Nc.State basketball preview!

#117 R.P.I. Virginia Tech @ #2o2 R.P.I. North Carolina State: 

Virginia Tech men’s basketball just got well soon! And frankly, they got well soon with a comely buncha… Dame’s.

The Hokies needed the VicTory Dance: “…like a dead man needs a coffin.” Now, on to the next one. And this one is a rematch of one that got away from Mike Young and Co. just a few games back. As now even or .5oo at an evenly matched 9 up vs. 9 down Nc.State is the hostess with the mostest. 228-miles nor-by-nor-west mo’/less of a flight plan for our Hokiebird to face the 2-5 in Atlantic Coast Conferencing play Wolfpac’. And least we forgets, State just upset us by 2-shots when we were up four points at intermission in “our house”. Nonetheless, what you wanna know is… who is gonna win and by how much, rights? So, read on… to finds, out!

North Carolina State Head Coach: Kevin Andre Keatts: age=49, 158–80 (.664) overall, and 86–52 (.636) at NC.State.
$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 2014, 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 2016 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… he/State have slimmed down just a scosche since we saw ’em (2-years) last.

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

Nc.State at a glance:

  • 6th most in FT-Makes!!! (Will attack the rack). (now 20th in FT-Makes).
  • 42nd in Offensive Rebounding! (now  28th best on the O-Glass)!
  • 47th in Swats! (now  to 86th best in bpg).
  • 61st in Turnover Margin. (now  to a stricter 49th best!)
  • 69th in Swipes. (now to 91st in spg).
  • 312th in FG% D allowed!!!
  • 314th best in Scoring D allowed!!!
  • (Neither metric moved mo’ than 2-spots… nominal or ⇔ here).
  • (Everything else pretty much close to average or dull-average… lotta Cs to C— fringe D+++ metrics, just not super-duper bad; HTH’s.)
  • 2 injuries listed; Coach God twice bless!!

Returning Starters=3

Nc.State Strengths:

  • Twist-Top ‘do’s… State has ’em… and they have a lot of ’em if that is your druthers.
  • State will also try to get out on score on you. The enemy of Tempo they, ain’t
  • Jericole Hellems is a 6′7″, 2oo lb. Chaminade (St.Louis H.S.) baller. Where he was only the 83rd recruit in the nation by Scout and was the beta or 2nd-ranked scholastic hoopster in all of Missouri. This -now this Seniorific collegiate baller- was a pure bunker-busting WW2 flame-throwing H.S. scorer as high 40-something games were bubblegum to him. Meaning his best scholastic nites would and did ‘blow’ many away. Right now, he checks in at a highly respectable second-best 14.1 ppg with a little better 4.7 rpg on a likewise somewhat better and nearly crafty 41.3% from downtown and a useful 8 outta 10 on the nose at the charity stripe. Only the strangely outlying 40.8% from the floor still lacks luster. As he just needs a little seasoning to go with some shot-selection and defensive work. This is indeed a skillful Swing baller who just needs to sharpen his looks with a more 20-20 in 2o22 shot-selection shooting eye-chart. As the expectation is for offensive productivity for Mister Hellems down the road. As this is one of those ballers who never met a shot he did not like— or would not… take. And he is a pretty handsome inside-outside (2-level) scoring threat when he settles down and feels his flow early on. (Interesting as well he has gone through three hairstyles since we saw him last… a little Rodman -esque not dull, or needs ^^^-votes, take thy pick). And yet per his game-log: State is only .5oo during his outburst typea scoring efforts this season so far, g0 fig’ on dat? As this is a rare amphibious (Lou Whacker of E&H coaching fame) and ambidextrous shooter from both shoulder sides. MIGHT, just be a fringe overseas baller for it all… maybe… (UPDATE: …this is a warming (if not hot) player of late, , G.Jefferson game that is: “…movin’ on up.“)
  • (See: pic:), one #1, Dereon Seabron is/was a 6′7″, 18o lb., Norfolk, Va., r-second-sophomore year escapee baller down Raleigh’s way. Seaborn decided to sit out (r-shirt) two seasons ago to concentrate on (May St.Catherine bless); (plus: the don’t count year… and you have a much older guy than it seems). Seaborn has had academic matters crop up before as he spent a year at prep’ school (where he did make the prep’ school final-4) after a so-so scholastic grade sheet effort. Tho’ make no misQ here gents; Dereon is a legit talent. He was the mere 1o4th baller outta high school according to ESPN— where he was merely named the Virginia High School League Class AAAA (quad-A) Player of the Year in 2o17-18. And where he merely led the Lake Taylor Titans to Class 4 State title. That’s all… as Seaborn attends with a “play-making” Wing tag as a guy who can do work on or off the ball. Very versatile baller who scores highly across the box score board. Dereon was easily the ‘pack’s gold-medal recruit a few years back and this year he is their 25 qt. leading scorer at: 19.6 ppg. That’s 19.6 ppg married to a blue-ribbon 9.6 rpg, a 1st-best 3.3 apg, and an also top-kick 1.6 spg to boot! WoW! That’s a lotta production and easy Team M.V.P. vote right there men. It is (prolly) also a 1st-string All-A.c.c. look as well. As Derenon moves well on the move itself. Seamless slashing typea penetrator from the edge or off the Wing. Enjoys nearly 50% mo’ FTA’s than any other ‘packer for it as well. Only his dialing long-distance ‘busy’ signal (22.6%) needs any maintenance here. As right at 70% on the FT-Line seems like he can shoot better, and the 53.2% from the floor seems like he does shooter better (or closer) than most. Sadly, no personal bio’ 411 fam’ info is listed at all. Godspeed on that. As this prolly is an export-baller, the only question is can he develop Association, range? As most 3rd-ranked A.c.c. scorers and 1st-ranked A.c.c. rebounders do not tend to be outta work, long. (UPDATE: … is shooting better from the 3-point-line, rest are pretty flat, , here).
  •  6′7″, 18o lb. Terquavion Smith, 14.7 ppg with 3.8 rpg on 1.6 apg is not the worst look for your third offensive option.  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 that 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. 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 2o21 A.D. Christmas. Hitting for ≥21 points and not less than 17 after nothing other than single-digits behind that might just for two+ weeks could be a clue. Lindy’s calls him: “a pure shooter with high-energy and a great work-persona.” And if this volume scorer truly goes 3-D (35.6% long and yet 62.8% on FTA’s), scoreboard look out! Just a little more shooting acumen and t.Smith’s at least a non-domestic Pro’. (UPDATE: …has moved in a mixed way, couple up, couple down too… ⇔, overall, for it). (UPDATE2: …sourcing indicates that the lowercase Coach-k really likes this kid… says he is just about to breakout offensively FYI).
    This Seaborn can get a bit airborne when he wants it.
  • (One of the other really good ones is sadly down below… hence the sectional brevity here) …

North Carolina State Weaknesses:

  • 6′11″, 233 lb., Manny Bates is one of the good ones (no longer) listed up above. Manny was/is a 10 ppg scorer and ∼7 rpg gather last year for State. This season he is possibly down-n-out for the duration on a badly dislocated right-shoulder mess-up. St.Christoper bless and intercede. Hailing from Fayetteville, North Carolina, Bates is one of the best defensive players in the country. He’s only led the A.c.c. in blocked shots each of the past two seasons, blocking 2.9 per game in just 18.4 minutes in 2o19-2o and then blocking 2.7 per game last season. Yikes! It is his shooting shoulder that is slung as well— mores the pity. As this guy was their version of a pack-line C/PF anchor to their whacky defensive 1-4 switch scheme. m.Bates is a huge deflation here. Manny was only Ranked as #78 overall player in his class by And yet he has only had at least one other shoulder surgery that I could find (H.S.), and he also has already suffered one previous injury wiped out r-Fresh’ season @State. Poor kid… he’s good… if he could only get/stay… healthy. God Bless; as he only got 60-secs of P.T. in this year. Dang…
  • Third-season, Providence transfer-in baller: 6′8″, 219 lb., Three or S/F Greg Gantt is done for at least January with what they are calling a: ” abdominal” injury. (St.Elmo’ bless). Also done would be his incoming 5 ppg, 4 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. (UPDATE: souring now say: ‘late January on the get back here… so, Coach God willing, this G2o Summit is getting, close).

WolfpacBench: (depth=2-n-small-change)

6′11″, 227 lb. Ebenezer Dowuona C-P/F is a real scr⊕⊗ge on the … pine… too soon? Because behind him and T.Allen up next… there is not a whole lotta mpg or P.T. (playing-time) allotted to substitute ballers here. And there is even less size with the other two Uppercase post-playars out for a spell at the minimum. Ebenezer -Scrabble points- Dowuona comes to U.S. by way of: Accra, Ghana. Where he 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 risen in the last few weeks… and he nets you 4.2 ppg on 4.7 rpg and then sends back 2.1 shots. 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 second season too… so where could he be a c.Dickens of a baller come 2o24? (UPDATE: …has cooled a bit since we saw him last,  here).

A rarefied r-Senior year and 6′1″, 175 lb., Thomas Allen is your Qb2 or back-up Point-G off the bench for State. Thomas drops you 4.3 ppg with 1.3 apg and a swipe in relief. A no-nonsense One who does nothing ‘rong more so than he does anything epic. Glue-guy; ex-of-Nebraska, where he did manage 9 ppg on 43% from behind the arc. Lindy’s says he is a pure shooter of a One, the number of ankle rolls (St.Philip help) says otherwise. Does however flash *the* H.S. hardware. What with his work at Brewster Academy, where Thomas helped Coach Jason Smith’s team win its fifth National Prep title and a perfect 33-0 record! Yah; national perfection always perfectly counts. He also pocketed a: North Carolina 4A State Championship as a sophomore in 2o15; that counts too. As a consensus top-1oo recruit for the class of 2o18? ‘Aye’, I’da have to say more was counted up here. Godspeed Mr. T.A. (UPDATE: not much shifting here, , or pretty well flat).

Who wins this one down in Raleigh; with VeeTee pegged as a slight road-favorite?

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Illationconclusion(s) and OPT digits:

Number of 'pac' who could "howl" @Tech=4'ish.

the takeaway:
The takeaway here is

…same as several times already this season, it is south of easy to be truly taken with either squadron here.

As one squad is a little less than we all thought they’d be. And one squad is a good deal less den dat.

As both clubs are precisely a ½ game removed from dead-last-place in the A.c.c. standings and both teams are penultimate to last for it to boot.

So, someone really needs to start to separate themselves from the proverbial: “Pack”. As both squads’ margin for attending Post Season error is narrowing as Eye… type.


Our handy-dandy friend the so-called Forum Guide of Graham Houston fame is actually calling for a pretty unexpected mere 1-point VomiT in this one. (As we/VeeTee played better vs. common opponents in spite of getting bitten @Home by da Wolfpac themselves).

The annualized year-to-date vitals say that… VeeTee is up +8% in shooting percentage margin (nearly equally split O vs. D); with Vah.Tech up a very noticeable +14% in 3-point percentage margin (again, nearly equally split O vs. D), and V.P.I. is up +2 Windex Wipes in rebounding margin year-to-date. (VT was just a little above average and N.c.St. just a little below).

The most recent 5-game metrics say that… the Hokies are now up +10% in shooting percentage margin (a little mo’ on D, per State slipping in defense of late); the Gobblers are now up +5% in 3-point percentage margin (mostly on D, tho’ State is netting it rather well behind the arc recently enuff), and yet the O&M Blacksburg crew is now up +2 in rebounding margin in |absolute value| terms. (As both teams are submerged on the fiberglass of late, it is just that the Techmen are treading water just a bit better in the last fortnight).

Armchair Pt.Guard’s:

Virginia Tech just F’n Irish car-bombs shot a season-best 59.2 percent from the field. (i.e., did they just figure it spacing-wise, out?)

This begins a stretch of three consecutive road games for the Hokies. NC State is o-3 in A.c.c. home games. Might be the easier W here… with so-so @Boston College and much mo’ than so-so @U.n.c. on tap after that.

VeeTee is up +3% at the charity stripe for the year.
VeeTee is +4 in R&R (due to the 2-week cv19 furlough).
Nc.State is a .6oo host; whereas VeeTee is .4oo as a guest.

The Call

No.39 Net Ranking Virginia Tech @ no.124 Net Ranking Nc.State:

In studying this Stately team… it occurred to me that -although they do field some legit star power- they are just stellar enough (or they do just enough), to get; beat.

Like a little engine that… kan’t.

7:03 kickoff!

Seems like it could (maybe: ‘should’) do mo’… and yet typically it remains same side of the hill and ultimately gets… humped.

Did I mention it seems like they actually do court the offensive-firepower
to being doing… more, yet?

However, our very own Hurrying Hokies have been quite the roundball foible to riddle out of late as well. As VeeTee seems the better club on paper, if only this one was played there just the same.


Nevertheless, this is the All Championship Conference road, and as Will taught us all in men’s hoops? The Visitor ultimately returns home with a triumph right at about 3 in 10 times historically.

Tough to say that would not seem to favor State @home in this Hump Day nite game.

Or, did we just proverbially snap-outta-it on O, and finally, figure out the same?

As Coach Fox Mulder and I both “wanna believe“… tho’ G.M. d.Scully and Eye need to see one mo’ game of being Offensive indeed.

That… and the factoid that State has been heating up on O of late, and this one is in their very own backyard… brings this one all the way to a near ‘push’ or ‘even’ call.

Might even be a good time to pick overtime itself.
As he who makes last laughs last, here.


(52% confidence interval)
Virginia Tech
=62, Nc.State=59

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