Cassius Stanley on NC State's Shot Blocking, Outside Shooting


When Duke travels to NC State on Wednesday night, the Blue Devils will need to solve a major problem near the basket. State’s Manny Bates is the best rim protector in the ACC, leading the conference with an average of three blocked shots a game.

“The coaches have talked about that a good amount of times,” Cassius Stanley said. “I think he’s leading the league in shot blocks or something like that. It’s going to be a challenge, but we’re up for the challenge, and we’ve been working on ways to finish over and around a big man like that, so I think we’ll be ready.”

State also has a roster full of three-point shooters, so the Blue Devils will need to focus their defense on the perimeter threat.

“Very important,” Stanley said. “We’ve talked about it. They thrive in transition, too, so we’ve been talking about just getting back in transition, protecting the three, first of all, and making them come into the paint. We’re going to try to implement that tomorrow.”

Stanley said Duke’s freshmen have made progress as the season has gone on.

“I feel like I’m doing pretty well,” he said. “My teammates are helping me out. Having guys like Tre (Jones) and Gold (Jordan Goldwire) and Wendell (Moore Jr.) and guys like that in the backcourt is definitely great. We’ve all grown. We’ve all made the game easier for each other. None of us have felt the need to carry the load. We rely on each other. I feel like we’re definitely locked in, not that we weren’t before, but we’re really locked in. Coach has been stressing to take advantage of the time you have left. We’re not taking any game for granted. We’re really just honing in on scouting reports. I think we’ve done a great job in walk-throughs and keeping the intensity and creating intensity we want for the game in practice.”