Zion Williamson is predicated to be drafted 1st overall in virtually all NBA mock drafts. He’s the most electrifying player in college basketball. Williamson was the most hyped high school player in the past decade. But is Williamson the best player you can have for your program? No is the short answer.
Braxton Beverly has been at NC State for two years now and has provided stability Kevin Keatts has needed his own first two years in Raleigh. Beverly, an All-ACC academic member, averaged nearly 10 points his freshman season at NC State. His 3.27 assist-turnover set a all time ACC record for a freshman.
Today’s college basketball is not like what college and specifically ACC basketball purists are use to. Talented players do not stay in school for four years for education or to accomplish team goals like they use to. They leave. One and done. And who can blame them when the NCAA allows “one and dones” to attend school for one semester and then go collect a check in the NBA.
Zion Williamson will likely spend 1-2 semesters at Duke University and drop out as soon as the final buzzer ends for Duke’s basketball season. Beverly, by all accounts, will be back in the red and white for his third season. If NC State is fortunate, he will play for four years and graduate at NC State.
There’s no doubt that Williamson’s stardom does help recruiting, but Duke doesn’t need a superstar to increase their brand or their marketability. They are Duke basketball. For NC State, the Dennis Smith Jr and Ryan Harrow type players are beneficial but not essential. You build dominant programs with the Braxton Beverlys of the world. That’s how every powerhouse in blue (Kansas, Duke, UNC) built theirs, with 4 year student-athletes.
“I wish that every kid that I recruit at N.C. State is like Braxton Beverly. Works hard, great kid, low maintenance.” -KK
You can expect several eye opening dunks when State takes on Duke Saturday in Cameron Indoor Stadium. You can also expect a calm, collected and disciplined shooting guard in the most hostile college sports atmosphere in the nation.
EDITOR’S NOTE: There’s nothing more suspect than a powerhouse basketball school that has zero accountability being a private institution. Duke is not required to keep their records public due to the fact that they are not a public university. I’m not insinuating Duke has been paying their players, I am just suggesting that if a university were to and hide it for decades…it would be at Duke.
“Aluminum Stadium”, as WPN affectionately calls Kenan Memorial Stadium, is home to empty seats in the fall even when Larry Feodra led his Carolina team to a 11-3 record in 2015. NC State QB Ryan Finley called Kenan Stadium”Carter Finley North”. State beat UNC in Chapel Hill in 2018 and NC State fans outnumbered the home crowd. It’s gotta be tough to generate enthusiasm with a wildly passionate football fan base only 25 miles away.
Then again, it’s safe to say UNC football fans are incredibly committed because they are willing to drive 2 hours East to watch their football team play in the purple and gold.
The stadium itself is surprising scenic. Nestled in the middle of the university grounds, it makes for a tolerable experience. But UNC fans just aren’t interested in football as much as their fake fan hype pages on Twitter like to tell you.
UNC-heat is coming off of one of largest student-athlete scandals in NCAA history
In October 2017, the NCAA admitted UNC had been cheating. Google “UNC NCAA punishment” and you’ll be confused. Yes, the NCAA concluded that UNC was one of the most corrupt programs in the history of college athletics, but they were not punished. 18 years of corruption and UNC lawyer-ed up and managed to escape with no repercussions.
Football facilities are mid rate
UNC recently added a indoor football facility and yet they are still wildly under preforming ACC schools. NC State’s Murphy Center, Clemson’s Memorial Stadium facilities and FSU’s Dunlap Facility highlight the ACC’s most elite football facilitates. Due to UNC-Chapel Hill’s limited land and space, they don’t have many options to expand and separate themselves from the Pack.
They just hired a coach that’s been retired for 6 years
Mack is back. It’s cool because it’s in a song right? Well UNC hopes that it will translate to the recruiting trail and more importantly, the win column. It’s unsure if Mack Brown was involved with the 18 year AFAM class scandal but it’s safe to say a lot of things have changed at UNC since he left for Texas decades ago.
Zach Galifianakis has participated in nearly 40 motion pictures and has a estimated net worth of 20 million dollars. He owns a 60-acre farm in Alleghany, North Carolina but currently lives in Los Angeles. He is most famous for his role in the “Hangover” films. Ironcially enough, he calls himself the “one man wolfpack” in one of the movie’s most memorable scenes:
Being a college student is tough, especially in Raleigh. That was definitely the case for Zach Galifianakis who walked away from college in a way no one could have imagined. Galifianakis revealed in the interview that he fell just one grade point short in his last course from earning a NC State degree.
“My time is so limited, but I’ve definitely thought about finishing it.” -ZG
Zach Galifianakis also worked at Amedeo’s Italian Restaurant during his time in Raleigh. Amedeo’s is home to many of NC State sports fondest memories. A part owner of Amedeo’s told me that Zach’s father, Harry Galifianakis, played football at NC State in 1957. Harry played football along aside founder Amedeo Richard DeAngelis at NC State. Little did they know, one day one of them would open an authentic italian restaurant and the other’s son would eventually work him for there.
Zach Galifianakis also met fellow NC State student and graduate A.D. Miles while at N.C. State. Miles began as a Business major but transitioned to Communications once he realized his passion was in film. Miles is a script writer for television and motion pictures. He worked with late show host Jimmy Fallon for nine years. Miles was the Head Writer for “The Late Night Show with Jimmy Fallon” for four years (2014-2017).
“He is the head writer of Late Night with Jimmy Fallon and I do what I do, and the two of us used to be kids running up and down Hillsborough looking for nothing.”
It’d great to get Zach Galifianakis back in Raleigh for a game. Go Pack!
NC State only suffered one non-conference loss to begin the season and reached as high as #15 in the rankings but now they are fighting for their spot in the Big Dance.
The Pack had a weak non-conference schedule but beat most of those opponents handily and that should play a factor when Selection Sunday arrives.
ACC play for NC State has been a roller coaster ride thus far. Keatts’ second year squad is sitting on a 5-6 ACC record. The Pack is 17-7 overall but luckily has endured the toughest stretch of the season after facing UVA, VT and UNC in 3 of consecutive 4 games. 7 games remain in the regular season as NC State prepares for Syracuse Wednesday night. The remaining games look like this:
@ #2 Duke
vs Boston College
vs Wake Forest
@ #17 Florida State
vs Georgia Tech
@ Boston College
WPN is hungry for much more than just a tournament berth. NC State was ranked #15 before dropping in the rankings the past four weeks. Now the Pack is fighting for a invite to the tourney. I believe the Pack will need to win at least FOUR out of the remaining 7 games to give themselves a good chance at dancing this March.
20 wins is usually the standard for NC State fans use for “getting in” but it’s really about which games they win, and more importantly, don’t win. 21 wins won’t mean anything if NC State drops home losses to Wake and Georgia Tech. This Pack team has the ability to win 5-6 of their remaining games and do well in the ACC tournament but they will need contribution from everyone from Markell Johnson to Wyatt Walker.
A win over #17 FSU would be huge for the Pack’s resume because it is a ranked ACC opponent on the road. An away loss to #2 Duke won’t hurt our resume while a loss to Wake or Georiga Tech at home could be detrimental to the Pack’s case. If NC State can’t upset FSU or Duke, they will need to win the other 5 games to secure a spot in my opinion. The ACC tourney also presents a opportunity to boost their resume.
Wednesday night’s game against is huge for NC State’s tournament chances as Syracuse is sitting at 8-3 in conference play.
UNC fans love to claim NC State is “not a rival” and they use several (invalid) reasons to back it up. UNC claims their men’s basketball success, or domination, the past decade warrants NC State as a irrelevant competitor. Sure, Duke-UNC trumps every other rivalry in the country. But first, what is a rival?
By definition, any Division 1 college team could be a “rival”. But rivals, in the traditional sense, have a lot to do with how deep the history goes between teams. It usually has to do with a close proximity between the teams and is amplified by disdain or bad blood for one another.
Raleigh and Chapel Hill are 25 miles away from one another. They’ve been competing athletically for about 125 years. NC State has defeated UNC in at least 8 different sports in the past year. This rivalry is one of the richest, deepest rivalries in the country. The ACC, specifically North Carolina basketball, was established on NC State, Duke, UNC and Wake Forest.
I believe TarheelNation (is that a thing?) is doing one of two things: 1. Simply using “not a rival” as a bit to troll NC State or 2. Too ignorant to understand or appreciate tradition in the triangle.
At times, UNC fans spend much more time trolling and arguing with WPN than with Duke fans. The Twitter handle @uncbarstool, which may be the worst fan account to date, tweeted a packed message (after deleting and revising it three times) after Tuesday night’s win over NC State:
Dear state fans:
Don't you ever come at us saying this is a rivalry. Our men's team is better than you, or women's team is better than you.
Good luck with your "KeViN kEaTtS iS a WiNnEr" bs.
The irony is too much as they state “don’t ever come at us saying this is a rivalry”. Interesting take as their football team is currently in the midst of a historic losing skid to the Pack over the past decade. In the past year, UNC teams have lost to NC State’s men’s basketball, football women’s basketball, hockey, swimming, wrestling, baseball, gymnastics and volleyball teams.
Tarheel blogger @tarheelblog tweeted a laughable article:
Last night, #UNC reminded everyone that N.C. State is not a rival on the basketball court.
At this point, Tarheel fans are making themselves look silly. Continually hammering the idea of “‘not a rival” by constantly exerting effort to prove that point. This only proves one thing: UNC fans value their time enough to engage in competitive banter more than any other team/university…which by all means implicates you are indeed, a rival.
Torin Dorn, a Charlotte native, has family ties on both sides of Tuesday’s night game. At this point in Dorn’s red-shirt senior season, most of WPN knows that Dorn is part of a predominately Carolina household. Dorn’s younger brother is on UNC-Chapel Hill’s football team. Torin Dorn Sr, Torin’s father, also played football for the Tarheels in college.
The red-shirt senior has been in Raleigh for 4 seasons now after coming to NC State in 2015. He had to sit one year out after transferring from UNC-Charlotte due to transfer rules. Dorn has blossomed into the Pack’s most experienced leader the past two seasons.
Torin Dorn is now in his 3rd straight season averaging double digits for the Pack but UNC has always been a roadblock for the 6’5″ shooting guard. In the past three seasons, Dorn is only 1-5 against the Heels. However, Dorn dropped 20 points amidst 4 three pointers in NC State’s road win against UNC last season.
Monday afternoon, beat writer Joe Giglio tweeted how Torin Dorn was spotted putting in work before practice leading up to the UNC game.
Torin Dorn pouring sweat as he talks to us today *before* practice.
UNC has won 8 wins out of their last 9 games including the 5 game win streak they carry into Tuesday night’s matchup. This is likely Dorn’s last swing at Carolina unless the ACC or NCAA tournaments provide a 3rd match up. Tuesday’s game may or may not be one of Dorn’s most memorable games to WPN. I do believe, however, when the Pack heads the Dean Dome Tuesday night, it will one of the most memorable games for Torin Dorn and the Dorn household.
Saturday’s game against Virginia Tech might…ok it will go down as the worst performance in recent NC State basketball history. 24 total points were scored for the Pack. TWENTY FOUR. NC State lost to UNC by 52 points at the Dean Dome in 2017 but at least we scored 56 points (107-56).
NC State fans were livid on Twitter and we had every right to be. The performance was one for the books. That wasn’t a game where you just don’t watch the tape after. That was a game you burn the tape, change your name and move 1,200 miles away. It was tough. But not all is lost and WPN needs to understand that this isn’t a bad team. This team can and I believe still will make noise in March.
Since Kevin Keatts has took over at NC State, one thing that hasn’t have been lacking is heart. Keatt’s two teams so far have shown perseverance every time they take the court. Every time but Saturday.
NC State has never lost three straight games under Keatts. NC State hadn’t lost two consecutive games this season until the VT lost. NC State had no business beating UNC or Duke last year, but we did last year. This year we expected more success but Keatts is still dealing with a team full of graduate players and transfers. Don’t get me wrong, there is no excuse for a 24 point performance, not one. What I’m insinuating is that this game is a outlier.
Tuesday night, NC State won’t be ranked. NC State won’t be “the Pack coming into Chapel Hill” they’ll be “the team that just scored 24 points coming into Chapel Hill”. I think it’s safe to say there will be tons of signs in the crowd about Saturday’s performance. And that’s ok. That’s actually great.
This team has the ability to beat anyone in the country and being the team no one gives a fighting chance to win is right where Keatts wants to be.
This Saturday afternoon NC State plays their second consecutive home game against a highly ranked team. Tuesday night the Pack dropped a thriller against #3 Virginia. That one point loss in overtime showed how hard this basketball team can battle. I believe this team is due for a big win Saturday and here’s why:
NC State hasn’t lost a consecutive game this season and that has a lot to do with Keatts making adjustments. The UVA loss doesn’t feel like a loss that will trigger a “let down” game. I believe that loss will, in ways, help the Pack take care of business against Virginia Tech.
NC State plays well at home. The Pack is now 10-2 at home with losses suffered against #9 UNC and #3 Virginia. If you were at the UVA game, or merely watched on the television, you could tell how much more energy WPN is bringing this season. WPN was instrumental to the Clemson win when their best free throw shooter missed 4 FTs in a row. Keatts, this team and WPN is hungry for a home win against a ranked opponent after coming so close just days ago.
Virginia Tech is not Virginia. VT Head Coach Buzz Williams is terrific and he suits up a very talented group of guys but they do not resemble UVA in style of play or fundamentals whatsoever. VT is 11-0 at home but only 2-3 on the road. VT has also been blown out twice. Both of their blowout losses were on the road…against the only other two teams NC State has lost to at home (UNC, UVA).
One of VT’s top player is questionable after he sustained a high ankle injury late into the Miami game this past week. Justin Robinson is the Hokies 2nd top scorer and scored 35 points just two games ago. Robinson averages 14 points a game and leads the Hokies with 5 assists a game.
This NC State team has been battling each week. The team is hungry and WPN is too. My prediction for Saturday’s game against #12 Virginia Tech is NC State on top 78-66.