– Trevor Lacey and Ralston Turner weren’t hitting like usual. State’s two leading scorers shot 8-23 and had 24 points combined which is lower than average for they sharp shooting duo.
– Abu needs to be on the court. When he was on the court against Miami, State got up by nearly 20. When he got in foul trouble and was forced to the bench, State fell apart. Against ND he was on fire early, State led by 18, and then he got in foul trouble again. State collapsed. There is a direct correlation between Abu being on the court and NC State dominating a basketball game. The talented freshman brings a blend of power, quickness and soft touch to the Wolfpack front court. He was 3-5 and finished with only 8 points, but that was in just 11 minutes of play. He was dominant on the blocks when he was in there.
– More Martins please. These twins are game changers. Cody Martin started for Cat Barber and gave the Pack a new dimension. They can rebound, score and play with the type of energy that can push the Pack to some big leads. The duo combined for 24 points, 10 boards, 4 steals and 6 assists. They load up the stat line and one of them needs to be on the floor at all times (if not both).
– Where was Washington? With Abu out most of the second half, down the stretch Gottfried decided to go with a smaller lineup which left Kyle Washington on the bench. The problem with that is that this always leaves State without a true scorer on the blocks. They become one dimensional and give up their big leads. Washington finally did come in with 7 minutes left and hit a jumper, but he had been sitting for a big chunk of the time that State was really allowing ND back in the game. Gottfried has a lot of weapons but making sure either Washington or Abu is in the game to allow the Pack to have some sort of inside presence is huge. Washington finished with a great line at 6-8 for 12 points and 6 boards.
– Beat on the boards. The only place NC State fell short against ND (other than late game decision making) was in rebounding. The Irish owned the board battle 43-34 and had 18 offensive boards to the Pack’s 12. That was the true difference in the game.
-Always Learning. This is a young team so all of these close calls are good for them, but they need to fail forward. They need to keep their confidence after losing huge leads the last two times out. They have to push harder, dig deeper when they’re up double digits. They have to be hungry not just for a W in the win column but hungry for dominance. When they are up 15, Gottfried should be red in the face demanding 25, and when they are up 25 they should push for 35. This team HAS to get that killer’s mentality and stop allowing teams to come back to life late in games.
-Confidence and belief. You can’t blame the fans for saying “We’ve all seen this before…” when NC State loses a big lead and the other team has the ball with a chance to win or tie. You know something weird is going to happen, something you may have never seen before, and it will fall in the other teams favor. The fans blame the players and I’ve spoken to players from past Wolfpack teams who blame the fans. They say “You can feel the air come out of the arena, it’s like the fans know whats going to happen.” This to me is an excuse. Sure the air comes out of the arena, because as State fans we have seen this a thousand times. But asking the fans to be mentally tough is probably not going to work. The game is played on the floor and whether the fans are going nuts or the fans are silent and negative, the team needs to dig deeper, come together, find a leader who won’t let them lose. They have to shake this complex at some point and demand more. Start nailing coffins, stepping on throats and not letting up. It only takes true confidence and 100% belief from one leader.
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.