North Carolina State basketball preview!

#58 R.P.I. North Carolina State  #1o3 R.P.I. Virginia Tech: 

Virginia Tech men’s basketball returns home for the first time in the New Year (2020 A.D.) in defense of our very own Cassell this Saturday afternoon down in an actually unseasonably warm New River Valley.

The Hokies have left the building for nearly a fortnight now splitting games with archrival hooVa and then notching a nifty looking and rarified A.c.c. upsetting road-VicTory up @Syracuse. Now we return home for the first time in nearly a fortnight to face a pretty offensively spry Nc.State hoops club. The Wolfpack enters this one at a pretty shiny looking 11 up and 4 down (.5oo or 2-2 inside the A.c.c.). And taming this ‘pack would be no small-time Alpha or K9 sporting D.N.A. efforting. Not even at home. Nonetheless, you wanna know who is gonna win and by how much; right? Read on… to find, out!

North Carolina State Head Coach: Kevin Andre Keatts: age=47, 128–56 (.696) overall, and 56–28 (.667) 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?

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

North Carolina State at a glance:

  • 26th in scoring O!
  • 37th in Blocks!
  • 43rd in Turnover Margin.
  • 43rd in FG percentage O.
  • 64th in steals/game.
  • (everything else 212th or better (212=# of FTA’s). i.e. this is just a solid hoops squad.
  • (2 injuries listed | Coach God double-double, bless).

State Returning Starters=3

North Carolina State Strengths:

  • One double no.1 (or #11), Markell Johnson is almost assuredly the best Pt.Guard in the A.c.c. that you’ve never heard of… although you are about to hear about his team and Atlantic Coast (near) leading dimes dropped with 6.9 apg and his extremely decent 1.8 spg. Although Lindy’s magazine has heard of him and they heard he’s the: Best Playmaker in the A.c.c. Now mix in a nice bump in scoring at 13.9 ppg and a nearly 270% hike in board-works at 4.9 rpg and -when healthy, as he’s missed 16 games in his last 54- and you quietly have one of the higher Qb-rating Point-G’s in the whole darn A.c.c. Although his outside shooting is back to a 16% cut as it is now down to a lowly looking 22% when dialing long-distance. Still yet, the overall body of work is none too shabby and neither is this C-town 6′1″, though a Jenny Craig string-bean looking 175 lb. final-year One. Who ESPN had tabbed as no.48 baller in the nation; and if he ever mixes in a protein shake or three, and finds a little more consistency to his outside game; this kid Quarterback’s well enough to earn some money, somewhere, playing some exported ball. (although -and rare enough in today’s there are those who said Mark.John.exe needs to be less judicious and trumpet more line-items when looking for his own, shot). As he is 7th or better in basically any State all-time Pt.Guard cat’ you can name and he can indeed put the biscuit in the basket. As Johnson was only All-Ohio Player of the Year four seasons ago netting 33 ppg in high school hoops. That, and he’s been cooking with CH4 and en fúego of late.
  • One #13, 6′5″, 21o lb., r-Sr. and last year C.J. Bryce (in addition to Markell) is listed as 3rd-string all-A.c.c. pre-season and that effectively gives NC.State a bronze medal all-conference quality backcourt. And he gave UNC-Wilmington a pretty dang tight looking shooting-G for two seasons two years ago —sitting one {sic: year} for r-transferring eligibility requirements of course. Since getting to Raleigh, this CeeJay has cut about 16-17 lbs. (10 this off-season alone) and usefully blended his near 20 ppg and First-Team All-C.A.A. selection too run as the pseudo alpha wolf for NC.State. Bryce now twine-tickles you a somewhat truncated 1st-best 16.1 ppg, with a likewise blue-ribbon 6.8 rpg, and a team (tied) 1.8 swipes (spg). That’s not taking one that’s taking sum for one’s team. C.J. is the best 3-point ‘packer at 43.5% as this truly is a scoring, distributing and glassing trinary gamey Wing. Not to mention an unselfish person who could be selfishly getting more as an alpha baller somewhere else. C.J. also has a history of taking home post-season M.v.p. hardware so you know Bryce is clutch. Which ain’t half-bad-work, from a 1st-team All-State Charlotte-area kid who had very nice though not exactly great all-around scholastic numbers. (UPDATE: has been battling a noggin’-knock or a: “concussion” of late: QUESTIONABLE is the word here, after missing 3-consecutive games: St.Xenia bless).

    Not sure what he has under his eye (ink???) Am sure it was not there when he got to State.
  • 6′10″, 225 lb., r-Jr., P/F, DJ Funderburk, and his improving body +nearly 15 lbs. of sinew, and mutually improving 12.2 ppg, 5.2 rpg with a block on a now sizzling hawt like the sun 66.3% work here. As Funderburk was only the 48th scholastic baller in America per Scout. Where he won a 2014 Ohio State title before going 47-1 at Hargrave Military Academy and picking up a Prep’ School national championship four seasons ago. Accordingly, this is a physically and emotionally mature baller to be sure. He will 2-hand dunk you as this is a streety/strong finishing grinder of a kid. (albeit an unrelated one to: Lawrence, JIC you were wondering). As this Funderburk has been an offensive rebounding machine recently.
  • Jericole Hellems is a 6′7″, 2o5 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 Sophomoric collegiate baller was a flame-throwing H.S. scorer as high 40-something games were bubblegum to him. Right now, he checks in at a respectable 10.4 ppg with 3.5 rpg on 33% from downtown. 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 shooting eye. As the expectation is for offensive productivity for Mister Hellems down the road. Let’s check back after we ask 2022, first.

Nc.State Weaknesses:

  • Dereon Seabron is/was a 6′7″, 18o lb., Norfolk, Va., rookie or nugget year escapee baller down Raleigh’s way. Seaborn has decided to sit out (r-shirt) this season to concentrate on (may St.Catherine bless). Seaborn has had academic matters crop up before as he just 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 merely 1o4th outta high school accordingly to ESPN— where he was merely named the Virginia High School League Class AAAA (quad-A) Player of the Year in 2017-18 … 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. And a real subtraction as Dereon was easily the ‘pack’s gold-medal recruit last year.
  • C.J. Bryce’s melon being dented would be a pretty dang huge deal here if/when he cannot run this weekend in the 24o6o.
  • The ‘whispers’ say the Kay.Cee Suits may be hot for Nc.State.
  • The only real departure of three 2019 guys is G, Torin Dorn (15 ppg). Anyone in the A.c.c. could use him— although beyond the hooping TeeDee, a lotta roster experience did return for N.C.St.

Wolfpack Bench: (depth=2-3)

P/F, Manny Bates. Manny is a 6′11″, 23o lb. r-Fr. defensive specialist down-low in the paint. An athletic rim-protector who possibly could have started off right away (off-season Shoulder, St.Christopher bless). Though still yet, 6 ppg and 4.4 rpg with a nearly Atlantic Coast leading 3.2 bpg after being named the #78 overall player in his class by ESPN; tells you there is quite possibly a pretty high ceiling here. As 60% shooters who are long, and rebounding/defensive stalwarts tend to keep turning up down the road somewhere overseas if nothing else.

6′9″, 22o lb. and grad-transfer (Lehigh) Pat Andree is a 6.7 ppg, 3 rpg and 36.2% behind the arc back-up Wing for the ‘pack. Who did score you virtually 13 ppg with 6 boards on 42% from deep last year as a full-time starter for the Mountain Hawks. As Andree’s game has been subordinated a bit down in Raleigh, Nc. Although Pat was a pretty bigtime H.S. baller with 25 ppg and 11 rpg up in Colts Neck, N.J. And shorely more was expected here.

Beating Atlantic Division Nc.State @home as a 2-point fave on Saturday is all about what(s)???

View Results

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Illationconclusion(s) and OPT digits:

Number of wolves who could 'pack @Tech=5.

the takeaway:
The takeaway here is… my compliments to the at least somewhat juxtaposed Mike Young.

As to me -and from what Eye studied/saw up at the “Jiffy Pop dome” on Tuesday night- this inaugural All Coaching Conference big-whistle is doing a lot with a little.

Or playing pioneering Gestalt Hoops.

Because when you take a step back to candidly ask yourself… whom from these leftover Buzzkill refugee ballers really fits the far more traditional 1 through 5 offensive sets of Young, in lieu of the Wing-centric sets from before… you prolly have to say… “not all that many”.

Or in other words… Coach Mike is doing a very flexible job of morphing himself into what he has on hand— and not the other way around. That’s a yoga instructor type coach and this from a guy who needs a year or three to find/fill in his roster with guys who can get and execute his big-men/Point-Forward high-post driven sets.

As in… if Mike Young is (already) doing this with guys who may or may not fit his looks?

What will he be doing come 2023?


Our handy-dandy friend the so-called Forum Guide of Graham Houston fame is calling for a pretty well lopsided looking 18-point VicTory off our one common head-to-head opponent; (Clemson). That seems very best-case to me -even @home- though there you go.

The annualized year-to-date vitals say that… Vah.Tech is up +1% in shooting percentage margin (all due to V.P.I. with the superior D and State slicing into that a bit on O); VeeTee is up +5% in 3-point percentage margin (with Tech better at netting the 3 and by being better in defense of the 3); Nc.State is up +2 Windex wipes in rebounding margin on the glass for the duration.

The most recent 5-game metrics say that…the Wolfpack is up +1% in shooting percentage margin (all due to State better on O; with the Hokies cutting into that with superior D); nobody is up any% in 3-point percentage margin (with the Gobblers 3% better on D, tho with N.C.St. the same 3% better on O); however; the ‘Pack does merit separation here per a very visible and a near +8 carroms edge in rebounding margin on the glass for the last fortnight.

Da Wolpac’ is up +2 % at the charity stripe for the year.
vTee is .8oo as your host | State is .4oo as your guest.
V.Tech is +1 in R&R in the last fortnight for this run.

  1. State’s Markell Johnson is 19-of-40 from the foul line after making 74.7 percent of his free throws in 2018-19.
  2. NC State has given up ≥79 points in 100% of their L’s.
  3. State might just tally >24 points on us this time… as do Gingko that was their tally last time.
  4. Tech leads the nation in fewest turnovers per game (9.8); ranks third nationally in assist-turnover ratio, and is tied for 12th nationally in total 3-point makes (10.3 per game). The Hokies are also second in fewest fouls committed with 12.3.
  5. These teams have each won three of their last four games, so one of these teams warming streaks will come to an end here.
  6. Sources’ say Bryce has now been “upgraded to: daytoday“.
  7. (although a more recent source said they would not be surprised: ‘…if {sic: NCS} gave him one more game.’
  8. NC State leads the all-time series with Virginia Tech 4o-17, including a 12-8 record against the Hokies since Virginia Tech joined the ACC prior to the 2004-05 season

The Call

2 PM Kick-off

No.49 Net Ranking State @ no.51 Net Ranking Virginia Tech is an interesting match-up.

And by that, I mean that Nc.State is an ungood match-up down low in the paint where the Wolfpack should be able to “howl” early and often on the inside. IF, they are smart enough to not play G-centric or G.State type modern era basketball. As one could dare to type: that’s the key for them.

The Hokies, however, do seem to have an overall tradecraft or skill-set advantage when taken from stem to stern. They are hosting the 228-mile traveling State squad @home in the A.c.c. where the homesteading team takes about 7 in 10 contests historically.


So, if you ask me as to who is gonna win this one -and you have via reading these very, words- Eye would be so inclined as to say to you… I’d have to favor the home team here.

Meaning… I would surely favor Nc.State to pack us down in Raleigh, and I am likewise predisposed to narrowly favor V.Tech down in the fair-weather New River Valley.

Nevertheless, if this were say a C.B.I. (best of three) or Association format (best of seven) I’d have to favor the ‘Pack. In particular in a longer race to four {sic: wins}.

So I’ma gonna go with the very slight upset pick here.
And side with the vastly more experienced team.
And their pressing D.

hooooowl,” says the lone…
Image result for wolf emoji


(53% confidence interval)
Virginia Tech
=69, Nc.State=73




4 Responses You are logged in as Test

  1. Bstreet, I am disappointed once again. I still remember the Pitt game about a couple of months ago, where you favored the Panthers.

    The Hokies won 28-0.

    The good guys take this one as well!

  2. Tried to participate in your poll but was told I had already participated (608). How is this possible? I just got out of bed.
    What’s up with this? Am I hacked, or just pissed?

    1. This one I do not know… I do however know that our Poll thingy breaks from time-to-time for years quite plural on end now.
      : (

      You should be 100% fine/a-okay on your end Good Sir.


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