While the Blue Devils have their undefeated record in tact, the same can’t be said for Duke’s Triangle rivals N.C. State and North Carolina after college basketball’s second week of action.
No. 16 NC State (3-1)
November 16: NC State 94, Massachusetts 76
A strong offensive performance led the Wolfpack to a convincing win over Massachusetts and a place in the Puerto Rico Tipoff Championship game. With five players reaching double-digit scoring, it was another polished performance from NC State, who was led by freshman T.J. Warren’s 21 points. He was complemented by senior Richard Howell’s 19 points and nine rebounds and junior Lorenzo Brown’s double-double (11 points and 10 rebounds).
November 18: Oklahoma State 76, NC State 56
Then-No. 6 NC State was upset by unranked Oklahoma State in a lopsided match that saw the Wolfpack eventually lose by 20 points. T.J. Warren continued to impress with 15 points, but the rest of N.C. State’s offense was nowhere to be seen, shooting just 30.0 percent from the field. The Cowboys were lead by Le’Bryan Nash’s 23 points and eight rebounds, and Marcus Smart’s well-rounded 20 point, seven rebound, seven assist, four steal, four block game.
Analysis: With a 1-1 week, N.C. State fell to No. 16 in the latest AP Poll, as the Wolfpack was let down by their offense. After beginning the week with a dominant win, the offense shot just 35.5 percent from the floor against the Cowboys. One of the only bright spots has been freshman Rodney Purvis who continues to excel, averaging 13 points per game thus far in his freshman year. The biggest concern for N.C. State remains junior forward C.J. Leslie, who scored just two points against Oklahoma State and is averaging only 10.0 per contest this season.
Upcoming: November 23 vs UNC Asheville; November 27 @ No. 4 Michigan
No. 9 North Carolina (5-1)
November 19: Mississippi State 49, North Carolina 95
In what could only be called a blitz, North Carolina decimated Mississippi State in a 95-49 mismatch at the Maui Invitational. Although the Tar Heels only shot 47.4% from the floor, then a season high, they connected on 15 three-pointers, which helped contribute to their blowout win. Junior Leslie McDonald scored a career high 21 points with six three pointers leading the way for the Tar Heels. The North Carolina defense held the Bulldogs to 28.3 percent shooting from the field.
November 20: Butler 82, North Carolina 71
Well, the Tar Heels got a taste of Brad Stevens. Butler shocked No. 9 North Carolina at the Maui Invitational, halting North Carolina’s 10-game winning streak at the competition. After scoring just 18 points in the first half, North Carolina played a much-improved second half, scoring 53 points, but it wasn’t enough to beat the spirited Butler team. The Tar Heels came into this game a dominant rebounding team, but were out-rebounded for the first time this season against Butler, 36-27. The Tar Heels did improve their free throw shooting however, as they shot 83.3%.
November 21: North Carolina 112, Chaminade 70
Coming off the heels of their first loss of the season, the Tar Heels absolutely destroyed Chaminade, romping to a 42-point win. As a team North Carolina shot 62.3% from the field and continued to do well from beyond the arc, hitting 13 3-pointers. With five players scoring in double-figures, this was an extremely well rounded and balanced offensive performance that signals to the rest of the league that the Tar Heels cannot be taken lightly.
Analysis: James Michael McAdoo continued his opening week form over the three games this week, bringing his per-game averages to 16.8 points and 8.8 rebounds. Fellow sophomore P.J. Hairston also had a great week, scoring a combined 42 points over the three games along with five assists and great defense. North Carolina’s early season woes from the free throw line seem to be solved, as they put in a strong show from the free-throw line this week. A 2-1 week should result in the Tar Heels sliding from their No. 9 post in the AP Poll.
Upcoming: November 27 at No. 1 Indiana