Connect with us

NC State Basketball

OUR TAKE: On NC State’s Heartbreaking Loss to Syracuse

Published

on

Usually we’ll get you ‘our take’ sometime in the 24 hours following a game. In this case it took a little more processing before we could really get some stable-minded thoughts together. We had to work through the disbelief, anger and denial, but finally, here it is:

Gottfried has his team prepared and had the right gameplan
Before we say anything else, we need to go ahead and say that NC State played amazing. They walked onto the home court of the #1 team in the nation, and in front of 33k fans, took them down to the final seconds. How did they do this? Well, they attack the Syracuse zone perfectly. Remember in our pregame we talked about the vulnerability in this zone and how getting the ball in the middle to a versatile scorer was very important. We talked a lot about making sure Warren is catching it there. Well, we were only halfway right. The middle of that zone, near the free throw line, is where State focused on, only they didn’t attack with Warren. They stayed within their usual rotation and allowed Kyle Washington to get all those touches in the middle (a huge responsibility for a freshman). The kid answered with an unbelievable game (which we’ll get into later) and was a huge reason State nearly won this game. The entire team fought hard, played tough, strong defense, and really showed the nation that this is a team that they need to pay attention to in the home stretch.

Kyle Washington played like a man
He’s only a freshman, but Kyle Washington was an absolute beast. What an exciting performance by the kid. I haven’t seen a freshman this hungry or this confident since Julius Hodge came on the scene years ago. Washington took it right at the Syracuse bigs and it was as if they weren’t ready for it. They didn’t expect some freshman who averages 4.5 points per game to come in and attack them so viscously. He was everywhere in this one. His 14 points and 10 boards were all well-earned and will start to get him a little more attention as the year moves forward. What’s even more exciting is the fact that this is just the beginning for Washington. He is going to keep growing, skill-wise and confidence-wise, and could end up being one of State’s go-to bigs in the coming year(s). His ability to score inside and knock down 15 footers will be huge and should have State fans grinning ear to ear.

Tyler Lewis keyed the NC State attack
If you’re going to judge Lewis on his state line then you might as go ahead and write him off. His 0 points and 2 rebounds don’t even begin to show you how valuable he was in this one. Now, when you look at his 6 assists and 0 turnovers you might start to get the right idea. But his game isn’t based on numbers, it’s based on flow, trust and game management. One problem that basketball has had over the past 10 years is it’s lust for scoring point guards. While it’s ok for your lead guard to score, you never want the guy in charge of running your team to be coming down trigger-happy and looking to shoot the first shot he sees. Lewis is a throwback and as you can see, his presence does something to this Wolfpack team. All of the sudden guys are emerging as scorers because they are getting the ball in positions to do so. It wasn’t until Lewis started seeing more minutes that Ralston Turner became a true scoring option. And now Kyle Washington is getting into the mix. Teams need a guy like this. They need a guy who knows where his teammates like to catch it and where they are effective from. A guy who who uses craftiness and misdirection to put defenses on their heels, even if for just a second. State was in this one against Syracuse because Lewis managed this basketball game, protected the ball and found his scorers. If State wants to make a run, Gottfried will have to find ways to keep him on the floor, while still keeping Barber happy.

Cat Barber has been broken down, time to build him back up
Cat Barber is down right now. He’s now seen his minutes drop, his shot disappear and it’s all been compounded by a last second turnover that ended up costing his team the game. There’s no doubt his confidence is at a low point, but this is where great players are made. Many kids come out of high school like Barber. They’ve dominated their whole life, they’ve led their team or their state in scoring and picture their college career to be very similar. Sometimes that happens, but sometimes their game doesn’t translate. Barber is finding out that he wasn’t as ready as he thought. He’s got all the tools to become a superstar and NBA PG, but he needs to be mature about the opportunity that faces him. He needs to accept that he needs to improve aspects of his game that he’s never needed before, and then face it head on. He’s been broken down now, it’s time for Gottfried to build him back up. It’s up to Barber on how he wants this to go. If he accepts the challenge, works hard, and studies the game and works towards being a true PG, he will likely be pushing Lewis for the starting job by season’s end. If he doesn’t then it’s looking like it’s all Lewis for the foreseeable future. What Cat certainly does need right now, is fan support. This kid is a freshman who was thrown into the fire, but he now has a  chance to turn a few negatives into a career of positives. If you want to encourage him on twitter, I’m pretty sure it would be a welcome change from what others spewed after the Syracuse loss. @CatBarber1994

TJ Warren dominates all aspects of the game against everyone and anyone
What can be said that hasn’t already been said. Warren just gets buckets. Whether it’s against some no-name team from some no-name conference or against the #1 team in the nation (23 pts, 4 rebs, 3 assists, 3 steals), the guy just dominates, and lately has been one of the best defenders on this basketball team. His defense was a huge reason that CJ Fair had such an off game (11pts, 5 boards). Warren being left off the Naismith award list is laughable and all about money and exposure. The guy is the best player in the ACC and just because he’s not wearing blue or not on an undefeated team, he’s forgotten.

Where is Dez?
The curious case of Desmond Lee. I’m not sure what’s up right now with the junior transfer. The ability is certainly there, but it’s hard not to wonder if he’s battling injury, lack of confidence, or something else. This guy has had games where he’s totally dominated entire games. He’s shut down opposing teams’ best players and has been clutch every time he’s tried to make a play late in games. So what has happened lately? Since he’s been moved out of the starting lineup for Ralston Turner, Lee has been seemingly lost. He’s not scoring, his defense has been decent at best and he just hasn’t seemed like himself out there. Here’s to hoping it’s just a blip on the radar and that he’s just going through a little lull. This team needs a confident and aggressive Dez Lee if they want to make a run in March.

Absolutely, positively, horrible job by the officiating crew
It’s getting ridiculous. Scratch that, it’s alway been ridiculous. In the first half you had a pretty evenly called game. Then came the second half where if NC State touched someone it was a foul. It was so one-sided that it’s hard to not wonder if something was going on. Both teams were physical and fighting for position on the inside, but neither team was taking it to the basket like crazy. So why was it that late into the second half Syracuse had shot 17 FTs to NC State’s 1. With Syracuse shooting nearly 30% from the floor it’s a little strange to me that all of the sudden they’re getting ticky-tack calls under the hoop and in the bonus about 8 minutes into the second half. Meanwhile, State never got into the bonus in the second half. With less than 20 seconds to play, when Warren had a breakaway for a game-sealing dunk, he was fouled from behind. The foul was called on the floor and State was not yet in the bonus, making them take it out under the basket. What’s crazier than that, is the fact that Warren, on a breakaway was fouled from behind by Cooney and the refs not only didn’t give him the bucket, they didn’t even go to the monitor to see if it could or should be flagrant. I’ll say this, in 30 years of watching basketball I’ve never seen a fast break foul from behind not go the way of the offense. Either the refs gives him a little leeway on continuation or he gives him the flagrant. Huge botch by the officiating crew who was scared stupid to make a call against an undefeated team on their home court.

 

Next up is Clemson on Tuesday night at 7pm on ESPNU.

 

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

NC State Basketball

NC State’s Men’s Basketball Team is Having One of it’s Best Runs in the ACC Ever

Published

on

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)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Continue Reading

NC State Basketball

#22 NC State is a 7.5-Point Underdog at #8 UVA Tonight

Published

on

#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

(OddShark)

UVA

(OddShark)

NC State vs. UVA

(TeamRankings)

 

Continue Reading

NC State Basketball

NC State is the ONLY Team in the Triangle Ranked for the 1st Time in 40 Years

Published

on

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.

Anyone remember what happened that 1982-83 basketball season?

NC State won the National Championship.

Continue Reading

NC State Basketball

NC State Breaks Into the AP Poll, Landing at #22

Published

on

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.

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

8. Virginia
19. Miami
22. NC State
27. Duke
29. Clemson
30. Pitt

Continue Reading