I don’t have a full preview for you today, and for that I’m sorry—between the start of basketball season and a short week in football, there’s just no time. But also: it’s officially basketball season, y’all! Let’s go on and get this party rolling.
Mount St. Mary’s—not to be confused with any of the other 19 teams that go by St. Mary’s or some such variation—is not good. NC State is a huge favorite, as far as the Pomeroy Ratings are concerned.
Mount Saint Mary’s is coming off an 18-14 season in the NEC, and while that’s not bad, it’s important to note that the NEC is one of the five worst leagues in D-I, which includes over 350 teams. So, ya know, that 12-6 league record from a year ago looks okay, just as long as you ignore the sadness.
The Mountaineers were good last season at making shots (53rd in eFG%) and avoiding turnovers (29th), but after adjusting for schedule, the Pomeroy Ratings placed that offense at just 191st nationally. They will not be better this year.
Mt. Saint Mary’s was perilously thin last year, bothering with few bench minutes, and it waved goodbye to a trio of senior rotation members. They’re reconstructing things, and they may be okay in the long run, at least by NEC standards, but Tuesday night is not going to go well.
This team badly struggled to rebound at either end, and its interior defense was terrible. NC State will pick them down to the bone. The x-factor is that the Mountaineers love to shoot threes. They will take a ton of them. If they are hitting them, then maybe this is a game into the second half. If they aren’t, then this will quickly snowball, I’m guessing.
They don’t have the personnel to match up in a square contest, and even this streamlined State team is going to be capable of out-muscling them on the glass. If the Mountaineers are bricking jumpers, then they are absolutely doomed, for there is no recourse.
NC State is likely to be disruptive enough in the mean time to make the shooting immaterial—State can let them have a fine shooting day and still win easily by finishing well ahead in turnover margin.
The Pomeroy Predictor likes the Pack by 25.