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ACC Now's Basketball Preview

JP Giglio looks at the Pack in his Summer Hoops Preview:

What made State so bad on offense was not only the lack of point guard — although even when Farnold Degand was healthy there were flaws — to make the other players in the offense better, notably Brandon Costner, but the counterproductive decision to stop and setup a halfcourt offense. Counterproductive in the sense that the team could not execute a functional halfcourt set yet insisted on running one, even when the only option was J.J. Hickson, who was double-teamed for nine-tenths of the season.

State refused to run last season. Coach Sidney Lowe said Thursday that would change this season. That's a smart move, assuming Lowe wants to see the end of his contract.

Transition points are free points and State has athletic enough players, Courtney Fells of note, to at least attempt to push the tempo.

JP goes on to note that defense is a big key to getting out in transition, and there's the problem. In conference play, our defense ranked 11th in eFG%, 11th in turnover percentage, and 10th in defensive rebounding percentage. Tends to be hard to push tempo when you're inbounding the ball from underneath your basket after every defensive possession. Gave us a mighty fine look at our excruciating halfcourt offense, though!

The good news is rebounding is a function of hustle and desire. Properly motivated, and conditioned, State's rebounding could vastly improve next season.

The best case scenario: better conditioned and more focused, we become a good defensive rebounding team and also play better on-ball defense, forcing more missed shots. Suddenly we've got a Tom Izzo defense, one that's good enough to vault us into the top half of the ACC. Carolina gets to have Ty Lawson back, Duke gets to have officials on staff; am I really asking for too much here?