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NC State and Miami are both trying to make the hurting stop

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Neither program has been blessed with good fortune this season.

COLLEGE BASKETBALL: JAN 28 Virginia Tech at Miami Photo by Mary Holt/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

NC State and Miami will meet Wednesday night to have a pity party, and, if there’s time, play some basketball. NC State of course has had its share of injury problems lately, and Miami is going through a rough stretch of its own: Chris Lykes has missed three straight games, and Kameron McGusty has missed two of the last three.

The Hurricanes rely heavily on both to lead the offense when they’re healthy and don’t have anywhere near the depth they need to compensate for their absence. In their most recent game, the Canes’ bench logged a total of 20 minutes on the floor.

Both Lykes and McGusty are questionable for Wednesday, and if ever there were a time for NC State to reclaim some confidence, this is it. State handled Miami comfortably in Raleigh when those guys were healthy, and for its own sake desperately needs to do so again whether those dudes play or not.

In league play, Miami’s defense is allowing 1.1 points per possession, which ranks 14th. The Hurricanes are dead last in eFG% and 2FG% defense. Surely this time is the time for NC State to get back to looking functional offensively! Because if not now, then when, exactly?

The game in Raleigh was the last time NC State looked functional offensively and stands as its best performance in conference play. Not coincidentally, that was also the last time State shot the ball well from beyond the arc (9-20). So that’s encouraging, at least, and NC State should be able to generate good looks in the paint even if the jumpers continue to clank into eternity.

NC State needs this win but also needs a performance that it can build on—this season ain’t toast yet, though it is hanging by a thread. Ideally, we’ll see the Pack get itself back into a semblance of working order against one of the ACC’s most forgiving defenses. If not, then, hey at least none of us will be surprised.