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Markell Johnson returning for senior year!

TheAliasTrollTheAliasTroll Posts: 2,012PFN Referee
edited May 2019 in Wolfpack Sports

Maybe we got ourselves something to look forward to after all.

That's huge. Without him we aren't making the tournament.. but with him we've got a chance.

Link with More Info



  • ryebreadryebread Posts: 1,420PFN Referee

    That was the most important recruit of the "late period." I'm glad MJ will be back!

  • Welcome back Markell Johnson!!

  • RickRick Posts: 1,764PFN Referee

    Thank goodness

    Maybe we can have a good year next year

  • GowolvesGowolves Posts: 284

    I see what you did there. Let the optimism over flow.

  • KingHippo_fka_BJD95KingHippo_fka_BJD95 Posts: 3,030PFN Referee

    Title? You mean "tournament bid" and/or 7th place. :D

    I read in The Atlantic that Markell really just had to adjust to Keatts "not letting players do whatever the hell they want" unlike Gott.

  • 13OT13OT Posts: 64

    7th place?

    Maybe 6th place with this latest development.

  • KingHippo_fka_BJD95KingHippo_fka_BJD95 Posts: 3,030PFN Referee


    /not just for the terlet no more!

  • ryebreadryebread Posts: 1,420PFN Referee

    It is June and I am an optimist. We can compete for top four in the ACC.

  • WulfpackWulfpack Posts: 1,768

    Glad he’s coming back.

  • AdventurooAdventuroo Posts: 1,910
    edited May 2019

    Ah YES.....just like all the crowded field of presidential candidates for 2020, hope springs eternal.....

    but you NEVER know who might win the thorny crown, now do you....??

  • RickRick Posts: 1,764PFN Referee

    Top for is always possible given the losses other teams have had.

  • freshmanin83freshmanin83 Posts: 1,188PFN Referee
    edited May 2019

    Hope he learns how to not pick up 2 early fouls in 1st half and p!ay more of the game more often.

    Glad he is back.

  • Tau837Tau837 Posts: 66

    I agree.

    Dorn is the only significant loss, and Bates, Seabron, and Andree inject talent that should offset. Plus, I expect Markell to continue the improvement he has shown in every season of his career.

    Bryce, Daniels, Harris, and Hellems all now have a year of experience in the ACC and should be improved. Daniels, Harris, and Hellems all flashed and each could make a big improvement.

    Shooting and athleticism should be improved. Defense could improve, especially at the rim.

    The rotation will include 3 seniors and 4 juniors, which presumably makes it one of the most experienced in the ACC.

    Really, what's not to like?

  • AdventurooAdventuroo Posts: 1,910

    As well as NOT get in rumbles with old HS friends or buddies....

  • Fastback68Fastback68 Posts: 627

    Top 4 requires a material upgrade in bb IQ. I consider myself an optimistic person but when was the last time State has been in the top 4 since 1991. I remember the Lowe 3 seed prediction. Glad to hear MJ is back.

  • GowolvesGowolves Posts: 284

    I like Hellums. I think we will him and Thunderburk really take a step forward

  • TheAliasTrollTheAliasTroll Posts: 2,012PFN Referee

    I just don't see top 4. If we finish #6 I'd be thrilled. Probably 7th or 8th.

  • WulfpackWulfpack Posts: 1,768

    i don’t know what people are smoking thinking we are in some way a top 4 team in the ACC. We’re probably right smack in the middle.

  • ryebreadryebread Posts: 1,420PFN Referee

    KK’s first year we finished tied for third.

    Tau: I see it like you do. Dorn is a loss. There’s no question about that. He brought it every night and filled up the box score. He was under appreciated among Pack fans.

    We’ll miss Walker’s effort, five fouls and a little bit of a mean streak. Hopefully the grad transfer gives us something similar. That’d be a net plus of anything Bates can give us down low.

    I liked Lockett’s game but he was pretty much on the end of the bench most of the year. The JUCO probably gives us about that level of production.

    The rest of the roster is a year older, and presumably that much more comfortable playing together. Most of those guys really hadn’t had any sort of like game action together until the first one last year.

    Then we add in a sharp shooter, which we desperately needed. That was our most glaring weakness this year, AND the 3 point line moves back this season.

    We also add in a bouncy, four star freshman. That’s another wing for our 4 around 1. So to me we look better.

    Then there’s the rest of the league. While I normally snort at the “other teams lost so much” argument because they’re ACC teams recruiting and developing players,

    I do think the league isn’t going to be as top heavy this year. Duke has their one and dones, but none of those kids is Zion. UVA lost the core of their older team. UNC will be good and Louisville will spike up, but I think State can be right in that mix.

  • TexpackTexpack Posts: 1,888

    Hellems and Harris are the keys. Their improvement will determine whether we are on the bubble or comfortably in as a 5 seed. I like Hellems too. He has a lot of raw ability. Let’s see if it can be developed

  • Fastback68Fastback68 Posts: 627

    Rye, the question remains. I’ll go look it up myself eventually. Tied for third, tied for third. Sole possession of third in tiebreakers. Iirc, State wasn’t last in tiebreaker sweepstakes so there’s that. Tied for third resulted in the 5th seed and a loss to 12th seed BC in the ACCT. Then the coveted 9th seed in the Ncaat. Is the wood choppers S16 the pinnacle? Does Gott even count?

  • Tau837Tau837 Posts: 66
    edited May 2019

    "Is the wood choppers S16 the pinnacle?"

    Who said that? Why argue against a strawman?

    The best case scenario at this point is that KK has begun a slow and steady build to a higher plateau as a program. No one is saying we have reached that plateau in 2 seasons and are happy with residing there. At least I haven't seen anyone saying that.

    I think too many fans ignore the fact that Gott left the program in shambles:

    • First back to back losing records and worst back to back ACC records since Les was coach 20 years earlier. No, Sid was not quite as bad as Gott's final 2 seasons.
    • Program under investigation for cheating.
    • Culture of players getting to do whatever they want without being held accountable (reference the recent article in the Athletic about Markell).
    • 5 of the top 9 rotation players from Gott's last season did not return for Keatts. 3 other players transferred left the program and a 4th graduated after KK's 1st season. In KK's second season, he had exactly 2 players remaining who played for Gott (Markell and Dorn). Gott also left nothing in the recruiting pipeline. To some extent, this reflects the normal roster flux that accompanies a coaching change as well as the state of college basketball today with one and done mentality and high volume of transfers. But it also illustrates that this was a complete rebuild.

    You can spend all the time you want trying to justify why the glass is half empty, despite claiming to be an optimist above. I prefer to look at it as half full and getting fuller.

  • Tau837Tau837 Posts: 66
    edited May 2019

    Regarding this question: "when was the last time State has been in the top 4 since 1991?"

    • Tied for 3rd in 2017-18 (KK)
    • Tied for 4th in 2012-13 (Gott)
    • 4th in 2005-06 (HWSNBN) [in 12 team ACC]
    • 2nd in 2003-04 (HWSNBN) [in 9 team ACC]
    • 4th in 1990-91 (Les) [in 8 team ACC]

    Here are the number of losing ACC seasons by HC in the past 30 seasons:

    • 1/1 Valvano [the season of the book and related turmoil]
    • 5/6 Robinson
    • 6/10 HWSNBN
    • 5/5 Sid
    • 2/6 Gott
    • 0/2 KK

    In the past 30 seasons, State has 9 winning ACC seasons, 2 at .500, and 19 losing ACC seasons. After Les's first season, in which he had V's roster, we went through a stretch of 16 losing ACC seasons in 20 years. Brutal. This is why outsiders think our fans are delusional when it comes to coaching searches.

    Anyway, it is obviously too early to draw any long term conclusions about the program under KK, but he is off to a solid start. I look forward to him building on it this season.

  • Fastback68Fastback68 Posts: 627

    I’m as guilty as any unicorn, rainbow poster on any State site. Every year for the past 8 I’ve thought a double bye Top 4 seed for the ACCT was realistic prior to the next campaign. Gott was close twice and Keatts was close 2 years in a row. The wfu, gt and the vt games just create painful ulcers. The thin glass barrier just hasn’t broken. This time around I’m asking myself when was the last 4 seed when I think it’s possible once again. Thanks for answer recap.

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