RALEIGH — Theres no sugar-coating a 31-point home loss.
N.C. State coach Mark Gottfried didnt try to after the Wolfpacks fell to Virginia on Saturday.
Theres also no sense in beating up his team after a poor performance, Gottfried said, not with a trip to Wake Forest on Wednesday night.
We had a difficult day, he said on the ACC teleconference. We have to get ourselves back, and we have to get ourselves ready to play on the road.
Gottfried said he has stayed positive with the Wolfpack (11-5, 1-2 ACC) since the 76-45 wipeout against Virginia, which was the Packs worst home loss since 1993.
I think its important as a coach to teach your guys what went wrong, Gottfried said. We want to watch certain things and show our guys what happened so they truly understand what we failed to do offensively and defensively in that game.
Most of the Wolfpacks problems were on defense, especially in the first half. The Cavaliers got to the basket at will and scored on 17 of their first 20 possessions to build a 48-25 halftime advantage.
The inability to stop dribble penetration and contest shots around the basket cost the Pack in the second half of the Pitt loss, too.
Gottfried said he has talked about the problems but wants to keep his team confident.
You have to remember, just one game ago we went on the road and beat Notre Dame, Gottfried said. So lets not push the panic button.
N.C. State cant afford to panic. Not with Wake and Duke next on the schedule. The Demon Deacons (11-5), also 1-2 in the ACC, have struggled on the road but have been good at home.
The Deacs have won seven of their past 10 ACC home games, including an 86-84 decision against N.C. State last Jan. 22.
N.C. State has won its past three road games, including the 77-70 ACC victory at Notre Dame on Jan. 7.
The Packs Fighting Irish win was notable for its offensive balance and for ability to get to the free-throw line. Four players finished in double figures, with a team-high 17 from sophomore forward T.J. Warren. Virginia held Warren to four points and none in the second half.
Warren had 23 points against Pitt, but none in the final 12 minutes as the Panthers erased a double-digit deficit.
Gottfried expects Warren, who leads the ACC in scoring (22.2 points per game), to get Wakes full attention but also for him to bounce back from his four-point performance.
He is human, Gottfried said. The guy has been pretty consistent for our team, and he had a tough day.
One aspect from the Notre Dame win N.C. State would like to duplicate is the success from the free-throw line.
The Pack had a combined 35 attempts in the losses to Pitt and Virginia but 32 (and made 25) in the win at Notre Dame.
Wake has only played one home game in the ACC, a 73-67 win against North Carolina. In that game, Wake went to the line 33 times (and made 19) while the Tar Heels attempted only 11.
In last years win against the Pack in Winston-Salem, the Deacs had a 33-to-25 advantage at the free-throw line.