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PI EXCLUSIVE: 2024 4-Star Signee Paul McNeil Breaks Down His Thoughts On NC State’s Miraculous Run

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The run the NC State Men’s Basketball team went on in March had the whole country watching, but what was it like to watch through the eyes of an incoming Freshman who will be joining the team next year? 4-Star 2024 Shooting Guard Paul McNeil shared his thoughts with me on the Wolfpack’s unforgettable run.

What was it like for you to watch NC State as the #10 seed in the ACC Tournament win 5 games in 5 days to win the Title?

What we did this year shows seeding doesn’t matter. What our guys did was just another level, and when you get between those lines, it’s a different type of static. I believe it took a lot of discipline and focus to win five games in five days. I also feel like the fan base played a huge part to the team by bringing extra energy and not making them feel alone.

What do you think happened to turn this team around?

You have to give God all the glory because without Him guiding us, we wouldn’t have made it how we made it. Also, it’s about the jersey you put on and the pride of it all. It’s like there’s no way we go out this way and they clicked at the right time. The team was just rolling and I also think the mentality of all the players changed.

As a player signed with NC State, how proud were you to see NC State go on this run, from the ACC Championship, to the Final Four?

I’m very proud of the guys. They deserved to win it all, but it just didn’t happen that way. I’ve been saying they were the best team in the ACC and I always knew we had the right pieces to be the best.

What does it mean for you to see Coach Keatts get the recognition he’s getting?

Oh man, he deserves it, especially coming from where he comes from and all the things he dealt with. With all the media attention, he still stayed focused and locked in towards the team. Coach Keatts is very blessed and very humble.

How do you think this run will help the future of NC State basketball?

It will put more eyes on us and teams know now to not overlook us and underestimate us ever again. It was never a Cinderella story — it was never ‘oh they just got lucky.’ This run will definitely help us a lot and I’m forever grateful for what the boys did.

_______

McNeil (6’7″/185) led Richmond to the semifinals of the NCHSAA 4A State Playoffs this season, before losing to #1 Hanover 55-53.

As a Senior at Richmond (Rockingham, NC), McNeil averaged 31.7 points, 9.5 rebounds, 4.9 assists and 2.6 assists per game.

ON3 ranks McNeil as the #49 overall player in the 2024 recruiting class, the #15 Small Forward, and the #6 player on the state of NC.

McNeil is a part of a 2-man 2024 Freshman Class that includes 4-Star Guard Trey Parker.

Matthew is Publisher and Co-Owner of Pack Insider. He is also the Lead Pastor of The Point Church in Cary, NC.

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wolfpack74
wolfpack74
1 month ago

Get Conwell and Avila. Avila can shoot inside and out. Two years of eligibility left. Pay them well.

NC State Basketball

NC State & Kansas Will Play a Home-and-Home Series Over the Next 2 Seasons in Men’s Basketball

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According to Matt Norlander, NC State and Kansas have agreed to play in a home-and-home series over the next two seasons in Men’s Basketball.

The Wolfpack have played the Jayhawks 13 times in a series that date backs to 1958-59, with Kansas winning 12 of them. NC State’s lone victory over Kansas was in the first game ever played between the two on December 20th, 1958. The 4th ranked Wolfpack won 66-63 in the Dixie Classic in Reynolds Coliseum.

The last time the two teams faced one another was in 2022-23, when the #3 Jayhawks defeated the Wolfpack 80-74 in the Battle for Atlantis on November 23, 2022.

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NC State Basketball

NC State is Adding UMASS’ Brett Nelson as an Assistant Coach

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According to reports, NC State is adding UMASS’ Brett Nelson as an Assistant Coach.

Nelson was only at UMASS for 1 season under Frank Martin. Prior to that, Nelson was the Head Coach at Holy Cross for 4 seasons, posting a 27-84 record.

Prior to taking the Head Coaching mantle at Holy Cross, Nelson was at Marquette for 5 seasons, spending the first 3 as an Assistant Coach, and the final two as an Associate Head Coach. Prior to Marquette, Nelson also served as an Assistant Coach at Ball St., Drake, Arkansas and Marshall.

Before coaching basketball, Nelson played for the University of Florida from 1999-2003. He was All-SEC twice, and earned Third Team All-American honors. When he left Gainesville, he was the Gators’ all-time leader in three pointers made, and ranked 2nd in steals.

As a Senior in High School, Nelson was a McDonald’s All-American.

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NC State Basketball

Ernest Ross Announces He is Returning to NC State

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Power Forward Ernest Ross announced this morning that he is returning to NC State for his final year of eligibility.

 

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Last Friday, Ross committed to UTSA after entering the Transfer Portal on April 17th, but it looks like he had a change of heart over the past couple of days.

NC State has been in desperate need to add a Big out of the Portal. They have hosted ECU’s Ezra Ausar and Georgia’s Frank Anselem-Ibe, but neither of them have found a home yet. With the addition of Ross, NC State has added depth in the Frontcourt, and unless something changes, their roster is full with 13 scholarship players.

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. On the sideline, you could count on Ross every single game to be the heart and soul of the Wolfpack on the bench. To watch a player who played as little as he did, care as much as he did, makes me super proud that this young man represented NC State so well.

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.

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NC State Basketball

A Matchup Between NC State & Marquette Next Season Might be in the Works

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According to NCAA.com’s Andy Katz, a matchup between NC State and Marquette next season might be in the works.

This past year, the Wolfpack defeated the Golden Eagles 67-58 in the Sweet 16 of the 2024 NCAA Tournament.

NC State and Marquette have played one another 6 times overall, with the Wolfpack holding a 4-2 lead in the series, winning the past two matchups.

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