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Full Recap: Purdue Holds off Pack 66-61

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Purdue used 16 pts from Vince Ewards and a combined 28pts from their pair of 7 footers to take down the Wolfpack 66-61 on Tuesday night. For State it was a tough to watch performance that wasn’t at all pretty, but they fought hard, kept it very close and almost pulled out a win. Let’s take a look at some of our game notes:

Dominated on the Boards
Let’s start with the rebounding. I’m not sure what you expected, but with Purdue running fresh 7 footers out there all night long it wasn’t very promising for the Pack. Anya and company did what they could, but the big, strong Purdue front line was too big and too strong for State. The rebounding differential was 37-31 Purdue, with the Boilermakers owning the offensive glass 16-9. The Wolfpack front line wont’ see many more talented 7 footers this season, so they can be thankful for that because they did not fare well against these guys.

Kyle Washington Steps Up
Really the only guy that played like ‘losing was not an option’ the entire night was Kyle Washington. The sophomore big was everywhere, fighting the Purdue front line for ever y rebound and every loose ball. He finished with 17 points and 9 boards and was really the only thing State had going offensively most of the night (aside from spurts of Lacey). Now, very few of Kyle’s shots were easy, or uncontested, but that really brings up a bigger problem for this team. Washington did what he had to do, but if this team is going to count on a shooting performance like that every night from this kid, they’ll likely be asking too much.

Poor, Poor Offensive Flow
The 66-61 loss will be used as a learning tool and should be looked at as a good, close road game for a young team, but if you want to be blunt about it—the offensive was awful. It was sloppy, it was disorganized and it was just downright hard to watch. I know for a fact that this team works hard on their zone offense because they know they’re going to have to use it a ton, but it didn’t look that way on Tuesday night. State worked so hard for every point they put up and if it weren’t for Kyle Washington and Trevor Lacey hitting some very tough shots, this game would have been a lot more lopsided.

You can sugar coat things here and there, and we do that often, but it’s another season and we’re seeing another team that is just seemingly clueless against a zone. The blame here falls on the guards. Plain and simple, the Wolfpack guards need to get back to basics and understand how to attack a 2-3. There is way too much slow rotation around the perimeter. Guards need to be very quick and very decisive against a 2-3. The idea is to get the zone moving and shifting, making defenders turn their heads and lose their men. You do this with very quick, crisp rotations, with misdirection, pass fakes and STRONG dribble drives into the gaps. The idea of driving into these gaps is rarely ever to score and every point guard should have been taught this at a very young age. The idea is to shift the zone, to make the defense make decision and then having the wherewithal to react to that decision. Rewatch the tape from last night and you’ll see tentative drives with guards missing the quick window to beat the zone on the shift. This leads to picked up dribbles and making dangerous passes to get out of trouble. There is too much thinking going on and not enough reacting. But part of that is because this team needs to reconstruct some of their instincts against the zone. Hoisting up a 3 on the swing, or driving full speed into the middle of a zone for a floater is exactly what the defense is asking you to do. Playing inside-out, driving to the middle, making the zone collapse and kicking it to the open man is how you beat this defense and until the guys buy into that we’ll continue to see much of the same.

As I rewatched the tape last night I noticed something that I feel I point out every season. State’s shooters are impatient and are not using their screens. Turner and Lacey rarely got a clean look last night. Why is that? Well, against a zone it really should be impossible to cover 2 dead-eye 3 point shooters, but Purdue was able to because State’s rotation against the zone was slow and methodical (see the paragraph above). Just back and forth without ball fakes or skip passes. Against the man defense however, they also struggled. They were setting screen for Lacey and Turner, but these guys were trying to use speed to get open and that’s a losing battle every time. Teams are just going to put quicker and smaller guys on Lacey and Ralston and completely take them out of their games if they don’t fix this. Getting open takes deception as well. Changing speeds, waiting for your screen then setting it up. Watch State on offense and you’ll see a team that is very rushed. They rarely walk down their man to set him up for a down screen. They rarely go off that screen shoulder to shoulder. And they rarely read the defender. If you go shoulder to shoulder off of a screen (and I mean brushing shoulders) you make the defender have to decide. Will he follow you or will he go under/around the screen. If he follows, then you have the opportunity to curl, keeping the defender on your back and initiating help defense. If he goes around or under the screen then you rework your angle and fade off of that screen when he gets directly on the back side of the screener. This creates the space you need for an open look. I know Purdue was really pushing and pulling and not allowing these guys to get where they wanted to go, but getting beat physically really should never be an excuse. Sure, this team is young, but these are basics that this team needs to understand if they are going to compete in this league. These are the small things, the minute details that are the difference between and easy bucket and a contested jumper.

Lacey With Another Big Performance, Cat still Figuring Things Out
Another good shooting night for a guy who looks to be an elite scorer thus far. Lacey dropped 15 points on 6-10 shooting (mostly all tough shots), dished out 3 assists and had a steal, all while committing 0 turnovers. This guy is a  star and as the season goes on I think State will continue to learn how to use him. So far it seems like he’s not very productive when you put him off the ball and ask him to hunt his shot as a ‘catch and shoot’ type guy. Lacey has been the best with the ball in his hands, making things happen. He’s a very good passer and a very savvy player with great court awareness. As he continues to show this type of play he’ll start to eat into the minutes of Cat Barber. Lacey is proving to be the leader of this team and the guy State wants with the ball in his hands. Barber is still struggling mightily to pick up the role of floor general. He is not forcing things as much, but he still is working on vocal leadership and needs to have more feel for situations and game management. I honestly think the key for Cat is get his shot to fall. If he can’t knock down the 3 or hit that 18 footer with complete confidence then he becomes a true liability, especially against the zone, prompting Gottfried to go with Lacey, Caleb Martin and Turner up top. If Barber could knock that down short jumper regularly then he becomes a whole new weapon. Defensively teams won’t be able to play off of him as much, allowing his quickness to once again become a factor on the offensive end.

Defense, Physicality Takes a Step Back
Early on, we said this team was going to need to step up defensively. Early on, they did. They were in passing lanes, they were getting steals, they were harassing ball handlers. Unfortunately, that seems to have worn off. Right now State is one of the worst teams in the nation at creating turnovers. A lot of that has to do with lack of pressure up to. Purdue pressured State full court for most of the game. They made Cat Barber’s job hard. They made him work to get into the offense and they made point to point passes difficult by having a hand in the passing lane. State on the other hand allowed point to point passes, did not see ball and man when they were defending off the ball and constantly miscommunicated/lost their men and allowed wide open looks. The only guys that was constantly in the passing lane last night were the Martin twins. These two guys work hard, understand angles and are able to jump passing lanes by anticipating ball movement. Part of the problem last night was the dominance of the Purdue bigs. These guys were killing our bigs and State was forced to double. By doing that they had to leave their men on occasion. That hurt them all night long.

Physically, State looked like boys and Purdue like men. The Pack was straight up punished by Purdue’s physicality. Washington and at times Lacey were the only two guys that were (within the rules) playing very hungry, very physical basketball. I know Anya and Freeman were also playing physical down low, they were still reacting to Purdue’s contact instead of initiating the contact themselves. State is young and they can learn form this game, but being knocked out of your offense and off your game because of the oppositions physicality is the worst type of insult. Gottfried talked this past week in practice about mental toughness, playing through, and having a confidence and swagger about themselves. Well, the guys need to take this to heart and start carving out a reputation for being physical, not backing down, looking up to nobody. When that happens, we will finally see this team reach their potential.

Yes, there were positives
While we really focused on areas for improvement, State did show some good things last night. They did show fight, they did show some grit and they never went away. That is big for a young team on the road. Purdue made an early run. State answered. Then they made a late run that could have nailed the coffin shut, but it didn’t. Lacey and Washington made big shot after big shot and kept this team in the game.

They also shot the ball pretty well. I didn’t think they got many good looks, but they were able to make some pretty tough shots last night. This team can score, now if they can just work on getting some better looks they could be down right dangerous. Purdue has held all of their opponents aside from Kansas State to under 37% shooting. Last night State shot 45%. Now, free throws down the stretch were another story, but overall State scored the ball well despite very tough, hard working defense in their face for 40 minutes.

I also think that for most of the game State handled the intense pressure pretty well. The crowd was going nuts, they had some some questionable calls go against them (one HORRIBLY bad…and I mean, I’ve never seen this called in all my years watching college basketball. The ref had to be watching and waiting to make that call) and they still fought through and made it a game. For a young team, I think that can be counted as a step in the right direction.

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smfrank42
smfrank42
8 years ago

PackInsider Staff I understand what you are talking about with the cuts around screens. We just go fast without misdirection or correct timing. It seemed like Purdue was cutting to the spot before we were like they knew where we would be.  However, my comment about the offense wasn’t directed at anything Got is doing. I love the coaching staff and our offense.  It’s more related to the early phases of the offense. The first pass is either to the wing or high post. Neither of these passes involve a screen. Just a V-cut or a hedge/post. Our best offensive… Read more »

PackInsider Staff
8 years ago

Pack78 We talked about this a lot in our preseason articles. With Lacey and Barber locked into the 2 guard positions and Caleb Martin coming on strong Dez Lee is going to have to really fight for minutes. As we said earlier, either he becomes a go-to defensive stopper or he plays sparingly his senior year.

Pack78
Pack78
8 years ago

What’s up with Des Lee?  What better time to use a Sr than the 1st road game?  What kind of doghouse is he in that he doesn’t get any chance Gott?  Something fishy going on….

Wolfer96
Wolfer96
8 years ago

smfrank42 The spacing comes when you go inside out. You dump it down to the post to someone who demands a double team and that leaves someone open.

Our problem is that we do not have a true inside presence so less likely to draw a double team and even when a double team is drawn we don’t have anyone that passes really well out of the post. Prime example was last night when Anya got the ball in the post and then tried to pass out and turned it over.

PackInsider Staff
8 years ago

Gottfried has spent a good deal of time preaching on setting up screens and using them appropriately. You saw Wood really take off when he finally took this to heart. This is certainly a player issue with this team but at some point, yes, it does become a coaching issue.
Meanwhile, when was the last time we saw this team complete a proper UCLA cut? 2-3 years ago?

smfrank42
smfrank42
8 years ago

There are two other things that are concerning: 1) On offense, too much our our time was spent closely guarded. Rarely was anyone catching the ball in space. This often led to resetting the offense or 1-1. We need better screens & screen actions and more physicality on the cuts. We also need the ball handler to be ready to pass.  but I also wonder, because we’ve seen this with Gottfried’s offense since he came here. Maybe alternatives for this defensive approach would help. 2) I hate seeing these soft And 1’s. If a big dude has your beat, just… Read more »

Wolfer96
Wolfer96
8 years ago

I didn’t expect too much coming into this season based on the loss of TJ Warren so I wasn’t too surprised by the loss last night. I’ve watched every game this season and the things I’ve noticed are: 1. Our bigs have weak hands. They lose balls that they have firmly in both hands time and time again. Inexcusable. 2. We have no Post game. Our offense is based on passing around perimeter and jacking up shots or driving and not passing. With the exception of Lacey who is always trying to find someone but the person he passes to… Read more »

Edwards20
Edwards20
8 years ago

Good post Lou. Tough game to watch last night, as the Pack just seemed so out of place on offense. Its tough matching up to the size and strength that we faced last night, but I believe State did a “ok” job. I honestly had more trust in our two hardest playing bigs thus far, Lennard and Anya. It seemed like Anya was just to hesitant within his role with the offense last night. We all know how much potential and upside he can bring to this team on the defensive side of the ball, but I think it is… Read more »

NC State Basketball

Kevin Keatts Postgame Press Conference After Coppin State: BULLETED

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NC State Head Coach Kevin Keatts met with the media after the Wolfpack’s 94-72 victory over Coppin State tonight. You can watch the press conference here, or check out a BULLETED breakdown below.

  • First of all we’re going to continue to pray for Dusan Mahorcic.
    • I do not have an update at this point. He’s with our medical doctors and our trainers and I will know more hopefully in the next 24 hours.
    • We will  give you some type of an update when we get one.
    • I just wanted to keep him calm. It’s tough and you guys look at them as my players. I look at them as my  kids.
    • It is hard to see any of your kids or any of those guys in that situation.
    • I was there just to calm him down and let him know we are with him. I am obviously praying for him.
  • Our guards were really special  tonight.
    • There were 3 great guards on the floor because Sam Sessoms [of Coppin State] was pretty good  also.
    • It was really good to see Jarkel Joiner bounce back after not having a great game against Pitt.
    • Terquavion Smith was a pro’s pro tonight.
      • He did a little bit of everything, he defended, he scored  the basketball, he passed the basketball.
  • We didn’t feel like we played well in the Pitt game and we wanted to come in here, have a better showing, and play both ends of the floor.
  • I’ll get a thousand  questions about Reynolds Coliseum and we should play every game in here, but don’t send those  questions to me, send them to somebody else, but it’s a great venue and it was a great night.
    • I’m really appreciative of our fans for showing up.
    • It was an electric night. I thought the energy was great. We had a lot of fun.
  • The ‘STATE’ jerseys looked great, I thought they were  outstanding.
    • Hopefully we can see them again, maybe they’re not just a 1-game deal.
  • During the game, I thought we had a good 1st half, but we didn’t close the 1st half the way I wanted to.
  • We came out, and I  thought we were playing a lot better in the 2nd half, and then unfortunately with Dusan Mahorcic’s  situation it took the air out of us a bit, but we closed the game.
  • I’m happy the way Ernest Ross played today.
  • They [Coppin State] did a good job getting back in transition.
    • A lot of Casey Morsell’s shots have come when he was running the floor and getting out in transition.
    • They stayed at home.
    • The reason we got so many open looks to our post guys when we rolled was because they stayed with our shooters a lot.
  • I’ll take them [Joiner & Smith]. I don’t want to trade them, so I’ve got to say I’ll take them. I’m keeping them. I’m not  throwing them in, so I’m keeping those guys.
    • They are good and tonight they were electric. They were really good.
    • Every run that Coppin made they were there to answer it.
    • Here is what we do in practice with those guys.
      • I need them to play against each other because they challenge each other to become  better, but I also have to develop some type of chemistry with them.
      • So early on in the season, it was those 2 guarding each other, and they made each other better.
      • In the end, I have now switched it so they have to play together, so they have a better understanding and feel on how to play together.
  • Coppin is a team that is really dangerous. People from the other side won’t have name recognition, but you look at the Power Five and the bigger schools they have played, that is what has been great.
    • Georgetown was an overtime game, maybe multiple overtime games, and the Maryland game was tough.
    • He [Juan Dixon] has done that against all competition. I am happy for Juan.
      • I remember him back when I was at Hargrave. I sent Lonnie Baxter to Maryland who played with Juan and I have seen him since he was a really young kid.
  • One of the best kids I could have ever recruited [Joiner], especially the point guard position.
    • He didn’t have to tell me. I don’t know if he went  home that night [After Pitt].
    • Obviously, he probably went in and took 2,000 shots that night or more.
  • The #1 thing these kids are here for is their education.
    • Today was the last day of class, meaning we are going into exams, so we have to figure out a good balance of when to practice.
    • Right now our priorities shifted to make sure the guys finish out the semester strong, and take care of their academics. It is a great balancing act.
  • You gotta let me get past tonight, they’re [Miami] good, very talented.
    • I haven’t watched Miami at all, but I do know name recognition.
      • I know Isaiah Wong seems like he’s been around for 7 years, and he’s played great.
      • I’ll get a chance to watch them starting late tonight and early tomorrow.
      • They’re  talented.
      • Jim Larrañaga has done a great job with his team, it’ll be a tough road game for us, as all of them are.
  • Our guards did a great job of controlling the game, thats the maturity that I’m looking for.
    • I’ve got a Senior that’s been around a long time, in Jarkel.
    • I’ve also got a guy that is an elite scorer, who a lot of the conversations I’ve had with him are: ‘control the game, finish the game, be efficient down the  stretch, and don’t settle.’
      • He did a great job of not just taking deep 3’s, even though he took the last one.
      • He drove the basketball and we got to the free throw line.
  • Amazing. It’s not just NC State, you could almost make an argument that it’s America’s team, the ‘83 run was great.
    • It feels like every time you see something about them, I have to stop what I am doing just to read. It gets your heart beating a little bit.
    • It’s a great team with great folks, it was a great coach.
    • We’re excited…we’re gonna bring them back.
      • I don’t know if I’m supposed to tell you that, but I think they’re supposed to come back in February to honor those guys and I think that’s the right thing to do…and if we can bring them back every week we should.
      • I think there were a few here tonight, and I’m glad our guys played well enough where our guys respect what those guys did.
  • You know he’s played so well and other people will say, you know, well he’s only averaged 16 points per game, you know the NBA scouts, they know he can score the basketball.
    • They wanted to see him pass the basketball, so I think he’s doing a really good job.
      • He’s either 1st or 2nd in the ACC in assists.
      • We’re seeing a young man grow up, and by the way, he’s saying to you guys: ‘Hey I can score if I need to, I just wanna show you I got a little bit more in my bag.’
      • But he’s really matured, you know he’s a kid.
        • And you know one of the reasons why he’s back is because he’s a kid and he enjoys his teammates.
      • You know when you saw Dusan go down, you know, I think he was affected more than anybody.

         

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NC State Basketball

NC State’s Dusan Mahorcic Suffers Knee Injury vs. Coppin State

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NC State Center Dusan Mahorcic suffered a gruesome looking knee injury tonight in the Wolfpack’s 94-72 victory over Coppin State in Reynolds Coliseum.

From what I’ve heard, Mahorcic suffered an injury to his kneecap, but the severity of his injury is unknown at this time. A kneecap injury can visually be a disturbing sight, and the NC State squad, especially Terquavion Smith, who had a good look at it, were emotionally moved in concern.

We will have to wait to see how long Mahorcic is out, but the need for DJ Burns to be able to play more minutes just became much more important. Also, Ernest Ross, who has always had a high ceiling, is going to need to grow up fast if Mahorcic is out for an extended period of time.

We are praying for you Dusan! Get well soon Big Fella!

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NC State Basketball

Men’s Basketball’s: NC State 94 Coppin State 72: Highlight Reel & Condensed Game

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NC State defeated Coppin State 94-72 in Reynolds Coliseum tonight. You can check out the Box Score here. Below is the Highlight Reel & Condensed Game from the ACC Digital Network.

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NC State Basketball

Men’s Basketball: NC State 94 Coppin State 72: BOX SCORE

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NC State improved to 8-2 on the year, defeating Coppin State 94-72 tonight in Reynolds Coliseum.

Only 2 Wolfpack players scored in double figures, and it was none other than the dangerous tandem of Terquavion Smith and Jarkel Joiner.

Smith led the team in points and assists, with 33 & 7 respectively. Smith wax clicking tonight, shooting 12-21 from the field, and 6 of 12 from three.

Joiner bounced back from a poor shooting performance against Pitt, scoring 29 points, shooting 11-21 from the field, and a blazing 5-7 from three.

Jack Clark had a poor shooting night, hitting only 1 of 7, but he managed to impact the game in every other way. Clark had 10 rebounds, 5 assists and 3 steals.

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