N.C. State can’t afford to sulk after another close loss and an 0-3 ACC start.
It will not help the Wolfpack’s cause to worry about what has already happened, junior guard Cat Barber said.
“You can’t have your head down, because if you dwell on one loss it will carry over to the next game, and you’re not going to be ready for that game,” Barber said.
Florida State (10-5, 0-3 ACC) can commiserate with the Wolfpack after its own winless ACC start, but there’s little chance of a pity party breaking out Wednesday night at PNC Arena.
N.C. State (10-6, 0-3) is focused on this game and beating the Seminoles, coach Mark Gottfried said. Avoiding the program’s worst ACC start since the 1997-98 season is not a topic of conversation for the team.
“What you’re thinking about is the next game, that’s all,” Gottfried said. “The only way to approach it is to get your team as ready as possible for the next game.”
Gottfried has reiterated since the overtime loss at Virginia Tech in the conference opener that each game only counts as one game – win or lose.
The fifth-year coach would like to turn the close losses – by five points to Louisville last Thursday and by the same margin at Wake Forest on Sunday – into wins.
“I like my team,” Gottfried said. “We just need some success.”
He praised his team’s effort at Wake Forest after its chances of winning were again torpedoed by a poor shooting effort in the first half.
In the first half of the loss to Louisville, the Wolfpack shot 26.7 percent. It came out in the first half against Wake Forest and shot 29.4 percent.
The same players shot 45.2 percent in the second half against Louisville and 54.1 percent against Wake Forest.
Fixing the shooting problems isn’t as easy as convincing the players every half is the second half.
“If I knew I had to fix that one, I’d be real good,” Gottfried said. “We just have to figure out a way to do it for 40 minutes.”
N.C. State does not have exclusive rights to shooting woes. FSU coach Leonard Hamilton pointed out that his team missed 22 “point-blank layups” in Saturday’s 72-59 loss at Miami.
“Obviously, we have to finish better,” Hamilton said.
The Noles shot just 35.4 percent against the Hurricanes and finished 2 of 19 from behind the 3-point line. For the season, FSU ranks No. 279 in the country in 3-point shooting.
But the Noles have talent, in freshman guards Dwayne Bacon and Malik Beasley in particular, and Gottfried said their 0-3 start speaks to the ACC’s depth.
“It just shows how good this (conference) can be this year,” Gottfried said.
Giglio: 919-829-8938, @jwgiglio