Fairfield Stags: What you need to Know

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NC State takes on the Stags of Fairfield this Sunday at 2 PM in the PNC. Fairfield holds a 5-3 record coming into Sunday’s contest. What do you need to know about Sydney Johnson’s team before they take on the Pack?

1. Tyler Nelson leads the offensive charge for the Stags…

Nelson is averaging 19.9 PPG and has plenty of skill to cause problems for NC State. Watching Nelson play and it obvious that he has been well coached in his career, his dad coaches in the NBA. Fairfield allows Nelson to have a green light to shoot from anywhere in their uptempo attack. Pulling up from 6 feet behind the line is not out of the norm for Nelson. Shooting the ball is what he does best, but he is more than capable of getting to the rim. Opponents have to respect his range and accuracy which he uses to his advantage to blow by defenders. Putting Nelson on the line is a deadly mistake as he is converting 87.5% from the charity stripe.

2. Sydney Johnson has his team playing uptempo…

Coach Johnson implemented an offensive strategy that focused on getting out fast and letting it fly at the first good look. The Stags are scoring 73.5 PPG and shooting 46% from the field. Conditioning plays an important part in their uptempo attack! Coach Johnson’s players are starting to get in full game shape which has worn down opponents late in games.

3. Shots off of transition and drives are calling cards for the Stags…

Fairfield pushes the tempo and gets open looks in the break by driving and kicking the ball for a corner three or hitting the late trail man for an open look. Fairfield only has two players averaging double figures per game; however, they have four players averaging right at 9 PPG. Johnson has his players buying into their roles which allow the Stags to play freely.

4. Fairfield was picked to finish in the middle of the pack in the MAAC…

Media publications have the Stags as a surprise team that is capable of overachieving, especially with the way they finished last season losing in the semis to Monmouth. Tyler Nelson was a question mark, many didn’t know if he could thrive as the go to player for the Stags after losing their leading scorer from last season. Nelson has answered that question with a resounding yes, he currently leads the MAAC in PPG. Impressive considering that the MAAC has two teams ranked in the top 25. Not only does Fairfield have the leading scorer in the MAAC, but Sidibe Amadou leads the conference in rebounding at 11.9 per game.

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