NC State Basketball
Wolferetti: 3 reasons why NC State is going to win today
God bless these guys over here at PI. I submitted this article to them this morning and got this back.
“Joey, this is a good piece, but are you sure you want to come out and say that NC State is going to win? Why not just do a ‘keys to the game.’ or something? Hedge your bets. Why are you always wanting to put your reputation on the line?”
To that I say, “Nah, I’m good. I want my reputation on the line. What fun is this if I’m not callin’ it like I see it?”
Look, they’ve been worried about me stating outlandish opinions before. Like when I said after game #1, after I first laid eye on this team, that it was going to be a team that will flirt with or get into the Top 25? I got hammered for that, but was I right? And today I’m back on my prediction tip, telling you that NC State will survive and advance. And here are my 3 reasons why.
1. Creighton hasn’t fared well against teams with great Turnover Margins.
If Creighton has a glaring weakness, it’s turnover margin.
NC State’s turnover margin ranks 16th in the NCAA. Creighton’s is a miserable 291st. This means Creighton turns the ball over a lot and doesn’t create many turnovers. Meanwhile, NC State is the exact opposite. They create a lot of turnovers and really protect the basketball. This statistic right here is going to play a major role. The Creighton guards, especially Nembhard, can get sped up, and when they do, they can get sloppy and out of control. Meanwhile, Joiner and Smith flourish at top speed.
Let’s look at the one team that Creighton lost to every time they played them (and played them multiple times). That team is Marquette.
What do Marquette and NC State have in common? Well, they are both Top 20 in the nation in Turnover Margin. Marquette ranks #3 in the NCAA while the Pack is 16th. Creighton turned it over 18 times in their first meeting at Marquette. The second time these two teams met, Creighton turned it over 15 times.
The other teams they faced in the Top 50 of Turnover Margin in the nation?
#39 Arizona State
That’s it. And guess what, Creighton lost every single one of those games. They have yet to beat a team in the Top 50 in Turnover Margin.
Reminder. NC State ranks 16th.
2. Large, back-to-the-basket bigs have fared well against Creighton
6’9, 245lb, Adama Sanogo from UConn dropped 17 against them in a win.
6’9, 215lb, Oso Ighodaro from Marquette dropped 16 on them in their first meeting, and then 18 in their second.
6’7, 220lb, Bryce Hopkins from Providence scored 20 on them in both meetings. One of which was a win.
All of these guys are big, strong, back-to-the-basket bigs and all of them bullied their way to huge games again Creighton.
In all 3 instances, Creighton refused to double-team on most possessions and the big men ate. So how will they deal with a big that is bigger than any of these guys?
DJ Burns is 6’9, 275lbs and he’s going to be a focal point for NC State in this game. If Creighton opts to play Burns straight up, history says they are going to have a long night and Burn is going to have a big game.
3. Creighton hasn’t seen guards like Joiner and Smith
Sure Creighton has quick guards. Nembhard, the 6’0 PG rarely gets a matchup where he doesn’t have a quickness advantage. Today, against Joiner, he won’t have one. There is so much talk about Creighton’s guards bottling up their opponents, but watch them play and you’ll see that they simply haven’t had to face guys like Joiner or Smith. Creighton will allow the floor to be spread and will not fight against playing this game at a fast pace, and those are the types of games we’ve seen the NC State guards feast.
Creighton is a very good team. They have some very good pieces, but I just think they’ve found themselves in a matchup that isn’t very good for them despite being data-darlings. I could be wrong, but to me, this looks like a game where people are reading off statistics and making assumptions without watching film. Without looking at each team’s Achilles heel. And without really breaking down the matchups.
I think this is a really good matchup for the Pack and I think I’ll be back talking to you in about 24 hours looking at who the guys will play on Sunday.
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.
Sorry Joey. It didn’t happen. And while I’m at it, I am as disappointed as anyone. I have been supporting this team for 54 years. But you guys who show up on this site for the first time in recent memory and claim this team did not get better throughout the year must have been watching a different team. Give Keatts all the crap you want, but don’t diss the players who worked their butts off. Morsell and Clark were key contributors who, I admit, should have played a more active role on offense. Ebe improved greatly on both ends… Read more »
So, here’s my take. Keatts can’t coach at this level. If you watch a team get better and better thru the year, it’s coaching. This team started good then faded at the end. He had talent this year but did not make them better. UNC will get rid of their coach way before NC state will and they will get better…..NC State likes to hold on to the Sendeks way too long….
Stuff happens. Injuries have plagued us a great deal and that’s not the coach’s fault. Those injuries had a great deal of impact on this team and yet we still managed to make it into the tournament. Should Purdue, Virginia, Arizona and Pitt, look for new coaches because they got their collective a$$es handed to them by high seeds? I get it, these teams have a better track record than State, but we’ve had our fair share of sheer bad luck, from injuries, to players committing only to then declare for the NBA, along with an apparent lid placed on… Read more »
Keatts is an average coach at best. Teams have no discipline, they’re not smart and they don’t share the ball. Too much NBA, dribbling HERO ball! I don’t have high hopes for the future.
Didn’ happen for us. But I applaud the effort. Creighton’s center was just way too much for us. Wish we had Dusan and Gantt. Creighton may go really deep into this tourney.
Great season nonetheless. It was fun.
Agree Dof87. This season was a 180 from last season. They were fun to watch. Could they be a 180 from next? Maybe. But I have a feeling they will continue to trend in the right direction and that Coach Keatts will nab, once again, some really nice transfers and put together yet another fun team to watch. We’re in a new landscape here, fellas. If Coach Keatts can do what he did this year with next year’s team, I think I like our chances. I was at the game so I saw “a nosebleed perspective” of the game that… Read more »
Glad you got to make it to the game. I share your perspective. Its really hard to accomplish what NC State did this year. I know there are those that don’t appreciate that, but I think many more that do.
Tension running high. Really want Keatts to get his first NCAA win, the players deserve it , we deserve it. Will we get it?