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NC State Basketball

State Needs the ‘Real’ Tyler Lewis Back

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There’s no denying that Tyler Lewis has really struggled since being moved out of the starting line-up. He’s lost his confidence and has since seen his minutes nearly disappear (Less than 10 minutes in 3 of the last 4 games). However, I don’t think all is lost with this kid. He’s too talented, has too unique of a skill set to go to waste. Mark Gottfried needs to step in and do something here. He needs Tyler Lewis if he’s going to be successful during ACC play, but he needs him confident and with an understanding that he’s a major part of this basketball team.

 

I think the Lewis situation has been a bit mismanaged by the staff up to this point. Here is a kid who stuck with the program, came in as the starting PG and leader of this team. He now manages only 5 minutes per game.
On the other hand, Cat Barber has been magnificent. He certainly deserves to be starting and playing the majority of the minutes at point, and I don’t disagree with the notion that he should be the #1 guy, getting big-time minutes. The fact is, Barber is still a freshman and over the past two games the Wolfpack has gotten out to big leads and then fallen apart late. They lost this way to Missouri and nearly fell to the same fate at UNCG. Barber is still learning this part of the game. He’s a great scorer who plays with elite speed and quickness, but there are times when he still looks like a freshman. He can start playing too fast, settling for poor shots and really getting away from what got them the big lead in the first place. This is where I think Tyler can still be a huge asset for the Pack.

Lewis could and should still be a huge part of this basketball team. He is (was?) definitely the more heady PG. He knows (knew?) how to control flow and how to read the situation. The problem is now that Lewis has gotten away from what made him special. He’s struggling with his confidence and his insecurities have led him to try to alter his game. We know he wants to show that he can score to keep up with Barber, but that’s a losing battle. Barber was built to score. He’s a great defender and quicker than anyone on this team.  Lewis is a game manager and a facilitator. He also can be a very good leader when he’s on his game. If he wants to get back on the floor for NC State and if he wants to find success at a level beyond college, then he needs to embrace these strengths and use them to his advantage.

I don’t think Tyler getting back to basics is all on him. I think Gottfried and this staff need to make it their job to get him back to being himself. I think it begins off the floor. I don’t know how it’s being handled, but the staff needs to give Lewis a boost. They need to remind him of who he was and what made him special. They need to let him know that if he gets back to that then he’ll have a much bigger role on this team. On the floor, they need to utilize him a little more. This is a game of ebbs and flows. When State goes in a little funk, change the pace with Lewis.

Tyler could have a been a late game savior against Missouri and he could have righted the ship against UNCG. In both cases Barber had a streak of freshman moments. He wasn’t playing as if the team was up 10 or 15, he was forcing the issue a little too much, and the Wolfpack got out of rhythm. Over the past two games Barber has shot 6-25 from the field. To his credit, he has gotten to the line a lot, but a lot of that is from just going one on one and taking it at the rim, regardless of situation or scenario. These games would have been great situations for Lewis to earn back some minutes and show that he can be trusted to secure a lead and manage a game that has gotten out of hand or sloppy. For that to happen, Lewis needs to get back to his game and Gottfried needs to see that Lewis’ confidence is restored.

At the end of the day, Barber is a superstar for the Pack and he’s a future NBA PG. Barber is State’s 2nd best scoring option with the basketball and certainly has a been a big reason why the Wolfpack has been successful during this 10 game stretch, but that doesn’t mean that there’s no spot left here for Lewis. If he can accept his role and play his game, he could be emerge as a leader and a guy that Gottfried trusts with the ball late in games if Barber is faltering.

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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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