The Wolfpack looks to prolong UVA’s four-game losing streak as well as give Head Coach Mark Gottfried one last win at PNC. The Pack has some momentum following their road win over Georgia Tech this past Tuesday night. What are the keys to the game for NC State to beat Virginia?
Do not help Virginia’s struggling offense.
UVA has been bad as of late when it comes to scoring points. In their four-game losing streak, they have averaged 55.5 PPG compared to their average of 65.4 PPG in ACC play. NC State must take care of the basketball to guard against easy transition buckets for Virginia. Defensively The Wolfpack need to contest jumpers and secure defensive rebounds. The Cavaliers are struggling to score baskets, NC State cannot surrender easy second chance buckets or layups in transition if they are going to win.
The Pack needs to be decisive on the offense end.
The Cavaliers have the number one ranked defense when it comes to points allowed. In ACC play UVA allows 61.7 PPG. NC State will need to make quick decisions when attacking against UVA’s defense. Terry Henderson needs to have another big game as he did against Georgia Tech. Three of NC State’s four ACC wins Terry has scored over 20 points, the Pack needs him to score. Dennis Smith must not over dribble because Virginia is too good at staying in front of the basketball. NC State’s best chance at solving UVA’s defense is with quick ball movement not hesitating or holding the ball too long. Mark Gottfried should turn to Johnson again to encourage more ball movement.
NC State needs to have lots of energy this Saturday to beat a tough UVA team. In what will be Mark Gottfried’s last game at PNC Arena his players need to send him out with a win. NC State needs to play hard for 40 minutes to beat a disciplined Virginia team. The Cavaliers style of play can be frustrating; however, NC State needs to have positive body language, to play through the ups and downs.
Two games remain for NC State until the ACC Tournament commences in Brooklyn. They will have to try and beat another solid defensive team this Saturday at the PNC Arena. Saturday’s game marks the final home game for Mark Gottfried and his staff. Seniors Terry Henderson and BeeJay Anya will be playing their final home game for NC State. Dennis Smith will be moving on as well due to his projection of being a sure-fire lottery pick in the upcoming NBA Draft. Can the Pack finish the home slate with a win over UVA? Game time is at 12 o’clock with coverage on ESPN.