NC State Wolfpack vs. Elon Phoenix
Time: 1:00 PM
Location: Raleigh, NC
Line: NC State by 23.5
NC State has had just about as good a start to the season as one could have hoped.
The Pack comes into this game 3-0 on the season with huge wins against FIU and Austin-Peay, with a close 6-point win vs. Campbell sandwiched in the middle. Elon on the other hand, comes in at 1-3 with losses to ETSU, Harvard and North Dakota.
The Phoenix are led by 6’0 senior guard Sean Halloran and 6’5 senior Torrence Watson, both of whom are averaging close to 12 points per game. Meanwhile, NC State has been getting points from all over the place. Most of it comes from Jarkel Joiner and Terquavion Smith who both are averaging 20. However, Casey Morsell is now averaging 15 and big man Dusan Mahorcic is putting up 10 per game.
They are still waiting for DJ Burns to get going. The reigning Big South player of the year is only averaging 6 points per game, however we expect him to have a big game against a very soft Elon front line.
The truth is, NC State is going to outmatch Elon at every position in this game. The Phoenix don’t have any interesting gimmicks or personnel that might throw the Pack for a loop, so I expect this one to be won handily by the Pack.
What we’d like to see is for Breon Pass to have a better game. NC State needs some depth at guard and Pass is a guy who can provide that. With Joiner and Smith giving you high octane athleticism and scoring from the position, it would be nice to see Pass play at a speed more comfortable to skill set and size. For him to find a solid role with this team, I think he’s going to have to play a little more methodically and focus on not turning over the basketball. He can score, but he’s a guy who really needs to pick his spots at this point. They don’t need him to overreach and push himself to score or up the tempo, when really that’s no the heart of his game.
Then there is LJ Thomas. We didn’t think we’d see much of Thomas, but with the depth needed at guard and Pass struggling, Thomas has gotten a chance and played well. He scored 12 in limited minutes last time out. Thomas played the calm backup guard role, not turning it over and knocking down shots when he got the chance. We’d like to see him get some more looks today vs. Elon.
We mentioned that we’d like to see Burns get going and get his confidence up, but we’d also like to see more minutes for Ernest Ross and Greg Gantt. Gantt might have limited minutes because he’s working his way back, but Ross is 100% and needs minutes to get comfortable out there. This team will have games where they need athleticism up front, and Ross is going to be that guy. They need him getting comfortable with the speed of the game. Once things slow down for him we think he’ll be a big difference-maker up front, especially with his rim protection.
NC State incoming freshman power forward Mady Traore was able to take in the game. He’ll join the squad in December.
— TheWolfpackCentral (@NCStateRivals) November 12, 2022
On that same note, we are getting closer to the addition of 7-foot wing, Mady Traore. As reported above, the staff expects him to be cleared in December, giving the Pack another versatile option in the front court. We’re told that Traore is not envisioned as a guy who is going to redshirt or ride the pine. They are expecting him to log minutes right away. We assume it will be in the backup role (around 10-12 minutes per game). But more depth is always welcome.
How to watch
This game is on both ACC Network Extra and ESPN+.
For ACC Network Extra, you’ll have to have the ESPN app on a streaming device and a cable log-in to get access to the game.
For ESPN +, you’ll also have to have the ESPN app, but you can just have a subscription to ESPN+ (which you can sign up for when you get there).
* Beware, if you are a cable subscriber and you find the game on the app, make sure you choose the ACCNX version. If you choose the ESPN+ stream, then it will ask you to pay for that service. Don’t be fooled.
Kevin Keatts’ Postgame Press Conference After Butler Win: BULLETED
Head Coach Kevin Keatts met with the media for his postgame press conference after NC State’s 76-61 win over Butler last night. You can watch it here, or check out a BULLETED breakdown below.
- First of all, let’s talk about Butler a little bit.
- Thad [Matta] has done a really good job everywhere he’s been.
- We beat a good Butler team. They’re going to continue to grow. They’re going to continue to get better.
- We played extremely hard, and I only say that because that’s part of our culture, but we were able to do that on Day 3, and that says a lot about this team.
- Our young guys came in, played well, and gave us great minutes in Breon Pass, LJ Thomas, and Ernest Ross, and then I thought our veterans put us over the hump.
- Dusan Mahorcic and Jack Clark were really, really good.
- We’ve been led all weekend, really all year, by Terquavion Smith and Jarkel Joiner, and when they didn’t have a huge scoring night, they found other ways to affect the game.
- When you look at Terquavion, he had 5 assists and 1 turnover, and they all played on the defensive end.
- I’m proud of my team. It’s a great tournament. It always has been.
- You’re fortunate if you can get out of here with one win. Two is great, and then three is over the top.
- I’m excited about our team as we continue to grow, and we’ll continue to get better.
- I love our team. I try not to look too far head. We’re just going to continue to work.
- My job with these guys is to get them locked into the next game.
- I’ve learned just to lock in, be positive, and take it one game at a time, and that’s what we’ll do.
- Well, everybody’s dangerous. What sparked me was that I watched Dayton and BYU, and it was a 23-point lead, and the lead was erased.
- We’re all playing on tired legs, and if you can find a way to get through this, one of the blessings, even though we didn’t want to lose to Kansas, one of the good things about it was that we were able to play a 10 o’clock game tonight.
- We got a little rest. It’s a great tournament because it prepares you for ACC, and it prepares you for the conference tournament, but it’s tough because you’ve got to play 3 great teams back-to-back-to-back.
- I’m proud of Manny [Bates]. Manny’s a tremendous kid.
- Obviously at NC State, he had some unfortunate injuries that slowed him down a little bit, but he’s a great kid and a really good basketball player.
- I love the team that we put together. We hit it really good with the transfer portal, and we got good people that have connected off the court.
- One of the things that helped us was taking a trip to the Bahamas in August. We were able to grow as a team.
- Every coach’s challenge when you have so many transfers is trying to figure out how to develop chemistry early.
- We’re a little ahead of the curve. We still have a long way to go in a lot of areas, but we’ve grown over the last 2 weeks.
- You play Kansas, the defending National Champions, tough enough to win, and you don’t win the game, will there be a letdown over the next couple of days?
- I don’t think we did. I thought we bounced back and beat 2 good teams, 2 good programs, by double-digits.
- I learned a lot about my guys in how we respond.
- Sometimes, it’s better to learn a lesson through a win. We learned a couple of lessons through the loss to Kansas, and we built on it.
- We also have 2 very efficient post guys.
- When you look up their stats, they can score the ball. D.J. Burns has had a good 2 days where he was unstoppable in the post. I thought he did some really good things.
- Late in games, I wanted to play through our post guys. We talked about getting more paint touches instead of settling for 3’s.
- When you look at tonight, we typically take anywhere from 25 to 35 three-pointers, and we only took 15, and a lot of that was because we wanted to establish our post guys.
- Our post guys tonight took 21 shots.
- I’m grateful he [Jack Clark] made the shot [big 3 to end scoring drought].
- I thought the willingness to make the pass is the biggest one, because the tendency during scoring droughts is to step up and make the big shot.
- The pass was just as good as the shot, but it was very important at the time.
- I wouldn’t say we got tight, but we relied on our defense a little bit.
- We got a little reckless with the basketball, but once we got our composure, we were able to make some plays.
- We conducted ourselves as professionals.
- We can make the argument that we played hard for 3 straight nights, and that’s hard to do.
- I love what our guys are building. They’re starting to coach each other. They’re starting to reward each other. I think that’s big.
- It’s going to help because you know you’re capable of doing it.
- We used our bench a little bit more tonight than we did in the 1st couple of games, and I thought those guys really came in and made a positive impact for us.
- We can have balanced scoring. I think everyone knows that we’ve got a really good set of guards, and I include Casey Morsell in that, that have led us in scoring all year long, but we’ve got some bigs that can really score the ball.
- Our guys are really starting to understand that and get them in positions. It took a while for us to realize that, even though we love to run a lot of ball screens, we’ve got to roll this guys into the post and make sure we play off of them.
- Also, the bigs are willing passers. You look at DJ, he made a couple of backdoor passes.
- Dusan was very effective.
- It’s really, really balanced when you have guard scoring and your post guys can score also.
NC State 76 Butler 61: ACCDN Highlight Reel
NC State’s Men’s Basketball team wrapped up an impressive showing down in the Bahamas last night, defeating Butler 76-61. You can check out the Box Score here. The ACC Digital Network’s Highlight Reel is below.
Men’s Basketball: NC State 76 Butler 61: BOX SCORE
The NC State Men’s Basketball team defeated Butler 76-61 tonight in the Bahamas, improving to 6-1. Below is the BOX SCORE.
The Wolfpack had 5 players score in double figures.
Once again, Point Guard Jarkel Joiner led the Pack in scoring, with 15 (4-11 FG).
Big fella DJ Burns was the player of the game for the Wolfpack, with 14 points, on 6 of 11 shooting from the field.
NC State’s other big man, Dusan Mahorcic, had 13 points (6-10 FG) and 6 rebounds.
What’s impressive about what Burns and Mahorcic did, is the fact they put up that kind of production against former Wolfpack Center Manny Bates.
Jack Clark chipped in 10 points (4-9 FG/2-4 3PT), and led the team with 8 rebounds and 3 steals.
Terquavion Smith had 10 points on yet another poor shooting night (4-14 FG), but he did lead the team with 5 assists (1 TO), and also snagged 5 rebounds.
The betting line was EVEN on this game, so it’s extremely impressive that NC State took the game by 15 points.
NC State out-rebounded Butler by 1, out shot the Bulldogs (44.6%/41.9%), had more assists (13/10), and scored 21 points off 14 Butler turnovers.
NC State Players Celebrate By Planting Their Flag on UNC Logo and Saying: ‘UNC…What Happened???’
The NC State Football Players had fun after beating their archrival UNC today, the Wolfpack took to the field with their flag in Chapel Hill.
Ben Finley, the 4th string Quarterback through much of the season, planted that bad boy in Kenan.
— NC State Football (@PackFootball) November 26, 2022
Safety Cyrus Fagan, as fiery as ever, was running the field with the flag.
Cyrus Fagan, celebrating. pic.twitter.com/HsQ2IzTMLz
— Ethan McDowell (@ethanmmcdowell) November 26, 2022
The exclamation point on the win. pic.twitter.com/qotngvWbx0
— The Wolfpacker (@TheWolfpacker) November 26, 2022
Derrek Pitts, Jordan Houston and Devin Carter planted that flag right on the UNC logo at midfield.
— Ryan Henkel (@RyanHenkel_) November 26, 2022
You’ve got to love the sass of Nose Tackle Corey Durden taking a lap around the field waving bye to all the UNC fans.
Cory Durden was on the field for that missed field goal. He then did an entire lap of the stadium waving goodbye to Unc fans pic.twitter.com/CDH66Elgim
— Shawn Krest (@ShawnKrest) November 26, 2022
Then the boys in the locker room trolled the Heels with this…UNC…WHAT HAPPENED?
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