Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Pack Prepares as Hurricanes Approach

NC State Wolfpack vs. Miami Hurricanes

Game Time: 7pm
Location: Raleigh, NC
Television: ESPNU

If last Saturday's game at Boston College was a must win, then I'm not really sure what to call tonight. Usually teams start worrying about the post season in mid-February, but for this year's Wolfpack, who has allowed too many games to slip away, the time to start worrying is now. It's hard win on the road in the ACC, so winning winnable games at home is a must. If you're going to make any noise in the league at all you probably can only lose one or two games on your home floor. Seeing as we still have to play UNC, and FSU has already walked into our house and had their way with us...I'd say that losing to Miami tonight on our home floor is not an option if we want to see any kind of post season dream come true.

So what are the keys to the game? If you're a frequent reader here at Wolfpack Hoops (or if you've tuned into any NC State games this season), I'm sure you can name number 1. Yep, you guessed it....TAKE CARE OF THE BALL. If the pack can limit turnovers they will have a pretty good shot at taking this game.

#2 would have to be winning the battle on the boards. NC State was manhandled in the 1st half last Saturday, and that's putting it lightly. Boston College banged, bumped, and pushed us around in the paint for the entire first 20 minutes. But Sidney's adjustment of the line-up to include Costner, McCauley, and Smith all at the same time proved to be the remedy because we out rebounded BC in the second half and almost came back to win. With three starters in the 6'7-6'10 range, Miami bolsters a big and rough front court that likes to scrap. You very well may see that line-up of Costner, McCauley, and Smith more than you're used to.

The last key, but certainly not least, is stopping Jack McClinton. He is the type of guy us Wolfpack fans despise lately. You know, the kind that single handily takes over a game, has a career day, and beats us with a last second buzzer beater as we stroll home weeping...But with a strong effort on McClinton, the Pack could very well pick up a gigantic victory and confidence boost heading into the big game against the Heels.

NC State- 10-7 (1-4)
Miami- 14-6 (2-3)

NC State- Brandon Costner (14.1)
Miami- Jack McClinton (17.9)

NC State- Ben McCauley (7.6)
Miami- Dwayne Collins (7.7)

NC State- Javi Gonzalez (2.7)
Miami- Jack McClinton (3.1)

NC State- 46.0%
Miami- 43.3%

NC State- 37.2
Miami- 42.6

NC State- 14.1
Miami- 13.3

By the way, we are excited that Scott Wood is currently in Raleigh taking his official visit with the Pack. He arrived here yesterday, will attend the game tonight, and will head back to Indiana tomorrow.


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