NC State Wolfpack vs. Miami Hurricanes
Noon | ACCN | Raleigh, NC
The Starting 5 – The Top 5 Storylines For This Game
1. THE TOP SCORER IN THE TOP CONFERENCES
T.J. Warren is the ACC’s leading scorer with 23.3 points per game and is the top scorer among all players in the Power 5 conferences. He leads the ACC in both 20-point games (23) and 30-point outings (7). The 6-8 sophomore is the only player in the ACC with multiple 30-point performances. Warren poured in a career-high 36 points during Wednesday’s contest against North Carolina. Warren, who has reached double figures in 29 of his last 31 games, is also first in the ACC with a .523 field goal percentage (minimum 5 FG made per game). He is on pace to become just the third player in ACC history to lead the conference in both scoring and field goal percentage (Horace Grant, Tim Duncan). Warren is also among the ACC’s leaders in rebounds (7th), offensive rebounds (1st), minutes played (8th) and steals (6th).
2. TYLER SERVES IT UP
Tyler Lewis is on pace to set the single-season school record for assist-to-turnover ratio. Lewis is currently averaging an ACC-best 4.04 assists to every turnover, which is also good for third in the nation. The previous school record is 3.35, set by Sidney Lowe during the 1982-83 season. The sophomore from Statesville, N.C., has 34 assists against just three turnovers over the last five games. Over the last four games, Lewis has dished 27 assists with only one miscue.
3. PACK AND CANES HAD SIMILAR CHALLENGES
Before this season started, NC State and Miami were facing simiilar obstacles. Both teams were working toward replacing several accomplished players who either graduated or left for the NBA Draft. The Wolfpack had to replace a group of players (Richard Howell, Scott Wood, Lorenzo Brown, C.J. Leslie) that produced 5,499 points, 2,655 rebounds, 1,084 assists and 420 starts. Miami replaced a group of six players (including Shane Larkin, Durand Scott and Kenny Kadji) that produced 5,399 career points, 2,744 rebounds, 966 assists and 412 starts.
4. SOPHOMORIC BEHAVIOR
T.J. Warren is in rare company. He has 642 points this season, the third-most in NC State history for a sophomore. He needs 21 more points to equal Rodney Monroe’s sophomore season of 1988-89. His scoring average is on pace for second all-time for a sophomore, behind only David Thompson’s 24.7 mark in 1972-73.
5. ENCORE ACT FOR T.J.
T.J Warren was quiet in the first half at Miami on Feb. 8, scoring just eight points on 3-for-5 shooting. The opposite was true after halftime in Coral Gables, as Warren scored 19 of NC State’s 24 points in the second half to lead the Wolfpack to a 56-55 road victory. Warren shot 5-for-9 from the floor and 9-for-10 in the second half to finish with 27 points. Ralston Turner added 17 points (16 in the first half) as NC State improved to 5-5 in ACC play.
PackInsider’s Keys to the game:
1) Stop Rion Brown. We said this last time, but he ended up with 20 and almost led the Canes to a win. State HAS to stop him if they want to win, but he is certainly a matchup problem as a 6’6 guard.
2) Rebound. The Wolfpack bigs are getting better and better, but last time out against Miami they lost on the boards. This Miami team is big and strong and will take advantage of you if you wont block out.
3) Handle their guards. Miami’s guards aren’t big time scorers but Garrius Adams and Manu Lecomte managed a combined 23 pts against State last time out. Lewis, Barber and Lee will need to be as good as they were early on against UNC if they want to dominate this game.
4) Protect the basketball. They turned it over 11 times last meeting with Miami. Not bad, and as long as Lewis is on the floor I think this one is taken care of.
5) Play with nothing to lose. State is on the outside looking in, but if they win out, doors may open. Laying it all on the line and coming out like they did vs. UNC is a great start.
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.