N.C. State coach Kevin Keatts hopes Wednesday night’s four-overtime victory against Nebraska has prepared his team for Atlantic Coast Conference competition.
“Surely we want to try and build on that. I mean these games are tough,” Keatts said as the Wolfpack head into their ACC opener against visiting Louisville on Saturday afternoon in Raleigh, N.C.
“It can definitely boost our confidence,” said Dereon Seabron, who posted 39 points and 18 rebounds in the 104-100 victory. “It just shows Coach Keatts that we will never quit. We will keep fighting until the clock says zero. It is good for us, especially going into the conference game with Louisville.”
NC State (6-1) uses Seabron in a variety of ways. He even took a turn at point guard in the late going Wednesday after the available stock of players dipped.
“His versatility is what makes him so special,” Keatts said. “He helps our team in so many ways.”
Meanwhile, this will be Louisville’s second game of the season with Chris Mack on the bench after the coach sat out six games for a school-related suspension.
The Cardinals lost 73-64 on Wednesday night at Michigan State in his return.
“First road environment, and we’ve got to learn from it quick,” Mack said. “We got another road environment on Saturday.”
Louisville (5-2) had a four-game winning streak snapped by the Spartans.
On the plus side for the Cardinals, El Ellis pumped in a career-high 22 points. He had a total of 27 points through the first six games. He’s a transfer from Tallahassee Community College, but he’s from Durham, N.C., so this weekend’s game won’t be far from his hometown.
“He’s got a burst to him,” Mack said. “We need him when he gets in the lane, and nothing (is) there, not to charge over guys, and to be stronger with the ball — and he will. He’s seven games into his college career at this level.”
Louisville has grabbed 10 or more offensive rebounds in each of the past four games. But successfully completing possessions has been an issue.
“We got to make some layups,” Mack said. “We’ve got to be able to finish in traffic. There’s some physicality that you have to play with on the offensive end.”
NC State’s Casey Morsell exited with an ankle injury Wednesday, so his status is uncertain.
–Field Level Media