Yes – it has only been two games so far with a third being postponed, but the Wolfpack men’s basketball team has already shown glimpses of what they can do this season. Here are a few things that stood out over the opening weekend.
- Turnovers Are Key – As with any team, ball control is a key aspect of the game. However, with Kevin Keatts system, it is even more important. The Wolfpack are known to show a full court press defense from tipoff, which results in turnovers that lead to easy baskets. During last week’s contests, NC State forced 51 turnovers in two games (25.5 avg) which resulted in 64 points off those turnovers. On the offensive side, a Wolfpack squad that will be deep at the guard position did a good job taking care of the ball, with just 19 turnovers in those two games.
- Early Depth – Coach Keatts stated before the season that this might be his deepest team since heading to Raleigh. That was on display last week as Keatts was able to show two different starting lineups and have the offense not miss a beat. That allowed NC State to have two different leading scorers for both games. (Devon Daniels – 29 CSU, Jericole Hellems – 17 North Florida)
- Young Talent Showed They’re Ready – Incoming freshman Cam Hayes and Shakeel Moore turned in impressive games with Moore tallying 9 points, 4 steals and 3 rebounds in the opener vs Charleston Southern, while Hayes produced a positive stat line of 13 points, 6 assist and zero turnovers versus North Florida.
As the competition level increases this weekend (hopefully) with a trip to Connecticut, keep these focal pieces in mind watching the Wolfpack in their first true test of the season.