Connect with us

NC State Basketball

SCOUTING PURDUE: Edey’s going to get his. Limiting the Purdue guards will be key for Wolfpack.

Published

on

I decided to go back and look at all of the game that Purdue either lost or struggled. I wanted to figure out what type of defense or personnel was responsible for slowing down Purdue 7’4, 300lb center, Zack Edey.

Truth is, nothing has stopped him all season long. He really hasn’t had a bad game and he stays out of foul trouble. He’s shooting 62% from the floor and 71% from the stripe.

So what should NC State be doing with their gameplan?

Well, Burns has to make it hard for Edey to get deep in the paint where he does all his damage. Burns can match his weight, and being shorter, has a lower center of gravity, so not allowing Edey to get to the block is key and somewhat doable. The problem is, Edey has about 6 inches on Burns, who already isn’t a great shot contestor. But, Edey is much more human when he’s having to shoot from 10-15 feet away from he rim.

NC State will have to put either Middlebrooks or Diarra on him when Burns is out, and both of those guys are going to be big-time mismatches with the advantage going to Edey. You could front him with Diarra, who at 6’10 with length, would make throwing over the top, quite risky, but you’ll need Middlebrooks helping pinch down on the backside. That’s possible when Purdue is playing Kaufman-Renn at the 4. He’s a guy Middlebrooks can guard and help off of. He is a 35% 3-point shooter, but at 6’9 he’s only taken 24 3s all season long. You live with Kaufman-Renn beating you.

Outside of the Edey, NC State wins the matchup battle against Purdue. They can all shoot, but with NC State switching screens, and none of the Purdue guards elite scorers off the dribble, finding clean looks is going to be tough. However, Purdue loves to create chaos by throwing it down to Edey, waiting for a double and then finding that shooter.

If I’m game-planning against Purdue, I’m going to clamp down on Edey with my 4 and 5 guys. I’m going to tell my guards to stay put as much as possible and allow Purdue’s 4-man to beat us. Purdue uses a mixture of three guys at the (4) power forward position. 6’9 Kaufman-Renn, 6’7 Camden Hyde, and 6’6 Mason Gillis. None of them average more than 6 points per game, none are super physical, but all are decent shooters.

The 4 is Purdue’s weakest link. None of them are playmakers by nature, and putting them in a position where they need to do that will have them out of sorts. Meanwhile, their guards are all dead-eye shooters, so if you double down on Edey, and rotate over to help out, they find that open shooter and make you pay.

In 3 of Purdue’s 4 losses, they shot well below their 40% clip from 3-point range. They shot 26% against Northwestern, 33% vs. Ohio State, and 31% vs Wisconsin. The other loss was to Nebraska which was an outlier because Nebraska shot 61% from 3-point range in what was just an insane shooting night (Purdue shot 40% from 3pt range which is average).

So I think I’d at first see how effective Burns can be at playing Edey one on one, using his weight to keep him out of the paint. But my guess is that isn’t going to work and it’s going to expose Burns to a lot of foul call opportunities for the officials. You can’t have Burns getting in foul trouble here, so you’ll need to double Edey. How NC State responds on their help defense will determine this game.

The Purdue guards can’t beat Horne, Taylor, and Morsell off the dribble. They’re too slow and/or too weak. But give them space and leave them open, and they’ll make you pay.

No matter what, this is a game where you can’t just roll out your guys, run your system, and expect to win. Kevin Keatts has gotten a lot of credit for this unbelievable NCAA run as he should, and he’s admitted that he’s learned to coach with a back-to-the-basket big, and without a shoot-first point guard. The key is, he’s made adjustments and he’s starting to see those adjustments lead to success. Anything he does that can slow down Edey will be unprecedented since Edey hasn’t been slowed at all this season, but it doesn’t mean he shouldn’t try. Edey is human just like anyone else, and putting him in unfamiliar and uncomfortable situations will surely make him play out of his comfort zone. And that’s really all you can ask for. It will be interesting to see how Keatts and staff strategize over the week to put NC State in the best position to knock off another literal and figurative giant.
—-

I’ll dig into how I expect Purdue to guard NC State, and how I expect Keatts to attack them in an upcoming article.

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.

Click to comment
Subscribe
Notify of
0 Comments
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

NC State Basketball

NC State’s Mohamed Diarra Has Professional Options in France

Published

on

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.

Continue Reading

NC State Basketball

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

Published

on

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:

 

Continue Reading

NC State Basketball

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

Published

on

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.





Continue Reading

NC State Basketball

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

Published

on

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.)

 

Continue Reading