NC State Wolfpack vs. Wake Forest Demon Deacons
Jan. 22 | 7pm | Winston Salem, NC | FSN / ESPN3
State heads to Winston-Salem today to take on the Wake Forest Demon Deacons. This is a must-win game for the Wolfpack, who on paper are far superior, however, we’ve seen State play down to their opponents here recently and it’s something to watch out for.
They will face another good forward in Travis McKie, who is averaging over 15 ppg and is coming off 2 straight double-doubles.
This is a quick turnaround for the Pack, who just played on Sunday against Clemson. Is Richard Howell healthy? Will fatigue be an issue? These are things to watch.
“We’ve got to get our legs back underneath us” said Gottfried. “We’ve got to get ready to go and play a Wake Forest team who is a lot better than they were a year ago”
A key for NC State will be to get CJ Leslie back on track. Leslie has had two subpar games after his career night against #1 Duke. Leslie seems to be rushing things. Trying to get it going too quick and on his own, when earlier in the season he was playing within the offense. But, it’s not all on Leslie. State hasn’t really gone to their leading scorer much in the past 2 games. If they can get him rolling and get him more aggressive in the paint, they can run away with this one.
Another key will be Lorenzo Brown. The junior PG will get to go up against Cody Miller-McIntyre who hasn’t done all that bad thus far in ACC play. Brown has been good offensively and is really racking up the assists, but Brown needs to focus in on defense and make it his priority to keep his opponent out of the lane.
Any road game is tough for the Wolfpack and Wake is no exception. Sure they blew the Deacs out of the water last season at their place, but this is a new team, a much improve team that nearly knocked off Virginia Tech last time out. Gottfried needs to get his team to turn the corner soon and start playing up to their potential every time they take the floor.
The Deacs are undefeated at home in ACC play, so this isn’t going to be a walk in the park, but if the Pack can play their game at their pace and really defend, then they can ride a 2 game winning streak heading into their matchup with rival UNC this Saturday.