NC State 76 Hofstra 64

We’ll have more on basketball as the week evolves, but definitely wanted to chronicle State’s win last night in PNC Arena.

The Pack looked very solid in the first half. Not so solid in the 2nd half. So, that means State has played 3 great halves of basketball out of 4 this season. Not so bad. And, nothing at which to sneeze considering that Hofstra is expected to contend near the top of the Colonial Athletic Association. Once March rolls around this one could easily be a “win over an NCAA Tournament team”. discussed the difference in halves in their article linked here:

“We lost the game in the first half,” Hofstra coach Joe Mihalich said. “They kind of jumped us to their credit and took us out of our offense. We were just totally unsettled offensively in that first half and it affected the game.”

N.C. State built a double-digit lead just 5 minutes in and stayed active throughout the half to keep the pressure on. Turner found wide-open gaps against Hofstra’s zone and knocked down three 3-pointers in the opening half, helping the Wolfpack to a 45-29 lead at the break.

Hofstra inched back into the game and closed to 57-49 on Dion Nesmith’s 3-pointer with 10:48 left. But Des Lee answered with a layup, and then Turner had his flurry to push the lead back to 16 minutes later.

It is hard to argue with the Charlotte Observer’s headline that states “Ralston Turner shoots NC State past Hofstra”

Whatever scouting report Hofstra had for Monday’s game at N.C. State, it didn’t include Ralston Turner.

Turner carved up Hofstra’s zone and led N.C. State to a 76-64 win.

Turner, who finished with a career-high 24 points, made five 3-pointers and made the Pride pay for going zone.

Maybe Hofstra only looked at N.C. State’s last game. Turner scored seven points in the season-opening win against Jackson State and had one 3-pointer, but the senior led the Wolfpack with 77 3s last season.

Turner scored eight points, including a pair of 3s, after Hofstra cut what was a 19-point N.C. State lead to 57-49 with 10 minutes, 47 seconds remaining.


Sophomore forward Lennard Freeman helped with 13 rebounds and nine points but Turner provided the extra boost.

Not that guards Trevor Lacey (16 points) and Cat Barber (15) slacked off against the Pride, but it was Turner who was the go-to scorer against Hofstra’s 2-3 zone.

After a technical foul on Hofstra guard Malik Nichols, and then another 10 seconds later on coach Joe Mihalich, N.C. State’s lead ballooned to 51-32 with 17:28 remaining.

The Pride shot its way back to within single digits with a 10-1 run, capped by a 3-pointer Juan’ya Green at 12:47 to make it 55-46.

Desmond Lee made two free throws before Dion Nesmith’s 3 got the Pride within eight. After a basket by Lee, Turner drained 3s on consecutive trips, pushing N.C. State’s margin to 67-51 with 7:36 left.

Ultimately, State only shot 42% from the field…which I guess is the reason I’ve seen a couple of people complaining. Doesn’t make much sense as this is a young team in a young season that has generally played better than expectations.

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Home Forums NC State 74 Hofstra 64

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    We’ll have more on basketball as the week evolves, but definitely wanted to chronicle State’s win last night in PNC Arena. The Pack looked very solid
    [See the full post at: NC State 74 Hofstra 64]


    Alpha, to follow my thread from the prior post, I think my greatest frustration shouldn’t be with the players but the coach. Why didn’t he use a couple of timeouts to address some of this?


    What happen to the Martin twins last night? I’m not sure I saw them in the game at all last night. Are they in the dog house?


    The zone really causes us problems. We are going to see a boat load of zones unless, KW or Frenchie can start to hit the 10-15 ft jumper we are going to live and die by the “3”. The positive is that it looks like Lacey and Cat can contribute on that front at times and we won’t just have to rely on BSW.

    If we are going to play with 3 guards, Abu’s minutes are going to be severely limited. He’s not physically mature enough to keep from getting abused on the boards if he’s in there. I also think Anya has to play a lot of minutes in that scenario, because he has the most potential to develop as an offensive weapon. I sense that BJ is in Gott’s dog house to some extent because I can’t figure why Abu seems to be getting more minutes right now.

    As for not calling timeouts last night when Hofstra was making their runs in the second half, it felt like Gott was letting them play through it. There’s something to be said for that in early season games.

    The other positive was that Gott never went to the Wildcat. That would have melted down the game thread.


    What happen to the Martin twins last night? I’m not sure I saw them in the game at all last night. Are they in the dog house?

    ^Caleb was in briefly in the first half, but missed an assignment on transition D – didn’t return. I’d *guess* teachable moment/scenario, not any type of dog house type deal. Also, Cody seems to be behind somewhat – at least in so far as the rotation goes.

    The rotation will most likely be fairly fluid for the next month or so, and we are deep enough to adapt in-game to various situations – so PT could vary more than one might expect game-to-game. That said, we should get an idea of ‘the’ rotation here shortly. It’s my opinion that Caleb will be a part of the rotation b/c he offers a lot (especially offensively) and is versatile at 6’6.


    As for zone offense, we struggled greatly with it early last season as well. It took Cat a while to adjust to zone looks last season, and we saw a lot of Lewis. I don’t foresee it as nearly the same issue this season – I think we’ll work our way into a decently efficient zone offense much quicker (at least I hope). Cat has another year, plus if the early indication holds then he is shooting confidently and will nail some open jumpers/three’s. Also, we have a lot of weapons that can utilize dribble penetration and force transition. If zones continue to be a thorn, I wouldn’t be surprised to see a little more full-court pressure to force the issue since we’re pretty deep.

    We really need to establish our post guys though, and like Texpack said we need KW / Lennard to hit those middle of the zone 15-18 footers and/or make some awesome swing passes.


    I forgotted there was a game last night. Saw 76’s gamethread at halftime of the Stillers game.


    When they went zone in the 2nd half, we went with a 4-guard lineup (Cat, Lacey, Turner, Dez) plus DCMKHA (Don’t Call Me King Hippo Anymore – BJD, I can come up with my own abbreviations too :P). On the offensive end this helped move the ball, but we paid for it on the defensive end. There was one possession where they must have had 4 O rebounds and 6 shots.

    Thankfully TurnUp22 caught fire and kept it comfortable.

    I was really hoping that Le Nard would get his double-double after fouling out in the first game. If Cat can continue polishing his 3-point shot and be consistent from the line, our guard play will cause headaches.


    Caleb was in briefly in the first half, but missed an assignment on transition D – didn’t return.

    TWICE — on consecutive trips down the floor on Defense… at about the five minute mark in the first half..
    Freshman GOTTa learn…

    As for zone offense, we struggled greatly with it early last season as well.

    And they ain’t gonna learn until they have to…
    And they ain’t gonna have to until Dog and Cat decide it’s time …. or Coach tells them to…

    You can practice that Sh%t all you want to… but in the game, with a shot clock running…
    what happens will most always follow instinct and the path of least resistance….

    Coach GOTT when fielding the customary postgame radio softballs from the Sunshine Twins — Gary and Tony — while using “Coachspeak” was pretty clear is stating the our Bigs have GOTT to do a lot of work to be what Coach wants and the Team needs them to be…

    As noted in the Game thread…
    There’s two ways to look at the stat sheet…
    Freeman (13) + Washington (6) == 19 rebounds from the frontline starters…
    Dog (10) and Cat(7) == 17 from the backcourt starters…

    I leave it to you guys to form your own conclusions…
    … except to say… that dog and cat won’t hunt in the Dean Dome or in Cameron….

    If we go in over there, thinking we gonna get 50% of our rebounding from the backcourt… we ride the bus back east shaking our heads over a 20pt loss…

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

    I forgotted there was a game last night. Saw 76’s gamethread at halftime of the Stillers game.

    ^Was wondering where the commondant was … though to be fair, I had forgotten about the game all day myself until about 5pm haha.

    Also, this is *two* consecutive game threads I’ve started that have resulted in Pack victories – one each in football (Syracuse) and basketball. This of course means that the outcome of Pack games has little to do with team performance or the opponent, but instead solely relies upon whether I start the game thread or not.

    I mean this is pretty much scientific proof.


    Zone – The key to beating the zone is the bigs. They need to hit that spot at the top of the key to catch the ball and pass back out, take the 15 footer, or pass inside to a big or cutting player. I think Kyle did that once last night. They’ll get it. Last year we played against so much zone that we got good at it. I think that will happen again. Gott talked about it in the post game.

    We had consecutive first have possessions where someone left his player standing alone, and he hit a three. That may have been Caleb. (hard to tell, no one was standing close by LOL) However, he played well. Very high energy – he got a rebound, an assist and a block. However his shot was not falling at all. He’ll play a lot.

    Nard was great, nuff said. He looks much more physical this year, and plays with more energy. I’ll bet he starts every game.

    Very disappointed with BeeJay. Looked slow and clumsy. He’s got an odd FT action. He did block three shots, which gives a hint of what he could do were he better prepared to play. Hard to imagine him playing more than 10-12 per game.


    I was a bit disappointed with the lack of killer instinct. We got up big and then kind of shut down.

    Our front court needs to improve. They’re young and TJW and Vandy carried more load on the boards, blocks, etc. than we probably collectively remember. I was hoping they’d be a little further along though. I think we’ll see Washington and Anya in a high/low setup once ACC play starts.

    I think our strength is our depth. I want to see our top 10 players getting lots of minutes, particularly early. I understand needing to win the game, but once it is at hand, get the young kids in and get them battle ready. I don’t think we could have lost, even with the Martins and Abu in.

    We’re going to see a lot of zones and sagging man defense this year. If I were playing this team, unless I was UNC or had great guards, I wouldn’t want to run with us. I’d want to slow it down, pack it in and keep the ball in front of me. It’s not that I don’t respect Lacey and Turner, it’s just that I’m more scared of the break. I also wouldn’t respect Cat’s jumper, at least not at this point.

    Regardless, I was thinking last night that Hofstra will end up being a solid win. There were teachable moments, but I’d much rather have them in a win than a loss.


    Hey there, Wally! Maybe he actually misses being full-size KH in all his glory? Perhaps he is uncomfortable as ALMKH?

    I mean, I’ve yet to see the HippoHOOK even once. This makes me haz teh sadz.


    I was a bit disappointed with the lack of killer instinct. We got up big and then kind of shut down.

    ^A recurring theme from last season, including that one game we shouldn’t really talk about in a certain tournament.

    I didn’t really get that type of feeling from this game … I felt Hofstra was always around; gave them more credit for sticking to it than us missing opportunities to put them away (plus second game, etc). Still, it didn’t take much time to have a 19 pt. lead dwindle to 8. Let’s hope this doesn’t happen as much as it did last season.


    A recurring theme from last season… (referring to lack of killer instinct..)

    It may be worth remembering that it took Coach two thirds of last season to get Cuz/Buckets/TonyWarren to bring that killer instinct in the fourth quarter.

    Two points… Coach knew what we needed… and if it took Cuz that long… I wouldn’t expect more from anybody wearing Red & White this season…

    Ralston Turner and Staats Battle are the only Two Seniors on the 16-man Roster this season.. so if we’re talking ‘Senior Leadership’… that’s ’nuff said ’bout dat…

    Trevor Lacy (Dog of Dog and Cat and a transfer playing his first season here… ) and Chase Cannon are the only Two Juniors on the squad… so that’s a 50/50 ball.. as in we might get it from Mr. Dog – 50% of the time when we really need it…

    Everybody else starting or coming off the bench is either a true Sophomore or a true Freshman…

    Damn… this is starting to sound like something somebody said about our Football team! Stop.

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

    Bill: Not to quibble too much, but Dez Lee is also a Senior.


    Hofstra is expected to contend near the top of the Colonial Athletic Association

    Based on the Georgia Southern discussion, you may get a shoe thrown at you with that kind of talk.


    I can’t figure why Abu seems to be getting more minutes right now.

    Abu is better. I love BJ, but they are also different players in terms of what they can bring.


    Not sure if anyone else mentioned this. But, it seemed like every.single.time our boys saved a jumping out of bounds ball, they tossed it directly to Hofstra for an easy lay up.

    That and the general uncomfortableness against the zone were my only negatives. They will both be taken care of in the coming weeks. This year, no matther the line up we will have a ball handler that can shoot if needed.

    I am going to settle in for a fun season, with moderate expectations, and minimal tear out your hair frustrations.


    I was sitting right behind the bench. Caleb Martin was playing very well in the first half. he had a nice block on a fast break layup. then on the other side of the court his man was wide open for an uncontested 3, then the next time down the court the same guy was wide open for another and made it two straight. Gott called an immediate timeout and spent the first 60 seconds of the timeout staring Caleb down. Caleb never raised his head up to acknowledge (that I could see) Mark’s stare.
    He did not return after that event.


    Agree with most of the above observations. Game 1 told us little, they were horrible. Game 2, I think, tells us far more. Like last year early in the season, we struggle with the zone. If Barber can make the 3, penetrate and dish without turning it over, we’ll be much better. Having a capable SG, and a SF who can stretch the floor helps.

    Areas for improvement. Same old. Free throws, defense, shot selection, ball movement with a purpose against the zone.

    Defensive intensity and focus still inconsistent. Still not convinced of substantial improvement in that area. The UCLA high post may offer the opportunity for everybody to get shots, but that doesn’t mean you should shoot, or you should hoist early in the shot clock. We have a few folks too eager to put it up. Move the friggin ball.


    Hofstra is expected to contend near the top of the Colonial Athletic Association

    Based on the Georgia Southern discussion, you may get a shoe thrown at you with that kind of talk.

    Post of the day IMHO.


    My take from the PNC last night. We looked solid in the first half. Played with intensity and poise. I DID note the Gott TO after the 6 points from CM’s little lapse of concentration. What was interesting to me, as we are in the club level looking directly down the scorer’s table with the Home bench on the far end….was the score board. I do not think that there was ever more than 2 points or so difference between Lacey and Barber when both were in the game. One got up a point and you could bet that the next time down, that the other would shoot or drive in order to get on the board.
    Maybe that is what Gott wants, but it worried me a little. Interesting that Lacey started last night and Lee sat out. It was a very productive offense (and defense) for a while. BJ (the BEAST) looked a little slow and out of step. Abu (or Bobo….how about our Walt Disney Offense….Bobo and the Beast?) looked pretty good.
    I did note the classes of the lineup. None of the Triumphant Triumvirate is on the court…Long GONE. And we have folks that were role players or almost “non-players” from last year that are supposed to be these talented leaders. We do NOT have the Coach K or ORW talent…so we have to excel at what we do best and hopefully not get mauled whilst doing what we don’t know how to do..
    As in, the ZONE. YES, we will being seeing MORE of it. Gott even said that IF we playing us, the would run a fulltime Zone until something happened.
    Turner was cool last night. He started a bit slow…then when the PRIDE (isn’t that a collection of hairy lions?) went “Z”….and I mean BIG TIME Z, it was like we were in the twilight zone.
    YES, we did slap a few errant balls to the Pride….but we did have good hussle.
    There was a time when I had the “OMG…NC Central all over again”, but they kept hustling and kept their poise (albeit NOT pretty at times) and were able to stave them off.
    SO, a W is a W and their coach was right. We did get the upper hand….and that is what kept the score in our favor.
    Would have thought a blowout, based on the first half….but did not leave early even to get the GK’s home earlier as it as school night. I really was worried during the 7 – 10 minute mark in H2..
    BUT….Dontchaknow….The Tigs from Orange land went DOWN to the Wimpy Winnies of Winthrop. The W’s are now 5 – 34 in the ACC….


    FWIW— Last Friday Hofstra routed Jacksonville, who we play Thursday, by a score of 94-61…


    Discovered that also in looking at the Hofstra schedule, so do we win by 50 vs Jacksonville? Maybe more playing time for the bench.


    I’ll copy over my thoughts from the post-game thread:

    – Looking back at the stats, we gave up more offensive rebounds than I thought we did. Still, I like the way we look in that area. Washington, Freeman and Abu are all good rebounders, and Lacey does a really good job crashing from the guard spot. That was a major weakness last year, and I think it’ll be much improved this season.

    – I love watching Trevor Lacey play. He needs to clean up his shot selection some, but he’s a plus defender and is so strong and decisive on his drives. Really excited to have him on the team.

    – We start 4 plus defenders and bring one of the best shot-blockers in the country off the bench. There’s no excuse for us to be below-average at that end this season. Fouls will be a bit of a problem, but I’m not worried about that. Washington does so much good stuff. It’s not just the shot-blocking, he’s really, really good at corralling guys on the P&R and getting back to his man. His length and quickness let him cover a ton of ground.

    – Turner is still a defensive disaster who loses track of his man way too frequently, but it hurts less when you surround him with good defenders, and we need his shooting.

    – FTs are a problem, but I also think Cat is going to be better than 5-9 most games, so I’m not overly worried about that yet.

    – What does worry me is how we bogged down against the zone. It’s not just that they didn’t quite know how to attack it. That’s going to happen the first time you play a zone in a season. There was some standing around and confusion about where to be, and that’ll get better. What worried me was that the passing wasn’t very crisp. Too often there were passes that didn’t hit guys in the hands. That’s the kind of thing that doesn’t lead to a turnover, but it takes away what might be a shot opportunity or slows down the next pass. That’s fundamentals stuff that needs to be cleaned up.

    – Shot selection from the guards/wings needs to be tighter, especially against a zone. If you’re shooting a contested 18-footer with 20 seconds left on the shot clock, you’re doing something wrong.

    – Abu needs to a) be told in no uncertain terms that he is not a three-point shooter, and b) carry a basketball around above his head all day. He missed out on two point blank looks because he brought the ball down.

    – Anya had two really nice drop steps to get to the front of the rim. If he can stay on the floor, he’s going to be a real force.

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