Connect with us

NC State Basketball

WOLFERETTI: NC State’s postseason success rests on the shoulders of Terquavion Smith

Published

on

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.

A pasta eatin', Wolfpack lovin' loudmouth from Raleigh by way of New Jersey. Jimmy V and Chuck Amato fanboy. All opinions are my own and you're gonna hear'em.

32 Comments
Subscribe
Notify of
32 Comments
newest
oldest most Upvoted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Dof87
Dof87
1 year ago

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.

Dof87
Dof87
1 year ago
Reply to  Dof87

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 »

Dof87
Dof87
1 year ago

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.

Dof87
Dof87
1 year ago

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.

Last edited 1 year ago by Dof87
Afterglow
Afterglow
1 year ago
Reply to  Dof87

That was the most relaxed I was all day! And Smith, welcome back!!!

Dof87
Dof87
1 year ago

VT game: We are favored by 2 pts. Playoffstatus has us at 61% chance to win.

I predict my stress limits will be tested.

Afterglow
Afterglow
1 year ago
Reply to  Dof87

The game hasn’t even started yet, and my stress limits are already being tested.

Dof87
Dof87
1 year ago
Reply to  Afterglow

The officials already suck!

mfins
mfins
1 year ago

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.

SorryIamafan
SorryIamafan
1 year ago

Smith is the most overrated player for State since Brandon Costner and Damien Wilkins.

SorryIamafan
SorryIamafan
1 year ago

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.

Afterglow
Afterglow
1 year ago

VT and Notre Dame, playing it close after a slow start from the Irish. My fear exactly.

Dof87
Dof87
1 year ago
Reply to  Afterglow

I’m glad its a tight, tough game.

Afterglow
Afterglow
1 year ago
Reply to  Dof87

Yep.

Papajohn
Papajohn
1 year ago
Reply to  Afterglow

I was hoping for OT. Maybe 5 or 6 of them

Dof87
Dof87
1 year ago
Reply to  Papajohn

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.

Papajohn
Papajohn
1 year ago
Reply to  Dof87

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!!

Dof87
Dof87
1 year ago
Reply to  Afterglow

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.

SorryIamafan
SorryIamafan
1 year ago

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.

Dof87
Dof87
1 year ago
Reply to  SorryIamafan

Who leads the team in assists?

SorryIamafan
SorryIamafan
1 year ago
Reply to  Dof87

Who leads the team in missed shots, bad shots, and turnovers?

Afterglow
Afterglow
1 year ago
Reply to  SorryIamafan

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 »

Last edited 1 year ago by Afterglow
Dof87
Dof87
1 year ago
Reply to  Afterglow

Some folks also don’t appreciate Smith’s defense.

SorryIamafan
SorryIamafan
1 year ago
Reply to  Afterglow

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.

Afterglow
Afterglow
1 year ago
Reply to  SorryIamafan

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 »

Last edited 1 year ago by Afterglow
Dof87
Dof87
1 year ago
Reply to  Afterglow

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 »

Last edited 1 year ago by Dof87
Afterglow
Afterglow
1 year ago
Reply to  Dof87

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.

Dof87
Dof87
1 year ago
Reply to  Afterglow

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.

Last edited 1 year ago by Dof87
Afterglow
Afterglow
1 year ago
Reply to  Dof87

Got it! I agree, I want to see that unconscious, in the zone, Smith.

Dof87
Dof87
1 year ago

FSU players must feel sick after losing the way they did. Lesson = don’t stop attacking.

Dof87
Dof87
1 year ago

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.

Papajohn
Papajohn
1 year ago

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.

Last edited 1 year ago by Papajohn

NC State Basketball

NC State Men’s Basketball 2024-25 Scholarship Breakdown

Published

on

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. 

Continue Reading

NC State Basketball

Ernest Ross is No Longer on NC State’s Roster

Published

on

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.

 

 

 

 

Continue Reading

NC State Basketball

MJ Rice is No Longer on NC State’s Roster

Published

on

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.

 

Continue Reading

NC State Basketball

NC State Commit Ismael Diouf: VIDEO VAULT

Published

on

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.

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Dylan (@_shotbydylan)

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Rouge et Or (@rougeetor)

Continue Reading