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Pack Hits the Road to face Notre Dame

NC State Basketball

Pack Hits the Road to face Notre Dame

NC State Wolfpack at Notre Dame Fighting Irish
9pm | Joyce Center | ESPN3

NC State travels north to face Notre Dame tonight at 9pm in a very important conference game.

After a real missed opportunity at home against Pitt, the Wolfpack will be facing another challenge in the Fighting Irish. This is a team that came into the season without much fanfare, but close calls against #25 Iowa and #3 OSU, and a 2 point victory over 7th ranked Duke last week has the ACC talking.

Players to Watch:
The Irish will be without leading scorer Jerian Grant, who has left school due to academic issues, but do note that they beat Duke without him last week. In his absence it’s been up to the guard duo of Eric Atkins and Pat Connaughton to shoulder the load. Both of these guys can score it and Atkins has become a sort of do-it-all kind of guy for this team. Against Duke he finished with 19 points and 11 assists. Connaughton can score it too and he’s been a real threat from beyond the arc, connecting on 45% of his 3s.

Oh and don’t forget about Garrick Sherman who has been equally important in filling in for Grant. This senior center is their #1 option in the post. He’s averaging 14 points per game and grabbing almost 8 boards. At 6’11 he’ll be a tough guard for both Vandenberg and Anya.

How they play:
Notre Dame is a lot more uptempo than they used to be, but they aren’t going to just run and gun with the Wolfpack. They’d like to slow it down at times and work it into Sherman when possible. They can score in transition, but that’s not the pace they want to sustain. For NC State it’s going to be about locking down on defense and making the Irish take tough shots. They are also going to want to get out in transition, so that means they’re going to have to rule the boards. Notre Dame isn’t known for their rebounding right now, but they did beat Duke on the boards which helped them pull off the upset.

This is also a very unselfish team. They come in at 7th in the nation in assists and because of that they get easy buckets. That is likely the reason that they’re 37th overall in points per game.

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