Skip to content

State Demolishes Wake Forest 90-69

January 9, 2011
NCAA Basketball
var ssChartWidth = 575;
var ssChartHeight = 275;


NCAA Basketball
var ssChartWidth = 575;
var ssChartHeight = 275;


When I saw State was a 14-point favorite at home against Wake Forest, I thought that had to be a sucker bet. Sure, Wake had struggled leading up to the game, but had the bookmakers not seen how State had also struggled in the first half of the Elon game? I thought for sure Wake would keep it close to the bitter end.

Word to the wise: Vegas is pretty damn smart.

But I doubt the smartest bookie in Vegas or even Sidney Lowe himself foresaw State dominating Wake Forest in rebounding like they would: a plus-25 margin on the glass for the game, and at one point State had as many boards as Wake did points (42). Add in a red-hot shooting second half (58.3%) and a there's-no-way-we-shot-this-well-at-the-stripe-while-Sidney-was-our-coach 89.5% free-throw performance for the game and it was a bona-fide ass-whippin'.

Tracy Smith showcased an element to the offense that had been sorely missing while he was on the shelf (other than just good ol' Tracy): Excellent post passing to his teammates.

In Smith's absence, while Deshawn Painter and Jordan Vandenberg were logging minutes in the low post, if the ball found its way into either of their hands it was likely not coming back out.

Smith, however, sets his game up with the threat of the pass back out. Whereas defenses can collapse on Painter and Vandenberg with impunity, Smith searches for opportunities to set up a teammate with an easy catch-n-shoot three or cut to the basket. In turn, that prevents teams cheating pressure his way, opening things up for the kind of performances we've become accustomed to. Saturday was no different: He poured in 23 points and snagged 11 rebounds while keeping the offense flowing smoothly. The Deacons never really neutralized him.

Typically 23 and 11 will get you player-of-the-game honors, but I have to give my award to CJ Williams. In 24 minutes, the junior tied his career-high with 16 points and added 7 rebounds and 3 assists. He really played within himself–he was 7-of-8 from the floor, all from inside the arc–and provided a real spark with his effort and hustle. He may not have the physical tools of a CJ Leslie or Lorenzo Brown, but his game has grown to where he'll give you a game or two a year like he did against Wake. I just wish we saw more consistency from "The Other CJ."

Up next are two tough road tests in Boston College and Florida State–two teams that could challenge for the upper half of the league just like State. These two games could go a long way to sorting the top half of the league out come year's end.

No comments yet

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: