Time: 3:00 pm
TV: ACC Network
Announcers: Steve Martin, Mike Gminski
NC State kicks off a three game road trip, starting with flying to New York to play Syracuse in the Carrier Dome. The Pack have had some big successes in the Carrier Dome. Who can forget 1998 and Torry Holt?
Last Time Out:
Syracuse traveled to Pitt and escaped with their #1 ranking and undefeated record still intact when Tyler Ennis drains a long three as time expires to win 58-56.
ZONE, ZONE, and more ZONE. The Pack’s worst nightmare matchup (outside of trying to beat UNC at its own game without the horses to match them) has finally arrived, athletic, talented, big men who are quick and play tough zone defense and control the tempo at their slowed down pace. Gee, what DON’T they do well? Defensive Rebounding, that’s it folks. Basketball is all about matchups and momentum, M&M. (oh boy do I love the peanut variety) The Pack simply matches up poorly against the Orange so if they Pack play their typical game it will be another typical blowout against a top ranked team.
#5 CJ Fair (6-8 215 SR) Forward – Fair is not having the type of season worthy of all the POY talk that he gets but that doesn’t mean he’s not All ACC material. He only has an ORtg of 102 and an average rebounding rate and his shooting (eFG) is only 47.2%.
#11 Tyler Ennis (6-2 180 FR) Guard – Ennis is one seriously talented freshman point guard. He sports an assist rate of 32.3% coupled with a turnover rate of only 13.3. This kid is solid at running the Orange and he can play defense and score too. Ennis is just as dangerous as Fair.
#10 Trevor Cooney (6-4 195 SO) Guard – Three Point Specialist, 72% of his shots come from outside the arc and he’s good at making them (.433). Give up the 2 in favor of not letting him shoot 3’s.
#25 Rakeem Christmas (6-9 250 JR) Forward – Christmas is a shot blocking, rebounding machine that may only take 4 or 5 shots a game he’ll make most of them (.684).
#3 Jerami Grant (6-8 210 SO) Forward – Grant became the starter after DaJuan Coleman was lost for the season back in early January due to a knee injury. Grant may not have started the season as the starter but he’s proven to be a quality player. Must be nice to have a guy come off the bench and give you an ORtg of 118, rebound, block, and score.
#12 Baye Keita (6-10 220 SR), #0 Michael Gbinije (6-7 200 SO), #21 Tyler Roberson (6-8 212 FR)
All are good rebounders and Keita is a shot blocker. We’re likely to see more of Keita and Gbinije than Roberson.
Keys to the Pack winning:
Three things the Pack must do differently to have a chance at winning:
1. Defensive Rebounding. Limit their second chances due to fewer possessions.
2. Get to the FT Line and make a high percentage of them.
3. Make a high percentage of 3’s to give Warren room to move inside.
Bonus Key: Guards handle the pressure and not turn the ball over.
Magic Number: 65
NC State is 15-3 when they score 65 or more points this season.
Syracuse has only allowed 6 teams to score 65 or more points this season.
Another Magic Number: 25
NC State is 8-0 when TJ Warren scores 25 or more points this season.
One More Magic Number: 50
NC State is 9-0 when they shoot 50% or better.
NC State is 1-4 against Syracuse
12/4/90 #4 Syracuse 86, NC State 79 (at Syracuse)
2/3/01 #12 Syracuse 54, NC State 53 (at PNC)
12/8/01 NC State 82, #9 Syracuse 68 (at Syracuse)
2/13/11 #8 Syracuse 65, NC State 59 (at Syracuse)
12/17/12 #1 Syracuse 88, NC State 72 (at PNC)
– NC State has an 8-0 record when shooting the same number or more free throws than its opponents.
– State is 7-1 when making the same or more foul shots.
– State is 15-1 when it shoots better/same as opponent.
I’m still waiting on this “improvement” to show up so I don’t have to keep seeing all these facepalms. Pack Offense vs. Orange Defense, will the Pack turn Syracuse’s Zone into Sunny D or will the Tropicana Concentrate shutdown anything the Pack has?
DE-FEN-SIVE RE-BOUND-ING. I’ll keep saying this until I’m blue in the face or until someone on the coaching staff realizes it’s killing us. The one stat I’ll be looking at to measure our chances. If the Pack’s offense can overcome the zone then defensive rebounding will likely be the deciding factor in the game.
Vegas likes Syracuse by 14. KenPom likes the Orange by 15 and gives State a 7% chance at winning.