North Carolina State needed to find out who would fill the voids in the lineup in terms of production.
It's a good thing that Dereon Seabron has come through.
The Wolfpack (4-1) could use more good work from him on Saturday afternoon when Louisiana Tech (4-1) visits Raleigh, N.C.
With NC State losing center Manny Bates to a season-ending shoulder injury in the first game of the season, there was uncertainty about how the makeup of the team would evolve.
Recently, Seabron has proven to be an answer.
"I knew what I was capable of doing. I had to wait my turn," said Seabron, a redshirt sophomore.
Seabron is coming off a 21-point, 11-rebound effort in Sunday's 65-57 home victory against Texas Southern. He has four double-doubles on the season.
"Come down and make the right play whether it be scoring or find the open man," Seabron said of his mission. "We have to pick it up more on the boards."
The best-case scenario for the Wolfpack will be for others to join Seabron in boosting production.
"We have to get better with the guys we have," coach Kevin Keatts said. "It's my job to try to help these other guys get better."
Louisiana Tech is finding new forms of production as well. The Bulldogs whipped visiting Louisiana-Monroe 96-74 on Wednesday night.
That outcome included 22 points from Keaston Willis, a transfer from Incarnate Word who poured in the most points by a Louisiana Tech player this season. He had seven of the team's season-high 13 baskets from 3-point range.
"It was something that we were looking for," Louisiana Tech coach Eric Konkol said. "We lost some shooting from last year's team. He has fit in seamlessly with our guys. He has got a serious weapon from 3."
Keeping the momentum established across the first couple of weeks is important for the Bulldogs.
"We've talked about our energy and our effort," Konkol said. "And then making the type of plays that can really snowball into some other really good plays."
NC State has uncovered various ways to excel.
"Our team found a way to win a game when our offense wasn't necessarily clicking," Keatts said of the Texas Southern outcome. "They've already come a long ways in a short amount of time."
A positive response Saturday from forward Jericole Hellems could be important for NC State. He was hit with a technical foul and fouled out early in the second half of the Texas Southern game.
This will be Louisiana Tech's third road game after a loss at Alabama and a victory at Northwestern State.
NC State won the only previous meeting seven years ago at home.
--Field Level Media