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Wolfpack look to build momentum vs Irish | Preview, Breakdown and How to Watch

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NC State Wolfpack vs. Notre Dame Fighting Irish
Time: 9:00pm
Location: Notre Dame, IN
TV: ACCN
Line: ND -5

NC State visits Notre Dame tonight to take on an Irish team that has won 5 of their last 6 games and find themselves just half a game out of first place in the ACC.

The Irish use a well-balanced offensive attack, relying on good ball movement and great 3 point shooting. They rank 2nd in the ACC in 3pt % at 37.5% as a team.

Leading them is Dane Goodwin, a 6’6 junior who can light it up (15.2ppg). He’s leading the ACC, shooting an insane 48% from long range. They also have an emerging star in Blake Wesley, a 6’5 freshman who is averaging 15 points per game and coming off a 22 point performance vs Louisville.

Goodwin is most effective when catching and shooting, but he can put it on the floor and go to the rim as well. He’s not very athletic, but defenses are forced to play him close because of his ability to shoot. This allows him to shot fake, and get a step going to the rim.

Wesley is a lot like Dereon Seabron. He’s long, athletic, and loves to get to the rim. He’s a better shooter than Seabron, hitting 32% from long range, but he’s not quite as physical, or slippery on his way to the rim. However, Wesley is just hitting his stride and will be looking to keep it going tonight. He’s been a matchup nightmare for teams, but NC State has the size and length to match up well with him.

In the paint, the Irish have Paul Atkinson Jr. (6’9 senior) who is averaging 11ppg and 6 boards. They also have Nate Laszewski (6’10 junior) who is averaging 8 points and 7 boards. Atkinson is more of a prototypical big who likes to post up, while Laszewki can either post up or step out and hit 3s.

Having two bigs is going to be a problem for the Pack who are going to have Dowuona and Hellems guarding them. These guys can also pass well, meaning throwing double teams at them won’t be a great strategy, especially with ND’s shooters.

At point guard is Prentiss Hubb, who runs the show and averages 8 points and 3.5 assists.

Notre Dame is likely to show NC State a lot of zone to slow down Seabron and force the Pack to beat them from beyond the arc.

Keys to the Game

– Shoot it well. As we noted, the Irish is likely to throw a good bit of zone at NC State. This will slow down Seabron and force the Pack to take a lot of 3s. Keatts teams have done a good job historically against zones, as they don’t just hoist up contested 3s. Instead, Keatts likes to get the ball into the high post to Hellems. From here he can either attack or find open shooters. But those shooters need to be hitting. Knocking down a few early 3s will force ND to go back to man, which is where Seabron can get going.

– Hellems is huge. Hellems has been hot lately and he’s going to need to keep that trend going if State wants to walk away with this road win. With ND likely to challenge NC State with some zone, Hellems is going to be the point man at the high post. He’ll have some open shots from the free throw line that he’ll need to knock down early. This will force ND to pull their bigs up and challenge him, leaving the blocks open for dump downs. If they pinch him with guards, this will open up 3s. Hellems needs to play big to pull the Irish out of their zone.

– Slow down the Notre Dame bigs. NC State is going to have a matchup problem with either Laszewski or Atkinson Jr. Dowuona matches up better with Atkinson, who won’t beat you on the perimeter, but that leaves Hellems having to guard Laszewski who is 6’10 and will have the advantage on the blocks. If Dowuona guards Laszewki to limit easy buckets in the post, Hellems has to body up with Atkinson Jr. who is bigger and stronger down low. There’s not a great answer here for NC State. Doubling down will leave shooters open, and ND WILL knock those down. So Keatts is going to have to get creative if he wants his team to come out victorious in this one.

 

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Rev
Rev
2 years ago

You tube TV does not show this game on ACCN tonight. It has FSU at GaTech at 9pm. ???

NC State Basketball

Jersey Numbers for 2024-25 NC State Men’s Basketball Team Revealed

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The NC State Men’s Basketball team revealed the Jersey Numbers for their 2024-25 team yesterday.

Image

Numbers that are Staying the Same

Michael O’Connell – #12

Ben Middlebrooks – #34

Dennis Parker Jr. – #11

KJ Keatts – #13

Jordan Snell – #22

Numbers that have Changed

Jayden Taylor – #1 –> #8

Breon Pass – #10 –> #4

Numbers of New Players

Mike James – #0 (He wore #0 at Louisville last year)

Brandon Huntley-Hatfield – #1 (He wore #5 at Louisville last year)

Paul McNeil – #2 (He wore #2 in High School last year)

Dontrez Styles – #3 (He wore #0 at Georgetown last year)

Trey Parker – #5 (He wore #5 in High School last year)

Marcus Hill – #10 (He wore #0 at Bowling Green last year)

We don’t know what number Ismael Diouf will be wearing at NC State next year yet. 

 

 

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Kareem Richardson Promoted To Associate Head Coach at NC State

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RALEIGH, N.C. – NC State men’s basketball head coach Kevin Keatts announced Wednesday that assistant coach Kareem Richardson has been promoted to associate head coach effective immediately.

“I’m proud to promote Kareem to associate head coach,” Keatts said. “He is a valuable member of my staff and has really enhanced NC State both in his relationship with our players and staff, but also his ability to teach, scout and game plan. He is a well-rounded coach that has an impact on every facet of our program, and I feel fortunate to have him as part of my staff.”

The upcoming 2024-25 season will be Richardson’s third at NC State. The Pack has earned bids to the NCAA Tournament in both seasons Richardson has been on staff, including last season when NC State won the ACC Championship and advanced to the Final Four.

NC State has had three different guards (DJ Horne, Jarkel Joiner and Terquavion Smith) earn All-ACC honors under Richardson’s tutelage.

Richardson was previously head coach at UMKC for 2013-19 and has been an assistant coach at power conference programs such as Louisville, Xavier and Clemson in his 25-year coaching career.

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WATCH: Getting to Know NC State’s Dontrez Styles

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NC State Men’s Basketball is releasing videos helping fans get to know the new players on the 2024-25 roster.

Below is the video of Georgetown Transfer Forward Dontrez Styles (6’6″/212), with a transcript underneath.

I’m Dontrez Styles, a transfer from Georgetown University. I knew where I wanted to be. At the end of the day, I knew I wanted to come back home and play for a guy like Keatts. That was the main thing for me.

Being back home is amazing. My family can see me play every game now. An hour from Kinston, North Carolina. It’s a small city. I love it. Just growing there. A lot of great guys. A lot of great basketball players. My family is there. It’s my life.

I grew up in the Brandon Ingram era, so I went to every Kinston High School game. Just seeing him play motivated me to get in the gym and keep working. The grind has paid off.

It’s crazy. I would have never imagined this happening. It’s very rare for someone to go to North Carolina and NC State. Me being one of the first guys to do that, I believe it’s different, but I’m enjoying it so far. I can’t wait to get started.

Coach (Levi) Watkins recruited me when he was at Ole Miss. He’s been with me since my Sophomore year, I believe. Just having that relationship with them makes it easier every day.

Just being back, it’s going to be very fun, especially now. The hype is crazy. I can’t wait to be back home and get started, and hopefully win that National Championship.

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Styles was the 2nd leading scorer for Georgetown this past season, averaging 12.8 points per game, while grabbing 5.8 boards. He shot 36.8% from three.

Originally, Sytles was a consensus 4-Star prospect in UNC’s 2021 recruiting class. 247Sports ranked him as the #62 overall player nationally, and the #2 player in the state of North Carolina, playing for Kinston High School.

After two seasons with the Tar Heels, Styles entered the Portal, and took an Official Visit to NC State and Georgetown, and ultimately chose the Hoyas.

Styles will be spending his final year of eligibility with NC State.

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NC State Basketball

WATCH: Getting to Know NC State’s Mike James

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NC State Men’s Basketball is releasing videos helping fans get to know the new players on the 2024-25 roster.

Below is the video of Louisville Transfer Guard Mike James (6’5″/200), with a transcript underneath.

I last played at the University of Louisville. I spent three years there. Played two. Redshirted my first year because of injury. I enjoyed my time there, but all good things got to come to an end, and I’m here at North Carolina State. 

Entering the Portal is just like going through High School recruitment again. You’re getting your phone blown up every other hour, every single day. You’ve got to get on long phone calls. You’re kind of going through the process again, but this time, you kind of know what you want. You’ve been through College Basketball, so you know what questions to ask, what to expect, and you kind of just get straight to the point. I feel like the process was similar, but different this time. It went a lot quicker, and I knew exactly what I wanted. I want to win at the end of the day. Playing time is earned, and all that stuff. You’ve got to come in here and take care of that. 

Winning is very important, and I haven’t done that so far, but that’s the one thing I want to change about my college career. Seeing y’all go on that run was really appealing to me. 

I like to get to the basket. Draw fouls. Finish at the rim. Knock down shots on the perimeter. Defend 1-4 positions on the other end. 

I want to come in and win. I want to be a leader for our team. I’m an older guy now, so I want to be a leader. I want to come in and win another ACC Championship, and make another NCAA Tournament run. 

_______

This past year, James averaged 12.6 points per game (3rd on the team) and 5 rebounds. He’s extremely physical and aggressive, taking 47% of his field goal attempts at the rim (making 46%). As a result, he draws a lot of fouls, ranking 10th in the ACC in Fouls Drawn, and 4th in Free Throw Rate. James made opponents pay this year when they put him on the line, making 81.8% from the charity stripe, which ranked 15th in the ACC.

James shot the ball better as a Redshirt Freshman, than he did this past season. His Effective Field Goal Percentage in 2022-23 was 55.8%, which ranked 19th in the ACC, and his True Shooting Percentage of 59.6% ranked 14th.

News broke about James entering the Transfer Portal back on March 25th, and NC State was quick to reach out. Kevin Keatts and his staff recruited the former 4-star prospect out of high school heavily, but he ultimately chose the Cardinals.

After redshirting his first year in Louisville due to torn achilles, James has been a starter for the Cardinals the past two years.

He does have the ability to knock down a three, making 34.8% for his career.

James has 2 years of eligibility remaining.

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