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NC State vs Fairfield: Keys to the Game

NC State Basketball

NC State vs Fairfield: Keys to the Game

NC State and Fairfield square off today at 2 PM at PNC Arena on ACC Network Extra (which can be found on ESPN3). Coach Gottfried and company will need to have a good game plan to take away the leading scorer in the MAAC, Tyler Nelson. What are some of the keys to the game to help State improve to 9-2 on the season?

1. Limit clean looks for Tyler Nelson…

Nelson is capable of scoring in bunches, his game high is 38 points, and is leading the MAAC in PPG. Terry Henderson will be tasked with utilizing his length and athleticism  to slow Nelson down. The Pack must keep an active tab on Nelson on the break and off of offensive rebounds. NC State will have to change their normal tendencies and pick up Nelson sooner to guard against deep threes. Henderson and company will have to be in control on their closeouts and not bite on shot fakes. Fairfield’s chances of beating NC State depends on Nelson’s scoring and being efficient.

2. Limit Sidibe on the glass…

Amadou Sidibe has been on a mission to grab every rebound this season and is leading the MAAC in RPG at 11.9. In his last 5 games, he is averaging 15 boards a contest and has chipped in 14 PPG in that stretch. It will be rebounding by a committee for NC State to limit Sidibe. Abu, Anya, Kapita, and Yurtseven must put a body on him, as he accounts for 31% of their total team rebounds. By taking away Sidibe, NC State should be able to cripple Fairfield on the glass.

3. Keep the ball moving on offense…

NC State scored 97 points in their last game, and looked more fluid on offense; however, they still need to attack more with the pass instead of the dribble. Omer Yurtseven’s skill set looks to be a stabilizing force for NC State. His shooting, patience, and passing opened the floor up for the Pack. It was fun watching the movement off-ball when Omer had the ball in the low post or the high post. Ball movement should become more fluid as State gains experiences playing with each other and roles continue to become concrete.

4. Balanced scoring from NC State should be too much for the Stags…

At full strength for the first time in their last game the Wolfpack had success, 97 points, 50% from FG, 50% from three, 82.9 from FT, and 6 players in double figures. This balance will make it difficult for Fairfield to match up against the Pack. NC State’s depth and balance should overwhelm the Stags and result in another notch in the win column.

Fairfield should be a good test for State as they must take away a talented scorer in Tyler Nelson as well as a barometer to test their conditioning . Look for NC State to wear down the Stags with their depth and size as they march on through non-conference play.



  1. rizdolla

    December 21, 2016 at 4:04 am

    Offense looking like its coming together (still need work). We still have to work on perimeter defense before conference play.

  2. Wolfer96

    December 18, 2016 at 10:38 pm

    I can’t wait for the Miami game. Enough of these cream puffs, I want to see what this full complement of players can do against a good team.

    • Anthony

      December 18, 2016 at 11:10 pm

      not to disappoint you but.. our RPI is 30… MIami’s is 96. that’s worse than TSU’s

      • Wolfer96

        December 18, 2016 at 11:18 pm

        Yeah but they are a well coached team and they are an ACC team. RPI’s don’t really mean anything this early. For instance, 8-3 Florida who lost to FSU is ranked #4 in RPI and 12-0 UCLA who beat Kentucky at Kentucky is #15.

        • Anthony

          December 19, 2016 at 4:27 am

          we are 10 to 12 games in so it’s fair to say that the RPI while not a infallible measure is beginning to be more and more accurate and 30 and 96 is a huge jump TSU who when we played them was 56. They are 63 now and Miami is 76 which closes the Gap substantially. i believe that we will see that type of game when we play Miami.

  3. Wolfer96

    December 18, 2016 at 10:37 pm

    9 assists by Smith is the stat line that I am most impressed by. The ball movement was much better. We were swinging the ball from one side of the court to the other, then going into the post and looking for the open man. I much prefer the Dennis that gets his guys involved and looks less to shoot. When he did shoot he mostly had his feet set and shoulders squared. Shooting off a pass a few times.

  4. Wolfer96

    December 18, 2016 at 10:34 pm

    Just caught the game on stream and right off I am impressed by Yurt7’s ability to catch, pass, shoot, and really drive the offense from the high post and low post areas. This kid will help everyone’s 3 point shooting % with his passing and decision making from the post. The offense is no longer perimeter dominated, it’s much better balanced. This is what I was wanting to see all season.

  5. Wolfer96

    December 18, 2016 at 10:32 pm

    Hey we outrebounded someone!

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