NC State 86, FSU 64
Evtimov's injury has stolen most of my usual post-victory enthusiasm...I hope his MRI doesn't reveal anything serious. The nice thing about being balanced is that no one player's production is irreplaceable, but it is very unlikely that we replace Evtimov's production at his level of efficiency. I really dislike the idea of having to rely more heavily on McCauley and Grant.
No use discussing this until I hear something official, though...
-- First and foremost, tonight was just an awesome offensive performance--even sans Ilian for a half. The Wolfpack shot 78.4% (eFG%) from the field, which is the team's highest mark in conference play (and second-highest this season). The Pack also hit 85% (17-20) of its free throws. State's 86 points on 71.5 possessions equates to an offensive efficiency of 120.3.
-- That impressive efficiency came despite a turnover rate above 29%. Fortunately, NC State forced Florida State into a lot of mistakes as well; the Seminoles turned the ball over on 32.2% of their possessions.
-- I should also point out that tonight was NC State's best game at the defensive end in conference play. State allowed 64 points on 71.5 possessions for a defensive efficiency of 89.5. This is only the third time in 12 conference games that the Pack has had a DEF EFF below 100. All three have occurred at home.
-- Another conference game, another impressive shooting performance from behind the arc. Including tonight, NC State has hit 45.7% of its threes in-conference. Three point shooting, last four games:
vs UMD: 12-28 (.429)
at UM: 12-27 (.444)
at GT: 12-24 (.500)
vs FSU: 13-23 (.565)
NC State has made at least 10 threes in 8 of 12 conference games. There is no die by the three. There is only live.
-- I was a little disappointed in how we rebounded the ball. Ced only had three boards in 31 minutes. The rebounding totals suggest the teams were even (25-25), but in fact the Noles were much better. FSU rebounded 38.2% of its misses and 75% of State's misses; NC State had OR and DR rates of 25% and 61.8%, respectively. I like to see us keep teams under a 35% offensive rebounding percentage, although the number posted by FSU tonight is actually no better than its in-conference average.
-- Twenty wins! We should move back into the RPI top 20, and it's going to be really important for seeding purposes to avoid another "bad loss" to a team outside of the RPI top 100. The only opponents left on the schedule that are outside of the top 100 are VPI and Wake Forest. We still have a chance to pick up two wins against the RPI top 50, so that's good.
-- Herb couldn't help but take a jab that has become surprisingly common this season:
"We just keep running that N.C. State offense," quipped Sendek, a not-too-subtle shot at those who criticize his team's Princeton-like system.
-- Cam to close games: you complete me:
"I feel incomplete," he said. "I feel like there's another half to play or something. But I guess we deserve this."