Slip-Sliding Away: More on Second Half Issues/Problems

N. C. State and Rodney Purvis must figure out why things keep slip-sliding away. - Grant Halverson

Give me an umbrella, the sky is falling.

*warning: extreme pessimism ahead*

In response to this article, acc_10K noted that nearly all teams score more second half points than first half points, somewhat mitigating the seemingly high percentage of points N. C. State has allowed after intermission. The chart below does indeed show that every ACC team scores the majority of its points following the break; nonetheless, the Wolfpack do surrender points down the stretch at a rate that is higher than normal. Conversely, the Pack score a lower percentage of their points in the second half than nearly every conference opponent. It appears that N. C. State's short rotation is not only causing them losses in individual games, but also that the team is getting ground down more as the season progresses.

If percentage of points yielded in the second half does not convince you, consider this: the Wolfpack have been outscored in the second half for five consecutive games. This is a trend. This is an issue/problem. With all due respect, I ain't getting on your damn omnibus.

Again, in their first four conference games the Wolfpack were +29 in the second half, or 7.25 points better on average than their opponent. In their last five, the Pack are -41, or -8.2 points worse per game.

Why do teams score more after intermission? There are a myriad of reasons. Teams get in a flow. Foul trouble leads to slack defense. Coaches make adjustments. Teams also tend to play a larger rotation in the first 20 minutes in order to save the legs and fouls of the most important players for the stretch run. That last reason may show why the Wolfpack do not really improve offensively after intermission. They rarely expand the rotation, even in the first half, unless foul trouble or injury forces their hand.

Regardless of the reason, teams are getting considerably better against N. C. State as the game goes along, and N. C. State is not keeping up. Now the Pack play two of the better second half teams in Duke and Clemson, both on the road, in consecutive games.

Doom?

Team

2nd Half Points

1st Half Points

2nd 1/2 Pts %

2nd 1/2 Pts % v

N. C. State

Miami*

786

598

56.8

57.0

Florida State

788

656

54.6

N/A

Duke

887

752

54.1

48.7

Virginia Tech*

814

691

54.1

N/A

Clemson

690

594

53.7

58.1

Wake Forest

760

664

53.4

59.3

Virginia

699

613

53.3

58.6

Boston College*

754

671

52.6

61.6

UNC*

850

786

52.0

68.7

Maryland

822

763

51.9

56.9

N. C. State

896

832

51.2

N/A

Georgia Tech*

651

650

50.04

45.7

Totals

9,397

8,290

53.1

56.9

*denotes that overtime scoring is omitted for the sake of comparing second half to first half numbers alone

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