Your North Carolina State basketball preview!

#28 R.P.I. Virginia Tech @ #110 R.P.I. North Carolina State:

Virginia Tech men’s basketball comes 901 miles home and then promptly turns right around and goes another 227 miles so. by so-east to face no.24 nationally ranked North Carolina State.

The Hokies just won a nice enough VicTory on Wednesday night at rather depleted Miami and came back a bit depleted for their troubles thanks to a lower leg injury to all-conference quality starting Pt.Guard J.Robinson. Other than that? So.Beach was great. And yet now the Hokies face back-to-back nationally ranked teams inside of just over a 48 hour N.b.a. ‘esque turn. Or a pretty fair to middling NC2A second-day turn simulator to see where our S&C truly, madly, deeply stands. NC.State, however, stands in at 16 up and 5 down on the year (4-4 in the A.c.c.). And the winner here stands to take a national standings bounce. Nevertheless, you wanna know who will win? Read on, to find… out!

North Carolina State Head Coach: Kevin Andre Keatts: age=45, 88-35 overall,
1st season and 16-7 at NC.State.

Baller Keatts was a two-sport Commonwealth 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.

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 bling. 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 hot commodity is this lowercase coach-k, is he not?

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

NC.State at a glance:

  • 12th in Turnovers Forced (17.29 tpg)!
  • 14th in scoring O (84.4 ppg).
  • 15th in rebounding margin (+7.1 rpg)!
  • 16th in 3-point defense (29.3% allowed).
  • 27th in assists (16.5 apg).
  • 29th in FG percentage O (48.4% makes).
  • 57th most steals (∑=159 so far).
  • 303rd fewest fouls (∑=421 so far). (i.e. lotta physical contact here).
  • Good team overall, nearly everything ranked 205th or better!

pack Returning Starters=3

NC.State Strengths:

  • Lotta versatile youth lives here. (just not much experience).
  • Coaching… as Coach Keatts has to be getting some A.c.c. Coach of the Year looks for this!
  • Torin Dorn is a slashing good 6′3″ 210 lb. r-senior S/G who is down a whopping 17% on his 3’s since this time last season (now: 31.5%), L an inch in height and then cut 10 lbs.; all since we last saw him. Nevertheless, (new) coach Keatts still has something of a 3-headed backcourt monsta on his hands here. Torin nets you a now team pacing 14.2 ppg on a shiny looking 48% overall and a Spartan, almost shocking gold medal in rebounding for State with 6.7 caroms snagged per game to go with 1.1. steals. Dorn is a physically strong looking kid who brings a Strong-Safety sense to his on-court game. He is also a Charlotte transfer who was merely the C-U.S.A. Player of the year for 2015, and he too will play above the rim and dunk on you. The book here says that Dorn is a solid off the dribble type of offensive athlete that can score inside and out although his stop-work (i.e. defense) and his long-shooting must improve. And he was a scholastic T&F and golf star; of all things. So yah; he must have some hand-eye-coordination, some patience, and some burst to his hardcourt metrics. Plus his old-man (same name) played seven seasons in the NFL for the Los Angeles Raiders and the St. Louis Rams. Wonder who he’s cheering for on Sunday (nite)?
  • 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 leading dimes dropped with 7.8 apg (last year | down to 3.9 apg, now) and his decent 1.1 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 11.9 ppg and 2.1 rpg and -when healthy, as he’s missed 11 games in his last 40- and you quietly have one of the higher Qb-rating Point-G’s in the whole darn A.c.c. And oh yes, 44% when dialing long-distance is none too shabby and neither is this C-town 6′1″, though a Jenny Craig string-bean looking 175 lb. third-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 he needs to be less judicious and more executive when looking for his own, shot).

    Dood can score on the move.
  •  One #13, 6′5″, 219 lb., r-Jr. 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 6-7 lbs. and usefully blended his near 20 ppg and First-Team All-C.A.A. selection too run as the pseudo beta wolf for NC.State. Bryce now nets you a somewhat truncated second-best 12.2 ppg, with a likewise second-place 5 rpg and a team pacing 1.4 swipes (spg). That’s not taking one that’s taking sum for one’s team. C.J. is nearly the best 3-point ‘packer at 43% as this truly is a scoring, distributing and glassing 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 Charlotte-area kid who had very nice though not exactly great all-around scholastic numbers.

NC.State Weaknesses:

  • Ömer Yurtseven, leading scorer Allerik Freeman, Darius Hicks, (pure shooter) Sam Hunt Abdul-Malik Abu all gonzo this year! And that’s code more or less 80% of a pretty altogether decent starting line-up in most conferences in America. Not to mention their ~45 ppg and 20 rpg to boot— did I mention their scoring, rebounding and combined experience (yet)?
  • Also done would be nugget or rookie year P/F, Manny Bates. Manny is, was a 6′11″, 221 lb. defensive specialist down-low in the paint. An athletic rim-protector who likely would have at least contributed right away (off-season Shoulder, St.Christopher bless).
  • Not a lotta continuity exists down in Raleigh right now. Lotta comings and goings here… and gelling then building may have to wait (officially) for autumn 2019. Not this spring thereof.

Wolfpack Bench: (depth=3 to 4 deep)

Lotta rebounding lives here folks… what with not less than four subs logging at least 3.1 rpg+ which is seen pretty much half-past-never.

6′10″, 210 lb., r-Soph., P/F, DJ Funderburk, and his 8.4 ppg, 4.1 rpg with a block on 58% work here. As do bruising Wyatt Walker and his 6′9″, 245 lb. thumping Four, 5.8 ppg with 4.4 rpg, a swat on 63%. And now mix in 24-year-old Jr. and springy looking 6′7″,  199 lb. first-year St.Louis native S/F Jericole Hellems and his 6.1 and 3.9 rpg with 33% long and you have a rock-solid frontcourt set of substitutes even if you do not (yet) have a star here.

D.J. has been on a circuitous Raleigh journey, though the book says he’s really a scoring and rebounding oversized Wing. Although this is his fourth team in five years (including “the” OH.State) going back to high school and you just know I’ma gonna flag that. Walker is a now becoming familiar grad-transfer baller from Samford— where he and his man-bun were both all-Southern Conference ballers. This after only playing two games two years ago as he does have a history of leg injuries; plural (St.Nikon help). Prior to that, Walker was nearly a small-conference double-double just waiting to happen (13 ppg and 9.7 rpg). So if/when he can work his way back, this is a fairly serious baller there gents. Hellems was the no.83 baller in America this time last year according to Rivals. Jericole is said to be more of a versatile jack of all trades Three or S/F.

Upsetting 2 point favorite NC.State is all about... what???

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Illationconclusion(s) and OPT digits:

Number of wolves who could howl @Tech=4 maybe 5.

the takeaway:
The takeaway here is… same as last time when we caught a hobbled Miami at just the right time… you now have to wonder if NC.State is catching #12 ranked and now likewise hobbled Vah.Tech at just the right, time?

As the early whispers say that J.Rob snapped a toe (may St.Sebastian bless) and may be done for six weeks which could still (possibly) encroach upon his/our given post-season run(s).

Dang. Ouch. God Bless. And dang some more.

And although I’m not a believer in luck, if I were I’d type that not for bad-luck V.Tech hoops feet(s) would have no luck at… all.


State is technically +1 on rest although we travel twice in four days and that makes it closer to +1 and change on R&R in favor of the ‘pack. The ‘pack is a .857 at home and the Gobblers are a .4 probability team when away.

Our handy-dandy friend the so-called Forum Guide predicts that -after quite a round-robin (seemingly) noncorrelative swing- as the pack and the Hokies fared very differently vs. common opponents… that ultimately State should win by… 3.

The year-to-day annualized vitals trends say that… V.Tech is +4% on FG margin overall, V.Tech is up a whopping +16% on 3-point FG margin for the season although State is +5 on Rebounding Margin this campaign.

The most recent five-game metrics say that… V.Tech is now +11% on FG margin from the floor (thanks mostly to an O&M efficiency offensive bump), and yet State is now up +3% on 3-point FG margin in the last two weeks (mostly due to increased defense). With the ‘pack now only up +1 board on Rebounding Margin in the last five contests.

With V.Tech is 6% better from the FT-line.

  • With #5 sidelined due to injury (left-ankle); the Hokies will have only seven scholarship players available on Saturday. (and one of that seven and one of them has seen only two minutes of action in A.c.c. play)!
  • The Wolfpack like to put as many as four guards on the floor at a time and push the tempo— and vs. a thinning V.Tech line-up; what else should you, do?
  • Accordingly… N.C. State’s bench averages 32.7 points and has outscored opponents’ reserves by 322 points thus far through 21 games!

the call

Hate to say this, as I had this one penciled in as a Win -though sans J.Rob’, Clarke and P.J. and Nolley- …you do see what I mean, right?

As quite honestly… with 10 Atlantic Coast Club games left in right at 40 days… watch for fatigue and wear-n-tear. In particular on the two-weekend short-turns -of which this is one mind you- when traveling and in the final 5-10 minutes of play.

Though I tangent… albeit strategically this time…

As for this high-noon kickoff on Raycom Sports -check local listings- whatever we are and/or have left sans J.Rob’, with have to wait for Buzz’s practice time tinkering and putting during the longest remaining upcoming Monday to Saturday four day practice gap.

Right now he and Buzzketball are in scramble drill -to mix my sporting metaphor- and we’ve got two tough teams coming at us back-to-back.

“Next man up” is for wimminz.

Though you do gotta close ranks.

Thing is… if NC.State is feeling right… this one may not be that close and this one could end up rather, well… rank. That said… State has been yo-yo’ing of late spitting their last six at 3-3. So we would have a shot vs. the lowercase state and not so much vs. the A-game or uppercase State.

Though methinks we take States best shot as they have to be smelling O&M blood in the Duck Pond water. That; and that bench business up above is not a good match-up the longer this fight goes. As Buzzketball needs an epic start; here.

As this one has lower-scoring and ugly written all over it.

Swann songs and ducklings need not apply.

(74confidence interval)
Virginia Tech
=63, North Carolina State=75




2 Responses You are logged in as Test

  1. Well with the “Upsetting 2 point favorite NC.State is all about… what???” Call by the folks who voted, gave a 54% thumbs up to VT winning with “Defense, rebounding, Med’, and turnovers. (54%, 49 Votes). I have to admit I did not see THAT coming meaning the lowest scoring game in a long while. Wonder what your thoughts are on the game after expecting a Puppy Pack win? GO HOKIES!

  2. Well you got everything wrong, except low scoring and ugly. Could not have been more right on that count. I think Bud might need to talk to Buzz’s D coordinator! Lol

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