When Bethel cooled, Cameron Bennerman thawed. Then, in the second half, Andrew Brackman and Ilian Evtimov combined to score 20 points.
At intermission, when the Pack led 34-30, Evtimov and Brackman had two points combined.
But that's exactly the way this Wolfpack team likes its offense to operate. It's also why State looks like a lock to improve on last season's 7-9 record in conference regular-season play.
"Any one of several different players can take over the scoring pace for us," Bethel said. "Early tonight, I was open and my teammates got me the ball. Then, the game started to change some and Miami's defense changed some, so other guys were open. With our team, there's no one to lock in on."
Compared to the start of last season's ACC schedule, a discouraging one-point loss at Miami, the start of this season could not have been more promising.
It's not even January and already I'm tired of reading about (1) our scoring balance and (2) how we're replacing Julius Hodge with a collective effort. This is not to call out Tudor specifically, though his column does dance around these increasingly-lame storylines.
As for whether or not NC State is certain to improve on its 2005 conference record...talk to me after the next three games. Alabama and George Washington will tell us a lot about where this team is heading. I am dyin' for a breakthrough win on the road against a tough OOC opponent (Notre Dame doesn't count).
Later in the Tudor piece, we discover that Anthony Harris--when he's not busy bricking a jumper--likes to lend an analytical eye to the game:
"Once we got them into a half-court set, we pretty much stopped them," Miami guard Anthony Harris said.
Fast break points-MIAMI 6, NCSU 3
This doesn't mean NC State scored 78 points out of its halfcourt offense, but it doesn't provide any support for the idea that Miami "pretty much stopped" NC State in the halfcourt. If we weren't scoring in the halfcourt, we'd've had to have had a lot of transition buckets, right? And no, Anthony, fouling the crap out of someone does not equate to a stop.
-- Chip Alexander and Ken Tysiac wrote basically the same story. Props to the W-S Journal's Bill Cole for not going that route.
-- Can't get enough wings. I was surprised today to discover that Wolfpack hoops picked up a commitment from 6-6 wingman Trevor Ferguson. Judging from his highlights, he'll fit in very well here. Can't say much for his competition, but he shows good range and pretty solid passing skills. Ferguson was all set to go to Pittsburgh before deciding to come here.
-- Today in useless bowl game rankings... Charlotte Bowl ranked 25th out of 28 bowls by Yahoo!. Last week, Sportsline ranked the bowl in the same spot (ht: Georgia Sports). I'm sure there is a compelling reason for catching the game which outweighs the fact that NC State's football team is totally unwatchable...I'm sure there is.
NC State Football 2005: Like Golf Except With Tackling
-- Unrelated to NC State but worth checking out: some of college basketball's individual stat leaders, courtesy of Ken Pomeroy.