Preview of the ACC WBB Championship
2nd Seed NC State Wolfpack @ 1st Seed Louisville Cardinals
What we all expected has come to fruition…Just not necessarily as “cleanly” as we hoped.
Sunday at noon (Seriously? Noon? Feel like I’m back in a U-12 tournament) the top two teams in the ACC, battle out for some hardware and a #1 seed in the NCAA Tournament. In seems like FOREVER ago these two teams matched up, with State taking the upset win, walking away mind you, 74-60. (Link to that game’s highlights above).
Road to the Championship
State was a tale of two teams this extended weekend. Versus Virginia Tech (68-55 win) in the quarterfinals they didn’t quite have the shooting touch, but were in complete control for the entirety of the game. Against Georgia Tech, however, State looked lost. It wasn’t until a 20-6 run in the 4th quarter that they were able to secure the 66-61 victory.
Louisville was in absolute control through their first two rounds of the Tournament, only trailing by a combine 1:27. The quarterfinals saw Guard Van Lith take over with 24 points in a 65-53 win. In the semifinals versus Syracuse, four Cardinals were in double figures in the 72-59 win.
Who Returns to “Normal” First?
For the second straight season, the ACC Player of the Year was Louisville Shooting Guard, Dana Evans. The hottest player coming out of the regular season in the ACC, was State’s Jakia Brown-Turner. Neither have had a great tournament thus far.
LOU – D. Evans: 21 pts / 10 ast (Normally averages that per game)
STATE – Brown-Turner: 12 pts / 7 reb (Last four games of regular season averaged 17/5, a game)
In a game so evenly matched, both will need to ramp up their play.
Find Avenues to Attack.
On the season, State averages 37% from behind the arch. The games in which Louisville takes control, is when they limit your options of attacking. Both Wake Forest and Syracuse shot less that 17% from three, forcing them to go inside more, where Louisville clamped down.
In their first matchup of the season, State was successful spreading the floor and attacking. There were series that Perez hits a three, next went inside to Cunane, then a back door cut to Boyd. Louisville can go big or go small, so the ability to keep them on their heels with a diverse attack is HUGE.
Fast Start, While Limiting Runs
Louisville is good and when they get ahead, they usually stay there. State has to play aggressive and physical from the get-go. Moments of the VT and GT games, they looked sluggish, undisciplined and unprepared. While we love the fact that they’ve fully embraced the “Doesn’t matter if it’s ugly, we’re just here to win” mentality, that won’t fair well against the Cards.
Wes Moore has brought it up after both games, that sometimes on defense they rely on “the opponent to make the mistake.” Defensive rebounds have to turn into uptempo transitions. No more walking, no more waiting, attack. State needs to keep it close in the first, and take advantage of size in the second half.
When State is on, they’re on. The wins against South Carolina and these same Cardinals prove that they are a team that can make a deep Tournament run. But they need to show up. The first two games were probably 80-85% what they are capable of…that just won’t do it against Louisville.
If Brown-Turner returns to her 16 point status, if Cunane and Hobby solidify that inside presence and if Perez and Jones spread the floor and find their open looks, then State repeats as ACC Champs.
If any one of those pieces are missing? Sorry Wolfpack Nation.
VIDEO: NC State women fall 64-63 to Princeton on late three in NCAA 1st Round
The NC State women were a 7 seed, picked to move on over 10-seeded Princeton, but that’s not how it worked out.
The Pack women were plagued by turnovers (20) and Princeton capitalized with a late 3 to clinch the win. Highlight above.
Sad day for NC State all around.
WOMEN’S BASKETBALL: NC State Moves Up to #15 After Win Over Notre Dame
The NC State Women’s Basketball (16-5) team moved up 5 spots in the Week 13 AP Poll, after defeating Notre Dame 69-65 yesterday, who was ranked 7th then, and ranked 9th now.
ACC Teams in the Week 13 AP Poll
9. Notre Dame
13. Virginia Tech
15. NC State
The Wolfpack’s next game will be on Thursday night on the road at Georgia Tech at 8pm on ACC Network.
NC State Signee Zoe Brooks is a McDonald’s All-American
NC State Women’s Basketball 2023 signee Zoe Brooks was named a McDonald’s All-American yesterday.
|Player||High School||Position||Height||Committed to|
|Zoe Brooks||Saint John Vianney (NJ)||G||5-10||NC State|
|Essence Cody||Valdosta (GA)||F||6-3||Alabama|
|Aalyah Del Rosario||The Webb School (CA)||F||6-5||LSU|
|Jadyn Donovan||Sidwell Friends School (DC)||G||6-0||Duke|
|Milaysia Fulwiley||W.J. Keenan (SC)||G||5-6||South Carolina|
|Hannah Hildalgo||Paul VI (NJ)||G||5-6||Notre Dame|
|Riley Nelson||Bullis School (MD)||W||6-0||Maryland|
|Courtney Ogden||Westminster School (GA)||W||5-11||Stanford|
|Laila Reynolds||Shabach Christian (FL)||F||6-2||Florida|
|Emma Risch||Palm Bay Magnet (FL)||G||6-1||Notre Dame|
|Taliah Scott||Saint John’s Country Day (FL)||G||5-9||Arkansas|
|Ashlynn Shade||La Lumiere (IN)||G||5-9||UConn|
|Player||High School||Position||Height||Committed to|
|Kamorea Arnold||Germantown (WI)||G||5-9||UConn|
|Sofia Bell||Jesuit (OR)||W||6-1||Oregon|
|Madison Booker||Germantown (MS)||W||6-1||Texas|
|Addyson Brown||Derby Senior (KS)||W||6-2||Iowa State|
|Breya Cunningham||La Jolla Country Day (CA)||F||6-4||Arizona|
|Kymora Johnson||Saint Annes-Belfield (VA)||G||5-7||Virginia|
|Tessa Johnson||Saint Michael Albertville (MN)||G||5-10||South Carolina|
|Amanda Muse||Heritage (CA)||F||6-4||UCLA|
|Judea Watkins||Sierra Canyon (CA)||G||6-0||USC|
|Mikaylah Williams||Parkway (LA)||G||6-0||LSU|
|Jada Williams||La Jolla Country Day||G||5-6||Arizona|
|Sahara Williams||West (IA)||W||5-10||Oklahoma|
Here is what ESPN had to say about Brooks being named a McDonald’s All-American.
Zoe Brooks, G
Signed with: NC State | 2023 ESPNW 100 ranking: 9
St. John Vianney HS (New Jersey)
Brooks is a gifted scorer who can flat out put the ball in the basket. Over the past 18 months, she has really gone to work on her conditioning and it brought her game to another level. She is a true three-level scorer. Defenses must be there on the close out, but containing Brooks is no easy feat as she attacks angles, changes speeds, and has the footwork and handle to counter. Her strength allows her to finish with contact at the rim and her touch provides an array of floaters and usage of the glass for buckets. Brooks sees the floor well and zips passes to teammates for open looks. Defensively, she has fantastic instincts and is good in passing lanes and in the press. Brooks is averaging 24 points, 6.5 rebounds, and 4.1 assists per game this season. (ESPN)
Women’s Basketball: #20 NC State 71 Miami 61: Box Score & Highlights
#20 NC State picked up a much needed win last night against Miami, defeating the Hurricanes 71-61 in PNC Arena, avoiding a 3-game skid.
Sophomore Guard Saniya Rivers led the pack with 14 points, 6 steals, 3 rebounds and 3 assists.
As long as she keeps working, @PackWomensBball Saniya Rivers ( @Ihoop___22 ) is going to be a really fun @wnba player to cover in a few years.
(Until then, I’ll enjoy watching her, @haileyvanlith , NC State & @LouisvilleWBB on ABC Sunday at 1pm et.)
— Rebecca Lobo (@RebeccaLobo) January 19, 2023
Seniors Camille Hobby and Mimi Collins both had 11 points.
Sophomore Guard Aziaha James had 10 points, and led the Pack with 6 rebounds.
The Wolfpack was without Jada Boyd and Jessica Timmons last night, and River Baldwin went down with an injury, and will have an MRI tomorrow.
NC State is now 14-5 overall, and 4-4 in ACC play, and will play at Louisville on Sunday at 1pm on ABC.