Zone Buster

NC State entered the game against Virginia Tech knowing that they would face a lot of zone.

NC State entered the game against Virginia Tech knowing that they would face a lot of zone. Much of their offensive gameplanning focused on attacking the conventional zone and Tech's triangle-and-two defense they've employed some this season.

The Wolfpack was at its best against the traditional zone, and point guard Tyler Lewis was a big reason why. He was superb offensively, setting up the offense, taking care of the basketball, getting the team into their offensive sets, and setting up his teammates for easy scoring opportunities.

"He played a phenomenal floor game," said Mark Gottfried after the win.

Lewis had nine assists at halftime, and he finished the game with a career-high 11 assists and zero turnovers. He also had the best +/- of any player in the game, with NC State outscoring Virginia Tech by 10 points while Lewis was on the floor.

"It felt really good to go out there and control the team... play my game," Lewis stated.

"11 assists and no turnovers.... not a lot of guys in America could get that," said Gottfried. "They don't get that."

"Tyler he orchestrated the offense really good, finding the open making, kicking it back, attacking the gaps," added T.J. Warren. "Tyler did a very good job."

Lewis, who also had two tough layups in the win, did struggle shooting the basketball. He missed all four of his three-point attempts and a pull-up jumper.

With that being said, Gottfried remains confident in his starting point guard's ability to shoot the basketball.

"He can [hit jumpshots]," he said of Lewis. "He's a good shooter. He's a really good shooter."

Lewis has been excelling as a distributor and ballhandler. He now has 44 assists and just five turnovers in his last nine games. In his last three contests he has 21 assists and zero turnovers.

It's very important for our team," Gottfried added. "He's done a great job here recently in those two categories more than anything."

NC State will need that kind of efficiency with a red-hot North Carolina coming into the PNC Arena on Wednesday night.

"We have to play good at home," said Lewis. "Knowing we need these games, we have to give it our all, 100% every play.

"Everybody on our team knows every game matters for us right now."

Pack Pride Top Stories