NC State beat UNCP 96-85 in their first exhibition game. Here is a player by player breakdown of what we saw.
Tyler Lewis: Lewis, once again, looked like a star for the Wolfpack. He finished the game with 15 assists and really controlled the tempo all night. For the first 10 minutes of this game, Tyler Lewis WAS the offense. The thing with Tyler is that he knows what the team needs and he produces it. In this game other guards were scoring at a nice rate, so Lewis barely had to take a shot. He finished the game with 5 points on only 1-4 shooting. Another observation was how different the State offense looks with Lewis on the floor. There were a lot of times in this one where Gottfried wanted to test Barber and Lee together, without Lewis. This, for the most part, wasn’t pretty. To be honest, without Lewis in there it looked a lot like last year’s offense. There was a lot of standing, a lot of confusing and a lot of rushed, poor shots. Tyler better be ready to give this team 35 minutes per game, because without him it could get ugly.
TJ Warren: You kind of came into this game knowing what Warren was going to do, however, I think he actually exceeded expectations. The sophomore star finished with a double-double. 26 points (on 10-16 shooting) and 10 rebounds. With his new thinner frame Warren was able to beat his man off the bounce and get to the rim with ease. If he can do that it just makes scoring that much easier for a guy who was already almost a pro in that category. Even without the extra 20 pounds Warren was still physical and it almost seemed to help him with rebounding. He was more bouncy and quicker to the ball. If State is going to succeed they’re going to need Warren to do it all, and in this one he did.
Ralston Turner- Without seeing much of Turner before this game, I wasn’t really sure what to think. What was he going to bring to the table? Was he as good a scorer as people were hoping? I apologize for even wondering. Turner was outstanding in more ways than I would have imagined. He’s a high-IQ guy all around. He played smart position defense and really was active on and away from the ball. On offense he was on point, finishing with 20 points on 7-10 shooting. He also added 4 assists and 3 boards. Losing Scott Wood was going to hurt this team regardless of who they brought in, however Turner is going to add things that even Wood couldn’t. He can really help on defense and he’s not just a spot shooter. Most of Turner’s memorable points came off dribble pull-ups with defenders in his face. He’s definitely a more all-around player than Scott Wood was, but he’s not quite the shooter. Now, I’m not saying he can’t shoot because he has a nice stroke and went 7-10, but I’m saying Wood was a once in 20 years type guy from beyond the arc. Overall, however, Turner might end up being more valuable when all is said and done.
Dez Lee- This kid is impressive. Lee was the most surprising part of this exhibition in my eyes. He started off shaky with a few TOs, but once he got in the flow you could see that he is exactly the 2 guard that the Wolfpack has been lacking for so many years. Lee finished with 16 points on 6-8 shooting and was uber-aggressive on both ends of the floor. The most impressive thing, however, was not the fact that he scored well or handled the ball well, but that he was the best at both under pressure. Down the stretch when UNCP was making runs and within a bucket, it was nearly always Lee who wanted to take the big shot. We mentioned this tendency in the red/white scrimmage as something we loved, and we saw it again at the end of this one. Lee basically took over down the stretch, scoring on ever big shot he took. It’s going to be real nice to have another guy who wants the ball in his hands when the pressure is mounting. Lee is going to be a huge addition to this team.
Cat Barber- Barber flashed the talent everyone has been talking about and there is no doubt that he’s going to be a star at State, however you could really tell that he was a little nervous early on in this one. He finished with 14 points, but did so on 3-10 shooting and did lead the team with 4 turnovers. That being said, Barber was playing his first college game in front of a big crowd and most certainly will improve. Watching him closely though, you could see the talent just oozing. He can really handle it, is slippery in traffic and surprisingly has a nice little stroke on him. As he gets more minutes and gets used to the game at this speed, he’ll be a huge part of this team if he just understands that he’s a freshman and accepts the role he naturally falls into.
For a breakdown of the rest of the players….stay tuned for part 2 coming soon.
NC State is a Slight Underdog in ACC Opener vs. Boston College
NC State (4-2) will play their first ACC game of the 2023-24 season tomorrow on the road against Boston College (5-2), and they enter the game as slight underdogs. The Wolfpack are 1.5-point underdogs, and the Total is 150.5.
- NC State is 0-2 Straight Up as underdogs
- BC is 4-1 Straight Up as favorites.
- NC State is 2-4 Against the Spread.
- BC is 4-3 Against the Spread
- The Total has gone Under in 2 games for NC State, Over in 3 and Pushed in 1.
- The Total has gone Under in 3 games for Boston College and Over in 4.
- NC State is 6-4 in their last 10 games against BC Straight Up.
- NC State is 4–6 Against the Spread in their last 10 games against BC.
- The Total has gone Under in 5 games, and Under in the other 5.
#5 NC State 70 Vanderbilt 62: BOX SCORE (with notes)
The 5th ranked NC State Women’s Basketball team improved to 8-0 tonight, defeating Vanderbilt 70-62 in the inaugural ACC/SEC Challenge.
- Saniya Rivers scored 20+ points for the 2nd time this season, scoring 22 points on 8 of 14 shooting. She also chipped in 8 rebounds and 2 steals.
- River Baldwin posted her first double-double of the season. She scored 12 points and grabbed 10 boards.
- Aziaha James has now scored in double figures in 7 of 8 games, scoring 14 points tonight, shooting 6 of 10 from the field and 2 of 3 from beyond the arc.
- Freshman Zoe Brooks led the Pack in steals (4) and assists (4).
- NC State didn’t shoot well, making only 39% of their shots. Fortunately, they held Vandy to 34.3% shooting.
The Wolfpack will host Illinois State on Sunday at 2pm.
NC State Stat Leaders Heading into the ACC Opener vs Boston College
This Saturday, NC State heads to Boston College for the now-annual early ACC opener. The Pack will face off against the Eagles at 4pm on ACC Network. Here is where the team is statistically after 6 games.
- Casey Morsell leads NC State in scoring with 14.5 ppg.
- The Pack has 4 double-digit scorers this season. Morsell (14.5), Jayden Taylor (13.3), DJ Burns (13) and DJ Horne (11.2)
(Last season State had 4 double-digit scorers as well. Terquavion (17.9), Joiner (17), Burns (12.5) and Morsell (11.8))
- After their top 4 scorers there is a big dip. Parker comes in at 6.8, O’Connell at 6.3, and Middlebrooks at 5.5 ppg.
(Last season Jack Clark was 5th on the team in scoring at 9 points and Mahorcic was at 8.7. However, both guys missed a large chunk of the season.)
- Burns is leading NC State in rebounding this year at 5.3 per game. Diarra is next with 5.3 (but is currently hampered by an ankle injury.)
- O’Connell is leading NC State in assists with 3.3 per game, and Burns is up next with 2.5. PG DJ Horne is only averaging 2.
- LJ Thomas and Mike O’Connell are tied in leading the team at .15 assists per minute.
- Jayden Taylor is leading NC State in 3pt %, shooting an outstanding 45.8%, while Morsell is up next at 34.6%. Horne is close behind at 33%.
(LJ Thomas is shooting 50% from 3, but only has 2 attempts.)
- Burns is leading the bigs, shooting 56.5% from the floor, while Middlebrooks is close behind at 54.2%. Dennis Parker Jr is coming in at 45.2%.
- For the guards, it’s Casey Morsell leading the way at 44.6% from the floor, while O’Connell is next up at 43.4%. Taylor is shooting 42.4%, and DJ Horne is struggling a bit, shooting just 34.8% from the field.
- Jayden Taylor is turning the ball over the most at 1.8 times per game, while Burns is next at 1.7. Morsell is at 1.5 and O’Connell is at 1.2. DJ Horne has been doing a good job of protecting the basketball, turning it over just .3 times per game.
NC State 52 Ole Miss 72: Box Score (with notes)
NC State’s Men’s Basketball team lost it’s second straight game tonight, losing 52-72 on the road at Ole Miss in the inaugural ACC/SEC Challenge. Below is the Box Score with some notes below.
- Ben Middlebrooks posted a double-double, with 13 points and 12 boards. To be honest, Middlebrooks was the only bright spot in this game.
- Casey Morsell was the only other player to score in double figures (12 points), but it wasn’t pretty, shooting 5 of 14 from the field.
- One of the poorest statistical shooting performance I can remember.
- NC State shot 31.8% from the field and 12% from three (3-25).
- The Wolfpack’s DNA on defense is turning over their opponent, and they were unable to do so tonight, turning over the Rebels only 7 times.
- For comparison, the Wolfpack turned it over 13 times, giving them a Turnover Margin tonight of -6.
- Heading into tonight, they averaged a Turnover Margin of +7.8.
- Ole Miss scored 13 points off of turnovers, compared to NC State’s 4.
- This is the first time this season that NC State failed to force their opponent to commit at least 10 turovers.
- NC State was -25 when D.J. Burns was on the court, which was the worst on the team.
- NC State was +3 when L.J. Thomas was on the court, and +2 when Ben Middlebrooks were on the court. They were the only two players in the positive.
- Thomas and Middlebrooks should have earned themselves some more playing time going forward.
- Ole Miss’ length was problematic for the Wolfpack, blocking 9 of their shots.
There will be more analysis on this game coming tomorrow.