Nc.State A.c.c. Tournament preview!

(was: #77) NOW #41 R.P.I. Nc.State @ (was: #27) NOW #81 R.P.I. Virginia Tech:

Virginia Tech men’s basketball is surviving. Though possibly not quite rolling.

The Hokies are no longer butter. They are no longer parquet. Mo’ like an okay ParKay of 70’s (fake-news) butter spread. Or an O&M Blue Bonnet and that is the news-news. The (hopefully) good news is… the Hurrying Hokies are spreading the ball a bit better as 3-pointer looks go on the perimeter. And Eye swear I saw them play a little bit of Tuesday nite D vs. N.D. And yet again… if my Aunt Kim had nut-n-a-bolt she’d be my Uncle, Tim. Now an altogether reasonable looking North Carolina State rolls into town at a post-season qualifying looking: 22 up against 9 down; and .6oo (12-8, A.c.c.) in intra-league play. Nonetheless, what you wanna know is… who is gonna Atlantic Conference Championship round #2 win and by how much, rights? So, read on… to find, out!

North Carolina State Head Coach: Kevin Andre Keatts: age=5-o, 184–105 (.637) overall, and 112–77 (.593) at NC.State. Does not have a rep’ for D. Does have one for communication/modernness.
$2,700,000.oo (with a staggering $5.3 mill potential in bonuses | and a
2024 extension smartly in hand)

Baller Keatts was a two-sport standout in football and basketball at Heritage High School in Lynchburg, Va., and went on to play four seasons of basketball as a Pt.Guard at Ferrum (Va.) College.

Don’t mean a thang if you ain’t got dat… bling!

Coach Keatts began his coaching career as an assistant at Southwestern Michigan College during the 1996-97 season. He then went to Hargrave Military Academy as an assistant coach for two seasons before being promoted to head coach in 1999. In 2001, Keatts moved to Marshall as an assistant coach. He returned to Hargrave in 2003 and served as the head coach until 2011. During his ten years (over two stints) as the head coach at Hargrave, Keatts had a record of 262–17 and won two national basketball championships; with three national runners-up. Hargrave produced 103 players who signed NCAA Division I men’s basketball scholarships during his 10 seasons and 18 others played on the NCAA Division II level.

In 2011, he earned a degree from Marshall. Keatts then joined the staff of Rick Pitino at Louisville and was a part of the Cardinals’ 2013 NC2A national championship team. That year named him the third most respected/feared assistant coach in the nation. WOW!

In March 2o14, he was named the head coach of UNC Wilmington (UNCW), succeeding Buzz Peterson. In Keatts’ first season at UNCW he was named C.A.A. Conference Coach of the Year after leading the Seahawks to their first conference championship in nine years, and their first winning season in seven years.

In his second year, Keatts repeated his rookie-year double, once again winning the C.A.A. regular-season championship and Conference Coach of the Year. In winning the 2o16 conference coach of the year, he became the first coach in C.A.A. history to ever win the award in consecutive seasons. Late that spring he was hired by North Carolina State.

An interesting medium-hot commodity is this lowercase coach-k, is he not?
That said… is he All Coaching Conference fo’, real?

Keatts and his wife Georgette, have two sons, K.J. and Kaden.

Nc.State at a glance:

  • 7th highest in Tempo/Fastbreak ppg!!!
  • 35th in spg!! (NOW: 37th, tho’ jus’ a pinch better mathematically, go fig’? )
  • 37th in Assist:Turnover ratio! (NOW: 3oth best, nearly delta).
  • 39th in scoring-O! (NOW: 37th. Nearly identical… ).
  • 41st most 3-pointer attempts/game! (NOW: 65th most 3-hoists, little /fewer here).
  • 44th best in S.W.A.T. team work! (NOW: up to 27th best, send backs are ward here).
  • NOW: up to 51st-best in 3D percentage allowed. (Nice -vote here!)
  • 85th best on the offensive glass. (NOW: a sweaty 51st best, they get and git after these!)
  • 312th in bench ppg! (NOW: SAME. Truly equal or here).
  • (BONUS: State courts only two, that’s (2) rankings south or worse than 194th… i.e., this is a very solid team stem-to-stern this year; unlike imbalanced G-heavy before). NOW: 184th, wow! !
  • 1 injury listed. (Coach God bless)!

Returning Starters=3*

Nc.State Strengths:

  • LOTTSA raw age and/or experience work here. Puerile misQs should be yesteryear this season for State.
  • * (Lindy’s 1st-string All-A.c.c.). (Lindy’s Most Exciting A.c.c.). Second-season, 6′4″, 165 lb., one #o, Terquavion Smith. Now at: 17.5 ppg with 3.5 rpg on 4.4 apg; which is not the worst look for your third offensive option last year and turned alpha offensive option this season. Consensus four-star recruit via all services nationwide. Ranked as No. 77 overall recruit in the nation by 247Sports. Nearly the #1 guy in-state (Nc.) as well by nearly everyone. So, Terquavion is a good backyard Nc.State keeper get. And he sports/vends three, that’s (3) State Championship rings. As Smith Led Farmville Central to three-straight North Carolina Class 2A State Championships! I’d have to say those counts, thrice counts at that. It also twice counts that he was only beaten twice in his four seasons of H.S. ball. So, clearly, this kid must know a thing or three about winning hoops itself. Averaged high-20’s and had 50+ offensive explosion games here-n-there in high school terms. The 2021 North Carolina Gatorade Boys Basketball Player of the Year does not suck. Neither does his output and shooting of late as this is a hawt-hawt-hawt baller since right before 2o22 A.D. Christmas. Hitting for ≥21 points four times and not hitting for less than 19 more than one time (14 that time). As the ~4 ppg and close to 4 apg 2o23 increases could be a clue. Lindy’s calls him: “a pure shooter with high energy and a great work persona.” You can also call him the team leader in swipes (1.5 spg). And if this volume scorer truly goes 3-D (36.8% long and yet a domestic 7o.8% on FTA’s), scoreboard look out! Just a little more shooting acumen and t.Smith’s at least a non-domestic Pro’.  (UPDATE: …sourcing indicates that the lowercase Coach-k really likes this kid… says he is just about to breakout offensively FYI). And here is the queer part… although this twerky Terq’s ranging (3-pointing) is virtually unchanged from last season, he cut a never seen before 3″ in height and nearly two 10-lb. plates (19 lbs. technically) in weight since last year. That, and the next time Eye sees that will be the second. Although this may be the last time we see Mr. t.Smith. As most see him as an Association Lotto-level pick come this June of ’23. Me? I can say this… this is a creative baller upon breaking tape. Terq’ creates a lotta looks for himself; as in he kinda very slightly reminds of a shortie version of Bernard King. As he just finds ways to medium scoring or midrange places regardless of defending space(s).
    (UPDATE: not bad-bad, though just a little down or here).
  • 6′1″, 18o lb. graduate-year (6th year, r-shirt+grad+cv19) Jarkel Joiner, is the other starting Point-G1a here. Jarkel was a very steady lowercase teens scorer down at Olè Miss. for four straight seasons (less the one transferring r-shirt year). As he actually broke into collegiate basketball way back in 2o17 out on the left coast at: Cal’-State Bakersfield. Out there he netted you 15.6 ppg, down in the S.E.C. he dropped you right at 13 ppg, and now in the A.c.c. Joiner is having a career (17.3) year. Not bad come-up-ins and this One is one of the most experienced kids in college basketball this campaign. Jay-Jay was a blow-torch scholastic scorer extraordinaire… what with his blistering (Oxford, Miss.) clip of 37.5 points per game for the Chargers who advanced to the semifinals of the state playoffs. Such as only good for 4th best in the Nation in ppg and he was only named 2o17 Mississippi Boys Basketball Player of the Year by The Daily Journal for it to boot. So, more was prolly expected here in college output terms on the offensive end. J.J. does field a tag for netting clutch FTA’s, late (85.2%). This is all after he originally did enroll at U.T.E.P. and frankly there has to be a reason(s) for this many schools in that many years. Still yet, 4.8 rpg with 3.5 apg and 1.3 spg married to a decent 36% long is solid enough ball. Not to mention vastly experienced… did I mention the experience curve yet? As Jarkel is prolly right on that exported overseas fringe curve at the moment for it all.
    (UPDATE: mostly positively slopped here; and pretty nice rise over run at that… a very easy baller for it).
  • * Casey Morsell is another kinda One or kinda Qb3 or Pt.Guard1b for State. Casey goes: 6′3″ and 2o5 lbs. after coming all the way from the State of Washington to run hoops for Nc.State. This year Casey hits for: 12.2 ppg with 4.4 rpg on a (former) team-leading 87.5% from the charity stripe (now: 79.2%) and a former penultimate 45.7% from behind the arc, (now: 41.7%). Thus, nearly doubling his career output digits which on scoring alone prolly garners him a few Most Improved A.c.c. votes come March. The book says that Morsell is a tasty long-range shooter, however; a shooting-G trapped in a Pt.Guard’s body who struggles with inside scoring and driving itself. Pure spot-up-baller here folks, albeit a sharpshooting Two who is shaped mo’ like a One in metrical terms. Casey is a true-Sr., who transferred over from hateful hooVa last season. Prior to that, he did some reasonable work over in D.C. in Districting inner-city hoopz. In particular, as a scholastic Sr. where Casey -to his credit- blew up and was named: Named the 2o19 Gatorade Player of the Year and USA Today Player of the Year for Washington, D.C. This from a Wing/’tweener classic kid, who will prolly destroy any given DeeCee Y.M.C.A. for years to come. As this is nearly a good P5 baller with 1.2 spg who has reached his top-kick level, there are worse things we could say than that. (UPDATE: has slipped a bit… like he is dinged-up or something? ⇓).
    All work and ALL… play. (i.e. not a dull, boy)!

Nc.State Weaknesses:

  • Lottsa Roster churn here… familiarity and synergy are not beneficent for it either.
  • Not much in the way of defensive or stop-unit reps to be found under the bantamweight coach-k. There are even vibes that this may be one of the worst defensive teams individually inside the A.c.c.
  • Jack Clark: is a lean ole: 6′8″, 2oo lb., part-time starting quality Wing or S/F. Jack is also ‘whispered’ to be nursing some kinda hip and/or Y-chromosome oft-dreaded groin issue and is unknown or QUESTIONABLE for this one here. Clark did unceremoniously sit the last State contest out. Prior to that, this Clark Bar was taking a bite outta you for a downright useful looking: 9.1 ppg on a team-pacing 7.3 rpg and a team-tying 1.9 spg. This with a send-back and yet only 40.5% from the floor. As this is a springy frontcourter mo’ so than anything else, and the less developed O-end game shows for it. The queer part is… Jack enjoys/enjoyed a 3-point maker tag for La Salle last season. 29.8% on 3’s is okay, not sure it is a makers-mark however. However, Jack has his grad-transfer degree Exploring his dormitory office wall, he also has a ‘versatile’ label to boot. This is on top of being underweight and dinged/dented off/on for most of his career. Godspeed on that. This after missing most of his Sr. High senior season, and then subsequently missing all of the La Salle 2o19-2o2o season. Including part of his nugget or rookie year La Salle season due to the aforementioned (still recovering) H.S. Sr. season. Shew. Poor Jay-Cee. As he has a history of numerous ‘lower-body’ hurts and another hip/groin issue(s) is the last thing this final year baller needed down-low.
  • There are bench Bigs, tho’ the starters are slightly lowercase or backcourt heavy as eye tests go.
  • A couple of extra dings if not a dent are on board now as well. Dang… Coach God bless!

Wolfpac‘ Den: (depth=5, now mo’ like 3’ish)

6′9″, BIG ole 285 lb., Grad’ year and totally bruising D.J. Burns Jr., puts the ‘power’ in the Four or the P/F spot. Deejay comes at you from: Winthrop. Where he was merely named Big South Conference Player of the Year and Big South All-Conference First Team last season. This after an r-shirt debut year @Tennessee. Consensus **** or 4-star baller whose recruiting topped nationally at 1o4th on the 247Sports list. 9.7 ppg with 4.5 rpg and the team lead with 1 bpg might seem a bit trite from all his previous honoring(s), be they Big South or not. And it was… as he is now all the way up to: 13.1 ppg 5.1 rpg and 1.5 apg! wow. That’s a seldom-seen in-year jump. As this Burns kid is a 22ov P/F overload down-low in the paint. And the 16 ppg last year @Winthrop makes you wanna see him garner more substitute touches here. As this is one hefty-looking and fun-to-watch mauler at the Four. (UPDATE: REALLY G.n.c. strong stats on a per-minute basis of late).
(UPDATE2: last update was spot on… as this kid just keeps getting better and better, double-ups here: ⇑⇑!)

The pride of: Belgrade, Serbia, or one Mister Dusan Mahorcic, is a 6′1o″, 235 lb., imported grad’-transfer baller formerly of: Illinois State. Where the mid-30’s looking and is the one you wanna pick to go get carded to buy the weekend brewskies; Mr. Mahorcic dropped you: 9.9 ppg and 7.2 rpg. This after collecting you: 5.5 ppg and 4.1 rpg out in Utah prior to all of that. Prior to any of that, Dusan was at: Moberly Area Community College, and even before that he was at: Lewis College. Way prologue to any and all of that… Du.Ma. was a six-footer when he entered Serbian high school and yet he was a 6’9” when he left. WOW. Stranger Things indeed; as the game is still a bit new to him as is any change of addy form from the local U.S. Post Office. An interesting kid, as you gotta wonder where Mahorcic is if he had been playing roundball prior to 2o15? Sadly, however, Dusan has a history of suspensions (plural) and knee injuries the same (St.Mungo and St.Nikon help alike). Nonetheless, 8.7 ppg and 6.6 rpg on a team-leading 64.3% does not suck.
(UPDATE: Mahorcic is idle due to a dislocated kneecap, and he is not expected to return until the middle of March. Yikes! St.Nikon help!!!)

6′4″, 165 lb. Jack Clark G
(see: above):

Fourth-season, Providence transfer-in baller: r-Jr., 6′8″, 21o lb., Three or S/F Greg Gantt is apparently back after what they were calling a: ”abdominal” injury. (St.Elmo’ bless). Also back would be his incoming 1.5 ppg, 3.5 rpg, and a couple of apg in Frying terms. No. 62 overall outta Fayetteville, Nc. from 247Sports. A.c.c.odrdingly, a lot was expected here. Ditto only being crowned valedictorian of his high school graduating class. So, props insert (____) here, check. As this guy could and prolly should be an overmatched load at the Small-Forward spot as what the book says is a: “inside-finisher” most nites. Gregg has cut about ~10 lbs. since we saw him last in an attempt to get mo’ athletic on the Inside.
(UPDATE: has bettered himself just a bit… a modest ⇑ or ascent here).

* former starter: 6′11″, 225 lb., Ebenezer Dowuona. C-P/F is a real scr⊕⊗ge on the … pine… too late? Ebenezer -Scrabble points- Dowuona comes to the U.S. by way of: Accra, Ghana. Where he was found/discovered and was the 20th-ranked Center by He got here and did pick up one trip-A or AAA Georgia State bling. Seems to be more of a stopper/plugger who eats near the rack on O. Not quite raw, just more base defender (like a Baltic Avenue’s man version of Mutombo or something akin). His mpg has really diminished in the last few weeks… and he nets you 1.4 ppg on 1.6 rpg and then sends back a shot. The caroling 55.8% from the floor tells you where he lives. More of a depth provider than an available starter at the moment, tho’ he is a lean B.M.I. cut-up kid on tape. This is only his third season of hardwood too… so, could he be a c.Dickens of a baller come 2o24?
(UPDATE: kinda mixed or a sideways mover… ⇔)

R.A.T.T.: ...the key to calling this A.c.c. second-rounder is, what(s)?

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Illation, conclusion(s) and OPT digits:

Number of 'packers who could Stark @Tech=Terquavion 4sure; 3 mo' after him.

the takeaway:
The takeaway here is


I’ma not real sure if I am mo’ taken with the recent V.P.I. incline…

Or, with a surprisingly well-rounded State squadron that has hit a modest decline to the close of 2o23 regular season play…

On the one hand, State has not looked as sharp since basically the start of November ball give/take.

State on the other hand offers me a lotta intrigue… as coach-k has melded this buncha castoffs or imports (‘pending whom you coaching sewing-circle poll) rather dang quickly and rather dang effectively.

On the third hand, you gotta hand it to the Younglings for weathering the aged-out Coach Brey emotional/motivation storm and 2nd-half rally of sorts.

Maybe that’s not an all-time v.Tourney win— though it was good enough vs. a pretty good swansung Coach.
Godspeed/God Bless @Coach Brey.


Our handy-dandy friend the so-called Forum Guide of Graham Houston fame is calling for an ugly 86-point VomiT in this one here. Mostly, State was superior vs. in common roundball round-robin opponents for most of 23. The outlying part was… they beat the bleep outta three in common roundball round-robin opponents and that really skewed the cumulative counter here. Per rata and this equates to a seemingly vastly mo’ reasonable 6.65 or two-shot Statehood for N.C. ‘Aye’, some of this was “styles do make fights”. Tho a hot-tempo in State’s favor is objectively Coach Spock science fact when State can and even tends to run away and hide. Ginkgo that for midnite mid-week.

~9 PM kick!

The annualized year-to-date vitals say that… VeeTee is up +2% in shooting percentage margin (per: being a little better in floor-O and .1% from tied in floor-D); these two are close tho State went up +1% 3-point percentage margin (oddly enuff… VT is a little better 3-O though NC.St. is a little better+++ on 3-D), and yet State is up close to ~+3 carroms collected in rebounding margin for the duration. (State has the edge on the O-glass with D-glass virtually similar (1/1oth separation if keeping score at home).

The most recent 5-game metrics say that… the F’n Gobblers are (now) up via |absolute value| default, about 1%-n-change in shooting percentage margin (as in… and the stickler is… both clubs are shooting a bit less and defensing a bit less of late); this one graded a surprising +11% in 3-point percentage margin for the big-O&M recently (due to: the Hokies are shooting 3% 3-ball better of late and defending close to the seasonal same ¦ it is da puppy-pack who has had both O and D 3-ball kittens here. Worse by close to ≅4% on O & D alike), then, this one too grades virtually tied and in rebounding margin in the last fortnight of backboarding. The Techmen were slightly up at about +1 Windex Wipes. (Both calculus at a submerged sum or negative node in rebounding margin off the fiberglass recently, although VeeTee is just a little |absolute value| less negative head-to-head to boot; and this is a rather un-good Nc.St. swing!).

READERS Note: State is down or off a bit on D and on boardroom work of late. Both are ‘want to’ or sweat based and should not go cold. VeeTee is mixed on D; tho’ dropping and stopping 3’s a bit better
of late and that may be their one true lifeline, here.

Armchair Pt.Guard’s:

NOT much (yet)… may look Wednesday nite…

Ray Stevens 💓’s… streaks!

The ‘Pack is 3/2 as a ratio goes against conference opponents. NC State averages 1o.3 turnovers per game and is 16-4 when turning the ball over less than opponents. (strong barometer/forecast ^^^there^^^ men).


Irish Cream:
Virginia Tech shot 48 percent, limited the Irish to zero second-chance points — 1st second-change time all year!

Insiders one-oh-none?
Greensboro sewing-circle whispers hint… the Wolfpac’ interior or paint-D may be in the doghaus of late. Not as J.Y.D. or k9 incisors here as before.

Easy as A.c.c. A.b.c.
The Wolf Pack are 12-8 against A.c.c. opponents and 1o-1 in non-conference play. NC State is 3-1 in games decided by 3 points or fewer.

The Hokies are 8-12 against A.c.c. teams. Virginia Tech is seventh in the A.c.c.scoring 74.1 points per game and is shooting 47.o%.

Tech is up a nominal +1% at the charity stripe for the year.
VeeTee is a 1.oo Swiss; whereas Nc.State is .75o as a Neutral.
NC.St. is up a whopping +11 R&R; as they finished earlier than ’23 most.

The Call

(was: No.37) NOW no.4o Net Ranking North Carolina State @ (was: no.41st) NOW no.68 Net Ranking Virginia Tech:

So, the last time for this Nc.State Eye was unsteady on which Tech was the real Tech. As it turned out this was the middle game in a 7-game schneid. Albeit four of those 7 were single shots and another one was only two shots.

A.c.c.ordingly, I was also want to question the whiskers of these All-Championship Conference defending titlist kids.

And frankly, I still sorta/kinda am…huh?

As that still appears somewhat valid.
Or, this team knows just exactly what it barely takes to win.
And tends to ante up the minimum bet on the blind just the same.

Take -make- thy pick.


The VerdicT:

…that all do say, someone needs to go’on and call this early Marching one, right?

State is not the same bad (i.e., crotchety style of play) match-up that BeeCee, Wake, and Clemson all three were for us/VeeTee.

They are however a challenging ‘blur’ of a match-up for a systematic old-school traditional One through Five home-position abacus of a highly deliberate coach such as Mike Young.

Consider thus… V.Tech=8th from last in Tempo/Fastbreak, or nearly molasses or aging Keltics with Bird/Parish/McHale stall-ball most comfortable indeed. We are a ½-court team through and through. Whereas State wants to fun-n-gun and get out and flat-out, run.


Then we heard that Mike wanted to slow N.Dame into the 60’s if he could.
That would seem like an appropriate duplicate tempo template here.

’cause only our scoring-F1 got any break(s) in the first round. (Due to: foul-trouble itself). Whereas our other 1’s went basically the distance with only one substitute playing more than 10% of the game; and only one 2 (or backup) netting one, that’s just (1) single solitary shot.

So, closing or latent fatigue is a real live Hokiebird bugbear here.


Nevertheless, where is Nc.State?

As they are surely in the classical 8-days off rest vs. rust heated H20 cooler argument.

I can tell you that if you have it going you do not wanna take a break (or oxidize). If you do not have it going -or a tired/veteran club- you do wanna get your ‘fresh legs’ back under you.

Ergo, therefore, to Whit… it would not appear like State had it rolling to close the season.
And if nothing else, they should have the fresher shooting legs under them on 192 hours off vs. our near 24.
(Plus: this could be a small/lowercase about an hour closer to their actual homecourt
homecourt advantage for the squadron from North Carolina itself).

The closer:

Same as last time… this tells us this one is all about the… throttle.

Whoever controls pace outpaces the made tempo-uncomfortable other team here.

Thus, making for a game of: Coach Æsop basketball.

🐇 🏀 🐢

Or, whom do you fable here?
The tortoise or the hare?


(62% confidence interval)
Virginia Tech=66Nc.State=73

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