Game Time: 9:00 pm
Announcers: Mike Patrick, LaPhonso Ellis
So much for never repeating the beating from UVA…I have a feeling Duke won’t be the last this season. Look, we all see it, this team just isn’t very good on offense and they are even worse on defense but if the Pack doesn’t want to go ahead and flush this season right now then they must do something during this 3-game home stand and it begins against an average Maryland team. If the Pack doesn’t win at least 2 of the next 3 then February will be a long month with 5 of 7 on the road.
There is nothing special about this Maryland team except one thing…Rebounding. These guys limit second chance opportunities for their opponents and maximize their own on offense. What does that equate to?? A whole lot of pain for the Pack.
#4 Seth Allen (6-1 190 SO) Guard – Allen doesn’t do a lot of scoring but has a quality ORtg at 113. His strength is running the offense and finding the open man.
#32 Dez Wells (6-5 215 JR) Guard – Maryland’s do everything guard who may not have spectacular numbers they aren’t anything to sneeze at either. Bad matchup problem #1.
#10 Jake Layman (6-8 205 SO) Forward – A 3pt shooting forward who’s good at it (.388) but is also good inside the arc (.462). Bad matchup problem #2 here.
#1 Evan Smotrycz (6-8 230 JR) Forward – See Jake Layman, matchup problem #3.
#44 Shaquille Cleare (6-9 265 SO) Forward – He hasn’t done much this year with only 13% of the team’s possessions but does a good job with what his does. So we all know Shaq will be the unknown player with a career game against the Pack.
As this season moves on we see more and more the Pack on offense has lost it advantages, this is a result of a High Post Offense that isn’t run through the High Post and a bunch of guards who can’t shoot the ball. We all know the Pack can’t make 3′s so their entire offense is generated around the basket and relies heavily on offensive rebounding and second chance points (ahem…Buckets). Maryland will limit this and thus limit the Pack on offense. Be prepared to see the TO advantage begin to slip away until the Pack learns to control the ball better, especially when it’s at the top of the key and an easy transition basket for the opposition.
The Pack is pretty good at defending the 2, that’s not their problem, their problem is their weak defensive rebounding and allowing multiple chances for the opposition most trips down the floor and with this Maryland team that’s a recipe for disaster. The Pack’s 3 pt defense is anything but Herculean, it should be Casper, because they are so non-existent that no one is ever around the oppositions shooters.
KenPom thinks the Pack wins this one by 1. Because this is the Twerps, anything crazy can and will happen so I’m picking against the Pack.
Joe Giglio (N&O)
Reeling Wolfpack needs quick turnaround
The Wolfpack’s biggest problems have been on defense. It gave up 48 points in the second half to Pitt, 48 in the first half to Virginia and 50 in the second half to Duke.
N.C. State showed some promise on defense in the first half at Duke Saturday. Sophomore forward T.J. Warren blocked a 3-point attempt by Rasheed Sulaimon about five minutes into the first half at the top of the key and turned the defensive play into a transition basket.
Later in the first half, freshman forward Kyle Washington rejected a dunk attempt by Duke guard Andre Dawkins.
The Wolfpack couldn’t build on either play. It struggled to pressure the ball, which was supposed to be a strength of freshman guard Cat Barber and junior guard Desmond Lee, while the forwards struggled with ball screens.
“We have to work on that and keep getter better at those things,” Gottfried said.
Before the season, Gottfried knew there would be struggles for his inexperienced team this season, but he also hoped there would be significant defensive improvement from the 2012-13 season.
This team has been better at blocking shots but it hasn’t been able to create turnovers or get out in transition like last season’s NCAA tournament team.
Duke, like Virginia and Pitt before them, was able to drive to the rim at will against N.C. State’s defense.
“It started for us with our inability to defend somebody off the dribble,” Gottfried said. “That hurts.”
At 1-4 in the ACC, the Wolfpack finds its season in a tailspin. With three straight conference home games – against Maryland, Georgia Tech and Florida State – it can still recover and prove Krzyzewski’s opinion to be correct.
Monday’s games: Maryland at N.C. State, UNC at Virginia
The bulletin board: This is the first of three Triangle trips for Maryland in its final ACC season. N.C. State, North Carolina and Duke don’t play in College Park, Md. … This is the start of a three-game homestand for the Wolfpack, which has played three of its last four games on the road. Georgia Tech and Florida State also come to Raleigh this month. … N.C. State has two 30-point losses in its first five league games. The last time it had two in the same season was 1994, and that team finished 5-11. … Maryland’s top player is Raleigh native Dez Wells, who averages 14.6 points and 4.9 rebounds. … N.C. State freshman Lennard Freeman, who didn’t play Saturday because of a sprained ankle, sat out practice Sunday and is a game-time decision.
Stephen Schramm (FayObserver.com)
NC State Hosts Maryland For Final Time In ACC
NC State and Maryland, long-time ACC foes, will meet as conference opponents for the final time when the Terrapins comes PNC Arena Monday night at 9 p.m. The game will be broadcast on ESPNU.
Maryland controlled the series until Mark Gottfried got to Raleigh. NC State’s 79-74 win over Maryland in 2012 snapped a nine-game losing streak to the Terps. Last season’s contest featured a basket by UM’s Alex Len in the final second to lift Maryland 51-50 over the Pack. Each team owns an 11-7 overall record on the year.
NC State will attack Maryland with the ACC’s leading scorer, 6-8 sophomore T.J. Warren. The Durham, N.C., native averages 22.2 points per game. He had 23 points and eight rebounds at Duke on Saturday. Maryland will counter with 6-5 athletic swingman Dez Wells. Wells, the MVP of the Paradise Jam, leads Maryland in scoring with 14.6 points per game.
Monday’s contest is the start of three straight home games for NC State. After hosting Maryland, the Pack will take on Georgia Tech Sunday, Jan. 26. Florida State comes to PNC Wednesday, Jan. 29.
1. REALIGNMENT CASUALTY
Monday night’s tilt between NC State and Maryland could potentially be the last meeting between the two long-time ACC schools. Maryland, like NC State, is a charter member of the ACC and is set to join the Big Ten Conference next season. The two schools have played on the hardwood 150 times entering Monday’s contest. The most memorable meeting in the series was the 1974 ACC tourney final, when No. 1 NC State defeated No. 5 Maryland 103-100 in Greensboro. That win propelled the Wolfpack to its first national title.
2. GOTT’s 50TH
Mark Gottfried and the Pack will celebrate the coach’s 50th birthday when they host Maryland at PNC Arena on Monday night. Gottfried is 4-2 all-time on his birthday, including a 1-0 mark at NC State. Last year’s 66-62 home win over Clemson was on his 49th birthday.