NC State faces a quick turnaround as they travel to Duke for Monday night’s showdown in Cameron Indoor. Game time is at 7 o’clock with coverage on ESPN. What are some keys to the game for NC State?
NC State cannot turn the ball over if they want to have any chance at winning at Duke come Monday. The Blue Devils are a dangerous team as they can create baskets in an instance as a result of live ball turnovers. Turnovers are compounded in an environment like Cameron Indoor as each miscue slowly eats away a team’s psyche. Guard play will need to think twice before making long passes and be patient when dealing with Duke’s ball pressure defense. If NC State can keep their turnovers in single digits they have a shot.
NC State has got to give itself a chance at winning by giving full effort to prevent offensive rebounds. They have striggled to collect misses at key points in the game. Last game they allowed Wake Forest to grab a few offensive rebounds after getting a stop intially only to surrender another possession due to not boxing out. Duke is too good at Cameron at knocking down shots! The best time to shoot the three-ball is off of an offensive rebound, and Duke will punish NC State if they get to the offensive glass.
The Pack must guard their “yard”.
Defense is a team effort but that team effort is useless if individual players constantly get beat off the dribble. NC State has got to keep their man in front of them to limit teams access to the paint. It takes a lot of effort to cut off penetration and to do it without fouling is critical. This lack of being able to defend without fouling and protecting the paint is why NC State is ranked last in team defense in the ACC. They are allowing 84.7 PPG in seven ACC games. That is inexcusable. That stat alone tells the story of why the Pack are 2-5 in ACC play.
The season has been a disapointment to say the least. A team with NC State’s depth and talent should not be 2-5 in the ACC; however, they are. Excuses don’t matter at this point. The Wolfpack cannot keep doing the same things and expect different results. Game time is at 7 PM with coverage on ESPN.