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It's the morning after, that time of day in which events from the night before become much clearer in the light of day and can be evaluated with at least a bit less emotion than when they first take place.

In that context, what did we learn from NC State's 82-81 overtime loss to Georgia Tech in its season opening basketball game Tuesday?

Here are a few postgame observations:

While the Wolfpack is talented and deep, especially in the backcourt and on the wing, this year's team is only going to go as far as Markell Johnson can take it. That was painfully evident Tuesday as the senior point guard sat on the bench in street clothes with an ankle injury, unable to help his teammates pull through in a game it could easily have and should have won. It's not so much Johnson's scoring ability that was missed, C.J. Bryce (24 points on 11 of 17 shooting) and Jericole Hellems (15 points) picked up the slack there. It wasn't even his ability to distribute the ball. Braxton Beverly have five assists and no turnovers. Where Johnson was missed most was during the four-minute lull at the end of the first half when Beverly went out with three fouls and State's offense screeched to a halt. His incredible sense of timing and the ability to put the Wolfpack on his shoulders at key moments on several late-game possessions that could have helped State put the game away. Johnson's absence also had an adverse affect on the tempo with which the Wolfpack played on both ends of the court. As inconceivable as it seems considering the styles with which the two teams play, but Tech actually outscored the Wolfpack 23-17 in fastbreak points. That doesn't happen with No. 11 on the floor for 30 or more minutes. ...

Markell Johnson is still the man that makes the Wolfpack go

Markell Johnson is still the man that makes the Wolfpack go

As much potential as Manny Bates showed in scoring 10 points on 5 of 6 shooting in State's exhibition win against Mount Olive, the talented redshirt freshman big man offered up a reminder Tuesday of how inexperienced, raw and rusty is his after missing the better part of the past two seasons with shoulder injuries. While he did block five shots and pull down seven rebounds in his 32 minutes of action, Bates was no match for Tech's bulkier, more experienced senior James Banks III, who piled up 20 points, 14 points and five blocks of his own. Offensively, Bates started strong with an alleyoop dunk from Beverly, but that was the only field goal he would make on eight attempts. The 6-foot-10 Fayetteville native has got a bright future with the Wolfpack and will continue to get better and stronger with each game he plays. But Tuesday's debut perfomance was a warming to temper expectations and make it much more important that redshirt junior D.J. Funderburk is reinstated from his indefinite suspension sooner rather than later.

Pat Andree can shoot. And he can make 3-pointers in bunches, as he did while draining his first three attempts while scoring 12 of State's first 24 points. But he also disappeared for long stretches Tuesday and only shot the ball three more times for the rest of the game (missing them all). The graduate transfer from Lehigh finished with 12 points and eight rebounds in 36 minutes and will continue to be an important part of this team once everyone is back and in uniform. But he has to be much more consistent regardless of how big or small a role he ends up playing.

Even though the Wolfpack outrebounded Tech 41-37 and gave up only four second chance points, it needs to do a better job on the glass. The sequence leading up to Banks' game-winning free throws with 2.1 seconds left in overtime is a vivid illustration of this. On one end, State had three chances around the rim and couldn't convert -- a game-long problem that led to it scoring only eight second chance points despite pulling down 16 offensive rebounds. Then on the other end, the Wolfpack stood around and watched as the Yellow Jackets' Khalid Moore rebound a Jose Alvarado miss before dishing to Banks in the lane for the decisive foul.

On the positive side, sophomore Hellems was a revelation. He didn't shoot particularly well, going 3 for 12 overall. But two of those baskets were 3-pointers and he made all seven of his free throw attempts to keep State either ahead or even throughout the second half. Defensively, the 6-7 wing played with poise and smarts -- at one point, drawing the fifth foul on Tech's Moses Wright, then in rapid succession getting Banks to commit his third and fourth fouls. His energy was a nice surprise, especially after he left the exhibition game in the first half with a shoulder injury and didn't return, and will give the Wolfpack a element it lacked a year ago.

And finally, Keatts does not yet have confidence in any of his newcomers other than Andree. Grad transfer big man Danny Dixon played only seven minutes, JUCO transfer A.J Taylor was on the floor for less than three minutes while freshmen Chase Graham and Max Farthing didn't play. With freshman Dereon Seabron now being forced to take an academic redshirt, the Wolfpack is going to have much less depth this season than first expected even when Johnson and Funderburk come back.