N.C. State ranks near the bottom of 351 Division I teams in 3-pointers made (339th) and 3-point percentage (337th).
Among the 15 ACC teams, only UNC (63) has made fewer 3s than State (77) this season.
But does that matter?
In the Duke game, yes (obviously). The Blue Devils made 11 3-pointers, compared two for State, in their 95-60 home win over the Wolfpack on Jan. 18.
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But the 3-pointer hasn’t really been a factor in State’s other three ACC losses. Pitt made four (same as State), Virginia made three (one more than State) and Wake made four (two more than State).
As for the next ACC game, the team that ranks one spot ahead of N.C. State in the ACC, and 316th nationally, in 3-point shooting?
You guessed it, Georgia Tech, Sunday’s opponent.
Conversely, in State’s ACC wins, both Notre Dame and Maryland out-scored the Pack from the 3-point line (21-12 for ND and 21-15 for Md).
Coach Mark Gottfried doesn’t put an emphasis on the 3-point shot but he doesn’t ignore it either. Gottfried would prefer more production and a better shooting percentage from behind the line from guards Cat Barber (8-32, 25 percent on the season) and Desmond Lee (12-43, 27.9 percent) but he’s not going to change his philosophy.
What Gottfried really needs going forward is for junior Ralston Turner, who leads the team with 37 3s, to continue to hit from 3 when sophomore forward T.J. Warren returns to the lineup.
Turner made five 3s in State’s 65-56 win over Maryland on Monday. He was the only State player to make a 3 in the Maryland win (Barber and Tyler Lewis were the only other players to attempt 3s).
Turner, who made 95 3s in two seasons at LSU, has been the Wolfpack’s only reliable outside shooter. The junior guard has come on since a slow start to the season. He was 11 of 35 from 3 (31.4 percent) in the first eight games. In the 11 games since, he’s 26 of 58 (44.8 percent).
The trick for Gottfried will be getting Turner and Warren on the floor at the same time. The two haven’t started together since the N.C. Central loss on Nov. 20, while Lee has started all 19 games this season.