Mark Thomas

An NC State run can be found in the numbers

Posted March 21, 2013

— The NC State Wolfpack are set to play in NCAA tournament for the second straight year under Mark Gottfried. That’s a pretty special accomplishment after the five-year drought under head coach Sidney Lowe.

Now, people who read the headlines and the first sentence of a column are going to feast on their own comments. Let me say that it is with some reservation you call this season “special” with the expectations going into the season. But the truth is, this season isn’t over. In fact, the euphoria surrounding the 2012-13 Wolfpack was generated with a solid recruiting class and the tournament run a season ago. The Pack pulled in a 24-10 record to go along with 11 wins in conference play. While that is nice, the post season has begun. Hoops Headquarters -- black 2014 NCAA men's interactive bracket

The NCAA Tournament can drastically change people’s opinions of teams with one or two wins. As the Wolfpack was preparing for its first round game against Temple, the coaches were busy preparing game plans, scouting reports, and the most important: the self-scouting report.

The self-scouting report can be the one thing that helps an athlete truly realize the things that keep his team from winning. Statistics in losses verses those in victories can paint the picture more clearly.

There are statistical keys to victory for the Pack to make a run to another Sweet 16. And as good as the freshman TJ Warren, Rodney Purvis, and Tyler Lewis are, winning will have to be driven by the upper classmen.

Lorenzo Brown
No player is more important to the Wolfpack this season than point guard Lorenzo Brown. With him out of the lineup the Pack picked up two of their 10 losses - a third if you count the limited minutes against Virginia.  Brown is as healthy as he has been all year. He has to stay in control of the offense and let the game come to him. In the seven full games that were losses, Brown averaged 4.5 turnovers verses 3.5 in the wins. When the Pack wins with Brown in the lineup he shoots 44 percent from the field, but in the losses he struggles shooting just 32 percent. Gottfried likes to see Brown take his man to the paint early to get an easier shot and see one go in. It gets his mindset right and his offense tends to take off from there.

Richard Howell
There hasn’t been a steadier player this season for NC State that Richard Howell. He was rewarded with a first team ALL-ACC selection. The big stat for Howell is no secret to fans: he has to move his feet on defense and be smart with fouls. It was an emphasis for him going into the season, and Gottfried feels that his success this year can be attributed to that. Of the 10 losses this year Howell has fouled out of four of them. But for Howell, it won’t be as much picking up No. 5 as staying out of foul trouble throughout. In games in which Howell has picked up his 3rd foul before the half, the Pack is 3-6.

Scott Wood
Other coaches have said time and time again in post-game press conferences that locating and closing out Scott Wood is the key to stopping the Pack offense. He can change the game in an instant with his 3-point shooting. The statistics also support that statement. In the 10 losses Scott Wood is shooting 38 percent from deep (before his last game against Miami in which he was 6-10, that was 29 percent in losses). When the Wolfpack offense is winning, so is Scott Wood from behind the arc. He is shooting 47 percent from three in the Pack’s 24 wins. However, in a statistic requested personally by Wood, NC State is 10-3 this season when he (gets beat and) blocks a shot. Nice work Mutombo!

CJ Leslie
It’s been said that, so goes Leslie, so goes the Pack. Statistics do help support that statement. When CJ Leslie hits at least half his shots from the field, NC State is 16-4. Ok, no kidding right. You have to hit shots to win. But it’s different with a guy that averages 15 points per game.
The one stat that makes or breaks the Pack’s chances of surviving in the NCAA Tournament may be Leslie’s turnovers. In the Pack’s 24 wins, Leslie averages 2.75 turnovers. He gets 4.1 per game in the 10 losses. And then there’s the craziest stat, NC State is 5-8 in games that Leslie is whistled for at least one travel violation. How about that one. Not the 8 losses. He’s had at least one travel in 13 games.

Can NC State live up to the preseaspn hype? Absolutely. But can and will are two strong words. This team has some amazing talent. Now, it’s time to focus in on a tournament run.

18 Comments

This blogpost is closed for comments.

Oldest First
View all
  • jsp1267 Mar 22, 3:58 p.m.

    I don't care whether you are a fan or not- if you do not think NC State has a very real chance... View More

    — Posted by nilsnorgaard1984

    Howell is good, but let's not pretend Zeller hasn't played against some good big men this year. I mean they did play Michigan, Michigan St, Georgetown Ohio State, etc

  • nilsnorgaard1984 Mar 22, 9:07 a.m.

    I don't care whether you are a fan or not- if you do not think NC State has a very real chance of at least making it to the Sweet 16 you have lost your mind. As for talent pure talent, they are arguably one of the best in the NCAA. The question is which NC State team will show up? As for Indiana, NC State is one of the few(if any) teams that can truley match up with Indiana man for man. Cody Zeller will NOT have his "usual performance". He hasn't had to match up with a player with the court presence and heart of Richard Howell(who is a man among boys while on the court).

  • cornbread Mar 22, 7:04 a.m.

    Several other observations:

    1. With Howell in foul trouble he can't play the D with the same intensity that he normally does. This results in players scoring over him. As much as he is awesome of the offenseive side at the same time, it's like giving the other team 2 points. Not many 3's are shot when Howell is in foul trouble, it's paint points that Howell can't effectively defend because he's pretty much the only player that will play D that hard. Either let Howell sit out during this time or the other players need to step it up.

    2. Leslie is awesome at creating his own opportunities, but often times he drives the lane and draws the foul while attempting a very low percentage shot. Sure it gets us 2 FT's, but he may hit 1 or none. By drawing that D, somebody is open, pass it.

    3. I don't see many passes to Warren. Dude has one of the most efficient shots in the country. I don't care if you hate his guts, he has been wide open in a recent game when Howell looked right past him. Play like a team

    4. The D we played against Miami, that's what we need from here on out.

    5. Hit the free throws or else we lose.

  • Unc r Hypocrits Mar 21, 4:31 p.m.

    I'd love to see my team play 40 minutes, hit their stride, and win a couple, or more. As for the ACC, MIAMI is our best chance for a Natty this year. If Duke, and I mean, IF, Duke can get their chit together, they MIGHT get to the FF.

    Just MHWPO.

  • TruthBKnown Banned Again01 Mar 21, 4:22 p.m.

    NC State RULES!

    Learn it.

    Know it.

    LIVE IT.

  • scousler Mar 21, 4:15 p.m.

    High expectations breeds bitter disappointment, when are the wuffies ever going to

    learn???

  • cjw6105 Mar 21, 4:00 p.m.

    The only run that State's going to make after Friday's game vs Temple is back home ASAP.

    Last year's team went through a "down" period in January when they lost 3 or 4 in a row. But they recovered and played fairly consistent after that. This year's team has gotten worse down the stretch, and I don't count those games after the UNC game as "the stretch". Truth is, since beating Duke, this team has done little to convince me that they are capable of playing and finishing a 40-minute game against a fairly equal opponent.

    I just don't see the numbers they're talking about. All I hear is the talk about how this team is capable of beating Indiana. State is certainly capable of beating Temple as well, but their problem is that they're even more capable of beating themselves.

  • iron fist Mar 21, 3:28 p.m.

    N.C. State fans need to start looking to next year b/c this is Duke's year to win the NCAA... View More

    — Posted by randdjacobs

    Will not happen this year

  • Coastal Native Mar 21, 3:25 p.m.

    Here we go again! LOL

  • sburks1906 Mar 21, 3:16 p.m.

    An NC State run?! Who are we kidding? State is going to get violated by the Hoosiers in Round 2. I hope my alma mater wins, but I've gotta be realistic.

    http://wp.me/p1gCK6-BN

More...

 

 

  • PGA: RBC Heritage

    Today at 3:00 pm on WRAL-TV

  • PGA: RBC Heritage

    Tomorrow at 3:00 pm on WRAL-TV

  • PGA: Zurich Classic of New Orleans

    Saturday at 3:00 pm on WRAL-TV

  • MLB: Atlanta Braves at NY Mets

    Tonight at 7:05 on 99.9 The Fan

  • MLB: Baltimore Orioles at Boston Red Sox

    Tomorrow at 7:05 pm on 99.9 The Fan

Scoreboard
Local
Final
NOR 0
DUR 3
 
7:05pm Tonight
NOR
DUR
 
Final
CHC 1
CIN 4
Final
PIT 3
MIL 5
Final
WAS 3
STL 1
Final
CLE 2
TOR 3
Final
DET 6
ANA 11
Final
NYM 0
ATL 6
Final
BOS 4
BAL 8
Final
TAM 11
NYY 5
Final
MIA 8
SEA 4
Final
TEX 12
CWS 0
Final
KAN 5
MIN 0
Final
COL 12
PHI 1
Final
OAK 11
HOU 3
Final
LOS 2
ARI 4
Final
SDP 2
SFG 1
1:05pm Today
WAS
STL
 
1:05pm Today
CLE
TOR
 
1:08pm Today
DET
ANA
 
1:35pm Today
BOS
BAL
 
2:10pm Today
KAN
MIN
 
2:20pm Today
CHC
CIN
 
4:05pm Today
OAK
HOU
 
7:05pm Tonight
PIT
MIL
 
7:10pm Tonight
NYM
ATL
 
7:10pm Tonight
TAM
NYY
 
7:10pm Tonight
MIA
SEA
 
8:05pm Tonight
TEX
CWS
 
8:10pm Tonight
LOS
ARI
 
8:10pm Tonight
COL
PHI
 
8:40pm Tonight
SDP
SFG
 
12:30pm Today
TOR
BRK
3:30pm Today
LAC
GSW
7:00pm Tonight
IND
ATL
9:30pm Tonight
OKC
MEM
Final
TAM 1
MON 4
Final
BOS 0
DET 1
Final
ANA 3
DAL 2
3:00pm Today
STL
CHI
7:00pm Tonight
PIT
CLB
9:30pm Tonight
COL
MIN
Final
NOR 0
DUR 3
 
7:05pm Tonight
NOR
DUR