We have made it to Sweet Sixteen weekend on a bit of a roller coaster. At this stage in the season, it purely comes down to winning, not style. NC State beat NC A&T and then a feisty South Florida squad with the same “formula”; go down early, get banged up with physical play, have an amazing third quarter and win.
So with that, let’s play some Bad News / Good News…
Bad News – Indiana is for Real
If you looked at the first weekend of games, the best team in the Mercado region was 4-seed Indiana. They held VCU and a decent Belmont squad to an average of 40 damn points. We’re talking serious lockdown defense. Meanwhile, on the other end, shooting 46% with only 15 total turnovers. We’ll go in-depth tomorrow for the game, but this one will be close.
Good New – Wes Moore is the Best
Can only imagine the number of State fans rubbing their eyes and wondering what planet they were on, when they saw a STATE COACH make the perfect adjustments at half. Yet, it’s something Wes has been doing most of the year. This week he was named the National Coach of the Year and was emotional speaking about it’s connection to Pat Summit. If there is any coach I’d trust right now to evaluate the Hoosiers offense and defense and then “fix” said problems, it’s Wes Moore.
"I think he knows the sky is the limit. In practice, he says if it's not perfect it's not right."
— Bridget Condon (@BridgetCondon_) March 25, 2021
Bad News – Kayla Jones Ain’t Coming Back
1000000% hope this is wrong, but it doesn’t look good. It was revealed that Jones suffered a Patella Tendon injury. What does that mean?!? Two cases, completely dependent on extent of possible tear…
-If it’s not torn but strained, she can play through that. If it’s a slightest or tears, she also could play, just a matter of understanding that “this is my senior season, this is how I could go out, risking the future.”
-If it’s a true tear, it’s a no-go. Maybe it’s an awesome story of her coming in for the final 30 seconds to say she played, but it’s not going to be for any kind of extended time or effort.
The biggest problem is time. A two-week turnaround, in either scenario, is less than ideal.
Good News – Boyd Might be Best Player Right Now
Not sure how many times they mentioned it on the broadcast (over/under 538), but Boyd would absolutely be a starter on just about any other team in the country. Each night, see fills the stat sheet from top to bottom. This NCAA Tourney; 36 points, 15 rebounds, 2 steals, 3 total turnovers…I mean, come on, that’s incredible.
When you realize that Jones is in her senior season, it definitely is a tougher pill to swallow. Just realize, Boyd is the best player, in the best position to fill in. Oh, and she’s a sophomore gaining loads of experience.
Bad News – Physicality Versus Cunane
There were moments in the opening rounds, that even I was tired watching. The second-team All-American took every punch and literal elbow inside the paint. Easily the most tired she’s looked heading into both 4th quarters just about all season. Her shooting percentage shows. Through the two games, Cunane shot 6-22 (27%), which is (ironically…perfectly) half her average on the season.
Good News – Can’t Stop, Won’t Stop
You think Cunane just isn’t going to show up? Even though she struggled to finish at the basket, Cunane still put up a dozen points each game and got her opponent(s) into foul trouble. Hobby also contributed in her 18 minutes of playing time.
Here’s also something to think about; there are two types of “physical” play. The first is what State would see against a team like Baylor. Tall, strong Center and Forward presence that stay put wherever they are standing. Then there’s what we saw at times against NC A&T and S. Florida…grabbing, pulling, borderline tackling. Both are hard to deal with, no doubt, but the latter adds layers of frustration and unfocus.
In the end, KEEP WINNING. The Wolfpack has seen every style of play this season and has walked away the winner on far more occasions. Knock on wood, that health, energy and focus remain high.
State plays Indiana on Saturday at 6pm on ESPN2.
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.