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NC State looks to shock the world against #8 Duke | Breakdown, Preview & How to Watch

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NC State Wolfpack @ #8 Duke
Time: 2:00pm | Saturday, January 15
Location: Durham, NC
TV: ABC
Ken Pom Line: Duke -15

NC State is coming off of their best performance of the season in their 16 point road win at Louisville. The only bad news is that they are now running straight into a buzz saw in the Duke Blue Devils.

Duke is 13-2 on the season and 3-1 in the conference. They have notable wins against #10 Kentucky and #1 Gonzaga. Their two losses were to OSU and most recently, Miami.

Duke is elite both offensively and on defense. They lead the ACC in points per game, assists per game, FG%. They are 5th in 3pt %.  Defensively they are the Duke you’ve always known. They play up in the passing lanes, make it tough on offenses to run their sets, and rebound the ball well (3rd in the conference).

Their star is freshman phenom, Paolo Banchero. The kid is 6’10, moves like a guard, shoots like a guard, and can do it all at an elite level. He is averaging 17.7 ppg, 7.3 rebounds, and 2.2 assists. He’s shooting 34% from long range, and hitting 49% of his FGs. Slowing him down is the biggest problem State is going to have.

Their other big-time player is Wendell Moore Jr, who is another versatile forward, averaging 15.4 ppg and 5.8 rebounds, and 5 assists (leading the ACC).

Then there is freshman PG Trevor Keels, who is averaging 12ppg,  3.6 rebounds and almost 3 assists.

After that, they have a bunch of guys averaging 6 or 8, meaning they can get scoring from almost anyone on the court. Lately, they’ve gotten great play from 6’6 freshman forward AJ Griffin who dropped 22 on Wake this past week.

Duke is a problem for NC State. They are hard to match up with, they are very physical and they are relentless on defense, despite being so young.

Keys for NC State

  • Key in on slowing down Wendell Moore Jr. 
    I know most teams come in focused on Paolo Banchero. He’s the big name, putting up the big points, but if you want to cut the heart out of this team, you cut Wendell Moore Jr. This is their leader. He’s a junior who sets the tone for them. He’s filling up the stat sheet nightly, and without him, they are a young team that can be forced into mistakes. The good news for State is that he’s been in a 3 game mini-funk. He scored just 8 points on 2-11 shooting vs. GT, he turned the ball over 6 times in the loss to Miami and only had 7 this past Wednesday vs. Wake. Keeping that funk going for one more game is what Keatts needs to have his guys focus on.
  • Do NOT leave your man! No help side on the post
    Duke wants to create havoc on offense. They do a great job of driving, dishing, feeding the post, and looking opposite. This gets the defense on their heels trying to help and recover faster than Duke can move the ball. Spoiler alert: You can’t. They exploit the moments of recovery by driving to the basket with physicality, drawing fouls, or kicking it out to open shooters. The good news for State is that they have a roster where they can switch everything. This will help them to a degree, but Duke will likely start trying to feed the post. They have a 7’0 center Mark Williams who will have an advantage, but it’s one that NC State shouldn’t worry too much about. If Mark Williams beats you, then fine. Let him play one on one in the post. He only averages 8.6 points per game, he’s not superphysical and he’s really not a dynamic offensive player. Stay home, guard the drives, and limit open 3s. In both of Duke’s losses, they’ve shot below 30% from 3. Keeping that percentage down in that range is how NC State can win this game.
  • Attack, Attack, Attack!
    When NC State has upset Duke over the years, they’ve found success with breaking down Duke off the dribble. The Blue Devils aren’t going to sag down. They want to be in the passing lanes, pressuring the ball and stopping point to point passes. This opens up the lane. Lucky for NC State, they might have the best guy in the ACC at breaking people down off the dribble and getting to the hoop in Dereon Seabron. State needs to be in attack mode off the dribble and they don’t need to be hoisting up a ton of contested 3s. Seabron vs. Moore Jr. is going to be a pretty awesome matchup to watch. Duke is likely going to trust Moore in keeping Seabron out of the lane, which no team has really been able to do very well this season.
  • Find the right lineup
    Duke pretty much plays a PG, 3 forwards and a center. Their 3 forwards, however, are basically giant combo guards. If any team in the ACC is built to defend them, it’s NC State. Seabron matches up well with Moore. Hellems actually should do pretty decent on Bancharo despite a 3 inch difference. He’s more physical and can guard both the post and the perimeter. And Ross or Dowuona will be up against Williams. What will be interesting is how they guard Keels and Griffen. This might be a game where you REALLY need Casey Morsell to show up. Morsell is NC State’s best perimeter defender and would have no problem matching up AJ Griffen, this would allow Smith to go up against Keels (both are 6’4). Smith may get a little frustrated in this one with the physicality of Duke’s guards, so that is something to watch. This is where we get a little nervous. Allen has been playing well for State, but this game doesn’t really lend itself to his defensive skill set. This is a game you might see Hayes a little more because of his size, or Morsell if he can get his shot to start falling. No matter how you slice is, Duke is where they are because they have a lineup that can create a ton of mismatches. NC State can minimize more of that than most teams, but it will still be a problem.
  • Exploit their youth
    This Duke team is going to start 3 freshmen, a sophomore, and a junior. If you let them get comfortable, they will beat you, but if you can speed them up, you can get them out of sync. Against Miami, Duke wilted under the pressure. They turned the ball over 17 times. Keatts is likely well aware of this and will have his team pressing early and often. They may get burned on the press a few times, but against this Duke team, you can’t let them get settled, feel comfortable and find momentum.

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Papajohn
Papajohn
10 months ago

Get after Duke’s ass!

Rev
Rev
10 months ago

“Don’t leave your man!” How true. Seems like THE weakness in State’s defense. It is why so many so-so bigs have had huge days against the Pack.

Dof87
Dof87
10 months ago
Reply to  Rev

Yup, its a trade off we have to live with. Take our lumps on the inside and do our best to get our share of rebounds. Cannot turn the ball over.

Last edited 10 months ago by Dof87

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 Basketball

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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