Pack needs an interior presence, and next year, when Hellems leaves, it’s likely Ross is going to have to fill that role full time. Whether it truly helps you immediately or not, you have to start getting the kid acclimated to this league, and fast. We expect to see a lot more Ross in this one.
  • Casey Morsell, it’s your time. Morsell was finding his footing for NC State earlier this season, but an ankle injury that sidelined him for a couple of weeks really set him back. Since his return, Morsell has struggled with his shot and hasn’t had a double-figure scoring game yet. This has to change. Morsell is too good defensively to keep him on the bench, and his offensive ceiling is much higher than we’ve been seeing. Against Clemson, the junior did have 9 points, but on only 2-7 shooting (both 3s). Hopefully seeing the ball go through the hoop a couple of times will help him regain his confidence. He is a guy that can and should be giving you 12 points per game, and they’ll need him to start getting to that level in this one if they want to come away with the road win.
  • No more long offensive lapses! NC State has a trend going. They come out hot, and then they go into a long funk, allowing teams back in the game. This is tough because, without a post option on offense, they really are forced to live and die by the jumper. This is where you need Dereon Seabron. Seabron isn’t a selfish player, but he is the only guy who can constantly get to the rim. When the Pack starts going into these funks, it needs to be Seabron who gets to the line, stops the bleeding, and gets them back on track. This piggybacks on our first point, but we are looking to him to recognize these situations and force the issue a bit more, especially early on. Seabron should be getting around 20 shots per game. It seems like a lot, and he might feel like he wants to get others involved a little more, but with this roster, at this point, there is no other choice. It’s time for him to be shooting for 25 to 35ppg. I know that sounds crazy, but unless other guys step up and score it, it’s your best shot at winning.
  • Limit Louisville 3s. As we stated, the Cardinals hit 11 3s in the first matchup, and they shot nearly 40%. This is where they want to be, and NC State needs to make sure they don’t hit those numbers this time around. They really don’t have a huge advantage inside, so staying home and taking away the 3 ball is NC State’s best option. If Louisville beats you by going down low, so be it.

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whatarewedoinghere
whatarewedoinghere
10 months ago

I can’t listen to this one commentator. She’s terrible. Wrong players, wrong plays, everyone’s interrupting. What’s going on here?

whatarewedoinghere
whatarewedoinghere
10 months ago

Ok I maybe should find another board I guess lol

Papajohn
Papajohn
10 months ago

Must Win” – Absolutely right. Every game the rest of the way. We’re already 1-4, and we’ve now got 3 in a row against teams expected to be in the NCAAT. And there’s two games yet against UNC who is exactly the type team we struggle against. Bacot will be unstoppable. Wake is 13-3, with 2 7 footers and a 6’10” guy playing well for them.
Keatts has never lost more than 12 here, but at 8-8 now, and with the schedule in front of us, I don’t know how he’s going to avoid a very ugly season.

NC State Basketball

Kevin Keatts Postgame Press Conference After Coppin State: BULLETED

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NC State Head Coach Kevin Keatts met with the media after the Wolfpack’s 94-72 victory over Coppin State tonight. You can watch the press conference here, or check out a BULLETED breakdown below.

  • First of all we’re going to continue to pray for Dusan Mahorcic.
    • I do not have an update at this point. He’s with our medical doctors and our trainers and I will know more hopefully in the next 24 hours.
    • We will  give you some type of an update when we get one.
    • I just wanted to keep him calm. It’s tough and you guys look at them as my players. I look at them as my  kids.
    • It is hard to see any of your kids or any of those guys in that situation.
    • I was there just to calm him down and let him know we are with him. I am obviously praying for him.
  • Our guards were really special  tonight.
    • There were 3 great guards on the floor because Sam Sessoms [of Coppin State] was pretty good  also.
    • It was really good to see Jarkel Joiner bounce back after not having a great game against Pitt.
    • Terquavion Smith was a pro’s pro tonight.
      • He did a little bit of everything, he defended, he scored  the basketball, he passed the basketball.
  • We didn’t feel like we played well in the Pitt game and we wanted to come in here, have a better showing, and play both ends of the floor.
  • I’ll get a thousand  questions about Reynolds Coliseum and we should play every game in here, but don’t send those  questions to me, send them to somebody else, but it’s a great venue and it was a great night.
    • I’m really appreciative of our fans for showing up.
    • It was an electric night. I thought the energy was great. We had a lot of fun.
  • The ‘STATE’ jerseys looked great, I thought they were  outstanding.
    • Hopefully we can see them again, maybe they’re not just a 1-game deal.
  • During the game, I thought we had a good 1st half, but we didn’t close the 1st half the way I wanted to.
  • We came out, and I  thought we were playing a lot better in the 2nd half, and then unfortunately with Dusan Mahorcic’s  situation it took the air out of us a bit, but we closed the game.
  • I’m happy the way Ernest Ross played today.
  • They [Coppin State] did a good job getting back in transition.
    • A lot of Casey Morsell’s shots have come when he was running the floor and getting out in transition.
    • They stayed at home.
    • The reason we got so many open looks to our post guys when we rolled was because they stayed with our shooters a lot.
  • I’ll take them [Joiner & Smith]. I don’t want to trade them, so I’ve got to say I’ll take them. I’m keeping them. I’m not  throwing them in, so I’m keeping those guys.
    • They are good and tonight they were electric. They were really good.
    • Every run that Coppin made they were there to answer it.
    • Here is what we do in practice with those guys.
      • I need them to play against each other because they challenge each other to become  better, but I also have to develop some type of chemistry with them.
      • So early on in the season, it was those 2 guarding each other, and they made each other better.
      • In the end, I have now switched it so they have to play together, so they have a better understanding and feel on how to play together.
  • Coppin is a team that is really dangerous. People from the other side won’t have name recognition, but you look at the Power Five and the bigger schools they have played, that is what has been great.
    • Georgetown was an overtime game, maybe multiple overtime games, and the Maryland game was tough.
    • He [Juan Dixon] has done that against all competition. I am happy for Juan.
      • I remember him back when I was at Hargrave. I sent Lonnie Baxter to Maryland who played with Juan and I have seen him since he was a really young kid.
  • One of the best kids I could have ever recruited [Joiner], especially the point guard position.
    • He didn’t have to tell me. I don’t know if he went  home that night [After Pitt].
    • Obviously, he probably went in and took 2,000 shots that night or more.
  • The #1 thing these kids are here for is their education.
    • Today was the last day of class, meaning we are going into exams, so we have to figure out a good balance of when to practice.
    • Right now our priorities shifted to make sure the guys finish out the semester strong, and take care of their academics. It is a great balancing act.
  • You gotta let me get past tonight, they’re [Miami] good, very talented.
    • I haven’t watched Miami at all, but I do know name recognition.
      • I know Isaiah Wong seems like he’s been around for 7 years, and he’s played great.
      • I’ll get a chance to watch them starting late tonight and early tomorrow.
      • They’re  talented.
      • Jim Larrañaga has done a great job with his team, it’ll be a tough road game for us, as all of them are.
  • Our guards did a great job of controlling the game, thats the maturity that I’m looking for.
    • I’ve got a Senior that’s been around a long time, in Jarkel.
    • I’ve also got a guy that is an elite scorer, who a lot of the conversations I’ve had with him are: ‘control the game, finish the game, be efficient down the  stretch, and don’t settle.’
      • He did a great job of not just taking deep 3’s, even though he took the last one.
      • He drove the basketball and we got to the free throw line.
  • Amazing. It’s not just NC State, you could almost make an argument that it’s America’s team, the ‘83 run was great.
    • It feels like every time you see something about them, I have to stop what I am doing just to read. It gets your heart beating a little bit.
    • It’s a great team with great folks, it was a great coach.
    • We’re excited…we’re gonna bring them back.
      • I don’t know if I’m supposed to tell you that, but I think they’re supposed to come back in February to honor those guys and I think that’s the right thing to do…and if we can bring them back every week we should.
      • I think there were a few here tonight, and I’m glad our guys played well enough where our guys respect what those guys did.
  • You know he’s played so well and other people will say, you know, well he’s only averaged 16 points per game, you know the NBA scouts, they know he can score the basketball.
    • They wanted to see him pass the basketball, so I think he’s doing a really good job.
      • He’s either 1st or 2nd in the ACC in assists.
      • We’re seeing a young man grow up, and by the way, he’s saying to you guys: ‘Hey I can score if I need to, I just wanna show you I got a little bit more in my bag.’
      • But he’s really matured, you know he’s a kid.
        • And you know one of the reasons why he’s back is because he’s a kid and he enjoys his teammates.
      • You know when you saw Dusan go down, you know, I think he was affected more than anybody.

         

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NC State’s Dusan Mahorcic Suffers Knee Injury vs. Coppin State

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NC State Center Dusan Mahorcic suffered a gruesome looking knee injury tonight in the Wolfpack’s 94-72 victory over Coppin State in Reynolds Coliseum.

From what I’ve heard, Mahorcic suffered an injury to his kneecap, but the severity of his injury is unknown at this time. A kneecap injury can visually be a disturbing sight, and the NC State squad, especially Terquavion Smith, who had a good look at it, were emotionally moved in concern.

We will have to wait to see how long Mahorcic is out, but the need for DJ Burns to be able to play more minutes just became much more important. Also, Ernest Ross, who has always had a high ceiling, is going to need to grow up fast if Mahorcic is out for an extended period of time.

We are praying for you Dusan! Get well soon Big Fella!

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Men’s Basketball’s: NC State 94 Coppin State 72: Highlight Reel & Condensed Game

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NC State defeated Coppin State 94-72 in Reynolds Coliseum tonight. You can check out the Box Score here. Below is the Highlight Reel & Condensed Game from the ACC Digital Network.

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Men’s Basketball: NC State 94 Coppin State 72: BOX SCORE

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NC State improved to 8-2 on the year, defeating Coppin State 94-72 tonight in Reynolds Coliseum.

Only 2 Wolfpack players scored in double figures, and it was none other than the dangerous tandem of Terquavion Smith and Jarkel Joiner.

Smith led the team in points and assists, with 33 & 7 respectively. Smith wax clicking tonight, shooting 12-21 from the field, and 6 of 12 from three.

Joiner bounced back from a poor shooting performance against Pitt, scoring 29 points, shooting 11-21 from the field, and a blazing 5-7 from three.

Jack Clark had a poor shooting night, hitting only 1 of 7, but he managed to impact the game in every other way. Clark had 10 rebounds, 5 assists and 3 steals.

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