Talking Points: Roy's State
Posted February 1, 2014
1. North Carolina head coach Roy Williams is already on record saying he'd rather beat NC State than eat and he recently added that this rivalry "means more to me than a typical North Carolina fan." Those Tar Heels fans Williams speaks of tend to be the ones who throw "not our rival" shade toward folks clad in red.
Williams has the numbers to back up the spirited talk about the Wolfpack. Following Saturday's 84-70 win over NC State, the Tar Heels are 21-2 overall and 11-0 at the Smith Center against the Pack.
Meanwhile, NC State head coach Mark Gottfried dropped to 1-5 against Williams and will undoubtedly hear howls of displeasure from Raleigh.
2. North Carolina and NC State entered Saturday's contest with renewed confidence after applying corrective measures to their poor starts in conference play. The game started off sloppy, but the Tar Heels stayed aggressive while they slogged through poor shots and missed layups. It eventually paid off, with the North Carolina building a 17-point halftime lead and flirted with hanging the Wolfpack another 30+ point loss.
The Wolfpack shot an abysmal 10-40 from the field in the opening half and dug themselves too big of a hole. Plenty of credit goes to North Carolina's defense on TJ Warren, while the rest of it belongs to rushed shots. While NC State caught fire in the second half, hitting over 65% from the field, North Carolina was able to snuff any comeback attempts with a string of baskets.
The Wolfpack also didn't help themselves at the free throw line or on the glass. NC State converted only only two of their seven trips to the stripe in the first half and finishing the game 14-26. The Heels out-rebounded the Pack 52-36, including 30 defensive boards. Part of that has to do with NC State going with a smaller lineup to spark the offense in the second half, but it wasn't like the Wolfpack got much out of their big guys throughout the game.
3. James Michael McAdoo's box score won't blow anyone away, where he was just 4-of-15 from the field, but he continued making strong moves to the rim. He went 8-14 at the line and pulled down 13 rebounds.
4. Part of NC State's dismal start was compounded by Cat Barber and Tyler Lewis. The guards shared one assist between them and forced shots early on.
5. Given that I was in New York City for the Super Bowl, figured it was an opportunity to watch ACC basketball in the expanded footprint. Ended up at Brother Jimmy's in Union Square, where they serve up barbecue and beer in blue cups from He's Not Here.
A good number of North Carolina and NC State alumni, clad in respective university gear, watched the game at the bar. Even saw a Zero Dark Thursday shirt. It was nice to have a little slice of home, complete with Wolfpack fans "hate watching" their team, in the Big Apple.