January 19, 2012
NC STATE BASKETBALL
Akula Wolf (BackingthePack.com)
Previewing The Boston College Eagles
I’m curious about the biggest year-to-year dropoffs in offensive efficiency, because this Boston College team has to be up there. Steve Donahue inherited a group of experienced well-coached offensive players in his first season, led by Reggie Jackson. Biko Paris came out of nowhere to shoot the lights out, Cory Raji was outstanding in the paint, and even Josh Southern hit 58% of his twos. Last year’s Boston College offense ranked 17th in offensive efficiency.
With a legion of freshmen in place of those departed contributors, the degradations are what you see in the table, and the result is an offense that ranks 278th in OE. They’ve actually gotten a little better at the defensive end this season, and the fact that they are so drastically worse off overall says enough about the nose dive taken at the offensive end. This team has only eclipsed a point per possession three times all year. It’s possible to survive with a middling shooting percentage, but not with those turnover and rebound rates.
This Donahue team still takes a ton of threes (43.5% of BC’s FGAs are threes), and that’s the primary reason for pause given what we’ve seen out of NC State’s defense this season and also given the whole anything-can-happen-in-one-game thing. Goddamn that thing.
And they are getting better. They must be since they’ve won two conference games already. Is this the worst team in recent ACC history? Based purely on results, no. They’re already past last year’s Wake team in conference wins, and they’ll win more than eight games overall. In terms of performance? Possibly. Their rating is weighed down a lot by the unpleasantness that occurred early in the year, and depending on the learning curve, may not be indicative of where this team is at the end of the year.
JP GIGLIO (N&O)
Pack faces resurgent Boston College
JP GIGLIO (N&O)
Leslie key to Packs’ success
Men’s Basketball Entertains BC on Thursday
NC State returns home on Thursday evening to take on Boston College. This is only the 12th meeting between the two schools, but the series dates back to the 1967-68 season. Both squads enter the game with 2-1 marks in ACC play.
Thursday’s game can be heard on the NC State Radio Network with Gary Hahn and Tony Haynes providing the description and analysis of the action. It can also be seen on the ACC Network with Steve Martin handling the play-by-play duties and Mike Gminski serving as the color commentator.
NC State has won the last two meetings with Boston College at the RBC Center, 74-69 (3/4/09) and 66-54 (3/7/10). The Eagles won last year’s game in Chestnut Hill, 75-66, on Jan. 11.
This is the Pack’s last game before back-to-back road trips to Miami on Sunday and a short venture to Chapel Hill next Thursday (1/26) to face UNC.
RBC Center doors open for Thursday’s game at 6:30 p.m. Tipoff is 8 p.m.
The Sports Xchange (PackPride.com)
Pack Gets Defensive
NC State is finding out the importance of competing at the defensive end. The results can be pretty good, too.
So a foundation has been set with defense and much of that is owed to senior guard C.J. Williams, who was called upon to upgrade his defensive performances after the Wolfpack wobbled on defense at the start of its Atlantic Coast Conference schedule.
Coach Mark Gottfried made it clear to Williams that defense needs to be a priority.
“He told me that I have to be a lock-down defender for this team,” Williams said. “We’ve got guys who can defend. But he wants to know that I can go and take the best player away from them.”
The idea will be, in part, that others among the Wolfpack will jump on board this push for more consistent defensive efforts.
STRATEGY AND PERSONNEL
THIS WEEK’S GAMES:
– vs. Boston College, Jan. 19
KEY MATCHUPS: The Wolfpack will want to use its superior athleticism in this game and continue to push the pace in its first home game since its lone ACC loss to Georgia Tech. N.C. State’s ability to create transition opportunities will be important against a team that might prefer a more deliberate tempo.
–at Miami, Jan. 22
KEY MATCHUPS: The Wolfpack will be challenged to deal with Miami’s guards, particularly G Malcolm Grant, and there’s also the matter of dealing with the bulk of Miami C Reggie Johnson. This will be the first trip out of the state of North Carolina in more than a month for the Wolfpack and they came back with losses in the last two out-of-state ventures.
FUTURES MARKET: The Wolfpack was receiving continued strong play from senior G C.J. Williams and it extended to both ends of the court. He had been a streaky offensive player with some solid defensive skills. His emergence at the offensive end is one of the biggest breakthroughs for the Wolfpack, which should be more difficult to defend with Williams as a serious scoring option. He’s playing with the urgency that often is associated with a senior in a final go-around and that should bode well for the Wolfpack.
Jacey Zembal (TheWolfpacker.com)
Juco Andrew Young sees recruitment explode
Monterey, Calif., is known for beautiful views of the Pacific Ocean and wildlife at nearby at Point Lobos State Reserve in Carmel, and Pebble Beach Golf Course is 15 minutes away.
The vacation destination south of San Francisco is starting to attract dozens of colleges due to Monterey Peninsula College sophomore center Andrew Young. The 6-foot-9, 235-pound Monterey native exploded last July and has picked up numerous offers, including one from NC State. Assistant coach Rob Moxley has led the Wolfpack’s recruitment of Young.
MPC coach Blake Spiering said it’s easy to see why Young is an attractive recruit.
“He is 6-9 and has a 3.8 grade-point average,” Spiering said. “He runs and jumps very well. His skill level is very high. He can shoot it real well and dribble it. He is really good with his back to the basket and is really good facing up. He is so bouncy and highly competitive, so his motor never stops. He is kind of the whole package.”
Young will have two years of eligibility at a four-year school, and has attracted colleges from throughout the country to Monterey Peninsula College.
Andrew Skwara (accsports.com)
ACC Midweek Preview Part 2, Jan. 19
Boston College (7-10, 2-1) at N.C. State (13-5, 2-1)
When: 8 p.m. (EST)
TV: ACC Network
What’s at Stake?
The winner will earn a 3-1 mark in ACC play and thereby distance itself from the middle of the pack in the league standings. For Boston College, that would be a shocking turnaround after some heavy struggles in non-conference play. N.C. State risks a major blow to its resume with a loss since the Eagles rank so low in the RPI (210th).
Key for the Eagles
Outside shooting. In both ACC games the Eagles won the score was in the 50s. That won’t be the case here. The Wolfpack has a good offense with a number of scoring options. The slow-paced Eagles don’t generate a lot of offensive possessions, so knocking down open jump shots is necessary in order to win this matchup.
Key for the Wolfpack
Don’t let the Eagles dictate the tempo. The slower the pace the more it works against the Wolfpack. Being aggressive on defense is the best way to counter.
Three Boston College freshmen rank among the top four among all ACC freshman in scoring: Patrick Heckmann (9.9 ppg, second), Dennis Clifford (9.8 ppg, third) and Ryan Anderson (9.6 ppg, fourth) … N.C. State’s Lorenzo Brown leads the ACC in steals (1.9 per game) and ranks second in assists (6.7 per game) … In his last seven games, Boston College freshman Dennis Clifford is averaging 14.8 points and 6.0 rebounds … N.C. State’s Scott Wood leads the ACC in 3-pointers made (2.6 per game) and 3-point field goal percentage (43.3 percent).
N.C. State 67, Boston College 56 – The Eagles don’t have enough offense to keep up with the Wolfpack, especially not in Raleigh.
Brett Friedlander (starnewsonline.com)
ACC student sections vying for their own national title
Believe it or not, there actually is an organized competition designed to crown a national champion among college basketball student sections.
Presented by the Atlanta Tipoff Club, the same group that administers the Naismith Awards, the Naismith Student Section of the Year Award contest is currently underway. Duke’s Cameron Crazies are one of just 80 student sections nationally — including seven from the ACC — that are in contention for the inaugural title.
Other ACC schools involved are Clemson, Florida State, Georgia Tech, Miami, Virginia and Wake Forest. In addition for bragging rights, the winning school will receive $5,000 for its athletic association.
NC STATE FOOTBALL
Matt Carter (TheWolfpacker.com)
Big Commitment for Wolfpack
NC State landed a big commitment Wednesday night when defensive end Kenderius Whitehead from Martin Luther King High in Lithonia, Ga., announced via Twitter that he had committed. A source later confirmed that Whitehead had verbally committed to the Pack.
“I think Coach [Mike] Reed and some of the other coaches from NC State, I think they made it very personable,” Carson noted. “They made it a lot more personable I guess than other schools that were recruiting him.”
Whitehead had narrowed his choices to Clemson, Georgia and NC State. He officially visited NC State Nov. 18 with his teammate and fellow Pack commitment Jarnor Jones, a safety. Before then, NC State was a long shot for Whitehead.
“His top three was really Georgia, Clemson and North Carolina prior to the NC State visit,” Carson noted. “They rolled out the carpet out for those guys when they went up him and Jarnor Jones. I think they just fell in love with what happened up there. He felt like that was the right fit for him.”
Pack Perspective with Mark Thomas
In today’s episode, Mark Thomas challenges junior forward Richard Howell to a rebounding contest.
Riddick and Reynolds
R&R Podcast: Episode 34
In the first segment, “Chuckiani,” aka Chris Corchiani and Chucky Brown, join us to talk about State’s big win over Wake Forest and a bit of where the ACC as a whole stands at the moment.
(Let’s just say Chris isn’t sold on Wake Forest, to put it mildly.)
In the second segment, Twitter champion and renowned Duke fan Ben, aka @TheDevilWolf, sits down with us to talk about the rest of the ACC and the wild, wacky behavior of Roy Williams.
Inside Wolfpack Sports
In today’s episode, Don Shea learns how to block shots and box out with sophomore forward Kody Burke.