Wednesday, November 30, 2005
Last Minute Look - NC State
If you haven't heard already, North Carolina State should provide a strong challenge for Iowa's perimeter defense tonight. Their lineup is filled with versatile guys who can knock down jumpers, and they take a lot of them. The team plays a patient style that usually results in good shots for the offense.
NC State returns seven of their top nine guys from a team that excelled at shooting threes last year. 42% of the team's shots were from long range, and they connected on 37% of them (which is the equivalent of 55.5% on two point shots). Through five games, this year's team is shooting even more threes - a full 46% of their field goal attempts.
Four returners made threes with both quantity and quality last year.
They give the Wolfpack a balanced attack that could be difficult for Iowa to fully defend.
Cedric Simmons will be the man in the middle for NC State tonight. He's off to a good start - he leads the team in scoring at 13.4 ppg and is shooting 63%. He's also been a frequent visitor to the free throw line, shooting almost eight times from the stripe per game. At 6-9 and 233, he's not that big, so hopefully Iowa's post guys can contain him and allow the team to focus on NC State's stable of shooters.
Other notable Wolfpack characteristics - they don't rebound well, they don't turn the ball over much, and they force quite a few turnovers.
Even against a tame early schedule, NC State rebounded only 30% of their missed shots, while their opponents got 37% of their's. Given the way Iowa handled rebound-savvy Texas on the glass, Iowa should have a big advantage at rebounding tonight.
It looks to me like we'll have a close game on our hands. It might be slower than a lot of fans like, but it's exciting to have a quality opponent play here in a non-conference game. If Iowa doesn't get burned too badly by NC State's threes, they'll be in good shape. Insightful, huh?