Photo by Rick Kimball/ISD
Notre Dame Basketball

Hoops Preview: No. 25 Notre Dame at North Carolina State

February 17, 2017

Notre Dame (20-7, 9-5) at North Carolina State (14-13, 3-11)

Date: February 18th
Where: PNC Arena, Raleigh, North Carolina
Time: Noon

Quick Facts

- Saturday will be the 11th meeting between the two programs.
- Notre Dame holds a 6-4 advantage in the series.
- The Irish have won at least 20 games for the 10th time in the past 11 seasons.
- Notre Dame’s 1.68 assist to turnover ratio is the 2nd best in the country.
- 15 times this season Notre Dame has shot at least 80 percent from the free throw line.

The Starters

Notre Dame
Matt Farrell: 14.3 ppg, 2.2 rpg and 5.5 apg
Steve Vasturia: 14.1 ppg, 3.8 rpg and 3.4 apg
Rex Pflueger: 4.8 ppg, 2.3 rpg and 1.7 apg
VJ Beachem: 15.0 ppg, 3.9 rpg and 0.9 apg
Bonzie Colson: 16.9 ppg, 10.7 rpg and 1.7 apg

NC State
Dennis Smith Jr.: 19.0 ppg, 4.4 rpg and 6.7 apg
Torin Dorn: 10.3 ppg, 4.9 rpg and 0.9 apg
Maverick Rowan: 12.4 ppg, 3.6 rpg and 0.9 apg
Terry Henderson: 14.0 ppg, 2.8 rpg and 1.7 apg
Abdul-Malik Abu: 12.0 ppg, 7.0 rpg and 1.0 apg

How They Matchup

(National Rank)
Scoring Offense: NC State: 79.6 ppg (49) – Notre Dame: 79.4 ppg (51)
Scoring Defense: NC State: 80.5 ppg (325) – Notre Dame: 69.6 ppg (111)
Rebound Margin: NC State: -0.3 (214) – Notre Dame: -0.8 (226)
Field-Goal Percentage: NC State: 47.5% (47) – Notre Dame: 46.5% (78)
Three-Point Percentage: NC State: 36.6% (110) – Notre Dame: 39.5% (22)
Three-Pointers Made: NC State: 7.3 (187) – Notre Dame: 9.5 (23)
Free-Throw Percentage: NC State: 69.8% (173) – Notre Dame: 81.6% (1)

With a win, Notre Dame can really make it hard to leave them out of the NCAA Tournament as the Irish would hit the 10-win mark in ACC play. While the Wolfpack aren’t kings of the ACC, 10 wins in the nation’s toughest conference goes a long way on Selection Sunday.

However, Saturday’s game will likely be very tough for the Irish with N.C. State offensive arsenal led by freshman phenom Dennis Smith Jr. Mike Brey stated on Thursday that Smith was a player that can win games by himself and it’s not an ideal matchup for the Irish. I wouldn’t be shocked if Notre Dame started the game in a zone defenses to see how N.C. State handles it early.

On offense, Notre Dame should have its way as N.C. State is simply not very good on the defensive end of the floor. The home team is a long on the perimeter so they could give the Irish problems but when push comes to shove, Notre Dame should be able to score when they want to.

I have a feeling Saturday will turn into a shootout and if Notre Dame can contain Smith in the second half, it should be smooth sailing.
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