After a poorly played first half NC State got it rolling early in the second and never looked back, trampling Eastern Kentucky 75-56.
TJ Warren scored 30 points, added 11 boards and saved State in the second half. EKU obviously knew the scouting report against the Pack. They came out in a zone and really slowed the pace of play. Early on State seemed confused, settling for 3’s and playing tentatively against the zone. Gottfried certainly addressed that at the half and the Pack came out aggressive after the break. Warren led the way, but it was quick ball movement and hitting the gaps in the zone that got them rolling, leading to a 19 point win.
We apologize for the delayed coverage this weekend. All of us here at PackInsider.com are out of town with our families for Thanksgiving. We’ll be back at it on Monday with ‘Out Take’ on the Wolfpack. Thanks for understanding!
In the meantime, here are some quotes from Coach Gottfried:
“First off, I think this a good win for our team because that might potentially be an NCAA Tournament team. Obviously, Belmont in their league is very good, but they have a great chance to win their league. They are a really good team with terrific guards. They go a really good job of changing defenses to keep teams off balance. I was really proud of our guys. I thought in the second half we attacked the zone much better. I thought that was the difference in the game. Defensively we are a little bit better. In the first half, we struggled against the zone. We didn’t move it nearly as well as we should have. We didn’t get the ball inside or penetrate the zone very well. In the second half, the ball moved a lot better and we got inside the zone. We attacked pretty well. This is a good win for our team against a good basketball team.”
On attacking the zone:
“They play two different defenses. I thought in the first half we were very cautious. It became paralysis by analysis. We were trying to figure out what defense they were in instead of just playing it. I thought in the second half we were aggressive. We got the ball moving better and our people moving better. Then we were able to find some gaps because we were more aggressive. (In) the first half we seemed real tentative trying to figure out how to attack it rather than really getting the ball moving quicker and getting the zone shifting. In the second half we were a lot more aggressive and much better.”
On T.J. breaking out in the second half after a slow first half:
“I thought he did what good players do. He had that aggressive nature during that stretch when the score was 51-49, he took it over. He did a great job, that is what you want your good players to do, step up and be aggressive and he did.”
On Cat Barber’s growth:
“I thought as the game went on he got better. He is so quick and he can penetrate so well that he got into trouble a couple of times tonight against a team that is leading the country in steals. They are really good at knocking the ball loose if you are loose with it. For every part of the game with him he just keeps getting better and better. He is learning our offense and what to run. He is getting confident. He is starting figure out when to move the ball. That is a feel as a point guard. His quickness and ability to get to the rim is something we want him to use a lot.”
On the expanded role of Jordan Vandenberg:
“We’ll see. I don’t think of it in those terms as minutes. I just want him to be productive. He changes things with his length. Tonight he got his hand on a rebound a knocked it out of there just because he was long enough to put his hand on it. We ended up with a rebound. Our guys have figured out if we put the ball up there by the rim he is pretty good at getting up there and making it. When you look at the way he affects things defensively and the way offensively he scores right around the rim. He made a nice couple of passes and I think he does a good job rebounding too. I think he has given us a great lift these last two games.”
On 3-point shooting:
“I think we are a better 3-point shooting team than we are showing. I think we have guys capable of making them. I like the fact that we are finding ways to score against the zone that is not moving the ball two or three passes and making sure Scott Wood is open. That was a pretty good offense last year. We don’t have that this year. I think our guys are learning they are doing a good job of figuring out how to attack the zone without one of those guys like that. Although we do have some guys that can make 3s. I think Cat, Tyler, TJ, Ralston and Desmond can make them. We just have to find those spots and get better against the zone. We are going to see a lot of zone this year. We better get better at it or we are going to have some long nights.”
On new guys picking up offense quicker:
“I don’t know that I have ever thought about it that way but when you do have guys with you on the floor all summer long, it is different than it was before. But it is different for everybody. Everybody plays with the same rules. I think it helps our guys.”
“We are getting there. We are not great but we are better with Jordan because of his length. He can protect some things at the rim. We just have to continue to learn how to defend at our level. Cat has got to learn, which he is. Desmond is also learning. We are just going to keep working at it, but I think we are getting there.”
NC State 72 Georgia Tech 64: ACCDN Highlight Reel & Condensed Game
NC State 72 Georgia Tech 64: BY THE NUMBERS
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.
NC State 72 Georgia Tech 64: BOX SCORE
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.
Where Does NC State Rank in Team Stats in the ACC Before Georgia Tech?
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.