Welp, the NC State men's basketball season kicked off with a bit of a whimper at home against GT. For those who missed it, there was no Markell (injury), no DJ (suspension), no Seabron (out for the year, academic casualty) and no Harris (transfer because his minutes were going to be taken by Seabron), and there was no W for the Pack. Jamie Luckie did say hello and reminded NC State fans that he's the same ref despite a new uniform.
While there are no mulligans, and we're officially 0-1 in conference, this feels like what would be a "normal" starting game for NC State. Let's pretend we're starting on Sunday, feast on a cupcake and go build from there.
The Detroit Mercy Titans basketball program is probably best known as the former coaching stop for Dukie V. That was arguably the high point for Detroit basketball as the now ESPN analyst went .731 over 4 seasons and made it to a Sweet 16. Vitale then left for the greener pastures of the NBA, where he quickly flushed out as a head man at the Pistons. The Mercy Titans have never made it back to the Sweet 16 and have only had 4 more NCAA tournament berths in the last 40 years.
This year doesn't look that different for Detroit. They're coming off of back to back 8 win seasons, and are picked to finish 8th out of 10 teams in the Horizon league. Mike Davis (formerly of Indiana) is the coach, and is on year two of guiding Detroit. Last season Detroit was bad in almost every statistical way, and were ranked 320th in defense by KenPom. The lone bright spot was Antoine Davis who averaged 26 PPG as a freshman on his way to all Horizon team honors.
By the end, Detroit should be screaming for "mercy" against the Pack. I hope to see a healthy Markell back, and a 30+ point win where we empty the bench.
Some semblance of a functioning half court offense that involves passing and off the ball movement (outside of someone besides a screener) is probably a bit much to ask for. Maybe we'll see some of the soft match up zone that I swear I saw in the preseason game? Of course that may have just been players out of position as well. One can dare to dream though.
Let's have a little fun this year with predictions...
- What will be the outcome of this game?20 votes
NC State rolls like a truly good team should (30+ point win)15.00%
NC State feasts on a cupcake like an ACC team should (20-30 point win)25.00%
NC State wins, but in kind of a "meh" way (10-20 point win)45.00%
NC State with the win, but closer than it should be (< 10 point win)15.00%
Detroit pulls off a shocking upset and wins  0.00%