ESPN women's basketball released its women's collegiate power rankings by M. S. Voepel on January 2nd. N. C. State has fallen from 6th to 9th because of the team's loss to Duke which entered the rankings as 15th. Notre Dame tops ACC schools as 4th. UNC and Louisville have dropped out of the power rankings. Voepel had this to write about State:
The Wolfpack's loss to Duke showed how much they are missing the leadership and floor management of injured guard Diamond Johnson. That was also true Sunday at Syracuse, but they gutted out a 56-54 win, rallying from a nine-point fourth-quarter deficit.
State hosts Boston College Thursday night, January 5th, 7 PM. The game will be streamed on the ACCNX app.
State's record against B.C. is 21-8. State has won the last 10 games with the 85-78 February 10, 2022 at B.C. win being the latest.
B.C. has an overall record of 11-5, a conference record of 1-2, a NET of 90, a Live RPI of 63, an ELO of 56 and a SOS of 46. B.C. has a 0-3 quad 1 record and their best win was a 74-62 home win over NET 71 Georgia Tech.
State has an overall record of 12-2, a conference record of 2-1, a Live RPI of 4, a NET of 10, an ELO of 6 and a SOS of 4. State has a quad 1 record of 3-2 and State's best win remains that at NET 16 Iowa.
For B.C. six-foot junior Dontavia Waggoner who played for State her freshman year is the leading scorer at 12.9 points per game. Dontavia shoots 416 from the floor. Dontavia has not made a three point shot missing all three of her attempts. Six-one junior Jo Jo Lacey is B.C.'s volume arc shooter having attempted 73. Jo Jo made 22 of those attempts. Dontavia also is B.C.'s leading rebounder at 6.9 rpg. Five-nine freshman Taina Mair leads the team in assists at 113 for the season. B.C. as a team shoots 425 from the floor; 265 from the arc. B. C. assist to turnover ratio is 0.7 as they average 19 turnovers per game and 14.4 assist per game.
Out of curiosity, State's assist to turnover ratio is 1 which is surprising considering State turned the ball over 19 times against Syracuse, 17 times against Duke and 11 times against Clemson. The assist for State in reverse order are 10, 15 and 10. State shoots 461 from the floor; 379 from the arc.
Rounding out B.C.'s starting line-up in their last game against Notre Dame was six-foot sophomore Andrea Daley and six-foot sophomore Maria Gakdeng. Six-two sophomore Ally VanTimmeren played 25 minutes off the bench. Note that B.C. was hurt at the end of last season when Taylor Soule, the team's go-to player (16 ppg), transferred to VaTech and Cameron Swartz, the team's leading scorer and top arc shooter (16.1 ppg as a senior), transferred to Georgia Tech.
Nolan picks State to win 78-56 with a 95% probability while
Her Hoop Stats picks State to win in Raleigh 80.2-57.4 with a win probability of 95.7%. My feeling is that State should win this one even if Diamond Johnson does not play. As a matter of fact, I think the team without Johnson gained a lot of confidence and knowledge of how to proceed without Diamond in the win at Syracuse-noting that fans and team want Diamond to return as soon as possible. With Diamond and the team at full health, State can be the best team in the ACC; however, with Notre Dame playing like they are State would best not lose another conference game if they hope to outright win the regular season title. While Nolan does not pick Notre Dame to lose another game, I do not think they will beat us.
One might ask what about Duke? Until they win a few more big conference games, I cannot consider them to win the conference regular season title. After all they got lucky when they played us without Diamond.