NC State Wolfpack vs. Virginia Cavaliers
Location: Raleigh, NC
Line: UVA -1.5
NC State hosts UVA today at 4pm. This is a game that many wondered whether or not it’d be played due to the snow storm that hit Raleigh last night. However, without much ice on the roads, the game (at this point) goes on.
Virginia is 11-7 and 5-3 in the conference. They are coming off a 5 point win over Pitt after losing to Wake by 8. NC State meanwhile limps into this one, losers of 7 of their last 9.
The thing that kills you is that NC State is so close. They have now lost 10 games, 5 of those games have been 2 possession games or less. Another one of them went to overtime (vs. #1 Purdue). So 6 of their 10 losses have been 2 possession games or less at the end of regulation. Haters will ignore this, but this team is so much better than their record shows.
This team is playing so hard and really leaving it all on the floor, however, they are just falling short. Our guy, Joey Wolferetti, noted this in his recent article and put it on Keatts to make up for those few possessions per game by being proactive with his coaching moves.
What does that mean in this game…
Trim your rotation down and go with your best 5
We’re almost midway through the ACC season and we think it’s time that Keatts really focuses on keeping his best 5 guys on the floor. That means Seabron, Smith, Morsell, Hellems, and Dowuona. This team gives NC State the best chance to win on both ends of the floor. Every minute they are off the floor you, statistically, are giving up points.
Sure guys will get tired, but get them a breather and bring them back in. No more 8 minutes stretches without Morsell or with Smith on the bench. Morsell is now the 2nd best 3pt shooter on your team % wise. He’s ahead of Smith and just trailing Hellems for the top spot. On top of that, he’s your best defender BY FAR. Why is he only averaging 21 minutes per game? It can’t happen. He needs to be in there 35+ minutes, as does Seabron and Hellems).
It’s asking a lot of these guys, but the season is close to being lost. NC State desperately needs to go on a massive run to close out the season. It’s not out of the question seeing as they’ve been so close, so often. Keatts has left it up to the players to push harder and make the extra plays, but it hasn’t worked out. It’s time he take a little more control, and tightens the reigns by trimming his rotation.
Physicality will win this game
NC State has better players than UVA. They have better scorers, they’re more athletic and bigger across the board. But UVA is going to try to play physical with them. They are going to bump them off their lines every time they drive. They are going to collapse on drives and force you to shoot over them. They close out well, so shots will be contested.
NC State’s key is going to be to drive the ball with authority to the lane, draw the defenders and make plays. Whether that is finishing inside or kicking it out to opens shooters. Like we said, UVA closes out under control and they do so with a hand up. NC State needs to be catching and shooting with confidence. Looks aren’t going to be super clean and pump-fake-drives aren’t going to be there.
If NC State plays physical, they win this game.
UVA will try to take Seabron away
As you’ve seen the past few games, teams are keying on Seabron. They are daring him to shoot and they are all ready to help and take charges inside. He’s still making an impact, but he’s not able to have those 30+ point dominating performances like he was having. He’s going to have to rely on his teammates. Smith, Morsell and Hellems will be huge in this one.
Jayden Gardner will look to bully down low
NC State was trying to bring in Gardner from the transfer portal this offseason (ECU), but UVA landed him. He’s a bruiser and he’s having success in Virginia. He’s a versatile, super strong, forward who loves to body up on his way to the rim. He’s going to cause problems for State, but in this one, they can clamp down a little and help as Virginia lacks strong shooters from the perimeter (13th in the league).
NC State 84 BC 78: BOX SCORE
NC State is a Slight Underdog in ACC Opener vs. Boston College
NC State (4-2) will play their first ACC game of the 2023-24 season tomorrow on the road against Boston College (5-2), and they enter the game as slight underdogs. The Wolfpack are 1.5-point underdogs, and the Total is 150.5.
- NC State is 0-2 Straight Up as underdogs
- BC is 4-1 Straight Up as favorites.
- NC State is 2-4 Against the Spread.
- BC is 4-3 Against the Spread
- The Total has gone Under in 2 games for NC State, Over in 3 and Pushed in 1.
- The Total has gone Under in 3 games for Boston College and Over in 4.
- NC State is 6-4 in their last 10 games against BC Straight Up.
- NC State is 4–6 Against the Spread in their last 10 games against BC.
- The Total has gone Under in 5 games, and Under in the other 5.
#5 NC State 70 Vanderbilt 62: BOX SCORE (with notes)
The 5th ranked NC State Women’s Basketball team improved to 8-0 tonight, defeating Vanderbilt 70-62 in the inaugural ACC/SEC Challenge.
- Saniya Rivers scored 20+ points for the 2nd time this season, scoring 22 points on 8 of 14 shooting. She also chipped in 8 rebounds and 2 steals.
- River Baldwin posted her first double-double of the season. She scored 12 points and grabbed 10 boards.
- Aziaha James has now scored in double figures in 7 of 8 games, scoring 14 points tonight, shooting 6 of 10 from the field and 2 of 3 from beyond the arc.
- Freshman Zoe Brooks led the Pack in steals (4) and assists (4).
- NC State didn’t shoot well, making only 39% of their shots. Fortunately, they held Vandy to 34.3% shooting.
The Wolfpack will host Illinois State on Sunday at 2pm.
NC State Stat Leaders Heading into the ACC Opener vs Boston College
This Saturday, NC State heads to Boston College for the now-annual early ACC opener. The Pack will face off against the Eagles at 4pm on ACC Network. Here is where the team is statistically after 6 games.
- Casey Morsell leads NC State in scoring with 14.5 ppg.
- The Pack has 4 double-digit scorers this season. Morsell (14.5), Jayden Taylor (13.3), DJ Burns (13) and DJ Horne (11.2)
(Last season State had 4 double-digit scorers as well. Terquavion (17.9), Joiner (17), Burns (12.5) and Morsell (11.8))
- After their top 4 scorers there is a big dip. Parker comes in at 6.8, O’Connell at 6.3, and Middlebrooks at 5.5 ppg.
(Last season Jack Clark was 5th on the team in scoring at 9 points and Mahorcic was at 8.7. However, both guys missed a large chunk of the season.)
- Burns is leading NC State in rebounding this year at 5.3 per game. Diarra is next with 5.3 (but is currently hampered by an ankle injury.)
- O’Connell is leading NC State in assists with 3.3 per game, and Burns is up next with 2.5. PG DJ Horne is only averaging 2.
- LJ Thomas and Mike O’Connell are tied in leading the team at .15 assists per minute.
- Jayden Taylor is leading NC State in 3pt %, shooting an outstanding 45.8%, while Morsell is up next at 34.6%. Horne is close behind at 33%.
(LJ Thomas is shooting 50% from 3, but only has 2 attempts.)
- Burns is leading the bigs, shooting 56.5% from the floor, while Middlebrooks is close behind at 54.2%. Dennis Parker Jr is coming in at 45.2%.
- For the guards, it’s Casey Morsell leading the way at 44.6% from the floor, while O’Connell is next up at 43.4%. Taylor is shooting 42.4%, and DJ Horne is struggling a bit, shooting just 34.8% from the field.
- Jayden Taylor is turning the ball over the most at 1.8 times per game, while Burns is next at 1.7. Morsell is at 1.5 and O’Connell is at 1.2. DJ Horne has been doing a good job of protecting the basketball, turning it over just .3 times per game.