I guess all the ‘this season is over’ talk can cease. TJ Warren is in full takeover mode lately and after coming so close against UNC and Syracuse, he made sure he finished this one off. State, who as marked for dead coming into this game, played one of their best halves of the season in the 2nd period and shocked Pitt on their home court 74-67.
TJ Warren is taking over the league
This was the 8th time this season that TJ has gone over 30pts, but 41…that’s just silly. Warren is approaching legend status around these parts right now. It’s been a real long time since State had a player who could single handedly take over basketball games the way he’s doing it right now. This was a career high for the sophomore, who was just unconscious the entire game. TJ also added 3 assists, 4 steals, 5 boards and a block…all while completely shutting down Cameron Wright, who averages over 11 ppg. I know I keep saying it but i hope everyone is realizing what you’re watching right now. Warren may seriously be the best all-around scorer NC State has ever seen and if he’s knocking in 3s like he was against Pitt, well then there is no one in the nation that can stop him. There’s nothing left for him to prove right now. He single handedly beat Pitt on this night, and has been VERY hot lately. This team is going to be very dangerous come ACC Tourny time.
Cat Barber coming of age
Maybe it was the new-look pony tail, or maybe it was simply just a freshman starting to learn how to play at this level. Barber was magnificent in the 2nd half. He played within himself, found open men and even scored when the opportunity presented itself. He was great on both ends of the floor, completely shutting down the bigger, stronger Lamar Patterson in the 2nd half. Cat finished with 9 points, 5 boards and 5 assists without a turnover. Barber honestly could have ended with 8 or 9 assists if his team knocked down a few more open shots. If he continues to play like a leader, all of the sudden you have two very capable PGs who give you completely different skill sets. This will be key for Gottfried as post season play nears.
Freeman ate up the offensive boards
If you told me that NC State would out-rebound Pitt by 12, I’d have thought you were crazy. The truth is, NC State has gotten abused on the boards all season, but tonight they’ve done what we’ve all wanted to see all season. The Pack relished the opportunity to get physical inside. They invited contact and simply were more aggressive in the paint. Lennard Freeman set the tone. He finished with 8 boards, 6 of which were offensive.
Protecting the basketball
40 minutes, 15 assists and only 6 turnovers. Cat Barber and Tyler Lewis combined for 7 assists and only 1 TO. This team needs to maximize possessions and against Pitt they did that. If Barber plays like he did, you add in Lewis and all of the sudden you have one of the best 1-2 PG combos in the league.
Is the NCAA Tournament still in reach?
The loss to Clemson squashed a lot of hopes, but this win reignites the fire. This team has 1 point losses to Wake, #1 Syracuse and #19 UNC. That won’t help them much in getting a at-large bid, but it does give you a gauge of what this team is capable of. They need to finish out the season with a win against BC. That would give them an even 9-9 in ACC play and 19 total wins. If they want to get to the big dance, they will need to not only beat BC, but turn around in the ACC Tournament and win 2 games, one of which needs to be against one of the big boys. With how hot Warren can get, and how this team is trending, I wouldn’t turn your back on them quite yet!
NC State 84 BC 78: BOX SCORE
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.