NC State Wolfpack vs. Clemson Tigers
1pm | Clemson, SC | ACCN/ESPN3
Keys to the Game
- NC State needs a win. They’ve lost 3 straight games (all without Lorenzo Brown) and they’re getting to a point where a game like this is a must win. Clemson is coming off of 2 straight road losses, but has won 3 straight at home. The Wolfpack needs to, whether it’s with or without Brown, settle in, block out the crowd and finally win an ACC game on the road.
- Stop Booker. Last time these two teams met, Devin Booker went for 27 points. Sure, Richard Howell was sick that game, but there was no excuse for the rest of the team to allow this guy to do that much damage. State was letting him get position deep on the blocks and Booker was making them pay. He’s a decent player, but if you body him up, force him out a bit further, he’s a lot easier to stop.
- Continue to ride Howell. Big Rich has been the most consistant player for the Pack all season and they need him to continue his dominance. Enough about all the talk about Zo and Leslie, or the big time freshman class…I think the spotlight needs to now shine directly on Howell. If NC State is going anywhere this season, I think we all understand that it’s going to be on the back of Sir Rich.
- Get Leslie rolling. CJ Leslie has been decent lately, but not dominant. I think some of that comes from the fact that he’s forcing it a little much and not letting the game come to him. Teams are prepped now for Leslie, they are ready for NC State to pound the ball inside to him, but Leslie isn’t changing his approach and this is leading to a lot of miscues and turnovers. Leslie is a great player and one of the most unguardable players in the country one on one, but State is losing a lot of possession on Leslie trying to do a little too much.
- Dominate the backcourt. NC State has a huge advantage in the backcourt if Lorenzo suits up. However, even if he doesn’t, State might still have the edge. Lewis, the freshman replacement, has been playing great basketball as of late. Just look at these numbers. Over the past 2 games (both of which were against top 2o teams), Tyler Lewis has put in 75 minutes, scored 29 points, dished out 11 assists and only turned the ball over 1 time. Someone show me another freshman PG in the country that’s putting up stats like that.
- If Zo returns, look for Gottfried to play him at the 2 a little bit and give the reigns over to Lewis who has really earned some majore PT. With two playmakers on the floor at the same time, State could enhance their offensive output even more. They could go athletic and small with those two and Purvis and really start running. Adding Lewis to the mix really opens up the door for a lot of lineup creativity.