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Joe Ovies

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.

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  • 321oohaw Feb 20, 2013

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    ...shut up you whiners...

  • 321oohaw Feb 20, 2013

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    ...I predict you are a dreamer...

  • 321oohaw Feb 20, 2013

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    ...How's the play in game looking for Wake in the ACC tourney?

  • 321oohaw Feb 20, 2013

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    ...Hardly a road game. more like a trip arounf the corner. These games with Duke/UNC/State are not really road games.

  • rherring23 Feb 20, 2013

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    Tiger Woods is not the highest ranked golfer at this point either. But do you know of a better golfer when he plays up to his potential. Howell is the best rebounder, Leslie definitely has the talent, Wood is one of the best 3 point shooters and Brown is one of the best point guards, sometimes all the pieces have to come together. Look at Michigan and the Fab5, no doubt that they were the best team in the country, but they didn't walk away holding the trophy. Its not how you start, its how you finish.

  • alockwr21 Feb 20, 2013

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    One game? No, it is 3 in a row now...close wins or not, a win is win is a win.

  • BeastOfTheHill Feb 20, 2013

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    Dominique Wilkins played at UGa and is from Little Washington, NC.

  • randrmomanddad Feb 20, 2013

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    HA HA HA...GEL...STATE beat a losing team at home....NO I'm no going to go there...GOOD LUCK STATE.!!!

  • StunGunn Feb 20, 2013

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    There were a lot of "if's" in your post (control anger, play as a team, improve defense), but I can't argue with you. IF State does all those things, they'll go deep in the NCAAT. They showed last night why there were such high expectations on this team. As for Lewis, that kid is a stud! He got thrown into the fire when Brown went down suddenly, and did a terrific job. State will be in good hands with Lewis running the point.

  • StunGunn Feb 20, 2013

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    I don't think Roy's job was ever in jeopardy. People were frustrated with the young team and Roy's stubbornness about not starting Hairston,and other things. The Heels haven't punched their ticket to the Dance just yet, but no matter what happens I'm proud of this team as well. Go Heels!

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