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NC State’s no good, very bad start to ACC play

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So far, State’s limitations have been painfully apparent.

NCAA Basketball: North Carolina State at Notre Dame Matt Cashore-USA TODAY Sports

Unless you’re checking in late, you’ve probably noticed it’s been a tough first week of league play for NC State, which dropped its first two ACC games by a combined 46 points. The Wolfpack decided to kick off the new year on one hell of a cooler, losing by 30 at Notre Dame.

In these early stages of league play, State ranks dead last in effective field goal percentage (40.1%), and far more alarmingly, dead last in two-point field goal percentage (39.4%). I can say with a reasonable amount of certainty that this level of struggle will not last, but any amount of probably comes with an unspoken amount of well it could. Sports are difficult that way.

The extremes will shrink into a smaller range as we move forward, but there is no guarantee that NC State won’t remain the worst shooting team in the league. Its severe limitations are rather obvious at this point, especially with Markell Johnson sidelined, and you would need one hell of an optimistic outlook to find the Wolfpack among the league’s top 10 offenses when this year is finished.

NC State will need other routes to victory other than shooting, clearly, which is another complicated problem. State is rebounding well offensively but it is also far more turnover-prone than it had been early on, and the defensive performance is not worth a mention. I can’t find a positive indicator.