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NC State steamrolls VMI in Kevin Keatts’ debut, 102-67

welcome back, hoops

NCAA Basketball: North Carolina State at Florida State Glenn Beil-USA TODAY Sports

It’s good to have college basketball back, and it’s good to have Lennard Freeman back, too. NC State dominated VMI from start to finish on Friday night, and Freeman was solid in his first return to official action in more than a year. NC State won, 102-67.

The backcourt paced this game despite the VMI defense being pointless in its own existence, and did so with all due apologies; State’s strength is not only at the point but also in its capability to hit the paint from the perimeter. The Wolfpack did that pretty much at will against VMI, and it worked out fine.

Lavar Batts had his moments as a first-time college player, and NC State was much better shooting the ball from three than VMI, which is very bad if you’re VMI and you shoot a whole bunch of threes. Not that this is surprising, mind you. I knew they’d vault a cart of basketballs from three-point range, but no one has ever suggested that the Keydets are accurate. Friday night was not their best effort.

State rolled Friday night with no challenge and got double-digits from a half dozen guys, Lennard Freeman included. It’s learning time for everybody, and it wasn’t a perfect show, but putting one foot in front of the other and punting an opponent into the lower atmosphere and welcoming back a kid who missed a year because of injury ... that’s a pretty good result.

I think we can work with this.