The Wolfpacker

January 2018

The Wolfpacker: An Independent Magazine Covering NC State Sports

Issue link:

Contents of this Issue


Page 71 of 107

72 ■ THE WOLFPACKER BY JACEY ZEMBAL N C State freshman point guard Braxton Beverly was able to make his first ap‑ pearance of the season with 13:51 left in the first half against Bryant Nov. 14. The 10,472 fans at PNC Arena, who have been following his plight for the previous several weeks, greeted Beverly warmly. NC State overcame a slow start to top overmatched Bryant 95‑72, but to many the contest will be remembered as the game Beverly became eligible. The journey started when Beverly at‑ tended Ohio State for summer school, but his life was thrown for a loop when head coach Thad Matta was fired June 5 and replaced by former Butler head coach Chris Holtmann four days later. Meanwhile, in Raleigh June 8, NC State hired Beverly's prep coach at Chatham (Va.) Hargrave Military Academy — A.W. Hamilton — as an assistant coach. Beverly elected to leave Ohio State June 30, and his desire to be reunited with Hamilton made for one of the easiest recruitments in Wolf‑ pack history, without even a campus visit. All Beverly needed was for the NCAA to give him the rare waiver to be eligible this season. The NCAA denied Beverly's original case and then his appeal, and it seemed like he was destined to redshirt this season and have four years of eligibility. The crux of the case is the NCAA ruled that once a student enrolls and attends classes he is deemed a regular transfer if he changes schools even if he had not played yet. Beverly then hired attorney Scott Tomp‑ sett of Tompsett Collegiate Sports Law, who also represents former Louisville head coach Rick Pitino and ex‑UConn head coach Jim Calhoun, among others. The Wolfpack filed a request for reconsidera‑ tion in early November. NC State head coach Kevin Keatts re‑ ceived a call from his compliance office around 5 p.m. Nov. 14 that Beverly was cleared to play against Bryant, and Keatts threw him right into the fire. "I'm very, very excited to have Braxton Beverly," Keatts said after the game. "I called Braxton and he thought it was an April fool's joke." Beverly missed his first three‑pointer, but then made a reverse layup for his first Wolfpack points. The former three‑star prospect from Hazard, Ky., is part of an interchangeable backcourt with sophomore Markell Johnson, freshman Lavar Batts Jr., and fifth‑year seniors Sam Hunt and Allerik Freeman. Sorting through the five guards is part of the Wolfpack's undertaking in the non‑conference slate. Beverly, who turns 21 on Feb. 18, quickly had a game that will be remem‑ bered for the rest of his Wolfpack career. He lit up Arizona for 20 points while drain‑ ing 3 of 5 from three‑point land in the 90‑84 win against the then‑No. 2 Wildcats in the Bahamas Nov. 22. He eventually replaced Hunt in the starting lineup and has averaged 31.6 minutes per game since the Arizona contest. That victory over the Wildcats was the first over a top‑two opponent since beating Duke 87‑75 on Jan. 11, 2015. The Wolf‑ pack have won 18 games all‑time against teams ranked in the top two, and the lone non‑conference win over a No. 2 squad was 69‑60 over Cincinnati on Dec. 30, 1958. Beverly was averaging 8.8 points and 3.3 assists in 26.6 minutes per game, and is shooting 33.8 percent from the field and 32.3 percent on three‑pointers through Dec. 15. Start Of ACC Schedule Looms Ahead For Wolfpack NC State players have tried not to think too much about the ACC season opening Dec. 30 at Clemson, but the excitement is starting to build. The Wolfpack's strength of schedule was ranked No. 184 overall in the country through Dec. 15 according to, but the challenge in the ACC will be com‑ pletely different. Six ACC squads are in the top 25 of the Associated Press poll, includ‑ ing three in the top seven. NC State head coach Kevin Keatts has a few things he's looking to clean up before the Wolfpack face the Tigers. "I'm like every other coach, I want im‑ provement," Keatts said. "Obviously with us, we are trying to get better every day, both on the offensive end and defensive end. "I've said this before, even though we are averaging 85 points per game, I don't feel like we are doing a great job getting out in transition." NC State ranks No. 21 in the country in turnover margin through 10 games (plus‑ 4.6). The Wolfpack are also No. 29 in forc‑ ing turnovers with 17.5 per contest. "On the defensive end, I want to get more stops in the halfcourt," Keatts said. "I think our full‑court pressure has been really good because we are forcing turnovers and getting a lot of steals. WOLFPACK BASKETBALL Freshman Braxton Beverly, Finally Cleared By The NCAA, Moved Into The Starting Lineup Beverly made his debut for NC State Nov. 14 when a second appeal for immediate eligibility was granted by the NCAA. PHOTO BY KEN MARTIN

Articles in this issue

Links on this page

Archives of this issue

view archives of The Wolfpacker - January 2018