NC State has a rematch with Norte Dame on Saturday against an Irish group that is still every bit as banged up as it was the first time around. Bonzie Colson is out, Matt Farrell is a game-time decision, and wing DJ Harvey, who logged heavy minutes after Colson went down, is also out. Harvey scored 17 points against the Wolfpack in South Bend.
Mike Brey is a fine coach but there is only so much magic he can work under these circumstances, and the Fighting Irish have lost six straight games. Colson missed all six, while Ferrell and Harvey spent a grand total of seven minutes together on the floor during that stretch.
Still, it would be a bad idea to underestimate Notre Dame, and it has been a tough out despite all the setbacks. Three of the Irish’s losses during this streak were by five points or fewer, including a double overtime loss to UNC.
The Pack shouldn’t have to be reminded of Notre Dame’s toughness, given that the shorthanded Irish still managed to beat State by 30 in the first meeting.
What went right for State in South Bend:
— Nobody got hurt, so that was good.
What went wrong for State in South Bend:
— NC State shot only 38.1% on two-point attempts, and Al Freeman had a dreadful night shooting the ball both inside the arc and from three. The interior game was horrible and the perimeter game offered no relief. Whole team sucked pretty bad. They played about 10 decent minutes of basketball and then stunk the rest of the way.
— NC State came out of halftime down 12 and proceeded to score a grand total of four points over the first 10 minutes of the second half, and at last check it’s difficult to rally with that level of production.
— Omer Yurtseven was a non-factor, which in the time since has come to look like an aberration. He finished that game with only four points on 2-8 shooting. Hard to imagine he won’t be much better than that on Saturday.
— The Wolfpack was unusually turnover-prone against a team not known for forcing them, which just goes to show how poorly State played.
— Everything was terrible, basically. That probably won’t be the case again. Probably.