NC State vs App State: Keys to the Game

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NC State and Appalachian State will meet this Thursday night at 7 o’clock in the PNC Arena. If you cannot make it to the game, you can check it out on ESPNU.

What must NC State do to gain another notch in the wins column? Here are our keys to the game…

1. NC State must take away Shabazz…

Shabazz is their go-to player, he leads them in scoring at 15.5 points per game, and is quite crafty as he is left-handed. Coach Gottfried will have a couple of options available to neutralize him. In my opinion, Terry Henderson gives State the best chance at slowing him down; however, he needs help. Henderson must sit on Shabazz’s left hand and force him to go right if he is allowed to get to his left the Pack could be in for a rough night. Another area that NC State must guard against is allowing Shabazz to get into the paint. This means they must sell hard on ball screen hedges and even trap off the screen to slow him down if needed.

2. Look to run early and often…

The Pack has all the athletes a team could want, I think that they have not done a good enough job at capitalizing on the break. Too often they have not looked to push the ball, and this has resulted in running too many half-court sets. Coach Gottfried wants his guys to get out on the break; however, they have not trusted the fast break offense. Adding Omer to the front-court should help NC State in transition, pairing him and Abu will give Smith and company two agile quick-footed big men. After a tough game of scoring the basketball, some easy looks in the open court would be a welcome sight for the Pack.

3. Turnovers…

Taking care of the ball will be of the utmost importance, especially when facing a team that is capable of turning live ball turnovers into easy points on the other end. Not only are turnovers important for State on offense, but they should be forcing more than 12.2 per game from their opponents. With their depth and athletes NC State has, I would like to see them picking up their man up sooner and overplaying passing lanes. An easy basket would be conceded on occasion, but they would force more turnovers and create more easy baskets in transition. If State can force the Mountaineers to cough up the ball, they should be able to secure the win.

4. Keep it simple for Omer…

Omer Yurtseven will make his regular season debut for the Wolfpack, it will be critical that things are kept simple for him so he can get his conditioning and confidence. If State can put him in some comfortable areas early, then he should thrive. Early touches on the block, and some 15 footers off of pick and pops should help him get his feet wet. It will take trial and error to figure out how to best incorporate his unique size and skill set to the rotation. The process will begin this Thursday night.

Heading into the matchup this Thursday, the Pack finds themselves at 7-2. The first 9 games have been a mixed bag, to say the least, but they are now at full strength and have four non-conference games remaining to gain some momentum before ACC play. Can State find a way to get things trending in the right direction?

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7 Comments on "NC State vs App State: Keys to the Game"

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RIZ DOLLA
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RIZ DOLLA
5 months 13 days ago

Gott got to put Smith, Henderson, Dorn, Kapita, and Y7 in together for at least 7-8 minutes in the 2nd half.

Member
5 months 13 days ago

That’s the starting lineup in my mind.

RIZ DOLLA
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RIZ DOLLA
5 months 13 days ago

Yep me too. I have been waiting on it. Personally I think they should start running with that lineup the game before the ACC schedule.

Member
5 months 13 days ago

I don’t expect too much out of Yurt7 in his 1st game. I imagine that he will have a lot of pent up energy and that usually leads to turnovers and fouls. Hopefully he doesn’t pick up 2-3 quick fouls within the first few minutes.

I want to see a sample of his passing and footwork from the post.

mc991
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mc991
5 months 13 days ago

Would say he exceeded my expectations for first game. Still a few messy turnovers and fouls, but first game jitters. Still might struggle in next few games, but I think by mid acc play he will be what we thought he will be.

Member
5 months 13 days ago

I’m pretty happy with his performance. Outside of those few turnovers he looked pretty smooth out there. Definitely better at spacing and positioning off the pick and roll than Abu or Anya.

Member
5 months 13 days ago

Excited to see our Turkish big man for the 1st time in a real game! Wonder how many minutes he’ll get? Also will he start after Anya’s big game?

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