On Tuesday night NC State will travel to Cincinnati to face off against the Bearcats. Both teams will come in at 1-0, and having played pretty weak first opponents. So what can Pack fans expect in this young team’s first road game? First, let’s take a look at who they’ll be facing.
Player to Watch
Redshirt Senior Sean Kilpatrick returns to the Bearcats where a season ago he averaged 17ppg in 34.4 minutes. He’s a NBA hopeful, standing at 6’4 and weighing in at 210lbs. A good sized guard who can attack the basket and can score from deep. Last season he hit 82 3s, but only shot 30.7%. This year he’s going to be relied on even more as the Bearcats look to replace their next top 2 scorers from a year ago.
Style of Play
It will be interesting to see how Cincy attacks NC State. I’m sure they’re looking at the roster and salivating at the inexperienced backcourt that State puts out there, but in reality that’s where the Pack is the strongest. Mick Cronin, Cincy’s head coach, loves to play uptempo and will probably keep full court pressure on the Pack until they prove they can handle it. With Lewis, Barber and Lee all showing they can handle, I think State is going to be able to handle it fine. The only worry is that the Bearcats have pretty good length at the guard position and might be able to cause a few turnovers in the press.
How State can beat them…
Over the last few years it’s been the teams that have slowed down Cincinnati that have had the most success. This team loves to play helter-skeltor and wants the game to be as sloppy as possible. They’re physical, but they’re also not very disciplined and not very skilled overall. If the Wolfpack can really handle the press and slow down the Bearcats they’ll find it a lot easier on themselves. That being said, I don’t think Tyler Lewis and company would mind playing uptempo either. If they can beat the Bearcat press, then it might be off to the races where State excels.
How State could lose…
This on is pretty simple. If the young backcourt can’t handle the pressure or if the bigs just get out physicalled. I really think the true problem could be the latter. State hasn’t faced a team of real men yet and it’s going to be interesting to see how Washington and Freeman match up down low. It would be nice to have Vandy back for this one, but the Aussie is still out with a high ankle sprain. I think body-wise, Freeman could match some of the Cincy bigs, but the Wolfpack just is so young and inexperienced. If Cincy goes right at the State bigs, these guys could be in trouble.
Other players to watch:
Cincy isn’t just Kilpatrick. He’s the star, but Titus Rubles and Jermaine Sanders (both forwards) have shown the ability to score as well. They have a front line of 6’7, 6’7, 6’8 and they bring Sanders off the bench at 6’5. It will be touch and go for Gottfried on whether he wants to go big to defend their size, or he wants to go small to beat their pressure and get the quickness advantage. That is something to watch out for…
Remember, game time is at 5pm because the game is in Cincy. Make sure to get off of work a little early and tune into ESPN for this one.
NC State 84 BC 78: BOX SCORE
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.