Well, here we are a little over halfway through the ACC conference schedule and if you can figure out what kind of team NC State is, you are a far better fan than I am. This team is all over the place.
They can look good for a half, a 10-minute stretch, or they can go through a 10-minute scoring drought. The first 8-10 minutes of the game against Louisville was the defensive team I thought Kevin Keatts was bringing to Raleigh.
NC State was causing turnovers and making Louisville uncomfortable. The problem with that, games last 40 minutes and NC State ended up losing that game 77-57 at home.
NC State has lost to Georgia Tech twice! A Georgia Tech team that has a coach that its own fanbase is unsure about. NC State has lost to UNC at home. The same UNC team that is riddled with injuries and yet still beat NC State.
NC State is 3-4 against the bottom half of the ACC. What we are learning this season is the loss of Seabron to academic ineligibility, the decision of Jalen Lecque to go straight to the NBA, the Sediq Bey situation where he’s now playing for Villanova, and the transfer of Lavar Batts to UNC Asheville decimated the roster. Those players fit a Kevin Keatts system better than, Pat Andree and Danny Dixon.
Now, it is not all rain clouds and depression surrounding this NC State team. What we are learning is that Devon Daniels has the ability to be an elite wing defender.
If only Keatts would put him on the best wing players an opposing team has from the beginning. DJ Funderburk is proving to be a very good offensive post player. He has a back to the basket game, and he can step out and face up the player guarding him. Braxton Beverly is gutting out his back injury. An injury so bad that when he is not in the game, his back bothers him to the point where he can’t sit down.
CJ Bryce seems to be rounding back into form since coming back from the concussion he suffered in practice. And Manny Bates will be the rim protector that Keatts needs in his high-pressure system.
There are some individually talented players on this team. However, for some reason, they haven’t figured out a lineup or gotten to gel as a cohesive basketball team so far this season. The problem is, NC State is running out of time to fix this problem.
With games left against Pitt, UNC and Wake Forest. If anything has been proven this year, none of those games are gimmies. NC State also has Duke twice and FSU. NC State probably needs to get to at least .500 in the ACC to make it to the NCAA tournament and I am not 100% certain they can do that.
Losing to Boston College Sunday certainly didn’t help the NCAA chances either.