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NC State looks to convince the nation they’re for real vs. Dayton | Game Preview and How to Watch

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NC State Wolfpack vs. Dayton Flyers
Time: 4:00 PM
Location: Bahamas (Battle 4 Atlantis)
TV: ESPN News

As we just explained, this is a big game for NC State. The nation is watching after a very impressive showing vs. the reigning national champions and 3rd ranked Jayhawks yesterday. So what can you expect from Dayton in today’s matchup? Let’s dive in.

Dayton is 3-2 this season. They have losses to UNLV and Wisconsin (yesterday). The Wisconsin game was super sloppy and low scoring, but that’s kind of what the Badgers are going for. Dayton hates to be slowed down, they want to get out and run, which makes the NC State matchup a little more appealing to them.

Dayton doesn’t really have elite-level guards. Kobe Elvis, the sophomore, is 6’2, 170lbs. He’s long, but not super quick and he’s averaging 12 points per game, but he’s shooting just 23% from long range. He’s going to want to get to the rim to do his damage, but he’s not strong enough to consistently do that vs. the Pack’s guards. So where do they turn?

Their second-best guard, 6’6 Koby Brea didn’t travel to the Bahamas because of injury, so they’re left having to trust 6’0 sophomore Malekai Smith as their only other true guard. He’s just coming back from injury himself, but averaged 9 points last season, shooting 40% from 3pt range. However, he struggled vs. Wisconsin in his second game back, scoring just 2 points in 30 minutes, however, he did have 9 rebounds, 2 assist,s and 3 steals.

Again, these are the only two true guards that they played vs. Wisconsin and that’s going to be a problem with the Wolfpack’s relentless pressure from the backcourt. These guards are both too small and too weak to shut down the NC State backcourt.

That said, the Dayton front court is nothing to sneeze at.

6’10 sophomore DaRon Holmes is going to be a matchup problem. He’s one of these big, athletic forwards who is pretty physical and mobile. He’s not super coordinated, as in, he’s not going to take you out top and beat you off the dribble, or get you on the block and use some impressive footwork to get a back to the basket bucket. However, he runs the floor well, he’s a good shot blocker and he tries to dunk everything. Most of his points come on drop-offs from guards or from the break. He’s not great when you force him to play a set defense, but NC State’s bigs aren’t exactly that athletic. Mahorcic and Burns actually did a pretty good job on Adams for Kansas, but he’s just 6’7. Holmes is 6’10, so it will be interesting to see how they fare against this type of big (since they’ll see a lot of these types in the ACC).  Does their physicality and strength drown out the athleticism of Holmes or does Keatts need to use Dowuona a little more to match the length and athleticism?

Then there is his frontcourt mate, Mustapha Amzil, who is 6’9, 225lbs. Amzil is more agile and will attack off the dribble. He’s like a poor man’s version of Jalen Wilson (Kansas). He’s got the same type of game but he’s less athletic, not quite the shooter and not as polished. In fact, I think this is a great matchup for Jack Clark. Clark did a good job on Wilson yesterday, but as he tired down the stretch, Wilson was able to out-athlete him and get more physical with him. Amzil won’t be able to do that, so I think Clark can minimize the damage Amzil could do.

Then there is another 6’8, 220lb guy they throw out there. Toumani Camara. Camara is an athlete. This guy is just big, thick, and bouncy. He really can’t shoot, but he’s crafty on the drive and can elevate to finish. He is averaging 7 points and 12 boards. Morsell is going to have to match up with one of these 6’8 guys, and he’ll be giving up 5 inches, but he’s the Pack’s best defender, so if anyone is up for the challenge it’s him.

Keys for NC State

– Dayton is big and physical. They aren’t fast or quick , but they love to play uptempo. Kind of an interesting mix. NC State needs to keep them out of transition and that means, make shots. When you don’t, get back and stop the ball. Their guards aren’t dynamic, so staying in front of them and bottling them up shouldn’t be a huge concern if they can stay focused.

– Dayton is going to test NC State’s ability to rebound. The Pack matched an undersized Kansas front line in rebounding, but Dayton is going to cause problems. Their guards are great rebounders, and their front line is big, thick rebounders as well. They’re going to need Mahorci, Clark and Morsell to really get active on the boards if they want to limit second-chance points.

– Make Dayton shoot. This team is shooting just 26% from 3point range. They have only 2 real guards on the team right now. So it’s going to be a lopsided matchup. Does NC State exploit their lack of guards or does Dayton exploit NC State’s lack of athletic size? Usually the better guards win college basketball games, but NC State needs their guards to play at a high level and make up for the size disadvantage up front.

This game is at 4 pm on ESPN News.

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Papajohn
Papajohn
1 year ago

Well, reading the write up, it sounds like both teams will be putting their weakness against the other’s strengths, a model we’ll see again. This sounds like an opportunity to get Breon and LJ some meaningful court time so our ‘3 musketeers’ have fresh legs for the finish. They shouldn’t be as over matched as in yesterday’s game. As PI said, a great test for our bigs. Are we going to play smart and make them work for their points and boards, or do we get into foul trouble and have to lean on the guards to save us again?… Read more »

Dof87
Dof87
1 year ago

Surprised to see Dayton as a 3.5 pt favorite.

NC State Basketball

NC State Forward Ernest Ross Enters the Transfer Portal

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NC State Forward Ernest Ross announced today that he is entering the Transfer Portal.

 

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Ross played in 14 games this year, averaging 3.4 minutes per contest. After playing in 34 games last season, averaging 11.4 minutes per contest, Ross saw his participation dip to a career low this season, but that didn’t for a second break his infectious personality. On the sideline, you could count on Ross every single game to be the heart and soul of the Wolfpack on the bench. To watch a player who played as little as he did, care as much as he did, makes me super proud that this young man represented NC State so well.

Ross was a consensus 4-star player in the 2021 recruiting class, with 247Sports ranking him as the #60 overall player nationally. ESPN ranked him as the #5 overall player in the state of Florida.

Ross has one more year of eligibility remaining.

NC State has 3 scholarships available now.

Best of luck Ernest!

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NC State Basketball

What did the Wolfpack’s Incredible Run to the Final Four Mean to NC State Legend Chris Corchiani?

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What did NC State’s miraculous run to the ACC Championship and Final Four mean to Wolfpack legend Chris Corchiani? I caught up with the man who is still NC State’s all-time leader in Assists and Steals to get his take.

What was it like for you watching NC State go from the #10 seed in the ACC Tournament, to winning the Championship, to going to the Final Four?

Man, it was unreal. They caught lightning in a bottle and it was an absolute amazing run. They were a mediocre team all year that turned into a feared team that nobody wanted to play! To win the ACC championship in 5 days and to get to Final Four…..Wow!!

What did this run say about Kevin Keatts and these players? In what ways did you see them adapt, change or persevere?

Keatts received a lot of criticism for 7 years and after this run is deserving of great praise. I think shortening the lineup to 7-8 guys and doing away with the full court press and playing solid half court defense was a great move that obviously paid huge dividends. He also kept this team together which was not easy as they lost last 7-9 going into the. postseason. The guys also grew confident in their roles and played possessed!

As one of the best players to ever wear the Red & White, what did this run mean to you personally?

This run was something I have dreamed about happening and the fact it was so unexpected made it so much sweeter! To see the students, alums, boosters, and fans get what we all have been waiting for was the best!

What was the most memorable moment for you?

Most memorable for me was going to Final Four with my family and enjoying catching up with old friends, boosters, friends and teammates!

How do you think this run can change things for the NC State Basketball program going forward?

This run gives us momentum in so many ways. Listen, this was good not only for our hoops team but for our University! Hopefully our recruiting will take a big step forward with kids wanting to run with the Pack! A month of free advertising should be Huge for the future of our Men’s and Women’s basketball programs!

_______

When NC State legend Chris Corchiani left NC State, he not only held the school’s record for career Assists and Steals, but he also was career leader in ACC conference history. His 40.8% career Three-Point Percentage ranks 7th in school history. Corchiani was the first player in NCAA history to have 1,000+ career assists.

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NC State Basketball

ON3’s Jamie Shaw Puts in a Prediction Georgetown SF Transfer Dontrez Styles will Land at NC State

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ON3’s Jamie Shaw put in an RPM earlier today for Georgetown Small Forward Transfer Dontrez Styles to land at NC State. All-time, Shaw’s prediction accuracy is 87%.

I spoke with a source, and it seems like this prediction has some merit.

ON3 ranks Styles as the #66 overall prospect in the Portal.

Styles was the 2nd leading scorer for Georgetown this season, averaging 12.8 points per game, while grabbing 5.8 boards. He shot 36.8% from three.

Originally, Sytles was a consensus 4-Star prospect in UNC’s 2021 recruiting class. 247Sports ranked him as the #62 overall player nationally, and the #2 player in the state of North Carolina, playing for Kinston High School.

After two seasons with the Tar Heels, Styles entered the Portal, and took an Official Visit to NC State and Georgetown, and ultimately chose the Hoyas.

With his final year of eligibility, maybe he’ll make the right choice this time.

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NC State Basketball

Tennessee Guard Freddie Dilione V is Visiting NC State Tomorrow

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Tennessee Transfer Guard Freddie Dilone V (6’5″/195) is visiting NC State tomorrow.

Dilone V just wrapped up his Redshirt Freshman season with the Volunteers, averaging 1.7 points in 5.2 minutes of play per game (18 games).

In 2022, Dilone V was a consensus 4-Star prospect, and the #33 overall prospect nationally according to Rivals. ON3 and 247Sports both ranked Dilone V as the #1 player in the state of North Carolina, playing right down the road at Word of God Academy in Raleigh.

Currently, 247Sports ranks Dilone V as the #71 overall player in the Transfer Portal, and the #10 Combo Guard. He played his first three seasons of high school ball down in Fayetteville at Trinity Christian.

Dilone V has 3 more years of eligibility.

 

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