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NC State’s offense can’t break out of slump in Wolfpack’s 75-65 loss to UNC

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[swears go here]

COLLEGE BASKETBALL: JAN 27 North Carolina at NC State Photo by Jaylynn Nash/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

A fast start for NC State on Monday night proved fool’s gold as many of the same problems that have plagued the Wolfpack’s offense over the last couple of weeks again were prominent.

UNC came to play—and they always will as long as Roy Williams is the head coach there—and ended up controlling a significant portion of the game, including most of the second half. NC State did not lead at any point in the final 20 minutes, which sums up nicely how frustrating its performance was.

Factors

Four Factors NC State UNC
Four Factors NC State UNC
eFG% 45.5 50.9
TO% 14.7 19.1
OR% 28.2 41.2
FTR 10.6 43.9

Pace and Efficiency

Team Pts Poss OFF_EFF DEF_EFF
Team Pts Poss OFF_EFF DEF_EFF
NC State 65 68 95.6 110.3
UNC 75 68 110.3 95.6

A tale as old as time: a Roy team crushing NC State on the glass. It’s a near-certainty every year and presents the same extra hurdle every time, which is one of many reasons why State struggles so badly in this series.

That was painful to endure again, and the Pack also had its problems elsewhere defensively, but this game felt more defined by the alarming trends on the offensive side.

C.J. Bryce went scoreless for the second consecutive game, which is a baffling run for such a talented player, and a guy who not that long ago was the team’s most valuable player. NC State doesn’t have scoring depth this year and simply cannot afford for Bryce to put up a donut like this. This season can’t go anywhere from here if he’s gonna be Yippy McGee the rest of the way.

And NC State was dreadful from beyond the arc again, which has been a serious problem since the calendar flipped to 2020. In the eight games State’s played since Jan. 1, it’s shooting 26.4% from three. State came in to the night ranked 10th in 3FG% and 11th in 2FG% in league play overall.

This is the fourth consecutive game and fifth out of the last six in which State has been held under a point per possession. That ain’t gonna work.

So a lot is really damned discouraging right now and of course it’s extra magnified because tonight’s loss came against the worst Tar Heels team we’ve seen in a while. But that was also the better team tonight.