Talking Points: Pack cruise, Heels small ball gets it done
Posted February 20, 2013
1. No muss, no fuss and no late-game drama. NC State's convincing win over Florida State left little to nitpick, but it also put everyone in a bit of a bind. It's as if fans and media don't know what to do when the Wolfpack take care of business for nearly 40 minutes.
Rather than ask why NC State hasn't done this sort of thing to lesser competition up until now, the real question is whether or not the Wolfpack turned a corner in an effort to build moment for March.
2. T.J. Warren started over Rodney Purvis and wound up being the main talking point of the win thanks to a career-high 31 points. The freshman also pulled down a career-high 13 rebounds.
3. There's a natural tendency to focus on the points and key 3-pointers from Warren, but his work on the boards shouldn't be overlooked. NC State has relied heavily on Richard Howell to be their rebounding machine, but he can't be the only guy.
After allowing Virginia Tech to pull down 21 offensive rebounds in its overtime win on Saturday, NC State tightened up their work in the paint and grabbed 80 percebt of Florida State's missed shots. The Wolfpack also did a great job recovering their own misses, out-rebounding the Seminoles 20-6 on the offensive glass.
4. The enigma of Calvin Leslie: Moments of head-scratching play followed by games where he makes it look so easy. His jam session against Florida State should be all over YouTube by now.
5. North Carolina also took care of business and passed an important small-ball test against Georgia Tech's larger front line. While most of the focus was on how the guard-heavy lineup would rebound against the Yellow Jackets, the Heels took advantage with their tepid offensive output and forced 19 turnovers.
6. The active defense created transition opportunities and masked an otherwise ugly shooting performance by the Tar Heels. Reggie Bullock didn't make a bucket until the 2nd half, while P.J. Hairston's recent hot streak cooled off with a 4-of-15 shooting night.
James Michael McAdoo had the most complete game for North Carolina, finishing with 22 points, 11 rebounds and 4 steals. McAdoo was simply too nimble for Georgia Tech's bigger front line to handle.
7. Getting back to rebounding for a moment, North Carolina heeded Roy Williams' demands and kept the overall margin relatively even at 36-43. The Heels and Jackets each had 10 offensive boards. Williams was comfortable enough with their production that he once again left his starters on the court for 30 minutes or more.
8. Leslie McDonald filled in the gaps off the bench, hitting 4-of-6 from beyond the arc.