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Our Take: NC State 89 McNeese State 57

NC State Basketball

Our Take: NC State 89 McNeese State 57

NC State did not have any trouble dismantling McNeese State last night as they won 89-57. Let’s take a look at what the Pack did well and who stood out.
As Marc Jackson would say, “Mama there goes that man…”
Dennis Smith Jr continued his high-level play last night as he torched the Cowboys to the tune of 23 points, six assists, four rebounds, three steals, and two blocks. Smith put up these numbers despite only playing 20 minutes. Smith was confident and aggressive from the start and has been shooting well from the perimeter. On the night he was 4-5 from three, and if he continues that form into ACC play other teams are in trouble. NC State seems to be gelling at the right time, and look comfortable with Smith spearheading the attack!
Maverick Rowan provided firepower off the bench…
NC State was forced to throw Rowan into the fire last season, and he came away with a lot of experience, but this year he isn’t being asked to do too much. Gottfried needs Maverick to provide that scoring and spark off the bench just as he did last night. Rowan attempted the second-most shots on the team shooting 6-11 and connected on 3 threes. Rowan’s shots came in the context of the offense as he did not have to create much off the dribble. Maverick has excellent size and the skill set that allows him to score without having to dribble too much or complicate things. Not only did he score well but he chipped in four rebounds and has been willing to mix it up on the inside.
NC State outworked McNeese State in the hustle department…
Totaling 55 rebounds on the night which was good enough for a plus 28 advantage on the glass. Mark Gottfried had to like the team’s commitment to cleaning the glass as twelve players recorded a rebound. NC State also created 26 points off of turnovers and had 15 points on second chance baskets. It was refreshing to see NC State not play down to their competition but instead play with energy and focus on putting the Cowboys away early. All of the rebounds and turnovers helped the Wolfpack score 29 points on the fast break. NC State has to continue playing with that positive energy which will help them come ACC play.
NC State looks to be gelling at the right time…
Gottfried has his players buying into their roles and are starting to have great chemistry. In last night’s game, Abu tried to whip a pass to a cutting Rowan only to throw it too hard, resulting in a turnover. Malik Abu quickly took the blame, only to have Rowan smile as if he knew they would get that play again. There was no finger pointing or blame, only respect knowing that he was trying to make the correct play. This has been a theme all season as this group looks to be a close-knit bunch that enjoys playing with each other.
Depth is starting to pay off in big ways for NC State…
Depth has allowed Gottfried to experiment with his lineups and has allowed him to exploit matchups thus far. NC State has also benefited from the added pressure it puts on players to play well. Gone are the days where there wasn’t anyone on the bench that could take someone’s spot if they were not playing well. Gottfried now can take away playing time which has resulted in better energy. In addition to gameplay, it also helps to have a deeper team of scholarship players to up the competition in practice, which helps in game preparation.
Improvements must be gained by not fouling…
Fouls have been a thorn in NC State’s side all season long especially with big men. Malik Abu must stop the silly fouls away from the basket and over the back calls, attacking the glass. Omer Yurtseven had issues last night recording four fouls in 19 minutes of action. As the level of competition increases in ACC play, State cannot give up so many free throw attempts and cannot afford to have teams reaching the bonus so quickly. Perimeter players have also been guilty of lazy reach ins that have disrupted the flow as well.
Omer Yurtseven has played well but needs to play stronger…
Yurtseven is talented and plays the game with a veteran mind; however, he needs to be stronger attacking the rim. Last night Omer choose to use a weak jump hook instead of going through the smaller defender. With his size and touch he needs to be getting to the foul line. He can put teams in foul trouble singlehandedly. Omer has the basketball IQ where he will adjust to the physical play and when does look out.
What do you think State did well last night? What needs to improve before ACC play?


  1. Wolfer96

    December 23, 2016 at 8:56 pm

    Markell is still my favorite player on the team. He needs to improve his shooting and FT’s but his defense and ability to get the ball to his teammates in the right situation is way above what I would expect from a freshman. We haven’t had a pass first PG like Markell probably since Corchiani Sr. I bet he makes a huge jump from this season to next.

    • wolfpack74

      December 24, 2016 at 2:43 am

      He will have to make a huge jump next year. We can’t seem to recruit anyone during the normal signing period in the Small Forward arena. Just lost O’Bannon to USC.

      • Wolfer96

        December 24, 2016 at 7:12 am

        Out of state recruiting I believe will be helped by this team winning the big matchup’s and getting in top25. This team needs to win the big games and make some noise on the national level. We also need to send more guys like TJ to the pros. Once the program has a rep for putting kids in the NBA the big time recruits will take more notice. Until that time Gott has to win the local recruiting race.

      • Anthony

        December 24, 2016 at 7:40 am

        Doesn’t matter how you start. matters how you finish and Gott has been finishing very well. But i don’t think anyone knows how close O’bannon was. He really just wasn’t comfortable leaving Cali. otherwise he’d be signing with us. that’s type of stuff is out of Gott’s control.

        • wolfpack74

          December 25, 2016 at 1:53 am

          Really afraid to leave Cali? The kid played in Las Vegas, NV. The last time I looked Las Vegas was not officially part of Cali.

          • Anthony

            December 25, 2016 at 6:01 pm

            i meant the west coast in general regardless culture shock beat us out on this one.

          • wolfpack74

            December 25, 2016 at 8:47 pm

            That’s exactly what I said last year. We should stop wasting any time west of the Mississippi. I can’t remember the last recruit we got beyond Memphis, TN. Stay in the Southeast.

          • Anthony

            December 27, 2016 at 2:38 am

            You have no idea how recruiting works do you? i guess a troll wouldn’t

          • wolfpack74

            December 28, 2016 at 11:50 pm

            Just exercising my first amendment rights, snowflake.

  2. Wolfer96

    December 23, 2016 at 8:51 pm

    Ball movement definitely suffers when Yurt7 is on the bench and I don’t think we have an answer for that. There really are no other bigs on this team with Yurt7’s awareness, hands, and IQ.

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