NC State Wolfpack vs. Miami Hurricanes
2pm | Miami, FL | ESPN3
Miami might be 2-7 in the league coming into this game, but that doesn’t mean the Wolfpack should take them lightly. State is coming off a 14 point loss to rival UNC, while Miami is coming over an overtime loss to #25 Pitt. Let’s take a closer look at this matchup.
Miami Player to Watch: Rion Brown
Miami’s only true scoring threat is Rion Brown. The senior guard is averaging about 15 points and 6 boards per game. He’s really been on a role lately as well. Brown has scored over 20 in two of his last three and went for 15 in the other one. He’s big, at 6-6 and causes a lot of matchup problems. Ralston Turner will likely be the best cover, size-wise but you could see Warren or the smaller Lee on him at times. Miami also has Garrius Adams and Donnavan Kirk who both average about 9ppg, but neither are significant game changers. Truth be told, Miami has trouble scoring, so if NC State can get out on the break and put up points, the Canes don’t have much of a chance in this one.
Miami Matches Up Well with NC State
Miami is the type of team that could really give the Wolfpack fits. They like to play slow, they are physical and they are going to sit in their zone almost all game. State likes to play fast, has struggled against physical teams and hasn’t really been able to shoot other teams out of their zone. State’s goal is going to be to speed up Miami, beat them down the floor and attack before their zone is set. That means you’re going to see 3/4 court presses, and traps throughout this game.
Dez Lee is the Key
In our opinion, it’s Lee, not Warren who hold the destiny of this team in his hands. Sure, no player is as important as Warren, but TJ can only do so much. He’s been consitently great this season, but too many times his help has been too little too late. It’s time for Dez Lee to step up as a leader and come out aggressive early in the game. He’s a play maker who can get to the rim, get to the line and make things happen. If he stays aggressive and Warren can do his thing, State has a good shot here.
By the Numbers
Miami scores nearly 61 points per game, shoots 42% and grabs 35 rebounds per game. State scores 71ppg, shoots 47% and grabs 35 rebounds per game. On paper this is State’s game to lose, but anything can happen when you go on the road in the ACC.
Must Win Game for State
Gottfried and company are 14-8 and 4-5 in the ACC. If State wants to be a sure bet for the big dance then they’re going to have to go on a run. We suspect that State is going to at least need to go 5-4 the rest of the way if they want to be firmly on the bubble. That means they’d be sitting at 19-12 overall and 9-9 in the league. But all that isn’t going to be so easy. They have a pretty tough stretch coming up. They still have Syracuse and Clemson, both on the road and then a huge matchup with UNC before they travel to Pitt. This young team has their work cut out for them, but if they really do want to make this run, they can’t let games like this slip away. Beating who you are supposed to beat is very important right now.
NC State is a Slight Underdog in ACC Opener vs. Boston College
NC State (4-2) will play their first ACC game of the 2023-24 season tomorrow on the road against Boston College (5-2), and they enter the game as slight underdogs. The Wolfpack are 1.5-point underdogs, and the Total is 150.5.
- NC State is 0-2 Straight Up as underdogs
- BC is 4-1 Straight Up as favorites.
- NC State is 2-4 Against the Spread.
- BC is 4-3 Against the Spread
- The Total has gone Under in 2 games for NC State, Over in 3 and Pushed in 1.
- The Total has gone Under in 3 games for Boston College and Over in 4.
- NC State is 6-4 in their last 10 games against BC Straight Up.
- NC State is 4–6 Against the Spread in their last 10 games against BC.
- The Total has gone Under in 5 games, and Under in the other 5.
#5 NC State 70 Vanderbilt 62: BOX SCORE (with notes)
The 5th ranked NC State Women’s Basketball team improved to 8-0 tonight, defeating Vanderbilt 70-62 in the inaugural ACC/SEC Challenge.
- Saniya Rivers scored 20+ points for the 2nd time this season, scoring 22 points on 8 of 14 shooting. She also chipped in 8 rebounds and 2 steals.
- River Baldwin posted her first double-double of the season. She scored 12 points and grabbed 10 boards.
- Aziaha James has now scored in double figures in 7 of 8 games, scoring 14 points tonight, shooting 6 of 10 from the field and 2 of 3 from beyond the arc.
- Freshman Zoe Brooks led the Pack in steals (4) and assists (4).
- NC State didn’t shoot well, making only 39% of their shots. Fortunately, they held Vandy to 34.3% shooting.
The Wolfpack will host Illinois State on Sunday at 2pm.
NC State Stat Leaders Heading into the ACC Opener vs Boston College
This Saturday, NC State heads to Boston College for the now-annual early ACC opener. The Pack will face off against the Eagles at 4pm on ACC Network. Here is where the team is statistically after 6 games.
- Casey Morsell leads NC State in scoring with 14.5 ppg.
- The Pack has 4 double-digit scorers this season. Morsell (14.5), Jayden Taylor (13.3), DJ Burns (13) and DJ Horne (11.2)
(Last season State had 4 double-digit scorers as well. Terquavion (17.9), Joiner (17), Burns (12.5) and Morsell (11.8))
- After their top 4 scorers there is a big dip. Parker comes in at 6.8, O’Connell at 6.3, and Middlebrooks at 5.5 ppg.
(Last season Jack Clark was 5th on the team in scoring at 9 points and Mahorcic was at 8.7. However, both guys missed a large chunk of the season.)
- Burns is leading NC State in rebounding this year at 5.3 per game. Diarra is next with 5.3 (but is currently hampered by an ankle injury.)
- O’Connell is leading NC State in assists with 3.3 per game, and Burns is up next with 2.5. PG DJ Horne is only averaging 2.
- LJ Thomas and Mike O’Connell are tied in leading the team at .15 assists per minute.
- Jayden Taylor is leading NC State in 3pt %, shooting an outstanding 45.8%, while Morsell is up next at 34.6%. Horne is close behind at 33%.
(LJ Thomas is shooting 50% from 3, but only has 2 attempts.)
- Burns is leading the bigs, shooting 56.5% from the floor, while Middlebrooks is close behind at 54.2%. Dennis Parker Jr is coming in at 45.2%.
- For the guards, it’s Casey Morsell leading the way at 44.6% from the floor, while O’Connell is next up at 43.4%. Taylor is shooting 42.4%, and DJ Horne is struggling a bit, shooting just 34.8% from the field.
- Jayden Taylor is turning the ball over the most at 1.8 times per game, while Burns is next at 1.7. Morsell is at 1.5 and O’Connell is at 1.2. DJ Horne has been doing a good job of protecting the basketball, turning it over just .3 times per game.
NC State 52 Ole Miss 72: Box Score (with notes)
NC State’s Men’s Basketball team lost it’s second straight game tonight, losing 52-72 on the road at Ole Miss in the inaugural ACC/SEC Challenge. Below is the Box Score with some notes below.
- Ben Middlebrooks posted a double-double, with 13 points and 12 boards. To be honest, Middlebrooks was the only bright spot in this game.
- Casey Morsell was the only other player to score in double figures (12 points), but it wasn’t pretty, shooting 5 of 14 from the field.
- One of the poorest statistical shooting performance I can remember.
- NC State shot 31.8% from the field and 12% from three (3-25).
- The Wolfpack’s DNA on defense is turning over their opponent, and they were unable to do so tonight, turning over the Rebels only 7 times.
- For comparison, the Wolfpack turned it over 13 times, giving them a Turnover Margin tonight of -6.
- Heading into tonight, they averaged a Turnover Margin of +7.8.
- Ole Miss scored 13 points off of turnovers, compared to NC State’s 4.
- This is the first time this season that NC State failed to force their opponent to commit at least 10 turovers.
- NC State was -25 when D.J. Burns was on the court, which was the worst on the team.
- NC State was +3 when L.J. Thomas was on the court, and +2 when Ben Middlebrooks were on the court. They were the only two players in the positive.
- Thomas and Middlebrooks should have earned themselves some more playing time going forward.
- Ole Miss’ length was problematic for the Wolfpack, blocking 9 of their shots.
There will be more analysis on this game coming tomorrow.