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NC State 70, Virginia Tech 64

Box Score

While I'm always concerned about the things we don't do well, a win usually turns those issues into water under the bridge. Yesterday's defensive rebounding effort, however, was too pathetic to ignore. Virginia Tech's offensive rebounding percentage in conference games...

11 Games Prior To Sat: 28.6%
Against The Wolfpack: 44.7%

NC State has allowed an OR% similar to Tech's on two other occasions in-conference (BC, Wake), with the difference being that those two teams are actually good offensive rebounding teams. I realize there is a certain amount of luck involved in rebounding, but I wish the Pack could be more consistent.

During the second half, Virginia Tech grabbed 13 of its 21 offensive boards and scored 12 of its 18 second chance points. I think the Hokies' rally would have fallen short a little sooner had NC State simply grabbed defensive rebounds at a rate near its in-conference average.

In other news, NC State shot the ball well again (56.9%) and has made at least 12 threes for five straight games. The good shooting allowed us to escape despite getting killed on the offensive glass and despite being on the wrong side of a significant turnover margin (-9).

Taking a cue from what others have done, I decided to track the number of possessions played by each Wolfpack player against Virginia Tech. It wasn't as difficult as I thought it might be, although I was annoyed by the (not unusual) inattention paid to substitutions by the TV coverage. At least it distracted me from Steve Lavin's color commentary.

Anyway, the numbers have been placed in the table below. The table lists how many possessions each player was on or off the court for, and how the team fared over those periods. For reference: NC State's OFF EFF for the game was 109.6, and its DEF EFF was 100.2. The game had 64 possessions.

at Virginia Tech Player
PtsScoredOffPossOFF EFF
PtsAllowedDefPossDEF EFFBethelIn6759113.6
565994.9
Out3560
85160BennermanIn 6859115.3
6259105.1
Out2540
2540AtsurIn 7062112.9
606198.4
Out020
43133.3SimmonsIn 5849118.4
5650112
Out121580
81457.1GrantIn 5145113.3
5046108.7
Out1919100
141877.8BrackmanIn 222878.6
242788.9
Out4836133.3
4037108.1McCauleyIn 121580
121485.7
Out5849118.4
5250104FellsIn 2366.7
64150
Out6861111.5
586096.7
There isn't much to be learned from the guards' splits since they just about went the distance. Engin only sat for two offensive possessions and was on the court for all 70 of State's points.

Other items:

-- NC State's defensive efficiency was surprisingly bad with Cedric Simmons in the game.

-- Brackman had a terrible game offensively and it shows in the table. He came the closest to spending half the game on the court and half off, and State's offense was tons better with him sitting.

-- The same five guys were on the court for the last 7:00 of the game: Bethel, Bennerman, Atsur, Grant, Simmons. Over that span, Virginia Tech scored 17 points on 13 possessions. Before the jump ball that ended a VT possession with :12 left, Tech had scored on 10 of its last 12 possessions.

-- NC State's longest string of possessions without a point was 5 (happened twice). The first occasion came early in the first half, right after Tech got a free throw to make the score 10-1. The Hokies only managed to climb to 10-5 during that NCSU drought. The second occasion came between Cam's jumper with 6:19 left in the game and a free throw with :55 left. Four minutes and 29 seconds elapsed over those five possessions.

-- After the under 8:00 TV timeout in the first half (which came with 6:46 on the clock), NC State scored 23 points on 12 possessions. The Pack outscored Tech 23-8 over that period.