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

sam hauser uva nc state
Sam Hauser had 18 points to help UVA to a 64-57 win over N.C. State. Photo courtesy Atlantic Coast Conference.

N.C. State, in its 64-57 loss to Virginia back on Feb. 3, didn’t do a good job on the Cavaliers’ Big Three – Sam Hauser, Jay Huff and Trey Murphy III, who combined for 48 points.

And yet, the Pack was able to hang around.

State (10-9, 6-8 ACC) has won two straight, at Pitt (74-73, Feb. 17) and at Wake Forest (80-62, Feb. 20), and is still hanging around, right now well on the outside looking in as far as next month’s NCAA Tournament is concerned, sure, but still, a tough out.

Coach Kevin Keatts, in his fourth season in Raleigh, is having to make do without his leading scorer, Devon Daniels (16.5 ppg, 48.7% FG, 36.5% 3FG), lost for the season in the 72-67 win over Wake Forest in January to a torn ACL.

The Pack lost four of its next five after losing Daniels, with the wins last week at Pitt and at Wake righting the ship, for now.

Jericole Hellems, a 6’7” junior three and sometimes stretch four, has stepped up to fill the scoring void, averaging 15.9 points on 50.6 percent shooting from the floor and 45 percent shooting from three over the past seven.

Hellems, you might remember, went off in the loss to the ‘Hoos three weeks ago, scoring 23 on 9-of-15 shooting, including 3-of-6 from three.

Hellems was at stretch four for the bulk of his 37 minutes in that one, but of late he’s been back at his natural three, as Keatts has gone back to giving more minutes in the post to 6’10” senior D.J. Funderburk and 6’11” sophomore Manny Bates.

Thirty-minutes-plus for each could present an interesting quandary for UVA coach Tony Bennett with Hauser and Huff having to muscle up against them in the post.

Keatts has also been going with 6’7” freshman Dereon Seabron at two the past couple of games, and Seabron has responded well – averaging 11.0 points on 56.3 percent shooting, and pulling down 5.5 rebounds over that small sample size stretch.

6’3” freshman Cam Hayes is starting to emerge at point guard – in last week’s wins, he averaged 11.0 points and 7.0 assists.

Keatts has narrowed his rotation to seven – the bench guys being 6’1” freshman Shakeel Moore, who averaged 19.5 minutes per game in the wins last week, and had eight points on 4-of-5 shooting in the win at Wake, and 6’0” senior Braxton Beverly, who seems to be adjusting well to coming off the bench after starting 87 games in his four seasons at State, putting in double-digits in both wins last week in 21.5 minutes per game.

Breakdown: N.C. State offense

Efficiency numbers from Synergy Sports

Inside game (post-ups, lane cuts and stickbacks): 25.1 percent of the offensive possessions

They’re best here on offensive rebounds – Synergy rates them “excellent,” scoring 1.327 points per possession. They use post-ups a fair amount – 8.1 percent of possessions – but rate just “average” there, shooting 43.0 percent and scoring 0.805 points per possession.

Who to watch for: Funderburk (18-of-21, 85.7%, 1.786 PPP on offensive rebounds, 16-of-29, 55.2%, 1.077 PPP on lane cuts), Bates (17-of-24, 70.8%, 1.375 PPP on offensive rebounds, 22-of-31, 71.0%, 1.237 PPP on lane cuts).

Spot-ups: 24.2 percent of offensive possessions

Synergy rates the Pack “good” here – shooting 38.1 percent, scoring 0.937 points per possession.

Who to watch for: Beverly (17-of-42, 40.5%, 1.059 PPP), Hellems (24-of-61, 39.3%, 1.000 PPP).

Pick-and-rolls: 21.1 percent of offensive possessions

Synergy rates State “excellent” at P&R ball-handler, but that’s mostly Daniels, who isn’t available.

Who to watch for: Bates on P&R man (12-of-16, 75.0%, 1.474), Hayes (18-of-37, 48.6%, 0.922 PPP) and Beverly (13-of-25, 52.0%, 0.917 PPP) at P&R ball-handler.

Transition: 16.7 percent of offensive possessions

Synergy has them “below average” here – 0.925 points per possession.

Who to watch for: Hellems (17-of-31, 54.8%, 1.044 PPP).

Breakdown: Defense

Efficiency numbers from Synergy Sports

Three rotation guys rate “very good” – Beverly (0.759 PPP), and Hellems and Bates (both at 0.773 PPP).

Seabron (0.932 PPP) and Funderburk (0.975) rate “below average.”

At a glance

Efficiency data from

  • Offense: N.C. State 110.1 (63), Virginia 116.7 (13)
  • Defense: N.C. State 98.3 (92), Virginia 92.1 (22)
  • Tempo: N.C. State 68.0 (187), Virginia 59.7 (357)


N.C. State (10-9, 6-8 ACC) at #15 Virginia (15-5, 11-3 ACC)
Wednesday, 6:30 p.m., ACC Network

  • ESPN BPI: Virginia +9.1, 83.6% win probability
  • BartTorvik: Virginia 67-59, 83% win probability
  • KenPom: Virginia 69-59, 82% win probability

Story by Chris Graham

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