NC State Basketball
WOLFERETTI: NC State’s postseason success rests on the shoulders of Terquavion Smith
Terquavion Smith just scooped up 2nd team All-ACC honors yesterday, capping off a sophomore campaign that saw him average team-highs in points (tie) 17.3ppg and assists, 4.4 per game.
However, this hasn’t been the dominant season that Smith expected when he opted to forgo the NBA draft and return to Raleigh for another season. This season he’s seen a 3% decrease in both FG% and 3pt %. He’s more than doubled his assist total this year and has stayed pretty even with last year in every other stat.
Down the stretch, he’s struggled with his shot. Smith is shooting just 31% from the field over the final 8 games. During that time he’s also shot just 31% from long range, and NC State has won just 4 of those 8.
Now, NC State enters the ACC Tournament as a 6 seed and needs just one win to really set in stone an NCAA berth. They will face either Notre Dame or Virginia Tech.
Notre Dame came to Raleigh and almost beat the Pack, but came up just short 85-83. In that game, Terquavion Smith struggled. He shot just 2-14 from the floor and 2-9 from 3pt range. He did finish with 17 points and 6 assists, so it was a productive outing for the sophomore, but more than anything else, NC State needs Smith scoring at a somewhat efficient clip.
Against Virginia Tech (who was without Hunter Cattoor), State won by just 4 in Blacksburg. This was another game where Smith struggled shooting the ball. He did finish with 22 points but was just 6-19 from the floor and 2-9 from 3pt range.
The point is, when Smith is shooting in the low 30s from the field and lower than 30% from 3pt range, the Pack can lose to any decent team, but if Smith is hitting at anywhere near an efficient clip, then NC State looks nearly unstoppable.
If NC State is going to make a run in the postseason, they’re going to need a hot streak from Terquavion Smith.
Should we be expecting one?
To me, it has looked as if Smith has been pressing offensively all season long, and honestly, I get it.
You bypass the NBA and expect to come back and dominate, both on the floor and in the box score. But last season nobody was game-planning for you and this season you’re the focal point of every team’s defensive strategy. Meanwhile, you’re looking to increase your scoring average, your percentages AND incorporate the feedback you received from the scouts. In Smith’s case, it was “We want to see you become a playmaker, make others around you better.”
Smith has incorporated that feedback. Last season he averaged just 2 assists per game and now he’s well over 4. But the pressure to keep the scoring average up has seemed to bother him. He’s settling for too many shots from well beyond the arc, he’s forcing shots that aren’t in the flow of the offense. But if he’s going to keep up his scoring average this is what he’s got to do, right?
It is. And he can now say that he has increased his scoring average and his assist average from his freshman season. His efficiency numbers and his shooting percentages have dipped, but that’s what it took to get those numbers.
And don’t get me wrong, this isn’t a criticism. The kid came back to Raleigh out of loyalty to the program and Kevin Keatts. He deserves to go out there and get those numbers. we should all want him to go as high in this year’s draft as possible. To show future players that coming back to the school does work out, and does earn you more money in the long run.
Smith has been a huge part of this basketball team. Many nights he’s been the best guy on the court, and his presence alone puts pressure on opposing defenses. Without him, Joiner isn’t scoring as much. Without him, Burns isn’t feasting off one on one matchups. Honestly, without him most of the guys on this team aren’t even here.
That said, I’d love to see Smith ease into the postseason a little bit. While all the lights are going to be shining on him, its likely that he’s going to want to come out on fire. Launching and connecting on deep 3s. Sending NC State fans into a frenzy. But that’s not really what scouts want to see and that’s really not what NC State needs.
What NC State needs from Smith is for him to be a calculated killer. Not coming out all hyped up, but instead, laser-focused and locked in on the task at hand. Let the defense overplay him, get his teammates involved, and when the focus on him eases up, bury them in a scoring spree within the flow of the game.
Smith has shown the fans, the coaches, and the scouts just about everything at this point. Everyone is sold on his scoring ability, his passing ability, and his playmaking ability. The one last thing Smith could show in his final few games in Raleigh is patience. Let the game come to him. Don’t worry about averages or totals. Just work on getting good, clean looks and they’ll fall.
Do that, and I’ll bet you Smith unlocks a level we haven’t seen all season long, which will finally unlock the full potential of this NC State team.
NC State Basketball
NC State’s Terquavion Smith Will Forgo His Remaining College Eligibility & Declare for NBA Draft
Well, it’s official. NC State Sophomore Terquavion Smith will forgo his remaining two years of college eligibility and officially declare for the 2023 NBA Draft.
Here’s what Smith had to say to ESPN’s Jonathan Givony regarding his decision.
“I’m forgoing my college eligibility and going all the way in,” Smith said. “I’m thankful for everything the NC State coaching staff and fans have done for me. This is the right decision for me to take care of my family.”
“I showed a lot of different things this year,” Smith said. “Teams wanted to see me be more of a point guard, making the right play, making the right decisions. They wanted to see me improve my finishing, and I increased that. I showed I can be a leader.”
“I improved my grades. I’m a year closer to getting my degree now. You only get one chance to be a college student and get that college vibe. There was no rush for me. I’m ready to contribute to an NBA team now.”
“I’m feeling good about everything now,” Smith said. “I came back to do what I needed to do. I feel like I did everything the right way. I know what’s coming now in the pre-draft process because I’ve been there already and know what to expect. I’ll be a lot more confident in myself now. It’s going to be a straight grind.” (ESPN)
Smith earned 2nd Team All-ACC honors this year, averaging 17.9 points and 4.1 assists per game.
He currently ranks 30th on ESPN’s Top-100 2023 NBA Draft Prospect Rankings. In most NBA Mock Drafts, Smith is projected as a late first round pick.
Smith’s career scoring average of 17.1 ranks 8th in school history. He made 187 three point shots in two seasons, ranking 8th all-time in NC State history. His 96 made three-pointers last year are the most ever by a Freshman in school history, and his 91 made three-pointers made this year are the most ever by a Sophomore.
If Smith goes on to be taken in the 1st round of the 2023 NBA Draft, it will be the first person to do so from NC State since Dennis Smith Jr. was taken 9th overall in 2017. If Smith is taken in the first round, the would become the 17th player in school history to do so.
NC State Basketball
NC State’s Men’s Basketball 2022-23 Season: BY THE NUMBERS
NC State’s Men’s Basketball 2022-23 season has come and gone, and I thought we should take a moment to look back on this season BY THE NUMBERS.
- NC State finished the season with a 23-11 overall record.
- The 23 wins are the 2nd most of the Kevin Keatts era.
- In 2018-19, the Wolfpack had 24 wins (2 in the NIT)
- The 23 wins are the 2nd most of the Kevin Keatts era.
- The Wolfpack had 22 regular season wins.
- This was the most regular season wins since 2012-13.
- NC State had 12 ACC regular season wins.
- This is the most conference wins since they increased the slate of conference games to 20 in 2019-20.
- It’s the most conference wins since 1973-74, when the Wolfpack was 12-0 in ACC play. Obviously this stat is not representative of the best conference performance by NC State since 1973-74, because they played significantly more conference games than years past.
- The Wolfpack’s winning percentage in ACC play was 60%, which is the 2nd highest winning percentage in conference play under Kevin Keatts.
- In his first season in 2017-18, the Wolfpack’s ACC winning percentage was 61.1%.
- NC State shot 45% from the field this season;.
- This is the 2nd to worst shooting season under Kevin Keatts, trailing only 41.3% last year.
- The Wolfpack shot 34.7% from three-point range.
- That number is the 4th best in 6 seasons under Kevin Keatts.
- NC State shot 72.2% from the free-throw line.
- This is the 2nd best number under Kevin Keatts (72.5% last year was the best year).
- For the first time since 2018-19, NC State won the rebounding margin over their opponents on the year.
- It was the 2nd highest rebounding margin under Kevin Keatts, with +1.7 margin. (In 2018-19, the margin was +4.3)
- NC State averaged 77.7 points per game, which is the third highest number under Kevin Keatts, but the highest since 2018-19.
- The Wolfpack forced 477 turnovers, which is the 3rd highest total under Kevin Keatts, and the most since 2018-19.
- NC State only committed 320 turnovers, which is the lowest total under Keatts (328 in 2020-21, which was a shortened season, was the lowest before.)
- NC State held opponents to a 44.5% field goal percentage, which is the lowest since 2019-20, and the third lowest under Keatts.
- The Wolfpack held opponents to 31.6% from three, which is tied for the 2nd lowest percentage under Keatts.
- NC State had 434 assists, which is tied for the 3rd most in a season under Keatts.
- The Wolfpack had 152 blocks, which is the most in a single season under Keatts.
- NC State finished ranked 51 in KenPom’s
NC State Basketball
UNC Transfer Dontrez Styles Expected to Visit NC State Soon
UNC Guard/Forward Transfer Dontrez Styles (6’6″/210) is expected to be visiting NC State soon. According to a source, he was expected to take an unofficial visit tomorrow, but it has been rescheduled to Monday.
Styles entered the Transfer Portal on March 17th.
Over the past two seasons, Styles has seen limited action for the Tar Heels, averaging 5.9 minutes in 45 total games (15 this season).
Styles is no stranger to NC State. He played high school for Kinston (Kinston, NC), and was offered by Kevin Keatts. Styles was a consensus 4-Star prospect coming out of High School. 247Sports ranked him as the #62 overall player nationally in the 2021 recruiting class, and the #2 player in the state of North Carolina.
ON3 ranks Styles as the #21 player currently in the Transfer Portal.
NC State Basketball
All-AAC Temple Transfer Damian Dunn Visiting NC State this Weekend
According to a source, Temple All-AAC Transfer Shooting Guard Damian Dunn (6’5″/195) was expected to be at NC State today on an unofficial visit.
Dunn entered the Transfer Portal on March 20th.
— Damian Dunn 🇦🇸 (@Dam1anKD) March 20, 2023
Dunn averaged 15.3 points per game this season, earning 3rd Team All-AAC honors. He shot 41.1% from the field this season, and 34.8% from three-point land.
In 2021-22, he led the Owls in scoring (14.9), and earned 2nd Team All-AAC honors.
Dunn originally is from Kinston, North Carolina, but played his Senior season of High School for Meadowcreek in Georgia, finishing his high school career as a 3-star prospect.
With the almost guaranteed loss of Terquavion Smith, NC State will be in need for a dynamic scorer, and Dunn has proven that he can do just that at the collegiate level.
Currently, Dunn is the 16th ranked player in the Transfer Portal according to ON3.
Dunn is a Redshirt Sophomore this season, with 2 years of eligibility remaining.
Clemson Game: I’m surprised to see line on game is Clemson +2.5. I figured it would be more like -2
No way Clemson shoots lights out like last matchup.
First game, we shot poorly overall and Clemson beat us at FT line, DJ fouled out with only 5 pts. We had 8 turnovers to their 7. Hunter Tyson scored 31 with 4-5 3 pointers. Second game, we shot poorly again, they shot lights out. Smith had foul trouble They out-rebounded us. We had 10 turnovers to their 11. Burns had 24 pts. Brevin Galloway had 28 pts with 4-5 3 pointers and 10-10 FT Key to game seems to be to shoot better and to not allow anyone to shoot 4-5 3 pointers. The problem is with DJ on… Read more »
VTech post game: Impressive performance. Excellent on both defense and offense. Surely there’s no question we are in the NCAAT now, at worst a 10 seed.
I like we got to get some subs in late. It seems like Pass is getting more minutes now than LJ, who got more minutes during most of the season. I think that’s mostly a matchup decision, Pass is the quick guy, LJ more physical. Both of those guys are a luxury to have as backup guards.
Credit to KK for having our guys ready to go.
VT Game First Half: That was fun. Life gets so much easier when Smith is on. Ebe was so much fun to watch. Gantt doing what he does best, sure hope he’s OK.
Smith blocking that shot and taking it to the hoop on the other end was epic. Ebe’s block and followup down court was equally great.
Team defense has been spectacular.
That was the most relaxed I was all day! And Smith, welcome back!!!
VT game: We are favored by 2 pts. Playoffstatus has us at 61% chance to win.
I predict my stress limits will be tested.
The game hasn’t even started yet, and my stress limits are already being tested.
The officials already suck!
Although most of us realized T has been pressing this year, you did a very good job of explaining it. Nobody has written or really talked about it. Good work.
Smith is the most overrated player for State since Brandon Costner and Damien Wilkins.
Smith outscored Joiner by 2 points but took 67, yes 67 more shots than Joiner. Joiner’s assist to turnover ratio was higher than Smith. Joiner had more rebounds. 50% less fouls and much higher percent made in all three shooting categories. Why do you keep pushing Smith. The media has ruined him. On the other hand, Keatts made some good decisions on the transfers this year.
VT and Notre Dame, playing it close after a slow start from the Irish. My fear exactly.
I’m glad its a tight, tough game.
I was hoping for OT. Maybe 5 or 6 of them
VT played 8 guys with significant minutes, so they aren’t likely to be very fatiqued. Looking at the box score, the game close to even in almost every stat. They shot well from 3 pt line, and got to the foul line a lot.
I would not be surprised to see VT get off to a hot start since they are in game mode already, if so we just need to weather that storm and keep pounding away.
Completely agree, VT will be accustomed to the environment and fired up because of the win. Conversely, we’ve been off for 10 days and are riding a 2 game losing streak. It’ll be tough all the way under the best of circumstances, but like you said, we need to not fall behind significantly right away – like we have done recently. Not sure we’ll be able to dig our way out of too big an early deficit.
Our likely path runs through VT, Clemson, UNC, and Miami. Brutal. Let’s get the first one!!
Mike Brey ripped officials big time in post interview. Said they were the ‘B team’. I think I’d like to see him do some broadcasting.
That’s a different take. I see a ball hog trying to get to the NBA. No one is going to take him based on this years performance. The team does not need him to win. We play as a team without him.
Who leads the team in assists?
Who leads the team in missed shots, bad shots, and turnovers?
I think the article is pretty spot on. I’ve said all along that he just needs take what the defense gives him and let the game come to him. I disagree that the team doesn’t need him to win. He requires so much focus that it forces other teams to put all of their energy on him which then opens up other people. By default, simply having him on the floor creates opportunity for other players. He’s also a playmaker. To further disagree with your point, he could have left for the NBA last year but instead chose to come… Read more »
Some folks also don’t appreciate Smith’s defense.
He could have left for the NBA last year with no guarantee of being drafted. He could have solidified his position by playing well. That hasn’t happened but he does have time this year to impress. I disagree with the focus on him during the game. He shoots so far out that the defense just stays home for the miss which more than likely is going to happen. Forces shots and plays piss poor defense. Give me Casey all day long instead of Smith.
I don’t disagree with him taking shots he shouldn’t, nor that when he shoots so far out (especially when it’s the very first shot within ten seconds of the shot clock), he takes shots away from his teammates that in turn requires very little D from the other team. But part of that has to do with him letting the game come to him and not forcing his shot. That’s kind of been the missing “it” factor. If he can slow down a millisecond, he’d do himself wonders. I’ve criticized him for this pretty much all season. He’s not unlike… Read more »
People used to say similar stuff about Allerik Freeman. That he was a selfish ball hog, the team would be better without him, etc. Those folks were proven incredibly wrong. Even heard a little of that about Dorn when he went through a rough patch. Such is life in fan discussion forums. Not only is Smith super valuable to the team, hes also just a great person and I’m so glad he came back. He’s always cheering for his teamates even when he is struggling. He brings so much energy and positivity. He’s creating offense for others with assists, he’s… Read more »
Yeah. I’m not saying he’s a ball hog. I’m saying he has to slow down a notch and take what the defense gives him. I also fear he’s running out of time and that now is as good a time as any to have this click. No doubt he’s valuable.
Oh, I know you were not saying that about Smith, I was responding more to the discussion in general than specifically anything you said.
I agree T’s shot selection could improve, particularly early in the clock, but personally I’d rather not have him thinking about it too much and just play. Its a tough balance.
Got it! I agree, I want to see that unconscious, in the zone, Smith.
FSU players must feel sick after losing the way they did. Lesson = don’t stop attacking.
I’d like to see Jarkel work to create more good shots for T by driving then kicking back out on occasion. Its harder to score when your PG doesn’t have many assists. Maybe we need to call Sidney Lowe and get some of his isolation plays that so often worked for Scott Wood.
Agree – if you watch Morsell last season versus this season, there’s a slight pause before the shot this year – and it’s made an incredible difference. I think both T and Jack could take a nanosecond or so more to get his form set just right, and pull the trigger.
After watching that dismal performance against Clemson in person, in front of a packed PNC, I have no idea what to expect in Greensboro in front of a Thursday night crowd, and I’m sweating it badly.