I spent the better part of Sid's first three seasons lamenting the fact that NC State's great shooting was going to waste because the team couldn't rebound or take care of the basketball. The non-existent rebounding was understandable because that was more about the nature of the roster than anything Sid did or could do. Turnovers were the real problem. Herb's offense thrived on the good shooting/low turnover rate combo, but without that secondary strength--a necessity for a team that didn't rebound--we struggled with the transition to Sid's system. Either we shot the ball really well and had a chance or we were doomed. Such a one-factor offense left little in between.
This year's group appears to be changing that. You can see the clear progression of the team's offensive rebounding as the roster has been made over with more traditional forwards. Tracy Smith, CJ Leslie, DeShawn Painter and Richard Howell are excellent offensive rebounders, and with that kind of depth it's no surprise this team is doing well.
The impressive turnover rate, on the other hand, is a bit of a shock. I did not think we could take good care of the ball while relying so heavily on freshmen. It's largely a credit to Ryan Harrow, who has established himself as one of the most ball-secure point guards in the conference. Efforts from Scott Wood, Howell, and Tracy are helping here as well. Both Wood and Howell have made big strides in this area.
Since the good shooting graduated with the Fells/Costner/McCauley class, we're left with an offense that stands in stark contrast to anything we've seen under Sidney Lowe--an offense that finds success through its secondary strengths. How strange. And so far it's working. It's not the prettiest way to go about things, but it's working. This could prove the best offense Lowe has ever had at NC State.
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