NC State grabbed a season-high 44.1% of its missed shots on Saturday, which was a big reason why State was able to overcome its turnover problems; the Pack’s 24% turnover rate was its second-worst of the year. (Pitt also wasn’t any better, which helped.)
NC State’s average of 1.08 points per possession was its sixth-best offensive performance in league play and 14th-best overall. Not an elite performance, but definitely above average.
Manny Bates had a game-high 145 offensive rating and his season-long ORTG of 120.7 ranks 70th nationally. He also continues to lead both the ACC and the country in block rate. He should work hard this offseason on developing his offensive repertoire, and if he does he could really take off. For now he’s quite useful as a put-backs and alley-oops guy.
Pittsburgh made itself a tough out on Saturday because it played pretty well at the offensive end as well, and NC State would have been in serious trouble if the Panthers had taken better care of the ball. As it was, the turnover category was a push and NC State made up the difference elsewhere.
Pitt posted its fifth-best shooting performance along with its fifth-best offensive rebounding performance of the season. But the Panthers also tallied their third-worst turnover rate of the year.
We also need to talk about Xavier Johnson for a second here. I’m very concerned about him. He has a lot of potential, but after seeing his performance yesterday, I worry that there are disreputable influences that have his ear. Take a look at this video that Inside Pack Sports put together:
Masterful work here by Pitt's Xavier Johnson to bait refs the last five minutes of the game. Did work once, but his ability to shoot 3s while kicking his legs in different directions is outstanding. pic.twitter.com/bAMGsym7b2— Inside Pack Sports (@InsidePackSport) March 1, 2020
This is no way to go through your basketball life, son. There’s no path to self-respect on the court that includes acting like an amateur Rockette every time you take a jump shot. Perhaps an intervention is necessary, lest this grow more embarrassing.