Wolfpack Squeaks by Loyola of Chicago Behind Smith’s Big Night

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Thanks to stellar performances from the NC State gaurds, the Pack was able to pull off a close W against a pesky Ramblers team. Dennis Smith Jr led the way with a team and personal career high 30 points, while Torin Dorn and Henderson continued their consistent strong play adding 20 and 19 points respectively.

State again struggled defensively, showing glimpses of smothering defense at times, but all too often having breakdowns leading to easy layups and open 3’s. The Ramblers jumped out to an early lead on the Pack to start the game both from poor defense and dead eye shooting from the beyond the arc. The Pack clawed back thanks to strong guard play and a bought of tough defense. Coming out of the half, it looked as if the Pack would pull away but just could not get consistent stops on the defensive end. The Ramblers fought their way back into the game, and even took the lead late in the second half. Fortunately , timely steals late in the game by Markell Johnson and Dennis Smith helped the Pack seal the win.

Gottfried was forced to run with a small lineup most of the game due to the Ramblers spread offense and their ability to shoot the ball. With Maverick Rowan out for the 4th straight game due to concussion protocols, the Markel, Dorn, Henderson, and Smith were barely able to get any time on the bench to rest. While the post play left alot to be desired, especially against an undersized opponent, the guards were absolutely magnificent in this one on the offensive end and gave us another glimpse of why many Pack fans remain excited for this team.

The Pack still have a long way to go on the defensive side of the ball and will need to get their more production out of the post players if they want to be successful in a stacked ACC. But a win is win and this was a good learning tool for our young team facing a spread offense full of shooters. We also saw just how dominant Smith can be on any given day. His play tonight was a sight to see yet for some reason it still feels as if we have yet to see his best play.

Stay tuned later for a full game breakdown on tonights game.

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16 Comments on "Wolfpack Squeaks by Loyola of Chicago Behind Smith’s Big Night"

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RIZ DOLLA
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RIZ DOLLA
5 months 25 days ago

-When are we going to come out with energy and intensity from the tip off?
-When are we going to defend? Especially the perimeter!
-When will our big men Abu and Anya show some progression since their freshman year?
Currently we are not there and in ACC and tournament play the teams will not miss the shots and will finish the game strong unlike the teams we barely beat. #GETEMRIGHTGOTT!#GOPACK

RIZ DOLLA
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RIZ DOLLA
5 months 25 days ago

Don’t get me wrong we have a great talented team. We just have to fine tune a few things that will take us to the next level to compete for an ACC and National titles.
#GETEMRIGHTGOTT!#GOPACK

Member
5 months 25 days ago

If there was a way to fix Anya so that his only goal in life wasn’t blocking shots. Each time he goes for a block he leaves his man wide open. He over-commits on help D. Just needs to take up space in the middle. He has low rebound numbers because he is chasing blocks. If he maintained good defensive position in the paint he would be the leading rebounder on the team.

RIZ DOLLA
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RIZ DOLLA
5 months 25 days ago

Only thing he really needs to do it clog the lane and help out on backside D when needed.

Member
5 months 25 days ago

Why is Abu so bad at defense? He over-hedges and doesn’t get back to his man or he doesn’t provide help defense when someone gets beat off the dribble.

Member
5 months 25 days ago

Markell’s defense is beyond amazing. Those 3 steals at the end of the game were unbelievable and won us this tight game. That defense along with Torin’s scoring and Dennis’ explosiveness and playmaking is really fun to watch.

Member
5 months 25 days ago

I cannot wait for this small ball lineup to end. We’ve been outrebounded in practically every game. And the interior defense is pretty much non-existent. Kapita is a welcome edition and Yurt7 cannot get qualified soon enough.

Member
5 months 25 days ago

One glaring weakness is the front court. Some of that was the refs but a lot of it was that currently we do not have a dominant guy in the middle. Really hoping that Yurt7 can be that skilled center that can draw the double and find the open man. So far the offense is strictly guard initiated so it lacks balance and easier scoring opportunities. A lot will be riding on the Yurt’s shoulders.

mc991
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mc991
5 months 25 days ago

I’m also hoping that y7 can have a big impact, but I will try to not expect too too much out of him the first few games. I expect he might struggle a little, but I still think the presence of a 7 footer will overall help our team.

mc991
Guest
mc991
5 months 25 days ago

*to clarify, he is still very young and hasn’t had a whole lot of experience of basketball in the USA. Will take some time is what I’m thinking.

Member
5 months 24 days ago

Definitely agree. He’s not the solution to all our ills. There are fundamental problems on defense that may never get resolved but Y7 will no doubt improve our front court production not hurt it.

Member
5 months 25 days ago

Dennis dominated. The freshman did it all. He’s starting to look like the guy that was advertised. He looked really good when he saw an opening and attacked. I thought he settled for a few jumpers but his shot selection should get better as he plays in more games. Hopefully staff is busy getting all the tapes together for discussion. This is the Dennis I’ve been wanting to see.

Member
5 months 25 days ago

I like Abu but he’s not going pro with the way he’s playing. He’s playing soft in the paint and has bad hands. Dennis fed him a sweet pass and he fumbled it. He really needs to work on his angles. There’s 2 parts to an assist… an important part of that is the guy without the ball making sure there’s an angle between him and the guy with the ball. Too often Abu sits behind a defender.

RIZ DOLLA
Guest
RIZ DOLLA
5 months 25 days ago

Yea Abu needs to work on his hands and feet. More than one post move. All big men need multiple post moves. He actually showed a pretty good jumper his Freshman year now he doesn’t use it much.

Member
5 months 25 days ago

Sadly he is one of those guys that only hits shots when he is confident. And his confidence is always up and down.

Member
5 months 25 days ago

Man were those refs horrible. Kapita had the rebound, gets undercut, and then he’s called for the foul? Henderson stands with hands straight up and doesn’t jump but somehow he’s whistled for the foul? And that foul on Markell on the cleanest steal ever at the end of the game?

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