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The Heritage Game: NC State Welcomes Maryland Eastern Shore

Celebrating David Thompson! Let’s win this one for #44!

University of Maryland vs North Carolina State University Set Number: X17395 TK1

DAVID THOMPSON STATUE UNVEILING: The public unveiling of his statue is Wednesday morning (6th) at 11:30 AM outside the northeast corner of Reynolds Coliseum. Free.

Details here

How good was David Thompson? “David Thompson was Michael Jordan, Kobe Bryant, Tracy McGrady, and LeBron James rolled into one”. HOFer Bill Walton who played against DT both in college and the NBA.

Heritage Game Details:

When: Wednesday Dec 6th – 7:00 PM

Where: James T Valvano Arena at William Neal Reynolds Coliseum

Opponent: Maryland Eastern Shore (Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference)

TV: ACC Network Extra

Preseason Conference Prediction: 5th (of 8) in the MEAC

Pomeroy Prediction: Wolfpack 86-62

Wolfpack Snapshot: KP #68, NET 53, 5-2 (Home 3-0, Away 1-1, Neutral 1-1)

Wolfpack Season So Far:

To quote Coach Keatts, the Pack “got well” with an ACC road win and a trip to the ice cream parlor on Saturday. We came out of the ‘four road games in nine days’ gauntlet at 2-2. The two teams we lost to, BYU (KP #7, NET #2) and Ole Miss (KP #89, NET #95), are still undefeated. Ole Miss just got a quality win against Memphis (KP #42), BYU’s next challenge will be a game Saturday against rival Utah (KP #30).

We now have two games, and about a week and a half, to prepare for current KP #10, NET #17 Tennessee who sportswriter/Duke homer Seth Davis says “looks like a Final Four team.” The Vols just finished a brutal 3 game stretch away from home against Purdue, Kansas, and UNC, losing all three by single digits.

Hopefully we can make the most of these upcoming games against a couple of lower ranked teams. It would be great to see the bench players on whom we rely heavily, Middlebrooks, Parker, Thomas, O’Connell, get a lot of court time. And if the tertiary players, Pass, Ross, get some time to work on their games, even better.

Wolfpack Injury Report:

Ben Middlebrooks’ feelings are hurt. The refs are calling a foul on him every 4.5 minutes of his playing time so far this season.

Wolfpack Fan Theory – MJ Rice: Absolutely no facts or information of any kind to support this theory! This would be the ideal game to give MJ Rice minutes if he is going to play this season. According to Pomeroy, this is the lowest ranked opponent we will face, it’s at Reynolds, we will clear the bench. We are aware of no physical limitations to prevent him playing. There are five remaining OOC games to help him prepare before the conference season starts. If he’s expected to help us at all this season, there will be no better opportunity to get him started.

Opponent Overview

The UMES Hawks (KP #345, NET #336) come off a historic season in which they finished 18-13, their best winning percentage since David Thompson was at State. (Coincidence??) They led the nation in steals per game and turnovers forced per game.

As often happens after a peak season, this will be a rebuilding year for the Hawks. They lost 8 players from last season, including 4 of 5 starters representing roughly 75% of both their offense and forced turnovers per game.

Their Season So Far:

Other than the D3 school, they have a very solid list of OOC opponents so far, but they’ve lost to all but one. They are (2-5) on the season losing at Temple (KP #162) (65-85), beating D3 Cairn (83-65), losing to Longwood (KP #157) (61-80), beating Penn (KP #190) (83-80), losing at Notre Dame (KP # 180) (55-75), at Liberty (KP #61) (62-99), postponing Hampton due to health protocols, and losing Monday at East Carolina (KP #199) (52-63).

Team Statistical Comparison

Team PPG FG% 3PT% 3PT pg Reb pg Ast pg TO pg ST pg BL pg
Team PPG FG% 3PT% 3PT pg Reb pg Ast pg TO pg ST pg BL pg
NCS 78.4 44.00% 32.50% 7.1 37.9 14 10 8 2.7
UMES 65.9 38.80% 32% 6 33.3 11.4 12.3 6.6 3.1

Player Notes

The Hawks return starting guard Chace Davis and promoted key reserves Dionte Johnson and Troy Hupstead to the starting lineup. They added JUCO guards Devon Ellis and Tyler Mack to round out the starting lineup.

UMES Probable Starters

Player Class Pos Height Wt PTS 3PT% 3PTApg REB ASST BLK STL
Player Class Pos Height Wt PTS 3PT% 3PTApg REB ASST BLK STL
Davis JR G 6'3" 180 11.1 37% 6.6 1.7 0.9 0 1
Johnson SO G 6'0" 190 5.6 40% 0.7 3 2.6 0.3 1
Mack JR G 6'5" 185 3.7 30% 3.9 1.1 0.4 0 0
Ellis SO G 6'6" 215 10.9 40% 0.7 3.9 0.3 0.3 0
Hupstead JR F 6'7" 225 11.2 33% 1.3 8.8 1.2 0.2 1

Keys To The Game

Coach Jason Crafton plays a four-guard offense. His primary differentiating strategy, like last season, is to force turnovers and make the most of those turnovers offensively. At this point in the season, they are averaging about 4 fewer forced turnovers per game than last season, so they have some work to do to get back up to last season’s high standards.

  • Focus on the jump shooter – Guard Chace Davis is the second leading scorer. He leads the Hawks in FGA and 3PTA and has the team’s highest 3PT average at 37%. However, he’s only shooting 31.6% from the floor overall. This season his best was 16 points against Penn, in which he shot 4-7 from 3PT. Against ECU, 9 of his 11 shots were 3PT.
  • Block out the big man – Forward Troy Hupstead leads the team in scoring, FG% and rebounding. He went off for 22/15 against Penn earlier this season.
  • Cut off the driver – Sophomore guard Devon Ellis has only taken 5 3PT shots all season, but he has the second most FGA and is shooting 46% from the floor. He is also their second leading rebounder. His career high was 16 against their D3 opponent.

For the Wolfpack to Win

The Pack is heavily favored, more experienced, bigger and more talented. This should be an excellent opportunity to work the starters hard early to get some separation, and then get a lot of quality minutes from the bench. And maybe MJ Rice?