N. C. State women's basketball team defeated Tulane this afternoon in Reynolds Coliseum 69-55 to start the season with five wins without a loss. In an article on the game the News and Observer described the game as such:
For the first time this season, the Wolfpack hosted an opponent that had a reasonable chance to win at Reynolds Coliseum.
Maybe this is true, or maybe it is not. While Tulane had four wins without a loss, they play in Conference USA, which currently has an RPI conference rank of 14 (Warrennolan.com). Tulane currently has an RPI rank of 147 compared to State's current RPI rank of 51. Further, State in their first game beat St. Bonaventure, which is 6 and 2 and has an RPI of 36, 70-47. So, again, maybe this statement by the Observer is true and maybe it is not.
How good is State? This game certainly did not settle anything with regard to this. A fair assessment of the women's basketball team will become available after a December the 5th road game against Northwestern (RPI 27) and more so after a December the 20th home game against LSU (RPI 9).
Kody Burke in the first three games this year seemed lost in Wes Moore's "four out, one in" offense. However, the last two games she has scored 23 and 24 points. Burke had 23 against Morgan State, and 24 against Tulane on 7 of 14 shooting from the field and 7 of 8 shooting from the line. Burke has a chance to be All-ACC this year if she remains consistent and does not have games were she does not show.
Markeisha Gattling had 14 points in 17 minutes. Gattling's minutes were reduced by early foul trouble. While State prior to today's game was sixth in the conference in three point field goal percentage at just under 36 per cent, it is clear that Gattling needs to remain in the game and play as many minutes as she can because State otherwise does not shoot the three point shot well enough to have success in the conference or against out of conference teams with decent RPI's. State, with Gattling at center and Burke at the number four, can be competitive with the majority of the conference teams. With Gattling out of the game due to foul trouble, Burke and Daniels have to play center. Daniels is too slender and lacks the skill of Gattling, and Burke lacks the height. In post game comments Coach Moore stated in so many words that while three point shots are good, the ball needs to go inside to Gattling.
COACH WES MOORE
While Kellie Harper was a pretty good coach who only suffered due to her poor recruiting, it at this time appears that Wes Moore is a better coach. Last year State guards struggled with getting the ball inside to Gattling. This year, due to WesMoore's "four out, one in" offense, the team as a whole is having more success getting the ball inside to Gattling. Gattling scored 14 points today in seventeen minutes, and she scored 20 points against Townson. Further, Rachel Stockdale, who is the analyst for the women's games, in post game comments stated that the ratio of team assist to team turnovers is much better under Moore. Moore also gets in the face of players when they make mistakes going so far as to remove a player after a mistake so that he can point out in no uncertain terms what they did wrong.
In the end what will make or break Coach Moore will be how well he is able to recruit. The ACC is full of skilled coaches who can recruit five star players.
and now, Miley Cyrus at AMA: