Here are some thoughts and observations from NC State's 89-57 win over McNeese State at PNC Arena, which improved the Wolfpack to 10-2 on the season.
This may seem like an odd thing since NC State only had 18 assists for 32 field goals but the Wolfpack often did a solid job swinging the ball around until the player with the better one-on-one matchup -- often Dennis Smith Jr. -- could create.
NC State is a team that often scores by creating in one-on-one situations, with Omer Yurtseven being one player that will break that mold once he settles in. It is unlikely the Pack will have a higher assist-to-basket ratio and that is fine if players that are driving can find the open teammate when the defense collapses -- which will happen more in ACC play. When the driving player kicks out, the defense may adjust to the offensive man that catching the initial pass but that is then where the swinging ball movement once again has its usefulness. Eventually a man will be open with a good shot.
Dennis Smith Jr.
If the game had been more meaningful or the outcome still in doubt there is no telling what kind of numbers Smith would have put up.
To be fair, a cynic might suggest that the level of competition Smith faced may have helped him dominate as he did. That being said, the freshman stood an excellent chance of finishing with a double-double and perhaps could posted only the second triple-double in program history had he played more minutes.
The stat line was remarkable. There will be more on that later.
Chris Corchiani Jr.
The bank was open for Corchiani when he hit his first shot of the night straight on in the lane. He then proceeded to thrill the fans, and his dad who was calling the game on television, with a buzzer beater. It is always a happy day at NC State when a Corchiani does well.
NC State finished with 16 turnovers, marking the second straight game where the Wolfpack committed at least 15 turnovers against modest competition. The style of the offense may lend itself to more miscues but it is safe to say Mark Gottfried would like to see fewer.
+/- is the points scored by a team minus the points allowed by a team while a certain player is on the floor.
Smith Jr.: +29
Dorn Jr.: +15
Corchiani Jr.: +5
STAT OF THE GAME
Dennis Smith Jr.: 23 points, 9-12 FG, 4-5 3FG, 1-1 FT, 6 assists, 4 rebounds, 3 steals, 2 blocks in 20 minutes
The freshman from Fayetteville was dominant.
PLAYER OF THE GAME
Dennis Smith Jr.: Smith's +/- was +29 for a second straight game. He entered the contest fifth in the ACC in scoring and steals and fourth in the league in steals. His averages will not suffer despite playing only 20 minutes.
QUOTE OF THE GAME
"It's great. That's what the plan was, to come in and dominate, start our break on the right foot. It was really great to win the game the way we did." -- Dennis Smith Jr.