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NCSU at Iowa: not just a bad dream

Box Score

-- Who was that team in red? It definitely wasn't the patient, ball-secure team I know. Iowa's defense made points hard to come by in the post, and I think the Hawkeyes' big guards also gave us problems. Between the press, man-to-man, and zone, they mixed things up nicely.

-- In general, NC State wasn't able to use its quickness at forward to its advantage.

-- Atsur and Grant were terrible. Grant was out of control on several occasions and forced too many bad shots. How can we tell Atsur played poorly? He only logged 25 minutes. ESPN2 misspelled his name as Estur when they were displaying the starting lineups, and he went on to play like Aunt Esther. Herb Sendek doesn't have a problem with leaning on Atsur (who averaged almost 33 min/g last season) because he tends to be error-free. Not last night. Between the turnovers and lack of field goal attempts, Atsur was almost invisible. Tony Bethel wasn't any better.

-- How to not score: turn the ball over on 35% of your possesions, shoot 37% (adjusted) from the floor. For the game, NC State had an offensive efficiency (though I hesitate to use efficiency anywhere when talking about this game) of 60. Believe it or not, each team had nearly 70 possessions.

-- On the bright side, NC State wasn't out-rebounded as badly as I thought it would be. Iowa rebounded 29.2% of its missed shots--not very good, but still better than the Wolfpack's percentage, which was 24.3%.

-- A big part of the Wolfpack's rebounding effort--and the lone individual bright spot--was Cedric Simmons. Ken Pomeroy noted Ced's effort, as well. Simmons's progress continues to be encouraging. He showed a lot of promise as a freshman last season, but his offensive skills were so raw that I thought it might take him a long time to become a valuable contributor. While he is still far from polished, his post play has clearly improved, and he's way ahead of where I thought he'd be.

-- No PT for Costner or McCauley. It wasn't the performances of Brackman and Evtimov that kept the freshmen on the bench, that's for sure.

-- I don't want to alarm anyone, but NC State hasn't had a good showing at the offensive end since the Citadel game. The last four games have been mediocre (or worse).

-- Let's move on. For the love of god, let's move on.