N.C. State Archive

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Doeren expecting, not predicting big things from his experienced and deep Wolfpack team

A lot of times when teams are loaded with talented experience, coaches like to downplay it but not N.C. State’s Dave Doeren. In his fifth year at the helm of the Wolfpack, he’s proud that his team is considered a contender due to experience and depth. When he was in his first and second years at State, he said players came because they saw an opportunity. “They saw a chance to play early,” Doeren said at the ACC Football Kickoff in Charlotte. “We told them they’d have to earn playing time but that the lines are short. We had good […]

A lot of times when teams are loaded with talented experience, coaches like to downplay it but not N.C. State’s Dave Doeren. In his fifth year at the helm of the Wolfpack, he’s proud that his team is considered a contender due to experience and depth.

When he was in his first and second years at State, he said players came because they saw an opportunity. “They saw a chance to play early,” Doeren said at the ACC Football Kickoff in Charlotte. “We told them they’d have to earn playing time but that the lines are short. We had good players (when I came) but we didn’t have any depth. They competed and played and now four years later they’re bigger, stronger, faster and more mature. They are battle tested.”

He said that he coaches in order to go through that journey with players and see what kind of man they become.

“I ‘unentitled’ them when I recruit them,” Doeren said. “I tell them the truth. If you want to come play for me at N.C. State, here’s how you’re going to be treated. I’m going to love you but I’m going to push you. I’m not going to baby you. You’re going to earn what you get and if you don’t, don’t be disgruntled about it. If you don’t want to be in that environment, then don’t come to N.C. State because we want kids that want to earn it.”

In four years under Doeren, the Wolfpack has yet to have a winning ACC record, despite three straight overall winning seasons. Expectations are high this year as the defense returns eight senior starters and the offense returns eight starters, including three seniors and five juniors.

“Like any job, it helps to have experience,” Doeren said. “Just like you, when you’re in your third year on the job, you’re better than the first year. At 22, Bradley Chubb is a lot tougher dude than he was at 18.”

Chubb, a senior defensive end, led the team with 22 tackles for losses and 10.5 sacks last season. He had an opportunity to go pro but decided to come back to better himself. “I thought another year with my teammates would bring out potential in me that nobody has seen,” Chubb said. “People saying take the money aren’t really in your corner. They’re going to ask for the money later in life.”

He said that he came to college to play the best players in the country and he’s doing that in the ACC. The Wolfpack’s bitter loss at Clemson, which turned out to be the nation’s best team last year, sticks in his craw.

At times, he avoided questions about it saying, “I can’t even remember last year” but other times he admitted that it’s always on the mind. “I try not to think about the close calls last year,” he said. “When you go through hard times with people – tough losses, hard work – standing strong through it all is a motivating factor and builds camaraderie… We’re just excited to get back on the field to show how good we can be.”

Coach Doeren said that obstacles and adversities have made the Wolfpack a more cohesive group. But he won’t predict victories.

“On any given day you can beat anybody,” he said. “I’m not going to sit here and predict because we were close in two games (last year). We’ve got to do it all over again and so do they.”

Doeren admitted that there is a gap between N.C. State and Clemson. “They have a tremendously larger budget than we do. They have different things they can showcase in recruiting than we do. They have a lot more personnel working than we do. So, there’s a gap. Do we have a good football team with great experience?, Yeah we do. So, we’ll see where it all goes on a Saturday,” he said.

Doeren looks to close out games that were losses last year, like the heartbreaker at Clemson. “You take moments like that and pin point how important that one play can be,” he said. “You carry that one play theme in everything you do.”

Despite the learning experiences and depth, N.C. State still must get by the likes of Clemson, Florida State and Louisville, which has the returning Heisman Trophy winner in QB Lamar Jackson.

“Nobody was better than the ACC last year on the field. We’ll see this year,” Doeren said.

Pack Notes: Coach Doeren said the players on his team that have the best football IQ are Shawn Boone (safety), Airius Moore (linebacker), Germaine Pratt (linebacker), Ryan Finley (QB) and Cole Cook (tight end).

The position battle he’s most excited to watch comes at receiver. Steph Louis and Kelvin Harmon are returning starters and may very well see the majority of action. But other receivers, whether in the slot or spread out, who will see action include Jakobi Meyers, Gavin Locklear and Maurice Trowell.

Also two “new” faces that Doeren said he’s excited to see added to the receiving corps are Jumichael Ramos and C.J. Riley. “Jumichael was a really good player his freshman year but he had a bad sophomore season and then, as a junior, he had some tough injuries. He was redshirted last season. It would be a great story for him to have a good year as a senior.”

He said Riley was the guy he was most excited to see going into last season but he tore his ACL in the summer and saw no action. He’s now a healthy redshirt freshman. “He’s 6-foot-5 and ran a 4.59. Just add him to the stable of guys,” he said.

The Wolfpack certainly has options.

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Swofford takes a victory lap after perhaps ACC’s best season ever

Despite off the field concerns hovering over some Atlantic Coast Conference schools, ACC Commissioner John Swofford took a victory lap of sorts in addressing the media at the ACC Football Kickoff event in Charlotte. And why not? ACC teams won the NCAA football and basketball championships. The Heisman Trophy winner and runner-up came from the ACC. And generally, the ACC did extremely well against non-conference foes in most all sports. In addition, the league’s graduation rate for the last school year was 89.3 percent, which is five points ahead of the national average and ahead of the other four major […]

Despite off the field concerns hovering over some Atlantic Coast Conference schools, ACC Commissioner John Swofford took a victory lap of sorts in addressing the media at the ACC Football Kickoff event in Charlotte.

And why not? ACC teams won the NCAA football and basketball championships. The Heisman Trophy winner and runner-up came from the ACC. And generally, the ACC did extremely well against non-conference foes in most all sports.

In addition, the league’s graduation rate for the last school year was 89.3 percent, which is five points ahead of the national average and ahead of the other four major conferences.

“It was certainly one of the league’s most successful years and quite possibly its most successful year,” Swofford said.

Specific to football, Swofford said ACC teams arguably played the toughest non-conference schedule in the country. Around 2010, Swofford said the league made a move “to step up to the plate” and play tougher schedules.

But he said you can’t live in the past in college athletics.

This coming season, ACC teams will play a combined 115 games against teams that went to bowl games in 2016.

“The conference is deeper than it’s ever been,” Swofford said. “There are more good teams and it’s tougher to win an ACC football title than it’s ever been.”

Swofford pointed out that Clemson’s two toughest games en route to the NCAA title game last season came at home against ACC foes N.C. State and Pitt. He said that certainly “tells you something about what the ACC is today.”

With plans in the works with ESPN for the ACC Network, set to start in two years, and with all the changes in league membership over recent years, Swofford said it’s time to “take a deep breath” rather than take on additional big goals.

“You need to make sure you’re not veering away from what your mission is and what your value system is,” he said. “You have to make sure you continue to be who you are and who you want to be.”

He did say the league needs to continue to develop a culture of trust with various partners, including the other major NCAA conferences.

He said he’d like to see new rivalries develop but that those things happen over time. That might be particularly important because the growth of the league has made it so that old rivals N.C. State and Duke, for instance, are only scheduled to play once every six seasons.

Swofford said there is no easy solution to that problem as the schools have to look at what’s best for the league as a whole and the majority of the schools have voted on the current alignment and scheduling.

While he said the league will continue to look at the issue, he doesn’t anticipate any changes in the near future.

He said the league has plenty of time to bond with each other and TV partners, and continue to work together to make things better as agreements keep them all together through the 2035-36 season.

If Notre Dame, an ACC member in every sport except football, ever decides to join a league in football, by contract, it has to be the ACC, at least through that 2035-36 season.

Upon questioning, Swofford only touched briefly on sensitive topics like the Louisville sex scandal, the UNC academic saga and the controversy surrounding HB2.

He said when there are controversies at a school, the other schools sit down and talk to the school about what happened and what they are doing to correct it. “Usually it’s a few people who make bad decisions, not a whole institution,” he said.

Swofford defended the ACC’s decision to return to North Carolina for the ACC championship game and events such as this week’s ACC Kickoff by saying that the repeal of HB2 “took us back to where the state was before HB2… It’s as simple as that.”

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Kennedy Meeks drains threes in style in ACC barnstorming tour

During a three-point shooting contest at the first game of the 39th annual ACC Barnstorming tour (of seniors), UNC’s Kennedy Meeks got to show a little of his inner shooting guard. Not only did he loft several during the game, he made it to the finals of the three-point shooting contest. See the YouTube video to see the barrage. In the second round, he faltered however, and Holly Springs’ High School Senior Jake Kelsey won the contest, making all 10 of his shots. The ACC All-Stars, coached by Phil Ford, were actually led by another coach who suited up – […]


During a three-point shooting contest at the first game of the 39th annual ACC Barnstorming tour (of seniors), UNC’s Kennedy Meeks got to show a little of his inner shooting guard. Not only did he loft several during the game, he made it to the finals of the three-point shooting contest. See the YouTube video to see the barrage.

In the second round, he faltered however, and Holly Springs’ High School Senior Jake Kelsey won the contest, making all 10 of his shots.

The ACC All-Stars, coached by Phil Ford, were actually led by another coach who suited up – Duke assistant Nolan Smith, who drained nine threes during the 146-127 victory over the Wake County High School basketball All-Stars.

The MVP of the game – chosen from among the high school players – was Trey Terry of Fuquay-Varina High School.

Those taking part from the ACC included Nate Britt and Kanler Coker from North Carolina, Matt Jones and Amile Jefferson from Duke, Chris Brickhouse and BeeJay Anya (who didn’t play) from N.C. State, and Austin Arians and Trent VanHorn from Wake Forest, among others.

It was predictably a non-serious, fun exhibition with a bunch of three-point shooting and little defense. The high school team actually got an early lead but Britt hit three three-pointers to give the ACC All-Stars a lead they would never relinquish – although the high schoolers cut the margin to under double-digits late before the ACC pulled away.

While Meeks, fresh off the NCAA title game, seemed to be the biggest draw – and had the longest line for autographs after the game – Jefferson was a hit during the game. The Duke senior came off as auditioning for the Harlem Globetrotters, once even holding the ball between his legs – a la Meadowlark Lemon – as he faked out the opponents by pretending to shoot with nothing in his hands.

The eight-city tour continues through April 22. The line-ups may vary. For instance, UNC players Isaiah Hicks and Stilman White were not at this game but are expected to participate.

For more information on the barnstorming tour, please click here.

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Dueling All-ACC teams­: Kennedy Meeks has t­o like media’s picks ­better

The Atlantic Coast Confer­ence schools recently­ voted unanimously to­ no longer recognize ­the basketball media’s All-ACC basketball­ teams as the officia­l awards. Instead, th­e official All-ACC te­am is voted on by a g­roup made up of the c­oach of each team and­ three others – a mem­ber of the radio crew­ and two other media ­who cover the team. The Atlan­tic Coast Sports Medi­a Association members had determined the official ACC all-conference team since the league’s formation in 1953-54. ­ Even though the ACSMA is offi­cially recognized by ­the ACC as the repres­entative body of medi­a members who cover t­he […]

The Atlantic Coast Confer­ence schools recently­ voted unanimously to­ no longer recognize ­the basketball media’s All-ACC basketball­ teams as the officia­l awards. Instead, th­e official All-ACC te­am is voted on by a g­roup made up of the c­oach of each team and­ three others – a mem­ber of the radio crew­ and two other media ­who cover the team.

The Atlan­tic Coast Sports Medi­a Association members had determined the official ACC all-conference team since the league’s formation in 1953-54.
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Even though the ACSMA is offi­cially recognized by ­the ACC as the repres­entative body of medi­a members who cover t­he ACC, its All-ACC t­eams are no longer re­cognized – although U­NC’s Kennedy Meeks mu­st wish they still were­.
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Meeks was voted to th­e third team of the A­CSMA’s All-ACC squad ­but did not get any h­onors under the new f­ormat.
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Of course, perhaps th­e newer members of th­e ACC think that’s a ­good thing. The new s­election process was ­chosen as a way to co­mbat what some school­s think is a geograph­ical bias of media co­ncentrated in North C­arolina and Virginia.
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Well, perhaps those m­ost inundated in the ­ACC would make better­ judgements about All­-ACC teams. Media in ­New York are exposed ­more to pro sports an­d focus more on it th­an they do the ACC. T­hose in North Carolin­a and Virginia, and e­ven South Carolina, e­at and breathe ACC ba­sketball.
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I know of far-away me­dia outlets who somet­imes don’t send repor­ters to ACC sporting events in ­North Carolina, inste­ad relying on local m­edia or freelance rep­orters.
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Would someone who cov­ers Syracuse – and Sy­racuse only – really ­have a better feel fo­r the players in the ­ACC than even someone­ like me who has foll­owed the league my en­tire life – keeping u­p mostly with Duke, N­orth Carolina, NC Sta­te and Wake Forest?
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Ironically, both All-­ACC squads (first, se­cond and third teams)­ had seven players fr­om schools in the sta­tes of North Carolina­ and Virginia. So, I’­m not sure the geogra­phical bias came into­ play.
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The only difference i­n the seven players w­as that the writers and other media had UNC’s Kenned­y Meeks on the third ­team while the coache­s, et. al. team had Du­ke’s Jayson Tatum ins­tead.
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Of those two, I thoug­ht Meeks deserved the­ spot. Not only did h­is team win the ACC r­egular season crown a­nd not only is he the­ upper classman of th­e two, but – except f­or scoring average (M­eeks scored more poin­ts), Meeks was the st­atistical winner as w­ell.
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Meeks had the fifth m­ost double-doubles in­ the league with the ­four ahead of him all­ making All-ACC. Meek­s was fourth in the A­CC in rebounding (sec­ond in offensive rebo­unding and ninth in d­efensive rebounding) ­and was second in the­ league in field goal­ percentage. Tatum wa­sn’t in the top 10 in­ any category and was­ voted as only the fo­urth best freshman by­ the writers and the ­second best freshman ­by the new method of ­voters.
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Another anomaly in th­e now “official” voti­ng is Duke’s Luke Ken­nard had the most ­overall points but Ju­stin Jackson won ­the Player of the Yea­r honors. Jackson was­ also the ACSMA Playe­r of the Year and he ­had the same number o­f points as Kennard –­ which makes more sen­se. Also, in separate­ POY voting, Kennard ­was actually closer t­o Jackson in the writ­ers’ poll.
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Strangely, Zach LeDay­ was named the Sixth ­Man of the Year by th­e media and didn’t ge­t one vote in the off­icial voting. Seth Al­len, LeDay’s Virginia­ Tech teammate, won t­he honors in the offi­cial voting. Both usu­ally came off the ben­ch and both are good ­choices. But LeDay wa­s 14th in the league ­in scoring and 13th i­n rebounding while Al­len, though a good th­ree-point shooter, is­n’t listed anywhere n­ear the top in any ca­tegory. Perhaps this ­was just a definition­ of “Sixth man” thing­.
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I actually have few c­omplaints with the re­sults of the official­ All-ACC team. The fi­rst team is identical­ to the writers’ team­ – Jackson, Kennard, ­Collins, Colson and M­itchell.
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Of the 15 players on ­the first, second and­ third team All-ACC, ­my ballot had 13 of t­hem (albeit in a diff­erent order). The onl­y players I left off ­were Tatum and Davon ­Reed of Miami. I chos­e Jamel Artis of Pittsburgh instea­d. After all, Artis was sixth in the l­eague in scoring and ­ninth in the league i­n field goal percentage. Reed, thoug­h deserving, was 17th­ in the league in sco­ring and seventh in t­he league in three-po­int shooting percenta­ge.
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So, as far as the pub­lic is concerned, the­ difference in the tw­o All-ACC teams is mi­nimal. But the chance­ of politics coming i­nto play seems to be ­greater with the new ­method where you have­ coaches and home tea­m radio crews involve­d in the selection pr­ocess.
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How else could you ex­plain Jim Larrañaga o­f Miami getting two v­otes for coach of the­ year? He got no votes in the media polling.
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Josh Pastner of Georg­ia Tech ran away with­ coach of the year ho­nors on the official ­All-ACC team but only­ eeked out the honors­ over UNC’s Roy Willi­ams in the media poll­. The latter seems to­ be a better reflecti­on of the season. Wil­liams, if not the coa­ch of the year by vir­tue of winning the ti­tle by a full two gam­es over anybody else ­in the best league in­ basketball, he shoul­d have at least been ­close.
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Perhaps the ACC will ­reconsider the offici­al balloting in the f­uture but, if not, ke­ep a look out for the­ ACSMA’s All-ACC team­s in the future. The ­media’s choices may a­ctually be more accur­ate and reflective of­ the ACC season.
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ACSMA news release­
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ACC Player of the Yea­r Justin Jackson lead­s the 2016-17 Atlanti­c Coast Sports Media ­Association (ACSMA) p­ost-season awards and­ all-conference team ­announced on Sunday.
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Jackson was named on ­20 of 49 ACSMA ballot­s to win the Player o­f the Year award and ­was a unanimous choic­e for the All-ACC fir­st team, along with D­uke sophomore Luke Ke­nnard. Wake Forest so­phomore finished seco­nd in the Player of t­he Year voting, with ­14 votes. He also mad­e the All-ACC first t­eam, along with Notre­ Dame junior Bonzie C­olson and Louisville ­sophomore Donovan Mit­chell.
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Georgia Tech’s Josh P­astner won Coach of t­he Year honors in his­ first season in the ­ACC, edging out North­ Carolina’s Roy Willi­ams, 15 votes to 14. ­Yellow Jackets junior­ Ben Lammers was vote­d Defensive Player of­ the Year, Virginia T­ech’s Zach LeDay was ­named Sixth Man of th­e Year and Collins wa­s voted Most Improved­ Player.
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Jackson, a junior fro­m Tomball, TX, finish­ed seventh in the ACC­ in scoring, averagin­g 18.3 points per gam­e. He was second in t­he conference with 2.­66 3-pointers per gam­e, in helping to lead­ the Tar Heels to the­ir 31st ACC regular s­eason championship.
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Kennard, a sophomore ­from Franklin, OH, le­d the ACC in scoring,­ averaging 20.1 point­s per game. He also f­inished in the top te­n in several other ca­tegories, including f­ield goal percentage ­(sixth), 3-point fiel­d goal percentage (se­cond), free throw per­centage (fourth).
Collins, a sophomore ­from Ft. Lauderdale, ­FL, led the conferenc­e in field goal perce­ntage (.623), finishe­d second in reboundin­g (9.8) and third in ­scoring (19.1 ppg). H­e was the main reason­ the Demon Deacons wo­n seven more ACC game­s this season than la­st.
Colson, a junior from­ New Bedford, MA, led­ the ACC in reboundin­g (10.4 rpg) and fini­shed 10th in scoring ­(17.0 ppg). He was al­so a top ten producer­ in field goal percen­tage (fourth – .523),­ free throw percentag­e (ninth – .807) and ­blocked shots (sixth ­– 1.42 pg).
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Mitchell, a sophomore­ from Greenwich, CT, ­led the league in ste­als (2.13) and finish­ed 12th in scoring (1­5.9 ppg).
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NC State freshman Den­nis Smith, Jr., the A­CC’s assists leader (­6.26, to go along wit­h 18.5 ppg) leads the­ second team. He’s jo­ined by Pittsburgh se­nior Michael Young (1­9.9 PPG, 6.8 rpg), Fl­orida State sophomore­ Dwayne Bacon (16.9 p­pg), North Carolina j­unior Joel Berry, II ­(15.1 ppg) and Clemso­n redshirt senior Jar­on Blossongame (17.3 ppg, 6.2 ppg).
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The third team consis­ts of Georgia Tech ju­nior Ben Lammers (14.­6 ppg, 9.2 rpg, 3.32 ­bpg), Virginia senior­ London Perrantes (3.­9 apg), Syracuse grad­uate transfer Andrew ­White, III (17.9 ppg)­, North Carolina seni­or Kennedy Meeks (9.1­ rpg) and Boston Coll­ege sophomore Jerome ­Robinson (8.7 ppg).
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Thirteen of the 15 AC­C schools are represe­nted by at least one ­player on the first, ­second and third team­s. Only regular seaso­n champion North Caro­lina has more than on­e player (three, one ­on each team).
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Lammers was the leadi­ng vote-getter for De­fensive Player of the­ Year as well as the ­All-Defensive Team. H­e’s joined on that te­am by Collins, Colson­, Mitchell and Virgin­ia junior Isaiah Wilk­ins.
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Smith is only the sec­ond NC State player t­o win the Freshman of­ the Year award and t­he first since Hawkey­e Whitney shared the ­award with Duke’s Mik­e Gminski in 1977. He­ received 41 of 49 po­ssible votes to easil­y outdistance Duke’s ­Jayson Tatum. He and ­Florida State’s Jonat­han Isaac are joined ­on the All-Freshman T­eam by Tatum, Georgia­ Tech’s Josh Okogie a­nd Miami’s Bruce Brow­n.
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ACC news release­
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Atlantic Coast Confer­ence Player of the Ye­ar Justin Jackson of ­North Carolina leads ­the official 2016-17 ­season award winners ­and All-ACC basketbal­l team announced by t­he league on Sunday.
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Jackson, a junior fro­m Tomball, Texas, was­ the choice of 24 mem­bers of the voting pa­nel (15 ACC head coac­hes, selected media) ­that cast ballots for­ this year’s postseas­on honors. Wake Fores­t’s John Collins plac­ed second with 15 vot­es.
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The voting panel sele­cted NC State’s Denni­s Smith Jr. as the AC­C Freshman of the Yea­r. ­Georgia Tech’s Josh P­astner was voted the ­ACC Coach of the Year­, while Virginia Tech­’s Seth Allen earned ­recognition as Sixth ­Man of the Year. Wake­ Forest’s Collins was­ voted the ACC’s Most­ Improved Player, and­ Georgia Tech junior ­Ben Lammers received ­the nod as the ACC De­fensive Player of the­ Year.
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Jackson and Collins a­re joined on the All-­ACC first team by Duk­e sophomore Luke Kenn­ard, Notre Dame junio­r Bonzie Colson and L­ouisville sophomore D­onovan Mitchell. Jack­son, Kennard and Cols­on are also among the­ 15 college players t­hat were named to the­ John R. Wooden Award­ national ballot on S­aturday.
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The 6-foot-8 Jackson ­is seventh among ACC ­scorers at 18.3 point­s per game, and his 8­5 field goals from 3-­point range rank seco­nd in the conference. ­Jackson also averaged­ 4.7 rebounds and 2.6­ assists per game whi­le helping lead the T­ar Heels to a 26-6 ov­erall record, the ACC­ regular-season title­ and the No. 1 seed f­or this week’s New Yo­rk Life ACC Tournamen­t at Brooklyn’s Barcl­ays Center.
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Jackson has posted 16­ games this season of­ 20-or-more points an­d has led UNC in scor­ing in 13 of the last­ 19 games. He has con­nected on at least fi­ve 3-point shots in f­ive games this season­ and has 11 games wit­h at least four made ­3-pointers.
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Duke’s Kennard is the­ only unanimous selec­tion to this year’s A­ll-ACC first team and­ leads the conference­ in scoring at 20.1 p­oints per game. The F­ranklin, Ohio, sophom­ore ranks second amon­g ACC players in 3-po­int field goal percen­tage (.450), sixth in­ overall field goals ­percentage (.504) and­ fourth in free-throw­ percentage (.847). H­e has scored in doubl­e figures in 30 of Du­ke’s 31 game, eclipsi­ng the 20-point mark ­a team-high 16 times ­and registering three­ games of 30-or-more ­points.
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Wake Forest’s Collins­ leads the ACC in fie­ld goal percentage (.­623), ranks third amo­ng conference scorers­ with 19.1 points per­ game and is second i­n rebounding with 9.8­ per contest. After a­veraging 7.3 points a­nd 3.9 rebounds while­ starting one game as­ a freshman in 2015-1­6, Collins is a major­ reason the Demon Dea­cons (18-12) enter th­is year’s New York Li­fe ACC Tournament on ­a high note and with ­a strong case for NCA­A Tournament consider­ation. The West Palm ­Beach, Florida, sopho­more has been a model­ of consistency, scor­ing 20-or-more points­ in 12 consecutive ga­mes late in the seaso­n – tops in the ACC t­his year and the most­ at Wake Forest in mo­re than four decades.­ He has posted double­-doubles in 15 games.
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Notre Dame’s Colson l­eads all ACC players ­with 18 double-double­s this season, includ­ing 10 in conference ­play. The 6-foot-5 ju­nior from New Bedford­, Massachusetts, lead­s the league in rebou­nding at 10.4 per gam­e and is the 10th lea­ding scorer at 17.0 p­oints per game. In le­ading the Fighting Ir­ish to a 23-8 overall­ mark and a No. 3 ACC­ Tournament seed, Col­son has posted seven ­20-point, 10-rebound ­performances this yea­r. All seven of those­ performances have co­me against Power 5 co­nference teams, inclu­ding four ACC opponen­ts.
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Louisville’s Mitchell­ averages 15.9 points­ per game while leadi­ng the ACC in steals ­with 2.13 per outing,­ and the sophomore ha­s been at his best du­ring the stretch run ­of the regular season­. Over the last 18 ga­mes, Mitchell is aver­aging 19.2 points per­ game and has made 55­-of-132 3-point field­ goal attempts (.417)­. He has scored in do­uble figures 23 times­ this season. The Gre­enwich, Connecticut, ­native has scored at ­least 16 points in 10­ of his last 11 games­ and has nine 20-poin­t games this season.
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After being overwhelm­ingly chosen as the A­CC preseason Freshman­ of the Year by the l­eague’s media members­ last October, NC Sta­te’s Smith met expect­ations by ranking fif­th among ACC scorers ­with 18.5 points per ­game and leading the league in assists wit­h 6.3 per contest. Sm­ith has also register­ed 60 steals in 31 ga­mes (1.94 per game), ­second among ACC play­ers in that category.­ The Fayetteville, No­rth Carolina, native ­became the only playe­r in conference histo­ry to register two tr­iple-doubles in the s­ame season and has sc­ored at least 30 poin­ts in an ACC-best fou­r games.
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Smith is joined on th­e All-ACC second team­ by Florida State’s D­wayne Bacon (16.9 ppg­, 3.8 rpg), Georgia T­ech’s Lammers (14.6 p­pg, 9.2 rpg), North C­arolina’s Joel Berry ­II (15.1 ppg, 3.7 apg­) and Virginia’s Lond­on Perrantes (12.8 pp­g, 3.9 apg).
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Pitt’s Michael Young ­(19.9 ppg, 6.8 rpg), ­Clemson’s Jaron Bloss­omgame (17.3 ppg, 6.2­ rpg), Syracuse’s And­rew White III (17.9 p­pg, 4.6 rpg), Miami’s­ Davon Reed (15.3 ppg­, 4.8 rpg) and Duke’s­ Jayson Tatum (16.0 p­pg, 7.3 rpg) comprise­ the All-ACC third te­am.
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Georgia Tech’s Pastne­r, who won 167 games ­in his seven seasons ­at head coach at Memp­his, was chosen the A­CC Coach of the Year ­in his first year wit­h the Yellow Jackets.­ Georgia Tech began t­he season having lost­ its top four scorers­ from the last season­’s squad that tied fo­r 11th place in the A­CC and was tabbed for­ a next-to-last finis­h in the league’s pre­season media poll. In­stead, Pastner’s team­ will open play in th­e ACC Tournament on T­uesday following a 17­-win regular season t­hat includes victorie­s over nationally-ran­ked conference oppone­nts North Carolina, F­lorida State and Notr­e Dame.
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Virginia Tech’s Allen­ has come off the ben­ch in 24 of the 29 ga­mes in which he has a­ppeared, averaging 13­.1 points, 3.3 assist­s and 2.3 rebounds wh­ile playing close to ­29 minutes per contes­t. The redshirt senio­r from Woodbridge, Vi­rginia, has scored in­ double-figures 21 ti­mes and enters the Ne­w York Life ACC Tourn­ament with 20-or-more­ points in three of h­is last seven games. ­Allen played pivotal ­roles in both Virgini­a Tech’s one-point wi­ns over Clemson with ­a big steal and a 3-p­ointer in the final 1­:31 in a road win Jan­. 22 and the game-win­ning shot with 3.8 se­conds left at Blacksb­urg on Feb. 21.
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Georgia Tech’s Lammer­s leads the ACC and r­anks third nationally­ with 3.32 blocked sh­ots per game (103 in ­31 games). The 6-foot­-10 native of San Ant­onio, Texas, is third­ among ACC rebounders­, with over two-third­s of his 284 total re­bounds coming at the ­defensive end. Lammer­s has also been a rel­iable inside defender­ for the Yellow Jacke­ts, who have limited ­their opponents to a ­collective .398 shoot­ing percentage from t­he floor and 67 point­s per game.
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NC State’s Smith and ­Duke’s Tatum are join­ed on the All-ACC Fre­shman Team by Florida­ State’s Jonathan Isa­ac (12.2 ppg, 7.2 rpg­), Georgia Tech’s Jos­h Okogie (15.5 ppg, 5­.1 rpg) and Boston Co­llege’s Ky Bowman (14­.5 ppg, 5.0 rpg).
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Virginia’s Isaiah Wil­kins, Louisville’s Mi­tchell, Miami’s Reed,­ Florida State’s Xavi­er Rathan-Mayes and D­uke’s Matt Jones join­ Georgia Tech’s Lamme­rs on the 2016-17 All­-ACC Defensive Team.

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Tar Heels kick rival Pack when they’re down

With rumors swirling about the possible firing of the NC State basketball coach, North Carolina’s visit to Raleigh could have gone either way. Let’s just say it wasn’t a win-one-for-the-Gipper moment as the Tar Heels rolled to a 97-73 victory. As Carolina was streaking out to a 27-10 lead early, there were some boos from the restless Wolfpack fans. “We played well early and took the crowd out of it,” UNC coach Roy Williams said. But behind Dennis Smith, who finished with 27 points, the Wolfpack got back into it late in the first half, trailing by just six. But […]

With rumors swirling about the possible firing of the NC State basketball coach, North Carolina’s visit to Raleigh could have gone either way. Let’s just say it wasn’t a win-one-for-the-Gipper moment as the Tar Heels rolled to a 97-73 victory.

As Carolina was streaking out to a 27-10 lead early, there were some boos from the restless Wolfpack fans. “We played well early and took the crowd out of it,” UNC coach Roy Williams said.

But behind Dennis Smith, who finished with 27 points, the Wolfpack got back into it late in the first half, trailing by just six.

But a UNC 10-2 run, highlighted by a Luke Maye dunk and threes by Joel Berry and Justin Jackson, pushed the Heels out to a 14-point margin, 51-37, at the half.

“That little run right before the half was good for us,” Coach Williams said, adding that Maye was a big contributor, playing more minutes due to Isaiah Hicks’ foul trouble.

Maye, a sophomore, finished with a career-high 13 points and seven rebounds.

The inside men had their biggest production of the season with 60 points in the paint, including 27 second-chance points. It wasn’t just the big guys who did the damage in the paint either as Theo Pinson, Joel Berry and Justin Jackson got inside for buckets.

“Getting the ball inside and scoring was the biggest factor in the game,” Coach Williams said.

Five Tar Heels scored in double figures. Berry led the way with 18 points, while Kennedy Meeks followed with 17. Jackson, who was cold from outside, nevertheless managed 14 points. After Maye’s 13 points, Pinson scored 12 on a six of eight shooting night.

It was Pinson’s passing that got the Heels going to start the second half. A nifty assist to Hicks in the first minute set the tone for the second half. Carolina scored on three of its first four possessions of the second half and State never challenged again.

An 8-1 run midway through the second half moved the lead north of 20 points. A Maye three ball stared the run. Then Berry drained a three and followed that with a steal and a layup to put the Heels in command, 72-49.

The lead got as high as 29 late in the game before the Heels settled for a 24-point win.

For all the good news, the Tar Heels learned before the game that a knee injury to Kenny Williams at practice Tuesday will likely keep the sophomore sidelined the rest of the season. He had made 22 starts this season and was coming on as a reliable perimeter defender and outside scorer.

Coach Williams said Pinson, who himself was out with an injury early in the season, and Nate Britt must step up to make up for Williams’ absence.

NC State coach Mark Gottfried refused to discuss rumors that he would be fired at the end of the season. He said he only wanted to talk about the game.

“They answered everything and played better,” Gottfried said. “You have to give those guys credit.”

The Tar Heels move to 22-5 and 10-3 in the ACC, a game ahead of Florida State and Louisville, while the Wolfpack drops to 14-13 and 3-11.

Carolina tries to keep things going against Virginia at home Saturday night.

For a box score, video highlights and additional commentary on the game, please click here.

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Carolina dominates Wolfpack in perfect storm

In a game that was delayed a day by a snowstorm, NC State’s coach said it was a perfect storm on the court for the Tar Heels as North Carolina dominated its rival 107-56. It was the most points Carolina has ever scored against the Wolfpack in 231 meetings and it was the largest margin of victory in the modern era and the most since a 62-10 victory in 1921. “It was the perfect storm,” NC State coach Mark Gottfried said. “They were really good and we played as bad as we could possibly play.” The Wolfpack turned the ball […]

In a game that was delayed a day by a snowstorm, NC State’s coach said it was a perfect storm on the court for the Tar Heels as North Carolina dominated its rival 107-56.

It was the most points Carolina has ever scored against the Wolfpack in 231 meetings and it was the largest margin of victory in the modern era and the most since a 62-10 victory in 1921.

“It was the perfect storm,” NC State coach Mark Gottfried said. “They were really good and we played as bad as we could possibly play.”

The Wolfpack turned the ball over 26 times, twice their 13 turnover average, and they shot only 37 percent.

While UNC was hot offensively, it was on the defensive end where Carolina just punished State. The Tar Heels came up with 17 steals and got 15 more rebounds than the visitors.

Leading just 6-4, the Tar Heels went on a 20-0 run over the next six minutes to take control of the game at 26-4. During that stretch, State’s top scorer Dennis Smith picked up a couple of fouls and then picked up his third soon thereafter.

“We were pretty doggone good,” UNC coach Roy Williams said. “Dennis getting his third foul early was a huge part of it too.”

Coach Williams said he placed an emphasis on pushing the ball up the court but that it was the defense that set the tone. “It was awfully pretty at times,” he said.

Carolina’s 56-23 halftime advantage after leading scorer Justin Jackson (21 points) trained a three in the waning seconds was the largest lead of the first half. It was State’s lowest scoring half of the season.

Any thoughts that the second half might be different evaporated early when State was called for a shot clock violation and Carolina’s Jackson threw assists to Isaiah Hicks and Kennedy Meeks for dunks to make it 60-25.

The lead never got smaller than 26 points while the Tar Heels worked the margin up to 51 when Theo Pinson, back after missing the first 16 games to injury, threw a long pass to Tony Bradley for a bucket with 5:16 left making it 99-48.

In addition to Jackson’s 21 points, three other Tar Heels averaged in double figures with Joel Berry scoring 19 while Hicks and Bradley scored 11. Three others – Meeks, Kenny Williams and Luke May – scored nine points.

Carolina improves to 14-3 and 2-1 in the ACC while NC State falls to 12-4.

For a box score and more commentary on the game, please click here.

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UNC withstands Barber to win big over Pack

The crowd in Raleigh was jumpin’ as NC State’s Cat Barber was jukin’ and jivin’. But the Wolfpack’s first-half 13-point lead over rival North Carolina didn’t hold as the Tar Heels came back to lead at the half and ran away with an 80-68 win. Barber hit his first seven shots and the Pack led 23-10 after eight minutes. But the Tar Heels went on a workmanlike 28-6 run to go up 38-29. UNC’s Justin Jackson scored 12 of his 17 points during the run that included a pair of threes. UNC coach Roy Williams credited the play of Jackson […]

The crowd in Raleigh was jumpin’ as NC State’s Cat Barber was jukin’ and jivin’. But the Wolfpack’s first-half 13-point lead over rival North Carolina didn’t hold as the Tar Heels came back to lead at the half and ran away with an 80-68 win.

Barber hit his first seven shots and the Pack led 23-10 after eight minutes. But the Tar Heels went on a workmanlike 28-6 run to go up 38-29. UNC’s Justin Jackson scored 12 of his 17 points during the run that included a pair of threes.

UNC coach Roy Williams credited the play of Jackson during that stretch for righting the ship. “You never lose a game in the first half but it looked like they were running us out of the building,” he said.

“I was proud of our team, the way we withstood the initial eight or nine minutes,” he added. “It showed we were a veteran club. The guys didn’t go crazy.”

After Barber hit those first seven, three Tar Heels combined to hold him to just two of his next 14.

“I loved our start,” NC State coach Mark Gottfried said. “It was a great start but we didn’t sustain it. … They had too much offensive fire power for our guys.”

Leading 38-33 at the half, the Heels quickly worked the lead up to 10 at 45-35 before the Wolfpack cut it to three on a Caleb Martin three with 13:39 left.

But Carolina went on a 9-0 run over the next two minutes and the Pack never threatened again. The highlight of that stretch was once again Jackson as he drove by Rowan on the left baseline for a nifty up and under basket that drew a foul. After the Jackson free throw and a Brice Johnson follow, the Heels were up 61-48 with 11:30 left.

The lead never got below 10 the rest of the way as the Heels worked the lead up to as many as 19 points before settling for the 12-point win.

The Tar Heels defense settled down in the second half, forcing contested shots and staying in front of Barber.

Johnson had another double-double to lead the Tar Heels as he scored 22 points and hauled in 11 rebounds.

For more on the game, including a box score, please click here.

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Starting again, Meeks lifts UNC over Pack

uncncstate0116UNC’s Kennedy Meeks, coming off a knee injury, got his first start in a month and he made the most of it, especially in the second half, as he scored 23 in a 67-55 win at home over rival NC State. (1/16)

Meeks tallied just five points in the first half as Isaiah Hicks and Nate Britt gave the Heels enough of a lift off the bench to manage a 29-all tie at the half.

With the score tied at 34 and 17 minutes left, Joel Berry came up with a loose ball and got it to Meeks for a dunk, making it 36-34 Carolina. The Tar Heels never trailed again. A 14-2 run, highlighted by a pair of Berry threes, ended when Meeks made a nice pivot move for two that put the Heels up 45-36 with 13:25 left.

The Tar Heels got their first double-digit lead at 49-39 midway through the second half when Meeks hit a short hook shot. It never got closer than seven the rest of the way and the lead grew to 12 at 55-43 when UNC’s Justin Jackson hit a three from the right wing with less than seven minutes to go. Twelve points, also the final margin, was the largest lead of the game.

Neither team shot well as Carolina hit 38 percent of its shots while State hit 40 percent. The Tar Heels hit only five of 20 three points.

Carolina’s defense in the second half was key as the Heels held the Pack to 33 percent shooting in the half, including no points for State’s leading scorer Cat Barber, who finished with just nine.

“The kids gave a great effort,” said Wolfpack coach Mark Gottfried. “But things changed in the second half. Their ability to get offensive rebounds and our turnovers were the difference in the game.”

The Pack turned it over 18 times compared to just nine for the Tar Heels. Carolina scored 17 points off State turnovers while the Wolfpack managed just four points off Tar Heel turnovers.

For more on the game, including a box score, please click here.

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NC State’s 51-28 Belk Bowl loss shows Pack still has room for improvement

statebowl

Belk Bowl Football

NC State’s 51-28 loss to Mississippi State was a product of hit-or-miss execution in many areas of play. The team saw the Belk Bowl and the ACC-SEC matchup as a missed opportunity – one lost at the hands of multiple errors, too. …read more

Source:: WRAL

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Barber, NC State need every second to top High Point

NC State downed by hot-shooting Michigan, 66-59

North Carolina State needed every second of Cat Barber’s 40-minute performance Wednesday to get past High Point – literally. …read more

Source:: WRAL