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What UVA Basketball fans need to know about N.C. State

jericole hellems
Jericole Hellems had 24 points on 9-of-19 shooting in N.C. State’s 76-73 loss at Syracuse. Photo courtesy Atlantic Coast Conference.

N.C. State started 6-1, opened ACC play with wins at home over UNC and Boston College. Then lost three straight, then had a COVID-19 pause.

The Pack haven’t gotten their feet back under them yet.

State (7-6, 3-5 ACC) has won once since Dec. 30, a 72-67 W last week at home against Wake Forest.

The issues for coach Kevin Keatts go well beyond COVID-19 pauses. Keatts lost his leading scorer, 6’5” sophomore Devin Daniels (16.5 ppg, 5.1 rebs/g, 48.7% FG, 36.5% 3FG), in the Wake win with a torn left ACL.

And then he learned as his team was preparing to leave for Syracuse this past weekend that he wouldn’t have 6’10” senior D.J. Funderburk (11.9 ppg, 5.2 rebs/g, 59.0% FG), who is out due to “university policy,” whatever that means.

It means Keatts may not have Funderburk back for Wednesday’s tilt with #14 UVA (11-3, 7-1 ACC), is what it means.

He seemed to adjust his rotation well for the Syracuse game, a 76-73 loss in the Carrier Dome in which he was able to get productive efforts from 6’7” junior Jericole Hellems (12.7 ppg, 5.5 rebs/g, 45.7% FG, 36.1% 3FG), who had 24 points on 9-of-19 shooting, and 6’11” sophomore Manny Bates (9.7 ppg, 6.0 rebs/g, 63.6% FG), who had 17 points (on 7-of-9 shooting) and 10 rebounds.

Keatts went to 6’3” freshman Cam Hayes (6.5 ppg, 3.2 assists/g, 40.0% FG, 35.7% 3FG) to replace Daniels in the starting lineup, going with a three-small-guard look with 6’0” senior Braxton Beverly (6.7 ppg, 41.8% FG, 42.9% 3FG), 6’1” junior Thomas Allen (7.3 ppg, 38.4% FG, 41.7% 3FG) and 6’1” freshman Shakeel Moore (6.5 ppg, 40.2% FG, 31.6% 3FG) for long stretches.

Assuming Funderburk is still out, expect to see a lot of Hellems as an undersized four, with Bates at five, for the bulk of the minutes Wednesday night – with 6’7” freshman Dereon Seabron (4.3 ppg, 48.8% FG, 33.3% 3FG) spelling Hellems and Bates in the frontcourt as needed.

What to watch for: N.C. State

  • Spot-ups account for 24.6 percent of State offensive possessions. Beverly, as you might remember, from past years, rates excellent, per Synergy Sports, on spot-ups, shooting 13-of-29 (44.8%) and scoring 1.156 points per possession. Also need to keep tabs on Allen (16-of-45, 35.6%, 0.96 PPP) and Hellems (15-of-42, 35.7%, 0.911 PPP).
  • Pick-and-rolls account for 22.8 percent of the Pack offense, but that was with Daniels accounting for nearly half (46.1%) of the P&R ball handler plays. Hayes rates as excellent, per Synergy (10-of-19, 52.6%, 1.038 PPP. Most of what State gets out of the pick-and-roll is out of the ball handler. The ball slips inside on only about a quarter of P&Rs for the Pack. Watch for Bates (7-of-11, 63.4%, 1.308 PPP) when it does.
  • Lane cuts, post-ups and offensive rebounds are 22.6 percent of the offense. Assuming Funderburk isn’t in the lineup, you can key on Bates (18-of-25, 72.0%, 1.345 PPP on lane cuts, 13-of-17, 76.5%, 1.391 on offensive rebounds, 8-of-19, 42.1%, 0.808 on post-ups). Hellem is solid as well (12-of-23, 52.2%, 1.063 PPP on lane cuts, 6-of-10, 60.0%, 1.154 on stickbacks, 4-of-9, 44.4%, 0.727 PPP on post-ups).
  • Transition is 17.4 percent of the offense. The best finishers are Hellem (13-of-23, 56.5%, 1.059 PPP) and Seabron (10-of-19, 52.6%, 1.04 PPP).

At a glance

  • Offense: N.C. State 109.5 (62), Virginia 115.4 (11)
  • Defense: N.C. State 97.4 (93), Virginia 91.0 (17)
  • Tempo: N.C. State 69.4 (143), Virginia 59.8 (357)

Efficiency data from KenPom.com

Details

#14 Virginia (11-3, 7-1 ACC) at N.C. State (7-6, 3-5 ACC)
9 p.m., ACC Network

  • KenPom.com: Virginia 68-62, 69% win probability
  • BartTorvik: Virginia 67-62, 71% win probability
  • ESPN BPI: Virginia +5, 70.4% win probability

Story by Chris Graham


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