If N.C. State’s basketball season is over, which is entirely possible, Sidney Lowe and his players can place much of the blame on their inability to attack zone defenses.
Thursday’s 74-69 loss to Maryland in the first round of the ACC Tournament feel directly in step with the Wolfpack’s offensive profile during most of the past month: Careless ball-handling and a willingness to settle for too many 3-point attempts in the face of an opponent’s zone.
With some luck, State (16-14) will get an opportunity to work on those problems in the NIT, but a bid could be a close call. Although the NIT generates little national interest, its selection committee has enough options to invite schools certain to draw reasonably big home crowds. Luring an impressive turnout to the RBC Center likely would be a challenge considering the way State played down the stretch. Bids will be announced Sunday and Monday.
Whether the Pack gets included in the field or not, the off-season agenda for Lowe and his staff is clear-cut: