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#22 Creighton v NC State Game Guide - Paradise Jam Semi-final

Cole Huff is having fun. Cole Huff is making mad buckets. Cole Huff is in Paradise. Be like Cole Huff.

NCAA Basketball: Wisconsin at Creighton Steven Branscombe-USA TODAY Sports

How to Watch, Stream, Listen, Follow

Game Time: 7:30pm CT

Location: U.S Virgin Islands - St. Thomas

TV: CBS Sports Network

Radio: 1620AM the Zone & 101.9FM the Keg in Omaha / 101.5FM in Raleigh

Other Blogs: Backing the Pack - NC State / White & Blue Review - Creighton

Tweeters: Rob Anderson / Creighton MBB / Tom Nemitz / “Patrick Marshall” / Matt DeMarinis / Jon Nyatawa

Verba de Ludis

There’s a lot of things to like about NC State. They’ve got phenomenal guard play that can rip a defense to shreds. They’ve got two good players that are currently sitting out, giving Creighton a strategic advantage. They’re home to one of the greatest stories in the history of anything, ever with the 1983 team.

Here’s a quick cursor to all things Wolfpack for the current, very young season:

3-0 - Wins over Georgia Southern (81-79), St. Francis College (86-61), & Montana (first round of the Paradise Jam, 85-72)

Top Scorers:

Abdul-Malik Abu - 6’8, 240lbs - 17.3PPG - 8.7RPG [8-10 FG - 25pts - 8 REB vs Montana]

Torin Dorn - 6’5, 208lbs - 16.3PPG - 70% FG [8-12 FG - 16pts - 5REB - 1 STL vs Montana]

Dennis Smith Jr. - 6’3, 195lbs - 14.7PPG - 11AST [6-12FG - 21pts - 3AST vs Montana]

The Wolfpack defense has a propensity to get caught in the post with a poor matchup. As I watched their game against Montana, I noticed a lot of guards getting swapped on ball screens and ending up facing a pretty good post player. Their defense is... not so good. There’s a lot of miscommunication and confusion on that end and they tend to overplay a ball or two. It’s unpolished. It’s ugly.

The offense enjoys taking many risks with delectable rewards. Torin Dorn has a quick first step and can get to the rim in a hurry. He’s most likely to be guarded by Khyri Thomas, so I apologize for Dorn’s inevitable off game.

Abdul Malik-Abu is tall and strong, a classic ACC power forward. He’ll eat rebounds for breakfast and hover around the post and do quite a bit of damage. Expect Cole Huff to defend him in the post.

Dennis Smith Jr., will start at point guard, likely to be matched up with Maurice Watson Jr. He doesn’t get a lot of assists (Watson had one less assist against Washington State than NC State had against Montana) but he can score in a hurry. He tends to shoot lots of threes, so look for the Jays to shut him down at the perimeter.

Speaking of three pointers, Terry Henderson will take the two guard spot and shoot lots of threes. Against Montana he went 1-6, so he’s due for a good game. Unfortunately, he’ll be matched up against Marcus Foster - a guy who doesn’t like it when people score on him.

Now this brings me to Beejay Anya, who is a national treasure. He isn’t very good at shooting free throws, he’s a very slow human being, and he’s 6’9 & 344lbs, which bodes well with my middle school sense of humor. Heh. Beejay. 6’9. I’m giggling a little bit. Beejay will start at the center position, but Abu will likely take charge of the more athletic plays required of a post player. There’s no one on the planet that can properly guard Anya, but I’m assuming Justin Patton will get those honors.

KenPom gives Creighton a two point edge in this one.

An Ode To Cole Huff’s Jumpshot

O these dark times leave me weary and weak. Cable television news fills my mind with such odious storm clouds, I cannot bring myself to peel away from this couch for weeks on end. Another cold night staring at this familiar ceiling, pondering moments lost, regrets held dear, fighting back the formulation of an end to the familiar.

Then I see it, the release of a basketball so perfect and swell; the rotation of the ball even has its own story to tell. Bounding from the hands of a neutral site phenom, the ball swishing through the net with a brilliance not yet known by the common man.

It can perform miracles, heal the sick, bring down dictators, rid government of corruption, fill the most meager with an overwhelming sense of confidence, bring the powerful to their knees as they beg forgiveness for their wrongdoing, end world hunger, reverse climate change, turn stones into diamonds, mortals to immortality, replace empty ink cartridges, shovel snow off your driveway, find that pen you lost, fix your smartphone’s cracked screen, take care of your cats when you’re out of town, accidentally cause earthquakes, change your oil.

O! How peaceful this earth would be if they could see such beauty!

Whether 13 or 30 feet from the nylon net, this ball seems to find the bottom in unfamiliar territory. Paradise or The Garden, it does not matter, for when there’s neutrality afoot the beauty shines through.

From number 13’s hands you see this ball rotate, flutter, and fall. Crowds fawning, women falling faint, men salivating, children uncertain of such the preponderance they witness - they, too, will be awestruck by such beauty.

O! How things would change for you when you see this masterpiece; a form of art so perfect that Michelangelo would weep in envy! Graciousness and fervent pleasure can be attained solely by watching a man shoot a basketball; if only the world had known previous to 1918!

I no longer know of such darkness and travesty; I only know of sheer beauty, and I have witnessed it with the naked eye.

Song of the Day - ‘Wild Pack of Family Dogs’ - Modest Mouse