By Kinchen Taylor
Throughout my life, NC State athletics has disappointed me. As a kid, a college student and now as an alum. I’ve seen a lot of bad games, whether it was the 2015 Sweet 16 game against Louisville, otherwise known as the Anton Gill Game, or when Chandler Parsons threw up a 70+ foot game winner in the PNC when he was at Florida, I felt like I’ve seen it all. That was until this past Saturday.
That Virginia Tech game is something I feel like I’m going to tell my grand kids. It just felt unreal honestly. Like, what could go wrong, did go wrong. Literally no shots fell as the Pack shot an abysmal 7% from the 3 point line and just 16% overall from the field. The score rivaled a football game (47-24).
With this game in mind, it’ll segue into a new segment I am trying out here for Korner 3’s and that’s #AskKenny. If you follow my Twitter (@kinchen1andonly) you can use the hashtag and ask me any college basketball questions or thoughts that you may have, preferably ACC related though.
A friend of the program, Ryan Lilley asked “Have you given up on State yet? #AskKenny”
Honest answer, no I haven’t. If State played that type of game like they did against Virginia Tech when Markell Johnson was out with his hip/back injury, I could chalk that up as “well, Markell wasn’t there and he’s the straw that stirs the drink for this team”. But, he did play and much like everyone else, he looked terrible. One could make the argument that State playing 3 games in 7 days took its toll on the Pack but that should be no excuse. Keatts has his guys well conditioned and prepared for stretches like this in the season and only scoring 24 points should not be blamed on being tired from two tough games against Clemson and Virginia, especially with those being in Raleigh.
It’s not going to get easier for the Pack either, road trips to Chapel Hill, Pittsburgh, and Durham lie ahead. State has to improve on 3 things, obviously making shots, driving the ball to the basket more and creating more turnovers that lead to the up-paced style of play that Keatts wants to do.
The next question that was sent to me was from another friend of the program, Thomas Eatman. He asked:
“How do you think Justin Robinson’s injury will affect Virginia Tech’s season? Also, when will they get bounced in the NCAA Tournament now that he is gone?”
To answer your first question, you can see the offense staggers and isn’t as efficient without the Hokies all time assist leader in the lineup. Nickeil Alexander-Walker is a great ball player, but he’s more of a scorer than a facilitator in my opinion. I still believe the Hokies will be on the outside looking in for a double bye in the ACC Tournament and probably a solid 5 or 6 seed when it comes to the NCAA Tournament.
To answer your second question, I could see Buzz getting this team to the 2nd weekend and into the Sweet 16. There’s *still* a chance Robinson comes back as Buzz isn’t really saying he’s out for the rest of the season or not. If they get a favorable match-up, I could see the Hokies having a good tournament run in March even with them only running 7 or 8 scholarship players.
Once again, if you want me to answer your ACC basketball related questions, feel free to @ me on Twitter (@kinchen1andonly) and remember to use the hashtag #AskKenny