Again, a tougher game than most people would probably think that it would be given that they were playing Boise State. Sounds like a challenging football game, not necessarily a tough basketball game. Entering the game the Broncos had the 30th hardest schedule in the country and their only loss this season had been to a top rated Wisconsin team on the road. Coach Gottfried had talked about this being a challenge all week and the Broncos did not disappoint. State actually played a good first half, but many of the same trends with scoring distribution and second half free throw shooting continue to pop up.
Positives- The guard play from the trio of Barber, Turner, and Lacey great. All three scored, shot the ball relatively well, and accounted for 10 assists too. The game tighten in the second half and the Wolfpack needed a few big shots at the end of the game to seal this victory. It was good to see Trevor Lacey step up and take the shots down the stretch for this team. Coming off last year, where T.J. Warren took all of the important shots, I think it was good for the team to find a go to scorer now before conference season starts.
Negatives-Two things that I continue to notice about the Pack:
- The free throw shooting down the stretch continues to be an issue for the team. 70% in the first half is okay, but 63% in the second half is starting to get into that unacceptable range. I am tired of watching the game and seeing shooters split their free throws down the stretch. At this point, I think it's something that State is going to see from opponents in games late. Hopefully this issue can be ironed out.
- Cat has to do a better job distributing the ball. As a trio, the guards accounted for 10 assists which is excellent, but Barber had 3 turnovers to his 4 assists. I understand that Cat is faster than everyone else on the court and loves to push the ball, but let's see a little bit of caution.
Player of the Game- Trevor Lacey 14 points, 6 boards, 4 assists, and a couple big shots down the stretch.