Friday, February 29, 2008

We have the bottom to ourselves.

I was a bit surprised to see that a significant gap had formed between 11th and 12th place, and this was before the FSU game:

.. Pace PPP PPP EM
1. North Carolina 75.6 1.12 0.97 +0.15
2. Duke 76.5 1.12 0.98 +0.14
3. Clemson 68.4 1.09 1.01 +0.08
4. Maryland 72.1 1.05 1.04 +0.01
5. Georgia Tech 72.6 1.06 1.07 -0.02
6. Wake Forest 72.4 1.02 1.04 -0.02
7. Miami 70.0 1.04 1.07 -0.03
8. BC 69.3 1.07 1.10 -0.03
9. Virginia Tech 72.8 0.96 1.01 -0.05
10. Florida St. 68.3 0.97 1.04 -0.07
11. Virginia 69.5 0.99 1.06 -0.07
12. NC State 67.8 0.99 1.13 -0.14

In other news...

When asked about Hickson's lack of touches in the second half, the second-year Wolfpack coach said Florida State's tactics were responsible.

"It's kind of like when we played against (former 7-foot-4 Virginia star) Ralph Sampson," Lowe explained, citing his playing days in 1983. "You've got one guy in front guy and one guy behind; it's tough to get it in there. We had (Hickson) running all over the place, we had him ducking in, we had him trying to ride him up higher (and) we had to swing it around.

"What you have to do is make some open shots to pull that defense out. What they were saying is that, 'We're going to play one behind and one in front and we're going to force you to swing it around and make a couple of shots.'"

Upon reviewing the game tape, however, Florida State never double-teamed Hickson in the second half. Ryan Reid and Uche Echefu fronted Hickson several times, but they never doubled down to prevent the entry pass. And N.C. State never set a screen to free him, either.

"We have strategies," according to Lowe. Maybe this is an example of why they never seem to work.

Yes, exactly.

(With thanks to Deadspin.)

Thursday, February 28, 2008

"I don't know."


Marques Johnson said North Carolina State coach Sidney Lowe delivered a passionate pep talk just before Wednesday night’s game, imploring the Wolfpack to reverse its negative momentum by protecting its home court.

What followed was fractured and largely listless from the opening tip.

And as N.C. State splintered and perhaps hit rock bottom in a 72-62 defeat administered by Florida State at the RBC Center, it ended with everybody associated with the Wolfpack declaring the performance unforgivable.

“I don’t know what it was,” N.C. State reserve guard Trevor Ferguson said. “The season’s almost over and we’re not coming out ready to play. There’s no excuse for that.”

More from Ferguson:

"That should be motivation enough," Ferguson said of the losing streak. "But I don't know. It seems like we come out dead every time, and it's killing us. We just dig ourselves in a hole."

Marques Johnson:

“All we can do is apologize to the fans,” guard Marques Johnson said. “I don’t know what it is, but we’re not playing hard or something. There is no explanation for this. A five-game losing steak, we’re finally back at home - you would think we would excited to play. But we came out slow and sluggish, for some reason, obviously.”

Sidney Lowe:

“I can’t explain it. Actually, we had pretty good practices, had energy. We missed a couple of wide-open shots early and it was like we just kind of put our heads down because we were wide open, and didn’t get back and didn’t get the stop the way we needed it. I don’t know why missing a shot would do it, either, because I never cry about missing a shot. But I think that affected us maybe, and they just didn’t play well. The starters didn’t play well.”

What a mess. The games stopped affecting my emotions and my schedule weeks ago, but the issue of motivation continues to gnaw. I wish I could make just the tiniest, smallest bit of sense out of this season.

FSU 72, NC State 62

Box Score

NC State
Four Factors
Turnover Rate20.4
Off Reb Rate12.5
Four Factors
Turnover Rate10.2
Off Reb Rate39.4

          Pts   Poss    Off_Eff   Def_Eff
FSU 72 58.8 122.4 105.4
NCSU 62 58.8 105.4 122.4

My favorite part of the game came early in the second half when Uche Echefu received the ball at the top of the key and didn't have a defender within ten feet of him. Hickson and Costner, standing together under the basket having a chat or doing whatever the hell it is they do instead of playing defense, both point at Echefu; neither one moves toward him. So they're both at least in good rebounding position after Echefu misses the three-pointer, but Jason Rich is able to sneak in, collect the miss, and score the bucket.

A microcosm of the entire season, those five seconds.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

It's on, baybee.

I'll be firing up shortly for a much needed baseball fix (and distraction). I probably shouldn't be this excited about the first game of spring training, but I'm pretty sure there isn't anything else noteworthy going on today.

(Sidenote: Billy Wagner = huge ass.)

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Missing Al's Everything

Back when I first previewed Florida State, I noted that the Seminoles offense had held together without Al Thornton better than I'd expected it to. But it was still early in league play at that point; as the Noles have worked their way through the conference over the last month, things have fallen apart. In the seven games they've played since our late January meeting, they've managed to score better than a point per possession just twice.
        Off_Eff   eFG%     TO%     OR%     FTR
2007 109.7 52.4 19.6 35.3 29.2
2008 97.1 48.0 22.3 31.7 23.9

Those are conference-only numbers. I really can't overstate just how good Thornton was against the ACC in 2007; he took more than a third of FSU's shots while he was on the court and still managed to shoot over 56% and turn the ball over less than 12% of the time. That's incredible efficiency for such a massive workload. By handling so much all by himself, he demanded a ton of attention and allowed his teammates to assume role player-level workloads (aside from Thornton, only Toney Douglas used more than 20% of the team's possessions), and they were better for it.

This season, Douglas and Jason Rich have been forced to step up their involvement. The results (conf-only again)...
               ORtg    %Poss    %Shots    eFG%      TO%
Rich 2007 109.7 18.2 17.1 53.9 22.8
Rich 2008 94.8 24.6 26.1 47.3 21.1

                  ORtg    %Poss    %Shots    eFG%      TO%
Douglas 2007 108.5 22.6 22.4 49.5 20.4
Douglas 2008 106.8 25.5 27.7 54.4 20.6

Isaiah Swann's knee injury put even more pressure on these two guys to produce, and it's evident in Rich's case that he wasn't ready for this. Douglas has been fine, and that's not surprising considering his talent and his 2007 numbers; an extra three shots per 40 minutes isn't a huge deal for a player of his caliber. Rich, on the other hand, was the least frequent shooter among FSU's starting five in 2007, and he is attempting five more shots per 40 minutes in '08. So he has made the bigger transition, going from taking 17% of the shots to 26% of them; that's tough on anybody.

If the Noles were playing defense this season like they did in 2007, they'd be battling NC State for the worst efficiency margin in the ACC. Fortunately for them, they aren't. The defensive factors:
        Def_Eff    eFG%      TO%      OR%      FTR
2007 109.0 52.9 19.5 34.8 37.1
2008 103.2 51.1 23.5 35.9 42.9

Opponents are hitting their shots (two-pointers, more specifically) less frequently, while FSU is also forcing a lot more turnovers. Douglas, who has doubled his steal percentage from 2.6% in '07 to 5.2% this year, is a big reason for that. He's the best thief in the ACC.

Monday, February 25, 2008

Return my purse at once!

Box Score

NC State
Four Factors
Turnover Rate34.4
Off Reb Rate23.3
Four Factors
Turnover Rate12.4
Off Reb Rate22.2

          Pts   Poss    Off_Eff   Def_Eff
UVA 78 72.7 107.3 82.5
NCSU 60 72.7 82.5 107.3

Virginia recorded 16 steals--one pick for every five NC State possessions--and finished the night +16 in the turnover department. That sort of advantage in effective possessions is rather difficult to overcome.

Even after Sunday, the Virginia defense ranks just 264th in steal percentage. I'm sorry we weren't able to be of more help.

"Shit, Nancy, hold onto the damn ball."

"Whew--y'all stink."

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Previewing Virginia

2008 Scouting Report / 2008 Game Plan
2008 Schedule
2008 Roster

Virginia Offense 07-08
Four FactorsPercentNat'l Rank
Turnover Rate20.4123
Off Reb Rate37.042

Here it is, the titanic matchup of the league's two worst teams that no one's looking forward to. NC State's season to date, put succinctly:

A few good breaks in close games combined with some resilient play put the Pack at 4-4 in the league halfway through the season. The Pack played like a bad team, but it won enough games to look like a decent team.

The only difference between State and Virginia is luck; NC State has been fortunate in close games, while Virginia hasn't, playing and losing three OT games in conference play.

        Off_Eff   Def_Eff   ExpW-L   ActW-L
NCSU 100.4 113.1 2-10 4-8
UVA 98.4 108.2 3-8 2-9

As the ACC's most perimeter-oriented team, Virginia needs its three-pointers to fall, and for the most part they haven't in league play. The Cavs are shooting 33.1% from three, 46.2% (eFG) overall. Fortunately for them, they take care of the ball and grab a decent percentage of their misses, else the offense would be an enormous disaster.

Their four primary outside shooters--Singletary, Diane, Joseph, Baker--have all regressed in conference play. Comparing their full-season and in-conference 3FG%s:

            FullSeason   ACC-Only
Singletary 38.1 36.5
Diane 41.7 33.3
Joseph 36.9 31.4
Baker 41.7 37.8


Sean Singletary (6-0, 185) -- As he always has, Singletary carries the Cavaliers offensively, using 28% of the possessions and taking 27.8% of the shots in ACC games. In addition to providing efficient scoring, his respective assist and turnover rates are very good as well. I hope the coaching staff remembers the Boston College game and doesn't try to guard Singletary with Javi all night. It should be clear we have to use Fells here.

Calvin Baker (6-2, 186) -- Aside from Singletary, you won't find much in the way of good passing; Baker's modest 13.7% assist rate in ACC play ranks second on the team. Everyone else in the rotation is below 10%.

Mamadi Diane (6-5, 201) -- Diane is the only other Cavalier using an above-average number of possessions--and averaging double-digit points--in conference play. He's shot the ball horribly from inside the arc (42.9% overall), but he doesn't turn the ball over and does a reasonably good job getting to the line and grabbing offensive boards.

Adrian Joseph (6-7, 201) -- Joseph should have been someone, like Diane, who asserted himself and took more shots in JR Reynolds's absence. He did that throughout the early portion of the schedule but has been less assertive against conference foes. That's a shame for a team that, in conference play, is shooting 44.2% from inside the arc because Joseph is one of the few Cavaliers who is shooting at a good clip from two.

Mike Scott (6-8, 233) -- Scott is a good rebounder at both ends, but, whew, the post game needs some work. He's hit just 35.3% of his twos in ACC games. Staying out of foul trouble has also been a problem for the freshman; he averages nearly six fouls per 40 minutes.


Laurynas Mikalauskas (6-8, 246), Jamil Tucker (6-8, 241), Ryan Pettinella (6-9, 249), and Jeff Jones (6-4, 193) should see most of the time off the bench.

Mikalauskas, newly-healthy and energized, might be a huge factor in Virginia's success.

Pettinella rarely factors into Virginia's offense, though he has shot well on the rare possessions where he does shoot. He's incredibly foul-prone, doesn't rebound as well as he should, and form at the free throw line--where he is 5-23 (.217) on the season--is horrifying.

Virginia Defense 07-08
Four FactorsPercentNat'l Rank
Turnover Rate19.1282
Off Reb Rate28.928

Scoring has come easily for ACC opponents, who've hit 37.1% of their threes and 51.6% of their twos against the Cavs. Virginia is a bad at forcing turnovers as NC State is, so their good rebounding at this end doesn't make much of a difference for them.

Cavs by four, according to the Pomeroy predictor.

Friday, February 22, 2008

Friday Items

-- Dan Wiederer wonders where the Pack can turn for leadership.

From the outside, Grant and Ben McCauley seem to be the most logical leaders. An outspoken senior who’s been around the block in the ACC, Grant possesses a charisma that should be contagious to teammates.

McCauley, meanwhile, plays harder than anyone in the ACC not named Hansbrough. And yet both players have had their skills handcuffed this season as Lowe sticks to his structured offensive philosophy.

No matter what system is being run, there’s no way a player with McCauley’s versatility and skill should head to the locker room at halftime with this stat line: 10 minutes, 0-for-2 shooting, zero points, zero rebounds, zero assists, zero steals and zero blocks.

That criticism of the system is unwarranted, at least in Grant's case; he's having the most effective season of his career, and there's nothing in the way he conducts himself at the offensive end that suggests to me that he's handcuffed.

McCauley's situation, I think, is mostly of his own making, and at any rate, I have a hard time separating out all of the issues and pinning the blame on one of them.

-- More harshness over here.

-- See Dave's vest, see Dave's vest...

Virginia coach Dave Leitao may want to think about wearing a vest with his suit for the team’s last five ACC games. UVa is now 2-0 when Leitao wears a vest this season. Leitao has gone with the look in both of Virginia’s wins over BC.

“You should tell him that,” Diane said. “I think he’s kind of into that. When something’s going good - keep going with it.”

His loafers--their luckiness as yet unknown--are former gophers. True story.

-- Laurynas Mikalauskas is back and out-passioning the hell out of everyone. I kid, but we could certainly use someone with his mindset.

-- A Duke injury report has been located.

-- I am dying for February 27th to get here.

"Baseball, mother%$#@ers! Yeah!"

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Blessed be the coachman who put me in the hearse.

Box Score

NC State
Four Factors
Turnover Rate25.9
Off Reb Rate30.0
Four Factors
Turnover Rate15.8
Off Reb Rate42.4

          Pts   Poss    Off_Eff   Def_Eff
UNC 84 69.5 120.8 100.7
NCSU 70 69.5 100.7 120.8

It's tough when you know that on any given night, you're going to put yourself at a disadvantage because of certain things you can't--or won't--do. We will turn the ball over more often than our opponent; we will get out-rebounded. And we'll thus have to fight uphill through a negative shot attempt differential in order to keep the game close and/or win. Wednesday was no different. The number of ACC teams we've managed to beat in both the TO and rebounding categories this season: zero.

Gavin said it earlier this week--we absolutely had to have the Carolina game. There's an obvious emotional letdown that comes with falling short in a self-imposed do-or-die situation, so it'll be interesting to see how the team approaches the rest of the season.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

I feel better already.

Pretty Not Bad

First half shooting (unofficial):

UNC: 48.4%
NCSU: 56.3%

Need to cut down on the turnovers in the second half.

[Update: It also would help to not let Carolina score 18 points in the first five minutes of the second half. Good lord.]

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

UNC Items

-- Tyler Hansbrough, working tenaciously.

Hansbrough, in his insatiable desire to be the best player on the floor, is adding to the qualities that have made him an All-America.

Insatiable desire! Unstoppable will! Indefatigable spirit! You can't spell Tyler Hansbrough without H-E-A-R-T. Also: gush, blather, bluster.

-- JJ Hickson:

"We keep saying the same stuff over and over. Now, we have to do instead of saying it."

That'd be nice, yes.

"That's been the story of this team all year -- either one person [is] going or two people [are] going," [Hickson] said. "We're never going as one. We're always one or two people going, and then the other three people are just out there, it seems like.

NC State Basketball 2008: The Other Three People Are Just Out There, It Seems Like.

-- Carolina's scouting report is here; my preview of the first game is here.

-- The Tar Heels are the least-frequent three-point shooting in the ACC--by a wide margin. That's not too surprising considering that only a few regulars--Lawson, Green, Ellington--take threes with any sort of regularity, and they've had just two of those options available over the last couple of weeks.

-- Danny Green has struggled in conference play: 45.5 2FG%, 28.2 3FG%, 23.4 TO%.

-- In ACC games only:

           A:TO    Ast%    TO%    Ast/40  TO/40
QT 1.9:1 26.8 35.8 7.6 4.0
Lawson 3.2:1 32.5 16.1 8.8 2.7

-- Pomeroy's predictor likes UNC by 11. Rebound competitively, keep the pace down (75 possessions in the first game; that's too fast), and maybe we can make this interesting.

Monday, February 18, 2008

No Ty On Wednesday. Maybe.

From the N&O:

North Carolina point guard Ty Lawson will likely miss his fifth straight game Wednesday, at N.C. State, because of a sprained left ankle.

"Ty Lawson feels better, but I do not expect him to play Wednesday night,'' coach Roy Williams said during the league's conference call Monday.

Hard not to be suspicious. If he doesn't go, Quentin Thomas, who has the flu, will be errantly whippin' a germ ball all over the place for three quarters of the game. Hit the Purell at every TV timeout, guys.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Clemson 71, NC State 64

Box Score

NC State
Four Factors
Turnover Rate23.9
Off Reb Rate37.8
Four Factors
Turnover Rate11.9
Off Reb Rate41.3

          Pts   Poss    Off_Eff   Def_Eff
Clem 71 67.1 105.9 95.4
NCSU 64 67.1 95.4 105.9

-- JJ Hickson's rebounding percentages: 18.0 OR%, 41.1 DR%. Amazing.

Friday, February 15, 2008

You Again

Clemson's offensive and defensive factors have for the most part held steady since the first meeting. One exception is their defensive rebounding, which has been a big liability in conference play. That's something we could maybe think about attempting to exploit. If we feel like it.

In the previous matchup, we shot poorly, only got to the free throw line six times, and turned the ball over on 36.6% of our possessions. All told, our second-worst offensive performance in conference play this season.

Pomeroy's predictor likes the Tigers by eight, but I'm hoping we can summon some '83 mojo (or, at the least, a few disapproving stares) from the guests of honor that'll give us a chance.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Boston College 82, NC State 65

Box Score (pdf)

NC State
Four Factors
Turnover Rate19.4
Off Reb Rate26.5
Boston College
Four Factors
Turnover Rate20.9
Off Reb Rate40.7

          Pts   Poss    Off_Eff   Def_Eff
BC 82 67.0 122.3 97.0
NCSU 65 67.0 97.0 122.3

Liveblog? ZZZzzzz @ Boston College -- Second Whatever

[7:52PM] To borrow a line from Grandpa Simpson, NC State basketball reminds me of a poem I can't remember, and a song that may never have existed, and a place I'm not sure I've ever been to. -- Steven

[7:56PM] So this is the anti-Duke... in that game, it seemed like bad karma to ever switch off of the first-half thread... I couldn't wait for you to start this one up, Steven... - wolfonthehill

[7:58PM] I almost titled this post "Second Half -- fuck ass shit cock balls." But I'm trying to look out for the kids in readerland. -- Steven

[7:59PM] Oh, boy - Heidi's gonna be calling you soon, Steven... - wolfonthehill

[8:00PM] Just think about this - who do we have who's actually playing WELL tonight? I got no one. BC's got countless white guys hot from outside, plus Rice doing his normal damage... - wolfonthehill

[8:05PM] Well, fuck ass shit cock balls to Tyrese for going off on us... thank God for JJ... - wolfonthehill

[8:08PM] Grant's not helping us with the missed free throws tonight... 7-point deficit, after a few VERY nice defensive plays... and JJ is called for another travel on a play with MASSIVE contact... - wolfonthehill

[8:10PM] Okay, okay. Within five at the first TV timeout. I can dig that. -- Steven

[8:11PM] That's a sad statement on BC... as poorly as we've played, it only took us token defensive effort for 3 minutes to get right back in this one... we've got a chance here... keep up the D, boys... - wolfonthehill

[8:13PM] Another Fergie sighting... if he's in, he might as well shoot, but I do like the EFFORT he brings on D, even with his limited skill set... - wolfonthehill

[8:15PM] If we never recruit another player from the Bronx, I'm cool with that... Gavin alternates between taking over a game and giving one away... - wolfonthehill

[8:17PM] Timeout Pack, down nine again. At least we've discovered that the officials' whistles work--at the BC end, anyway. -- Steven

[8:20PM] Steroids! Nascar! Steroids! Nascar! Shoot me! In! The! Face! -- Steven

[8:21PM] A walk? Offensive interference? No - dunk for BC... up to 11... - wolfonthehill

[8:23PM] You know, I'm digging this liveblog thing... I spend more time looking at my computer and less at my TV... and there ain't much to see on the TV... - wolfonthehill

[8:24PM] 11 point lead with 10 to go... my friend Charlie would say it's over, since you should never lose when you lead by more points than there are minutes left in the game... - wolfonthehill

[8:27PM] I guess it could be worse - at least we didn't hire Kelvin Sampson... - wolfonthehill

[8:29PM] Damn, tough call... would I take probation if I could get a half-season in the top 10 first? Do I have a soul? Pride? Hmmmmm... - wolfonthehill

[8:31PM] Of course that's not an intentional foul. -- Steven

[8:32PM] He was wearing red, not powder-pansy-ass-blue... and he was wearing #11, not #50... so no, it was not an intentional foul... I f'ing hate ACC officials... - wolfonthehill

[8:36PM] Hey! Looks like we have a new player - his name is Courtney Fells, and he looks like he has some skills... maybe we should play him a little more... what? you say he's been in all night? well, wtf has he been DOING??? god, our defense is awful... - wolfonthehill

[8:38PM] I hate to say this, but Sid has lost me... there's no excuse for this level of effort and execution in a must-win game... this is a bad basketball team that's going nowhere except the NIT... - wolfonthehill

[8:40PM] Sigh. Sidney with his head in his hands. -- Steven

[8:40PM] So many little things that COULD happen to give us a chance... Brandon deciding to do something besides eat during the offseason... Brandon hitting open 3's... Courtney showing up to play on a regular basis... Gavin ceasing his attempt to imitate Julius Hodge... any sort of defense whatsoever... but we get none of the above, particularly defense... and a lack of defense is a lack of coaching... - wolfonthehill

[8:43PM] "They're still shitty" -- the Asian groundskeeper dudes from "Major League"

[8:47PM] On a long losing streak? Losing hope? Want to set a career high? Need a confidence boost? Want to give yourself a chance to make the postseason? Looking for easy offense? WE CAN HELP!!! CALL US!!! 1-800-WUF-PACK

[8:51PM] Welcome to tenth place. -- Steven

[8:52PM] Not to oversimplify, but I put this game squarely on Sid's shoulders. We had to stop exactly ONE FUCKING GUY - Tyrese Rice. Our point guards are NOT good defenders... you simply can't say "Go get him, Javi!". It was obvious that Courtney (or even Gavin) needed to shut down Tyrese, and that didn't appear to be considered... that's inexcusable... -- wolfonthehill

[8:54PM] I hate being right when I pick an 18-point loss... thanks for the blog access, Steven... it was better than... hmmm... I'll come up with something... -- wolfonthehill

[8:59PM] Enjoyed it. As much as a terrible loss can be enjoyed. As much as I try to prepare myself or ignore what's going on, there is a point at which I can no longer maintain a sense of humor. And I think that point came about a half hour ago. -- Steven

Liveblog! NC State @ BC -- First Half

[6:57PM] It's just about time. Joining me this evening in the painful exercise that is liveblogging this basketball team is wolfonthehill, who is perhaps better known by his nickname: "Chris." -- Steven

[6:59PM] Was about to create it myself, Steven - thanks for letting me chime in this week... if we offend anyone with inane or drunken comments, feel free to assume it was me... wolfonthehill...

[7:02PM] NC State and Boston College, as always, a great ... oh, what's the word I'm looking for here. Rivalry! Yes! No. No, not really. -- Steven

[7:03 PM] You know, sometimes I feel more nervous than our guys seem to be... let's give a crap tonight, guys...

[7:05 PM] I'm certain I feel more nervous than the players, but that's no fault of theirs--I just have this problem. -- Steven

[7:07 PM] Slow start for the Pack... Hickson scores but follows up with a miss and an airball. I still want him to touch it on every possession...

[7:08 PM] PA announcer's coming in loud and clear. Let's hope we can get some intensity going in the morgue tonight. -- Steven

[7:09 PM] Just for kicks, think about how much better than mediocre we could be if we could just trade point guards with BC... and how completely inept they'd be... - wolfonthehill

[7:13 PM] Jeebus, our D looks bad... and JJ looks good... he has 5 of our 7... please bring Javi back in soon, Sid. - wolfonthehill

[7:14 PM] We have an early Fergy sighting. Defense...have we gotten a stop yet? -- Steven

[7:15 PM] We haven't guarded a 3 yet - so they're happily draining them... their white dude's better than ours as Fergie gets swatted out of bounds... and Brandon misses a layup, then airmails a three... this is fun... no, really, it is... - wolfonthehill

[7:19 PM] I think I just threw up in my mouth a little bit... Brandon shoots a contested 3, then passes up a wide-ass-open 3... McCauley is being lauded for his passing ability, but hasn't passed the ball yet... yeah, this is working... - wolfonthehill

[7:23 PM] The one thing I thought was a certainty coming into this one was that Courtney would guard Rice... yet we continue to hope that one of our incredibly slow point guards can contain him... note to Sid: they can't... - wolfonthehill

[7:26 PM] Courtney Fells--if he ain't makin' a lazy pass, he ain't passin'.

[7:27 PM] "OK, guys, here's the play - pass it around the perimeter, making no progress toward the goal whatsoever... actually, get this! I want you to back up AWAY from the hoop with each successive pass, then launch a contested 24-footer out of rhythm! Ready, Break!!!"... - wolfonthehill

[7:28 PM] Are Rice and Paris brothers? Twins? In high-def, maybe I could tell the difference, but in this grainy-ass transmission, I got nothing... - wolfonthehill

[7:29 PM] Okay, now we're talking. Gavin injects some energy with a three-point play, BC turns it over at the other end. Perhaps we can get a run going here, much to the consternation of the twelve people in attendance. -- Steven

[7:34 PM] You know, we're just not all that good. No other way to say it. We play lazy defense, we don't take care of the ball on offense, we shoot pretty poorly... and BC is hot... bad omen for tonight... this one could end up around an 18-point loss... - wolfonthehill

[7:37 PM] God, this is a boring game... if I weren't a fan, I'd be switched over to Wheel of Fortune by now... - wolfonthehill

[7:39 PM] Woo-hoo! Simon Harris in the game... good things are about to happen... - wolfonthehill

[7:40 PM] Johnny Oates, man. Goddamn. -- Steven

[7:42 PM] Whoever Sanders, man. Goddamn -- wolfonthehill

[7:44 PM] Holy CRAP - Gavin with the absolute facial on the dunk-and-harm... and missed free throw, dammit... -- wolfonthehill

[7:46 PM] Some dude named Roach hits a double-teamed, off-balance, 19-footer at the halftime buzzer to make it a 9-point deficit... these are some hot-shooting white boys for BC tonight, all apologies to the trainers from my Diversity class the past two days... and there are already multiple horrendous no-calls that have led directly to 5 BC points, with the announcers laughing and commenting about them both... -- wolfonthehill

[7:49 PM] Mmkay, this is officially garbage. You are supposed to be terrible at the basketball, John Oates. Cut the non-crap.

And there's Tyler Roche, hitting an off-balance jumper with a hand in his face to end the half. I just...I can't...really? I mean, really? Good god, I need another drink. -- Steven

[7:51 PM] OK - I'll admit it... I went to confession for Lent the other day, and for some odd reason, the priest gave me liveblogging this game as penance for my sins... no Hail Mary's, no Acts of Contrition... just liveblogging the Pack... and I gotta say, this will make me think twice about future misdeeds... -- wolfonthehill

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Previewing Boston College

2008 Scouting Report / 2008 Game Plan
2008 Schedule
2008 Roster

Boston College Offense 07-08
Four FactorsPercentNat'l Rank
Turnover Rate21.7194
Off Reb Rate35.578

Sans Dudley and Marshall, BC's offensive factors are all down. It's still an above-average offense, but it's scoring about 8.5 pts/100 poss fewer this season.

Predictably, with less help than he's ever had, Tyrese Rice's usage is higher than its ever been. He can handle it, but he doesn't have to like it!



Tyrese Rice (6-1, 190) -- If there is a weakness in Rice's game--and it's only a minor one--it's his outside shooting, where he's been a high-volume but average shooter over the past two seasons. But it's not like Boston College would rather those shots go to someone else, so they take what they get. He scores very effectively off of dribble penetration, though, and he gets to the line plenty.

Rakim Sanders (6-5, 225) -- If Rice isn't taking the shot, Sanders probably is. He and Rice take 56% of the field goal attempts when they're on the court together. Sanders has handled the high usage well for a freshman--his 54% eFG is the highest among the starting five, and he is BC's best three-point shooter (41.1%).

Shamari Spears (6-6, 238) -- His shooting percentage has regressed some, but that's probably due at least in part to an increased workload. Good offensive rebounder.

Tyler Roche (6-7, 220) -- Two-thirds of his shots have come from outside, where he's shooting 33.8%. He won't be asked to shoot often. His rebounding numbers are horrible--3.1% at the offensive end, 8.1% at the defensive end. Being perimeter-oriented is going to hurt your ability to rebound at the offensive end, but it's hard to find an explanation for that DR%. Just damn, dude. That's shameful. Eight-point-one percent is about half the national average DR% for a 6-7 player.

Tyrelle Blair (6-11, 242) -- One anagram of Tyrelle's name is Terrible Ally. He'll block some shots, but, yeah, he's shooting 38.9% and turning the ball over 25.9% of the time. He hardly factors into the offense at all (13.3% of the shots), so his negative impact at that end is minimal.


Biko Paris (6-1, 200), Corey Raji (6-5, 210), Josh Southern (6-10, 255), and John Oates (6-10, 255) round out the rotation.

Oates remains the infrequent/opportunistic type, choosing his spots carefully. He's never been an effective outside shooter...until this year. He's at 55.6% (20-36) for the year, 72.7% (16-22) in ACC play.

Raji tends to be much more involved offensively than the other bench players, and that's not a bad thing as long as he's shooting over 60% from the field. He's also an excellent offensive rebounder.

Boston College Defense 07-08
Four FactorsPercentNat'l Rank
Turnover Rate17.4329
Off Reb Rate36.3295

BC's defensive profile is eerily similar to our own, and every bit as ineffective. We feel your pain, Eagles fans. Over the course of the six-game losing streak they're currently enduring, three opponents managed to turn the ball over less than 10% of the time.

They do a very good job keeping opponents off of the line, unfortunately (in conference play, their defensive FTR is even better than ours), and that's a definite concern for a Wolfpack team that relies so heavily on free throws for offense, especially on the road where calls tend to be less generous.

Pomeroy has the Eagles by four, which indicates that the teams would be just about dead even on a neutral floor. Flip a coin.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008


I hope everyone caught this nugget, which is in the middle of a News & Observer article that's chock-full of awesome.

The ACC doesn't keep stats on charges taken, but according to the teams' records, Hansbrough alone has taken more charges than the Wolfpack players combined.

I know we're lazy, but come on.

[A]ccording to Clougherty, flopping can eventually bruise more than a player's body in the official's eyes.

"Eventually, the actors hurt themselves because as many teams as we have, [the officials] get to know who are the guys who are trying to fool them, and they discuss those things in the pregame -- the certain players out there that are taking flops, not contact," he said.

"... So while they may get a call that one time, they may not get a call later when there is legitimate contact."

Nobody deals with Tyler Hansbrough that way! He's the most powerful basketball player in town, who will never get his comeuppance. You hear me? No comeuppance!

Hey, I know these guys.

Let's take a look at the Pack's performance in conference play this season and see how it compares to 2007.

         Off_Eff    Def_Eff    Margin    ExpW-L
2007 101.1 111.4 -10.3 4-12
2008 101.3 112.0 -10.7 2-7

Guys, please. One 2007 was enough.

Taking a deeper look at the offense:

        eFG%     TO%     OR%     FTR    2FG%    3FG%   ShotDiff   Pts/ePoss  Chemistry
2007 53.1 22.5 26.2 25.6 51.9 37.0 -9.8 1.30 14
2008 51.7 23.2 30.3 30.2 46.1 42.8 -6.2 1.32 -1

[ShotDiff = shot attempt differential. The difference, per game, in shot attempts by the Pack and the Pack's opponents, with free throws factored in. The negative number means opponents are getting more attempts at the hoop.

Pts/ePoss = Points per turnover-less possession. The term "effective possessions" (ePoss) is credited to John Gasaway.

Chemistry = I might have made this up.]

We're a little better at offensive rebounding and getting to the line, but that's been canceled out by more turnovers and decreased shooting accuracy. Two-pointers have been much harder to come by:

. 2007 2008

Grant 53.7 44.3
Fells 37.3 56.4
Hickson n/a 46.5
Costner 47.0 33.3
McCauley 55.6 42.6

And a higher proportion of our attempts this season are twos, which obviously hasn't helped.

The defense:

         eFG%     TO%     OR%    FTR     2FG%    3FG%
2007 51.2 17.1 39.3 30.1 49.4 37.5
2008 53.0 18.1 37.2 27.6 50.7 40.0

Right this way to the basket, sir.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Monday Items

-- This looks promising.

-- Stillman, Commodore gone. Is the white flag being raised with this deal? My roommate, who had something of a non-sexual man crush on Mike Commodore, is devastated.

-- It must be a slow news day, since this popped up in my daily search: vote for the state amphibian. You think it's too late for a Charles Shackleford write-in campaign? The marbled salamander has a decent head start.

-- The NBA is including +/- in box scores; there's also this.

Player pairs, player pairs...I've gone cross-eyed.

Here you are. Everything is up to date through the VT game. I'd have the Maryland game included, but forces conspired to not include the substitution data with the play-by-play. That data has to be somewhere, else we wouldn't have the players' PT in the box score. I guess they feel like keeping it to themselves periodically. And by periodically, I mean every time we lose by double-digits to a conference foe. Thanks. Really. I'm looking forward to watching the UMd game again. At least the second half will be new to me. Every time this happens, a small part of me dies.

Anyway, there is now a page in the spreadsheet for each player; on each page you'll find the in-depth numbers and the player pairs. The player pairs stuff should be straightforward, but I do want to point out a couple of things. The %Offense and %Defense columns show what percentage of a player's possessions on the court have been played alongside another player at the offensive and defensive ends, respectively. For example, Brandon Costner has been on the floor for 921 offensive possessions; he's played alongside JJ Hickson in 598 of those possessions, or 64.9% of his total offensive possessions. So that's what's going on there.

Also, in the Plus/Minus column in the player pairs section, some numbers will be green. These are cases where the player's +/- with a particular teammate is better than his individual +/-. Costner is +29 overall (on-court only), +59 playing with Hickson. Thus the +59 is green.

I'll have more later...

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Maryland 84, NC State 70

Box Score

NC State
Four Factors
Turnover Rate13.0
Off Reb Rate14.3
Four Factors
Turnover Rate22.2
Off Reb Rate15.9

          Pts   Poss    Off_Eff   Def_Eff
UMD 84 69.2 121.3 101.1
NCSU 70 69.2 101.1 121.3

I didn't bother to watch the second half, because I knew what was going to happen. And it did. Although, the I'm-expecting-disappointment thing doesn't really make me feel any better when the disappointment happens.

I'm sure we'll play well for a half against BC on Thursday. Will it be the first half? The second half? Will it be enough to make the game close at the end? Who knows.

Friday, February 08, 2008

Previewing Maryland

2008 Scouting Report / 2008 Game Plan
2008 Schedule
2008 Roster

Maryland Offense 07-08
Four FactorsPercentNat'l Rank
Turnover Rate23.0258
Off Reb Rate35.773

The offense has been on a tear, shooting at least 57.9% in four straight--they've won three of those contests. The reason for the good shooting the ACC play has been improved two-point accuracy; they're at 54% through the first eight games, compared to 50.9% on the season.
         2FG% (conf)
Vasquez 54.2
Gist 58.0
Osby 55.6
Hayes 70.6
Osby's newfound efficiency coupled with his increased usage has been particularly helpful.

They've also been turning the ball over less frequently--a more bearable 20.6% in conference play.


Greivis Vasquez (6-6, 190) -- Never shy, Vasquez has transformed from an offensive role player to a focal point, averaging about 15 FGAs/40 minutes--that's up about four shots from last season. He's no worse for wear, at least in conference play, because he's turning the ball over with less regularity and he remains effective from inside the arc. It's the outside shooting that is (and has always been) the problem: 32.8% on the year, 25% in league play. And he is easily the Terps' most frequent shooter from out there, so that hurts.

Eric Hayes (6-4, 184) -- Continues to play a secondary role offensively, but the difference this season is significantly-improved efficiency. He doesn't shoot often, but when he does, they go in; his 126.3 ORtg in ACC games is the best on the team.

Landon Milbourne (6-7, 207)
-- The team trends in ACC play--improved shooting, fewer turnovers--are evident in most everyone's numbers, and Milbourne is no exception. He's been fine from outside, though the two-pointers have been tough to come by.

Bambale Osby (6-8 250) -- Improved shooting, fewer turnovers, blah blah blah. Exceptional offensive rebounder, draws a lot of contact. And there's that magnificent hair. What's not to like?

James Gist (6-9, 235)
-- Thinks he has improved the range on his jumper; he's already taken twice as many threes as he did in 2007. But they ain't going in. Stick to the block, James, where you're very effective.


Although I'm sure we'll see more than just these two, Cliff Tucker (6-6, 190) and Adrian Bowie (6-2, 190) are the only Terps averaging double digit minutes in ACC play.

Bowie has turned the ball over a ton but has been an effective shooter in his limited opportunities.

Maryland Defense 07-08
Four FactorsPercentNat'l Rank
Turnover Rate20.5216
Off Reb Rate35.1257

The defense has been a real letdown in-conference; they're actually forcing fewer turnovers from ACC foes than we are. And their defensive rebounding isn't so hot, either. Still, they've continued to do a good job of forcing missed shots, and the interior defense remains superb.

In two games against Maryland in 2007, neither of which were close, NC State shot a combined 40% (36-90) on its twos. We're going to need to drastically reverse that on Saturday.

Pomeroy has the Terps by 8.

Thursday, February 07, 2008

Wolfpack Players In Conference Play


             %Min      ORtg    %Poss    %Shots    eFG%      OR%      DR%    FTRate
Fells 74.5 112.5 20.4 26.0 69.2 3.8 7.8 17.9
Grant 82.8 113.4 21.2 22.2 54.7 3.9 8.7 59.5
Hickson 76.0 100.5 25.1 24.2 45.9 12.7 22.8 79.7
Costner 46.8 84.7 20.8 20.7 35.9 1.7 12.4 48.7
McCauley 60.9 92.9 17.4 15.9 46.2 5.9 10.1 53.8
Gonzalez 55.7 95.2 18.0 16.5 48.6 4.3 11.7 29.7
Horner 39.4 88.8 16.1 17.6 46.4 7.1 3.7 39.3
Smith 16.0 101.5 19.0 21.7 50.0 7.5 18.1 42.9
Johnson 40.9 65.1 14.1 9.1 36.7 2.9 8.8 33.3

             Ast%       TO%    %Blks    %Steals    DRtg
Fells 10.6 23.9 3.4 1.7 111.8
Grant 17.3 18.6 1.3 1.1 113.6
Hickson 8.9 17.1 3.7 2.2 104.0
Costner 12.5 28.0 1.2 0.8 112.6
McCauley 13.0 27.3 0.5 2.1 111.1
Gonzalez 25.7 30.6 0.0 3.0 108.9
Horner 4.5 22.8 2.8 1.4 114.5
Smith 7.1 17.9 1.7 3.4 104.5
Johnson 17.9 47.2 0.7 0.9 114.1

-- Javi is clearly playing better, and that's reflected in the above. It's nice to see him holding his own in ACC play. His assist rate is considerably better than it was early on; it's also higher than Degand's assist rate.

-- It's imperative that Fells, Costner, and McCauley start taking better care of the ball. Their turnover rates compared to last year:
            2007    2008
Fells 21.4 23.9
Costner 22.0 28.0
McCauley 20.2 27.3
As a team, we're turning it over 24.5% of the time, which is killin' us.

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Welcome Aboard

Congratulations to Tom O'Brien and the rest of the staff for an outstanding recruiting class. Pack Pride has the rundown.

Half of the class hails from the state of North Carolina, as the Wolfpack landed three of the top five players in the state according to and SuperPrep, including the top-rated player, linebacker Terrell Manning. has ranked the signing class 20th nationally.

The Pack will definitely gain some help up front from the group, which consists of 10 linemen. O'Brien and company also inked four linebackers and an All-America quarterback, Mike Glennon.

O'Brien will address the media at 3:30 this afternoon. You can catch it on Pack Pass.

NC State 73, Virginia Tech 63

Box Score

NC State
Four Factors
Turnover Rate31.7
Off Reb Rate25.0
Virginia Tech
Four Factors
Turnover Rate21.6
Off Reb Rate25.8

          Pts   Poss    Off_Eff   Def_Eff
VPI 63 69.5 90.5 105.0
NCSU 73 69.5 105.0 90.5

-- I missed most of the first half, and when I finally got to the bar, the score was 25-8. Can't say I expected to be asking someone at the six minute mark if that was a six or an eight next to Virginia Tech's name.

-- Our offensive efficiencies, last six games:


The ACC average in conference play tends to be around 105, so this is a solid run we're on. Last night would have been the breakthrough game if we'd not turned the ball over so much.

-- There's a simple solution to dealing with teams that don't allow you to grab offensive rebounds: just shoot so well that you don't need any. A good move on our part, I think.

-- Javi!

-- We're #1 again.

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Tuesday Items

-- It's a cluster-$#@%. Close games galore. Who will reach the NCAAs? Will any ACC fans survive the season?

-- From Ken Tysiac:

The chorus going up from press row lately is that flopping is becoming unbearable in the ACC, especially from players trying to draw charges on drives into the lane. It might be time for college basketball to consider a foul for flopping similar to the NHL's diving rule. Problem is, such a rule requires referees to discern intent, and that's not easy to do.

Wouldn't it be enough to just call a blocking foul on the flopper? More no-calls would be fine with me as well.

-- Quentin Thomas, free at last? Over the course of his career, this is how Thomas's Asts/40min numbers have compared to the starting point guard:
   2005           2006            2007           2008
Felton 8.7 Frasor 6.4 Lawson 8.7 Lawson 8.8
Thomas 8.0 Thomas 9.3 Thomas 11.5 Thomas 7.8
Yeah, I know almost all of his time has come in garbage time. I'm not sayin', I'm just sayin'.

Monday, February 04, 2008

A Quick Head's Up

On Wednesday night, you can catch the Vagina Monologues at NC State's Stewart Theatre. Special guest Greg Paulus will be performing I Was Twelve, My Mother Slapped Me. It's a can't-miss.

"I laughed, I cried. Oh god, how I cried." -- Dick Vitale

"Greg Paulus!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Are you kidding me?!" -- Mike Patrick

Previewing Virginia Tech

2008 Scouting Report / 2008 Game Plan
2008 Schedule
2008 Roster

Virginia Tech Offense 07-08
Four FactorsPercentNat'l Rank
Turnover Rate21.7185
Off Reb Rate35.582

Throughout the Dowdell/Gordon era, but particularly over the last two seasons, Virginia Tech took great care of the basketball. Opponents stole the ball from the Hokies on just 6.9% of their offensive possessions in 2007, a figure that was the 3rd-lowest in the country. While they aren't a disaster in this regard today, they've slid pretty far. Having a first-year guard running the point will do that (don't we know it...).

Compounding matters, they're also shooting a good bit worse from the field, so not only are they getting fewer shots at the hoop, they're making less of the opportunities they do get. The result is an offense that's scoring about 10 pts/100 poss fewer than it did a year ago.

They've gone from a serviceable-but-infrequent three-point shooting team to a terrible-and-slightly-less-infrequent three-point shooting team, and that's hurt a lot.

Their NCAA tournament fate is going to be decided on this side of the ball; they played outstanding defense throughout the pre-conference slate, and they've remained very good at stopping conference foes as well. If they can start scoring more efficiently, they'll find themselves a lock come March; if not, they'll be biting their nails on selection Sunday.


Hank Thorns (5-9, 140) -- Taking just 15.5% of the shots, which is a good thing until the outside stroke starts to come around.

Malcolm Delaney (6-2, 175) -- Good assist rate, and he's the only guy aside from Vassallo who has provided good outside shooting.

AD Vassallo (6-6, 215) -- He takes more than 27% of the shots while he's on the court, a high figure you'd think would be a bad idea for such a one-dimensional player. His efficiency has declined considerably now that he's trying to more of an inside-the-arc scorer, but... really, there aren't a lot of alternative options for these field goal attempts.

Deron Washington (6-7, 210) -- It's been a rough season for Deron, whose numbers are down in a lot of categories. He's never been an effective outside shooter, and now his two-point shooting has abandoned him. His block and steal rates are down as well, so he's making less of an impact defensively, too.

Jeff Allen (6-7, 258) -- He isn't quite ready for the amount of offensive responsibility that's been granted him, but that can't be helped, and under the circumstances, he's doing a good job. The sub-100 offensive rating is underwhelming by itself, but the rest of his profile shows that he is holding his own as a true freshman, maintaining a decent shooting percentage despite using a high number of possessions. That context--workload and production relative to class--is what's important in understanding how a guy is likely to develop. There is a big, big difference between a player shooting 52% while using a go-to guy number of possessions and a player shooting that same percentage in a more secondary role. It's a fair bet the Hokies have found a future All-ACC contributor.


Between Cheick Diakite (6-9, 220), Dorenzo Hudson (6-5, 220), Lewis Witcher (6-9, 228), and JT Thompson (6-6, 224), they have a lot of bodies they can throw at our front court.

None save Hudson tend to be involved at the offensive end, and turnovers are an issue for most of them. Diakite and Witcher have been good offensive rebounders.

Virginia Tech Defense 07-08
Four FactorsPercentNat'l Rank
Turnover Rate21.3171
Off Reb Rate28.521

Two-pointers have been difficult to come by against the Hokies, and they've also done an excellent job rebounding the ball defensively. It'll be tough going for Hickson and McCauley in the post, making it as important as ever that they stay patient.

Pomeroy has Tech winning by one, 61-60, in a game with 63 possessions. This one might sting the eyes a little.

A Pair Of Items

-- In preparation for Tuesday's game, I answered a bunch of questions for Tech Hoops.

Q: Rumor has it that Sidney Lowe makes knuckle children to Hickson. Do you think he unfairly favors him over other players?

A: If you asked a few of the players that question, they might say yes, but that’s their sense of entitlement talking. JJ Hickson has, from day one, proven himself to be the best player on the team; it’s rather hard to fault Lowe for inserting him into the starting lineup, that being the case. Hickson’s not been given anything he hasn’t earned–or that others haven’t relinquished. He plays hard and his off-court work ethic is outstanding. If anything, he should be getting more playing time.

-- Check out this basketball coach's breakdown of the Pack's flex offense, which he terms "flex for dummies."

NC State 67, Wake Forest 65

Box Score

NC State
Four Factors
Turnover Rate14.3
Off Reb Rate33.3
Four Factors
Turnover Rate14.3
Off Reb Rate41.5

          Pts   Poss    Off_Eff   Def_Eff
Wake 65 62.8 103.6 106.8
NCSU 67 62.8 106.8 103.6

-- This marks three consecutive games in which opponents have grabbed over 40% of their misses. I suppose it would be unfair to judge Sidney Lowe a bad coach on just one facet of the game. But I have those thoughts anyway.

-- We haven't been lighting it up by any means, but we've scored more than a point per possession in five straight, which is encouraging to see.

[Photo: Associated Press]

Saturday, February 02, 2008

On Wake Forest

My apologies for the lack of full-blown preview. Here are a few observations:

-- Wake Forest has been re-crafted in the images of freshmen James Johnson and Jeff Teague, who are first and second on the team in field goal attempts, respectively.
          %Poss   %Shots
Johnson 24.7 26.5
Teague 23.4 21.9
They picked the right offensive focal point, as Johnson is Wake Forest's most efficient scorer. He takes care of the basketball and also rebounds well at the offensive end.

-- They devote 34.7% of their field goal attempts to threes, and by ACC standards, that's a high proportion. Their 3FG% is a mere 29.6%, however.
           3FGM-3FGA (Pct)
Johnson 18-72 (.250)
Teague 16-46 (.348)
Williams 14-51 (.275)
Smith 15-43 (.349)
Hale 32-110 (.291)
Skeen 17-48 (.378)
Both Hale and LD Williams shot respectably from outside last season, so they could be expected to turn things around. They should probably encourage James Johnson to take more shots inside the arc, where he's shooting 59.6%.

-- Apparently, Wake Forest plays defense now. A few reasons for the defensive improvement:
            2007           2008
TO% 20.4 (205) 26.2 (13)
2FG% 52.7 (293) 46.5 (108)
Blk% 7.9 (199) 13.7 (26)
Stl% 8.9 (240) 13.3 (17)
National rank in parenthesis. The big problem for them last season was field goal percentage defense; now that their interior defense isn't a huge liability, they've improved significantly in this area. They're also forcing a ton of turnovers, thanks largely to Johnson and Teague, both of whom have good steal rates. Their impacts haven't just been limited to the offensive end.

James Johnson also blocks a fair share of shots. He's got an impressively diverse set of skills for a true freshman.

-- Ish Smith (5-nothin') has a higher defensive rebounding percentage than Ben McCauley (6-10). That's just sad.

-- Oddly enough, there is a statistically significant correlation between the pace of the game and Wake's offensive efficiency. The faster the pace, the worse their offense performs. Every game they've lost this season has been played at an above average pace, and they didn't break a point per possession in any of them.

Friday, February 01, 2008

Duke 92, NC State 72

Box Score

NC State
Four Factors
Turnover Rate27.0
Off Reb Rate40.0
Four Factors
Turnover Rate16.5
Off Reb Rate44.8

          Pts   Poss    Off_Eff   Def_Eff
Duke 92 66.8 137.8 107.8
NCSU 72 66.8 107.8 137.8

Broken down by half:

                                First Half
. eFG% TO% OR% FTR Pts Poss Off_Eff Def_Eff

Duke 50.0 19.0 18.8 54.2 37 36.8 100.5 125.0
NCSU 65.4 24.4 50.0 46.2 46 36.8 125.0 100.5

                                Second Half
. eFG% TO% OR% FTR Pts Poss Off_Eff Def_Eff

Duke 76.6 13.3 76.9 18.8 55 30.0 183.6 86.8
NCSU 50.0 30.0 30.8 44.4 26 30.0 86.8 183.6

-- We had three defensive rebounds in the second half. Three.

-- Said Gavin:

“I can’t believe the game got out of hand like this,” said Grant, who did his part with a career-high 26 points for the Wolfpack. “I thought it was going to go down to the wire and be a one- or two-point game, if anything.”

We sure can crumble in a hurry.

-- We have Scheyerface! This one is a classic, too.

Here's Taylor King, about to snack on Gavin's left hand: