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A Brief Early Look at NC State

Xavier knows who they've drawn and where they're going now.

John David Mercer-USA TODAY Spor

What do you know about NC State? If you're like me, it's not much, because there was no reason to care until now. Obviously, the number one thing is NC State's stud forward TJ Warren. Warren is a 6'8, 233-pound sophomore who is a complete bull inside. He is a tremendous offensive rebounder and good ball defender, and he is in the top ten in the nation in both usage rate and shots percentage. Of his 163 made baskets at the rim, 47 of them were stickbacks. For some reason, he steps out behind the arc and tries his luck about three times a game despite shooting only 27.7% from deep. On the whole, he averages 24.8/7.1/1.1 on .525/.277/.711 shooting. Stopping him is priority 1A.

Farther down the roster, wing Ralston Turner gets 10.2 PPG and is a complete gunner from behind the arc. He's only shooting .398/.367/.688; he's more of a volume shooter than a true scorer. It might be worth noting that Jordan Vandenberg is a 7'1", 264-pound center who averages 21.8 minutes per game and is a very efficient scorer. If Matt Stainbrook is still out, it's possible that NC State's frontcourt depth could be an issue.

Good wins for the Wolfpack this year include a road win at Tennessee, a road win at Pittsburgh, and ACC tournament victories over Miami (FL) and Syracuse before falling to Duke. Of course, they also lost to Wake and at home against North Carolina Central.

This is a potentially favorable draw for Xavier for two reasons. One is that NC State is a deplorable defensive rebounding team, ranking 338th in the nation in that department. One B is that they don't force turnovers very well. The other is that the Wolfpack shoot 30.3% as a team from behind the arc and only take a quarter of their shots from deep. If you were going to draw up a team that was a good matchup for Xavier, you would want someone who can't shoot, allows offensive boards, and doesn't force turnovers. Superficially, NC State fits the bill.