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NC State hosts 2nd place Wake Forest | Preview, Breakdown and How to Watch

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NC State Wolfpack vs Wake Forest Demon Deacons
Time: 7:00pm
Location: Raleigh, NC
TV: ACCN
Line: Wake -3

Wake Forest comes in tied for 2nd place in the ACC, sporting a 19-5 record and sitting 9-4 in the conference.

They are winners of 6 of their last 7. A span that included a 22 point drubbing of UNC and a 8 point win over Florida State.

Meanwhile, NC State is the exact opposite. They have lost 6 of their past 7, with their only win coming against UVA during that span. They have now lost 4 in a row, and while most of their early-season losses were close, the recent losses have been by 7 or more.

To say that things are slipping away for NC State is being too nice. The chance for an at-large tournament bid have been over for weeks now, and at this point they are going to need to go on a run to qualify for the NIT. The only hope now is to somehow make major adjustments, reel off a historic late-season run, and cap it off with an ACC Tournament Championship.

Is that possible? Yeah, but you won’t find any stats to back it up.

Get to know Wake Forest

Wake is led by Alondes Williams, an Oklahoma grad transfer who is taking the ACC by storm. The 6’5 senior is averaging almost 20 points per game, 7 rebounds and 5 assists, all while shooting over 52% from the floor. (He leads the entire ACC in points per game and assists per game.)

Williams isn’t really a big threat from 3 point range, but he’s so slick with the ball and can beat you in so many ways. His ability to get in the lane and make things happen is really what has Wake sitting where they’re sitting.

While Williams has been getting all the hype, Jake LaRavia (Indiana State transfer), the 6’8 junior big man has been dominant as well. he’s averaging over 15ppg, 6.5 rebounds and 3.6 assists, while shooting 59% from the field and 39% from 3 point range.

Those two are just the tip of the iceberg for Wake. The Deacs are 2nd in the ACC in total points, 2nd in assists, 4th in rebounding.

They aren’t a team that lives and dies by the 3, either. They have a few shooters but Wake is only 9th in the ACC in that category, shooting 34% as a team from downtown.

Our Thoughts

This game has the chance to be a nightmare for NC State. The matchup isn’t good. LaRavia is a big who can score. Williams is a big guard who is going to get into the lane and create havoc. These are both the type of players that have dominated the Pack this season. NC State is going to need to get a huge performance out of their big 3 if they want to stay in this game, and they’re going to need some surprises as well. A hot game for Morsell or Cam Hayes finally breaking loose could put them over the top, but based on the stats coming in, this is going to be a very tough game to win for the Wolfpack.

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NC State Basketball

Terquavion Smith and Greg Gantt take over NC State’s Instagram for the Day

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A couple of days ago, Terquavion Smith and Greg Gantt were handed the camera to show State fans just what gameday is like through the player’s eyes. The guys chronicle a day in the Bahamas as they participate in walkthroughs, downtime at the hotel and pregame shootaround.

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VIDEO: Inside Look at the workouts of NC State’s new 7 foot wing, Mady Traore

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A few days ago, we went into depth about NC State’s newest addition, 7-foot wing, Mady Traore. As we were doing our research, we came across a couple workout videos that were posted.

Watching his highlights from games is probably a better indicator of what we’ll see on the court come November. bit watching these workouts (which are kind of showcasing his skills without any defenders) give a better glimpse of his potential.

Enjoy!

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Sooo, let’s talk about the 7 foot wing who just committed to play for the Pack this season

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While everyone was focused on the upcoming football season, or discussing NC State basketball’s coming trip to the Bahamas, something happened.

NC State landed a commitment from 7-foot stretch forward, Mady Traore. And he’ll be eligible to play THIS season.

Surely, a guy committing this late in the process isn’t going to be a difference maker, right? It’s probably a guy no one has heard of. Someone who has slipped through the cracks.

But what if I told you that Taore, a French native (who has moved around quite a bit in recent years) had offers from Auburn, Kansas, Oregon, LSU, Arizona, Illinois, Florida, and many, many more.

Intrigued?

Well, we are. Especially after watching some of his recent film.

NC State got in on Traore late after seeing him at the NBA camp in early July. But the story is kind of strange because after coming over to America midway through high school, he really jumped around to different schools. Maybe he was trying to find a place where he’d be showcased? But either way, all the moving made it hard to keep track of him. The one connection he does have to the Pack is LJ Thomas. The NC State incoming freshman, Thomas, played for Bull City prep and during all his moving, Traore spent a small amount of time with the AAU team at one point.

Whatever the story is, Traore committed to NC State on July 29th.

Here he is talking to Pro Insights, explaining what Pack fans can expect of him.

Traore wasn’t on campus yet, so he couldn’t make the trip to the Bahamas with the team, but he should be ready to go when the team returns.

What can we expect?

Well, we’re not sure. It’s likely Traore won’t be in the main rotation to start the season, but it wouldn’t surprise me for him to start seeing minutes at some point this season. He is 7 feet tall and can guard almost any position.

So is he a project player? Depends on your definition of that. I think this kid has all the tools necessary to be an eventual NBA talent. The question is, can he put it all together? He needs to bulk up, get more physical and just get more experience at a high level.

He’s got a 7’3 wing span. He can shoot it. He’s athletic, shifty, and has great footwork and coordination for a 7-footer. His handle is a little suspect, but he seems to have a pretty good court IQ. He looks like a coachable kid with a high motor. Pair that with his God-given tools, and well, Keatts and company may have just snatched up an eventual elite level talent under everyone’s nose.

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Another double-double for Jack Clark as NC State rolls past PR 81-69

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NC State moves to 2-0 in the Bahamas after using a strong 4th quarter to come back and beat Puerto Rico 81-69.

If you haven’t been following, NC State is in the Bahamas for their summer exhibition trip. They won their first game against Bahama Select 92-81, using big games from Terquavion Smith (26 pts) and a double-double from LaSalle transfer Jack Clark (who had a 12 and 13 double-double).

This was a close one, with NC State losing after 3 quarters, 55-52. However, Clark went off for 8 points and 3 rebounds in the 4th, leading the Pack to the 12-point victory.

This was Clark’s second double-double in two games for NC State as he finished with 24 points and 11 rebounds.

Without any media coverage, other than what the team is providing, we can’t see exactly how Clark is scoring, but from what we can piece together, he’s doing it in a variety of ways. For instance, in this game he knocked down SIX 3s.

It’s got to be a fluke if a guy show shot below 30% from long range last season is suddenly hitting his 3s, right? Well, not necessarily. Clark has great form and a smooth release. He was actually projected to be a very good shooter coming out of high school. During his freshman season he shot 41% from 3 (for context, Scott Wood shot 41% for his career at NC State). Clark then kind of lost his touch during the next two seasons, shooting 28% and 29% respectively. So we were waiting and watching to see which Jack Clark showed up for Kevin Keatts. At this point, it looks like he’s found his form and is back to being a quality shooter.

According to GoPack.com, Ole Miss transfer, Jarkell Joiner, also had his second good game in a row. After notching 14 points and 3 assist in game one, the grad senior followed it up 16 points and 5 assists in this one.

Terquavion Smith added 9 points and 4 steals (while missing a significant chunk of the game with a leg cramp), while Casey Morsell finished with 11 and DJ Burns dropped 12 (8 in the 4th quarter).

NC State shot 56.3 percent in the second half, and 64.2 percent from three-point range.

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