Virginia Tech North Carolina State basketball preview

# R.P.I. N.C. State @ # R.P.I. Virginia Tech:

10 up and 3 down and streaking North Carolina State comes a calling in the New River Valley for a Christmas Broke visit for this Saturday afternoon Atlantic Coast Conference matinee.

NC.State -at least to me- represents coach Buzz and Virginia Tech’s next applied sports psych hooping step.

i.e they are learning to or already have learnt how to win!

NC.State is streaking, having tallied 6 straight wins going back to basically November and 8 of their last 9 overall.

Virginia Tech on the other hand must overhaul this go gently into that bad wvu night mentality.

We are just plain ole used to L’ing. NC.State is not. And you have to figure that that figures in this one at some point in time.

Read on to figure out just how much…

NC.State at a glance:

  • 13th in offensive rebounding (13 orpg)
  • 24th most personal fouls whistled against (15.5 pfpg)
  • 19th most turnovers per game (19.5 tpg)
  • 38th in Rebounding Margin (+6.8 rpg)
  • 51st in Blocks (5.1 bpg)
  • 295th in 3-point makes (5.5 three’s pg)
  • wvu transfer and pretty good G, Terry Henderson 6’5” 195 lb. Shooting-G is out 2 months with a nasty ankle roll which necessitated, surgery. So are his 11.9 ppg. (God Bless!)

Wolfpack Returning Starters=3

State Strengths:

  • IF #12 Anthony “cat” Barber is not the most improved player in the A.c.c., than I really do not know who is? As this cat is having a nearly purrfect season thus far. 23.1 ppg, 5.2 boards and assists alike are team M.V.P. good, all-A.c.c. good, and possibly A.c.c. Player of the Year, great! Might wanna install another shelf in the Barber house trophy case if you are momma Barber and you are reading these words. “cat” is a 6’2” 185 lb. scoring Pt.Guard from the heralded 7-5-7, and yet another stud recruit that got away from in-state Virginia Tech. Mister Barber was ranked 9th in the nation outta high school by both Rivals and Scout after he won one state championship for the Hampton Crabbers. Now mix in the team lead at 85% FT’s and at some juncture add some range to his J (28%) and suddenly you have a next level paycheck Pro’ on your hands. Does have a rep’ for needing a little defensive work, and some help with his handles. However, netting 23.1 ppg at age 19 in the A.c.c. is pretty tough to ignore. Could be a more complete baller, is a damn good baller nevertheless at this very moment.

    A little snoop dogg swag' in this one...
    A little snoop dogg swag’ in this one…
  • BIG, thick steel-cast, thumping, bruising front-line! Prolly the most physical one we will face all season. As State has 3 or 4 guys who straight go hard in the paint. 240 lbs., 250 lbs. and 295 lbs. upfront says so!
  • Second year P/F, 6’10” Abdul-Malik Abu is the really cut-up and put together little guy. And he’s got the best frontcourt numbers. Leading the ‘pack in rebounding (8.2 rpg) and forth in scoring 11 ppg. BeeJay Anya is the defensive ace upfront; and he’s basically a Wes Unseld true-Center who can jump. For being such a behemoth at 295 lbs. and 6’9”, with a team leading 2.9 bpg, that does not suck! It’s pretty dang great in point of fact. 5.2 ppg and 5.9 rpg on 69% dunking, I mean shooting, later … and you have one tough cover. Has an U17 gold medal World Championship for Team U.S.A. to boot. The 250 lb. one is Lennard Freeman. A 6’8” Jr. year broad shoulder’ed wide-body with 6.8 boards and 4.8 ppg; and a rep’ for thunderous rim-hanging dunks.
  • Yes, it is true, this State front-line does not have epic range; and guess what? They don’t need it as they are such a bountiful match-up ill down on the low-blocks.

State Weaknesses:

  • depth or lack thereof, as the Top-5 or Top-6 Packers are prolly NC2A good, and the bench is N.I.T. (or less)
  • if Trevor Lacy (early N.b.a. entry) had stuck around? WOW! Just w0w…
  • State only has 4 peeps who have made a 3-point shot all year! Prolly could use a bit more floor spacing accordingly.
  • 68% in FTA’s is the new average nationally;  although what coach would not prefer at least 3 outta 4 team wide?

‘pack Bench: ( depth=2, 1 G and 1 F fly solo in this seven-man rotation, as only one other guy has played in more than garbage time minutes –Sean Kirk, S/F, Fr. 6-7, 190 lbs. worth of freaky athlete Dunk contest winner, just waiting to happen)

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Illation, conclusion (s) and OPT digits:

the takeaway:
The takeaway here is… that this is just not a favorable match-up down-low in the paint. Plus State has the best individual player on the court in Anthony “cat” Barber.

In point of fact, this is almost a Diamond-n-1 offense, not defense for N.C.State. Ergo, to wit, therefore, it is not that N.C.State is unbeatable –because they don’t have the overall offensive firepower to blow you away like that. As they have only cracked 76 points once since the start of December.

380-2o9 overall, is pretty dang tight!
381-2o9 overall, is pretty dang tight!

They are however holding their last five opponents to 59.8 ppg on 38% shooting with a +9 advantage in rebounding margin. (whereas Virginia Tech is -4.2 in rebounding margin over the course of the same). I’ve said it before and I’m saying it again, in basketball two things should never ever go cold. Defensing and rebounding; as they are pure effort driven metrics. State has those, and State has a whale of a front-line match-up edge on top of that.


Accordingly, I like -not love- N.C.State in this one. As we/Virginia Tech have not showcased a lotta “want too” or outcome fueled willpower of late. This is a low voltage Hokie hoops team, in particular in the key. And it is likewise a short-circuited hooping culture that unplugs and then accepts L’ing far to easily.

That bodes poorly here, even if the Wolfpack is not so elite in scoring as to run away and hide. State slowly grinds away and eventually wins by just about double-digits down the stretch, in a game that seems even more un-thrilling than it actually was.

(71% confidence interval)
Virginia Tech
=59, NC.State=68




happy NY penauts