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OUR TAKE | On NC State Basketball’s summer exhibition win in the Bahamas

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NC State basketball is in a strange spot.

They are coming off one of the worst seasons in recent history. They have a coach that half of the fanbase wanted gone at the conclusion of last season. But at the same time, the fanbase is kind of excited and intrigued at the roster rebuild that Kevin Keatts was able to pull off last season.

If you want the real pulse of the program, the fanbase is probably 70-30 in favor of Keatts sticking around and having a chance to prove last year was a fluke. However, that same 70% is probably not going to be so forgiving if they finish in the bottom half of the ACC again this season.

That’s why we’re paying such close attention to this off-season exhbition trip.

As we reported earlier, NC State won game 1 over Bahama Select 92-81.

Obviously these games aren’t televised and the team isn’t even offering a full box score, so it’s up to us to piece together the information we did receieve to find some nuggets that may inform us of what we can expect from this team.

Let’s get started…

  • Terquavion Smith went off. 26 points in 27 minutes. Look, he isn’t going to be one of those guys who comes back and forgets how to play. In fact, we expect Smith to be even MORE confident (if that’s possible) and settle into somewhat of a leadership role with this team. Bahama Select likely doesn’t have the type of guy that is going to shut down Smith, but the fact that he was this productive in his first game back is nothing but good news.
  • Jack Clark notched a double-double. In case you missed it, Jack Clark was a mid-April pickup for Keatts. He’s a 6’8 wing who is expected to slot into the role that Hellems left. Clark, however, is a lot different than Hellems. He’s longer, more athletic and more of a factor off the dribble. The big question is, can he provide the physicality that Hellems brought and will he be able to bring in the rebounds needed at the 4? In this game, Clark scooped up 13 rebounds (5 offensive). Not a bad first outing. Of course, it’s just one game, but the fact that he finished with these numbers tells you that he at least has the motor needed to a decent rebounder in the ACC. No one gets 13 boards, no matter the competition, if you don’t have some kid of knack for getting to the glass.
  • Morsell dropped 18 points. This doesn’t really tell us much by itself. Morsell is a capable scorer, especially when he’s able to out-physical his opponent. He’s not super quick, so he uses strength to create space. You expect good numbers from Morsell against smaller, weaker teams like Bahama Select. However, one thing to note is that he played a team-high 30 minutes. This can give you a hint that Keatts is going to really rely on Morsell at the 3 spot. There were times last season when we felt Keatts wasn’t giving Morsell enough run. The guy is easily the team’s best defender and he’s a capable scorer, especially if his shot is falling. Him, Jarkell Joiner, and Smith will be the core leaders of this team.
  • Breon Pass stuffed the stat sheet. Again, this one game against a sub-par opponent, so make of it what you will. But Breon Pass had 7 points, 5 rebounds and 5 assists. All while not turning the ball over once.  This is great to see as we were a little frusterated last season when Pass didn’t get more run down the stretch. He’s a true PG and that is one thing that this team needs to make sure they have on the court at all times. They do have Jarkell Joiner, a PG from Ole Miss who has only one season left, who is going to get a lot of minutes, but Pass is kind of an X-factor in our eyes. If he can produce and mature into what the scouts envisioned he’d become, he’ll be a bulldog of a PG who can score, protect the ball and control the pace.
  • Jarkell Joiner had 14 points and 3 assists. This is kind of an expected line from Joiner, who joined the team a few months ago as a grad-transfer from Ole Miss. This was the team leader over there and he’s got skill. The question is, where does he really fit in? He’s going to play and play a lot, but is he a true PG or is he more of a scoring guard? I don’t think we’ll really get a good idea of his fit until we are a few games into the season. Not to downplay though. he’s a major player on this roster and it’s good to see him putting up 14 points in limited action.
  • Small nuggest of hope from DJ Burns. NC State needs a big man who can score it. Last season, with Bates hurt, they lacked any kind of reliable interior scoring. That should change with the addition of reigning Big South Player of the Year, DJ Burns, transferring in. He’s a 6’8 left with great footwork and nice touch. We didn’t get a final line for Burns, but he assume he split time at the 5 with Dowuona. Greg Gantt and Dusan Mahorcic weren’t available (Gantt is hurt and Mahorcic just got to campus), neither was late addition Mady Traore. So it was Burns and Dowuona. Keatts is likely to really take it slow with his bigs this offseason. He wants no injuries in the middle if he can help it. In this one, we do know that Burns had 6 points in the first quarter on 3-3 shooting (according to GoPack’s twitter post).

Did he anymore later in the game? We don’t know. Did he even get many minutes? We aren’t sure. The only other thing we know is that he had one assist. Here he is dishing it off to Smith for the dunk.

Most people will focus on Smith here, but what you’re seeing is a backdoor cut and a perfect feed from the post. That’s an aspect of the game we just didn’t see last year. Burns has a skillset that just didn’t exist on last year’s roster and we think Pack fans are going to be pretty happy with this kid.

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fentoozler336
fentoozler336
5 months ago

fingers crossed for this season…hoping our new bigs show up and we can make some noise

Rev
Rev
5 months ago

Guard oriented win. What a surprise. I am hoping Burns didn’t get too out of shape while waiting to join the team. Shooting 3 for 3 is still a good sign. Getting used to having more talented players around him might take while.

Great that everyone got a chance to log some minutes. Appears our second group got out scored, but the whole point is to try different line ups and let some guys play.

Anyone else getting an ERROR 404 from the forum?

Papajohn
Papajohn
5 months ago
Reply to  Rev

Yep, the forum seems to be dead – at least for the moment. Hope it’s not permanent, just starting to see some more folks posting.

Papajohn
Papajohn
5 months ago

Good news, thanks!

Papajohn
Papajohn
5 months ago

Good point on Joiner. Based on his history, definitely more of a SG than PG. Last season he had his career high in assists at 51. For comparison, both Terquavion and Cam Hayes had 67 last season.
You’d love to see Breon step into the role and take a dominant role as a true PG and let JJ, Terquavion and Casey take turns in the other guard roles.

Last edited 5 months ago by Papajohn
Rev
Rev
5 months ago
Reply to  Papajohn

Looks like Clark is SOLID at the 4. LOVE the rebounding!

NC State Basketball

NC State Ranked 38th in the NET Rankings After FSU Win

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NC State’s Men’s Basketball team ranks 38th in the NET Rankings, moving up 2 spots after beating FSU by 28 points last night.

The Wolfpack currently ranks 3rd in the ACC in the NET Rankings, trailing only UVA and Duke.

(NCAA)

NC State has another Quad 4 game this Saturday at home, hosting Georgia Tech at 1pm on ACC Network.

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NC State Basketball

Notes on NC State’s Best Start Under Kevin Keatts, and the Wolfpack’s Best Start in Nearly 20 Years

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Last night, NC State improved to 18-5 overall and 8-4 in the ACC after defeating FSU 94-66 in PNC Arena. The Wolfpack are off to their best start under Kevin Keatts. Here are a few notes on last night, and the historic start for Kevin Keatts.

  • NC State snapped a 5-game losing streak to FSU.
    • This was the largest margin of victory (28 points) ever against the Seminoles, surpassing 25-point victories in 2001 and 1955.
  • This is NC State’s best record through 23 games (18-5) since 2005-06 (19-4).
    • This is the Wolfpack’s best ACC record through 12 games (8-4) since 2005-06 (8-4).
  • This is the first time NC State has scored 90+ points in an ACC game since December 7th, 2019 against Wake Forest (91-82).
  • Terquavion Smith scored 32 points, which was 1 point away from tying his career high of 33, which he scored against Coppin State in December.
  • The Wolfpack have won 7 of their last 8 games.
  • This is the best start Kevin Keatts has had at NC State through the first 23 games.
    • They started 16-7 his first two seasons.
  • This is also the Wolfpack’s best start in ACC play under Kevin Keatts through 12 games (8-4).
    • His best start prior to this year was 6-6.
  • NC State went 6-1 in January, which was the best record in the month of January since 1988-89 when the Wolfpack went 8-1.
  • The Wolfpack entered February with 17 wins, which is the most wins entering the month in program history.

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NC State Basketball

NC State 94 FSU 66: ACCDN Highlight Reel & Condensed Game

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NC State crushed FSU 94-66 tonight in PNC Arena, improving to 18-5 overall and 8-4 in the ACC. The Box Score is here. Check out the ACC Digital Network’s Highlight Reel and Condensed Game.

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NC State Basketball

NC State 94 FSU 66: BOX SCORE

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NC State improved to 18-5 overall, and 8-4 in the ACC after defeating Florida State 94-66 tonight in PNC Arena. Below is the Box Score.

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