Connect with us

NC State Basketball

NC State Out-Muscled, Out-Hustled By Duke 95-60

Published

on

NC State ran into a buzzsaw at Cameron Indoor on Saturday afternoon as the Blue Devils absolutely dominated nearly every facet of the game, working over NC State 95-60.

From the get-go you could tell that the Wolfpack wasn’t ready. Duke’s pressure defense was causing State to rush and take quick, poor shots. On the other end it seemed as if State was working extremely hard on defense, only to give up an uncontested layup, or a wide open 3 with the shot clock winding down. You knew that NC State could only withstand this type of play for a short period of time before this game broke open, and eventually in the second half, it did.

Jabari Parker, who came into this game struggling in ACC play, absolutely killed NC State inside and out. The talented freshman went for 23 points, 7 boards and 3 steals. He was everywhere. For NC State, there was no answer. They tried to go inside early and Kyle Washington found some success, but Duke shut that down soon after. TJ Warren was the only consistant on the Wolfpack team once again, scoring 23 points and grabbing 8 boards.

The problem isn’t Warren, it’s the supporting cast. They’re young, they get flustered and they don’t play the game smart. Not yet at least. Against Duke, and especially in Cameron in door, you have to match their toughness and physicality. You can’t shy away when they get up on you, start bumping and grabbing. You have to give it right back to them. State looked scared today and Duke could smell the blood in the water.

They Devils defense swarmed all game. They exposed NC State’s lack of strength and focus. As they got more aggressive State got more careless. The Wolfpack turned it over 23 times. 4 for Anthony Barber. 4 for Dez Lee. 4  for Kyle Washington.

At the end of the day, the Pack realized that there is a ton more work to be done. Here are a few things we think need improvement:

1) The number one most important thing to focus on going forward is toughness. Both mentally and physically this team is weak. They are young, so it’s not abnormal for a team full of freshmen and sophomores to have this problem, but it’s something that has to slowly fade in time. They need to show hunger, desire, and an unquenchable thirst for domination if they want to make waves in this league at some point.

2) This team does not cherish the basketball or their possessions. Have you ever seen those movies where a coach makes his players bring the ball around everywhere he goes. He has to sleep with it, bring it to class with him, and keep it at the table during dinner? Well, that might be a start for the Wolfpack guards. This team has become careless with the ball. Sure their turnovers have been kept to a minimum against teams that don’t apply pressure, but throw a little physicality at these guys and they’ve been coughing it up. 23 in this one, 16 against UVA, it has to be fixed. Which bring us to the next point…

3) This team is having point guard problems and it’s spiraling downward from there. Barber is young and is still learning how to compete at this level. He shows flashes of greatness and will obviously be a key piece for the program going forward, but as you saw tonight, he’s not ready yet. He’s still turning the ball over, getting himself in bad situations and hasn’t figured out how to control the pace and tempo of a basketball game. Barber could have definitely used a mentor, or someone to ease him into this role. The problem is, the guy who should have been helping with that, became competitive over those minutes, lost his starting role and now has lost all confidence. Tyler Lewis used to walk in with bullet-proof confidence. He knew what he wanted to do and he was able to do it. Call it sheer will or mental domination, but Lewis used his sub-par athleticism and speed to really control games in the ACC last season. Since being relieved of starting duties by Gottfried, Lewis has been a shell of his former self. He’s not only having trouble controlling a game, he’s struggling even bringing the ball up against pressure and it showed vs. Duke.

So where does NC State turn? I think you have to keep doing what you’re doing. I think Gottfried has been good lately about tightening the reigns on Barber. He makes a mistake, he puts him on the bench. That’s the only way he’s going to learn how to be perfect, which is what every PG should strive for.

4) The bigs aren’t getting it done. I really liked Kyle Washington’s confidence, intensity and toughness against Duke. It really seemed like he was the only one that was ready to mix it up and go toe to toe with the Devils’ physicality. Outside of that I thought State look lost. Remember, Freeman was out with an ankle injury so I”m basically talking about Vandenberg and Anya. Neither one of those guys were even remotely ready to compete against a team like this. For Anya it’s excusable. The kid really hasn’t seen a game like this before, but for Vandenberg I just don’t know what to say. Zero points, 3 boards and no blocks in 15 minutes. This was in a game where, at 7’1, 245lbs, he is competing against a guy (Amile Jefferson) that is 6’9, 210 or at worst Josh Hairston at 6’8 235lbs. What happened? It seemed like when it gets to ACC play, things just move to fast for Jordan. He’s playing at almost a second delay to everything and that one second is the difference between grabbing a rebound or not. Anya has his own problem with getting in position. The freshman is still working into shape but isn’t quite there yet. He’s still a little too slow to go up against a team like Duke who uses smaller, quicker bigs to take advantage. Just as a note…the smaller Blue Devils out-rebounded NC State 35-32.

5.) These guys are simply firing blanks. They can’t hit a shot outside the arc to save their life. Part of it is that this team just doesn’t have great shooters, but one things that is compounding that is the fact that they aren’t getting many clean looks from 3. The reason for that is that when someone drives to the lane it’s head down, tunnel vision. Barber and Lee both have the ability to get to the lane and draw the D. When it collapses they should be looking for the open man, usually opposite around the arc. You saw Duke do it all day today, simply shredding the Pack with drives and dishes for 3. Today was another awful day from beyond the arc for State. They went 2-8 while Duke went 11-24. That in itself is a 27 point difference.

Click to comment
Subscribe
Notify of
0 Comments
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

NC State Basketball

NC State is Adding UMASS’ Brett Nelson as an Assistant Coach

Published

on

According to reports, NC State is adding UMASS’ Brett Nelson as an Assistant Coach.

Nelson was only at UMASS for 1 season under Frank Martin. Prior to that, Nelson was the Head Coach at Holy Cross for 4 seasons, posting a 27-84 record.

Prior to taking the Head Coaching mantle at Holy Cross, Nelson was at Marquette for 5 seasons, spending the first 3 as an Assistant Coach, and the final two as an Associate Head Coach. Prior to Marquette, Nelson also served as an Assistant Coach at Ball St., Drake, Arkansas and Marshall.

Before coaching basketball, Nelson played for the University of Florida from 1999-2003. He was All-SEC twice, and earned Third Team All-American honors. When he left Gainesville, he was the Gators’ all-time leader in three pointers made, and ranked 2nd in steals.

As a Senior in High School, Nelson was a McDonald’s All-American.

Continue Reading

NC State Basketball

Ernest Ross Announces He is Returning to NC State

Published

on

Power Forward Ernest Ross announced this morning that he is returning to NC State for his final year of eligibility.

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Eway♻️🏂 (@thebiggesteworld3)

Last Friday, Ross committed to UTSA after entering the Transfer Portal on April 17th, but it looks like he had a change of heart over the past couple of days.

NC State has been in desperate need to add a Big out of the Portal. They have hosted ECU’s Ezra Ausar and Georgia’s Frank Anselem-Ibe, but neither of them have found a home yet. With the addition of Ross, NC State has added depth in the Frontcourt, and unless something changes, their roster is full with 13 scholarship players.

Ross played in 14 games this past season, averaging 3.4 minutes per contest. After playing in 34 games last season, averaging 11.4 minutes per contest, Ross saw his participation dip to a career low this season, but that didn’t for a second break his infectious personality. On the sideline, you could count on Ross every single game to be the heart and soul of the Wolfpack on the bench. To watch a player who played as little as he did, care as much as he did, makes me super proud that this young man represented NC State so well.

Ross was a consensus 4-star player in NC State’s 2021 recruiting class, with 247Sports ranking him as the #60 overall player nationally. ESPN ranked him as the #5 overall player in the state of Florida.

Continue Reading

NC State Basketball

A Matchup Between NC State & Marquette Next Season Might be in the Works

Published

on

According to NCAA.com’s Andy Katz, a matchup between NC State and Marquette next season might be in the works.

This past year, the Wolfpack defeated the Golden Eagles 67-58 in the Sweet 16 of the 2024 NCAA Tournament.

NC State and Marquette have played one another 6 times overall, with the Wolfpack holding a 4-2 lead in the series, winning the past two matchups.

Continue Reading

NC State Basketball

NC State Men’s Basketball Will Play in the 2025 Maui Invitational

Published

on

The NC State Men’s Basketball Team will be playing in the 2025 Maui Invitational, on November 24-26 in Hawaii. This will mark the first time that NC State has ever played in the Maui Invitational.

NC State will be joined by Baylor, Oregon, Seton Hall, Texas, UNLV, USC and Chaminade.

Continue Reading