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Mitchell scores 28, leads No. 13 Louisville over NC State

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. — With his team playing short-handed, Donovan Mitchell promptly took charge for No. 13 Louisville.

Mitchell scored the first 14 points for the Cardinals and finished with 28 on Sunday in an 85-60 romp over North Carolina State.

Louisville was down two guards because of injuries, and Mitchell stepped up. The sophomore hit four quick 3-pointers, with two of them propelling a 15-0 run that made it 21-9.

“We get on these slow starts, and today kind of aggravated me because we had been preparing so hard,” said Mitchell, who made six 3s and had team highs of eight rebounds and five assists.

“I took it upon myself to just go out there and make the right plays, and the guys found me when I was open,” he said.

Mitchell’s 21 first-half points led Louisville (18-4, 6-3 Atlantic Coast Conference) to a second straight rout and its third in four games. He scored a career-high 29 in a 106-51 win over Pittsburgh on Tuesday.

Abdul-Malik Abu and Maverick Rowan each had 13 points for the Wolfpack (14-8, 3-6), who shot 38 percent and failed to follow up on their 84-82 upset at No. 17 Duke .

“That team looked like we had a hangover out there,” Wolfpack coach Mark Gottfried said. “That wasn’t the same team and the same energy that we had four or five days ago. Not at all. Whether it was intoxicating, all that praise, we’ve got to learn how to handle it.”

Louisville, on the other hand, continued its roll by dominating numerous categories.

The Cardinals made 12 of 24 from long range — matching their season-high total set at Pittsburgh — and shot at least 50 percent for the second straight game. They also had 19 assists, their fifth time this season with at least that many.

Louisville’s second-half defense was even more impressive as it held N.C. State to 8 of 28 from the field (29 percent) after a 46-percent first half.

THE BIG PICTURE

North Carolina State: The ACC’s worst scoring defense offered little resistance against Louisville, allowing the Cardinals to score inside and outside against multiple schemes. Leading scorer Dennis Smith Jr. (19.5 points) was limited to a season-low eight points on 3-of-12 shooting and drew a first-half technical foul.

“I didn’t bring enough energy on either end to start the game,” Smith said. “They follow me, so when I don’t bring a lot of energy it’s hard for them to really get going.”

Louisville: Last week’s hand injury to Tony Hicks created more backcourt reshuffling and led to David Levitch making his first start this season. The senior contributed a couple of 3-pointers himself while reserves Ryan McMahon and V.J. King also hit from the behind the arc.

“Coach told me before the game he really needed my defense to step up,” said Levitch, who had two steals. “I’m not the most athletic person so I had to use my mind. Just try to create angles to make turnovers.”

Mangok Mathiang added 14 points and Deng Adel 10 for Louisville.

POLL IMPLICATIONS

Louisville: Winning twice with a 55-point rout at Pitt could get the Cardinals closer to the Top 10.

FASHION CHECK

Louisville coach Rick Pitino left the white suit he usually wears for the annual “White Out” promotion back in Florida. But he found a good substitute, wearing a cream jacket with a grayish windowpane pattern and gray tie with stripes.

UP NEXT

North Carolina State: Home this week for games against Syracuse on Wednesday and Miami on Saturday.

Louisville: Hits the road for two ACC games in three days, starting Saturday at Boston College. No. 12 Virginia follows on Feb. 6, where the Cardinals aim to avenge last month’s loss.

VIDEO: Jay-Z’s nephew posterizes nation’s No. 1 recruit Marvin Bagley III

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Nahziah Carter is an unsigned 6-foot-6 wing in the Class of 2017.

He’s also Jay-Z’s nephew, and he just so happened to posterize Marvin Bagley III — the clearcut No. 1 prospect in the Class of 2018 — while Hova was in the stands watching him.

NCAA denies extra-year request by NC State guard Henderson

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RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — The NCAA has denied North Carolina State guard Terry Henderson’s request for another year of eligibility.

Henderson announced the decision Friday in a statement issued by the school.

The Raleigh native played two seasons at West Virginia before transferring to N.C. State and redshirting in 2014-15. He played for only 7 minutes of the following season before suffering a season-ending ankle injury.

As a redshirt senior in 2016-17, he was the team’s second-leading scorer at 13.8 points per game and made a team-best 78 3-pointers.

Henderson called it “an honor and privilege” to play in his hometown.

SMU gets transfer in Georgetown’s Akoy Agau

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SMU pulled in a frontcourt player in Georgetown transfer Akoy Agau, a source confirmed to NBCSports.com. Agau is immediately eligible for next season as a graduate transfer.

The 6-foot-8 Agau started his career at Louisville before transferring to Georgetown after one season. Spending two seasons with the Hoyas, Agau was limited to 11 minutes in his first season due to injuries. He averaged 4.5 points and 4.3 rebounds per game last season.

Coming out of high school, Agau was a four-star prospect but he’s never lived up to that billing in-part because of injuries. Now, Agau gets one more chance to make a difference as he’s hoping to help replace some departed pieces like Ben Moore and Semi Ojeleye.

South Carolina loses big man Sedee Keita to transfer

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South Carolina big man Sedee Keita will transfer from the program, he announced on Friday.

The 6-foot-9 Keita was once regarded as a top-100 national prospect in the Class of 2016, but he never found consistent minutes with the Gamecocks for last season’s Final Four team.

Keita appeared in 29 games and averaged 1.1 points and 2.0 rebounds per game while shooting 27 percent from the field.

A native of Philadelphia, Keita will have to sit out next season before getting three more seasons of eligibility.

Although Keita failed to make an impact during his only season at South Carolina, he’ll be a coveted transfer thanks to his size and upside.

Mississippi State losing two to transfer

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Mississippi State will lose two players to transfer as freshmen Mario Kegler and Eli Wright are leaving the program.

Both Kegler and Wright were four-star prospects coming out of high school as they were apart of a six-man recruiting class that is supposed to be a major foundation for Ben Howland’s future with the Bulldogs.

The 6-foot-7 Kegler was Mississippi State’s third-leading scorer last season as he averaged 9.7 points and 5.5 rebounds per game. Kegler should command some quality schools on the transfer market, especially since he’ll still have three more years of eligibility after sitting out next season due to NCAA transfer regulations. Kegler’s loss is also notable for Mississippi State because it is the second consecutive offseason that Howland lost a top-100, in-state product to transfer after only one season after Malik Newman left for Kansas.

Wright, a 6-foot-4 guard, was never able to find consistent minutes as he was already behind underclass perimeter options like Quinndary Weatherspoon, Lamar Peters and Tyson Carter last season. With Nick Weatherspoon, Quinndary’s four-star brother, also joining the Bulldogs next season, the writing was likely on the wall that Wright wasn’t going to earn significant playing time.