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Points of Emphasis: Louisville vs. NC State

Here are the more significant storylines to follow ahead of Louisville's men's basketball's matchup with NC State:

LOUISVILLE, Ky. - After coming up just short against Michigan State, the Louisville's men's basketball program is staying in the road, facing NC State for their ACC opener. Tip-off is scheduled for Saturday, Dec. 4 at 2:00 p.m. EST.

Here are a few of the more significant storylines to follow ahead of the Cardinals' matchup against the Wolfpack:

Good Start... or Is It?

At first glance, it might seem like NC State could be one of the better teams in the ACC at present moment. The Wolfpack currently sit at 6-1 on the season, with the lone loss on the year coming in between two three-game winning streaks.

But peel back the curtains a bit, and this has potential to be smoke and mirrors. NC State's strength of schedule currently ranks 276th in all of Division I according to KenPom, and 12th in the ACC.

And they haven't been overly impressive wins, either. Their four wins against teams outside the KenPom Top 100 - including two outside the Top 300 - have been won by an average margin of 10.8 points.

They beat Louisiana Tech by just nine, needed four overtimes to take down Nebraska, and their one game against top 50 competition - Oklahoma State - resulted in a 74-68 neutral-court loss.

The Dereon Seabron Show

All things considered, the Wolfpack have been able to rebound nicely following the loss of Manny Bates to a season-ending injury - who is widely considered to be one of the best defenders in the country.

Four players are currently averaging double figures: Jericole Hellems is at 14.9, Casey Morsell at 12.3 and Cam Hayes at 11.9. As good of scorers as those three are, the fourth player is on another level.

Through the first seven games of the season, guard/forward Dereon Seabron has been the star of the show, and then some. Averaging 21.7 points, 11.1 rebounds, 3.3 assists and 2.6 steals per game, he leads NC State in four categories.

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Seabron is fifth in the nation in double-doubles with five, scoring 20 points in four of NC State's seven games - including an incredible 39 point/19 rebound performance against Nebraska.

He's also a workhorse for the Wolfpack, much like Carlik Jones and David Johnson were for Louisville last season. His 37:47 minutes per game currently ranks 12th in the nation, and second in the ACC to Syracuse's Buddy Boeheim.

A *Nearly* Perfect Offense

As you can imagine with a team that has four player averaging double figures - including one who averages a 20-point double-double - even with the easy schedule, NC State has a pretty good offensive showcase.

They average 81.6 points per game, average 41.57 rebounds and 14.0 offensive boards per game (both No. 1 in ACC), have the 12th-most free throw attempts in D1 at 189, and only turn the ball over 11.1 time per game.

The one caveat to all this? They're shooting about as well as Louisville is right now.

They are shooting 42.6 percent from the field, which ranks 241st in D1 and 14th in the ACC, while their 29.8 percent three-point shooting is 287th and 12th. In fact, only one of NC State's five players that average over four points a game is shooting over 42.0 percent (Seabron - 58.5).

(Photo of Noah Locke: Jamie Rhodes - USA TODAY Sports)

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