|C.J. Leslie bounces the ball ...|
1. Fun and games
N.C. State hasn't had many chances, in the first 15 basketball games, to have a little fun. The Wolfpack did just that Wednesday in the 78-44 win over Delaware State.
A 22-0 run to close the first half took any suspense out of the outcome and C.J. Leslie's alley-oop to himself during that run signaled the beginning of the fun and games.
|then leaps to retrieve it ...|
Rich Howell, who had his fourth straight double-double (12 points, 12 boards) and Scott Wood (14 points) got into the act in the second half.
"I hope his ankle is bothering him," Leslie joked. "For his sake, I hope so."
Wood's near-dunk was the cause of discussion among his teammates, and some good-natured ribbing when he couldn't quite get high enough up to flush the ball.
Howell got off a two-handed dunk on the break but his relatively modest vertical leap is also a topic of conversation in the locker room.
"I'm just trying to dunk like C.J. Leslie," Howell said after the game, with Leslie standing five feet in front of him.
Leslie was actually taken out of the game after his dunk near the end of the first half but it was because he had two fouls. Coach Mark Gottfried talked to Leslie briefly when he took him out of the game.
Leslie said Gottfried wasn't talking to him about the dunk.
"He did say I better make it," Leslie said.
2. Progress, against Delaware State at least
|finds the target ..|
N.C. State needed a last-second shot by Wood to beat the Hornets last season. Wednesday's game was a blowout. State gave up 70 points to the Hornets last season and only 44 on Wednesday.
N.C. State also showed rebounding improvement against the Hornets, an undersized MEAC team. The Pack had a 49-32 advantage on the glass on Wednesday, compared to 35-31 in last year's game.
3. Another slow start
As lopsided as the final score was, State led just 20-18 after 13 minutes. The Pack was sloppy early on in the first half with seven turnovers contributing to its problems on offense.
The Pack started slow against Western Carolina, too, last Saturday. Some of that can be chalked up to the opponent but good teams are self-motivated and if State is going to make noise in the ACC, to nine or 10 conference wins, it can't let such outside factors influence its effort.
|and dunks it home.|
-- J.P. Giglio