The theme that we have attached to basketball this past week is one of major importance for NC State. Sunday night’s win over Cincinnati basically allowed the Wolfpack to hold serve while waiting for tonight’s opportunity to strengthen our NCAA Tournament resume’ with a road game at (RPI #25) Seton Hall.
Over the last two games against Davidson and Cinicinnati, a more energized Wolfpack team showed great significant improvement as point guard Farnold Degand became more effective on both offense and defense while helping the Pack with effective three point shooting when the open shot was available (8 of 16 for the year). But, Degand’s season ending knee injury has thrown water on our parade and now we don’t necessarily know what to expect when the Pack takes the court.
Unless Gonzalez proves he a vastly different player from the one I’ve seen so far, State is in trouble. In 111 minutes, the Miami native has just nine assists.
Gonzalez, however, has only made a few plays worthy of an ACC point guard. He’s been extremely hesitant, almost timid at times, and hasn’t played with confidence. Gonzalez doesn’t shoot well, almost never penetrates into the lane, and starts the offense way too close to midcourt.
Lastly, ACCNow is discussing the improtance of this ‘home game’ for Brandon Costner; but – as ususal – Gavin Grant steals the spotlight in the ‘quotable’ department.
Asked if the game had special significance for him, Grant quickly quipped, “Nah, I live in the Bronx, man. We don’t even associate with Jersey.”
WRAL-TV has a report on tonight’s game with a focus on Grant but I can’t figure out how to do this damn embedding BS so you can view it by clicking this link.
Two new links worth posting:
(1) Section Six’s always informative preview
Well, this should be interesting. Of Seton Hall’s top five minutes-getters, no one is taller than 6-5. How they’ve managed the OR% they have, I do not know…probably just a function of the early season schedule seeing as how none of the short guys are very good rebounders at that end of the court; they had a similarly short team last season, and as you can see, they didn’t rebound well offensively…
SHU’s 2FG% defense ranked 292nd last year and currently sits at 259th this season.
Protecting the basketball is going to be huge for us in this one, as that’s really the only leg they have to stand on defensively; they don’t force misses and they give up plenty of second chances, so if we keep the mistakes down we’ll be in good shape for a nice day.
It also might be time to take another run at the Gavin Grant Experiment. Grant, a senior, ran the point with mixed success in Engin Atsur’s absence last season.
Lowe laughed this summer when it was suggested Grant get another turn at running the offense. But if Grant, Courtney Fells, Brandon Costner, Ben McCauley and J.J. Hickson represent State’s five best players, then they should be on the floor at the same time.