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NC State ready to face off against former center Manny Bates and Butler | Game Preview and How to Watch

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NC State Wolfpack vs. Butler Bulldogs
Time: 10:00 PM
Location: Bahamas (Battle 4 Atlantis)
TV: ESPN2

NC State takes on a 4-2 Butler team that is picked to finish in the middle of the Big East.

The storyline here is that Manny Bates, NC State’s former center, will be facing off against his old team. Bates left the NC State front court with a bare cupboard when he transferred. However, it has since been filled by two guys that NC State fans are really excited about in Mahorcic and Burns. Will Bates get the upper hand, or will the new look NC State frontcourt prove they’re better off without Bates?

Bates is averaging 12 points, 7 boards, and 3 blocks. That’s a tick-up from what Pack fans were seeing during Bates’s sophomore campaign and kind of what they expected last season before his shoulder injury. So no surprises here. Bates is an elite shot blocker who is decent in the post but will be motivated to prove he’s better off at Butler.

Meanwhile, he needs to do that without getting into foul trouble, as Butler is down a few bigs and will likely be suiting up just 8 scholarship players. Last night against BYU their starting 5 played almost the whole game.

While we are focused on Bates, Butler is really a guard-oriented team, playing 3 guys under 6’4 and with their 4 man coming in at 6’6. This team could cause fits for bigger, slower teams, but NC State is kind of built this way too. The Pack runs out 3 guards under 6’4 and their 4 man is 6’8 but plays more like a wing (Clark is quicker than Lukosious, their 4 man).

The main matchup to watch will be Jayden Taylor vs. Terquavion Smith or Casey Morsell. Taylor is averaging 16 ppg. Taylor has been their go to guy, able to score at the rim or from beyond the arc.

The one area of true concern with Butler is their ability to shoot it. Their 3 guards are all shooting over 40% from long range. This is a team that is going to drive, draw and dish and NC State has struggled at keeping tabs on shooters. They tend to get sucked in and leave shooters open on the perimeter. They need to stay home, close out under control and not allow for Butler to pump fake, drive and start putting pressure on the NC State bigs to stop rim runs.

Butler is a winnable game for NC State, and while the story might be Bates vs the Pack, it’s going to be more about who wins the guard matchup.

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Dof87
Dof87
1 year ago

OH yeah, I forgot about Manny being there. I wish him the best but not today.

Will be interesting to watch big body Burns batlle ball batting Bates.

Last edited 1 year ago by Dof87

NC State Basketball

NC State & Kansas Will Play a Home-and-Home Series Over the Next 2 Seasons in Men’s Basketball

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According to Matt Norlander, NC State and Kansas have agreed to play in a home-and-home series over the next two seasons in Men’s Basketball.

The Wolfpack have played the Jayhawks 13 times in a series that date backs to 1958-59, with Kansas winning 12 of them. NC State’s lone victory over Kansas was in the first game ever played between the two on December 20th, 1958. The 4th ranked Wolfpack won 66-63 in the Dixie Classic in Reynolds Coliseum.

The last time the two teams faced one another was in 2022-23, when the #3 Jayhawks defeated the Wolfpack 80-74 in the Battle for Atlantis on November 23, 2022.

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NC State Basketball

NC State is Adding UMASS’ Brett Nelson as an Assistant Coach

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According to reports, NC State is adding UMASS’ Brett Nelson as an Assistant Coach.

Nelson was only at UMASS for 1 season under Frank Martin. Prior to that, Nelson was the Head Coach at Holy Cross for 4 seasons, posting a 27-84 record.

Prior to taking the Head Coaching mantle at Holy Cross, Nelson was at Marquette for 5 seasons, spending the first 3 as an Assistant Coach, and the final two as an Associate Head Coach. Prior to Marquette, Nelson also served as an Assistant Coach at Ball St., Drake, Arkansas and Marshall.

Before coaching basketball, Nelson played for the University of Florida from 1999-2003. He was All-SEC twice, and earned Third Team All-American honors. When he left Gainesville, he was the Gators’ all-time leader in three pointers made, and ranked 2nd in steals.

As a Senior in High School, Nelson was a McDonald’s All-American.

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NC State Basketball

Ernest Ross Announces He is Returning to NC State

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Power Forward Ernest Ross announced this morning that he is returning to NC State for his final year of eligibility.

 

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Last Friday, Ross committed to UTSA after entering the Transfer Portal on April 17th, but it looks like he had a change of heart over the past couple of days.

NC State has been in desperate need to add a Big out of the Portal. They have hosted ECU’s Ezra Ausar and Georgia’s Frank Anselem-Ibe, but neither of them have found a home yet. With the addition of Ross, NC State has added depth in the Frontcourt, and unless something changes, their roster is full with 13 scholarship players.

Ross played in 14 games this past season, 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 NC State’s 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.

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NC State Basketball

A Matchup Between NC State & Marquette Next Season Might be in the Works

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According to NCAA.com’s Andy Katz, a matchup between NC State and Marquette next season might be in the works.

This past year, the Wolfpack defeated the Golden Eagles 67-58 in the Sweet 16 of the 2024 NCAA Tournament.

NC State and Marquette have played one another 6 times overall, with the Wolfpack holding a 4-2 lead in the series, winning the past two matchups.

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