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Pack back from Atlantis, looks to keep momentum vs. William & Mary | Game Preview and How to Watch

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NC State Wolfpack vs. William & Mary Tribe
Time: 7:00 PM
Location: Raleigh, NC
TV: ACCNX (& ESPN+)

NC State is coming off an eye-opening 3 games in the Bahamas.

The Pack went 2-1 with wins over Dayton and Butler, and a down-to-the-wire 6 points loss to #3 Kansas. The tournament gave NC State fans a taste of what is to come, with elite guard play, versatility on the wing and an option to slow it down and beat you with some back to the basket post play.

This team has proven that they can beat you in multiple ways and have the pieces to be very competitive in the ACC this season, but they’ll have to weather some trap games. This William & Mary game being one of them.

The Tribe is 3-4 on the season, with blowout losses to Pitt and VT (their only two quality opponents), but they can’t be overlooked. State will be riding high off their big wins in the Bahamas and they could be looking forward to their ACC opener against Pitt this Friday. Focusing in and taking care of W&M is going to be a task.

William & Mary’s leading scorer is Ben Wight a 6’9, 220lb junior. He’s your basic mid-major big. He’s got solid fundamentals in the post, uses a lot of pump fakes, but that’s it. He’s not super mobile, or athletic, and can’t stretch you out to the 3-point line. He is averaging 13 points per game, but should really struggle against the NC State bigs who are stronger and more physical.

Their guards are decent at 6’6, 6’3 and 6’1, but none should really worry the Wolfpack. They can shoot it from outside, hitting 40% of their 3s on the season, but without much of a postgame and without guard mismatch that would allow them to get into the lane, State can stay home on shooters and defenders go one on one without much fear.

Things we are watching for…

  • Breon Pass started to come on a little bit at the end of the Battle 4 Atlantis, slowing his game down and not forcing the issue. We’re hoping to see more of that before ACC play starts, and this might be a good chance to get him some big-time minutes.
  • The same goes for LJ Thomas who has been solid but has yet to really showcase all he can do. He’s trying to just play his role right now and earn minutes, but he’s capable of becoming a pretty good scorer.
  • Get Terquavion Smith back on track. He had a decent tournament, but too often he was settling for quick shots and making unnecessary turnovers. I think a lot of that comes from the fact that State was on a big stage and his shot just wasn’t falling. We’re hoping to see Smith get back in rhythm in this one.
  • Speaking of rhythm, DJ Burns is starting to get comfortable and that spells big trouble for opponents. You saw against Butler that NC State can run their entire offense through Burns when the guards need a rest (or aren’t hitting) and he can carry you. We want to see him continue this because having an elite scoring post presence is vital if you want to be an ACC contender.
  • High energy! State played with great energy in every game this season, but tonight is a trap game with Pitt on the horizon. If they come out with the same energy they’ve had, they will be fine. But let these wins go to you head and you risk getting sniped but a team that shouldn’t even come close to taking you out.

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Papajohn
Papajohn
1 year ago

This one could be ugly. Classic trap game.
Can’t believe Traore is actually coming, and actually might contribute

Dof87
Dof87
1 year ago

We’ll be playing in what likely will be a nearly empty PNC arena, so some lack of focus and energy would be understandable.

I’m already looking ahead to start of ACC play on Friday. I hope team is not.

NC State Basketball

NC State Men’s Basketball 2024-25 Scholarship Breakdown

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With the announcement of the addition of Forward Ismael Diouf yesterday, and news breaking that MJ Rice and Ernest Ross are no longer with the team this morning, here’s a look at the Scholarship Breakdown for the Men’s Basketball Team for the 2024-25 season.

Senior (1 Year of Eligibility)

Forward/Center Brandon Huntley-Hatfield
Forward/Center Ben Middlebrooks
Forward Guard Dontrez Styles
Guard/Forward Jayden Taylor
Guard Michael O’Connell
Guard Marcus Hill
Guard Breon Pass

Junior (2 Years of Eligibility)

Forward/Center Ismael Diouf
Guard Mike James

Sophomore ( 3 Years of Eligibility)

Guard/Forward Dennis Parker Jr.

Freshman (4 Years of Eligibility)

Guard/Forward Paul McNeil Jr.
Guard Trey Parker

NC State now has 1 scholarship available for the 2024-25 season. 

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Ernest Ross is No Longer on NC State’s Roster

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According to a source, Senior Forward Ernest Ross is no longer on NC State’s roster.

On April 17th, Ross entered the Transfer Portal. On May 10th, Ross verbally committed to UTSA. Then on May 15th, Ross announced that he would in fact be returning to NC State for his final year of eligibility.

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.

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.

According to a source, Ross is leaving the program for personal reasons, that are non-basketball related.

Ross has 1 year of eligibility remaining.

 

 

 

 

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MJ Rice is No Longer on NC State’s Roster

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According to a source, Sophomore Guard MJ Rice is no longer on NC State’s roster.

Rice transferred to NC State last offseason from Kansas, and only played in 9 games for the Wolfpack this past season, averaging 4.1 points in 8.8 minutes per game.

On January 24th, it NC State announced that Rice would be sitting out the remainder of the season, and that they would be submitting a waiver for the season to count as a Redshirt year.

Prior to the beginning of the  season, Rice stepped away from the program for personal reasons, and missed the first 7 games, before joining the Wolfpack against Maryland Eastern-Shore.

The Kansas transfer played in 23 games for the Jayhawks as a Freshman, averaging 2.2 points in 7.6 minutes per game. ON3 ranked Rice as the #24 overall player nationally in the 2022 recruiting class. They also ranked him as the #2 overall player in the Transfer Portal.

It was always ‘iffy’ whether or not Rice would be on next years roster, but he didn’t enter the Transfer Portal, and remained with the team on their magical run, and even after.

According to a source, Rice is leaving the program for personal reasons, that are non-basketball related.

Rice has 3 years of eligibility remaining.

 

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NC State Commit Ismael Diouf: VIDEO VAULT

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NC State just landed a MASSIVE commitment from Canadian Forward Ismael Diouf (6’9″/215). Here’s a VIDEO VAULT of the new NC State big man.

 

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