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NC State Basketball

Bearcats Push Past Pack 68-57

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Box Score

The Wolfpack didn’t walk away with a win in their first road game of the season, but they didn’t look one bit scared losing to Cincy 68-57 in a hostile road environment.

Going up against a bigger, stronger more experienced Bearcats team, the Wolfpack looked hungry, they looked together, but they looked young. Cincinnati came out of the gates very physical and applied end to end pressure to the young NC State backcourt. Overall, I felt like Lewis, Barber and Lee were able to navigate through it without much problem. State only finished with 8 turnovers, but the press did get them out of whack offensively. Once across the midcourt line it seemed hard to slow it down and really get into a good offensive set.

Despite that, Gottfried’s guys played so hard all night. They hustled, they scrapped and they banged in the paint with a much more mature Cincinnati team. It was easy to be proud of them on this night. TJ Warren had an off game and still finished with 13 points (on 5-15 shooting) and the bigs, while young, held their own in the paint.

State was tied at the half and looked at times like they could pull away form Cincy. The crowd never let that happen though, as they created a pretty hostile environment that the Bearcats really fed off of. Ralston Turner’s 13 points on four 3s really kept State in the ballgame, but 7-0 run midway through the 2nd half was the beginning of an avalanche that the young Wolfpack couldn’t stop. Cincy rode out the win 68-57.

 

Our Take on the game

Defense/Rebounding- I thought State did both of these things pretty well, given their current circumstance. I know they were out-rebounded and I know Cincy shot 39%, but I was proud of them here. There were very few times when guys just let their man go uncontested to the rim. Last year dribble penetration and weak perimeter D was a huge problem. This year I think it won’t be nearly as bad. Dez Lee is a great on the ball defender and Cat Barber will keep learning to use his quickness to stay in front. Even Tyler Lewis did an alright job. At the end of the day it seems like bigger guards will give NC State a little trouble. Cincy’s Kilpatrick showed us that first hand as he dropped 21. Overall, not bad though. I was really impressed by TJ Warren’s rebounding (he finished with 10) and I think Lennard Freeman was outstanding on the boards and in the paint defensively. He had 5 boards in 23 minutes and really was mixing it up with the Cincy bigs.  While tonight showed us some positives, there is a TON to work on and improve. They need to work on not fouling, not reaching, and taking charges. But the hustle, the passion, the heart and the team-first attitude was there from start to finish.

 

The Offense- Kind of what I expected here. Cincy applied great pressure and while State didn’t fall apart and turn it over a bunch, the press was effective. It sped up the whole team, got them rushing, and then they weren’t able to recover in their halfcourt sets. Some of this was because freshmen simply didn’t know how to play against this type of pressure and physicality. The UCLA offense is dependent on that first pass to get it started. Cincy was denying the wing and the high post guys (who were mostly always freshmen) weren’t sealing properly and giving the PG’s a nice target. This caused a few turnovers and deflections. It really made the guards hesitant to dump it to the high post, which is the money spot for this offense, and made the flow off the offensive look stagnant. Gott will certainly toughen these guys up and make them understand what sealing off their man actually means. Other than that stuff, I thought State looked good. They actually have guys that can knock down open shots, they share the basketball and get easy looks. Sure, shots didn’t fall in the 2nd half and there were big periods where they had trouble getting things going, but this was the 2nd game of the season for the youngest team in the ACC in a hostile road environment against a team of upper classmen and an all-american candidate.

 

Physicality and Toughness- I think we all knew coming in that the Bearcats were going to be very physical and very tough. What we didn’t know is how State would react. I think it was a positive step for them. They played as strong as they could, they mixed it up inside and they definitely left it all on the floor. All that being said, this team needs to get stronger. This team isn’t full of bouncy athletes so they’re going to have to make their living being tougher than opponents, scrapping more, and showing more hustle. Tonight was a nice step and a good sign, but they aren’t even close to the level of physicality they’ll need to bring night in and night out in the ACC. Lewis still needs more lean muscle. He’s a wizard with the basketball and he’s overcome everything people throw at him, but there are parts of his game that are still hindered by his size. He needs to get to where he wants to go, and against a strong team like that he sometimes has trouble. I think another 10 pounds of lean muscle would go a long way in his game. Barber simply needs to put on weight and Lee, while he’s lost weight this offseason, could use to put a little more muscle on (however he’ll be alright with where he’s at). As for the bigs, I think Freeman showed me the most in this one. He is so hungry in there and such a fighter. He’s got soft hands and has shown not one ounce of fear this season, despite being the youngest player on the team. I think he’s going to fill that Richard Howell role at some point. He’s got such a monster frame and once he grows into it… watch out.

Overall- This might have been a loss, but I think you have to be somewhat happy with the type of basketball you saw played. Team first, passionate basketball. This is a young team that has a LOT to learn and they will get there. This team has a lot of exciting pieces. The only problem is that those pieces are still very young and need experience. This team will turn the corner around midseason and really surprise some people. Overall, I give this game a thumbs up since it was only the second real game most these guys have played and because it was in a hostile road environment.

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NC State Basketball

NC State 72 Georgia Tech 64: ACCDN Highlight Reel & Condensed Game

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NC State improved to 19-5 overall, and 9-4 in the ACC, defeating Georgia Tech 72-64 in PNC Arena. How did they win: By the Numbers. Box Score. The ACC Digital Network’s Highlight Reel and Condensed Game are below.

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NC State Basketball

NC State 72 Georgia Tech 64: BY THE NUMBERS

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Survive and Advance. Some days it’s just like that.

NC State found a way to win at home over Georgia Tech 72-64 with Terquavion Smith and Jarkel Joiner combining for a whopping 10 points, shooting 3-17. They each had 5 points, and entered the game ranked 1st (Smith) and 5th (Joiner) in the ACC in scoring.

How did the Wolfpack find a way to victory?

Burns. Ross. Morsell.

DJ Burns carried the team on his back, scoring 24 points (11-21 FG) and grabbing 8 boards. Ernest Ross reminded us once again what he’s capable of, coming off the bench to score 16 points, shooting 4 of 8 from the field. Most importantly, Ross was a perfect 7 for 7 from the free throw line. He also had 7 rebounds and 2 blocks.

The shots might not have been falling for Smith and Joiner, but don’t forget about Casey Morsell. He scored 17 points, making 6 of his 9 field goal attempts, and 4 of 7 from beyond the arch. He also had 5 rebounds and 3 steals.

Smith’s shot might have been off, but his passing game wasn’t. His 10 assists were a new career high, toppling his former best of 7 against Miami back in December.

Once again, NC State managed to find a way to win a game in which the other team shot better (44.1/41.9) than them. Heck, the Yellow Jackets out rebounded them (37-36).

How you ask?

Well, NC State forced Georgia Tech to commit 17 turnovers, scoring 11 points off of them (Georgia Tech had 5 points off of turnovers). Also, the Wolfpack had more offensive rebounds than the Yellow Jackets (12-10), scoring 11 second chance points (The Yellow Jackets had 7 second chance points).

Georgia Tech entered today’s game having won 4 straight against NC State in PNC Arena, and the Wolfpack found a way to snap that streak.

A 14-3 run by NC State in the final 4 minutes was enough for the Pack to seal the deal.

NC State will have a chance to pick up a Quad 1 win over UVA on the road on Tuesday night at 9pm.

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NC State Basketball

NC State 72 Georgia Tech 64: BOX SCORE

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NC State’s Men’s Basketball team improved to 19-5 and 9-4 in ACC play today, defeating Georgia Tech 72-64 in PNC Arena.

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NC State Basketball

Where Does NC State Rank in Team Stats in the ACC Before Georgia Tech?

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Before NC State and Georgia Tech tipoff at 1pm, here’s a look at where the Wolfpack ranks in the ACC in team stats.

The Wolfpack lead the ACC in points per game, and rank 7th in points given up per game. As a result, NC State’s scoring margin is 10.13, which ranks 2nd in the conference.

The Wolfpack scores a lot, but it isn’t because they are one of the best shooting teams in the ACC, ranking 11th in Free Throw Percentage, 8th in Field Goal Percentage, and 8th in Three Point Percentage.

The reason that NC State leads the ACC in scoring is because of the way they attack the offensive glass, and the way they force turnovers. The Wolfpack forced 319 turnovers, which leads the ACC, and boast a 4.09 Turnover Margin, which also leads the conference. The Wolfpack also rank 2nd in the ACC in Offensive Rebounds. Not shockingly, they lead the ACC in steals, averaging 8.3.

The Wolfpack rank 9th in Assists, but rank 3rd in Assist/Turnover Ratio. NC State has turned over their opponent better than anyone else, and they also have done a good job taking care of the ball.

NC State ranks 2nd in Blocks and 3rd in Rebounding Margin.

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