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The problem Gottfried faces…
When Trevor Lacey decided to forego his senior season it left a gaping hole in the NC State offense. Lacey was supposed to be State’s go to scorer, best shooter and team leader. Without him they were left relying on transfer Terry Henderson. Henderson is an athletic 2 guard who can score off the bounce and also fill it up from 3 point range. He wasn’t supposed to totally fill Lacey’s shoes, but he was supposed to play his role.

Unfortunately for State, Henderson suffered a serious ankle injury in the first game of the season and has been sidelined ever since. This has forced Gottfried’s hand in relying on sophomore Caleb Martin and freshman Mav Rowan as his secondary scorers.

What has been the outcome?
While Caleb delivered some big games early on and looked to be a nice stop gap until Henderson returned, he’s since gone ice cold. This opened up the door for Mav Rowan to try his hand as State’s secondary scorer. While he’s had some great games himself, he’s a freshman and has been hurt by poor shot selection as he assimilates to the college game. With the Pack now 0-4 in ACC play and Caleb and Rowan struggling shooting the ball, they may be rethinking their plan of attack.

Statistically, NC State ranks dead last in effective FG% among power conference teams. Let me repeat…dead last. So there really is nowhere to go but up. That being said, allowing  low percentage shooters to take a majority of your shots from the perimeter is not going to be the answer. Caleb and Mav are capable of being very good shooters if they can square up and get clean looks, but off-balance, often contested high-volume shooting is not going to solve any problems.

So what are the options?

Let’s take a closer look…
NC State needs to make adjustments. Caleb Martin and Mav Rowan are talented players, there is no doubt about it. They are going to be a big part of this basketball team’s future, but at 0-4 in the ACC you’d have to think that there is going to be some sort of reevaluation of how these guys are used.

The quagmire here is that Gottfried knows his team needs scoring. Early in the season it was Caleb and Rowan who backed up Cat in that category. Right now however, State is giving away too many possessions by settling for 3s from guys who simply aren’t really shooting it well. Instead of attacking the rim, getting to the line or dumping it down to the post and making the defense adjust, they are simply settling for 3’s off of perimeter passes (many of which are contested).

Watching the games and looking at the box score, Rowan and Caleb are producing at a very similar level. They are both streaky shooters who don’t have much success getting to the rim, and who don’t really put up great numbers across the board (outside of points). Right now Caleb gives you better defense, rebounding and slightly better assist numbers. But Rowan currently is shooting it better (especially since ACC play started.)

Over the last 9 games Caleb Martin is shooting 22-80 from the field. That is 27.5%. He’s hit 13-60 from beyond the arc, for 22%. He’s grabbed 45 rebounds in that span and has 12 assists. He’s also blocked 6 shots and 4 steals. All of that in 292 minutes of play.

Meanwhile, during that span, Mav Rowan is shooting 35-113. That is about 31% from the field. He’s hit 20-64 for 31% from 3 point range. Over that span he has 27 rebounds and has dished out 7 assists. He’s also tallied zero blocks and 2 steals. All of this in a total of 294 minutes.

With Terry Henderson out, it’s obvious that the Pack needs someone on the perimeter than can help score it, but it’s really hurting them that they have guys shooting in the high 20’s to low 30% range taking a total of 193 shots over the span we’re looking at. If you’re wondering about total percentage of shots taken over that span, that comes out to about 35%. That’s certainly too much.

So what are the options for Gottfried? He doesn’t really have another scorer to sub in.

One option is to split Caleb and Mavs minutes between the two. Which ever one is on that day gets the minutes. You then have the ability to play Cody at the 3. While he isn’t going to put up points, he is going to give you two things you desperately need: A guy who will be your best defender on the floor, and someone who is patient on offense and looks for high percentage scoring opportunities. Let’s look at Cody’s numbers over that 9 game span.

Cody is shooting 44%, going 15-34 from the field. He has 35 rebounds and 15 assists. Add in 6 blocks and 11 steals. He’s done all of that in only 199 minutes of play over those 9 games (almost 100 minutes less than Caleb or Mav).

So while he’s not scoring a ton, he’s also not shooting a ton. The shots he is taking are of a higher percentage. If you look at points per minute, Caleb comes in at .22 while Cody is right behind him at .21 over the aforementioned span. He’s rebounding, assisting, blocking and getting steals at a much better clip when you look at per minute production.

At this point you really are looking at 2 lines of thinking. Up until a few games ago, most fans were likely onboard with the idea that if you let Rowan and Caleb Martin shoot out their kinks, they’ll eventually become the go-to shooters you are looking for. But as State finds themselves in a deep hole at 0-4 in ACC play, you have to start questioning this strategy.

By allowing Cody Martin to step in at the 3 and have the 2 guard responsibilities shared between Mav and Caleb, you are losing a potential scoring threat on the perimeter. This would feel risky if these guys weren’t shooting a combined 25% from 3 point range since the team started playing stiffer competition.

The other factor to consider is that while shooting percentages from these guys are a worry, there are other problems that are causing NC State to come up short. Their defense has been less than stellar, they aren’t creating turnovers at the rate they could (considering their size, length and athleticism at numerous positions) and they are simply not being patient on offense. These are all areas that Cody could help if given more court time. With Abu seemingly turning the corner and showing signs of being able to become a consistent scorer from the block, you could see Gottfried transition into a team that relies on Cat and Abu, supplemented by either Mav or Caleb at the two.

Sidenote: Over that span of 9 games we’ve been talking about, Abu has gone 41-88 from the floor. That’s 47%. 

With arch rival #5 UNC coming up on Saturday, these are certainly things NC State needs to consider if they are going to take the pieces that they have and try to make a run for it.

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bayaruba
bayaruba
6 years ago

I’m a NC State Graduate, class of ’75, I played football at State.I’m a diehard fan ever since my dad, also a State graduate, had me sit next to the radio with him starting about 4 years old and listen to Wolfpack football and basketball games.Since Valvano left in early ’90’s the State basketball program has never been able to win an ACC basketball championship.I am a retired Army Colonel and I believe for any organization to be successful it needs good leadership, but leadership is not enough.In sports you have to be able to recruit the quality players year… Read more »

wolfpack74
wolfpack74
6 years ago

I respectively disagree with ThatWiggaJigga from the standpoint that the offensive scheme presently used sucks and does not fit this group of players.  Bigs can’t score or create therefore we are left with shooting the three and hoping that works.  We need Henderson to come back and Kirk to get more playing time.  Our only chance of going to the post season is to win the ACC tournament.  With what we have on the court right now, no way in hell we are going anywhere this year or next. We have to have bigs that can create and score.  Get… Read more »

ThatWiggaJigga
ThatWiggaJigga
6 years ago

My biggest reason on wanting Cody over Caleb, besides the shot selection of course, is the flow of the offense when he is in.  Caleb seems unable to see more than 1 pass ahead.  Often catching the ball and looking to shoot or drive.  That is fine at times, but it must be there.  Many times, especially the other night against a zone, you need to catch and pass, moving the ball quickly to beat  the movement of a zone.  Cody did a good job of moving the ball quickly, all be it because he is not a great scorer,… Read more »

NC State Basketball

Men’s Basketball: NC State Ranked 55th in First NET Rankings of 2022-23

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The first NET Rankings of the 2022-23 Men’s College Basketball season are out, and NC State is ranked 55th after their first 9 games (7-2).

(NET)

This marks the 5th season in which the NET Rankings have been used to as the NCAA’s primary tool for evaluating teams, especially when it comes to NCAA Tournament selection time.

The NET includes more components than just winning percentage. It takes into account game results, strength of schedule, game location, scoring margin, net offensive and defensive efficiency, and the quality of wins and losses.

The number of Quadrant 1 wins and Quadrant 3/4 losses will be incredibly important when it comes time for NCAA tournament selection and seeding. (how many years was isaiah written before jesus)

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NC State Basketball

NC State to Wear Throwback Jerseys Tomorrow Night in Heritage Game to Honor 1983 Championship Team

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The NC State Men’s Basketball team will wear vintage throwback jerseys tomorrow night when they take on Coppin State in the 2022 Heritage Game, paying homage to the 1983 National Championship team.

I know it’s just my opinion, but I wish they would simply play in these jerseys all year!

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NC State Basketball

Kevin Keatts Postgame Press Conference After Pitt: BULLETED

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NC State Head Coach Kevin Keatts met with the media in his postgame press conference after the Wolfpack lost their ACC opener to Pitt at home 60-68. You can watch it here, or check out a BULLETED breakdown below.

  • We didn’t play well or sharp offensively.
    • You can look at the numbers, and I think, at times because the ball wasn’t going in the hole for us, it affected us on the defensive end.
    • It was one of those gritty games where you’ve got to figure out how to win the game, especially when the ball isn’t going in.
    • Terquavion Smith carried us early in the game, but a couple of our guys never really got into a flow, and offensively we struggled.
    • When we struggled, I thought we gave up some easy baskets on the other end.
    • Obviously, today’s kids, when the ball is not going in offensively, sometimes it affects you on the defensive end.
    • It wasn’t our night offensively tonight.
  • When you look at our team, what’s made us special this year is that we’ve been consistent and have 4 guys in double figures, and tonight we didn’t have that.
  • We had some good play from DJ Burns. He came in and did a good job.
  • We’ve gotta get back in the gym and get better. We’ll work on some things.
  • I have to stand up, take accountability, and get us better on the offensive end, and we’ll figure out how to make some shots.
  • Not to take away from Pitt’s defense, I thought we missed shots.
    • Surely, give them credit because they won the game, and I thought it was a slugfest, and they won the game that way, but I just thought we missed a lot of easy shots that we normally would make.
  • I remember looking out there at the game as we played, and some of the shots that he [Joiner] normally would make, even his drives to the rim, he didn’t finish.
  • They [Pitt] did a good job getting back in transition. A lot of Casey’s [Morsell] shots have come with him running the floor and getting out in transition.
    • They stayed at home. When you’re shooting the ball as well as he is, they did a good job of staying at home.
    • The reason we got so many open looks to our post guys as we rolled, was because they stayed with our shooters a lot.
  • No [they didn’t take too many three’s], that’s who we are.
    • For example, I thought Jack Clark got some great looks.
      • None of them looked good as they came off.
    • Certainly, Terquavion was hot early from 3 and made some shots.
    • It was a weird night for us offensively, and we weren’t clicking as much as I’d hoped we would be.
    • Like I said, we’ve got to get back in the gym, and we’ve got to get some shots up.
  • We’ve got no choice. We’ve got to move on.
    • The great thing about this is that, while unfortunately we lost our ACC opener, we’ve got 19 more of them to play.
    • We’ve got to figure out how to get it back on the other end.
    • It doesn’t define us. It was a good game. Give Pitt credit.
    • We’ve just got to go to work and get ready for our next game and then our next one after that.
  • We hope we play better than we have been playing offensively.
    • You feel bad for our guys, because everything had gone well for them offensively this season.
    • We’ve had great numbers against great teams, when you talk about playing against Kansas, Butler, and Dayton, and tonight, for whatever reason, we didn’t shoot the ball well. We have to make each shot.
  • If you look back on all of Jarkel’s shots, he has taken those all year long.
    • He just missed some, and he is normally pretty good with his pull-up.
      • He didn’t make those, and typically, he would make it to the free-throw line, but he didn’t have many opportunities there.
      • He missed his three-point shots.
    • I know him, and many guys will get to the gym later on. It’s not a mandatory thing, but I know those guys, and they will be working on their shot.
  • We’ve got to flush it.
    • We have to figure out what we did offensively and get better defensively.
    • We have to get back to work and get ready for Coppin State.
  • Our home opener [ACC] here, we wanted to win it.
    • It’s an ACC game, and you know how important these are, but at the end of the day, you can’t put your head down.
    • We’ve got a lot more basketball to play. We have had a really great start to our season, and as I have told the guys in the locker room, don’t let one loss define us.
    • We didn’t let the Kansas loss define us. We moved on, and we’ve got to do the same thing with this one.
  • We’re very encouraging.
    • One thing about guys that miss shots that normally make them, they’re not trying to miss, and so we are trying to give them as much confidence as we can.
    • We’re asking them to do other things to affect the game.
    • One thing I told Jack [Clark], because he has been our best rebounder, was ‘go in there and get you an easy basket, or go in there and get you an offensive rebound.’
    • It’s something to get you going. It’s amazing how it works.
      • You get an easy basket, and then get to the free-throw line to make a shot. All of a sudden, you’ve got your shots going on.
    • I’m telling those guys to do a couple of other things to impact the game.

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NC State Basketball

Men’s Basketball: Pitt 68 NC State 60: ACCDN HIGHLIGHT REEL & CONDENSED GAME

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NC State lost their ACC opener to Pitt tonight in PNC Arena 60-68. You can check out the Box Score here. Below are the ACC Digital Network’s Highlight Reel and Condensed Game.

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