Preview: UNC vs. NC State

Here’s the thing about State. They haven’t lost any game they shouldn’t have. Here’s the other thing about State. They don’t have one signature win on their resume yet. Right now the Pack is 12-7 (ACC 2-3) and their best win is by two over Miami. They’ve lost to the likes of Wisconsin, Georgetown, Syracuse, Arizona, BC, Florida State and Dook. Not a bad list of teams, but in the seven losses the smallest margin of victory for the opposing team was six up at Syracuse. A lot of these other games have not been very close with many being in the double digits. Sidney Lowe has been clinging onto his position for the past couple seasons. The talented trio of freshman he brought in was supposed to mean big things for State and so far they haven’t done squat.

  • The Rafters has to admit that we like the way under-sized power forward Tracy Smith plays. At 6’8″ the senior is a bully down low and really the sole reason State knocked off Dook [and subsequently saved Lowe’s job]. He’s also leading the Pack in scoring at a shade over 15 a game.
  • Smith’s season sums up State pretty well. Smith missed ten games early in the season but has been back in action over the last stretch. Of course, while Smith (the team’s most consistent/best player) has been in the contest they’ve  lost. When you have your best squad on the floor, you shouldn’t be losing so bad they you don’t even have a chance to pull out a win near the end.
  • State’s trio of freshman have been doing their thing though. CJ Leslie, the most vaunted out of the batch and former sidekick of John Wall’s at Word of God, is performing as expected. He’s racked up 30 blocks, is scoring 10.7 ppg and leads in the team with 7.7 rebounds a game. Ryan Harrow has been a spark off the bench, scoring 11 a game, good for second on the team while having only started twice. Other frosh Lorenzo Brown is also scoring nine a game and has dished out 62 assists, second on the team behind Harrow’s 69. Too bad Larry Drew II has also dished out 69 helpers and Kendall Marshall has got 85. 85!
  • As much as The Rafters worries about Tracy Smith going off [even though he won’t with John and Tyler in the post] Scott Wood may be the Heels’ biggest threat. The skinny ass sophomore white boy can stroke it from long range. He leads the team in minutes per game and has hit 53 threes on the season at a 45 percent rate. Leslie McDonald lead UNC in threes hit with 29. Luckily Wood really only scores from out there and averages ten a game and has only attempted 23 free throws. So it’s not like he’s going to be taking the ball to the hole. But if he gets hot…
  • Fun stats: UNC ranks 4th in the nation in rebounding, 36th in points per game, 52nd in assists and 98th in field goal percentage. In that same order, State ranks 61st, 107th, 88th and 115th. Men lie, women lie, numbers don’t.

Sydney Lowe better not wear that f’ing ugly red blazer, but of course he will. Here’s to hoping that Roy brings out the baby blue jacket and the Tar Heel warriors roll them down. Sydney better not get the W and weasel his way into another season as head coach. I can’t stand that blazer.

Prediction: UNC  82, State 70