Posted March 19th, 2006 by Brian
Filed under: Basketball, Live

We’re facing a completely different type of team today in NC State and we’ll have to play a completely different basketball game if we hope to win. The Wolfpack are going to hit open three pointers so the Texas zone has to be solid and not give them a ton of open looks. You can also assume they saw the final few minutes from the Penn game and will go to a full court press early in the game to see if they can force the Texas guards to turn the ball over.

First Half
  • Kenton Paulino was supposed to be limited today because of a banged up knee, but he started the game and already nailed a 3. With Daniel Gibson’s long range shot the possession before Texas already has as many three’s as they did the entire Penn game. If we hit our open jumpers we win easily against most teams in this tourney, but we haven’t done that consistently.
  • Nice to see Brad Buckman going early.
  • Mike Williams in and Buckman to the bench already. Williams still isn’t exactly a force on offense, but he’s been a much more confident player the last couple of weeks and has been giving quality minutes. If he can play good defense and get rebounds he definitely will help this team.
NC State 5, Texas 8
  • With 15 minutes to go Paulino nails another 3. He’s had three open looks and got good shots at all of them.
  • And another 3 from Gibson! Welcome to the NCAA Tournament Mr. Gibson and Mr. Paulino!
NC State 5, Texas 16
  • Does it bother anyone else how they pronounce “realtor” in the commercials for the National Association of Realtors? The way they pronounce it it rhymes with the word “four”. I guess they can say it however they want since they have a registered trademark on the word. Did they just make it up? Odd.
  • Nice to see the Wolfpack having ball handling issues instead of our guys. Four turnovers by them already.
NC State 9, Texas 20
  • Not only are we shooting the ball better, but we sure have a lot more energy out there today. Good defense and hustle on the glass.
  • Ten minutes gone and still no full court pressure from NC State. They did just go to a half court trap though but we beat it and PJ Tucker hits the short jumper.
  • Nice penetration and dish by AJ Abrams. Tucker throws down the bigdunk.
NC State 13, Texas 27
  • 9 to 2 run by NC State since the timeout. Texas has to slow down of offense and get their butts back on defense quicker.
  • Guards are also doing a much better job of getting into the lane and causing trouble. The difference is night and day from Friday.
  • We’re getting beat for the rebounds we were getting in the first part of the half. It’s led to NC State’s run and we’re starting to turn the ball over as well. Rick Barnes should’ve called a timeout earlier in that run to slow things down.

NC State 28, Texas 32
  • They’ve picked up the pressure and we’ve choked appropriately. Makes you wonder why NC State waited 12+ minutes into the game to pick up the pressure on our ball handlers.
  • Abrams turns the ball over one possession and nails a 3 the next. And the foul, let’s see if we can get a big four point play.
NC State 30, Texas 35
  • LaMarcus Aldridge has to go up stronger when he’s right under the basket. There’s no need for a 6’11” player with his talent to be attempting a baby hook from right underneath the hoop. That being said, exactly how much body contact is allowed on a block before they call the foul? Same could be said for a couple of Aldridge’s blocks but it seems sometimes they’ll call the slightest amount of contact and others they’ll let a guy get hammered.
  • NC State holds for the last shot of the half and can’t convert.
NC State 33, Texas 38

Well the Longhorns head into the half with a five-point lead and I’m not sure whether to be pissed or relieved. With the way we got started and the early 15-point lead, we should be a more comfortable position going into the locker room. Of course, with the way we panicked to the pressure the last seven minutes or so I’m glad we’re up five instead of down five.

I don’t know how much depth NC State has and whether they can keep up the constant pressure throughout the second half, but they sure are going to try. Our guards have to make better decisions and keep hitting their shots, while feeding Aldridge and Tucker inside more frequently than in the first half.

Second Half
  • Probably ought to go with a three guard lineup to start the half to control the basketball and not let NC State get back on their run. Maybe time to see if JD Lewis can handle the press a little better.
  • Looks like they’re going right at Buckman and his two fouls. They’ve posted him up on their first two trips down the court.
  • Foul on Paulino. We’ve got a lot of guys in trouble there already. And as I type that Buckman picks up his third. Argh.
  • Seems like we’re doing a poor job on the offensive glass. We’re getting our hands on a lot of them but not controlling them. We look like we’re trying to tip everything back in instead of catching and going back up strong.
NC State 37, Texas 42
  • NC State sends in a bunch of reserves. Here comes the press.
  • Nope no pressure, with the lead back up to ten I thought we’d see it again.
  • Oooh that looked like a goal tend on NC State’s Simmons. I thought Tucker’s shot hit the glass before he got to it.
  • Abrams made that big 3 (+1) during NC State’s first half run but his shot looks off tonight. Big tough rebound by Mike Williams though and the Horns keep the ball.
  • We were 5/6 from three early but now we’re 7 of 16 for the game.
  • “State’s closing in.” We took a five point halftime lead and turned it into 11, how exactly are they closing in? I’m far from freaking comfortable though.
NC State 40, Texas 51
  • Ten minutes to go and we still haven’t really seen any full court press from State.
  • Abrams just freaking nailed a 3. I take back what I said a minute ago AJ, keep shooting young man.
  • Ahhh! My OTA signal is breaking up. Might as well switch over to TiVo since the game’s not in high def anyways.
NC State 40, Texas 54
  • Abrams hits both free throws and has 16 today already. I don’t know what our free throw percentages are but I’m much more confident when we send a guy to the line than in year’s past. Even our big men, Aldridge, Tucker, and to a lesser extent Buckman, seem more confident and comfortable from the stripe.
  • We’ve been building this lead so slowly and calmly I barely noticed it had grown to 17. We’ve been doing a decent job on offense (and thankfully not turning the ball over), but it’s more to do with NC State’s cold streak on offense.
NC State 40, Texas 57
  • Okay I know it’s raining, get your National Weather Service warning out of the freaking way.
  • It’s sad that I get more information and get it more frequently from the PA in the background than I do from the announcers.
  • We start pulling away and all of a sudden there’s random fouls being called. Two phantom calls in a row against Aldridge. The ref behind the play obstructed by the two players somehow calls a reaching foul on him to get him his 3rd foul.
NC State 45, Texas 62
  • It would be nice if the announcers knew the players’ injury statuses before the games. Isn’t this there job? I knew Paulino’s knee was bugging him.
  • I’m glad the officials are worrying about everyone’s wardrobes instead of the game.
NC State 48, Texas 68
  • I hate Chris Wylde. State Farm could have paid a lightly trained monkey to do the same “acting” job he does in their commercial.
  • NC State is finally going to the full court press. Probably about ten minutes too late. We have to burn a timeout because Tucker can’t handle it.
NC State 50, Texas 68
  • I know we’re up by 20 now, but I’d rather watch the last 90 seconds of our game and see how we handle the press than see an 8 point Villanova – Arizona game with still 9 minutes to go.
  • Wow, an actual nice job oh breaking the press by Texas. Tucker did a good job of finding Aldridge in the middle of the court, who found Gibson, who drove the length of the court and alley-ooped to Buckman for a big dunk. Nice job.
NC State 54, Texas 75
Final Thoughts

It’s amazing how much better of a coach Rick Barnes is when players hit shots. He’s taken a lot of flak from the Internet coaches this season but it all comes down to guard play. If Daniel Gibson, Kenton Paulino, and AJ Abrams play up to their ability this team doesn’t lose to many teams in the 64-team field. Of course it’s Barnes’ job to get more consistent play out of those three guys or going with the hot hand, and he hasn’t much success with that this year.

This was a much different game than what I was expecting but I’ll certainly take it. I’m not sure why NC State didn’t put more pressure on the Texas ball handlers but I think even if they had Texas looked at least a little better prepared for it today. Thanks to their early hot shooting, the guards played with more confidence and their performance showed it. The offense runs better overall when Gibson’s outside shot is falling. LaMarcus Aldridge didn’t have a good game, but the Horns did a good job trying to get him and PJ Tucker the ball down low.

Big time performance from the Horns rebounding from a lackluster effort on Friday. Texas now faces a West Virginia team on Thursday in Atlanta they beat back in November. Let’s hope the team gets off to the same hot start they did today.


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  1. reply to  #1


    Why in the F is the game not in HD????? This sucks…

  2. reply to  #2


    The only game I’ve caught that was in HD was the UConn – Kentucky game before ours. The color of mine is all messed up as well lately. It’s flashing between bright and too red.

  3. reply to  #3


    It sure was nice to have such an easy victory after a little bit of a scare in the Penn game…

  4. reply to  #4


    Yeah I was definitely not looking forward to this game. After the way we played Friday I was worried we’d clank our way to an early exit. I wonder when we’ll face a team that can really pressure our guards, Duke?

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