NC State tries to bounce back after lopsided Virginia loss

jgiglio@newsobserver.comJanuary 14, 2014 

  • N.C. State at Wake Forest

    When: 9 p.m.

    Where: LJVM Coliseum, Winston-Salem

    TV/Radio: WRAL, 101.5-WRAL

    Projected starting lineups

    N.C. State (11-5, 1-2 ACC)

    G Cat Barber 11.7 ppg, 4.3 apg

    G Desmond Lee 10.4 ppg, 3.8 rpg

    F T.J. Warren 22.2 ppg, 7.5 rpg

    F Kyle Washington 3.7 ppg, 3.3 rpg

    F Jordan Vandenberg 6.0 ppg, 5.3 rpg

    Wake Forest (11-5, 1-2)

    G Coron Williams 10.3 ppg, 2.4 rpg

    G Codi Miller-McIntyre 15.6 ppg, 3.9 apg

    F Travis McKie 9.9 ppg, 4.6 rpg

    F Devin Thomas 11.1 ppg, 8.9 rpg

    F Tyler Cavanaugh 8.8 ppg, 5.1 rpg

    Player to watch

    T.J. Warren, forward, N.C. State

    Looking for a good sign that the sophomore forward will bounce back from the Virginia game? Warren had 10 games last season when he scored in single digits. He averaged 14.5 points per game in the games after scoring only single digits.


    Wake Forest (No. 66) and N.C. State (No. 72) are in similar spots in the RPI. The Deacs are 4-5 vs. the top 100 and 1-4 vs. the top 50. State is 2-4 vs. the top 100 and 0-4 vs. the top 50. ... N.C. State has won 6 of 7 from Wake. ... N.C. State junior Ralston Turner has gone 19-for-34 from the 3-point line in the past eight games. In the first eight games of the season, Turner was just 11-for-35.

    Joe Giglio

— There’s no sugar-coating a 31-point home loss.

N.C. State coach Mark Gottfried didn’t try to after the Wolfpack’s fell to Virginia on Saturday.

There’s 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 Pack’s worst home loss since 1993.

“I think it’s 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 Wolfpack’s 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 let’s not push the panic button.”

N.C. State can’t 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 Pack’s 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 Wake’s 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 year’s win against the Pack in Winston-Salem, the Deacs had a 33-to-25 advantage at the free-throw line.

Giglio: 919-829-8938

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