NC State Wolfpack vs. Wake Forest Demon Deacons
7pm | Raleigh, NC | ESPNU
NC State faces off against Wake Forest tonight at 7pm in a game that is huge for the Wolfpack. After escaping Miami with a 1 point win, Gottfried’s group sits at at 5-4 in the ACC.
First off, let’s take a step back and examine the season thus far. Coming in, most figured that NC State would be sitting close to the bottom of the conference after losing 4 of their starters from last season. Now past the midseason mark, State is looking to break through to the top half of the conference standings. You have to admit that this is a pretty remarkable feat for a team running out a group of guys that barely any experience in ACC play. Despite being young, this team has shown toughness, heart and the ability to grind out close games at home and on the road. However, the the true challenge still awaits. With a game against Wake tomorrow, and string of 3 consecutive road games, the Wolfpack can make or break their season over the next two weeks. But let’s not get ahead of ourselves. Here is the rundown on the Demon Deacons:
– Since we last saw Wake Forest they have lost 4 of their previous 6 games, falling to Clemson, Syracuse, GT and Duke. The Deacs are another team that has played above expectations so far this year, but lately have seemingly hit a wall. Wake has fallen to 4-6 in the conference and will be desprate for a win against the Pack. A loss here for Wake puts their backs against the wall for a NCAA Tournament berth (if they’re not already.)
– One reason for Wake’s recent struggles might be thanks to losing their leading scorer, Codi Miller-McIntyre, to a sprained ankle. He was lost early in the GT game and then did not play against Duke. Without CMM Wake really struggles. Reports are saying that he tested his ankle at practice on Sunday, but it’s still unclear if he will play Tuesday. If they have to play without him State will definitely have the advantage.
– The Deacs will be looking to go to Devin Thomas and Travis McKie (both averaging 11 ppg). While both are talented, both are bigs and NC State will likely pack in the zone and make Wake beat them from the outside. The lone scorer from the perimeter becomes Tyler Cavanaugh, who torched the Pack for 16pts last time out. However, without CMM getting into the lane and pressuring the defense, Cavanaugh becomes much easier to guard. He’s a spot shooter and isn’t very dangerous off the dribble. I expect Miller-McIntyre to at least try to play, but if he’s favoring his ankle he won’t be nearly as explosive off the dribble, which is his bread and butter.
– Last time out, Wake won a close one thanks to a 4 stride, double euro-step layup by Codi Miller-McIntyre (which the officials certainly missed). The layup, however, was not the reason State lost. They lost because they could not stop Wake inside. Moto and Thomas combined for 31 points. Actually the stats in that one were pretty even outside of State’s abyssmal 3 point shooting. They only hit 15% from beyond the arc and shot 42% for the game (below their season average of 46%). If the Pack can limit Wake’s touches inside and continue their dominance on the boards from their last meeting, they should walk away with the W.
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.