North Carolina State will try to bounce back at home after two tough losses at neutral sites when it hosts Wright State in a non-conference game Tuesday night in Raleigh, N.C.
The Wolfpack (7-4) squandered a second-half lead and lost to Purdue in Brooklyn, N.Y., on Dec. 12 and then allowed Richmond to shoot 52.5 percent from the field in the Wolfpack’s 83-74 loss in Charlotte, N.C., on Friday night.
NC State coach Kevin Keatts indicated that some of the problems are due to youthful mistakes.
“I hate that we’re young, but we are,” Keatts said after the loss to the Spiders. “And I’ve got to accept that.”
Four of the six Wolfpack players averaging at least 26 minutes are sophomores or freshmen. Another, Casey Morsell, is a Virginia transfer and thus is new to the system. Morsell (9.9 points per game) also is struggling to regain his form after missing two games because of an ankle injury. He shot 1-for-9 total in the losses to the Boilermakers and Spiders.
Dereon Seabron (19.8 ppg, 10.6 rebounds per game) has been dominant inside for the Wolfpack. However, NC State is shooting only 30.7 percent from 3-point range, making its offense lack inside-outside balance.
Wright State (3-7) has struggled so far, with its only Division I wins coming against Purdue Fort Wayne and Tennessee Tech.
The Raiders allowed 96 points in a rout by common opponent Purdue on Nov. 16, but sixth-year coach Scott Nagy was happy to see his team limit Tennessee Tech to 40.3 percent shooting in the 72-63 victory Saturday.
“It’s hard to be great offensively if you’re not great defensively,” Nagy told the Dayton Daily News. “So I feel like we’re getting the ship turned around. It’s like a big ocean liner. You don’t just turn it around like you do a speedboat. I think our mindset is changing and we’re starting to understand that the defense is the most important thing.”
Tanner Holden (19.2 ppg) and Grant Basile (17.5 ppg, 9.2 rpg) should be circled on the Wolfpack’s scouting report.
–Field Level Media