NC State Vs. Maryland Preview: Please Rebound

Mitch Stringer-US PRESSWIRE
Maryland Offense 11-12
Four Factors Percent Nat'l Rank
eFG% 47.5 233
Turnover Rate 19.7 140
Off Reb Rate 34.2 98
FTA/FGA 46.5 6

Maryland Offense 12-13
Four Factors Percent Nat'l Rank
eFG% 53.4 32
Turnover Rate 22.0 253
Off Reb Rate 41.8 7
FTA/FGA 39.1 88

Maryland @ StatSheet
2012 Stats
2013 Stats
2013 Roster
2013 Schedule

Defensive rebounding. Can NC State keep Maryland's deep frontcourt off the glass? That seems to me the key to this game. Maryland is shooting the ball well, their exercise in whatever that was at Miami aside. The Terps' primary weakness is turnovers, which just so happens to match a defensive weakness for the Pack. I can't prove this--it's truthiness straight from the gut--but it seems like when turnover-prone offenses go up against defenses that rarely force turnovers, the offense wins more often than not.

We can hope for some unforced errors, but as you know after the last 6+ years, there's not a lot that State is going to be doing to take the ball away.

Maryland is an average-shooting team from three-point range, and like NC State, the Terps don't take very many shots from outside. Their strength is the interior, where they are shooting 54%. The concern for NC State is Maryland's depth here. Maryland is rotating four players 6-8 or taller in its frontcourt, and they're all shooting well over 50% inside the arc.

Starters:

Pe'Shon Howard (6-3, 190) -- Howard's offensive impact from a scoring perspective is approaching invisibility--he is taking less than 10% of Maryland's shots while on the floor. There's a pretty good reason for that, as he has made 26.1% of his twos and 25.8% of his threes. This is your NC State Shit pick to click. His assist rate is good, but my god, the turnovers.

Nick Faust (6-6, 205) -- Nick Faust is perseverance. He had an above average workload as a freshman and posted a 41.8 effective field goal percentage. Did this deter him in any way, shape, or form? It most certainly did not. This year his workload is even higher, and he's shooting 44%.

Dez Wells (6-5, 215) -- Goddamn I wish we could have gotten this guy. When you look at how our rotation has panned out, Wells would have made an enormous difference. This being because he is quite good at basketball--he's made nearly 62% of his twos this season. His issue has been turnovers--that wasn't a problem for him at Xavier, but he wasn't involved in the offense there as he is at Maryland. Wells shot 37.7% from three at Xavier but is just 6-24 this season, so it's hard to know what to expect in that regard.

James Padgett (6-8, 235) -- Padgett has not, in 3+ seasons, attempted a three-point shot. I don't necessarily want to compare this to, say, a fullback never getting a carry in six years, but I'm pulling for you, James! You can do it!

Alex Len (7-1, 255) -- Len is realizing the promise he showed as a freshman last year. He's gone from secondary option to primary scorer, and this has not hurt his effectiveness at all. He's shooting 57% inside the arc, rebounding well at both ends of the floor, getting to the line frequently, and taking care of the ball. He'll bother plenty of shots, too.

Bench:

Seth Allen (6-1, 190), Charles Mitchell (6-8, 260), Logan Aronhalt (6-3, 205), Shaq Cleare (6-9, 265), Jake Layman (6-8, 205). Mitchell and Cleare are, like Padgett and Len, very good offensive rebounders. That's helping them shoot well in the paint, and this again is the crux of my concern about the Terps. They simply have more viable personnel up front than we do. Jordan Vandenberg is going to have to give State some decent minutes in this one.

Aronhalt has attempted 54 threes and 12 twos, so you can guess what he'll be doing. He's made 28 of those 54 threes.

Layman also is more likely to be taking threes than twos, but he's just 11-42 from beyond the arc this year.

Maryland Defense 11-12
Four Factors Percent Nat'l Rank
eFG% 48.0 133
Turnover Rate 16.1 334
Off Reb Rate 31.8 154
FTA/FGA 33.1 95

Maryland Defense 12-13
Four Factors Percent Nat'l Rank
eFG% 40.1 3
Turnover Rate 16.1 334
Off Reb Rate 30.1 95
FTA/FGA 23.0 5

Maryland is actually worse than NC State at forcing turnovers! I wasn't sure this was possible. But anyway, what we have is a matchup of two of the least-disruptive defenses in the nation. That means that both clubs are going to get plenty of shots at the basket, and both teams shoot well. NC State is the better-shooting team, but Maryland is better on the glass. And that's why I think this game come down to rebounding. Whichever team buttresses its solid shooting with the most second chances is going to win this game. Or Maryland can just play like it did in Coral Gables and none of this will matter. That's fine with me.

The Pomeroy Predictor likes Maryland by one, so call this a toss-up.

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