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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
10 months ago

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

Biscuit
Biscuit
10 months ago

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

Papajohn
Papajohn
10 months ago

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

Afterglow
Afterglow
10 months 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 10 months ago by Afterglow
Biscuit
Biscuit
10 months 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
10 months 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

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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NC State Basketball

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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