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NC State Rounding Into Form. Topples Rider 99-71

NC State Basketball

NC State Rounding Into Form. Topples Rider 99-71

In their final non-conference tune-up, NC State looked like they were rounding into form as they took out a decent Rider team 99-71.

While not much of a matchup on paper, there were certainly takeaway from this game. Let’s examine them.

Dennis Smith Jr. is becoming elite, goes for 19pts and 16 assists 
He was billed as a top 10 draft pick, and now he’s playing that way. Smith finished with 19pts and 16 assists and all of it was within the flow of the game. Smith is taking good shots and knocking them down, he using his quickness to get a step on his man and his physicality to put massive amounts of pressure on the defense. He’s to the point where defenses are having to make decisions. Stop him by helping (opening up other guys) or allow him a good look (which now he is knocking down). Smith is turning into a true force and just in time for ACC play. Oh wait…and we forgot to mention…this happened.

Abu goes beast-mode, finishes with 12 and 12
Ok, now we’re talking. We’ve been waiting for Abu to unleash and he’s starting to do just that. Ever since Yurtseven returned we have have seen a different Abu. With Yurt at the high post, Abu is reaping the benefits of one on ones on the block. He’s playing with more physicality, rebounding with more passion and starting to punish anyone who dares jump with him at the rim. This is the Abu that tested the NBA waters and the one NC State will need if they are going to be contenders this year. Abu finished with 12 points and 12 boards, but they were nearly all loud and memorable. Good news for State heading into the ACC season where they will need a physical athlete like Abu.


Unselfish play fueling the Wolfpack surge. The two stats you should be paying attention to:
There are two stats we think really are positives for NC State. The first is their assist number. 26 of their 40 buckets came via the assist. That is 65%. That is a very, very good number. Around 50% should be a number you’d be pleased with, but 65%? That means you’re clicking on all cylinders. Of course 16 of those 26 came from Dennis Smith Jr, but if the Pack wants to be a real force, then they’ll need big assist number from Smith night in and night out.

The other numbers to look at are the shot attempts. Abu had 8, Rowan had 9, Yurt had 11, Henderson and Dorn both had 10, and Smith shot it 15 times. Now that is how you spread the shots around, and when you spread shots around like that it means you’re team is playing together selflessly. This fact that this team is playing so well should make you happy, but what should really have you excited is how they are playing together.

“There’s really no one that’s selfish on this team. The guys are really interested in finding the open guy and passing the ball.” – MG is an independently run content site that exclusively covers NC State basketball and football. Started in late 2007 by two former students with the goal of integrating the latest in web content delivery into a Wolfpack sports site, free of charge to the user.



  1. Wolfer96

    December 29, 2016 at 8:50 pm

    Based on what I’ve seen thus far I think this is a team that could win a couple of upset games but will also lose some games that they should have won. I don’t think this team will do well against a well disciplined team like uva but it could in my opinion beat unc or duke. Will they get up for games against Miami, VT, Clemson? This could be a very fun or very frustrating ACC season.

  2. Wolfer96

    December 29, 2016 at 8:44 pm

    That Kapita chase down block was what’s been missing from this team. Ted brings a level of attitude and hustle that we have been missing from our bigs.

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