Five Thoughts On The NC State Game

Written by Kyle Porter


What a great win by the Cowboys, taking the Puerto Rico Tip-Off from #6 North Carolina State behind stellar performances by Marcus Smart and Le’Bryan Nash. Here are five thoughts about the Pokes’ big win…

1. Nolo and I agree on this — OSU might have outscored NC State by 20 but the reason is because of how fantastic they were on defense. The Wolfpack came in averaging 86 a game and they struggled to crack the 50-point mark.

2. Was Phil Jurick’s achilles recovery the fastest achilles recovery in history? Also, did somebody switch his achilles with Al Jefferson’s achilles? He was the biggest surprise throughout the tournament.

3. According to KenPom’s rankings this was OSU’s biggest win since they took down Pitt in OKC in 2007 when they were ranked #13. NC State came into this game ranked #15 in his ratings.

And even bigger than that, they’re the ACC favorite, ranked ahead of Duke, ranked ahead of Carolina, and have the preseason favorite for ACC player of the year (CJ Leslie). It might not catch the attention of OSU fans because NC State isn’t a huge name like a Duke, but this is a massive win for Travis Ford.

4. If you watched the game, Dan Dakich said some absurd stuff (calling out NC State players for not handing out high fives) but I really thought he was spot on. He took chances, spoke his mind, and you could tell he really loves hoops. Wish more color guys were like that.

5. I kind of feel bad for Nash right now. Smart’s going to get the credit but he had 18-17-23 in the last three games of the tournament and went hard. He got to the middle of the lane against NC State’s zone D and really showed that he’s been working on using his ridiculous body to his advantage.

Bonus, here’s Phil Forte’s circus shot for the dagger:

I am FIRED UP right now!

  • Nick

    I spoke too soon, Cowboys played very well in Puerto Rico and they well have a ton of confidence going forward! Go Pokes, and congrats on the new hardware.

  • Lane

    Nash competing against smart for the spotlight is a very good thing for Nash’s game.

  • Schultzy

    Dakich was awful.

  • Steven Myers

    This team is Crazy. Barely survived the 1st game in Puerto Rico then they dominate the 2 tougher teams in Tennessee and NC State. All after the injury bug keeps biting them. This team has faced adversity head on and came out on top. The bench thins and the defense tightens. Good to see defense slowly moving back to the front burner again.

  • Jerod

    I only got to watch the 2nd half, but I was thoroughly impressed with Smart. He was everywhere! How many teams have players that go for chase down blocks with a few minutes left when their team is up by 20. He goes hard all the time and it’s amazing to see.

    Also, if the defense is legit and they can stay healthy, OSU has a legit shot at being damn good team. Basketball might just be looking up.

  • (insert Ford joke here lol)

    “I am FIRED UP right now!” fucking cute.

    • Nolo

      Go watch the rest of the Thunder game.

      • (insert Ford joke here lol)

        lol you don’t even understand

        • Nolo

          Enlighten me.

  • Scott

    bandwagon will be filling up now. FIRE FORD!!

  • Scott

    Have we ever had a PG with 4 blocks in a game? And they weren’t on the 3line against 5-8 shooters – these were man-blocks

  • SamIam

    I really like how Smart slows the game down. At least it seems like he does. How does his 4 steals seem like 8? Kid is legit! Forte throwing daggers, this could be a special year!

  • Scott

    what a weekend for OSU. Blasted a ranked conference opponent on senior day and rolled Tennessee and NC State to win a basketball tourney. Smart was MVP…

    • Nolo

      And won another national title!

  • dooley

    Great win. The D really suffocated and frustrated NC State. We had the edge with the officials, but that will happen when you are aggressive to the basket. Nash finally attacking the zone and getting to the free throw line was huge.

    Smart, though, is going to save Ford’s job, and that left-handed 180 tip-in of the lob was ridiculous. That guy is the complete package, and I doubt he returns next year. Of course, there’s a long way to go, and I hope we get a couple years of Smart.

  • dooley

    On another note, what is with all the constant injuries? Are we not getting kids ready for the season with proper strength and conditioning programs? As Seinfeld would say, “what’s the deal?”

  • Daniel

    Is it just me or does it seem like with all the injuries ford has finally been able to figure out a solid rotation? It is weird but it kind of seems like addition by subtraction. I think cobbins will only improve the rotation. If they keep playing defense this could be a big year.

  • Nate

    I bash Ford more than anybody, but that was just awesome to watch last night. OSU really won that game in the first five minutes. Dakich is awful to listen to, but he nailed it when he said OSU was there to win a championship; NC ST was there to play a basketball game.

    I’ll go out on a limb and say that might be Ford’s best win here at OSU. I know he beat KU, K State, and Missouri but the WAY they won yesterday was so impressive. Dare I say that the effort and defense was comparable to a Sutton team? Sure looked like it to me. Never thought I’d ever say that with Ford at the helm.

    But obviously, the most credit goes to Smart. This team will go as far as he takes them. He is just amazing to watch. The dude literally does everything and at times you think there’s 3 Marcus Smarts out there at once. He’s freaking everywhere. I was confident he would have a better freshman year than Nash, but wasn’t sold on all the hype. Best PG in the league? First team all Big 12? Hell, maybe…

    And I can’t forget Forte. Dude just doesn’t play like freshman. I said it after the first exhibition game, but he will be exactly what Keiton should have been. Just be in there to knock down open shots. And man he can do that. Better shooter than Page already…

    • Hurley

      I agree with all of this. Damn Mayans.

  • G-Block

    I was happily surprised by the defensive intensity the team displayed from start to finish. After the first four highlight blocks,the Wolfpack lost their appetite to drive the lane. Jurick and Nash were instrumental in this win.

    I agree, I really enjoyed the color commentator – for once, someone has the courage to go on record and call it like he sees it without bias.