Wake Forest 67, N.C. State 59
Posted by D.Medlin on December 21, 2009
In a game that never felt as close as the final score, the Wolfpack dropped its first ACC game of the season. Based on how State played last night, it most certainly won’t be the last L.
And it wasn’t like the Wolfpack didn’t have opportunities to get a victory. Wake Forest didn’t put on a beautiful performance by any means. Without Al-Farouq Aminu, who is impressive in almost every facet of the game, the Deacons would be below average.
Here’s some general thoughts based on what I saw.
- Javi Gonzalez is the answer at point guard. When Farnold and Julius have been running things the offense has looked slow, plodding and even disinterested at times. Javi may not be one of the better PG’s in the ACC, but he’s N.C. State’s best option right now. At least he can create mismatches with teams who want to switch the pick and roll. Maybe Julius and Farnold need to start splitting more time at the two and leave the point guard duties to Gonzalez. The only thing that could hold that up is Javi’s hamstring. Hopefully it won’t become a season-long issue.
- CJ Williams needs to step up his play in a hurry. For someone Sidney Lowe promoted as a ‘team leader’ who would have a breakout season, CJ has completely disappointed so far this year. He’s averaging 5.5 points per game and a little more than 3 rebounds. That certainly can’t be what Lowe ‘expected’ from him.
- Josh Davis shouldn’t dribble or have the ball long enough to get fouled, ever. I am as big a fan of Davis’ effort and hustle as anyone, but when he’s forced to make offensive plays on his own of free throws, he’s bad. He needs to stick to the defensive effort and rebounding gig and get some offensive production by getting offensive boards, not by trying dribble drives of jump shots.
There are two main issues I see with this team right now. The most important one at this point is some inexperience off the bench. Scott Wood, Josh Davis, Jordan Vandenberg, Deshawn Painter and Richard Howell have all played quite a bit and have looked quite lost at times. Wood finally showed a couple flashes last night against the Deacons. He’ll have to continue that during the next few games to try to build some confidence before getting into the hear of the ACC schedule.
The second issue is the complete lack of an offensive player who can create his own shot. Tracy Smith can create looks in the post, but he only has the ball in his hand so much. There is nobody who, with the game on the line, I want with the ball.
The experience issue will become less and less of a factor as the year goes on simply because the freshmen will get more minutes and take those ‘lumps’ in the ACC. The second issue, unfortunately, I don’t see changing. What that means is that there will probably a ton of times this season when Wolfpack fans want to pull their hair out when watching State on offense.