Taking a look at NC State basketball after big Duke win.

Well we are 2 days from NC State defeating Duke at PNC arena and the fan base is still in the afterglow, and we should be. This is a huge win for Kevin Keatts and shows what this team is capable of. NC State beat Duke without Markell Johnson (who’s pre-trial assault hearing was continued again which means he’ll miss at least 2 more games). What you saw is what Lavar Batts could do. He’s a slasher who can drive the lane and make defenders commit, where he can either dish off the ball or finish himself. Omer Yurtseven went for 16 pts and 9 boards.

However, what you also saw, is what has happened in NC State’s losses as well. I’m not going to say that NC State goes how Al Freeman goes, because that actually isn’t accurate. What you can say, is that when Al Freeman plays hero ball, NC State loses. Freeman can be a catalyst for this team. When he’s hitting shots and making good decisions with the ball in his hands. However, there is the OTHER Al Freeman. That other Freeman will continue to shoot when he’s obviously not hitting. He also has a tendency to drive the lane and just throw up wild shots in traffic. Al Freeman is a player that can take NC State to another level. However he needs to play disciplined and understand that when he’s not hitting shots, he needs to find others who are.

Freeman isn’t the only issue on this team. Another issue is what seems to be the tendency to forget that they have some pretty good inside players. Admitingly, Keatts’ system is more guard based and doesn’t really feature the big men. However, when you have 2 players in Yurtseven and Lenard Freeman playing pretty well, they should be getting more touches.

The NC State fan base understands that this is going to be an up and down year. We understand that NC State is going to be teams, like Duke and Arizona, they have no business beating. On the other hand, this team is going to lose to teams that they have no business losing to either, UNC Greensboro and Nothern Iowa. The fan base understands that this year was a transition year. I don’t think they are expecting an NCAA Tournament run. It would be nice, but I don’t think that is the expectations. So, to those national writers who think NC State fans have unrealistic expectations of their teams, go ask one what they think about this year. You won’t get an answer, because national writers don’t come to Raleigh and ask what NC State fans expect, they just take I-40 to Durham and Chapel Hill. Which is fine, but know that NC State is starting something….

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