NC State thoughts
That is the type of game that you’re relieved to win and devastated when you lose. Congratulations to Al for becoming BC’s winningest coach. (I’ll write a tribute to Al later this week.) As I said, this puts us in the Tournament, pretty much locks up a first-round bye in the ACC Tournament and showed this team can win a tight game on the road. Here are my thoughts:
Sean Williams. Regular readers know how I feel about the guy. This performance was unforgettable. The blocks, the deflections, and the added benefit of a few rebounds…outstanding game. He really carried the team in the OT. This team is still too helter skelter to be a lock for a deep run, but Williams is an element that makes me think we can. I was talking to the Evil A after and mentioned my theory: to go far in the tournament you need a few guys who can take over the game. As we stand now, Dudley, Smith, Williams and to a lesser extent Rice have shown they can take over games. They all have clear Achilles heels, but if they all get hot in some sequence, we can beat anyone.
The rebounding and perimeter defense. NC State shot 35 threes. Yes they still made 11, but BC did a much better job guarding the outside and of course grabbing the misses.
The overall defense. NC State is a good offense, and they had the chance to win the game on one possession four different times. BC came up huge in each.
Craig Smith’s game. He was exhausted and made some fatigue mistakes in overtime, but the guy had a monster game.
Sean Marshall. His shot selection still bothers me, but the guy made his free throws, and best of all worked down low. He is walking mismatch (in our favor on one end and our weakness on the other). We should use him down low since he can rebound and is a good post player.
The offensive play calling coming out of timeouts. The only apology I will make is that the guys were exhausted, but there was major confusion on nearly every late possession. Three times in Al’s career, BC has been bounced from the NCAAs after screwing up late possessions. Today was another example of late game ineptitude. How does Craig take that 3? How do we not go to Dudley to make something happen? If we are in a close game in March, I’ll be amazed if we make the right calls.
Tyrese Rice’s offense. He is super talented, but man he can get hot and cold. Today was cold. The worst part is that when he is not making his 3s, he starts to hesitate or goes flying wildly down the lane. I like the idea of driving to the basket, but give it to the finishers.
McLain’s defense. The guy was playing really well for most of the season, but he has been totally lost the last two games. He is not expected to do much, so the least he should do is not lose track of his defensive assignments.
Great win. The guys from StateFansNation weren’t impressed with our performance, but I like our chances in March. Now let’s finish strong, get revenge against Duke, and then make something happen in the Big Dance.