If you’ve seen it once this season, you’ve seen it enough times. NC State plays well in stretches, then forgets completely what the heck it is doing. State simply has no consistent approach offensively, and no awareness defensively, and this is another example among many. Wake Forest beat the Pack with brute offense on Saturday afternoon, 93-88
Wake Forest mostly controlled the final 10 minutes, though NC State managed to make it interesting at certain points, and people are going to focus on the last couple of minutes, when a couple of calls probably should have gone State’s way and did not.
Here is what you should actually care about: State plays like it doesn’t care for 30 minutes and then starts to try when it’s almost/definitely too late. Some breaks from the refs could have maybe changed things on Saturday, but leaving it up to them is on State, period. No, Terry Henderson was not out of bounds on that steal in the last 15 seconds. And also, no, there’s no guarantee that play makes any difference at all in the final outcome.
It hurt, sure, but when you are giving up 90+ at home to teams it’s hard to find a lot of bones to pick with officiating when you could be actually doing good at basketball most of the game instead of being terrible. That’s not on the refs. That’s on this team, which gives inconsistent effort, which gave up on attacking the paint against a very mediocre defense, and gave way to hero ball and panic when they fell behind by 10.
For a group that can be so good offensively, they sure do lose their purpose a lot. There was a period in the final 10 minutes or so when State settled for a bunch of terrible jump shots, and guess what, that didn’t work out well. That is not a sustainable or even sane approach for any team ever. Dennis Smith should be the guy working them out of these stretches, but he’s as guilty as anyone else of playing iso-ball.
I’m angry because when the offense works like it should it’s really really good so it’s frustrating to watch these guys pussyfoot around the perimeter, especially against Wake Forest, which has not proven at all that it can guard in the paint. There’s still a lack of identity with this group and that’s unfortunate. It’s too late now, the year is lost.
I saw a self-aware remark the other day from a UConn fan on Twitter, basically saying the rest of the year is an exhibition for their team leading up to the only tournament that matters for them (the conference tournament). We are right there too, friends.