Sharing The Wealth
A positive with this year's team has been their ability to play unselfish basketball, and that was on display in the double-digit win.
State finished the game with 21 assists on 32 made field goals after totaling just 12 assists (on the same amount of made baskets) in the win over Stanford.
The Pack was able to score in transition and within the system, using crisp passing and movement to generate offense.
we get 32 baskets with 21 assists, that's still a pretty good day," said NC State head coach Mark Gottfried. "We're doing a lot of things well.
"I still think that we can really improve in some areas offensively in how we cut, the ball sticks in our hands a little bit at times, but I thought today the key was Calvin inside, Scott on the perimeter, and Lorenzo's floor management... he just did a great job."
Brown Runs The Show
Speaking of Lorenzo Brown's floor management... he was terrific. The junior point guard took just six shots (hitting three), but impacted the game with how well he ran State's halfcourt offense and fastbreak.
Brown finished the game with seven points, a season-high ll assists, and six rebounds. His 11 assists were just two short of his career high, and he also had just two turnovers.
Over the last four games, Brown is averaging 15.3 points, 7.3 assists, four rebounds, and 2.3 steals while shooting 58.9% from the field and 83% from the line.
Safe to say he is starting to turn it on.
"11 assists with two turnovers... that's a pretty good day [for Brown]," said Gottfried.
Wood On Fire
Another Pack player performing well now is senior wing Scott Wood.
He started December in a slump, hitting just 5-of-16 shots in the Pack's first three games of the month. However, Wood was on fire this week, knocking down 13-of-20 shot attempts in the wins over Stanford and St. Bonaventure.
Wood hit 10 3-pointers in the two games, and he has set a season high in scoring now in back-to-back games, including 23 on Saturday when he made his first eight shots in the contest, including five consecutive 3-pointers.
"You try and put the defense in tough situations," said Gottfried. "Because of the way most people guard Scott, you've got to guard him in certain ways. You really can't help off him."
"I didn't play well the couple of previous games," said Wood. "So I felt like I needed to get in the gym and shoot a little more. It's helping out and shots are falling."
NC State continues to have issues rebounding misses on the defensive end of the floor. With top rebounder Richard Howell sidelined in foul trouble, NC State allowed St. Bonaventure to secure 13 offensive rebounds while out-rebounding the Pack by three.
State must continue to improve on that end of the floor... bigger, stronger, and better opponents will certainly make them pay if they don't become a better rebounding team.
Free Throw Shooting
Free throws also continue to be a concern.
State scored 92 points, and that includes missing 13 free throw attempts in the win. The Pack hit just 63.6% of their free throw attempts, with Rodney Purvis, Lorenzo Brown, and T.J. Warren knocking down just 2-of-9 attempts (22.2%).
Again, this is another area where State has to improve.
"We're not shooting our foul shots with a great percentage yet, but I still feel like we're a good foul shooting team," said Gottfried. "We just need to spend a little more time at the line, practice.... we do need to be better there. There is no question about that."
Player Of The Game
C.J. Leslie was the best player on the court today and it wasn't close.
The 6-foot-9 junior forward scored a game-high 33 points and also totaled eight rebounds, three blocks, two assists, and a steal in 33 minutes of action.
Leslie's efficiency recently has been off-the-charts, and you can't help but notice the maturity in his game. He continues to make smart basketball plays, winning plays, and his numbers display his efficiency.
Leslie is averaging 19 points, 7.6 rebounds, 1.2 blocks, and one steal in the Pack's current five-game winning streak, and he is shooting an astounding 72.7% from the field. When Leslie plays under control and takes smart shots, few can handle him on the college level in the paint or on the perimeter.
"Calvin was tough to guard today," said Gottfried. "I thought he attacked the rim and was aggressive... he either scored or got fouled. I thought he was really good today."
Stat of the Game
57.1%. This season it has been the same basically every game... the Pack shoots it outstanding from the field. State, who leads the country in field goal percentage, hit a stellar 57.1% of their attempts, including 17-of-29 (58.6%) in the first half.
What makes it so impressive is Richard Howell, who came in leading the country in field goal percentage, was a non-factor, hitting 0-of-4 attempts while battling foul trouble.
Scott Wood, C.J. Leslie, and T.J. Warren hit 24-of-32 attempts (75%) in the win.
"We shoot 57% again, and we're sitting over there as a staff still frustrated at times because we're not running our offense as well as we can," said Gottfried. "We really moved the ball well, and we are beginning to run our offense better."
"He brought great energy and played well for us. Anytime [C.J. Leslie] comes out like that, I don't know if there is anybody that can stop him."