Time: 2:00 pm
Announcers: Kevin Harlan, Bill Raftery
This isn’t your traditional Duke team, they have a huge offensive punch but lack the shutdown defense that has come to be expected of a Duke team. Plus they lack any height inside, that is where they are vulnerable, if you take advantage of it.
If State can pound the ball inside and somehow avoid foul trouble then I think the Pack can make a game of this. Of course if the “tendencies” are called then the game is already over.
There’s no sugar coating this, the Pack sucks on defense. In fact it’s my biggest problem with Gottfried, none of his players every exhibit basic fundamental defensive principles, just a lot of standing and reaching in while no one ever talks to each other. “The legs feed the wolf” and the defense feeds the offense, it’s that simple and yet we can’t seem to grasp this notion. It’s going to be a long day on defense, at least we won’t have to worry about the Pack’s bad defensive rebounding since Duke won’t miss many shots and even if they do I’m sure a “foul” was committed.
KenPom likes Duke by 14. I think this game will be over in the first 5 minutes but the Pack will find a way to give us just enough hope to keep watching.
Attending a One Direction Concert. Look, this will likely make your eyes bleed. Turn it on and find something else to do while it’s on in the background.
Joe Giglio (N&O)
NC State has ‘big’ advantage against Duke
“In previous games, we haven’t been as aggressive as we should be,” Anya said. “We were more aggressive at Wake and I think you’ll see more of that the rest of the year.”
The Wolfpack’s interior success came against Wake’s man defense in the first half, and that’s how the UCLA system is supposed to work, with the offense flowing through the bigs, who have to be aggressive.
Getting his young post players to be assertive has been a challenge for Gottfried, whose first two N.C. State teams were driven by the post production of C.J. Leslie and Richard Howell.
“Our young guys, they’re good,” Gottfried said. “For our team to develop into the best we can become, our big guys need to develop.”
Before the season, Gottfried knew his quarter of inexperienced post options — even Vandenberg, a fifth-year senior, played sparingly before this season — wouldn’t match the production of Leslie and Howell, the two leading scorers from the 2012-13 team. Leslie (15.1 points per game) and Howell (12.7) accounted for 35.9 percent of the Pack’s scoring last season (27.8 of its 77.4 points per game).
Through 17 games, the quartet of Vandenberg-Anya-Washington-Freeman have combined for 16.8 points per game or 23.2 percent of the team’s 72.5 points per game. That’s not enough, not in a system predicated on the production of its forwards.
“Our bigs need to touch the ball more,” Gottfried said. “It’s something that we’ve tried to make a point of emphasis, I thought the first half (at Wake Forest) we did a great job of that.”
Luke DeCock (N&O)
Wolfpack looks for first win against Krzyzewski at Duke since ’88
It has been years – decades – since N.C. State last beat a Duke team coached my Mike Krzyzewski in Cameron Indoor Stadium.
There isn’t a player on either team who was even close to being born. Some weren’t born in 1995, when Krzyzewski stepped aside for Pete Gaudet and N.C. State was one of six ACC teams to beat Duke in Cameron.
“Wow,” Duke guard Quinn Cook said. “We would definitely like to continue that streak.”
The Wolfpack appears to have two of the ingredients needed to upset Duke this season: A perimeter penetration threat and inside scoring. That formula worked for Notre Dame and it worked for Clemson, although both games were on the road. (Duke’s two other losses, to Kansas and Arizona, were on more even terms.)
For the Irish, that was Michigan State transfer Garrick Sherman (14 points) on the inside and Eric Atkins (19 points, 11 assists) on the outside. For the Tigers, it was K.J. McDaniels (24 points) on the inside and Rod Hall (11 points, four assists) on the outside.
N.C. State’s two best players just happen to be 6-foot-8 forward T.J. Warren, who leads the ACC at 22.2 points per game, and speedy freshman point guard Cat Barber, who excels at blowing past defenders and getting to the rim.
Stephen Schramm (fayobserver.com)
ACC Basketball: Three to know for N.C. State at No. 23 Duke
1. In need of a lift
Duke comes into today’s game looking to nurse some fragile momentum while the Wolfpack just hopes to start some.
On Friday, Duke guard Rasheed Sulaimon called Monday night’s dramatic 69-64 victory against Virginia as a “must-win.”
He has a point. If the Cavaliers had been able to hold on to their slim lead in the final minute, it would have dropped Duke to 1-3 in the ACC and turn the slight unrest created by road losses to Notre Dame and Clemson into a full-on panic.
But down by a point, Sulaimon hit a clutch 3 and Amile Jefferson hit a pair of free throws to give Duke the win.
“After the game, everybody felt good personally and collectively as a team about the team that we beat and the fashion that we beat them in,” Sulaimon said. “It was definitely a confidence boost for us and we know if we play like that, we can continue to string up wins.”
Meanwhile, N.C. State is in dire need of something to feel good about. Starting with a Dec. 28 loss at home to Missouri, N.C. State has just two wins in its last four games, and one of those victories was a shaky one at UNC-Greensboro.
The Wolfpack showed some signs of progress on Wednesday night at Wake Forest, overcoming an early deficit and leading for most of the second half. But a late layup by Codi-Miller McIntyre ended up dealing the Wolfpack a 70-69 loss.
3. Lewis questionable
N.C. State could be thin at point guard as the status of sophomore Tyler Lewis is in doubt.
Lewis played six minutes early but missed the second half against Wake Forest due to illness. He was so uncomfortable that he briefly left the bench.
Stephen Schramm (fayobserver.com)
N.C. State’s big men must step up against Duke
After Thursday’s practice had wrapped up, N.C. State forward Lennard Freeman was surrounded by a cluster of reporters, barely containing his excitement for today’s trip to face No. 23 Duke, saying it’s been something he’s looked forward to.
Meanwhile, fellow freshman BeeJay Anya lurked largely unnoticed just behind the cameras, trying to distract Freeman with a mischievous smile.
In that moment, it was easy to remember that the two are 18 years old and just 17 games into their college careers. But today, if the Wolfpack is to break nearly two decades of frustration at Duke and end its run of recent struggles, Anya, Freeman and the rest of the Wolfpack’s big men will need to play beyond their years.
With four losses in its last six games, N.C. State (11-6 overall, 1-3 ACC) has entered a period of reassessment. It knows that when it opens things up for sophomore forward T.J. Warren, the ACC’s leading scorer, things go well. When it runs into a zone defense, which slows down its high-post offense, limits Warren and exploits the Wolfpack’s suspect outside shooting, things usually don’t.
But Wolfpack coach Mark Gottfried sees a solution.
In Wednesday night’s 70-69 loss to Wake Forest, the Wolfpack’s big men proved to be a reliable source of scoring. Anya, Freeman, fellow freshman Kyle Washington and senior Jordan Vandenberg combined to go 9 of 13 for 22 points. They also had 21 rebounds, helping the Wolfpack to a decisive advantage in points in the paint (36-24) and second-chance points (23-4).
While much of it is young, with five players that are 6-foot-8 or taller, the Wolfpack does have size. And against the Demon Deacons, N.C. State showed how effective it can be when it uses it.
“For our team to develop into the best that we can become, our big guys have got to develop,” Gottfried said. “We’ve got to get them the ball along the way.”
919 Showdown: NC State at Duke On Saturday
Two of college basketball’s storied programs will take the court Saturday afternoon when NC State travels to No. 23 Duke at 2 p.m. The 238th meeting between the Wolfpack and the Blue Devils will be on CBS.
The two teams split last season, with the home team winning each contest. Wolfpack fans rushed the court after NCSU’s 84-76 win last January at PNC Arena. The victory in Raleigh came when Duke was ranked No. 1 and hadn’t yet lost.
NC State (11-6, 1-3) will go into Cameron Indoor Stadium with the ACC’s leading scorer T.J. Warren, who averages 22.2 points per game. Warren scored 22 in NC State’s last game, a 70-69 loss at Wake Forest that the Wolfpack led for most of the night. NCSU has won three of its last four road contests.
Duke (13-4, 2-2) is coming off a close win over Virginia, a team NC State played last Saturday. The Blue Devils are led by freshman Jabari Parker, who averages 18.8 points and 7.3 rebounds per game.
After playing Duke, NC State has a quick turnaround before it hosts Maryland Monday, Jan. 20 at 9 p.m.
1. SCHEDULING QUIRK
In a scheduling quirk, NC State will be playing its fourth game at Duke in the last five meetings between the two schools. The Wolfpack played at Cameron Indoor in 2011 and in the schools’ only meeting in 2012. The two Triangle schools played a home-and-home last season and now the Wolfpack is back at Duke for Saturday’s contest. Since 2008, six of the 10 meetings between the two schools have been in Durham.