NC State Wolfpack vs Notre Dame Fighting Irish Preview

The NC State Wolfpack travel to South Bend, Indiana tonight at 9:00 EST to battle the Fighting Irish of Notre Dame (ACC Network – Tim Brando, Mike Gminski), their first ACC road game of the season. These are two teams going in different directions. The Wolfpack are struggling on defense, rebounding, free throw shooting, 3pt shooting, attacking zone defenses, interior offense, and the inability to hold on to leads after starting strong, especially over the last 3 games. The Irish lost their all conference player in Jerian Grant due to academics but were still able to beat Duke by 2 points on Saturday. Notre Dame has had a couple of home loses this year to (#59 KenPom) Indiana State and (77 KP) North Dakota State, plus an OT win over (136 KP) Canisius, along with a couple of tough loses away from home to (11 KP) Iowa and (1 KP) Ohio State.

The Irish are another highly efficient team on offense and above average on defense, struggling at forcing turnovers, perimeter defense (which won’t be a problem for them tonight since we stink at shooting the 3) and that ever difficult Free Throw defense (hey, we’re not the worst anymore!!!…but again it won’t affect them since we suck at making those too.) Here’s irony, Notre Dame is great at shooting FT’s but don’t get to the line much and their opponents are shooting a blistering 77.8% from the line but they don’t send them to the line. What will be interesting is since Notre Dame, this year, hasn’t had many FT’s shot in their games this year by both them and their opponents, how will that change now with “ACC officials” and their ability to study tendencies and call fouls before they even happen?

Players to watch:

#24 Pat Connaughton (6-5, 214, JR) – There isn’t much this guy can’t do with the exception of offensive rebounding and saving kittens from trees. Frankly I don’t see anyone on the Pack who will be able to slow him down and it’s going to be a long night from everywhere on the court. Whatever Gott does please don’t put Turner on him.
#23 Demetrius Jackson (6-1, 195, FR) – Jackson is shooting the ball effectively from behind the arc and charity stripe while only taking 13% of the teams shots. He’s doing exactly what he needs to do as a freshman to help his team.
#0 Eric Atkins (6-2, 182, SR) – Atkins is what we call your do everything PG. He’s getting the ball in the hands of players who are in position to score on top of being an effective scorer, especially from 3 point land. Personally I’d like to see Lee guarding him.
#11 Garrick Sherman (6-11, 255, SR) – Look he’s an efficient shooter inside the arc and great at rebounding on both ends, it’ll be an interesting battle all night between him and V/Anya but that’s not why you need to pay attention to him. It’s all about the beard…


When State has the ball expect to once again see State get few second chances at the basket and fail to capitalize on their opponents weaknesses due to it being State’s weaknesses. The Pack is pretty good at offensive rebounding, or should I say Buckets is pretty good at it, but the Irish are doing an even better job at preventing their opponents from getting offensive rebounds.

When the Irish has the ball expect to see a very efficient offense who will get second chances even when they miss. The Irish are just average at offensive rebounding but the Pack are really struggling with defensive rebounding. The only real question will be will the Pack be effective on the perimeter to minimize the Irish’s 3pt threats (Atkins, Connaughton, Jackson)?

Look, until the Pack learns that transition offense begins on defense by preventing easy shots, forcing turnovers, and defensive rebounding, this team will struggle against quality opponents.

KenPom likes the Irish by 7, it’ll be more.

Wolfpack On The Road At Notre Dame Tuesday Night

This is the eighth meeting between the two schools, and the first since a 61-48 neutral-court Wolfpack victory in 2005. Prior to that contest in the Wooden Classic, the two teams hadn’t played since NC State’s title season of 1983.

T.J. Warren continues to hold the top spot in the league in scoring at 23.9 points per game. Warren scored 23 points in NC State’s ACC opener vs. Pittsburgh, a game that saw the Pack lead 34-26 at halftime before Pitt mounted a comeback. A win Tuesday night would give the Wolfpack its third straight road win. NC State has claimed wins at Tennessee and UNC Greensboro over the last three weeks.

NC State will be playing a very confident Notre Dame team that is coming off a win over Duke. The Irish are led by 6-11 senior Garrick Sherman and senior guard Eric Atkins.

A win over Notre Dame would lift NC State to a 3-0 record in ACC road openers under Mark Gottfried. In the Wolfpack coach’s first season, NC State rolled past Wake Forest 76-40 in the first ACC road game of the season. Last year, the Pack went to Boston College and won 78-73. In all, NC State has won its first ACC road game in three of the last four seasons.

The Wolfpack has been effective shooting the basketball most of the season, standing fourth in the ACC with a .477 field goal percentage. NC State has posted seven outings with .500 shooting or better, including its .582 offensive display against East Carolina on Dec. 21. The Wolfpack shot .619 in the season opener vs. Appalachian State and was at exactly .500 shooting in wins over Eastern Kentucky, Long Beach State and Detroit. Dating back to the beginning of the 2012-13 season, NC State is 21-5 when shooting at least .500 from the floor.

Joe Giglio (N&O)
Wolfpack faces tough test with Fighting Irish

Sub-freezing temperatures and snowy winter storms paralyzed most major Midwest airports Monday, but N.C. State’s basketball team was able to safely fly to Notre Dame.

The Wolfpack chartered a flight directly into South Bend, Ind., which helped avoid traveling snarls in Chicago and Indianapolis. The Wolfpack (10-4, 0-1 ACC) will even get a chance to shoot-around at Notre Dame (10-4, 1-0) on Tuesday afternoon before its 9 p.m. tipoff.

The smooth travel into wintry Indiana put coach Mark Gottfried ahead of his last trip to Notre Dame. In December 2006, Gottfried’s Alabama team got delayed a day going to Notre Dame. The Crimson Tide arrived the day of the game, missed the shoot-around and then got blitzed by the Fighting Irish 99-85.

Gottfried said his Alabama team never found a rhythm. He has talked with his Wolfpack players about tuning out distractions.


He wants to keep his team focused. He knows his team will have its hands full with the Fighting Irish, who have gone 76-8 at home the past 41/2 seasons.”

Brett Friedlander (
Notre Dame sweeps ACC weekly honors after win against Duke

Eric Atkins earned the ACC’s top player award for the second week in a row for spearheading the Irish’s rally from a 10-point second half deficit to a 79-77 victory against Duke.

Not only did the senior point guard record his first double-double of the season in the game with a team-leading 19 points and 11 assists, he made the tying and go-ahead baskets as part of his team’s 20-4 run to close out the game.

Atkins is averaging 24.5 points and nine assists in his last two games.
Q and A: BeeJay Anya

Between a slam dunk, or a blocked shot, which do you like better?
That’s hard (laughs). If it’s on somebody, I’d say a dunk. But if I can send a shot into the eighth row, that’s a good block.

You’ve been known to give the Mutombo finger wag after blocks. Have you always done that?
I did that in high school, and have definitely given that to a few people. Dikembe Mutombo was one of the guys I looked up to when I was growing up. He went to Georgetown, which is right near where I’m from in DC. He used to do that all the time and it grew on me. But Coach Gottfried said I can’t do it anymore because I don’t want to get a technical foul.

What are some areas you hope to improve as a player moving forward?
I need to continue getting into better shape. I’ve come along way already. I’ve been working with Coach (Bob) Alejo every day. If I continue doing that, I’ll be able to be on the court longer and be able to be more effective on the court. I’m getting there. Every day I’m going to continue to get better.

Bonus: (check out these)
Notre Dame’s Garrick Sherman Rips Doug Gottlieb Over on Twitter Joke About His Beard

Whatever you do, don’t make fun of the beard of Garrick Sherman. CBS analyst Doug Gottlieb learned the hard way when he took a light-hearted jab at the Notre Dame center which resulted in a straight ethering by Sherman.
Doug Gottlieb blasted by Garrick Sherman after joking about his beard

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 NC State Wolfpack vs Notre Dame Fighting Irish Preview

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    1.21 Jigawatts

    The NC State Wolfpack travel to South Bend, Indiana tonight at 9:00 EST to battle the Fighting Irish of Notre Dame (ACC Network – Tim Brando, Mike Gmi
    [See the full post at: NC State Wolfpack vs Notre Dame Fighting Irish Preview]



    Nice article with info no other site has.

    I’m a dunce, & its probably just me, but I didn’t completely understand the ‘Advantages’ chart at the bottom. The polar bear icon used for one team got switched to the other team below… sometimes both icons are shown [meaning ‘draw’?], but then each team’s icons got switched…?
    Perhaps a ‘Dunce Key’ is needed at the bottom for folks like me to not be confused.


    1.21 Jigawatts

    Sorry for the confusion howlie, maybe this will help:

    – If I put the school logo up then that team has the advantage.
    – If I put both school logos up then both teams are so good it’s a draw.
    – If I put up the polar bear or statue then they are so bad it’s embarrassing to watch. It didn’t matter which one I used with which team, covering eyes polar bear or face palm statue, they are interchangeable.

    It was my first attempt at creating an advantage chart and this was all that came to mind to make it different. It’ll likely change as the season moves on.

    Hope that clears it up.



    I liked the statue/polar bear facepalms. It’s how I felt (and probably looked) during the 2nd half of the Pitt game.

    Very appropriate.



    I look for this game to get out of hand fairly quickly. Our guys psyche is pretty fragile after the Pitt 2nd half debacle, and it won’t take much for ND to break their spirit tonight.

    Also, if Cat struggles, I expect to see a ton of minutes from TL.



    I noticed ND was fairly big up front and beat Duke pretty good inside. Vandy has to stay on the floor. Not confident in this one tonight.



    Thank’s to DirecTV for the ESPN Full Court freebie this week. It will allow me to DVR the game while I sit in the Citizen’s meeting tonight.

    Looking for Cat Barber to rebound from his horrible turnover epidemic on Saturday and play a solid floor game tonight. That’s the only way we have a chance. Pitt waxed UMd last night which offered some encouragement that we may still compete for the title of Best Mediocre Team.



    Effin’ awesome Jiggsie. From the optimism thru the picture chart.

    The propensity for being contrary in nature has the polar bear looking like an albino squirrel on my old Android.



    I feel like Julius Peppers because it took me over two weeks to find the Forums button on the revamped site. However, I should “get” an A for effort. dUNCe



    Love the charts, however I agree w/ DOG … the polar bear looked very squirrel like. I do get the ‘hands over the eyes’ and agree. Definitely a keeper. Great job. Can’t wait to see one with more red.

    This one is likely a perfect storm of them evolving in a positive direction and our going the other way. I just don’t see us being able to get up off the floor after the Pitt game and going on the road to a very hostile environment and righting the ship. That just doesn’t sound like us.

    Anyone besides me think that Sherman could be the ND mascot? He just looks like that guy. (no offense intended Mr Sherman, just saying …)



    We could not possibly visit South Bend at a better time. They are feeling (overly) good about themselves, we’ve just been humbled. We aren’t as bad as we looked over the weekend, and the Irish ain’t as good. I think this game is a total coinflip.



    ND doesn’t give away the ball and cleans the defensive glass.

    This mean Buckets is going to have to show us he can generate offense another way (maybe as a decoy/distributor).

    We NEED to push the ball every shot and get it in underneath before anything else (by that I don’t mean “Coast to Coast” Cat.

    It has turned into teams not having to defend the 3 pt line or the post/baseline. Badminton courts are larger then the space you have to defend against us.

    Game in the 50’s. Please, please, please hit some three pointers so that we can atleast hit 50.



    Is this game to be televised?


    Keymaster has the broadcast info on the schedule page.

    Tonight’s game is televised on “ACC Network”, so you’ll have to check your local listings to see what game you get. For instance, I’ll get VT vs ‘Cuse



    The game is on ESPN3 except for most of NC and SC, half of GA, and a little of VA. See linked map.

    After what Pitt did to UMd last night, I don’t feel as bad about our game with them. Yes, BJ, a good time to play ND. Maybe the kids learned something about toughness Saturday and can implement it tonight.



    This will be a good gauge of Gott & Co’s ability to focus the team. He couldn’t do it last year. Let’s see if he can pull it off with this young team.



    The polar bear probably should instead have been a dead opossum, lying in the middle of the road.

    Or, maybe more appropriately it should have been done musically, on one side with the ND fight song and on the other with “Dead Skunk In The Middle Of The Road”.

    Dead Skunk – Loudon Wainwright 3rd – YouTube
    ? 3:04? 3:04



    Well I think we can see more of the same tonight, just like the Pitt game. ND going to lay off Cat and dare him to shoot the three. Until he will shoot that three and hit it, we will be playing four on five on offense.



    I know not what this bear is you guys are talking about. i went through and re-read the entry by Jigga…. am i missing the chart? i am using internet explorer. should i try chrome?



    I’m using Chrome and I don’t see any dead possums, skunks, polar bears, victory formations, or anything else…except possibly echo’s of AJ McCarron’s mom hating on Jameis Wilson



    I chuckled at the polar bear / statue icons. Bring em back!



    It’s anybody’s game tonight… just depends on which team has the worse case of the Sh%t… we discussed elsewhere.

    Guess we’ll all tune in around nine pm and find out who wants to play tonight and who doesn’t; who wants to coach tonight and who doesn’t.

    X&Os don’t matter much, neither does officiating unless they revert to their November form and blow 50 plus whistles.

    Otherwise, SOS as the last two weeks.

    #NCSU-North Carolina's #1 FOOTBALL school!


    I will be doing the polar bear by 9:30 tonight, I am sure. Vandy and Cat will already have two fouls and will be gathering splinters, and Gott will have burned 2 timeouts as our only effective defensive strategy.
    I should have been a Duke (nope, they lost), Carolina (nope, they lost), Wake Forest fan!!



    I hope we see a little more WBS tonight. I know it’s not likely because ND is tall but he needs some more of that Freshman confidence like he had last year. We need CAT for transition and defense as well as WBS for a 1/2 court offense. I hope we can find a way to play them both at the same time. Maybe Zone D will allow is to use a smaller line up.



    I’m just hoping for a competitive game tonight. But I’ve got bad feelings about playing ND in South Bend and Sherman in particular. Still, 1-1 in conference would look a lot better than 0-2, so here’s hoping the Pack can pull this one off.

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