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NC State at the midway point in ACC play: It’s not as bad as it looks?

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Still pretty bad, though.

NCAA Basketball: N.C. State at Notre Dame Matt Cashore-USA TODAY Sports

NC State is halfway through ACC play, so let’s—wait a minute, only halfway? There’s 10 more of these things?! It already feels like we’re in like the eighth month of this season! Criminy, okay then. Ten more games it is.

Anyway:

NC State In League Play

... Adj OE/DE (rk) eFG% TO% OR% FTR
... Adj OE/DE (rk) eFG% TO% OR% FTR
Offense 109.4 (4) 51.9 (7) 15.5 (3) 31.5 (3) 21.7 (14)
Defense 111.0 (14) 54.3 (15) 19.3 (3) 33.9 (13) 30.5 (11)

(Rank = rank within the ACC.)

NC State has improved at the offensive end since the calendar turned and has actually shot the ball at a solid clip in ACC games after a rather abysmal run there in December. State is shooting 36.2% behind the arc, which ranks sixth, and 50.3% from two, which ranks seventh. Both figures are improvements from non-conference play.

Terquavion Smith is at 38.6% from three in league games, Jericole Hellems is right at 40%, Casey Morsell is shooting 55% (20 attempts), and Dereon Seabron is a passable 5-14 (35.7%).

Almost 41% of State’s field goal attempts have been threes, ranking the Pack fifth in three-point attempt rate. It’s been more of a jump shooting team over the last month, so at least the guys have had the decency to start making said jump shots more frequently.

On the defensive side, only Virginia Tech has been worse overall. Wolfpack opponents are shooting 39.8% from three, and 51.5% inside the arc. I would think the former number will regress over the second half of the schedule, but who knows. This Pack team has not been blessed with much in the way of good fortune.

While State is doing a decent job at creating turnovers, the combination of poor FG% defense and cruddy defensive rebounding is a killer. Neither of those issues are surprising and they aren’t fixable with this roster; this is just the reality we have to endure.

Getting back to the bigger picture: NC State’s efficiency margin implies that it should probably have one more win than it does. Hey, them’s the breaks. But the schedule does get easier the rest of the way, and if the Pack’s luck turns a smidge, maybe these guys can put a winning streak together in there somewhere. Kevin Keatts got his team to rally down the stretch last year, and this one could be capable of the same thing. We can hope, anyway.