Control Jaron Blossomgame.
Blossomgame has been tough for opponents this season as he uses his athletic ability and size to get inside to score. NC State needs to seal off the paint when defending him as well as shade help-side defense his way. Outside shooting is a weakness for Blossomgame; he is connecting on 27% of his three-point attempts on the season. The best way to stop Jaron is to not press up too much on him on the perimeter. This way NC State can try and bait him into outside shots and have extra time to cut off his drives.
The Pack needs to win the rebounding battle.
The Tigers are among the worst rebounding teams in the ACC. The Wolfpack must take advantage of this flaw if they are going win tonight. Collectively NC State can damage Clemson if they can get second chance points and defensive rebounds to end possessions. Malik Abu could be in line for a big night if he can get some easy baskets off of offensive rebounds. Last season, Abu punished the Tigers with 17 points and 16 rebounds as NC State beat the Tigers 77-74 in Raleigh. Clemson will struggle to win if Abu can replicate that performance tonight.
Offensively NC State needs an inside-out attack.
The Pack has been at their best this season when they attack inside early. NC State needs to feed Malik Abu often to create space on the perimeter. Going inside will create high percentage looks for NC State shooters. Dennis Smith and Markell Johnson need to be aggressive attacking the paint as well as not holding the ball on the outside. An inside-out attack should put the Pack in a position to beat Clemson tonight.
The Pack has the tools to beat a tough Clemson team; however, it will come down to execution and energy to close the season with a win. NC State must be disciplined in their assignments to stop Jaron Blossomgame who is capable of carrying the Tigers. Malik Abu needs to be a focal point for NC State tonight as he can create problems for Clemson underneath as well as on the glass. Can NC State beat Clemson? Tune in at 8 o’clock to find out