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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
2 days 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
2 days ago

Surprised to see Dayton as a 3.5 pt favorite.

NC State Basketball

Kevin Keatts’ Postgame Press Conference After Butler Win: BULLETED

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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.

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NC State Basketball

NC State 76 Butler 61: ACCDN Highlight Reel

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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.

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NC State Basketball

Men’s Basketball: NC State 76 Butler 61: BOX SCORE

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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.

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NC State Basketball

NC State Players Celebrate By Planting Their Flag on UNC Logo and Saying: ‘UNC…What Happened???’

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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.

Safety Cyrus Fagan, as fiery as ever, was running the field with the flag.

Derrek Pitts, Jordan Houston and Devin Carter planted that flag right on the UNC logo at midfield.

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.

Then the boys in the locker room trolled the Heels with this…UNC…WHAT HAPPENED?

 

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