From the N&O's mid-season report:
* Sid is OK.
N.C. State athletics director Lee Fowler has voiced strong support for coach Sidney Lowe, who is 47-40 in his third season. Although the Wolfpack isn’t close to being an NCAA tournament contender, it has made some improvement from last season, when the chemistry was awful and players didn’t give maximum effort. N.C. State already has two ACC wins with struggling Maryland and Virginia teams still to visit the RBC Center. Bottom line, this is a team that should win a few more games to avoid the No. 12 ACC tournament seed it earned with a terrible finish last season.
It's almost certain that chemistry is better--the evidence certainly suggests as much:
But if that's meant anything to our overall performance, it ain't much...
In Conference Play
. Off_Eff Def_Eff Margin
2008 100.9 114.1 -13.2
2009 100.1 113.5 -13.4
Looking at the defense:
Def_Eff (Rk) eFG% (Rk) TO% (Rk) OR% (Rk) FTR (Rk) 2FG% 3FG%
2008 114.1 (12) 52.5 (11) 16.5 (11) 36.4 (10) 32.1 (2) 48.7 42.2
2009 113.5 51.9 18.3 40.7 31.1 50.0 38.5
The major red flag is our 2FG% defense. As bad as we looked defending the post at times last season, on the whole, we held our own--our 2FG% D ranked 6th in the ACC. Our problem was opponents' flukishly good outside shooting.
We aren't forcing as many misses inside the arc this season, and judging by our opponents' low 3FGA/FGA ratio in conference play, they're realizing how exploitable our interior defense is. If our FG% defense broke down the same way it did last season, we could reasonably expect some improvement, as a certain amount of bad luck could be attributed to the 3FG% D. But I don't think we can say the same about interior shooting, and that is bad news indeed. We have a backcourt that is helpless to prevent dribble penetration and we lack a traditional wide body in the frontcourt to make guys think twice about it.