Game Time: 7 o’clock | TV: ESPN2 | Location: FSU
Florida State and NC State square off tonight as the Seminoles look to remain undefeated at home. The Wolfpack are trying to gain a big road win to shock some much-needed life into their season. What are the keys to the game for NC State?
The Pack must give themselves a chance tonight by winning the hustle battle.
Florida State is the superior team as evident by their 20-4 record; however; NC State, has a fighter’s chance if they control the boards. The Noles and the Pack are even in RPG at 37. The Wolfpack must be aggressive attacking the glass on both ends of the court, especially securing the defensive glass. Florida State’s offense is potent and cannot be allowed extra possessions as a result of offensive rebounds. NC State’s defense has struggled mightily but needs to help themselves by rebounding the basketball. Abu and company will need to put a body on every FSU player as they are too long and athletic to out jump for rebounds. In each of FSU’s four losses this season, they have lost the rebounding battle.
NC State will need to keep turnovers to a minimum as Florida State excels at creating easy offense off turnovers.
The Pack has been solid offensively the past two games averaging 1.25 points per possession but has nothing to show for it. Florida State is among the best at creating turnovers as opponents are averaging 15.2 a game. NC State will need to handle FSU’s pressure defense as they extend their defense beyond the three-point line to disrupt teams offensive flow. Teams can beat the Noles off the dribble because of their aggressive defensive tactics; however, they are solid at their help-side rotations. The Pack must attack the paint to draw help-side defenders and not hesitate at getting rid of the ball. Florida State recovers quickly on defense which is why NC State must be decisive. The Wolfpack has players capable of getting to the paint it is just a matter of not settling for contested jump shots.
The Wolfpack must be ready to defend in transition.
Florida State is great in the open court as they have guys who run the floor hard looking to score. Dwayne Bacon and company are capable of scoring quickly off of teams makes or misses. Wolfpack guards will need to get back defensively if they don’t FSU will be shooting layups all night. NC State cannot afford to celebrate any made shots because the Noles will push the ball up the court to take advantage.
A road matchup aginst a team that is undefeated at home presents quite the challenge as well as an opportunity for NC State. The Wolfpack have a chance to notch another big win on the road. They desperately need a good effort tonight to gain some confidence to finish the season on a positive note. Can NC State hang with the Noles tonight at 7 o’clock? Tune into ESPN2 to find out.