Saturday Hoops Update

Posted by J.J. Greenstein on December 29, 2012 under Other ACC Coverage | Comments are off for this article

No. 1 Duke 90, Santa Clara 77

The nation’s top team trailed early in the second half but a 26-5 run led by Seth Curry, who finished with 31 points, allowed the Blue Devils (12-0) to win going away against a physical Santa Clara (11-3) team. Early national Player of the Year candidate Mason Plumlee added 22 points and 13 rebounds for Duke, who recorded heir 101st straight nonconference win at home. Guard Quinn Cook (15) and forward Ryan Kelly (10) also scored in double-figures for the undefeated Blue Devils.

No. 23 NC State 84, Western Michigan 68

Five players scored in double-figures for the Wolfpack (10-2) as they pulled away from Western Michigan (8-5) in the second half to record their sixth straight win. The big men, CJ Leslie and Richard Howell dominated for State up front. Leslie led the Pack with 19 points and seven rebounds while Howell added 18 points (on 8-8 from the floor) and nine rebounds. TJ Warren (15), Scott Wood (11), and Lorenzo Brown (10) rounded out the scoring for State, who has won eight straight home games, a streak dating back to last season.

Maryland 79, Delaware State 50

Freshman Charles Mitchell recorded a career-high 19 points off the bench to lead Maryland (11-1) over Delaware State (5-8) at home for their 11th straight win- the longest such streak for the program in ten years. Transfer Dez Wells and freshman Seth Allen each scored ten points for the Terps, as Allen added 14 rebounds for the game’s only double-double performance.

Boston College 70, Holy Cross 60

Patrick Heckman led all scorers with 19 as Boston College (7-5) downed Holy Cross (7-6) at home. Forward Ryan Anderson added 18 points and 10 rebounds, and Olivier Hanlan scored 14 points to round out the Eagles in double-figures. Boston College only received two points off the bench, playing just seven players in the victory.

North Carolina 79, No. 20 UNLV 73

North Carolina (10-3) got their most impressive of the season as the took down No. 20 UNLV (11-2) at home 79-73. Dexter Strickland led five Tar Heels in double-figures with 16 points. Guard P.J. Hairston (15), forward James Michael McAdoo (13), Brice Johnson (12), and Marcus Paige (12) rounded out the scoring leaders for the Heels, who played without Reggie Bullock because of a concussion suffered earlier in the week.

Florida State 82, Tulsa 63

Metro PCS Orange Bowl Classic at Sunrise, Florida

Guard Michael Snaer led four Seminoles (8-4) in double-figure scoring with 19 points in a win over Tulsa (7-6). 12 of the 13 Seminoles to see the floor scored, as Terrance Shannon (16), Okaro White (12), and freshman Devon Bookert (10) rounded out the scoring for Florida State.

BYU 97, Virginia Tech 71

At Salt Lake City

Guard Tyler Haws’ 42 points led the Cougars (10-4) over Virginia Tech (9-4) in Salt Lake City. Three Hokies, led by forward Jarell Eddy’s 17, scored in double-figures. Guards Robert Brown (13) and Erick Green (12) rounded out the scoring for Tech, who was over-matched from the start.

Coming up at 7pm, Fordham at Georgia Tech

Is the Pack back?

Posted by J.J. Greenstein on March 21, 2012 under ACC Basketball | Comments are off for this article

Following a 66-63 victory over third-seeded Georgetown in the third round of the NCAA Tournament, the Pack have been presented with the opportunity to take on second-seeded Kansas at the Edward Jones Dome in the Sweet 16.

A five year hiatus from the tournament made the two wins from last weekend even more special, but is NC State really relevant again?

Plenty of teams have made Sweet 16 runs over the years- teams that quickly disappeared the following season. For the Pack to be back- regardless of what happens Friday night in St. Louis against the Jayhawks, they must be ready to build on the success from this season.

With a top five recruiting class coming in, their depth should be improved. If everyone stays who can, the Pack will lose backup point guard Alex Johnson (a graduate transfer in his only season with the Pack) and their best perimeter defender, wing C.J. Williams.

The true questions lie in the decisions of sophomores C.J. Leslie and Lorenzo Brown. Leslie, an athletic power forward is projected as a 20-40 pick in the upcoming NBA draft. Brown, the starting point guard for the Pack, is seeing his draft stock improve with each stellar performance he puts on during this NCAA Tournament run.

If Leslie and Brown return for their junior seasons- and that’s a big if, the Pack would certainly have the talent to win the ACC next season. With incoming freshmen Tyler Lewis, Rodney Purvis, and T.J. Warren not having to carry the team, their contributions off the bench would be invaluable to the Pack.

The answer to the original question is still unknown, as it takes more than just one tournament run to be relevant again, but I’d say the Pack is in good shape with Coach Mark Gottfried at the helm.

For all intents and purposes, State is playing with house money right now. Bubble teams aren’t supposed to be confident heading into a match-up with the two seed in what will basically be a home game for Kansas- but State is. And they should be, because at this point in the tournament, anyone can win- and no one is playing with more confidence than NC State. So why can’t the Pack advance?

What to watch for: NC State vs. San Diego State

Posted by J.J. Greenstein on March 13, 2012 under ACC Basketball | Comments are off for this article

CBS did their best to scare NC State into thinking they would be missing this year’s NCAA Tournament during Sunday’s selection show, as the Wolfpack (22-12, 9-7 ACC) were the very last team announced into the field of 68.

What they waited the entire show to hear was that they would be heading to Columbus as an 11 seed to take on the sixth seeded San Diego State Aztecs (26-7, 12-4 MWC) of the Mountain West Conference.

State will need to continue the solid play that they displayed in the ACC Tournament in Atlanta if they want to pull the upset. They will need streaky shooter Scott Wood to get going again, as this will open up inside opportunities for big men C.J. Leslie and Richard Howell.

Perhaps no player is as vital to the Wolfpack’s success as senior C.J. Williams. Williams has really struggled as of late on offense, failing to score in double-figures since the Pack’s overtime loss at Clemson March 25. Williams has found himself in foul trouble and not having him on the floor has hurt the Pack defensively.

Williams will be given the task of shutting down 6-5 sophomore Jamaal Franklin. Franklin is a freak of a guard; averaging over 17 points and nearly eight rebounds per game (he leads the Aztecs in both categories). If Williams can shut him down, the Pack will have an excellent chance to win.

San Diego State relies heavily on the guards for their scoring, as Franklin and junior guard Chase Tapley (15.7 points per game) make up just under half of the Aztecs 71 points per game.

Tapley will likely be guarded by sophomore Lorenzo Brown. In both of the previously mentioned match-ups, the Pack will have a height advantage, and should look to use this to their benefit. San Diego State’s top four leading scorers are all guards- this means guys like Williams, Brown, Wood, and graduate-senior Alex Johnson will need to keep them in check to give the Pack an opportunity to win.

Expect Leslie to have a field day in the paint in for the Pack. He has been playing like a man possessed over the last few weeks against the best the ACC has to offer. San Diego State is not built to stop a player with Leslie’s size, talent, and athleticism in the paint. If the Aztecs are forced to double-team Leslie in the paint, Wood and Williams will get many open looks from the wing.

One last thing- you think this is a team excited about getting a chance to show what they can do?

Here is how the two teams match-up by the numbers:

11. NC State Wolfpack vs. 6. San Diego State Aztecs – Friday, M:arch 16, 12:40 PM

Points per game: NCSU – 73.4       SDSU – 71.2

Rebounds per game: NCSU – 37.2       SDSU – 37.1

Assists per game: NCSU – 16           SDSU – 12.2

Field goal percentage: NCSU – .463       SDSU – .456

** Winner will play winner of Georgetown vs. Belmont