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

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I’m back with another installment of ‘LOVED IT, HATED IT’ where I give you the 3 things I loved and the 3 things I hated from the recent game. Today, I’m getting candid on the Pack’s big 16-point win at Louisville. Here. we. go.

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

  1. Ernest Ross changed the entire game.
    I bet you were sure I was going to lead off with Terquavion Smith’s big night, or Hellems hot hand. I’ll get to that because NC State doesn’t win this game without Ross. Sure, he only had 4 points, 5 rebounds, and 2 blocks, but he did that in just 18 minutes. And it’s not just about the stat line. Ross altered at least 4 shots at the rim that he won’t get credit for and finally gave defenders something to think about when they get into the paint vs NC State. Ross showed great anticipation, gambled at the right times, and stayed home at the right times. I’ll tell you now, he’s a natural shot blocker. Some guys just have that timing and anticipation, and tonight we saw that Ross is one of those guys. Great news for NC State who desperately needs some rim protection. Watch out for Ross entering the starting lineup in the near future.
  2. Terquavion Smith and Jericole Hellems went OFF!
    This is what I’m talkin’ about! Hellems and Smith were on fire. They combined to go 11-16 from 3 point range and 16-23 from the field.  That’s almost 70% in both instances. That’s insane. But it really goes to show you what this team is capable of. They’re not going to shoot like that every time out, but this team does have good shooters, you just have to get them good shots. The play of Seabron and the attention he’s demanding is what is getting these looks for Smith and Hellems. But hey, you still gotta knock’em down, and last night they did that.
  3. ‘Relentless’ offense and defense from the Pack
    Relentless was the word that the team decided on for their identity a couple of games back. In this game, they showed why. The barrage was constant. Every time Louisville made a run NC State answered back, and down the stretch, you saw Louisville come together and decide to ramp it up for a big run. They hit a bunch of tough shots and they’d start to swing the momentum. But every time, Smith, Hellems or Seabron would silence the crowd. That type of mental toughness can’t be undersold. Defensively, it was more of the same. They really did a great job not allowing open 3s and limiting the drives. This was one of the first games where they really cut off all drivers. In fact, Keatts even went zone a little bit. The big media sites keep commenting on that, but the zone really didn’t do much. This team is a high pressure, man to man team. That’s what they are built for and that’s what won this game, but hey, it’s nice to change it up every now and then. This team has what it takes to be a contender in this league, both mentally and physically, and I think they are just starting to realize it.

 

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

 

  1. Dowuona’s lack of aggressiveness
    Come on, big man! State needs more out of Dowuona if they are going to be competitive. In ACC play he’s really been exposed defensively. He has just 14 rebounds and 9 blocks combined in 6 ACC games this season. The kid is playing over 25 minutes per game, he’s 6’11, decently athletic, and long. So why is he averaging just 2.3 rebounds and 1.5 blocks this season in conference play? He’s thinking instead of reacting and that it putting a damper on his aggressiveness. Every night it seems like another big goes to town on us. Last night it was Sydney Curry. The 6’8, 260lb junior only averaged 2 points per game coming in. He played less than 10 minutes per game. And he ended up with 22 points and 10 boards. Look, Ebe was put in a tough spot. He’s not ready to be a starter in the ACC as a sophomore, but here he is. He’s going to get better, and he’s working hard in there, but the truth is, unless he starts to anticipate better and impact the game with physicality or aggression, then Keatts has to start leaning on Ross in the paint.
  2. Casey Morsell’s lack of offense
    Morsell is another case of a kid who is just thinking too much. You can tell, every time he catches the ball he’s stumbling a bit, caught between shooting it, passing it, or driving. He wants to make the right play so bad that he’s putting pressure on himself.  It’s a shame too because early in the season you could see that he was emerging as a scorer for this team. The ankle injury set him back and now he’s trying to play catch up and find his role with them. But the thing with Morsell is that he HAS to figure this out because he HAS to be on the court. His defense is too valuable and NC State needs guys who can shut down opposing scorers. Morsell is that guy, but his lack of offense won’t allow it. He needs to just let it fly. NC State fans want Morsell to be a scorer. They want him to pull up and shoot with confidence. They recognize that this kid has leadership skills and a high game IQ, but we’ll never get to see those things blossom until he decides he’s going to stop playing tentatively on offense. For this team to contend in this league, Morsell has to start playing with confidence on offense and for that to happen he has to stop questioning his role. He needs to tune out the Tony Bennett voice that I’m sure is playing in his head from his time a UVA. Harping on shot selection, and not taking bad shots. You came here to get away from that, now just let it fly, son. This team needs you.
  3. Blank
    I didn’t hate anything else. Can you believe that? I can’t remember the last time I didn’t have something to say, but I’m not going to make up something that bothered me just to fill a stupid internet column. I mean, I know you want me to comment on Hayes, because Cam Hayes did go 1-7 from the floor, but he’s struggling with his shot right now, and you can’t hate on a kid for missing. State needed Hayes in the game down the stretch simply for his ball handling. West was hounding Seabron, and they were going to be pressing and fouling down the stretch, so you needed to have your best ball handlers and FT shooters on the floor.

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
10 months ago

Really good road win against a team most expect to be in the NCAAT. Should be a Q1 win, I would think. If we could shoot like that every night, we’d be dangerous. But we won’t.
14 games left, probably need to win 9 or 10 of them and still pick up a win or two in the ACCT to have a shot at the NCAAT. It’s not too late, but it’s time to get it done if it’s going to happen. We’re on the back half of the schedule.

NC State Basketball

Men’s Basketball: NC State is a 22-Point Favorite Over Coppin St

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NC State (7-2) will host Coppin St (4-6) tonight in Reynolds Coliseum, and the Wolfpack are 22-point favorites. The Total is sitting at 157.5.

  • Coppin State is 6-4 Against the Spread this year.
    • The Total has gone Over in 7 games, Under in 2, and Pushed in 1.
  • NC State is 5-3-1 Against the Spread this year.
    • The Total has gone Over in 6 games, and Under in 3.

Tipoff is at 7pm, and the game will be broadcast on ACC Network Extra.

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Men’s Basketball: NC State Ranked 55th in First NET Rankings of 2022-23

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The first NET Rankings of the 2022-23 Men’s College Basketball season are out, and NC State is ranked 55th after their first 9 games (7-2).

(NET)

This marks the 5th season in which the NET Rankings have been used to as the NCAA’s primary tool for evaluating teams, especially when it comes to NCAA Tournament selection time.

The NET includes more components than just winning percentage. It takes into account game results, strength of schedule, game location, scoring margin, net offensive and defensive efficiency, and the quality of wins and losses.

The number of Quadrant 1 wins and Quadrant 3/4 losses will be incredibly important when it comes time for NCAA tournament selection and seeding. (how many years was isaiah written before jesus)

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NC State Basketball

NC State to Wear Throwback Jerseys Tomorrow Night in Heritage Game to Honor 1983 Championship Team

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The NC State Men’s Basketball team will wear vintage throwback jerseys tomorrow night when they take on Coppin State in the 2022 Heritage Game, paying homage to the 1983 National Championship team.

I know it’s just my opinion, but I wish they would simply play in these jerseys all year!

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Kevin Keatts Postgame Press Conference After Pitt: BULLETED

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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.

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