Welp folks, the preliminaries are finished. It’s time for the main event.
The Pack got thru a weak OOC schedule relatively unscathed, managing to only stub its toe once.
Well, twice if you consider how badly Creighton beat our asses….but the loss to Creighton itself isn’t shameful.
But Illinois? Even on the road. We shoulda gotten that one. We folded like a cheap suit that night.
But that’s in the rear view at this point, time to look ahead. Have you noticed that since that WTF loss to Illinois, and two very nailbiter types to lesser programs (4 pt win over Boston U and an overtime Heritage game with TennState) the Pack has actually started looking the part of the team with a bit of a killer instinct? I mean I realize the competition was not ACC caliber….but….
But for four straight games now, the Pack has managed to not play down to the competition. Foot on the throat….killer instinct.
Will it continue? Dunno. But I hope so.
As far as personnel, the team is at full strength and healthy for the first time all year. It’s a young team. There will still be growing pains.
But we’re 11-2. Currently, our RPI sits at #32. Which freaking amazes me, quite frankly.
If we gel and exceed expectations even slightly, we should dance. Don’t you think?
How good are they? What are their strengths and weaknesses? Who the heck knows at this point?
They were predicted to be upper echelon. Like top four double bye level. But they’ve looked weak so far if I’m being honest. Their competition level has been worse than ours, and they’ve fared no better. Of course we know that means little at this point.
But currently they’re 10-2 and have looked more meh than we have, against lesser competition.
So, I’m not even going to try to analyze them at this point any further than that. I don’t get paid enough for that kind of dedication.
Dennis. Smith. Junior.
In case you hadn’t noticed, this guy’s been getting some attention lately.
Number four, with a bullet….just saying….
4. Dennis Smith (NC State)
Smith suffered a torn ACL in high school but hasn’t shown any lingering issues since arriving at NC State. The only obvious concern with the athletic point guard is his inability to consistently make jumpers.
Or maybe number six???? Meh, still pretty good….
6. Dennis Smith, Jr., NC State
Last week: No. 7
18.9 PPG, 5.5 APG, 3.7 RPG, 1.8 steals, 48.6 2-pt%, 38.5 3-pt%, 114.3 ORtg
Smith had 23 points, six assists, four rebounds, three steals and two blocks in NC State’s 89-57 win over McNeese State last week. I’ve been saying it for a few weeks now: Smith is having the best season that nobody’s paying attention to. With ACC games on tap, that is sure to change in the next two weeks. Right now, he’s right on Josh Jackson’s heels for top-five status. Smith is a two-way player; if he can get his turnover rate down from 2.8 per game to about 2.0, the Wolfpack will become even more well-rounded.
I have a feeling DSJ is only just now beginning to emerge. Expect some bumpy adjustments as he hits the ACC Schedule. But by March, this dude is going to be sick good I think.
And he’s got company. We’ve got talent on this team. Like seriously, on paper, I really like this team.
As usual with NC State, the question is can we maximize it?
This is going to be a bumpy season, I’m quite certain. But I am hopeful that by March, we might have figured out a way to do some damage.
I think we can.
I hope we will.
At this point I will turn it over to Kurtis Blow….
OK Dudes. Time to get this thing going…..