The battle for bragging rights continues as the Wake Forest Demon Deacons travel to Raleigh to take on the North Carolina St. Wolfpack. The last time these teams met it came down to the last possession, in which Codi Miller-McIntyre hit a layup with 4.9 seconds left giving the Deacs a 70-69 win at home. Will the Deacs be able to sneak out of PNC Arena with a win?
|North Carolina St.
|Effective FG% Defense
Effective Field Goal %
The Wolfpack's offense is reliant on the play of stand out sophomore T.J. Warren. Warren is one of the most utilized players in the country, playing 81% of the minutes, possessing the ball 31.4% of the time (28th) and taking 34.8% of the shots (12th). Warren's use statistics are overwhelming, as is his ability to score the basketball, with an eFG% of 54.4% and a true shooting percentage of 57.2%.
Last time out the Pack did not play particularly well on the defensive end of the court and it showed as Wake had an eFG% of 60%. Wake Forest had their most efficient offensive game of the year (113.6) making 65% of their shots from inside the arc and 33% from beyond. Wake furthered the high level of effective scoring by hitting nearly 72% of their free throws on 39 attempts.
North Carolina State's defense was able to generate 14 turnovers, equating to a turnover percentage of 22.7%. The majority of those turnovers came at the hands of Wake's front court, as Devin Thomas (3), Tyler Cavanaugh (3) and Bill Moto (2) neglected to take care of the basketball. The Deacs were able to minimize the damage by forcing 11 of their own and stealing the ball on 9.1% of Pack possessions.
Rebound was perhaps the biggest mismatch, as the Pack were simply dominant for the majority of the game. At times Wake Forest's rebounding efforts looked worse than the bathroom situation in Sochi, from 6:13-3:37 in the 1st half the Pack had collected offensive rebounds on 60% of opportunities. The Deacs rebounding efforts did improve, though not by much, as they gave up offensive rebounds on 38.9% of opportunities and collected offensive boards on just 13% of their chances. Wake Forest will need to put a body on Warren and Jordan Vandenberg as they collected 4 offensive boards apiece despite playing limited minutes.
Free Throw Rate
Despite being dominated on the glass and losing the turnover battle Wake Forest was able to stay in the game and ultimately beat State because of their ability to get to and finish at the foul line. Wake Forest had a free throw rate of 111.4%, which means they shot more free throws than field goals. Wake has been excellent at getting to the foul stripe throughout the year, but what made this effort even more impressive was their ability to make opponents pay for fouling. The Deacs success in this category also kept Warren, Vandenberg and Kyle Washington off the court long enough to allow Codi Miller-McIntyre to deliver the dagger.
Wake Forest has had a week to prepare for the Wolfpack and hope to have Codi Miller-McIntyre back after going down with an ankle injury against Georgia Tech. The Deacs have struggled of late, losing 4 of their last 6 games by getting abused on the glass and lacking to defend the tree. If the Deacs are going to have a shot in this game they will need to limit second change opportunities, contest shots inside of the paint and get some contributions from the outside. As much as I would like to see McKie and company go into Raleigh and upset the Pack I just can't see it happening. State is a very beatable team but the Pack have big bodies that are known for causing havoc around the rim and I am not sure Wake has an answer for the size and athleticism of T.J. Warren.
Wake Forest: 65
NC State: 72
Tip off is at 7 p.m., so tune in and support the team. As always, go Deacs!