The boom is back and it is fabulous. Tracy Smith came off the bench about five minutes into the game and it didn't take thirty seconds for him to score in the lane and draw a foul in the process. He scored 12 in the first half and finished with a game-high 16 points on 7-12 shooting despite a lot of zone defense on San Diego's part. Granted, it was a lot of bad zone defense, but still.
-- He missed a couple of shots around the rim that he probably finishes if he's 100%, but in general he didn't look too worse for wear. It's encouraging that he was able to play 25 minutes without pain. I don't know that he is ready to get back into the starting lineup yet--I'm guessing Sid will bring him off the bench again on Wednesday--but he appears close. Closer than I would have guessed before today.
-- DeShawn Painter and Richard Howell also played well in the paint. Howell may have had the best game of his career: 13 points on 6-9 shooting, 13 rebounds, 5 assists, and 2 steals. He even made a three-pointer. (The shot clock was about to expire and he was open, so it wasn't the bad shot it usually is.) I was very pleased to see Howell and the Macrowave on the floor at the same time. Painter spent long stretches on the bench but didn't let that affect his production.
-- Ryan Harrow's jumper looked as good as it has all season and he got some tough shots in the paint to go down. Nice to see him hit a couple of mid-range jump shots.
-- Three-point shooting continues to be a struggle for this team; Scott Wood missed all three of his attempts, and he's all we have in the way of reliability right now. I didn't expect this to be such a serious problem.
-- Overall, a good and decisive performance--State had control from the start and never let it go. There were some sloppy periods with the freshmen out there, of course, but I thought the focus and the effort were good. The defense was excellent and limited USD's second chances, so the bricklaying Toreros never really had a chance. Starting to worry about our inability to force turnovers, though.
|Four Factors||NC State||
|Off Reb Rate||42.9||21.4|