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A Few Wahoo Thoughts

January 28, 2012

First let me say Thursday night was bad, I don’t want to talk about it and I’m sure no one wants to hear about it anymore than we already have. It was bad. We didn’t show up. Time to move on and correct those mistakes.

1. Tonight’s game against Virginia now becomes the biggest game of the year. The Wahoos are currently ranked 19th in the AP and 21st in the ESPN/USA Today polls. The Pack has to win this one to remain in any sort of NCAA tournament talk.

2. Second year head coach Tony Bennett is known for his deliberate offensive style that limits the number of possessions in the game. They will try to dictate the pace and make it difficult for State to get out and run. It will be a battle of conflicting offensive philosophies all night.

3. The Wahoos also have arguably the best player in the league, Mike Scott. He is averaging 16.6 points per game. But to put that in perspective Virginia only averages 64.4 points a game, so he accounts for a quarter of their offense. Containing him will be a big challenge.

4. Virginia comes into this contest having held their last three ACC opponents to less than 50 points. That’s the first time that’s been done in ACC play since the shot clock was introduced in the mid 1980s. Surprisingly they managed to lose one of those games, a 47-45 barnburner against the Virginia Tech Hokies last Sunday.

5. For me the key to this game is offensive efficiency. Virginia will limit opportunities and that puts more emphasis on each possession and even on each shot. A good shot selection will be extremely important and that starts with executing the offense and not straying away from it.

A win would put State at 16-6 and 5-2 in league play going into an easy stretch next week that includes a trip to Chestnut Hill and a home game against Wake Forest. It would also erase some of the pain from that disaster against the Tar Heels a couple of nights ago.

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