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NC State’s MJ Rice to Sit out the Remainder of the Season

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Prior to the Wolfpack’s road game against Virginia tonight, NC State just sent out a press release stating that Sophomore MJ Rice will sit out the remainder of the season, and that the school will submit a waiver for this season to count as a redshirt season.

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Rice was a massive pickup for NC State out of the Transfer Portal this past offseason.

The Kansas transfer played in 23 games for the Jayhawks as a Freshman this past year, 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.

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

Since joining the Pack, Rice hasn’t carved out a significant role for himself, averaging 4.1 points in 8.8 minutes per game. Rice didn’t play in the last two games, and prior to that, he only averaged 5.25 minutes in the previous 4 games. In the last two games he played in, Rice played 6 minutes against UNC and 2 minutes against Louisville.

At this point, I have no concrete information on why Rice is sitting out the remainder of the season.

 

Matthew is Co-Owner of Pack Insider. He writes for all sports, with a focus on football and recruiting, and is in charge of business strategy. He is an NC State alum who majored in business. Matthew is also the lead pastor of The Point Church in Cary, NC.

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ĞƁŁVÇĶ
ĞƁŁVÇĶ
2 months ago

Just give Breon the minutes he deserves anyway…he’s the most athletic guard you have on the team and most likely the best shooter as well. Not to mention LOYAL cause anyone else would have been outta there.Case in point ALL the transfers who committed elsewhere but now they are in Raleigh .

wolfpack74
wolfpack74
2 months ago

Let Rice play and sit KKIAL for the rest of the season. How could you just forget about Rice? He has the most talent on this team. Now he is probably gone. But if he stays and KKIAL is gone, that would be a fair trade.

wolfpack74
wolfpack74
2 months ago

I’m afraid that as soon as he get the waiver to sit out, he will be transferring. We will just have to wait and see. Another KKIAL mistake.

NC State Basketball

NC State’s Mohamed Diarra Has Professional Options in France

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According to a source, when NC State Forward Mohamed Diarra went back home to France after the Final Four, the option of playing professionally in his home country next season became a very viable option.

Diarra has one year of eligibility remaining, and according to my source, the Wolfpack coaching staff obviously wants him back next season in the Red & White.

With that being said, from what I’m hearing, Diarra returning next season to NC State is pretty much a coin toss at this point. It’s worth noting that Diarra just wrapped up his 4th year of college, playing his first two seasons at Garden City Community College, and then 1 year at Missouri before coming to Raleigh.

Diarra was a significant player for NC State all season long, averaging 6.3 points and 7.8 rebounds (team high), but his impact in March was tremendous, recording 10+ rebounds in 7 of the Wolfpack’s 10 postseason games, and five of those performances were double-doubles.

This isn’t an easy decision to make for Diarra, but NC State is somewhat in limbo until he calls his shot. Currently, if Diarra were to pursue the professional route next season, NC State would have a frontcourt made up of Ben Middlebrooks and Brandon Huntley-Hatfield. While those are two good pieces, without Diarra, NC State would be in desperate need to find depth in the post in the Portal pronto.

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NC State Basketball

NC State’s Kevin Keatts Named Clarence “Big House” Gaines Division I College Basketball Coach of the Year

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NC State’s Kevin Keatts has been named the Clarence “Big House” Gaines Division I College Basketball Coach of the Year.

The Clarence “Big House” Gaines College Basketball Coach of the Year Awards are presented to the head coach in NCAA Division I and Division II, who may not earn recognition from mainstream outlets. (Link)

Kevin Keatts, the men’s basketball coach at North Carolina State University, and Alfred Jordan, the men’s basketball coach at Clark Atlanta University, have been named the Clarence “Big House” Gaines College Basketball Coaches of the Year by the National Sports Media Association. The Gaines Awards will be presented during the NSMA’s 64th awards banquet on July 1, 2024 in Greensboro, N.C.

Keatts, the Division I winner of the Gaines Award, took NC State on a magical run through the postseason. After finishing the regular season with a 17-14 record, the Wolfpack swept five games in five days to win the Atlantic Coast Conference Tournament in Washington, D.C., the Wolfpack’s first ACC Tournament title since 1987. As the ACC’s automatic qualifier to the NCAA Tournament, NC State then rang up four straight wins to reach the national semifinals, where the Wolfpack lost to eventual runner-up, Purdue University. In seven seasons at NC State, Keatts’ teams are 139-94. His NC State teams have won at least 20 games in five of his seven seasons at NC State. (Link)

Here’s a look at former coaches who have won the award:

 

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NC State Basketball

WATCH: Pack Insider’s DJ Burns 2024 ACC Tournament Highlight Reel

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There would be no ACC Championship if it weren’t for Senior DJ Burns.

Burns averaged 15.2 points per game over the 5 games, shooting an absurd 62.7% from the field, going on to win the 2024 ACC Tournament MVP Award.

Check out Pack Insider’s DJ Burns 2024 ACC Tournament Highlight Reel.





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NC State vs. Duke in the Elite Eight was the Most Watched Game of the Men’s NCAA Tournament

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The 2024 NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament has come and gone, but it’s still remarkable to note that the Elite Eight matchup between NC State and Duke was the most watched game of the entire tournament.

Elite 8: Duke/NC State: 15.1 million
Finals: UConn/Purdue: 14.8 million
Final 4: UConn/Alabama: 14.1 million
Final 4: NC State/Purdue: 11.45 million
Elite 8: Purdue/Tennessee: 10.39 million

The game between the two ACC crosstown rivals was the most watched Elite Eight game in the past 5 years. The 15.1 million viewers was more than all but 5 college football games last season.

Sunday’s NC State-Duke NCAA men’s basketball tournament regional final averaged a 6.4 rating and 15.14 million viewers on CBS, marking the most-watched Elite Eight game since Michigan State-Duke in 2019 (16.20M) and the most-watched basketball game of any kind, including the Final Four and NBA Finals, since the 2022 national championship (Kansas-North Carolina: 17.05M)

Since the wave of cancellations and postponements that decimated the industry four years ago, the Wolfpack’s win ranks fifth among basketball games behind the aforementioned 2022 title game, North Carolina-Duke in that year’s Final Four (17.66M), the 2021 national championship (Baylor-Gonzaga: 17.08M) and Gonzaga-UCLA in that year’s Final Four (15.39M). (Link)

(The above information was before the Women’s Championship Game between Iowa and South Carolina beat all of those with 18.89 million.)

 

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