(12) NC STATE vs (5) SAINT LOUIS Preview

2014NCAAFinalFourLogo

Time: 7:20 pm
Location: Orlando, FL
TV: TNT
Announcers: Brian Anderson, Dan Bonner and Kristine Leahy

The Pack is in the Round of 64 after defeating the Xavier Musketeers 74-59 in the First Four match in Dayton, OH. The Wolfpack put together one of their best all-around performances this season by getting almost a complete team effort in multiple facets on both ends of the court. Sure the Pack has been more efficient on offense this season but increasing their performance on defense just a little, it more than made up for any drop off in offensive efficiency. Anthony Barber was sick and it effected his time on the court and Warren was saddled with two quick fouls at the beginning of the game which slowed him down but everyone stepped up until he was able to find his grove. With the win the Pack has moved on to Orlando, FL to face the Saint Louis Billikens.

Getting to know them

The Billikens have had a tremendous year in the A-10, jumping out to a 25-2 (12-0) record, with the 2 losses being a 63-57 loss to Wisconsin on a neutral court and a 70-65 loss to undefeated Wichita State at home. Then something happened, St. Louis lost at home to lowly Duquesne and stumbled the rest of the way to a 26-6 (13-3) record, including a first round exit in the A-10 tournament to St. Bonaventure. St. Louis starts 5 seniors, who are in their third NCAAT but doesn’t go very deep into their bench very often. They aren’t a very tall team either, outside of a couple of 6-11 guys, they top out at 6-6.

The Billikens strength is in their defense. It’s not shutdown, low scoring type of defense, more of a make you work extra hard for your points, make you less efficient to compensate for their own low offensive efficiency. Little things like limiting the three, good defensive rebounding to prevent second chance points, forcing turnovers, and not sending the opposition to the line much.

Probable Starters
#5 Jordair Jet (6-1 215 SR) Guard – Jett has an amazing Assist Rate of 34.4%, which ranks #23 in the nation but with having the ball so much means he also has a lot of opportunities to turn the ball over, TORate 20.2%. Jett doesn’t shoot the three, only have 34 3fga this season but he does have a lot of two’s, eFG 50%, and draws a lot of fouls, 5.8 per 40, so he’s likely driving a lot to the basket. Oh yeah and he’s the A-10 Player of the Year, so he’s got that going for him.

#11 Mike McCall (6-0 180 SR) Guard – McCall is the shooting guard and he’s been pretty good this year, 109 ORtg, shoots as many 3′s as 2′s, an eFG 51%, and good at FT’s, though he doesn’t get to the line much. Can’t leave him alone on the perimeter.

#30 Jake Barnett (6-5 205 SR) Forward – Barnett is the least effective scoring option of the starters. He only has a 90 ORtg, barely shooting any 2′s, mainly living on the perimeter jacking 3′s and not that great at 30%. He’s okay at defensive rebounding 12.2% but has a tendancy to turn the ball over at 19% TORate.

#21 Dwayne Evans (6-6 230 SR) Forward - Evan has okay numbers, a 103 ORtg, 50% eFG (doesn’t shoot the 3), but is good at rebounding 8% OR and 17% DR, and drawing fouls to get to the line where he shoots 74%.

#51 Rob Loe (6-11 245 SR) Center - Loe is the match up nightmare for the Pack, he’s taken 123 2FGA (.593) and 115 3FGA (.296). Because he shoots so many 3′s his Offensive Rebounding isn’t that good but he makes up for it on defense where he’s grabbing 16% DR and Blocks 4.7% of shots (#238 nationally). This is where I think we need Washington guarding him on the perimeter and switching up when he goes inside. Did I forget to mention Loe is from New Zealand? Battle of the Bigs from Down Under.

Bench
#2 Austin McBroom (5-9 165 SO), #54 John Manning (6-11 240 JR), #1 Grandy Glaze (6-6 235 JR)

Glaze was getting a decent amount of playing time off the bench for most of the season but during their losing streak his time has been almost nonexistent. He’s a good rebounder and only plays around a the basket but turns the ball over quite a lot. McBroom has seen his minutes increase of late though that hasn’t meant he’s playing great, in fact it’s either good or awful. McBroom shoots a lot of 3′s, understandable for his size, and is their best long distance shooter (.355) along with McCall. Expect to see Manning more then he usually plays simply because the Pack has the size, just don’t expect a lot out of him.

Who has the Advantage?

NOTE: This is a look at what both teams have done over the course of the season, not how they have been playing for the past few weeks. Trust me I’d love to restrict it to just the last 10 games but that would require me to do that myself which I simply don’t have the time, and I still wouldn’t know where they’d rank nationally.

This is a matchup of State’s best against St. Louis’ best and the Billikens defense has been better then the Pack’s offense. One thing I noticed in the Xavier game, who was another team that was good at defensive rebounding, was the Musketeers limited State to only 20% Offensive Rebounding which is about 15% below their season average.

Now we have the matchup of facepalms vs facepalms. It’s best to avert your eyes when the ball moves to this end of the court. Hipster Cat needs to drop the pigtails and return to his hip ways.

Predictions

KenPom likes Saint Louis by 2 points.
Sagarin likes Saint Louis by 3.3 points.
Vegas opened up with Saint Louis -2.5.

Its extremely difficult to know what’s going to happen. Will both teams continue how they’ve been playing over the last month? Or will one or both revert to their old ways? It’s difficult to tell. One thing the Billikens have an advantage in is not only a 5 starting seniors but multiple years of NCAAT experience. The Pack has the advantage of already playing a game and getting the first half jitters out of the way. The Billikens have TONS of bulletin board material since everyone is on the Pack bandwagon and predicting an upset.

Just as everyone will wear the same clothes that they had on Tuesday, watch the game from the same spot, drink the same drinks, I’m going to continue my official pick be against the Pack. I refuse to be the bringer of bad mojo to this team. So I say St. Louis by 1.

And who knows, maybe the Pack’s new good luck charm and several posters new crush, Kristine Leahy, will stick with the Pack for as long as they are in the tournament.

HEADLINES

This is a great article by Giglio, way too much to highlight.

Joe Giglio (N&O)
Gottfried stays positive, pushes right buttons for Wolfpack’s NCAA success

Ryan Tice (TheWolfpacker.com)
In-depth look at Saint Louis

TheWolfpacker.com
Q&A: Saint Louis looking forward to facing Pack

Russ Wood (TheWolfpacker.com)
Audio: Mark Gottfried, players breaks down SLU

Fred Goodall (AP)
NC State-Saint Louis Preview

PackPride.com
Previewing Saint Louis

Tom Timmermann (Stltoday.com)
Trending down, Billikens are undaunted

Bernie Miklasz (stltoday.com)
It’s up to the ‘Sons of Majerus’

Tom Timmermann (Stltoday.com)
Loe has come a long way with SLU

Tom Timmermann (Stltoday.com)
N.C. State takes whirlwind path to play SLU

About 1.21 Jigawatts

Class of '98, Mechanical Engineer, State fan since arriving on campus and it's been a painful ride ever since. I live by the Law of NC State Fandom, "For every Elation there is an equal and opposite Frustration."

13-14 Basketball

Home Forums (12) NC STATE vs (5) SAINT LOUIS Preview

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  • #48170

    1.21 Jigawatts
    Keymaster

    Time: 7:20 pm Location: Orlando, FL TV: TNT Announcers: Brian Anderson, Dan Bonner and Kristine Leahy The Pack is in the Round of 64 after defeating t
    [See the full post at: (12) NC STATE vs (5) SAINT LOUIS Preview]

    #48172

    wufpup76
    Participant

    Kristine <3

    #48174

    BJD95
    Keymaster

    OMFG, did she get our group love letter? It wasn’t creepy at all, I swear!

    We’ll even protect her from that rapey-looking winking mascot SL has.

    #48176

    BJD95
    Keymaster

    I shall also boldly declare something very contrary to conventional wisdom, which I believe with all my cold, black heart:

    Experience is overrated.

    We are in a good place mentally and spiritually right now. Jeebus, even Cat and WBS are buddying it up on the front of my sports page this morning.

    #48177

    Texpack
    Participant

    Looking forward to this one a lot. My guess is that Frenchy or KW guards the stretch 5. That has me a tad concerned. If Lewis plays like he did on Tuesday, we will be playing on Saturday.

    #48178

    BJD95
    Keymaster

    My morning “get excited” music:

    #48179

    JohnGalt78
    Participant

    My biggest concern is Jordair Jett…did his daddy favor a certain shoe brand back in the day or what? Geez, why name your beloved son after a freakin shoe. Anyway, aside from that, the dude is a cannon ball at 6’1″ and 215. That’s a good 60 pounds or so more that our points. I’m hoping Cat’s catlike ability to draw charges helps us there as long as it doesn’t kill him.

    #48180

    JohnGalt78
    Participant

    Positive thinking (and planning my Saturday couch time), CBS apparently hasn’t determine when their games will be slotted on Saturday, or at least they haven’t posted them. Can any of you wizards find the time slot where we play WHEN we make it to Saturday? Do the wait until they see the pairings to slot them?

    #48181

    1.21 Jigawatts
    Keymaster

    Nothing has been released yet, but I’m sure something will be known by the end of the first game this afternoon.

    #48182

    bill.onthebeach
    Participant

    We need better Indian Scouts….

    1. A team of Seniors doesn’t go from 25-3 to 1-4 with out a reason… Since there is no reports of injuries… there must be some “chemistry” issues across the River… We need to ascertain the exact nature of their recent problems and exploit them…. If we had Mo Rivers playing.. he would already know that girl’s name….

    2. Who’s gonna try and guard CUZ… or are we looking at a night full of ZONE ? The rest of the TEAM wants to know so they can be in position to win the game with CUZ.

    3. What we know… they don’t know….The more the SLU coaches think about CUZ,,,, the bigger their headache gets… And while you’re figuring out your game plan…. don’t disrespect Tyler.

    4. Who’s GOTT the pressure and can they handle it? This may be The PACK’s biggest advantage! More important and less obvious than playing with house money and a GetOutOfJailFreeCard…. is the Pack’s ACC Schedule…

    We played close to twenty pressure-packed intense games this season… so don’t let that “we a young team.. just kids” stuff… fool you. Just ask Xavier what I’m talking about here…

    Prediction…
    The Team that does what they do best… wins…
    and that’s the PACK.

    What we have seen develop all season… is this… CUZ with the left jab… TEAM with the right cross… eight minutes of trading baskets… two-three quick jabs by CUZ… TEAM with the stomach punch… sic minutes of trading baskets… TEAM with the jab; CUZ with the knockout punch… for about 35 minutes plus a game… then… shoot some free throws … make the last shot… win or lose the game …

    That’s what we do… Get you all worried about stopping CUZ and then beat you some other way…. with good not great defense…

    Ironically… the good D may be better most nights than the great D…

    As long as the other Coach is having some success… he ain’t changing anything… in the meantime… we are just trading baskets at the rate of say 5 to 4.5 which gives us a 5-8 point lead somewhere around the Under8 in the second…. or we get a couple of short runs and go up double digits… and then fall back a little..

    What does St. Louis do best? By all reports… it’s keeping the opponent from doing what they do best.

    Good luck with that tonight…. Green light CUZ and it’s forty… and your team will be shaking it’s head hopelessly with 15 minutes left…

    Which brings me back to the pressure thing… REMEMBER… this is the Tournament and all games should be coached / played as if there were 3 -5 minutes shorter than they actually are. Instead of being up three baskets, milking the clock and shooting free throws, the rest of the way with two minutes to go… you want to be up four baskets, milking the clock and shooting free throws, the rest of the way with five minutes to go.

    The SLU Team does not appear to have a clear offensive identity.

    There biggest weapon is that they GOTT a 6’11″ center that likes to play guard and shoot threes… that tells me he doesn’t like contact… I GOTT three BIGS and I’m going to use them to bang him around all night… If I’m right… he’s crying to Mama… If I’m wrong and he bangs right back… maybe the ref’s will be watching and he gets a couple quick whistles… either way… I GOTT this…

    Then let’s see who else wants to play…

    #48183

    Rick
    Keymaster

    I know nothing about SLU but we are playing great and they are limping to the finish line. I agree with Bill in that a team like that does not drop off without a reason.
    I wonder if we go small and let Buckets guard their center. Anya should own the lane. No reason for he and Baby Roo not to have huge games.

    #48184

    BJD95
    Keymaster

    I have a friend who follows them a bit, and he says their offense revolves around a f-ckton of screens. Meaning we will definitely need Heidi/Hipster Cat out of the litterbox tonight.

    #48185

    Rick
    Keymaster

    I have a friend who follows them a bit, and he says their offense revolves around a f-ckton of screens. Meaning we will definitely need Heidi/Hipster Cat out of the litterbox tonight.

    If there is one thing I learned from the weave and weave ™ days is if you can make them burn a lot of the shot clock they will be forced into a bad shot.

    #48186

    redcanine
    Participant

    We want to play Louisville! Knock these robots out so we can play on Saturday.

    #48187

    Fastback68
    Participant

    My Xavier preview request was granted when State took the lead three minutes into the game and never gave it up. The Charlotte Observer called the win a trouncing. Tonight, I would like Cat to sport the Samurai ponytail which is where he currently hides his switchblade. It used to be in his sock per Bill. I want Cat to go off with defense, assists and 20 or more points. I know, I’m greedy but I want Cat to be a huge part of this run. 7:20 can’t get here fast enough. Go Pack!!

    #48188

    1.21 Jigawatts
    Keymaster

    St. Louis Basketball is so big that I couldn’t find a single blog to try and glean any first hand information on this team.

    I’d plant V or KH in the middle of the paint on defense to stop any drives around screens. As for guarding the 3 there are Only 4 to concentrate on, McCall, Barnett, Loe, and McBroom. Can’t afford to go below screens and allow them to get their confidence back.

    #48189

    bill.onthebeach
    Participant

    …beej loves cats… and kittens…

    #48190

    BJD95
    Keymaster

    My Xavier preview request was granted when State took the lead three minutes into the game and never gave it up. The Charlotte Observer called the win a trouncing. Tonight, I would like Cat to sport the Samurai ponytail which is where he currently hides his switchblade. It used to be in his sock per Bill. I want Cat to go off with defense, assists and 20 or more points. I know, I’m greedy but I want Cat to be a huge part of this run. 7:20 can’t get here fast enough. Go Pack!!

    I like it. Kill Bill(ikins) Cat.

    #48191

    maverick_ncsu
    Participant

    Is it just me or is anyone else not like the fact that we are the trendy pick? I know they limped to the finish, but I’m not sure 1-4 is enough of a decline for me to feel confident. 3-9 or something like that would tell me more. And I never like picking against a good team that lost in the first round of their tournament. They’ll be ready to play even more. I know they play in a weaker conference, but if our boys have been listening to the media and overlook this game even a little bit to Louisville, we’re going home early. Guarding against lots of screens has not been our strong suit this year, but I have enjoyed the increased focus on D the last few games.

    Like the last several games, if we stay focused on BOTH ends of the floor for a full 40 minutes, we should be fine.

    #48192

    maverick_ncsu
    Participant

    Also, if they’re smaller, could we see some Cat and Lewis in there tonight? Don’t want to take the ball out of Lewis’ hand right now, but really need Cat’s quickness on D and driving the lane.

    #48193

    BJD95
    Keymaster

    Also, if they’re smaller, could we see some Cat and Lewis in there tonight? Don’t want to take the ball out of Lewis’ hand right now, but really need Cat’s quickness on D and driving the lane.

    I like that idea, too. Their guards are uber small.

    #48195

    ryebread
    Participant

    I really think this game will be decided in the first 5 minutes. St. Louis is going to come out focused given how many have picked NC State, how much they’ve fallen off at the end of the year, etc.. I fully expect their coach to be playing the underdog card. They’ve also go 5 seniors who don’t want to go out that way.

    The question to me is whether NC State comes out with the same focus and intensity. If we do, then I like our chances. Get behind by 5-8 early and it is going to be a long night.

    I like the suggestion of planting Vandy/BJ firmly in the lane. St. Louis doesn’t have much height. Swat a few back at them and they’ll have to beat us from the perimeter as opposed to bulling inside with the cannonball.

    #48196

    Alpha Wolf
    Keymaster

    I won’t fully repeat my comments from the Xavier preview here, but they still apply. In brief:

      Chemistry
      Team play
      Improved defense
      TJ Warren

      Wolfpack by five.

    #48199

    bill.onthebeach
    Participant

    I really think this game will be decided in the first 5 minutes.

    If so… it won’t be in SLU’s favor…

    Since Feb 5th….Billikens have averaged 64 points a game in the last nine regulation games while going 5-4…
    That’s scoring at the rate of 1.6 pts per minute… over our last 11 games .. we’ve averaged 70 pts a game or 1.75 pts a minute….

    Worst that could happen at the end of five minutes is SLU 8 Pack 0… and that is a long way from deciding the outcome of the game…

    Most likely scenario is both teams will still be getting settled in and feeling each other out…
    SLU 6 — PACK 8 at the end of five…

    ————–
    Tyler + ANTHONY as mentioned above could be very strong tonight… if ANTHONY is close to 100%…
    ————–

    You can’t “kill” Bill’s Cat…
    ’cause this is my Cat…

    … and he’s GOTT the right “attitude” to play defense for the Red & White… in fact… Coach DD called the other day looking for another DB…

    #48200

    Whiteshoes67
    Participant

    I haven’t seen St. Louis play but they’re supposedly comparable to UVA and Clemson in terms of their man-to-man defense. Unfortunately, these are the teams that give us fits. Do they have anybody, like Clemson and UVA, who can guard Buckets?

    As always, shot selection, turnovers, and contributions from others will be key tonight. I think you have to try to speed them up. If we get into a slugfest, halfcourt kind of game, I think we’re asking for it. Very important to defend, rebound, and push after misses.

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