Sun, 05 Feb 2023

NC State eyes 4-0 start as Elon comes to town

Field Level Media
19 Nov 2022, 04:40 GMT+10

North Carolina State is demonstrating that quality performances can come from across the roster.

There will be another chance to show that when Elon visits the Wolfpack Saturday afternoon in Raleigh, N.C.

The Wolfpack (3-0) are set for their fourth consecutive home game. Casey Morsell is coming off a career-high 26-point performance from Tuesday night's 107-74 drubbing of Florida International.

NC State coach Kevin Keatts said he likes how Morsell has been more aggressive with driving the ball rather than settling for jumpers.

"You know when you mix your game up and you can put the ball on the deck a little bit more it helps you," Keatts said.

Morsell said the opening stretch has been good for the Wolfpack after last season's shortcomings, when they finished 11-21.

"I'm just thankful to get to go out there and play with this group," Morsell said. "I love this team."

Morsell said his mindset hasn't changed even with the ball going in more often.

"I'm always confident. I put the work in. I just go in and shoot while I practice," he said. "I'm not really more confident than last year, I'm the same."

Perhaps an even bigger factor for NC State has been guard Jarkel Joiner, a transfer from Ole Miss who is averaging 20.3 points per game.

"It's great to have a veteran point guard and you know he's a tremendous personality," Keatts said. "He's great in the locker room. He's a good basketball player and he's good for our team because you know he's a team-first guy."

Elon (1-3) is still searching for its first win against a Division I opponent under first-year coach Billy Taylor.

"We'll just work and try to get better," Taylor said.

The Phoenix have a relatively quick turnaround following Thursday night's 77-73 home loss to North Dakota. Elon shaved a chunk off a 13-point deficit in the last five minutes but couldn't complete the comeback.

It's taking time for the right blend for the Phoenix, who had significant roster losses from a season ago.

"Every veteran on the team is helping younger guys," Elon swingman Torrence Watson said.

Sean Halloran, a transfer from Division II Belmont Abbey, topped Elon with 21 points Thursday for his most productive outing. He aided by shooting 4-for-4 on 3-pointers.

Taylor has been willing to shuffle his lineup. He used three reserves to start the second half of the North Dakota game.

--Field Level Media

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