#29 R.P.I. NC.State vs. #179 R.P.I. Virginia Tech:
TV coverage: ~2pm, ESPNU
Vegas line: VT+11.5
$-line: bet $1 on VT to win $6.25, or bet $9.5o on NC.St to win $1
Today’s word is: polemic
- A controversial argument, especially one refuting or attacking a specific opinion or doctrine.
- A person engaged in or inclined to controversy, argument, or refutation. adj. also po·lem·i·cal (–kl) Of or relating to a controversy, argument, or refutation.
- What coach J’s and his boys clearly were not down at Wake.
Now for the kicker folks, State is ripe for the taking! This former pre-season #1 does in fact take games off. The early afternoon sleepy looking tourney start-time is favorable, the tempo (i.e. faster) match-up is favorable, and if you don’t believe any of that just ask the o2.16 Box Score. Which clearly states -that NC thereof- barely beat us –in overtime no less- by a mere two shots.
Our beloved Hokies do indeed have a shot to steal this one; if, and only IF, they wake (posthumous pun intended) the hell up and act like we care. Coach J’s has called this lack of effort out, Erick Green has called this lack of effort out, Ichabod Crane has called this Sleepy Hollow lack of effort out; and so am I. Enough already! Stop being such Real Husbands of Hollywood mitches, stop being catty and act like you’ve got some sense.
As sporting thespians we clearly are not; thanks to our margin of error; what with only 8 scholarship ballers and an assortment of walk-ons. Remember kids, “all the word’s a stage” and yet the only place winning comes before working is still the Dictionary. It’s time to get to work!
NC.State at a glance:
- 5th best in FG percentage offense (49.4%)
- 12th in scoring offense (77.7 ppg)
- 14th in 3-point FG percentage (39%)
- HAPPY 17TH ANNIVERSARY TECHSIDELINE.COM!!!
- 31st in 3-point FG percentage defense allowed (30.3%)
- 62nd in offensive rebounding
N.B.A. pros=2, at some level or another (R.Howell and C.J. Leslie)
#5 C.J. Leslie and #1 Richard Howell for a rather formidable 1-2 frontcourt punch for the NC.State Wolfpac down-low. Some might say the most formidable 1-2 punch in all the A.c.c. Richard Howell is a 6`8“ 257 lb. burly looking rebounding machine. Don’t believe me? Just ask ESPN.com who named Howell to its Top-6 rebounders in the country. Right now Howell only leads the A.c.c on the whole, the team otherwise known as the NC.State Wolfpac in rebounding (10.6 boards per game) that that merely places him eighth nationally at such! Yah; I’d say this senior year kid can do some mean board-work indeed. In addition to that, Howell nets you a second-best 12.7 ppg on 56% shooting from the floor due to his propensity for gobbling up offensive rebounds near the basket. As his offensive to defensive rebounding matrix (or ratio) is a astonishing 35.1% to 64.9%! Or in other words, this kid lives on the glass and he lives on the offensive glass in particular. Howell is also a remarkable second-best in assists (1.7) and he contributes a steal and a block per game as well. Not half bad for the Georgia AAAAA state champion who was the 15th ranked power-forward outta high school who has a history of dings and dents at NC.State. And who now carries a subtle whiff of Buck Williams 1980’s rebounding and defensive game to him and that carried Buck all the way to a 17 year N.B.A. career and a 13th all-time ranking in Association rebounding. Such is the nature of defense and rebounding which should never go cold. C.J. Leslie is a human-free-throw-attempt just looking for a place to happen or waiting on a favorable whistle to blow. 198 FTA’s on the season thus far speaks to this even if 61 chippy percent from the charity-stripe results in partially slurred speech. Cee.Jay does still manage to lead the Wolfpac in scoring at 14.9 ppg and he is second in rebounding at 7.5 boards; and that’s quite a bit of cumulative box score (pardon the pun) packing firepower when you sum it all up. Now mix in 53.1% shooting from the floor and the team lead at 1.2 block per contest. Only real catch I see here is that that is something C.J. does not always do well down on the low-blocks as he has a reputation for butterfingers and is second at State in turnovers with 93 this season. Mr. Leslie is said to be an N.B.A. athlete without an N.B.A. position. As he goes 6`8“ and yet only tips the Toledo’s at a bantamweight 200 lbs. Accordingly, this junior year hoopster was rated the 11th best player in the nation coming outta high school even if his home position remains camouflaged indeed. In fact Lindy’s pre-season magazine went so far as to name Mr. Leslie the #1 player in the A.c.c for the 2012-2013 season. I don’t care if you have a home position worked out or not; that’s some rather tall praise to be sure. Cee.Jay has a history of off-court issues, including receiving “impermissible benefits”; even if the highlight reel benefits whenever he attacks the basket as this springy jumpy ‘tweener will dunk on you whenever he can.
Scott Wood starts upfront as the other forward in a more modern era three forward Wolfpac frontcourt rotation that lacks a true center. Scott Wood however is the Matryoshka doll of the A.c.c. As he is basically a point-guard weight wise wrapped up in a shooting-guard height wise inside a string-bean small-forward mystery. Scott Wood is also the all-time consecutive A.c.c. FT streak shooter with 66 makes in a row from the charity stripe just last year. He is also a dead ringer of a shooter from range on 42.4% marksmanship from downtown which has allowed him to net a staggering 311 3-points in his senior season A.c.c. career to date! Now mix in the fact that Mr. Wood has simply been drilling it from beyond the arc since we last saw him and you arrive at the fact that basically, this kid’s range is the gym, if he’s in it, he’s open. Which makes his expatriate status from the scholastically basketball rich state of Indiana all the more intriguing. Though most 29th ranked shooting-guards outta high school can pretty much go anywhere they want. Likewise when they are durable enough to only miss one single solitary career game; that’s pretty decent medicine from an 12.1 ppg scorer, who chips in with 2.9 boards on a sizzling and Atlantic Coast leading 91.1% from the FT-line.
Association pros=2 (Purvis, Lewis), though double-check with 2017 just to be sure.
Rodney Purvis and Tyler Lewis start in the Wolfpac backcourt. Purvis is a 9 ppg scorer on 44% from the outside as a 6`4“ 190 lb. rookie year shooting-guard. That’s pretty fair to middling to me for a kid who is only 18 years of age; unless you take a looksee at Rodney’s FT-shooting which is a bricky 53.2% from the charity-stripe despite playing shooting-guard itself. Ever heard of that one before? Me neither; though I have heard that this kid is said to be an flat out explosive scorer who can put his offensive punches together in bunches. 4o% from downtown, 2.5 boards and 1.4 dimes ain’t hurting his credit-rating either. In fact, Lindy’s described his game as “…less parts shooter and more a force of nature.” That’s pretty heady talk for the North Carolina prep player of the year who was only the 9th ranked high schooler according to Scout this time last year. Purvis is a very intriguing prospect for down the road, as there is some real live potential that this kid develops into the leading A.c.c. scorer before his A.c.c. career is all said and done. He can put the biscuit in the basket even if his scoring has been a bit off as his new to voting freshminc legs may indeed be hitting the proverbial D-1 30+ game regular season wall at this time. Lining up across from Mr. Purvis in the State backcourt would be Ty’ Lewis. Ty’ is an in-state (Oak Hill Academy) escapee who was only named the 2012 Virginia Gatorade Player of the Year … and he only captured the Powerade Jam Fest skills competition title. That does not suck, and neither does this 18-year old newly adult kid. Ty’ was a big time scoring point-guard in high school and of course you can see right away, that the 2012-2013 NC.State starting backcourt is already loaded for 2015-2016 bear. As of now, Ty’ nets you 3.6 ppg on what I can only describe as erratic shooting, both from the floor (37.5%) and from range (27.3%). Now mix in a rebound and an assist and you nearly have to wonder why Lorenzo Brown is no longer starting for coach Mark Gottfried. Ty’ does have the look and feel however of a slickster One or point-guard who has some style to go along with his substance; even if his substance is not that substantial in his debut season down in Raleigh North Carolina. That said, Ty’ has only broken the 4 point barrier once since we last saw him -although he did torch us- so there are flickers here and glimmers there; as some kids are just not well suited temperamentally to coming in off the bench. Such segues me quite effortlessly into the State Pine and Mr. Lo.Brown himself.
Wolfpack Bench: (2-deep, 2-deep with 2 Pros!)
Brown is basically the only backcourt sub of the State bench –in a close game- and T.J. Warren is basically the only frontcourt sub when the Wolfpac is in tight as well. If I was a betting man –and I am- I’d wager that Lorenzo Brown is the hands down A.c.c. Sixth Man of the Year award winner in a New York second. This guy starts for 8-10 other A.c.c. teams the moment he transfers in and sets foot on campus. And you have to applaud Brown for his teammate first approach via sitting himself down and taking one for the same. Ditto Mr. Warren being the A.c.c. Rookie of the Year; read on… (READERs note: since I opined this, Brown and Warren have been starting; and Lewis and Purvis have been subbing in off the State bench)
T.J. Warren is a 6`8“ 238 lb. bruiser of a power-forward upfront as a right-sized t-freshman for the Wolfpac. T.J. is a rugged looking combo forward who can swing between all three of the pseudo NC.State frontcourt spots in a pinch. (after that State must resort to softer looking import ballers from Australia (Jordan Vandenberg) and Belgium (Thomas de Thaey, injured)). Tee.Jay is a former McDonald’s all-American, who only won the high school National Championship at Brewster Academy this time last year! The T stands for Tony and Tony’s dad is a legacy late 1970’s Wolfpac baller under coach Sloan. T.J. was the 6th ranked small-forward coming outta high school last season and right now he only nets you 12.2 ppg, with 4.3 boards on a mere 61% from the floor and 54.2% from beyond the arc! WOW! Can you say A.c.c. Newcomer of the Year award winner? Yah; me too, and do be sure and check back in 2016 to see just how
good, great, this kid will be. If he sticks around that long that is.
Lo.Brown is a 6`5“ 186 lb. lead-guard or former point-guard as he did finish second in assists in the A.c.c. a season ago and that tells you something about his basketball acumen right there. Right now brown gets you 12.5 ppg, 4.3 rebounds and 7.o assists, all in relief as he averages right at 30 odd minutes off the Wolfpac pine. Lo.Brown was the Georgia player of the year, and he was also the 7th ranked shooting-guard outta high school. Lo.Brown also fields a little range (29% from downtown) and he does lead State in steals at 2.o, so you know this is a quality on the ball defender. Scoring, passing, rebounding, defending … all off the Wolfpac bench … all rolled into one. That sure reads like a sixth man of the year to me. Hell; that might even read like the rarefied substitute baller to be crowned with all-A.c.c. honors. As Lindy’s magazine has Mr. Brown listed as the best-all-around player in the whole darn A.c.c. Finally, junior year Lo.Brown also has a knack for late game heroics and/or elevating his game vs. BIG-name competition when NC.State takes the big-stage. You gotta like that in any unselfish team-first kinda kid. (READERs note: Lo.Brown is still nursing a now class I ankle injury; although he has played the full 40 minutes in three of his last five games; so that bad wheel must be re-inflating as I type)
Jordan Vandenberg is a 7`1“ 264 lb. red-shirt third-year big from Paul Hogan country; or the land down under. Jordan is known for being, well, big, and for having more than small-time shoulder problems as well. Such has limited if not capped his step-away jump-shooting game; this despite a banger sized true-Center frame. Jordan does court range out to about 15′ on his J, so you must honor his preferred elbow looks when he faces up. Since we last faced State, Jordan’s minutes per game have doubled and he getting you a point and a rebound and change even if his FT stroke (25%) is so bricky as to be masonic in nature.
Conclusion(s), illation, OPT digits:
This is an NC.State men’s basketball team whose placement is less than their potential. Don’t believe me? Just ask the current standings.
As things stand right now however… this is a highly erratic (see the pun) NC.State hoops team that goes up and down more times than a Smothers brother yo-yo routine; vs. a formerly improving and then suddenly did not care Virginia Tech. To me, that brings anything and everything into play; and that connotes a game in which anything and everything can and probably will happen. State could show up and blow Virginia Tech right outta the Duck Pond water. Virginia Tech’s medium-3 could finally heat up all at the very same time and give Erick Green’s cry for help far more than the lip-service that it so richly deserves. State could also not care every bit as much as Coach J’s boys could not care; which tells us that each team is fully capable of going blind and beating itself.
On paper, NC.State is better and this just in … rain just called to say “I’m all wet.” State is also +1 in rest and that does not hurt when you are talking about the N.B.A. ‘esque back-to-back format that is the signature of Championship Week college basketball play. However, that is me being found guilty yet again of putting the cart before the horse.
The recent so-called Forum Guide paints one of our very few closer to even games in terms of intra-A.c.c. pictures this season (+5 or +9 for the Wolfpack if you include the VT/State game itself). However, it is the most recent 5-game trends that are disconcerting indeed. Virginia Tech is left chasing by 7% of FG percentage allowed overall from the floor and by an even more user-friendly 12.4% when compared head-to-head vs. NC.State from downtown. That type of defense is good for one thing … getting beat or 40 minutes left in our 2012-2013 men’s basketball season. Take thy pick.
As we/Virginia Tech prolly can not withstand NC.State landing their best punch bang on our chin. Our defensive whiskers just ain’t thick enough for that — although there is no gar-ron-tee of that where this wild and woolly Wolfpack is concerned either. I may not be Lima Neeson and NC.State may not have the chops to star in The Grey part II. Howlever, they prolly do have enough to claw their way to a sluggish looking early afternoon tip-off victory after what I just witnessed down in Winston Salem. As much as it sucks to have to write this … as I see streak oriented team sports -such as basketball- you are only as good as your last game and 12th place in the A.c.c. Virginia Tech was not very good last time out for a reason. Where the view never changes…
(READERs note: see everyone again in a few weeks in/around the new Football Staff’s very first edition of Virginia Tech spring practice!)
Virginia Tech=61, NC.State=77