NC State vs. Boston College
6pm | Raleigh, NC | ESPNU
NC State isn’t done quite yet. There is still some unfinished business to attend to before they pack it in for the season.
For one, they want to send off senior Jordan Vandenberg in style. While it obviously won’t be his final game, it will be the last time he plays in front of his home crowd (unless State lands a home NIT game). Vandenberg has had a really…let’s say ‘different’ type of career at NC State. He came in as a Sidney Lowe recruit and was really looked at as a project big man. But expectations rose as he came in and won the team dunk contest and showed promise in early games as a freshman. With Tracy Smith suspended, Vandy helped State come close to beating Arizona with 11 boards. At that point, it seemed as if he was in for a very promising career, but with guys like Tracy Smith and Richard Howell in front of him every season, his number was rarely called. He at times suffered from low confidence and injuries, but he refocused this season, got healthy and has been a big part of the Wolfpack’s success. Overall, this guy has kept a great attitude and been a positive influence on the younger guys that have come in after him. Thanks for a great career Jordan! Wolfpack Nation may have been harsh at times, but they’ve always had your back and appreciated your drive and intensity.
TJ Warren also has a ACC POY award he needs to bring home. There are a ton of national media heads that simply don’t pay attention to anything other than UNC and Duke in the ACC. That’s the reason Warren isn’t a unanimous decision. What’s going to make it a little harder is the fact that Jabari Parker (the media darling) just ripped apart UNC on national TV. Now, even with Parker’s performance it still doesn’t warrant ACC POY. Sure he’s a freshman with tons of fanfare, but look at the numbers. Warren beats him in nearly every category and that’s not even taking into account Warren’s defense on the season, which has been great.
The final order of business is the most important. It’s that late season run that could propel them into the NCAA Tournament. Now I wish I could come out and write a high energy piece about how State is going to come out and rip BC to shreds, turn around and take the ACC Tournament by storm. Sadly, however, I can’t. I have no idea what this team is going to do. I’ve seen them take top 10 teams to the wire, but I’ve also seen them crumble against a team like Clemson with their backs against the wall. My educated guess, however, is that they’ll be more than ready. In Gottfried’s first season his team peaked at the end. Last year, it tried to, but certain personalities weren’t buying in. This year it seems to be back on trend. State is playing great right now (outside of the Clemson loss) and seems to have all their parts coming together. Of course, it also doesn’t hurt that Warren is absolutely on fire as of late. But this season isn’t over. If State beats BC, turns around and beats whoever their first round ACCT opponent is (Wake, Miami or Maryland) and then shocks the world with an upset of their 2nd round match with either Syracuse or UVA, then what you have is a 21 win team with wins over Pitt, Tennessee, and a top 10 ranked UVA or Syracuse. That looks like a tournament resume to me, however, it would take a really strong run by the Pack.
Now onto the Boston College game…
This is State’s first matchup of the season against BC. The Eagles are a team that sits 2nd to last in the ACC and has really struggled all season. They’re only quality win is the shocker over Syracuse, but 3 of their 4 conference wins are on the road. State does need to be careful here because the Eagles do have a high-end scorer on their roster than can get red hot. Olivier Hanlan is averaging 18ppg and has 62 points over his last 3 games. You might remember this name from last ACC Tournament where he went absolute bonkers as BC knocked off Georgia Tech thanks to his ACCT record 41 points.
Stopping Hanlan will likely be on Cat Barber and Dez Lee when they’re in, and likely Ralston Turner if they’re not. BC actually poses a decent threat to NC State thanks to their guard size. They aren’t super quick , but their guards are big and strong. Hanlan is 6’4 and Rohan is 6’2 but built well. Here is a game you might see a little more of Cat Barber than Tyler Lewis, simply because Barber played well last time out and Lewis doesn’t really matchup well defensively against BC.
Hanlan isn’t the only guy State needs to worry about either. Remember Ryan Anderson. He was a big recruit for BC a few years back and he’s still there and still pretty decent. Now, he is a little soft and the NC State bigs have been really stepping up their game lately, but Anderson is pretty versatile and can score in a number of ways. The junior big is averaging just under 15ppg and grabbing 7 boards. He can create problems on the offensive boards if State isn’t smart about finding him and boxing him.
If Gott’s group can shut down Hanlan and Anderson then I think State should roll, but BC shouldn’t be taken lightly. Even though they only have 4 wins, they do have a capable group of guys.
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.