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BY THE NUMBERS: Something’s gotta give. NC State wins on offense, but Colorado State is better on defense

NC State Basketball

BY THE NUMBERS: Something’s gotta give. NC State wins on offense, but Colorado State is better on defense

BY THE NUMBERS: Something’s gotta give. NC State wins on offense, but Colorado State is better on defense

They say that you can predict who is going to win a basketball game by focusing on the ‘Four Factors’ — shooting (effective field goal percentage), rebounding (offensive and defensive rebounding rates), turnovers (turnover rate), and getting to the free-throw line (free throw rate) — and generates how many points a team scores, and gives up, per 100 possessions.

We wanted to put this to the test and see where NC State and Colorado State rank when put up against each other. Take a look.

Offensive Four Factors

Effective FG%
NC State – 53.2% (52nd)🏆
Colorado State – 47.7% (64th)

Off Rebound%
NC State – 29.8% (109th) 🏆
Colorado State – 25.1% (245th)

NC State – 31.7 (164th) •
Colorado State – 32.5 (151st)🏆

NC State – 18.5% (155th)🏆
Colorado State – 19.8% (222nd)

Defensive Four Factors

Effective FG%
NC State – 51.5% (234th)
Colorado State – 47.7% (64th) 🏆

Off Rebound%
NC State – 32.2% (313th)
Colorado State – 26.3% (109th) 🏆

NC State – 29 (114th)
Colorado State – 27.2 (66th) 🏆

NC State – 21.9% (40th) 🏆
Colorado State – 19.9% (105th)

Looking at these comparisons, it looks like we’re going to see a collision of sorts.

NC State is a better offensive team by 3 of the 4 metrics listed above, and the one they trail in is close (and of least importance in our opinion.) However, on defense Colorado State is the better team in 3 of the 4 metrics and not far behind in the 4th.

Something’s gotta give, right?

Well, we’re not so sure. We say that because if you remember the By the Numbers we did for the Davidson game, it looked like Davidson was the far-better team. However, we also noted that these stats may be deceptive since these two teams have spent a full season playing much different competition.

That’s the case here. Colorado State may be a #1 seed, but they really haven’t played much competition. Sure, Utah State and San Diego State twice, but those teams didn’t really have great showings against tougher competition in the NCAA Tournament. Meanwhile< NC State played 10 games against NCAA Tournament teams, two of which are headed to the Sweet 16 (Syracuse & FSU).

Numbers wise, this looks a lot closer than the Davidson game did, and that is a good thing for NC State.

Colorado State is weak in a lot of danger-areas against State. They are very bad on the offensive glass and they turn the ball over a lot. Meanwhile, NC State’s weakness is teams that dominate on the offensive glass, but they will turn you over.

On paper and to the naked eye, this looks like a bad matchup for Colorado State. Both in terms of strengths/weaknesses, size/length and personnel, but you never know with these types of games.

The two unknowns that NC State will need to provide answers for are:

– How do they matchup against the smallest backcourt they’ve seen all season? Can they keep them in front of them and out of the lane?  Does State go big and out size them, or match their quicks with a smaller lineup?


– How do they defend David Roddy? The guy is a freaking beast and definitely, the strongest guy State has faced all season. He’s only 6’5, but he’s 253lbs and an absolute freight train when he gets going. Will it be Hellems on him and try to match up the size? Will they try Funderburk to bother him with size?

We’ll get more in-depth with what State needs to do to win in our “Keys to the game” piece coming soon…

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