The North Carolina State Wolfpack cannot afford to slip during the final three games of the season, because these three games against the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets, Wake Forest Demon Deacons, and Florida State Seminoles are all games that N.C. State should win without much trouble. After a disheartening 11-point loss at the hands of their bitter rivals, the North Carolina Tar Heels, that broke a three-game winning streak, the Pack rebounded by shredding up Boston College.
The Wolfpack will be hoping for more of the same this evening at 6 p.m. in Atlanta, as they will be taking on Brian Gregory and his 5-10 Yellow Jackets. While Georgia Tech is absolutely horrendous on the offensive end with just two players who are barely averaging double-figures, they have one of the best 40 defenses in college basketball- no question on that in my view.
Leading the defense is Daniel Miller, who has a 20.1 PER and leads the team in win shares thanks to his solid rebounding and excellent shot-blocking ability. Miller turns back a whopping 2.2 shots per game, and he also snares roughly seven rebounds per game. Although Robert Carter’s defensive capability isn’t nearly as pronounced, he is just as good of a rebounder as Miller and is another lockdown defender. Carter is also second on the team in points per game.
Georgia Tech features two players with PERs just over the 20 mark, with one being Miller and the other junior Kammeon Holsey. A former top 100 recruit, “Kam” leads the team with a true shooting percentage around 57% and adds 9.2 points per contest at the power forward slot. Although Holsey turns the ball over more than he should, he makes up for it by chipping in a steady five boards per game.
In their last meeting back at the start of ACC play, N.C. State won 83-70 thanks to 20-point games from starting guards Lorenzo Brown and Scott Wood. The former had five turnovers, but he also had five rebounds, three blocks, and ten assists. C.J. Leslie also came up big in that game with 19 points, seven rebounds, and three blocks to overcome four turnovers.
The Pack held their opponents to just a 37.0 shooting percentage whilst knocking down 43.8% of their attempts from downtown and averaging 1.122 points per possession in an impressive offensive display of power. However, State had somewhat of a scare after being down 38-37 at the half in their own building before putting together a dominant, 46-point second-half. Mark Gottfried will hoping for another efficient, 4-8, 13-point day from freshman Rodney Purvis again tonight.
Prediction: N.C. State 73, Georgia Tech 62
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