Game Time: 8 o’clock | TV: The ACC Network | Location: Georgia Tech
NC State travels to Georgia Tech to try and pick up a road victory. The Pack is currently riding a seven-game losing streak. With three games remaining NC State’s season is quickly coming to a close. What are the keys to the game for the Wolfpack to escape Georgia Tech’s stout defense with a win?
NC State needs to attack Georgia Tech on the glass.
The Yellow Jackets are one of the worst teams in the ACC when it comes to rebounding. Georgia Tech is ranked last in ACC games in opponents RPG surrendering 37.1. NC State must be aggressive at finding extra possessions by attacking the offensive glass. Georgia Tech has an excellent defense which is why the Pack must fight for easy second chance baskets. Malik Abu could have a big game underneath if he is aggressive on the glass. Dennis Smith will need to pitch in as well, especially on the defensive side of the ball.
Defend the three ball.
Last game Georgia Tech shot 63% from the three-point line. NC State has to find a way to contest the Yellow Jackets attempts from beyond the arc. The Jackets top shooters are Quinton Stevens, Josh Okogie, and Tadric Jackson. Stevens hit four threes the last time he faced the Pack; many of those attempts were uncontested. The Jackets are not a good three-point shooting team statistically speaking as they are shooting just 34% on the season; however, any team can catch fire if left open.
The Wolfpack need to attack the paint as well as in transition.
NC State needs to be aggressive attacking the paint off the dribble. Dennis Smith and Markell Johnson must use their quickness to probe inside creating scoring chances for their teammates. The Pack will need Abu to attack Lammers in the hopes that he picks up fouls early. The Jackets average 5.5 BPG tops in the ACC. NC State must be aware of this utilizing ball fakes and not alter their shots too much when attacking the rim. Georgia Tech’s defense is too good to execute against in the half court every possession. The Wolfpack need to get out on the break attacking before they can get set up to get some easy baskets.
NC State players need to approach each game as an opportunity to get better for next season. They need to embrace their role as bracket busters tonight as well as the rest of the way. These games do not have to be a waste if they don’t want them to be. In-game experience can yield future success. Game time is at 8 o’clock with coverage on The ACC Network.