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NC State vs Virginia Tech Keys to the Game

NC State Basketball

NC State vs Virginia Tech Keys to the Game

NC State and Virginia Tech will play tonight at 9 o’clock at the PNC Arena. If you cannot make it out to the game it can be seen on WRAL. What must NC State do to protect home court and gain their first ACC win? Here are the keys to the game.

NC State will need to rebound the basketball collectively…

Miami punished the Pack on the glass in their first ACC game 41 to 33. NC State did not give enough effort as Miami tallied 17 offensive rebounds, a few off of free throws! The Wolfpack will not win Wednesday night if this continues. Virginia Tech is too good offensively to give away extra possessions. Offensive rebounds also lead to open three-pointers which Virginia Tech knocks down at an alarming rate. It will be everyone’s responsibility to rebound and block out. Malik Abu needs to be the catalyst and demand his fellow frontcourt mates to be active on the glass. NC State guards need to be aware that long shots will have long rebounds and box out perimeter shooters. NC State has the potential to be a great rebounding team; however, it will take a complete team effort to achieve their potential.

The Wolfpack cannot play “Hero Ball”…

Hero Ball is where one player tries to take over and win the game singlehandedly. The Miami game had its’ fair share of players forcing one on one trying to win the game by themselves. NC State has too many options to allow teams off the hook with this type of play. Dennis Smith needs to set the tone early with getting his teammate’s open looks in rhythm. Terry Henderson needs to be decisive making quick moves and shooting off the catch. Torin Dorn needs to be aggressive at attacking off the dribble as well as focused on finishing around the basket. NC State has plenty of weapons capable of scoring yet they must play off one another to showcase their individual talents! Ball movement is the key to hanging with the Hokies this Wednesday night.

Toughness and awareness defensively will be needed to slow down the Hokies…

Virginia Tech scores 84.2 PPG and just put 89 points on Duke a game ago. NC State cannot leave their man open on the perimeter since Virginia Tech shoots 40% from three. Guards will have to press up above the three-point line and force the Hokies to put the ball on the floor. Off-ball defensive standards will have to adjust by not playing off their man as much due to Virginia Tech’s three-point shooting. The Wolfpack cannot afford to loose their man because the Hokies will make them pay.

NC State must also be aware that two of Virginia Tech’s top scorers come off the bench. Zach LeDay and Seth Allen combine to average 27.4 PPG or 33% of VT’s PPG. NC State’s on-ball defense has to be great at taking away penetration because Virginia Tech looks to drive and dish. With tighter play off-ball help-side defense will not be as quick, consequently leaving guards on an island. The Wolfpack must embrace the challenge of stopping a talented offensive team if they are going to get their first ACC win.

To win in the ACC demands energy and focus. It takes guts and resiliency to win no matter what team is next on the schedule. NC State has to grow up quickly as there are no more easy outs. Can the Wolfpack win their home opener aginst the 21st ranked Hokies?

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