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NC State vs Tennessee State: Keys to the Game

NC State Basketball

NC State vs Tennessee State: Keys to the Game

NC State returns to action tomorrow at 4 o’clock in renovated Reynolds Coliseum (TV: RSN), as they face the Tigers of Tennessee State.

Here are our 5 keys to the game:

1. Finding the right combination…

Gottfried needs to lock in his lineup and decipher which combination of players gives the Pack the best chance to win. Maverick Rowan returns after his 7 game absence, it will be critical to reinsert him back into the rotation. One player who has benefited from Rowan’s absence is Markell Johnson, who has played over 20 minutes in each game since. After tomorrow’s game, Gottfried will have to learn how to integrate Omer Yurtseven into the lineup, as he will be eligible following tomorrow’s contest.

2. Maverick Rowan is back…

Gottfried spoke about the benefits of having another player who can come up with a basket when needed. Rowan should help NC State in this arena, even thought the team has not had too much of an issue on offense, as he can help space the floor from beyond the arc. The added space should help Smith and company get into the lane. NC State should have more options to play small with Rowan’s size, as he showed more willingness to attack the glass in the first game of the season. Don’t expect too much from Mav too soon though, as it will take some time to get his legs back.

3. Use the energy of Reynolds to jump on Tigers early…

Playing in Reynolds should give the Pack a little boost, the smaller confines should help the crowd to have more of an impact. State must stop allowing lesser quality team to hang around all game. The Pack’s goal for these games should be to have a big lead at half, and increase that lead each media time out. The lack of energy and effort is holding this group back. If they can expend the same amount of energy as they would if they were playing Duke or UNC, it would go a long way.

4. Rebound the basketball…

Tennessee State attacks the glass and secures defensive rebounds, this allows them to get extra chances and prevents teams from having extra chances. Personally, I want to see everyone find a man and box them out; just because we play small doesn’t give us an excuse to not rebound. Our leaders must speak up and demand everyone do their part. Wayne Martin and the Tigers take pride and gain momentum from stealing offensive rebounds, State must neutralize this.

5. Defense…

It takes time to develop the communication and experience of a sound defensive team. I realize this, however, the team needs to put forth a true concerted effort. Thus far on the season, NC State is allowing 78.1 points per game. The good news is, the team has no where to go but up. It has got to start with the heart. Defense is about scheme and technique, but it usually boils down to competitive desire to stop one’s opponent. It is great to score a lot points, and we have, however, think how much more efficient this group could become if they were forcing some easy turnovers to get into the open court? Tomorrow, State will find itself almost at full strength, and we must start gaining momentum before conference play.

Be sure to make it out to see the Pack play in historic Reynolds, tip off is slated for 4PM.




  1. Ballerman4452

    December 11, 2016 at 8:31 pm

    This was a rough game to watch, and the first half statistics showed. But the positive I can point to is that this team actually showed some fire and passion in the 2nd half. This Tennesee State team was actually pretty good but make no mistake this was a team State had to beat. But with the youth, the injuries, Yurtseven being out and a variety of issues. This team is still a big question mark.

    • wolfpack74

      December 12, 2016 at 3:01 am

      I believe the talent is there. But I don’t believe we have the coaching to put it all together. Time will tell.

  2. wolfpack74

    December 11, 2016 at 1:52 am

    At this rate, Dennis Smith will not be in the NBA next year. No shot only drive.

    • Wolfer96

      December 11, 2016 at 2:46 am

      His shot selection and decision making are not what I expected. He’s still trying to out-athlete everyone on the floor and he needs to learn that this is not H.S.

  3. wolfpack74

    December 11, 2016 at 1:49 am

    This game has not changed my mind about this team. No offense other than one on one. Mav needs to get back shape. Hopefully the Big guy can help with the offense.

    • Wolfer96

      December 11, 2016 at 2:45 am

      Hopefully Anya can use this game to be a bigger part of the offense/defense. Up to this point the offense has been too guard dominated.

  4. Wolfer96

    December 10, 2016 at 7:14 pm

    Just don’t mess with Markell’s minutes. He’s the only one on the perimeter playing defense at a high level. Need to bring Kapita off the bench until he can learn to play D without picking up 3 fouls in 3 minutes. Mav needs to be brought on slowly. Don’t want him shooting more than 5-6 shots this game. He needs to prove that he is not a streaky shooter before letting him take too many shots.

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