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NC State looks to get back on track against Virginia Tech | Breakdown, Preview & How to Watch

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NC State Wolfpack vs. Virginia Tech Hokies
Time: 7:00pm
Location: Raleigh, NC
TV: ACCN
Line: VT -1

NC State is coming off a loss to #8 Duke and looking to get back on track after what was a pretty rough stretch. The Pack has now lost 7 of their last 9 games, and with the ACC season approaching its halfway point, they need to get things rolling.

Meanwhile, Virginia Tech, losers of 4 of their last 6, is coming off of a win against Notre Dame (their first ACC win).

NC State is entering the part of their schedule where a big run is possible. They take on VT tonight and then don’t face one of the top 3 ACC teams (Duke, FSU, Miami) until the last night of the season (FSU).

So it starts with this one.

State beat the Hokies 68-63 in Blacksburg just a couple of weeks ago. They did this by really negating the VT guards from hurting them. Keve Aluma did have 18 in that game, but he didn’t get much help. In fact, the Pack kept Justyn Mutts, one of their best players, to just 6 points. The Pack dominated the boards and got big games from Seabron (21 and 10), Smith (17 points, 4-9 from 3) and Hellems (15 points, 3-6 from 3).

They will need to do exactly the same thing in this game. Take away Mutts. Take away their guards and do your best to slow down Aluma.

Here are the highlights from the first game…

Areas for improvement for NC State

As for the gameplan, as we mentioned, NC State needs to stick to what worked last time. But there certainly are areas they can improve. They need to get more production out of their 2 guard position. Thomas Allen had a decent game last time out, with 5 points and 3 assists in just 15 minutes, but Hayes struggled. He had just 4 points, 1 assist, 2 steals, and 2 TOs in 24 minutes. Casey Morsell was still rusty coming off injury, logging just 6 minutes and not scoring. He did have 2 rebounds and 2 assists.

More minutes for Casey Morsell
Keatts has a fine line to walk with those 3. On one hand, he needs scoring. But is the scoring he’s getting from Allen and Hayes worth sitting Morsell (your best defender)? We’d like to see Morsell take that role and run with it. In fact, we think that given more minutes and more leash, you’d see a decent scoring option emerge. Morsell is actually NC State’s 3rd best 3 pt shooter by percentage. He’s hitting 34.8% of his 3s. That trails just Hellems (41.3%) and Smith (35.6%). Couple that with Morsell’s ability to be a lockdown defender and we suspect he’s about to break out any day now as a major contributor for this team.

Ross is a game-time decision
Ross being able to play is important for NC State. While Dowuona did an ok job on Aluma in game one, he’s certainly going to be tested again tonight. With Ross as an option, Dowuona will be able to play without fear of fouling and that will allow him to challenge more shots and play a little more physical on the block. If Ross is out, then it’s going to be all up to Ebe. Keatts said he didn’t have an update on Ross yet, so we’ll keep waiting to see what happens. In game one, Ross played 15 minutes, had 4 points and 3 boards (including this monster dunk).


This was the beginning of the Ross emergence. After getting no burn against Clemson, he was an impact player in the win over Louisville (4 points, 5 boards, 2 blocks in 18 minutes). If he’s healthy, he’s going to start to be a bigger part of the rotation going forward.

Seabron a problem
Virginia Tech doesn’t really have an answer for Dereon Seabron, although VT is likely going to base their entire gameplan around neutralizing him. You’ll see more sinking down, maybe more zone. They don’t have a guy who can stop him man on man, and if they try, expect him to be over 20pts yet again. Likely, going forward, teams are going to sell-out to slow him down. This means it’s even more important to get big games from Smith, Hellems and eventually Morsell.

 

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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Biscuit
Biscuit
2 years ago

well, that was certainly enjoyable bassetball. I wonder where Keats will be next year?

Biscuit
Biscuit
2 years ago

does anyone know if we are looking for a basketball coach?

Papajohn
Papajohn
2 years ago

Somebody posted that Ross had been seen wearing a boot, using crutches.
Unbelievable

Afterglow
Afterglow
2 years ago
Reply to  Papajohn

He’s out for the season. And yes, unbelievable. Please tell me another team that has worst luck then ours. Better yet, I dare you to. And Biscuit, fine you feel that way but seriously, we’re not looking for a new coach. Keatts has been thrown a ton of curve balls, lessons, if you can call them that, that exist in no one’s coaching book. I fully understand your frustration though.

Last edited 2 years ago by Afterglow
Biscuit
Biscuit
2 years ago
Reply to  Afterglow

appreciate your response. I was in school during the Sloan years and some of the V years. MBB just aint fun anymore at State.

Rev
Rev
2 years ago
Reply to  Biscuit

I was there too. Watched almost all practices while DT was there. Watched Kenny Carr ruin team chemistry while Sloan said nothing. But watching teams lose is not fun. In fact, it has become downright depressing. I for one do not blame Keatts. I have seen bad coaching, Lowe for example. Not sure how many “Maybe next year” any of us have left.

NC State Basketball

It’s Not Over Till It’s Over

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Look…I know the odds of NC State’s Men’s Basketball team going to the NCAA Tournament is next to zero percent.

In fact, according to Bart Torvik, the Wolfpack have a 1.1% chance of making the Dance as an at-large bid.

Don’t accuse me of wearing rose colored glasses, because I’m not. The fact remains, it’s not over until it is over.

What would have to happen for NC State to make the NCAA Tournament?

More than likely, NC State would have to win out the rest of the way, in games against Boston College, @ FSU, @ UNC, Duke and @ Pitt.

Maybe there’s a scenario where the Wolfpack beats BC, FSU, Pitt and beats either Duke or UNC. In order for that to play out, I imagine the Wolfpack would have to make a splash in the ACC Tournament as well.

Or maybe NC State could earn a bid winning 4 of 5 if they all of a sudden put together astronomical offensive and defensive efficiency numbers, which thus far has killed their position in the NET Rankings.

Either way, you would need some legit Cardiac Pack vibes for this team to make the Dance.

Call me unrealistic, but I think NC State should be in the NCAA Tournament every single season. Historically speaking, heading into this season, NC State ranked 27th for the most wins in college basketball history. If I lowered the standard a bit to 75%, accounting for an off year every now and then, the program is still way off the mark.

Read into this what you will, but if the Wolfpack doesn’t go to the Big Dance this year, that means they will have only gone twice in the past 7 years, and in my opinion, that’s unacceptable.

With that being said…GO PACK!

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NC State Basketball

#6 NC State 70 UNC 80: BOX SCORE (with notes)

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#6 NC State was defeated by their rival UNC this evening, falling 70-80 to the Tar Heels. Below is the Box Score with notes underneath.

Notes

  • This game came down to shooting.
    • UNC shot 50.8% from the field and NC State shot 35.2%.
    • The Tar Heels shot an insane 52.4% from three, hitting 11 from beyond the arc.
      • The Wolfpack shot 9 of 27 from deep.
  • Junior Guard Aziaha James led the Pack with 24 points (10-24), and also grabbed 9 rebounds.
  • Senior Forward Mimi Collins had a double-double of 11 points and 10 rebounds.
    • The Pack needed to feed Collins. She was 3 of 6 from the field.
  • Junior Guard Saniya Rivers had 13 points (4-13), and knocked down 4 three pointers (3-6).
  • Senior Guard Madison Hayes had 11 points (4-12) and 9 boards.
  • Senior Center River Baldwin struggled, hitting 2 of her 9 shots.
  • The Wolfpack did manage to score 17 second chance points, compared to UNC’s 7.
    • They also made 11 free throws, compared to UNC’s 5.
  • UNC played extremely good defense, but NC State missed an obscene amount of shots around the rim.
  • The Tar Heels looked like the better team tonight, leading for 3/4th of the game.

The Wolfpack will play at Duke on Sunday at 5:30pm on ACC Network.

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NC State Basketball

#6 NC State Looks to Sweep Rival UNC This Evening

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The 6th ranked NC State Women’s Basketball team is looking to sweep their rival UNC this evening at 8pm on ACC Network. Back on February 1st, the Wolfpack beat the Tar Heels 63-59. At the time NC State was ranked 5th, and UNC was ranked 24th.

Since arriving in Raleigh, Wolfpack Head Coach Wes Moore has led NC State to a 13-9 overall record against the Tar Heels, but they are 4-6 in Chapel Hill under his watch.

NC State lost to UNC the last time the game was played in enemy territory, falling 46-57 loss in Carmichael Arena on January 15th of last year. In that contest, the Wolfpack were ranked 11th and the Tar Heels were ranked 22nd.

If NC State wins tonight, it will mark the 4th time that Moore has led the Wolfpack to sweep UNC in the regular season.

Historically, NC State holds a 63-54 advantage in the series against UNC, but they are 20-30 on the road.

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NC State Basketball

NC State’s Wes Moore is 1 of 15 on the Late Season Watchlist for the Naismith Women’s College Coach of the Year Award

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NC State Women’s Basketball Head Coach Wes Moore is 1 of 15 on the Naismith Late Season Watchlist for the Coach of the Year Award.

Currently, Moore has led NC State from being unranked in the preseason polls, to #6 currently. The Wolfpack are 23-3, and numerous publications project them to be a #1 seed in the NCAA Tournament.

Moore was a finalist for the Naismith Coach of the Year Award in 2020-21 and a Semifinalist in 2015-16.

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