NC State led the whole entire game tonight, but the final minute was as stressful as I’ve watched in sometime, but the Wolfpack found a way to pick up another Quad 1 win on the road, defeating Virginia Tech 73-69.
The truth of the matter is, NC State won a game where everything wasn’t clicking necessarily. The Hokies shot better than the Wolfpack (45.3%/41.4%). The Wolfpack only hit 5 three-pointers, and the Hokies did as well (VT’s Maddox hit three of those in the final minute). NC State only had 7 assists on 24 field goals, and only forced 11 turnovers.
But the mark of a maturing team is that you win the game when it’s not exactly beautiful.
So how did they do it?
Well, NC State’s three guards put a dent in the box score. Terquavion Smith and Jarkel Joiner both led the way again, combining for 43 points. Smith scored 22 and Joiner scored 21. Smith shot poorly, hitting only 6 of his 19 shots, but Joiner and Morsell were more efficient. Joiner shot 6 of 14 and Morsell was 5 of 8, scoring 15 points. When the Hokies would come running, one of these three would find a way to make a timely bucket.
D.J. Burns scored 10 points, but was limited tonight due to foul trouble, playing only 16 minutes. Several of his buckets quieted VT runs.
The Wolfpack have managed to get off to a hot start in the past two games, leading the Hokies 13-2 to begin the game.
A difference in the game was the fact that the Wolfpack had twice as many offensive rebounds (12/6). Greg Gantt had 4 of them, and led the team with 9 total rebounds. Without those offensive boards, NC State doesn’t win this ball game. They shot worse than the Hokies, but had 5 more shots, and scored 12 second chance points.
Another difference in the game was the fact that NC State hit 20 of 25 free throws, shooting a blistering 80% from the charity stripe.
I could quibble about the reliance of 1-on-basketball when Burns was on the bench, or the debacle of the final minute, but hey, NC State just walked away with a Quad 1 victory on the road, and the Wolfpack will eat ice cream before coming home. I’m not complaining.
💦 BIG MOOD 💦 pic.twitter.com/uiYeKXYnkA
— NC State Men's Bball (@PackMensBball) January 8, 2023
NC State’s 2023-23 Men’s Basketball Schedule Has Arrived
NC State’s 2023-24 Men’s Basketball schedule has arrived!
NC State to Honor David Thompson with Statue Outside Reynolds Coliseum
RALEIGH – NC State University will pay tribute to three-time All-American David Thompson with a statue sculpted in his honor that will be placed outside of Reynolds Coliseum.
The unveiling will take place at 11:30 a.m. on Wednesday, Dec. 6, the day of the Wolfpack men’s basketball team’s annual Heritage Game at Reynolds Coliseum, and will be open to the public.
“This is such a deserved honor for the greatest basketball player to ever wear an NC State jersey,” NC State Director of Athletics Boo Corrigan said. “He is one of the most iconic players to ever play in the ACC and our hope is that this statue will ensure that generations of NC State students and fans will always remember the legacy and contributions of David Thompson.”
Thompson is widely recognized as one of the greatest players in college basketball history. A 2008 ESPN story ranked him as one of the ten best college basketball players of all-time, and he is regarded as one of greatest athletes in Atlantic Coast Conference history.
The Boiling Spring, N.C., native played three seasons at NC State from 1972-75 and was a unanimous first-team All-American at the conclusion of all three seasons. He was also named the ACC Player of the Year all three seasons.
He was named the Associated Press National Player of the Year in 1974 and 1975 and remains one of just five players in college basketball history to win multiple AP National Player of the Year honors.
Thompson immediately made his mark on the Pack, helping lead NC State to an undefeated season (27-0) in 1973. The Pack dominated the 1972-73 season and was at the top or near the top of the polls all season as Thompson averaged 24.7 points and 8.1 rebounds per game.
Thompson returned in the 1973-74 season and led the Wolfpack to a 30-1 record and the school’s first NCAA Men’s Division I Basketball National Title.
In the Final Four, Thompson and the Wolfpack met up with UCLA, the seven-time reigning National Champions and the only team to have defeated NC State that season. The Pack trailed 74-67 in the second overtime when Thompson’s heroics helped lead NC State back. Thompson pulled down a defensive rebound and made the go-ahead basket with under one minute remaining and then made two free throws with 38 seconds to go to give the Pack a 78-75 double overtime win in a game that is still considered one of the greatest Final Four games ever played.
Thompson finished the game with 28 points and 10 rebounds in the win over Bill Walton and the Bruins.
Two nights later, the Pack won the National Title over Marquette, 76-64, behind 21 points from Thompson. Thompson was named the Most Outstanding Player of the tournament.
To make it into the NCAA Tournament, the Pack defeated fourth-ranked Maryland, 103-100, in overtime in the 1974 ACC Championship, in a game that is routinely considered one of the best games in college basketball history.
As a senior, Thompson averaged 29.9 points, still the highest single season average in NC State history. He scored an NC State and ACC record 57 points in an early season win over Buffalo State. The Pack started the season ranked No. 1 in the nation and never fell out of the top-10, but lost in the ACC Championship game to end its season. The Pack finished the season ranked seventh in the nation but because the NCAA Tournament at that time only allowed the conference champion into the tournament its season was over.
Thompson closed his career with 2,309 points in 86 career games. He led the ACC in scoring all three seasons and was NC State and the ACC’s career scoring leader when he graduated.
Former NC State Basketball Player Torin Dorn Joins Coaching Staff of G-League SLC Stars
Former NC State basketball player Torin Dorn has joined the staff of the Salt Lake City Stars, the G-League team for the Utah Jazz. Dorn’s title is Player Development Associate/Assistant Coach.
After playing 3 seasons at NC State, Dorn went on to play professionally overseas in Poland and Czech Republic, before joining the Wolfpack coaching staff last season as a Graduate Manager.
Dorn will be working under newly appointed head coach Steve Wojciechowski (former Duke PG), who was the head coach at Marquette the past 7 seasons.
NC State Guard MJ Rice Will Be Returning Soon After Stepping Away for a Period of Time
NC State Guard MJ Rice (6’5″/215) announced yesterday that due to personal reasons, he had to step away from the basketball program, but was excited to be back with his teammates soon. He was clear that his commitment to NC State hasn’t wavered.
Life is much bigger than sports. These young men are human beings first and foremost, and as we all know, this life is never simple and easy.
Rice transferred to NC State this offseason from Kansas with three years of eligibility remaining. The former High School McDonald’s All-American didn’t get a lot of playing time in his Freshman season at Kansas, averaging 7.6 minutes per game in only 23 games played.
Coming out of Prolific Prep in California, Rice averaged 20.1 points and 5.3 rebounds per game as a Senior. Rivals ranked him as a 5-star prospect, ON3 ranked him 24th nationally, and ESPN ranked him as the #1 player in the state of North Carolina.
Whatever Rice is working through, we value him as a person more than we do a player.