Previewing North Carolina

2009 Scouting Report / 2009 Game Plan / 2010 Scouting Report / 2010 Game Plan
2010 Stats
2010 Roster
2010 Schedule

 

North Carolina Offense 08-09
Four Factors Percent Nat'l Rank
eFG% 52.8 45
Turnover Rate 16.5 10
Off Reb Rate 38.9 21
FTA/FGA 39.8 75
North Carolina Offense 09-10
Four Factors Percent Nat'l Rank
eFG% 51.7 69
Turnover Rate 21.6 222
Off Reb Rate 40.4 14
FTA/FGA 37.6 164

 

 

 

 

 

 

No two ways about it: this is the most beatable Tar Heel team in some time.  The Pomeroy Predictor actually likes State in this game, probably for the first time since the Doherty era.  So there's a little more dread involved in this one, a little more pre-game hand wringing.  I don't hate this team, but I sure do hate playing them, especially under these unusual circumstances.  (That doesn't make a whole lot of sense even to me.)  It's a golden opportunity for NC State to get back on track in conference play, and I get the feeling that a lot of Wolfpack fans expect to win.  There's more pressure on State than usual, then, and it's uncomfortable to say the least.

Offensively, the glaring difference between this year's team and last year's collection of all-stars is turnovers.  Lawson's group hardly ever gave the ball away; no one in the starting five had a turnover percentage higher than 15.8.  Considering the significant personnel changes, the Heels' slide in this area is no surprise, though the extent of that slide may be.  Turnovers have been an enormous barrier to success in conference play, where Carolina is turning it over nearly a quarter of the time.  They aren't shooting well or getting to the line much, and although they continue to clean up on the offensive glass, you obviously need effective possessions for that to be of any advantage.

Ty Zeller is already a no-go, and if Ed Davis is out as well, Carolina will be without a couple of guys who've been strong where the rest of the offense has been weak: they take care of the basketball and they make lots of twos (a combined 58%).  There is plenty of time for Carolina to get it together offensively--I won't be surprised if they do--but it's difficult to see them improving on the 0.99 pts/poss they've averaged to this point in ACC play before Davis is back at 100%.

I feel pretty good about our chances if we can turn the Heels over and at least stay competitive on the glass; otherwise, we're left to the whims of shooting percentage, and I don't need to tell you how much Carolina has enjoyed the RBC Center's rims over the last few years.

Starters:

Larry Drew II (6-2, 180) -- His propensity for turning the ball over aside, it's fair to say Drew has exceeded expectations this season.  He hands out assists in bunches and has improved his shooting both inside and out.  He takes just 14.8% of the shots, deferring to everyone else on the floor, but he's not someone we can forget about, especially beyond the arc.

Marcus Ginyard (6-5, 210) -- Ginyard, who has never finished a season with an effective field goal percentage above 50, has improved his jumper quite a bit but remains an opportunistic scorer.  His turnover rate is far too high and figures to come down some, though this has always been an issue with him.

Will Graves (6-6, 240) -- Carolina's most frequent three-point shooter at 9.4 attempts per 40 minutes, and a pretty good one too (38.6%).  State needs to make him put it on the floor and shoot inside the arc, where he has struggled (36.8%).

Deon Thompson (6-9, 245) -- Maybe it's been easier for conference foes to take him out of the equation.  Maybe his teammates aren't looking to him often enough, maybe he hasn't been assertive enough.  Whatever the case, his workload in conference play is significantly smaller than it was in non-conference play.  I don't know that he's good enough to carry this offense out of its malaise, but I think the Heels would be wise to get the offense running through him again.  Graves has led the Heels in FGA in each of the three conference losses, so

Travis Wear (6-10, 235) --"Hello, Charlene." "I'm Marlene!" "Hello, Marlene." "I'm Charlene!" "Chew your gum."

Bench:

Dexter Strickland (6-3, 180), Leslie McDonald (6-4, 215), David Wear (6-10, 225; he's the slim one, see), John Henson (6-10, 195), Justin Watts (6-4, 210).  Strickland, Wear, Henson, and Watts have been extremely turnover prone this season.  McDonald takes care of it but mucks things up with ineffective, too-frequent shooting.  Henson will get pushed around in the paint but has at least been an outstanding shot blocker.

 

North Carolina Defense 08-09
Four Factors Percent Nat'l Rank
eFG% 46.6 62
Turnover Rate 20.4 156
Off Reb Rate 31.7 121
FTA/FGA 25.4 7
North Carolina Defense 09-10
Four Factors Percent Nat'l Rank
eFG% 47.0 105
Turnover Rate 19.8 224
Off Reb Rate 32.2 147
FTA/FGA 21.2 3

 

 

 

 

 

 

Their defensive profile, both overall and in conference play, is similar to what it was in 2009, it's just that everything's a smidge worse.  The drop off here isn't as pronounced as it is at the other end, but they're still looking quite a bit more human.  The 1.06 pts/poss they've allowed in conference play ranks them 9th in defensive efficiency.  (After the disaster in CP, NC State's defense is allowing 1.1 pts/poss, good for 11th.)

The lack of Zeller and Davis make this game a lot more manageable for the Macrowave, and for once front court experience is a push.

The Pomeroy Predictor likes NC State by 3.

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