NC State Basketball Mid-Season Analysis

Allen LoppCorrespondent IFebruary 5, 2010

CHAPEL HILL, NC - FEBRUARY 18:  Tracy Smith #23 of the North Carolina State Wolfpack looks on court against the North Carolina Tar Heels during the game on February 18, 2009 at the Dean E. Smith Center in Chapel Hill, North Carolina.  (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

The NC State Wolfpack basketball team has had a very inconsistent season. They went from winning on the road against a tough Florida State team to losing at home against the North Carolina Tar Heels.

Tracy Smith has really been the only consistent player on the NC State squad; he is averaging 17.4 points and 8.3 rebounds per game, and is second in the ACC in field goal percentage (.562). Smith has also carried the team through many of their games.

Smith needs someone to step up and become a scoring threat to take some pressure off and free him up underneath the basket.

Dennis Horner would be my first choice to do so because Sidney Lowe obviously refuses to let better rebounder Richard Howell start over him.

Don't get me wrong; I like what Horner brings to the team, but he doesn't like to play underneath the basket and it is hard to rebound successfully when four guys are always standing on the perimeter.

Richard Howell not only brings the ability to rebound, he also bring another post player to help out Tracy Smith. Howell can also shoot the three when defenders don't respect him.

Farnold Degend and Javier Gonzalez have both played well in the past few games despite Julius Mays starting the last two. If Mays is going to continue to start, he's going to have to score more and make plays.

Mays has only scored in double digits six times this season, with three of those being against lower quality opponents. When Mays came to NC State he was considered a two guard; then Sidney Lowe converted him into a point guard because of their lack of depth at that position.

I'd like to see him become more aggressive and take more shots instead of standing five feet behind the three point line.

Scott Wood is a pure shooter, who has trouble getting open since his 31 point performance at Florida State. I particularly blame Sidney Lowe for this; I would run some screens for Scott Wood to get him open, because he has a really quick trigger. Once he finds even a little bit of space, he can pull up and knock down some threes.

I really like how Sidney Lowe is incorporating Josh Davis into the rotation, considering how deep NC State has become at every position. Davis and C.J. Williams have very similar styles of play.

It really is a shame to see Williams' playing time deteriorate, but I feel it was because he wasn't attacking the basket. That hurts the team, because that is really his strength.

This is a young team and they have many areas to improve upon. As always with a young team, they will be inconsistent. But if they get hot, watch out for them in the rest of the ACC regular season and tournament.