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Alabama 82, NC State 75

Box Score

NC StateFour FactorseFG52.4Turnover Rate20.7Off Reb Rate23.1FTM/FGA16.1BamaFour FactorseFG51.7Turnover Rate22.0Off Reb Rate36.1FTM/FGA35.6

-- I knew it was bad karma to call Alabama overrated. My bad.

-- The Pack's late scoring spurt salvaged what had been a terrible offensive performance; it ended up being just mediocre. Tonight's game, with 77 possessions, was the most "up tempo" game the Pack has played this season, but that's skewed somewhat by the foul parade and turnovers in the last two minutes. Seventy-five points on those 77 possessions gives the Pack on offensive efficiency of 97.2--well off our season average of around 111. Lots of lazy passes and some poor shot selection hurt us. Bama's OFF EFF was 106.3, also below their season average.

-- Rebounding was of course a struggle, but the Tide didn't completely club us to death on the offensive glass. They ended up grabbing 36.1% of their misses. They did a good job on the defensive glass, holding us to an OR% of 23.1. This marks the seventh time this season we've been held to an offensive rebounding percentage under 30%.

-- The Big Three:

 Player %Poss ORtg TO%

1) Costner 29.1 103.3 24.7
2) Grant 28.1 68.2 26.3
3) McCauley 25.4 114.8 13.6

I'm going to have to start keeping a thesaurus nearby to help me find new ways to say nice things about Ben McCauley. Dude is awesome. He and Costner were the only Wolfpack players to manage offensive ratings above 100, so it was a rough night all around. In addition to the points he scored, McCauley had his best rebounding game of the season.

Memo to Gavin: the pull-up threes have got to stop. They're dumb shots by any standard, and since you've shown absolutely no ability to make a decent percentage of your three pointers, you should only be taking threes when (1) you're open; (2) you're right at the line; and, most importantly, (3) you have your feet set. Pulling up, especially when it's early in the shot clock, especially when you're 2-3 feet behind the line, is about the worst decision you can make.

-- I don't want to overlook the things Grant did well, because I know it seems like I'm extra critical of him. It's just that he is the most important player on the team, so I tend to put him under the microscope a little more. Anyway, as far as the positives go, Gavin was great on the defensive glass and he got his teammates involved while maintaining an acceptable turnover rate.

-- Richard Hendrix: 23 & 12 in 33 minutes. Turned it over five times but was otherwise excellent. Having Ronald Steele and his outside shooting back was also a major bonus for Alabama. The Tide may not have played like a top ten team to this point, but they looked the part tonight.