|Four Factors||NC State
|Off Reb Rate||36.6||25.5|
We got our first look at the 2015-16 edition of NC State Basketball during Sunday’s exhibition matchup against Cal State-Los Angeles. Not surprisingly, the game wasn’t close. The Pack jumped out to an early double digit lead and never trailed at any point. They absorbed a few runs by the Golden Eagles as they played around with some different lineups, but it never got closer than seven. Anthony Barber led that team with 21 points, followed by Abu with 17. Abu fell just one rebound shy of a double double in 28 minutes of action. The next leading scorer was true freshman Maverick Rowan, coming in with eight points on 2-10 shooting.
Everything Cat did - A lot was made of the type of season point guard Cat Barber was capable of having, and he certainly looked the part on Sunday afternoon. He shot 8-14 from the field (2-4 from three) and also had six assists to just a single turnover. Most of his points came from pull-up jumpers, and some of them were pretty difficult shots. He’s what makes the offense go, which is why I am proposing a nickname change from Cat Daddy to Catalyst
Most of the stuff Abu did – Abu is a force down low. His hands appear to have improved after he struggled to hold on to the ball at times last year. He also has an improved close range jump shot that should be a real weapon this season. The sophomore forward added four blocks in his 28 minutes as well.
The Room for Improvement
Free throw shooting – The team shot 16-25 (64%) from the line. BeeJay Anya had the biggest struggles at the line, going 0-5. Complaining about free throw shooting kind of feels like a broken record at this point, but it is important to note that the team minus BeeJay shot 80% and Abu went 5-7, so maybe it isn’t as bad as it looks.
Depth – It was already a noted concern at certain positions, and it could certainly hurt NC State. The Pack had some minor issues rebounding while they went small with both Martins on the court, but small ball will be part of this year’s team whether we want it or not. Abu and Freeman both notched four fouls (Freeman in only 13 minutes) and Anya picked up three in seventeen minutes. Foul trouble like that could hurt the Pack in multiple areas, more specifically if Abu is the one on the bench.
Shaun Kirk’s first career shot attempt was a swish on a corner three.
Rowan went 2-6 from beyond the arc, but he showed some glimpses of his shooting ability, knocking down a tough contested three.
I now understand why Terry Henderson is a good rebounder. The man can jump to the moon.
Anya could be even more of a block monster this year than last year because of his weight loss. He played 17 minutes and picked up three blocks.
Shot selection was poor at times but there is a 100% chance this is a result of this game not counting at all.
Unfortunately we were not dunking everything . . . yet.