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Looking at NC State’s early-season shooting tendencies

NCAA Basketball: Maryland - E. Shore at N.C. State Jaylynn Nash-USA TODAY Sports

NC State remains a work in progress eight games into the season, which is hardly surprising given the number of new faces on the roster, not to mention that unlike last year, State did not have an offseason trip to get some extra work in and build cohesion.

At this point, State’s offense ranks 74th in efficiency, which ain’t bad but qualifies as a modest start—Kevin Keatts has never had an offense finish below 63rd in his time on the bench here. It’s not a great shooting team, and probably won’t be one, and so far profiles similarly to what we saw last season.

Let’s have a look at shot distribution:

Ideally, we wouldn’t see quite so many mid-range shots, as these are the least efficient attempts in the game, but also this is just the nature of the team. That’s DJ Burns’ bread-and-butter, for one—he’s largely responsible for those dark red spots on the baselines—and this is not a roster built for a lot of threes.

State is shooting at an above-average clip inside the arc, but the above numbers also drive home why those middle-distance shots tend not to be good ones. The NCAA average on shots in the paint but not at the rim, for example, is 41%. State’s well above that at 46.3%, but also more than a quarter of its shots are coming from this area. That’s something we’re just gonna have to live with.

On the bright side, the Pack has been outstanding on corner threes, and its chilly shooting from the wings on up will get better. The Pack is also taking more corner threes than it did last season. That’s an improvement and needs to continue. Hopefully we’ll see the execution get better as the guys get more games under their belt and and get ready to head into league play for good.