Rush The Court: TJ Warren Needs Help

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    Rush The Court:

    With just over 12 minutes to go in the game, Warren drilled a three-pointer from the left corner – his only made three in seven attempts for the game. At that point, the sophomore star had already notched 24 points and 11 rebounds, and the Pack held a five-point lead. From that moment on, Warren went scoreless on three field goal attempts and managed only two more rebounds for a 24/13 night. He wasn’t totally invisible for the remainder, as he did record a block and assisted on two huge three-point baskets by Ralston Turner. But his lack of production down the stretch was a big reason that N.C. State couldn’t hold off the Tigers, who trailed by 10 points with just under nine minutes left. Missouri suddenly got hot from the outside, making five of their last six three point tries after only hitting two of their first 12 from behind the arc. But without their star involved in the offense, the Pack just couldn’t match that burst from Missouri and its star guards, Jordan Clarkson and Jabari Brown, who led the Tigers in scoring with 21 and 17 points, respectively.

    After playing a zone for most of the game, Missouri mostly went to a man-to-man defense down the stretch. The primary assignment for guarding Warren went to Earnest Ross, who had an excellent all-around game with 11 points and 13 rebounds. Afterward, Ross commented that Missouri tried to make it tough for Warren, adding, ”we played physical with him.” At 6’5? and 228 solid pounds, the senior Ross had the size and experience to do just that. Wolfpack head coach Mark Gottfried had another take, saying, “I think T.J. got tired… and wasn’t as aggressive” during the last quarter of the game.


    Warren does need a reliable second scorer. I would think CB or JV would be the logical choices. One of them needs to claim it. Thrid and fourth choices can come and go. One night Washington next night Anya or Freeman. There has to be some consensus who thats going to be or least a plan in place if the opposing team is hell bent on shutting down Warren. Which is what most teams will do when trying game plan for the Pack.


    I think Ralston is too inconsistant for him to be a logical choice.


    I was hoping that Desmond Lee was going to be able to play this role on this team. To this point he isn’t generating quite as much offense as I was hoping expecting.

    Ralston Turner has really come on over the last few weeks with much more confidence in his shot. But, at this point I think it is hard to imagine him as anything but a three point specialist (when he is hot). He doesn’t score in any other fashion and his defense is a liability to have him on the court in all situations.


    TJ Warren does need help. Someone else needs to start grabbing rebounds to initiate our fast break offense.


    As with Missouri on Saturday night, Warren was tired again in the final 25% of last night’s game when he scored just two of his 24 points in the final 10 minutes and 43 seconds. Nobody stepped up for the Pack as Desmond Lee’s dunk was State’s ONLY FIELD GOAL in the last 10:43 vs UNC-G.

    Coach Gottfried is going to have to find a different way to manage this team or State will fall apart in conference play. I don’t know if means playing more zone and not exerting as much defensive effort (*things I never thought I’d say about a Mark Gottfried coached team*) or if it means a change in the substitution rotation. But, we seem to be witnessing a trend.


    Our best options for “second scorer” (Fran Fraschilla was right about us needing one badly) are Des Lee and Cat. Cat actually has a very nice midrange jumper, he just needs to pull up more so defenses don’t automatically assume he will go to the rim every freaking time he drives. Des can also penetrate and create his own shot.

    I would like to see more King Hippo, especially late. I have to think he would be a better FT option than Vandy or Le Nard.


    Our winning streak, and what appeared to be our best ball so far, started when Vandy came back. He has disappeared the last two games. Are defenses now focusing on him just enough to take him out of the game, are we neglecting efforts to get him involved, or has Vandy rested on his sparse laurels and not worked as hard as he should? I don’t expect Vandy to be our 2nd option, but whichever big guys are in the game need to be a scoring option and our guards need to get them the ball. That happened some last night but it was usually Freeman and he was usually fouled and he usually missed. Things should get better but the inside game needs work.


    Outside of the fatigue and attitude factors, it’s clear that this ain’t Cuz’s problem.

    Let’s just say for discussion purposes in the absence of good numbers… that in 15 games this season, Cuz has gotten 1/3 of his points on fast breaks; 1/3 of his points on offensive rebounds/loose balls and putbacks and 1/3 of his points off set plays while averaging around 34 minutes per game.

    That means that teams who are trying to shut Cuz down… might be successful on one third of our offensive possessions.

    Now ya’ll can play with the numbers if you wish, but it won’t impact the obvious conclusion.

    To summarize more in-depth discussion by numerous posters on the game threads and elsewhere….

    “Our strategy, fundamentals, spacing and execution in the half court offense against any type of defense (man or zone) has not improved significantly ( and that might be too polite an understatement ) since the first game of the year.”

    The season is basically half over (15 games and 50+ legal practices, maybe more )and we are still trying to figure way too many things out… during the games. At this point in the season, we shouldn’t even be having this conversation as most “everything” should have been a known entity before now.

    In short…. Fix the half court offense and a whole lot of things will straighten themselves out.


    The question was asked during last night’s game… “What do these guys do during practice?” Maybe Mr. Dog can send one of his spies over to watch for a couple of days and let us know when he returns from his self-imposed exile.

    In the meantime…. I’m thinking maybe we ought to put Patrick Wallace in the starting lineup for a couple of games and see what happens…. of course, the results might depend on whether or not anybody can get the ball to him in a position where he can do something positive.

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

    “In short…. Fix the half court offense and a whole lot of things will straighten themselves out.”

    ^This 1000%. We do not have a half-court offense. I wish Howell was a redshirt senior this season … sh*t in one hand and wish in the other.

    I don’t mean anything bad against our current big guys – they’ve all shown flashes and have generally played well – except on the offensive end. Howell was an excellent passer and the ball moves so much better when it hits the post at least once per half-court posession.


    Wufpup… there is no question that our bigs have plenty of room for improvement especially the rookies… Anya and Freeman.

    BUT… it won’t happen if they don’t touch the ball in a place and position where they have a high percentage of success. Now, as I see it…

    Coach is responsible for their Place (Where they need to be on the floor)… We saw the Vandwagon working very enthusiastically ABOVE the free throw line 10 times more often than we saw him down low on the blocks during last night’s game. And there’s no question he was doing exactly what he was told to do. Unfortunately, that begs the obvious question “Why is your 7-footer consistently setting up 20 feet from the basket when his defender was 6’7”??? “. I’m pretty sure somebody else can set that high screen for Mr. Cat.

    The Bigs are responsible for Position… getting to the Place where the Coach told them to be at the right time AND on balance, hands up, ready to receive the ball and with a clear idea in their head of what they are going to do next (Roll left, Roll right, hook shot, dunk… whatever). We’re getting in position SOME of the time… but the rest of that equation needs a lot of work.

    The perimeter players, especially the point guard, are responsible for getting the Bigs the Touch (the Ball ) with a “catchable” pass. Speaking of point guards…. let’s finish that here…

    Practice leads to confidence, Confidence leads to Success, Success creates Enthusiam and Energy.
    With Success… Fatigue and Attitude become non-issues and the rest is history.

    Unless the Bigs start bringing the ball down the floor, the other members of the Team have GOTT to do their jobs first to get our Bigs going.

    To work all this out…. at the rate we’re going….we MIGHT NOT be ready to go by the beginning of NEXT season…

    I’m thinkin… Richard Howell if he was on this team….would have taken a couple of freshman out behind the woodshed by now and “persuaded” them to get him the ball when and where he wanted it by now.

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