Sunday, March 1, 2009

Game Preview: Now or Never as Pack Takes On Terps


Game Time: 7:30
Location: Raleigh, NC
Television: FSN

Well, the Wolfpack's back is officially up against the wall. At 15-11 and 5-8 in the ACC, the Pack NEED to win out. If they can do that, and win two games in the ACC tournament, they'll have an outside shot at an at-large bid to the NCAA's. As big of a task as that may seem, State is no stranger to pressure situations. Almost every game that the Wolfpack has played has been a close one. Heck, even when they get up by 20, they make sure to let their opponent ease their way back into the game. Tonight against Maryland we don't expect anything different.

The Terps have come on strong as of late, winning 3 of their last 5 (including beating UNC) and nearly taking out the Blue Devils. Powered by streaky and emotional junior guard, Greivis Vasquez, and wrangly forward Landon Milbourne, the Terps like to out execute you in the halfcourt set but can also push the tempo if Vasquez is feeling it. Maryland likes to run the flex offense, an offense that the Wolfpack is very familiar with, since they also occasionally run it.

For the Pack to be successful they're going need to stay focused. Against the flex, one lapse in concentration can, and usually will, lead to an easy basket. However, the main point is to stop Vasquez. Staying in front and frustrating the guard is important, as the Pack learned last year when Vasquez sliced and diced through the NC State defense. He dropped 15 dimes and was 1 rebound away from disgracing the Pack with a triple-double.

With the season winding down and the pressure heating up, it's going to be necessary for the upperclassman to step up. The past few games it's been Tracy Smith, CJ Williams, and Javi Gonzalez setting the pace for the Pack, but if NC State wants to make a valiant end-of-the-season run they're going to need guys like Courtney Fells, Ben McCauley, and Brandon Costner to step up. The upperclass trio have disappeared as of late, putting a lot of pressure on the younger guys. They have responded well, but late in the season, and into the ACC Tournament, it's experience that tends to trump all else.


2 Responses to "Game Preview: Now or Never as Pack Takes On Terps"
  1. Anonymous said...
    March 1, 2009 at 5:42 PM

    nobody wants to play the pack in the tourney,regardless of states record,the team is playing good basketball,sid has finally got these players believing they can win,with the exception of carolina nobody has dominated the pack,these guys could have won every game they've played,and now they are playing their best ball of the year. i personally think the pack has a very good shot at winning the acc tourney,i still believe,go pack

  2. Anonymous said...
    March 1, 2009 at 9:46 PM

    Ya think?


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