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IG: Get to know the Wolfpack Basketball Players!

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NC State athletics has been on a roll with their content recently. Over the past few weeks, they’ve been releasing a series called ‘Thundercats’ which is an interview series where Wolfpack Football’s strength coach, Dantonio ‘Thunder’ Burnette’s kids sit down for a Q&A session with some of the football team’s biggest stars.

And it’s not just football. Now, they’ve started releasing a series titled ‘Get to know the Wolfpack’ where they ask a series of personal questions to some of the basketball players.

Again, this is great content. The goal here is to create interest in the players and by doing that, fans create a closer relationship with the team. Humanizing players (and marketing them) at the college level is something that teams have started doing a lot more of in the past few years and NC State has been one of the programs really capitalizing on that lately.

With that aside, let’s take a look at a few of the tidbits we found interesting.

Casey Morsell:Β His season motto of “The Journey is the Reward” is rather fitting. This is a guy who started his career at Virginia, started as a freshman, but slumped and was forced to the bench. With transfer rules loosened two years ago, Morsell decided to change course and head to NC State where it seems he’s revitalized his career. He’s now a major piece to this year’s NC State squad and is being looked to for his leadership skills and his defensive prowess.

Another interesting takeaway is that Morsell lists his hidden talent as ‘computer programming’ and in his off-time enjoys doing puzzles and playing tennis. Pretty darn well-rounded if you ask me!

Breon Pass: His season motto is “one day at a time” which again, makes sense. This is a kid who was a 4-star recruit and struggled a bit last season to transition to the ACC level. He had some really bright moments, but it was clear that he’d need an off-season of building up his body and improving his craft before we really got to see what he’s capable of.

Meanwhile, in his free time, Breon says he’s a skilled cook and wants to remind everyone that he’s still good at football. (Note that he was a highly recruited football prospect as well!)

LJ Thomas: The freshman hasn’t even played a game at NC State yet, and he isn’t someone people are talking much about, but the kid is good. He was the #4 ranked player in NC last year and he’s got a college-ready body, a nice jump shot, and a solid handle. He too says his hidden talent is cooking, and like most kids his age, he likes to spend his downtime playing NBA 2k (video game) and hanging out.

Ebe Dowuona– The narrative lately has been that NC State has recruited over Ebe Dowuona after a season where the Pack was beaten pretty bad in the paint all season long. However, it’s good to note that Ebe barely played as a freshman and was thrust into a starting role last year when Bates went down. I don’t think it’s safe to write off Dowuona. This is a guy who could see things click soon. He’s a talented shot blocker and has built up his body this off-season. It will be interesting to see if his back-to-the-basket play advances with an off-season of work. That seems to be the thought process of Dowuona himself, who isn’t looking to give up his minutes in the paint that easily. His season motto of “My Turn” suggests that he’s ready now and wants to show Wolfpack nation what he’s capable of. He lists God in his “things he loves” section and says his hidden talent is soccer. His favorite quote is “Rule your mind or it will rule you” which suggests that this is a kid who is focused, driven, and understands that this is the season for him to take control of his destiny.

We’re looking forward to more of these, and will make sure to share them when they’re posted.

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Papajohn
Papajohn
9 months ago

Great content by the AD Marketing folks. Thundercats is especially good because it is unique. Lots of content on football. Basketball will probably generate a lot more in a couple of months, but this is a good start. This is football’s moment.

NC State Basketball

D.J. Burns is OFFICIALLY BACK!

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Well, it’s OFFICIAL. D.J Burns will be returning to NC State for his final year of collegiate eligibility!

This confirms everything I’d been hearing about the return of Burns. Burns was the key to the Wolfpack offense running effectively this past year. He averaged 12.5 points and 4.8 rebounds per game in 2022-23, but he elevated his game in ACC play, averaging 16.1 points and 5.6 rebounds in conference games.

Burns is celebrating his return to run with the Wolfpack by dropping his own Big 30 merch. Go over and snag something.

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NC State Basketball

Isaiah Miranda is an Early Entry Candidate for the 2023 NBA Draft

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The NBA released the names of the 242 players that have filed as early entry candidates for NBA Draft 2023 last night, and NC State’s Isaiah Miranda’s name was on the list.

Miranda (7’1β€³/225) joined the Wolfpack back in December, deciding to forgo the remainder of his prep season. Miranda didn’t see the court for NC State, resulting in a redshirt season.

ON3 ranked Miranda as the #16 overall player in the 2023 recruiting class.

It makes perfect sense for a player like Miranda, with his height and athleticism, to go through the draft process to be evaluated on what he needs to continue to work on. As an early entrant, Miranda has the ability to pull his name out of the draft and remain a collegiate athlete.

I don’t expect Miranda to keep his name in the hat when the time comes. From what I hear his game has tons of potential, but he still needs to fine tune his craft. Also, Miranda shared this on social media, implying he will be back in the Red and White next year.

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NC State Basketball

Missouri Transfer Mohamed Diarra Commits to NC State

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NC State picked up their 5th transfer today. Mohamed Diarra (6’10β€³/215) committed to run with the Wolfpack today while in Raleigh on an Official Visit.

Diarra originally spent his first two seasons at Garden City Community College, averaging 17.8 points and 12.6 rebounds per game in his second season. He landed at Missouri last year, after being rated as the #1 JUCO prospect in the 2022 class according to JucoRecruiting.com.

In his only season at Missouri, Diarra averaged 11.7 minutes per game in 25 games played (6 starts), averaging 3.3 points and 3.2 rebounds. Because of the extra year due to Covid, Diarra has 2 years of eligibility remaining.

With news breaking today that Dusan Mahorcic entered the Transfer Portal, the Wolfpack found his replacement. NC State’s frontcourt in 2023-24 currently will be made up of D.J. Burns, Ben Middlebrooks, Mohamed Diarra and Ernest Ross.

Check out these highlights of Diarra.

There is a lot to like in Diarra’s game. He is athletic, can hit a jump shot, put the ball on the floor, can play defense on the perimeter, block shots, and is an aggressive rebounder.

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NC State Basketball

Missouri Transfer Mohamed Diarra is On an Official Visit to NC State Today

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Missouri Transfer Mohamed Diarra (6’10″/215) is on an Official Visit to NC State today. Diarra originally spent his first two seasons at Garden City Community College, averaging 17.8 points and 12.6 rebounds per game in his second season. He landed at Missouri last year, after being rated as the #1 JUCO prospect in the 2022 class according to JucoRecruiting.com.

In his only season at Missouri, Diarra averaged 11.7 minutes per game in 25 games played (6 starts), averaging 3.3 points and 3.2 rebounds. Because of the extra year due to Covid, Diarra has 2 years of eligibility remaining.

Diarra entered the Transfer Portal on March 28th.

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