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NC State vs. Wisconsin in basketball

ryebreadryebread Posts: 1,273PFN Referee
edited December 2 in Wolfpack Sports
Lost in the middle of the turkey and the bed wetting against UNC in football is the fact that NC State's men's basketball team is playing a pretty important game on Wednesday night against Wisconsin.  NC State is 5-2 on this young season with losses against the only quality teams they've played (Memphis and to a lesser extent GT).  State desperately needs some non-conference victories against teams that matter, and Wisconsin looks like the best chance against a "brand."

If State were to beat Wisconsin, there's still question of how good that win would really be.  Like State they've really not beaten anyone (Marquette probably counts), but they've also lost to St. Mary's, New Mexico and Richmond. Don't let the swing offense and packed line defense fool you, this isn't Bo Ryan coaching.  Let's worry about that later, and go for the W now. We'll need all of them that we can get.

This game is the 21st rendition of the annual ACC/Big10 Challenge.  This is the "original" made for TV, inter-league, college basketball "challenge." The ACC leads the Challenge 12-5-3, and last year was a 7-7 tie.  After dominating the first 10 years, the last 10 years have swung a bit towards the Big Ten.  The ACC has only won 2 outright challenges in that period. It's now three nights and the Pack is playing on night three, at the 9:15 slot on ESPN2.  This game could decide which league comes out a winner.  

Fans like to say these things don't matter, but with the lengthening of the conference schedule, the relative power of the league is increasingly determined by fewer games in the non-conference. The ACC is currently third in the conference RPI, trailing the Big 12 (which has been #1 for quite a number of years now) and the Pac12.  The Big Ten is currently fifth, but were a whisker apart from the ACC last season (with the ACC finishing second). The RPI discussion is back to the narrative that expansion has left the ACC with a number of bad teams at the bottom, year in and year out, and these bad teams drag the conference down.  Long story short, the ACC needs to do well in these games, both to push the league up, and to push the Big 10 down.

NC State has been horrible in the Challenge, posting the worst winning percentage of any ACC team (behind even VT and GT).  Even looking at Big 10 teams, only Iowa has done worse (.333) cumulatively.  NC State is an ugly 1-9 on the road, which shows just how noncompetitive we've been against any team with a pulse over the last 20 years.  If there's a silver lining for State in this story, it is that the Pack is 6-3 at home in the Challenge, and we've got Wisconsin at home. 

If one remembers last year's Challenge game at Wisconsin, they will recall that State led comfortably most of the second half before being bested by Davison's 3-4 (or was it 10?) questionable blocking charges. They'll also remember that Ethan Happ wore NC State out inside on his way to 19 pts, 7 rebounds and 4 blocks.  The good news for the Pack this year is that Happ is no longer with Wisconsin, and there was a recent sighting of a flopping call against Davison.  Maybe the officials are on to his tendencies?

Wisconsin and NC State are a study in opposites.  NC State is one of the fastest tempo'd teams in the land and Wisconsin one of the slowest. NC State forces turnovers at a high rate, and also takes care of the ball. Wisconsin is more passive, but also doesn't protect it quite as well.  Wisconsin has the 100th ranked offense, but the 29th ranked defense. NC State has the 15th ranked offense (amazingly), but the 100th ranked defense.  Wisconsin shoots FTs very well (81% as a team), but shoots the 3 poorly. State shoots the 3 better, but not as well at free throws. 

While neither team is deep, both teams are older. Wisconsin play 6 guys for 60%+ of the possessions and their rotation is made up of 4 juniors a senior and a sophomore. They have two more they can sub in.  State by comparison is running 8 deep. 

My wild card in this game is Pat Andre for the Pack. He's shooting 48% from 3.  If Wisconsin packs it in, then NC State will need to loosen things up from the 3 point line.  Also, Wisconsin isn't nearly as athletic as Memphis, so I think he can stay out there for more minutes on the defensive end without his liabilities becoming too exposed.

This game likely comes down to which team controls the tempo and style of play better.  If State can force some turnovers and easy buckets, then I could see the Pack winning by 10.  If Wisconsin slows it down and uglies the game up (and Davison would be how that happens), then there's a good chance that they'll win. 

KenPom likes the Pack by 5.
Two Polls for this game.....
  1. Who draws more charges?20 votes
    1. Davison for Wisconsin
      75.00%
    2. NC State's entire team
      25.00%
  2. Which conference wins the Challenge?20 votes
    1. ACC
      50.00%
    2. Big 10
      50.00%
«1345

Comments

  • WulfpackWulfpack Posts: 1,570
    Best opportunity for a solid non conference win is Auburn. Wisconsin is going to struggle in the Big 10. Not nearly as good as year’s past. Still a big game, agreed. 
  • KingHippo_fka_BJD95KingHippo_fka_BJD95 Posts: 2,818PFN Referee
    Just GREAT.  A team that sets up perfectly to beat us, but might still qualify as a "bad loss."  It's War Damn Eagle or NIT for us.
  • SamIamSamIam Posts: 354
    I think most of us know how this is going to go.
  • JpageJpage Posts: 51
    well said SAMLAM - well said !
  • AdventurooAdventuroo Posts: 1,798
    Hey....  It's beats commiserating about FB.  I'll be there and proud.  GS is going to join me for a "Guys night out".  I am still optimistic....but occasionally baffled.  WHAT happened in the Memphis game around mid Q1.  We were using a Cumins ISL Powered Back Hoe and Assisted Suicide machine to dig our hole.

    BUT....we had some positive things.

    RYE....good writeup.  WRAL is looking (but you have to agree with Jim Goodmon on everything).  Maybe the website guys are immune...

    Thanks for doing this...
  • ryebreadryebread Posts: 1,273PFN Referee
    Just GREAT.  A team that sets up perfectly to beat us, but might still qualify as a "bad loss."  It's War Damn Eagle or NIT for us.
    This is exactly how I see it. UNCG is the same thing but probably harder for our guys to get up for.

    Roo: Thanks.
  • I think we beat Wiscy - we owe them a 20 point blowout for last year. Beating WDE in Auburn is a tough ask.
  • TheAliasTrollTheAliasTroll Posts: 1,918PFN Referee
    RYE....good writeup.  WRAL is looking (but you have to agree with Jim Goodmon on everything).  Maybe the website guys are immune...
    Rye is the man!

    I'm already in WTNY mode when we have that #5 recruiting class hit the floor so then we'll be able to know if KK really is a winner like he claims.
  • TexpackTexpack Posts: 1,708
    Another must win
  • RickRick Posts: 1,595PFN Referee
    RYE....good writeup.  WRAL is looking (but you have to agree with Jim Goodmon on everything).  Maybe the website guys are immune...
    Rye is the man!

    I'm already in WTNY mode when we have that #5 recruiting class hit the floor so then we'll be able to know if KK really is a winner like he claims.

    I think the recruits can fix our offense but not the defense. 
    KK has them playing hard which is generally the more difficult part. Now he just needs them to be more fundamentally sound.
    For example, a player should never leave his feet to contest a three point shot. A block is very rare, it is far more likely that there will be a foul or the shooter will go by the defender for a lay up. Yet, we do this on a consistent basis instead of closing out with a hand in the face. 
    Until this is fixed we are going to be a bubble team. 
  • KingHippo_fka_BJD95KingHippo_fka_BJD95 Posts: 2,818PFN Referee
    Maybe he can bring in a defensive-minded assistant next offseason.
  • RickRick Posts: 1,595PFN Referee
    Maybe he can bring in a defensive-minded assistant next offseason.

    He needs to do something but it does not appear he thinks there is anything to fix as I see the same problems form the first two yeears. 
  • 1984Met1984Met Posts: 132
    While I agree a coach on the staff could help, stating that players lack fundamentals is more a reflection of their prior coaching in high school (etc.) than on the college coach.  If he has to teach them, then the team is already behind the curve.  He should just have to reinforce, not teach from scratch.
  • ryebreadryebread Posts: 1,273PFN Referee
    I have hope because I see a whole lot of good. I still see a bit less talent and depth on our squad than the top 15 type teams, but as TAT mentions, that will close a bit more heading into next year.  Really, that next class is the one where if we could come in with another top 10 type class (quality over quantity), we'll really have the talent to compete.

    Like Rick mentions, getting the team playing at a high level of effort night in and night out is the hardest part, and KK has his teams playing like their hair is on fire. If the guy can do that and he can get the kids there, then he can tighten up the schemes.  He just has to know to do that, and I am not sure that I see enough on the bench to tell him.

    I would like to see some adjustments with the assistants, where one would be a X's and O's type and an assistant with a bit more experience.  We seemed "outgunned" in that department when I compare to benches at say Memphis, UNC, Michigan or even what Archie put together at IU.  

    James Johnson is currently the Pack's #1 assistant.  He's evidently a good recruiter and the players like him, but he was the #1 assistant for Seth Greenburg when he couldn't get off the bubble, and then failed miserably as a head coach.  I think there's a place for him on the bench, but I think KK needs to find his Lutz/Martinelli.


  • RickRick Posts: 1,595PFN Referee
    1984Met said:
    While I agree a coach on the staff could help, stating that players lack fundamentals is more a reflection of their prior coaching in high school (etc.) than on the college coach.  If he has to teach them, then the team is already behind the curve.  He should just have to reinforce, not teach from scratch.

    I respectfully disagree. A couple of points
    1) Look at the teams noted for their defense like Virginia. Their coaches teach them how they want them to play and then enforce it. Players do what their coaches emphasize. Are some players less well taught when it comes to defense? Sure but the vast majority know "how" to play defense. 
    2) None of our players have gotten any better in regards to defensive fundamentals. 

  • RickRick Posts: 1,595PFN Referee
    Rye posted
    "Like Rick mentions, getting the team playing at a high level of effort night in and night out is the hardest part, and KK has his teams playing like their hair is on fire. If the guy can do that and he can get the kids there, then he can tighten up the schemes.  He just has to know to do that, and I am not sure that I see enough on the bench to tell him."


    This is why I get so frustrated watching us play. We really are almost there. The team plays hard all the time. They seem to like each other and respect the coach. Its like we are 90% of the way there and just need some tweaks (as opposed to whole sale changes). But we seem to be incapable of making those changes. It drives me up a wall as I really think KK could be a great coach but he has to be willin to grow. 
  • ryebreadryebread Posts: 1,273PFN Referee
    Rick: You and I are in the same spot. We are 90% of the way there. KK could be an absolute monster with some minor system changes.  

    I'm an optimist so I am holding out hope. I do think each passing season suggests a cloudier view is more realistic.

    I think the only way the change comes though is if a respected mentor sits him down and goes through things.  It can't be a one time phone call thing with something like Pitino. That won't stick. I think it has to be someone on staff.  Where'd that Michigan defensive guru under Beiline end up?
  • MikePack89MikePack89 Posts: 117
    Maybe he can bring in a defensive-minded assistant next offseason.
    I hear Hux is available............
  • Vawolf82Vawolf82 Posts: 338PFN Referee
    This game is the 21st rendition of the annual ACC/Big10 Challenge.  This is the "original" made for TV, inter-league, college basketball "challenge." 

    Wasn't the ACC/Big East Challenge first?
  • Vawolf82 said:
    This game is the 21st rendition of the annual ACC/Big10 Challenge.  This is the "original" made for TV, inter-league, college basketball "challenge." 

    Wasn't the ACC/Big East Challenge first?
    Yes.  From 1989 - 1991.
  • ryebreadryebread Posts: 1,273PFN Referee
    Whoops. I stand corrected.  That it was, and those were some really good games.  
  • ryebreadryebread Posts: 1,273PFN Referee
    The fighting Archies of IU looked pretty good tonight.  They played hard nosed defense and ran a motion offense.
  • 1984Met1984Met Posts: 132
    edited December 4
    Rick said:
    1984Met said:
    While I agree a coach on the staff could help, stating that players lack fundamentals is more a reflection of their prior coaching in high school (etc.) than on the college coach.  If he has to teach them, then the team is already behind the curve.  He should just have to reinforce, not teach from scratch.

    I respectfully disagree. A couple of points
    1) Look at the teams noted for their defense like Virginia. Their coaches teach them how they want them to play and then enforce it. Players do what their coaches emphasize. Are some players less well taught when it comes to defense? Sure but the vast majority know "how" to play defense. 
    2) None of our players have gotten any better in regards to defensive fundamentals. 


    Rick, thanks for the comments.  Maybe I could have put it better.  Anyway, to your points:
    • Your point #1:  That's what I meant by reinforce and not teaching from scratch.  (Again, I probably should have said it better.) Those players at UVA did not show up (as a group) weak in the fundamentals.  As a team, they are more talented than our team and they are also willing to learn to improve.  I don't have any idea if our team is willing to learn or not.
    • Your point #2:  That would be on our coach and his staff.  I'm willing to let Coach Keats figure it out.  Plus, better talented players coming into the program will help.  If he doesn't figure it out and things don't improve with more talented players, then we've got problems.
    I actually agree with both your points.  Maybe I should have elaborated better.  I was just pointing out that if our team lacks defensive fundamentals, then it wasn't taught to them earlier -- of course, it likely was taught; they are just not very good at it right now.  Plus, their talent level isn't up to what it needs to be.

    I also agree with you and Rye on our team being almost there.  It's going to take some growing pains.

    When I attended State, Jim Valvano and his staff always seemed to do a great job of getting their players to understand and play defense.  They always seemed to have had some of the best defensive mindsets and could play multiple defensive schemes well.  Of course it helped to have the size his teams had. 

    UVA is the team that amazes me now.  I'm already asking my brother-in-law (a 15-year assistant high school girls coach) if UVA will allow UNC or Duke to score over 40 points in any game they play this year.

    Great conversations from everyone!
  • WulfpackWulfpack Posts: 1,570
    ryebread said:
    The fighting Archies of IU looked pretty good tonight.  They played hard nosed defense and ran a motion offense.
    That score really jumped out to me. FSU was ranked 17th. 
  • AdventurooAdventuroo Posts: 1,798
    Wulfpack said:
    ryebread said:
    The fighting Archies of IU looked pretty good tonight.  They played hard nosed defense and ran a motion offense.
    That score really jumped out to me. FSU was ranked 17th. 
    Way over my head....

    By Motion Offense, do you mean a modification of the Princeton offense that Herbie paid upwards of $250K (consulting and coaching fees) for?

    What did Archie run at Dayton?

    Leonard Hamilton is usually a good coach that anticipates and also adjusts.

    Archie is on the hot seat this year....so, he needs to show some of that “Coaching Shit” (where did that line come from?), otherwise he turns in his IU sneaks and whistle and lusts over his buyout...

    All comments and criticism are welcome....
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