NC State Wolfpack vs Virginia Cavaliers Preview

The Virginia Cavaliers are coming to Raleigh, very slowly, today at 5:00pm to battle the Wolfpack; the game can be seen on ESPN2 with Dave O’Brien and Doris Burke providing commentary. Today’s game is important on many levels: the need to win at home, beating a high RPI team for resume building, and the fact I can’t stand losing to anyone who plays Sendekian. State leads the series 82-59 and owns a current win streak of 1, which came last year during the ACC Quarterfinals (75-56). Tony Bennett owns a 5-2 record against the Pack, Lowe (3-0), Gottfried (2-2); both losses to Gottfried have been in the ACC Tournament. Three of the last four games in this series have been decided by a single basket.

Tony Bennett and his sundial offense are a major pain in the rear for teams who aren’t disciplined or loaded with NBA talent. Their approach to slow it down, limit the number of possessions in the game, and then use their efficiency to win may be a purist’s dream come true but it’s usually boring as hell to watch. As you can see it’s not so much their offense that gets you but their defense, they force bad shots, they limit your second chances, and they don’t send you to the line, plus they force enough turnovers to be a problem.


Let’s take a look at who has the advantage when each team has the ball. Quick overview of the icons:
– One school logo = advantage
– Both school logos = relatively equal.
– Polar bear covering it’s eyes = they are so bad at that offensive category you need to avert your eyes.
– Statue with face in palm = the frustration all NC State fans feel when watching defense.

As we all know State’s offense works best in transition and if it’s forced into a halfcourt usually succeeds when they can get offensive rebounds. The problem is UVA’s defense plays to stop the transition game and force you to beat them by hitting your shots the first time, limiting second chances. It’s simply, we can’t afford a cold shooting night or being unable to get offensive rebounds. Plus, no more quick shots from inside the arc when there’s no one underneath to help you when you’re on a 1-on-3 fast break or any random 3fga if shooting 3’s isn’t your thing.

Surprisingly ours strengths match up with their strengths except for rebounding, the Pack must get better at it, especially with our size. I can’t say this enough, rebounding is about attitude just as much as fundamentals and positioning. They did great in the first half against ND but were lousy in the second, they must attack the boards for 40 minutes, it feeds the beast. In the end I think this game comes down to rebounding on both ends of the court.

KenPom likes UVA by 2, I’m going to say our bad luck against them in the regular season continues and hope my internal predictor is still wrong.


Joe Giglio (N&O)
NC State tries to build on Notre Dame win

N.C. State (11-4, 1-1 ACC) has lost each of the two regular-season games to Virginia in Gottfried’s first two seasons with the Wolfpack. It has cost N.C. State the tiebreaker in the seeding for the ACC tournament in both seasons, pushing the Wolfpack down to the No. 5 seed.

There are so many different parts from this season’s team from the previous two, Gottfried said he won’t even mention that to his team, but he did note the value of the losses to Tony Bennett’s team, which has been the No. 4 seed in the ACC tournament the past two seasons.

Gottfried was more concerned with how Virginia is playing now than in recent history. The Cavs struggled outside the ACC, losing to VCU, Wisconsin, Wisconsin-Green Bay and Tennessee, but their defense has found its form in the conference.

The Cavaliers beat Florida State 62-50 on the road last week and then pasted Wake Forest 74-51 on Wednesday night in Charlottesville, Va. The Wake win, after the Deacons had beaten North Carolina at home, got N.C. State’s attention.

“After seeing what they did to Wake the other night, we have to be on our toes, we have to be ready to play,” senior forward Jordan Vandenberg said. “Otherwise we’re going to be in for a bad day.”

Bennett’s program, known for its defensive prowess, is again one of the country’s best in scoring defense (55.9 points per game, third in the country) and third in the country in Ken Pomeroy’s adjusted, tempo-free defensive metric.
Virginia vs. NC State preview: No, you’re slow, pal!

Startery Types

London Perrantes (6-2, 189) — His free throw rate is excellent, but he only occasionally shoots the ball, so his rate of 2.5 fouls drawn per 40 minutes is probably a better indicator of how often he’ll be creating problems in the lane in any given game. So when he tries to score, he’s good at getting a foul out of it; he just doesn’t try to score all that much. Solid assist and steal rates, poor turnover rate.

Malcolm Brogdon (6-5, 217) — Brogdon is shooting 36% from three after hitting 32.4% from outside last year, and considering both his modest 2FG% and high turnover rate, he seems like the sort you’d want to force to score off the dribble.

Joe Harris (6-6, 225) — Harris’ workload is down considerably, which makes little sense given his shooting percentages: 57.1% from two, 40% from three. He has a career-high TO% and a career-low FT%, and those things obviously aren’t helping right now, but they aren’t reason enough to start sending more possessions elsewhere. Go back to leaning on this guy more heavily, UVA. Or actually, wait until next game to do that.

Akil Mitchell (6-8, 235) — Mitchell was a significantly underrated asset last season, while this year, well … it’s tough to figure what’s happened. His shooting percentage inside the arc is down from 54.8% to 44.9%, his turnover rate is up, and he’s shooting a career-low 45.8% at the free throw line. Some of it might be explained by a larger role in the offense, except that his role has actually gotten smaller. Maybe last year was an aberration to some extent, but he hasn’t been this inefficient since his freshman year.

Mike Tobey (6-11, 253) — He wasn’t shy as a freshman, averaging 15.8 shots per 40 minutes, and that remains true in his second season. This time around, though, his 2FG% is way down. He’s been an exceptional offensive rebounder and shot blocker.

Bret Strelow (
Three to know: Virginia at N.C. State

3. Pace yourself

N.C. State ranks ninth in the ACC by averaging 66.9 possessions per game, and Virginia forces teams to play at a slower tempo than they’d like.

The Cavaliers rank third nationally in defensive efficiency, but N.C. State is coming off a balanced effort at Notre Dame. Kyle Washington replaced fellow freshman Lennard Freeman in the starting lineup, and eight of the Wolfpack’s nine scholarship players were in the game for between 13 and 28 minutes. T.J. Warren played a team-high 35.

“I like the fact that in the first half everybody that played got a basket and at least scored,” Gottfried said. “They felt good about their contributions offensively.”

Virginia also controls tempo with an offense predicated on screening. The Cavs force defenses to be patient and disciplined.

“I think if you tried to document how many true screens they set and use in a game, I don’t know that we play anybody that sets as many,” Gottfried said. “Some teams have great movement. Virginia has great movement with also a lot of screens away from the ball. They really screen you left and right.”

It’s likely that N.C. State employs some fullcourt pressure, which can create more of an up-and-down game or reduce the amount of time the Wolfpack has to play halfcourt defense against the Cavaliers’ offense.

Ryan Tice (
Gottfried: Pack must continue balance, toughness

“I think that our team realizes that T.J. needs to score, but I think they also realize that we’re going to be better if some other guys step up, as well,” head coach [db]Mark Gottfried[/dd] noted. “There’s a good balance that we have to get to where other guys are hunting for baskets, but at the same time, we don’t want T.J. to lose that aggressiveness.

“I felt good about [everybody else’s] contributions offensively against Notre Dame, but I feel like for us to become a good team, we do need a little bit more balance.”


Gottfried noted that toughness is one of the traits needed most when playing against Virginia, who the Pack will host on Saturday at 5 p.m. The Cavaliers rank second in the ACC for scoring defense (55.9 points per game) and have started off 2-0 in league play.

“I think they’re playing their best basketball without question,” he said. “Watching Florida State last night play on the road at Clemson and win made the Virginia win at Florida State a little more impressive. Then, against Wake Forest, I thought they were terrific from the tip-off, they were just good from bell to bell.

“They’re playing with a lot of confidence and we have to be able to match that. This is going to be a good challenge for our group, they have to learn how to really execute against a strong defensive team.”

Norm Wood (
Virginia heads to Tobacco Road for daunting, two-game trip

Given how U.Va. (11-4, 2-0 ACC) played in victories at Florida State and against Wake Forest this week, the Cavaliers should have no shortage of confidence heading to Tobacco Road.

U.Va.’s re-energized approach to defense, which was responsible for holding FSU to 30.8 percent shooting from the floor and Wake Forest to 35.4 percent shooting, will be tested by offensively stout N.C. State and Duke. Sophomore guard Malcolm Brogdon led U.Va. against Wake Forest with 14 points.

“These are two tough road games for us coming up,” said U.Va. guard Joe Harris, who showed no ill-effects Wednesday against Wake Forest in scoring 11 points after sustaining a concussion last Saturday at FSU. “N.C. State is very good. It’s a tough environment to play in. It’ll be a first for most of the guys on the team. I don’t think anybody besides Akil (Mitchell) and I and Darion (Atkins) and Malcolm have played at N.C. State before.

“We get to show we can play on the road. As long as we prepare the same way we have these last couple games, I feel like we should be feeling good about ourselves and have confidence going into those games.”

Norm Wood (
ACC All Access: Virginia’s Joe Harris is recovering from concussion-like symptoms sustained at Florida State

Virginia coach Tony Bennett would love to take Joe Harris’ word that he’s feeling better after suffering concussion-like symptoms Saturday and leaving the game early in U.Va.’s 62-50 win at Florida State.

Bennett knows better. Admitting he’s hurt isn’t part of Harris’ nature. Instead of relying on Harris’ word, Bennett was hoping to get some encouraging results Monday afternoon from concussion tests administered to Harris.

“He’d lie to you and tell you he feels good even when he doesn’t,” said Bennett, whose team hosts Wake Forest (11-3 overall, 1-0 ACC) on Wednesday. “I think that the test will hopefully show that he does feel OK.”

Harris, a 6-foot-6 senior guard, was in the game at FSU for less than three minutes before he was injured during a loose ball scrum. He didn’t attempt a shot and sat on the bench for the rest of the game.

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 Virginia Cavaliers Preview

Viewing 25 posts - 101 through 125 (of 137 total)
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  • #36640

    Hahahahaha. Gottfried has given up on this game. We had it down to 21 points and he sits on 4 timeouts. God, he pathetic as an in-game coach.


    Yes he can, Cowdog. He is a fantastic coach.


    I agree ^^ we have good talent and potential. We are VERY unorganized. Sorry but the line up substitutions suck. They just suck. WBS needs more time if Cat continues to make bad decisions. OMG Turner shoots more than …anybody


    ^BennettBall is by definition — “demotivating”…. which might make some players look lazy…

    For example… we have scored 11 baskets in 37 minutes so far….

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

    ^^I agree, Bill + Cowdog.

    I got what you meant … My post was about philosophy and belief as opposed to in-game.

    I’ve long been sold on Bennett’s coaching acumen. I just feel his style of play is much more conducive to close/tight games no matter the opponent as opposed to maximizing opportunities (today notwithstanding, of course). Not the greatest thing for ‘survive and advance’ IMO.

    Edit: Also, if UVa is not converting on a majority of their offensive opportunities then results like @ Tennessee can happen, in addition to what happened to them in last season’s ACC and NCAA tournaments.


    Post game could be interesting…

    Will Coach go off or keep his game face on ??

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

    If he goes off, it needs to be on himself and his staff. Because they ain’t doing the job. Tired of coach speak.


    Also, if UVa is not converting on a majority of their offensive opportunities then results like @ Tennessee can happen

    same can be said for every single other team in basketball


    .. Hugh Durham… some of ya’ll remember Old Hugh… little short fellow about 5’10” — high squeaky voice — won a few bball games (around 750 ) with boys who couldn’t play in the ACC….

    I took his bball class at FSU — back in the day —
    Anyway…. I asked Coach about how he organized his practice…
    Old Hugh told me he spent…

    • 20 % of his practice on drills, skills and conditioning…
    • 60% on defense…
    • 20% on offense and whatever the next team might do….

    I was surprised… so I asked him why he spent so much time on D….

    He said with “his guys” (Hugh knew I was from NCState) ….

    “If you play good defense… you should always be in position to win the game”
    “On offense … these kids can’t remember (what he really meant was learn ) half of what I tell them, so keep it simple….
    and you’ll win more than you lose…”

    True story — 1978.

    Yep — BenettBall — when successful — is the real deal.

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

    Gottfried gave up on his team when they couldn’t “play through.” Bobby Lutz is probably looking at himself in the mirror, questing, “How did I end up the #2 at NC State?”


    same can be said for every single other team in basketball

    ^Overall, yes. Worse for a team like Virginia though. Virginia giving a team run outs due to poor offense gives them no chance to execute their calling card – defense. They are not built to come back against any deficit much over 10 points.


    I can’t believe what just happened in the Seattle game … it’s like last season’s Denver-Baltimore game


    Bobby Lutz is probably thinking a lot of things right now including what Spintk said.


    Had seen enough when it was 16-4 and switched channels. State was totally unprepared and flat as a pancake. No defense, sloppy passes, poor shot selection, nothing absolutely nothing there today.


    Coach just wasn’t pissed off enough for me during the radio postgame….
    Guess he knows his team….

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

    Even the most talented offensive teams can go cold, especially on the road. If you know how to D up, that can carry you. It can not only keep you in the game when you can’t throw it into the ocean, it can get you easy transition points. It can get you to the foul line. It can shorten the game. That is what the UVAs and Wisconsins do. They don’t get the best players, but they are heady and they work their tails off. I would much rather watch that kind of team than what I saw today. I don’t know what that was today to be honest. It sure wasn’t pleasant.


    Year 3 of coach G and it will further deterioration. Furthermore, good talent cannot be stopped by bad coaching. As long as Mike and Roy are around we will never be able to out recruit them. So we should stop over analyzing each game. Since the early 90s we have had nothing but mediocrity. Our solution is to keep bringing in new coaches and expecting better results. I am firing off an email next to Yow’s office. She is the boss and we have 2 hopeless sports programs in FB and BB.


    ^Too true, Wulfpack … And I agree, Bill.

    Stay positive, yes … but … just …

    Anyway, I created an open thread for the Divisional playoffs and/or college basketball / other if anyone is interested.


    We got it, Spintker, you don’t like Gott.


    but I have seen this movie before….

    Like Gettysburg… we just keeping replaying the story hoping for a different ending.

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

    And the “beat goes on”…

    I’m seeing very little improvement since Fowler…Deb doesn’t embarrass us, but we sure aren’t winning..

    Remember Alpha, you convinced me to join the WP Club if Fowler was canned! Granted, you didn’t promise improvement or I be contacting GA to file a lawsuit!

    I don’t even watch anymore…All I’ve got to do is wait until the game is almost over and see how bad the score is…Today was a shocker…10 or 15, not something grotesque..

    "Whomp 'em, Up, Side the Head"!


    I think it was Majerus who reminded his players to be “judicious” with the dribble. Well, so much for that. Our wings and guards have/had no idea what they want to do with the ball. Teams like UVA (also zones) take away the option to drive, so it’s either pass or shoot, so choose one. Not dribble.

    Don’t get me wrong, I think an explosive dribble is a powerful weapon… when the numbers are in your favor. Dribbling in place freakin stinks!


    Not impressed thus far in year 3, but Gott’s not going anywhere this season, or next. A season 5 is TBD. This team is in desperate need of a leader.


    I tell you guys what though, I’m still flying higher than heck on Gott after those 5 years of Sidney Lowe. I mean after that 5 year debacle and making the tourney his first two years I still think the man is Phil Jackson’s mentor. He’s got a couple more years easily in my book.


    When you have TWO PG’s you don’t have ONE.

    Teams do and will take great pride in shutting down TJ-now, is he a guy who plays with a ton of pride himself? Serious question-it’s just so hard to get a read on such an unemotional player. Today was just an off night but the trend of fading away at difficult stretches of games is becoming an issue.

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