NC State Wolfpack vs Clemson Tigers
Time: 4:30pm | Tuesday, March 8
Location: Brooklyn, NY
The good news is that the ACC Tournament is upon us and it’s basically a new season for NC State. They are finally playing for something again.
The bad news is, this is the same team that finished 4-16, good for last place in the conference.
That said, NC State has one last chance for a miracle run that would propel them into the NCAA Tournament. The odds are low (in fact the oddsmakers are giving NC State a 1 in 1,000 chance for it to happen, but you know the gif.
NC State’s opening round is against Clemson. The Tigers are on a 4 game winning streak to end the season, however, all of those wins were against lower to mid-tier ACC teams. Prior to that run, they had lost 6 in a row, all against upper-tier ACC teams. So, Clemson seems to beat bad teams and lose to good teams.
Unfortunately, this year, NC State is one of the bad teams, but the point we’re making is that Clemson is beatable. In their only meeting this year, the Pack fell to the Tigers by 5 after having the game tied with 9 minutes left to play.
Clemson does have a big advantage inside, with PJ Hall averaging 15 points per game. He dropped 20 on the Pack in the first meeting. Meanwhile, the Tigers really had no answer for Dereon Seabron, who went off for 27.
The loss to Clemson was one of those games where Terquavion Smith couldn’t hit a thing. The freshman is averaging 16.5ppg this year but fouled out with only 2 points in that game. A big game from Smith and NC State may have walked away with a win.
State has been showing a little more zone lately to keep guys out of foul trouble and to attempt to eliminate the post-game from their opponents. The problem is, Clemson can shoot it. Despite only going 3-10 from long range in their first meeting, Clemson ranks 6th in the ACC in 3 point shooting percentage (almost 37%).
For the Pack to pull this one off, they’ll need big games from Seabron and Smith while keeping Hall from dominating the interior.
A win on Tuesday would have the Pack set to face off on Wednesday against Virginia Tech (a team they lost to by 5 in their first meeting and only 3 in their second). One thing to note is that in both games vs Virginia Tech, State had some of their most balanced scoring games of the season. In the first meeting they had 3 guys in double figures, and in the second meeting they had 4.
A win there would put them up against the #2 seeded Notre Dame. Not a great matchup seeing as they lost by 8 in their first meeting and 12 in their second. However, a win there and you’re liking facing UNC. A win there and it’s probably Duke.
Does NC State have the horses to pull this off?
Can miracles happen? They can. So that’s what we’re left hoping for.
NC State’s 2023-23 Men’s Basketball Schedule Has Arrived
NC State’s 2023-24 Men’s Basketball schedule has arrived!
NC State to Honor David Thompson with Statue Outside Reynolds Coliseum
RALEIGH – NC State University will pay tribute to three-time All-American David Thompson with a statue sculpted in his honor that will be placed outside of Reynolds Coliseum.
The unveiling will take place at 11:30 a.m. on Wednesday, Dec. 6, the day of the Wolfpack men’s basketball team’s annual Heritage Game at Reynolds Coliseum, and will be open to the public.
“This is such a deserved honor for the greatest basketball player to ever wear an NC State jersey,” NC State Director of Athletics Boo Corrigan said. “He is one of the most iconic players to ever play in the ACC and our hope is that this statue will ensure that generations of NC State students and fans will always remember the legacy and contributions of David Thompson.”
Thompson is widely recognized as one of the greatest players in college basketball history. A 2008 ESPN story ranked him as one of the ten best college basketball players of all-time, and he is regarded as one of greatest athletes in Atlantic Coast Conference history.
The Boiling Spring, N.C., native played three seasons at NC State from 1972-75 and was a unanimous first-team All-American at the conclusion of all three seasons. He was also named the ACC Player of the Year all three seasons.
He was named the Associated Press National Player of the Year in 1974 and 1975 and remains one of just five players in college basketball history to win multiple AP National Player of the Year honors.
Thompson immediately made his mark on the Pack, helping lead NC State to an undefeated season (27-0) in 1973. The Pack dominated the 1972-73 season and was at the top or near the top of the polls all season as Thompson averaged 24.7 points and 8.1 rebounds per game.
Thompson returned in the 1973-74 season and led the Wolfpack to a 30-1 record and the school’s first NCAA Men’s Division I Basketball National Title.
In the Final Four, Thompson and the Wolfpack met up with UCLA, the seven-time reigning National Champions and the only team to have defeated NC State that season. The Pack trailed 74-67 in the second overtime when Thompson’s heroics helped lead NC State back. Thompson pulled down a defensive rebound and made the go-ahead basket with under one minute remaining and then made two free throws with 38 seconds to go to give the Pack a 78-75 double overtime win in a game that is still considered one of the greatest Final Four games ever played.
Thompson finished the game with 28 points and 10 rebounds in the win over Bill Walton and the Bruins.
Two nights later, the Pack won the National Title over Marquette, 76-64, behind 21 points from Thompson. Thompson was named the Most Outstanding Player of the tournament.
To make it into the NCAA Tournament, the Pack defeated fourth-ranked Maryland, 103-100, in overtime in the 1974 ACC Championship, in a game that is routinely considered one of the best games in college basketball history.
As a senior, Thompson averaged 29.9 points, still the highest single season average in NC State history. He scored an NC State and ACC record 57 points in an early season win over Buffalo State. The Pack started the season ranked No. 1 in the nation and never fell out of the top-10, but lost in the ACC Championship game to end its season. The Pack finished the season ranked seventh in the nation but because the NCAA Tournament at that time only allowed the conference champion into the tournament its season was over.
Thompson closed his career with 2,309 points in 86 career games. He led the ACC in scoring all three seasons and was NC State and the ACC’s career scoring leader when he graduated.
Former NC State Basketball Player Torin Dorn Joins Coaching Staff of G-League SLC Stars
Former NC State basketball player Torin Dorn has joined the staff of the Salt Lake City Stars, the G-League team for the Utah Jazz. Dorn’s title is Player Development Associate/Assistant Coach.
After playing 3 seasons at NC State, Dorn went on to play professionally overseas in Poland and Czech Republic, before joining the Wolfpack coaching staff last season as a Graduate Manager.
Dorn will be working under newly appointed head coach Steve Wojciechowski (former Duke PG), who was the head coach at Marquette the past 7 seasons.
NC State Guard MJ Rice Will Be Returning Soon After Stepping Away for a Period of Time
NC State Guard MJ Rice (6’5″/215) announced yesterday that due to personal reasons, he had to step away from the basketball program, but was excited to be back with his teammates soon. He was clear that his commitment to NC State hasn’t wavered.
Life is much bigger than sports. These young men are human beings first and foremost, and as we all know, this life is never simple and easy.
Rice transferred to NC State this offseason from Kansas with three years of eligibility remaining. The former High School McDonald’s All-American didn’t get a lot of playing time in his Freshman season at Kansas, averaging 7.6 minutes per game in only 23 games played.
Coming out of Prolific Prep in California, Rice averaged 20.1 points and 5.3 rebounds per game as a Senior. Rivals ranked him as a 5-star prospect, ON3 ranked him 24th nationally, and ESPN ranked him as the #1 player in the state of North Carolina.
Whatever Rice is working through, we value him as a person more than we do a player.