In a game that NC State desperately needed to win, they came out and got the job done. Both teams shot the ball extremely well, State finishing at 52% and Wake at 51%, however only the Wolfpack had TJ Warren, whose career-high 34 points led them to a 82-67 victory. Here are our game notes:
TJ Warren goes for career high
We might as well just copy and paste TJ’s write-up from last game, or the game before . The guy is a scoring machine that does it with ease and consistency. He was just on fire in this game. He scored inside, on the break and from beyond the arc. Wake simply had no answer for Warren, who scored a career high 34 points on 15-26 shooting. He also added 10 boards and played solid defense. With Warren hitting on all cylinders State is actually a pretty dangerous team and they showed it against Wake on Tuesday night.
Tyler Lewis keys they pace and flow
Another start for Tyler Lewis and another game where NC State owned the pace. I know people say it all the time, but Lewis has something that you can’t teach. He knows how control a basketball game. His dominance might not show up in the stat column, but with him getting major minutes you will never see the Wolfpack looking completely lost. When he’s running the offense there is just a sense of calm and trust between players on that floor that’s hard to explain. Lewis did finish with 6 points, 7 assists and only 1 turnover, but his ability to get his team good shots against the zone early in the game really set the tone.
Barber settling into role
NC State controlled this game. The starting line-up, the substitution pattern, the play off the bench, it all seemingly fit. It really seems like Gottfried now has a good grasp on his team’s identity and what combination really work. I thought Cat Barber looked pretty good tonight. Sure, he still had some freshman errors, but that’s just something you’re going to have to live with until he gets more experience. But Barber off the bench makes a lot of sense. He comes in and can give State that extra burst on offense and a jolt on defense. This team really does need Barber to get his confidence up on his shot. The kid can shoot it but right now he’s questioning his shots. He trying to learn shot selection and game management which is good, but it’s making him think too much before shooting. Again, this process takes time and experience, but it seems like he’s starting to accept his role. He came off the bench today and really was working hard defensively, helping them grow their lead in the 2nd half.
Turner better than we thought?
When people started talking about Ralston Turner being able to fill Scott Wood’s shoes, everyone kind of rolled their eyes. But the junior transfer from LSU has actually been an outstanding outside threat for the Pack. He scored 16 points (5-8 shooting, 2-4 from 3pt range) and once again was a nice supplement to TJ Warren’s scoring. Now we’re not saying he’s Scott Wood, because Wood might have been the best shooter State has ever seen, but Turner has certainly filled the role of go to guy beyond the arc and that is what State desperately needed.
Great defense in the second half
This team is really learning to play defense as a team. Early on in the season you could see that they worked hard defensively, but still took too many risks and had too many mental lapses. Now, they seem like they get it. Against Wake in the second half they held them to 29 points and really made things tough on them. One big factor was the inside play of Beejay Anya. The freshman big was outstanding and made it very difficult to get anything going inside for the Deacs. Anya finished with only 2 blocks, but he presence was a huge factor during on of State’s big 2nd half runs.
This was a huge win for State because it puts them 6th in the conference, and helps them stay in the hunt for a NCAA Tournament bid. But things are only getting tougher. Next up is #1 Syracuse at their place. “(Going up to Syracuse) is a chance for us to do something special” said Mark Gottfried after the game. That is this Saturday at 3pm.
NC State’s Men’s Basketball Team is Having One of it’s Best Runs in the ACC Ever
Heading into tonight’s Top-25 matchup between #22 NC State and #8 UVA, the Wolfpack are in the midst of one of their best runs in ACC play since the conference was formed in 1953.
The Wolfpack are 9-4 in the ACC, but they have won 8 of their last 9 conference games.
The last time NC State went on a run like this in ACC Regular Season games was during the 1972-73 and 73-74 seasons, when the Wolfpack went 12-0 in ACC play.
12-0 (1972 & 73-74)
12 of 13 (1958-59)
8 of 9 (2022-23, 1961-61, 1954-55)
7 of 8 (1974-75, 1969-70, 1964-65, 1955-56)
6 of 7 (2005-06, 1979-80, 1960-61, 1957-58)
#22 NC State is a 7.5-Point Underdog at #8 UVA Tonight
#22 NC State is a 7.5-point underdog at #8 Virginia tonight at 9pm, and the Total is sitting at 137.
- NC State is 19-5 Straight Up.
- They are 11-11-2 Against the Spread.
- UVA is 17-4 Straight Up.
- They are 8-12-1 Against the Spread.
- The Total has gone Over in 13 of NC State’s 24 games.
- The Total has gone Over in 12 of UVA’s 22 games
- UVA is 15-2 as the Favorite.
- NC State is 4-4 as the Underdog.
- NC State is 4-1-1 in their last 6 games against UVA Against the Spread.
- The Total has gone Over in 5 of NC State’s last 7 games.
- The Total has gone Over in 4 of UVA’s last 5 games.
- The Total has gone Under in 5 of the last 6 games between these two in Charlottesville.
- NC State has won two in a row, and 3 of the last 4 against UVA.
- Kevin Keatts is 3-4 against UVA. He is 2-2 at UVA.
NC State vs. UVA
NC State is the ONLY Team in the Triangle Ranked for the 1st Time in 40 Years
NC State’s Men’s Basketball team is back in the AP Top 25 for the first time in 4 years, landing at #22 in the Week 14 AP Poll.
NC State is ranked. Duke and UNC are not. Last time that was the case? December 27th, 1982. Over 40 years ago. It’s only the 6th time in 67 years that this has happened.
Wolfpack was 17th that week. UNC was unranked in two polls all year, Dec. 20 and Dec. 27. Duke was not ranked that season (Dawkins, Alarie, Bilis, Henderson were freshmen).
Other *cough* ACC teams on Dec. 27: Virginia (4), Louisville (13), Syracuse (14).
— Luke DeCock (@LukeDeCock) February 6, 2023
Before that: The preseason poll in 1973, the final poll in 1970 and Dec. 5, 1955. So this is the sixth time in 67 years.
Happened pretty often between 1952-55. NC State was ranked during the entire 1950-51 season while neither Duke nor UNC was.
— Luke DeCock (@LukeDeCock) February 6, 2023
Anyone remember what happened that 1982-83 basketball season?
NC State won the National Championship.
NC State Breaks Into the AP Poll, Landing at #22
NC State is off to it’s best start in almost 2 decades, and they now finally have a number beside their name, landing at #22 in the Week 14 AP Poll.
— NC State Men's Bball (@PackMensBball) February 6, 2023
This is the first time that NC State has been ranked in the AP Poll since January 28th, 2019, when they were ranked 23rd.
ACC Teams in the Week 14 AP Poll
22. NC State