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Wolfpack vs Hurricanes Keys to the Game

NC State Basketball

Wolfpack vs Hurricanes Keys to the Game

NC State looks to revenge their first ACC loss as Miami travels to Raleigh this Saturday to face the Wolfpack. Game time is at 3 o’clock with coverage on The ACC Network. What must NC State do to beat the Hurricanes?

The Wolfpack need to build upon their last game offensively.

NC State had a solid game offensively as Dennis Smith posted a triple-double and Maverick Rowan scored a career-high 31 points. The Wolfpack shot 51.5% from the field as well as 43.8% from three. Smith tallied 15 assists masterfully distributing the ball to the open man. Not only did Smith dish the ball out well but he did it under control by registering just two turnovers. Malik Abu played well running the court hard and finding openings underneath.

Miami will look to cut off Smith when he drives the basketball which is why NC State must move off-ball. Dennis will need to be prepared to get rid of the ball quickly instead of dribbling the air out of the basketball. Miami will sell out to stop his penetration meaning that other players will be open to attack the Hurricanes disadvantaged side. The Wolfpack must be active as well as ready to make quick decisions before Miami can recover. Ball movement can go a longs ways to solving Miami’s defense.

Defensively NC State has to take a stand aginst Miami.

A reoccurring theme is NC State’s defensive efforts. The Pack has not been able to get stops this season. Defending the pick and roll has been a thorn in the Pack’s side. Dennis Smith needs to be consistent in his approach to defending the pick and roll by not switching as often( in depth ). Too often teams get mismatches because the Wolfpack switch on pick and rolls leaving a big man on a guard or vice versa. Dennis can minimize this by fighting through screens on defense to stay with his man. Miami will put Newton in pick and rolls as he excels at turning the corner to get to the basket. The Pack must find a way to protect the paint off the pick and roll if they are going to beat Miami.

The Wolfpack must be willing to adjust.

In NC State’s last two games they have allowed a player to get going early. Aginst Louisville Donovan Mitchell scored early and often on his way to 28 points. Syracuse’s John Gillion got comfortable early building his confidence as he tallied 43 points on 13 shots (14-14 FT). Players have to listen to the staff because I know they were preaching to not go under screens after Gillion hit a couple of threes. Miami has players capable of scoring in bunches, NC State must take it upon themselves to stop them before things snowball.

NC State sits at 3-7 in the ACC and 14-9 overall heading into Saturday’s matchup. The Pack have had nice moments this season, but have not been able to put it all together. Results have not matched up to the perceived talent the Wolfpack possesses. Miami offers an opportunity for NC State to execute offensively aginst a tough defensive team that got the better of them earlier in the season. NC State will be tested individually as the Hurricanes have talent throughout their lineup. The question remains can NC State forget the past and gel together to play on both ends of the court? Game time is at 3 o’clock with coverage on The ACC Network.

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