NC State 75, VMI 55
So that could have gone a little better.
The first nine minutes were extremely frustrating; thankfully the guys decided to quit messing around after that point.
-- Cedric Simmons is an impressive sight when he is skying for a rebound, but I'm a little disappointed in his lack of production in this area tonight. Six rebounds in 30 minutes isn't going to cut it. VMI is not at all a good rebounding team.
-- I left the game thinking Gavin Grant had a terrible night, mostly because he couldn't hit anything. He also seemed a little out of control at times. When I checked the box score, I saw he had 8 rebounds and 6 assists. Not so bad after all.
-- A couple of impressive dunks by Cam Bennerman. If you weren't at the game tonight, you will definitely want to watch the Herb Sendek Show this weekend for the highlights. Cam wasn't hitting his jumpers, but he did have 7 rebounds and 4 steals.
-- I'm not going to get concerned about Brackman's poor early-season free throw shooting, which continued tonight.
-- Ben McCauley came into the game intermittently throughout; Fells only saw garbage time. I'm disappointed that Fells appears to be behind the other two freshmen. There was a lot of hype about him coming in and being instant-impact, but that clearly ain't happening. Trust is always an issue with inexperienced players, and I can see why it's an issue in Fells's case--while you can see his pure passing ability, the passes he made tonight could best be described as, um, interesting. During his brief six-minute stint, he tended to make risky skip passes as if he were trying to create a pretty assist opportunity every time he touched the ball. I should note that none of these passes resulted in turnovers, but this is VMI, after all.
-- Team Turnover Rates: NC State, 21.6%; VMI, 24.3%
-- Team OReb Rates: NC State, 35.7%; VMI, 25%. Good, solid effort against a crappy rebounding team. If we hadn't won the rebounding war convincingly, I'd have been quite concerned.
-- Team Offensive Efficiency (pts/100 poss): NC State, 101; VMI, 74. Second-consecutive poor showing for the Wolfpack. For perspective, last season's NC State team averaged about 113 points/100 possessions, which was good enough for 16th in the nation. Shooting and turnovers caused the problems this evening.