Wednesday, December 31, 2008

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Smith Erupts for 31, Pack Rips Towson 88-68


The Towson Tigers went home this New Years Eve having already seen the ball drop.....again....and again....and again, thanks to the on fire Sophomore forward, Tracy Smith, who poured in a career high 31 points on 10-15 shooting and 11-11 from the line. Thanks to the shooting of Towson guard Josh Thornton, State started the game by quickly going into a 10 point hole. But then the Pack answered, or rather Tracy Smith answered, by pillaging the Towson big men with powerful post moves and strong finishes. It was also another big day from Brandon Costner who looked extremely athletic and motivated, especially when, after beating his man off the dribble, Costner rose in the face of Jarrell Smith and threw down what was probably one of the hungriest dunks of his career.

The Pack looked surprisingly efficient without both Javier Gonzalez and Trevor Ferguson, both still sidelined with injuries. Half way through the game Lowe decided to try a quicker, more guard oriented line-up of Degand, Mays, Fells, Costner, and Smith, which proved to be a genius move. Taking away ball handling duties from Courtney Fells is a smart move to keep turnovers down and also to free him up to score more. We may very well see more of this if freshman PG Julius Mays continues his maturation. This was the second time Mays has gone over 5 assists and managed to not turn the ball over once. He had 7 assists with no turnovers against Lipscomb earlier in the season. Mays is proving to have an extremely high basketball IQ as advertised and is coming into his own very quickly for a freshman.

Big Ben continued to impress with 10 points and 7 boards in only 16 minutes. His decrease in minutes should not be over analyzed, Tracy Smith was simply unstoppable on this night so somebody had to sit.

We at Wolfpack Hoops are very excited about the direction this team is taking and feel there is a very good chance this team makes it back to the NCAA Tournament. The offense was run well, and Sidney impressed out of timeouts with a few drawn up plays that went for quick buckets. The team chemistry is amazing on the floor, and you can tell the players have bought into the system. The players must now ready themselves for the showdown in Gainesville against the Florida Gators on Saturday, January 3rd.


Buddies Turn Enemies

This is a great article on NC State commit Richard Howell and his best friend and Wake Forest commit Ari Stewart. It is a great story and talks about their camaraderie, how they chose where they were going to school, and how playing against each other in the ACC will affect their friendship.

Here is our favorite excerpt:

"We thought about going to Oregon together, but then we thought maybe it was time to split up and do different things," Howell said. "I think it worked out for the best. We're going to keep in contact. We're in the same area. But when we play against them, N.C. State is going to win."

The Sun News: Howell and Stewart Article

Word of God Loses in Finals


After beating Rocky Mount in the first round of the Glaxo, Word of God went on to beat St. Raymond on Monday night by 20 points, 63-43. C.J. Leslie led the team with 15 points, and he scored 14 these in the fourth quarter. Because he got in quick foul trouble during the first minute of the game, he only played 1 minute in the first three quarters of play. He came on strong in the 4th to propel WOG to victory. John Wall had 14 points.

Word of God played again last night in the championship game against Christ School and lost 76-73 in a nail biter. John Wall led WOG in scoring with 28 points and C.J. Leslie followed with 18. But Mason Plumlee (Duke Commit) took down the Holy Rams with 20 points and also netted the MVP award.

Word of God is now 7-6 on the year. C.J. Leslie is averaging 17.33 ppg and John Wall is averaging 18.33 ppg.

Centennial Makes it Two Championships in a Row...Brown Lands MVP


Centennial made it 2 Tournament victories in two weeks by winning their section of the Glaxo. After beating Father Carr in the first round Centennial went on to beat Knightdale 65-62 in a surprisingly close game for Centennial. Lorenzo Brown scored 17 points in the game, which ended his 4 game streak of 20+ ppg.

Centennial then moved on to play in the championship game last night against Ryan Kelly's (Duke commit) Ravenscroft. Centennial put a hurting on Ravenscroft by winning the championship game 72-53. Lo-Brown finished with 27 points (10-15 FG), 6 steals, and 4 assists. Lorenzo took home the tourney MVP and Ryan Kelly took home the tourney MOP as he put down 26 points and 9 boards in the championship game.

Centennial is now 9-1 on the year and Lorenzo Brown is averaging 21.6 ppg.

Wheeler Makes it to the Finals

Wheeler has won three games in a row in the Beach Ball Classic down in Myrtle Beach to make it to the championship game today.

After winning in the first game of the tourney, Wheeler went on to beat the Boys & Girls Kangaroos on Monday 78-53. Richard Howell had a double-double with 12 points and 12 boards. Even though his offensive production might not blow you out of the water at first glance, he was perfect from the field, going 4-4 from there and 4-4 from the free-throw line.

Box Score

Wheeler also beat Martin Luther King out of California 78-73 in a tight one yesterday. Richard Howell had 13 points and 8 boards. Once again Sir Rich shot a high percentage, going 6 for 8 from the field.

Box Score

Wheeler plays St. Patrick out of New York tonight in the Championship game at 7:30pm.

Walton Takes Third and Harrow Takes MVP

After winning in the first round of the Schnucks Holiday Classic, Walton won in the second round and then lost in the semi-finals.

Walton beat Decatur MacArthur 78-76 on Monday night. Ryan Harrow had 27 points, 7 steals, and 4 assists.

Box Score

Then, yesterday, Walton lost to Althoff (#4 seed) in the semi-finals 75-72 in a close one. Ryan Harrow had another monster game as he put up 35 points (13-23 FG) and 7 assists. As a result of the loss, Walton moved on to play in the Third Place game last night.

Althoff's head coach had this to say about Harrow:

"I thought we made him work," Leib said. "He's a load. The only way to beat him is getting him off the bus with a bat or something. He's a good player."

Box Score

Walton took third place in the Schnucks Holiday Classic by beating Oakville 98-81 last night. Harrow had 30 points (13-23 FG), 8 assists, and 4 steals. Harrow also was awarded the MVP award for the tournament. That is unbelievable considering he wasn't even in the championship game.

Box Score

Walton is now 8-4 on the season and Ryan Harrow is averaging 31.25 ppg.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Pack Sleepwalks to a Narrow Victory



Maybe it was the long layoff. Maybe it was the huge Christmas smorgasbords. Maybe it was the lack of fan energy inside the arena. Whatever it was, it made the Pack look like the walking dead on the court last night, moving slowly and seemingly without a purpose. The Wolfpack squeaked by an undersized and under-talented Loyola team 62-60 yesterday with a late burst of energy, and a bit of luck. The Pack came out blazing with Dennis Horner and Courtney Fells leading the 3 point barrage, but the offense ground to a halt after an 11-2 run. Horner, who was starting for the injured Trevor Ferguson, moved to small forward, with Fells slotting in at the 2 guard to start the game. This small move seemed to make the Pack's offense stagnant and awkward. With Fells at the 2 guard he was asked to handle the ball a lot more tonight, and whether it was the injured ankle or the two game layoff, he looked nervous and unsure whenever he was forced to put the ball on the floor. The offense was noticeably slower with Horner at the 3 and the ball movement was not crisp at any point of the game. After a big run by Loyola, in which at times it seemed as if the Pack was trying to make mistakes, the half ended with the score knotted up at 29 a piece.

The second half brought a bit of life to the Wolfpack as Brandon Costner's first 2 points sparked an inspired 5 minutes of play by the Junior forward. This opened things up for McCauley who poured in 16 and grabbed 11 boards, but everytime the Pack seemed to pull away, there was Marquis Sullivan, the 6'1 Senior guard, dripping in one of his 5 three pointers. Sullivan caught fire down the stretch and got the Greyhounds to within 1 with 19 seconds to play. Sophomore Jamal Barney dribbled baseline as Fells pursued, but was cut off by McCauley forcing him to take an off balance fade away that rattled out and gave the Wolfpack the win.

State was out quicked today by a smaller and hungrier team. They played mostly man defense and sprinkled in some zone, which ended up making them look even more lethargic. "We learned an expensive lesson, inexpensively. We learned that when we're up, to continue to play how we know to play" said head coach Sidney Lowe. Lowe was not happy at all during the game and seemed to try every combination he could to spark some sort of fire under the sleepwalking Pack. A win is a win, and Lowe will take it, but it was ugly, and with one more "should win" game scheduled before they go to Florida, the Wolfpack need to get serious.

In injury news, Javi Gonzalez was in street clothes along with Ferguson (fractured hand), because of a sprained ankle and not because of the cut on his arm, as reported by other sites. Javi injured his ankle in practice and, from what we were told, could be back by Wednesday unless Lowe wants to make sure he's 100% for the game at Florida.
The Ferguson timetable continues to be "not sure," when you ask the coaching staff, but we have talked to a source on the training staff who says its going to be 4-5 weeks until it heals. However, Trevor may try to tape it up and play sooner, since it is not his shooting hand.


Sunday, December 28, 2008



Alright folks, it's time for YOU to get involved. We at Wolfpack Hoops are here to bring you everything you've wanted to know about Wolfpack Basketball on the court and on the recruiting trail. We will have a weekly "Mailbag" post, in which we will take about 10 of your emailed questions and answer them. Please include your first name, your location, and your question, and send it to:

Pack Looks Towards Loyola



Sidney Lowe and the Wolfpack take the floor tomorrow against 4-7 Loyola Maryland, a team which sits in the cellar of the MAAC. The Pack is coming off an emotionally draining loss to the Marquette Golden Eagles, a game in which injury was added to insult with the loss of starting guard Trevor Ferguson. With a critical game against Florida looming, the Pack are hoping to take care of business while attempting to get comfortable with a new look line-up. State, fueled by the resurgence of Brandon Costner, is looking to finish out the non-conference schedule with a record of 11-2. That would include wins tomorrow, Wednesday, next week in Florida, and in the February game against NC Central. Those four wins would put the Pack in a good position for a NCAA Tournament bid.

Loyola - Brett Harvey (14.6)
NC State- Ben McCauley (14.4)

Loyola - Isaac Reid (7.1)
NC State- Ben McCauley/Brandon Costner (8.3)

Loyola - 40%
NC State- 47%

Loyola - 35.1
NC State- 40.4

Wood Carries Marion Past Undefeated Danville

Danville Community is no longer undefeated because the Marion Giants nipped them by 2 points last night, 54 -52. NC State commit, Scott Wood, accounted for nearly 60% of Marion's offensive production (59%). He had 32 points shooting 7-14 from the field. He also had 9 boards and 3 blocks. Scott missed his first free-throw of the season last night as he shot 12-13 from the free-throw line.

Marion is now 4-1 on the year and Wood improved his scoring average to 27.8 ppg. Marion plays again on January 2nd at home versus East Noble.

Box Score

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Ryan Harrow Article

One of our goals here at Wolfpack Hoops is to not keep all the information to ourselves. We found this article, which is a preview for the Schnuck's Holiday Classic, in a local Illinois newspaper. Here are some of the quotes from the Walton Head coach in reference to Harrow:

"He'll (Harrow) do some things out there that you've never seen a kid do," Goydish (Harrow's coach) said. "He has an unbelievable feel for handling the basketball. And he can shoot it exceptionally well. He's a little slight. He only weighs 155. We'll have to put some pounds on him before he gets to the next level."

"He has a chance to be special. He's really long --a 6-10 or 6-11 wing span. He's going to be 6-4 before it's all said and done. He can be a great college player."

Harrow has a flair for the dramatic, yet is modest off the court.

"He'll throw the ball off the board and dunk it, which I'm not keen about," Goydish said. "But he doesn't come down the floor and make a big deal out of it. He's very unassuming."


Walton vs. Sprayberry Highlight Reel...Basically a Ryan Harrow Highlight Video


Harrow is #12.

He shows an unbelievable ability to finish around the basket, his nasty handles, and his ability to rise. Was it just me, or did I see him throw it off the backboard on a fastbreak?

#1 Seed Walton Glides Through First Round

Walton is the #1 seed in the Schnuck's Holiday Classic in Collinsville, Illinois. They beat Chatham Glenwood tonight by a score of 64-50. Ryan Harrow, as usual, led all scorers with 26 points (9-15 FG, 3-7 3PT). He also contributed 5 assists and 5 rebounds. Walton will play again on Monday against MacArthur at 6:30pm.

Harrow is now averaging 31.44 ppg.

Box Score

Local Newspaper Article

Centennial Dismantles Father Carr

Centennial kept their hopes alive of winning two high school tournaments in a row. They beat Father Carr 64-40 by what is around their season average for margin of victory: 24 points. Lorenzo Brown had 23 points (9-13 FG) 4 assists, 3 rebounds, 3 assists, and 3 steals. He is averaging 21.5 ppg on the year. This marks 4 straight games that Brown has scored 20+ points and his 7th 20 point effort in 8 games.

Quotes from Brown and Centennial's coach Whiteheart via WRAL:

“It was a change, but I liked it a lot,” Brown said. “I felt welcome.”

“N.C. State’s lucky to get him,” said Centennial coach Allen Whitehart. “I think he’s going to do great things for N.C. State. He’s the ultimate basketball player. He does everything well.”

Centennial improves to 7-1 on the year and appears to be dominant. They will play again on Monday night at 5:40 against Knightdale.

Brown, Centennial Crush Carr

Wheeler Takes The First Round

Wheeler advanced to 5-4 on the season after beating Pickering 74-68 today. Both teams shot over 50%. Wheeler held slight advantages in the rebound and turnover categories but other than that, this was a pretty even match up on paper. NC State commit Richard Howell finished with 13 points and 7 boards. He shot an efficient 5-9 from the field. Howell seems like a guy that lets the game come to him and doesn't force his game. He is on a team of studs and plays his role well.

Wheeler will play again on Monday at 5:15 against the winner of the Boys & Girls Kangaroos vs. J.L. Mann.

Richard Howell is averaging 17.29 ppg.

Box Score

Something You Might Not Have Known About Our Future Backcourt

As all of you Pack fans know, our backcourt has been one of our biggest problems for the past two seasons. It was even a problem Coach Lowe's first year when we had Atsur because he got hurt and Gavin Grant was forced into an awkward assignment at point guard. But we believe the days of a struggling backcourt are nearing an end.

We believe that the forecast is bright with Ryan Harrow (2010) and Lorenzo Brown (2009) running our backcourt.

You might ask me why I'm so excited about the future these two players bring. Well let me give you a few thoughts:

1) Both Harrow and Brown play the point guard position for their high schools currently. We believe that Brown might play point for us next year, but when Harrow arrives we see Brown moving to the 2-spot, allowing Harrow to run the offense. Brown is fully capable of being an ACC-Caliber Two-guard. He is 6-5 and loves to attack the basket. In fact he is labeled as a combo guard by most recruiting analysts. We all know that ball handling has been a huge issue for the Pack, and to have two able point-guards on the court at the same time is a dream come true.

2) Another nasty plague that haunted the Pack last year specifically was team chemistry. It always seemed as if the team just couldn't figure out how to play together. While our team is playing much more unselfish ball this year, I believe the combo of Brown and Harrow offers a dynamic in the backcourt that is unique.

We've been talking back and forth with Harrow all season and he has been keeping us up to date on how his season has been going and telling us a little bit about himself as well. He told me something the other day that blew me away. As many of you know, Lorenzo and Ryan both play in Georgia in relatively the same region. I asked Ryan if he knew Lorenzo and he told me that he and Lorenzo were really close. In fact, what many people don't even know is that the two of them are God-brothers. They have grown up together and have been playing basketball together since they were 8 years old.

We can't wait to see what it looks like to watch two extremely talented guards running our offense who have been playing with each other since they were little kids. Naturally, this should help eliminate chemistry and selfish issues.

3) Harrow and Brown both have no problem scoring. We have lacked players with confidence in their ability to score for the past three years. Harrow is averaging 32 and Lorenzo is averaging 21 points per game thus far this year. They are doing this while leading their teams in assists as well.

Just a little something to look forward to...

We've Got Four of our Boy's in Action Today

Today is a big day for our greatly appreciated Pack commits. Ryan Harrow, Lorenzo Brown, Scott Wood, and Richard Howell will be in action today.

Lorenzo Brown's Centennial team will get their first piece of Glaxo action today as they take on Father Carr from Canada at Broughton High School at 4pm. Make sure to get there early or there is a good chance you'll get turned away.

Richard Howell's Wheeler squad will try to live up to their preseason hype by attempting to make it over the .500 hump today as they play in the Beach Ball Classic down in Myrtle Beach. They will be playing against Pickering out of Canada today at 1:45pm. It would be great if we could get some RED in that gym down there.

Beach Ball Classic

Ryan Harrow's Walton Raiders sit as the #1 seed in the Schnuck's Holiday Classic in Collinsville, Illinois. They will play today at 6:30pm.

Schnuck's Holiday Classic

Scott Wood and the Marion Giants haven't played in what seems like forever because their much anticipated game against Oak Hill was cancelled earlier this week. They play undefeated Danville today.

Be on the lookout throughout today for game results/stats.

Word of God Takes Down Rocky Mount

Word of God triumphed 67-41 over Rocky Mount tonight. C.J. Leslie led all scorers with 19 points. John Wall contributed 16 along with Bishop Daniel reeling in 11. Word of God will now play on December 29th at 9pm against the winner of the North Meck vs. St. Raymond's game tomorrow at 2pm.

Friday, December 26, 2008

NC State Commits/Prospects in the Glaxo

Enloe will be taking on Panther Creek today at 5:40pm at the 37th Annual GlaxoSmithKline Holiday Invitational. Melvin Tabb (#15 PF in the 2010 class), a 4-Star prospect of the Pack will be going up against Earnest Ross, who is a 4-Star SF headed to Auburn next year. Melvin Tabb does not hold an offer from the Pack at present, but the Pack has been tracking him for some time now. Melvin is a 6'8" athletic big man who weighs in at 210.

Word of God will get their chance to return to form in front of what would seem to be their home court tonight as they face Rocky Mount tonight at 9pm. Pack Commit C.J. Leslie and Pack Prospect John Wall will be taking on Rocky Mount's Tashawn Mabry. Mabry is a 3-Star SF in the 2010 class. He did at one time have an offer on the table from the Pack but it is unknown what the status of that offer is at this point. Regardless, Mabry has been putting up gaudy numbers this year.

After winning the Prep All-Stars Holiday Invitational down in Charlotte earlier this week, Centennial will be back in action on Saturday against Father Carr out of Canada at 4pm. Pack Commit Lorenzo Brown is coming off a tournament in which he won the MOP and he is thrilled to come play up in front of the crazy State fans in Raleigh.

The Glaxo tournament will be held at Broughton High School this year. If you need directions to Broughton, here is your guide. Tickets are $10 for an all day pass (an all day pass can get you 6-7 games) and $6 for children under the age of 10.

Stay tuned for results and more information.

Wolfpack Hoops Now Accepting Donations

We at Wolfpack Hoops strive to bring you the best in NC STATE basketball coverage, whether it be team news, recruiting, or keeping you up to date with interviews. We are now beginning to travel to get more videos and interviews from our recruits and commits. While we do not want to charge a fee for our services in hopes of reaching all Wolfpack fans, running this site does take a great deal of time and energy. We are not requiring any type of fee, but we'd like to ask that if you like what we are doing and want to help us out, please click the "PayPal" donation button below. Any amount will help. Thanks for all your support, and GO PACK!

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Centennial Takes The Championship...Walton Cleans Up Third

Lorenzo Brown led Centennial to the championship of the Prep All-Stars Holiday Invitational in Charlotte. Lorenzo had 25 points (11-18 FG), 7 rebounds, 7 steals, and 6 assists. He was rewarded the Most Outstanding Player award for the Holiday Classic. Centennial is now 6-1 on the season. Lorenzo is averaging 21.29 ppg. Lo-Brown and company will get a short Christmas break and then play in the Glaxo tourney in Raleigh this weekend.

Walton beat Butler 76-65 to finish third in the Invitational. Ryan Harrow finished with yet another 30+ point performance. He had 30 points (12-22 FG, 4-9 3PT), 10 assists, and 3 steals. He was the only player elected to the All-Tournament team that was not in the championship game. Ryan is now averaging 32.12 ppg. Walton is now 5-3 and they will be back in action on December 27th in the Schnucks Holiday Classic in Collinsville, Illinois.

It is a shame that we didn't get to see a Lo-Brown vs. Harrow match up in the Championship game. I guess we will have to wait until January 16th when the two will go head to head in a game at Centennial.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

The Resurrection of Brandon Costner


We knew coming into this year that if Brandon Costner didn't return to his Freshman form that we were not going to be a NCAA Tourney caliber team. We could not afford for him to not play up to his potential. I mean let's not forget that this kid was a 5-Star McDonald's All-American out of high school. He held offers from Kansas, UCLA, Michigan, Indiana, Georgia Tech, and Virginia along with the obvious offer from the Pack. He was the #6 ranked Power Forward in the Nation and the #9 Small Forward as a senior in high school.

He arrived in Raleigh and was hit with a blow because he got a stress fracture in his leg and had to redshirt his Freshman year.

He came back the following year to average 16.8 ppg and 7.3 rpg. He was elected to be on the ACC All-Freshmen team as well as the Third-Team All-ACC Team. He didn't go unnoticed nationally as he also was voted onto numerous Freshmen All-American Teams.

His sophomore year was an utter disappointment. He averaged 10 minutes less a game and his stats were crunched in half as he averaged 8.5 ppg and 4.6 rpg on the season. The entrance of J.J. Hickson left Brandon in a strange place and the chemistry between J.J. and the rest of the Pack's Bigs never really happened. Also, Brandon never fully got in the athletic shape that he would of liked to have been in because he was kept out of the gym nearly all of the summer before due to a knee injury.

Brandon came into this year determined and in shape. He leaned down by losing 15-20 pounds. He is averaging a strong 14.2 ppg and 8.3 rpg. In fact he has really emerged as of late. In the past three games, against East Carolina, Lipscomb, and Marquette, Brandon has averaged 20.33 ppg and 11 rpg. In this three game span he has also shot 63% from the field and a psycho 60% from Three Point Land. Brandon is playing like a man possessed and doing it unselfishly at that. His passing this season is one of his greatest improvements of his game. He is emerging into the star that he should be. This is the All-ACC Brandon Costner that we have missed and gladly welcome back to the fold. With Brandon Costner playing like this, it makes our team a NCAA Tournament caliber team.

Richard Howell Throws Down With Authority


Check out this Richard Howell throw down with a little bit of authority and attitude in Wheeler's first game of the season against Coolidge.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Wheeler Finishes Fourth in the Classic

Wheeler lost 91-87 to Winter Park today in the Third-Place game of the City of Palms Classic. This was awesome exposure for Wheeler and NC State commit Richard Howell because they played today at 3pm on ESPNU. Wheeler unfortunately, along with Word of God, has fallen to .500 at 4-4 on the year. Richard finished the game with his third straight double-double with 18 points (8-15 FG) and 12 boards. He continued to struggle with foul trouble and fouled out of the game.

Richard Howell is averaging 18 ppg.

On a side note, Doc Rivers' (Boston Celtics Head Coach) son, Austin Rivers, dropped 46 points on Wheeler today! Let's consider the fact that he did this in a 32 minute high school basketball game.

Box Score

Word of God Makes it Three Losses in a Row in the Challenge Round

Word of God lost 66-55 today to Arlington Country Day in the Challenge Round of the City of Palms Classic in Florida. C.J. Leslie kept his steady play up with 22 points on 9-of-15 shooting, along with 5 boards, 2 blocks, and 2 steals. John Wall put up the fantasy game that we expect to see out of him by finishing with 15 points, 6 assists, 6 rebounds, 4 blocks, and 2 steals. John found some medicine for his turnover ailment because he only committed 2 turnovers to turn in a 3:1 assist/turnover ratio. This is encouraging to see out of the Raleigh stud.

This was a devastating tournament for Word of God because they lost 3 of their 4 games. Word of God is now sitting at .500 with a record of 5-5.

C.J. Leslie is averaging 17.33 ppg and John Wall is averaging 18 ppg. C.J. has really impressed me this year with his consistent and efficient performances as he continues to shoot well from the field and rebound strong.

Box Score

Trevor Ferguson Out 3-6 Weeks


It is a given that NC State's guard play is not exactly stunning, but it doesn't help matters at all that redshirt Junior Trevor Ferguson will miss at least 3-6 weeks due to a non-displaced fracture of a finger on his non-shooting hand. It is obvious that C.J. Williams will see more minutes because of this, but it will be interesting to see how the coaching staff handles the situation. Last night Johnny Thomas played a brief amount of time at shooting guard, so maybe he and Williams will rotate in place of the injured Ferguson.

John Wall Wins The City of Palms Dunk Contest


Last night John Wall won the City of Palms Dunk Contest. Is it just me or is John wearing Wolfpack Red gym shorts? I'm just saying. The kid has absolutely insane hops. This highlight reel is mind-boggling! I'm pretty sure you will watch this video more than once or twice.

Pack Shocked at the Buzzer


The Pack lost a nail-biter last night against 24th ranked Marquette 68-65. Dominic James hit a three pointer with 0.4 seconds left on the clock to win the game. This is such a disappointing loss because State led a majority of the game. It was the failure to effectively break through Marquette's 1-3-1 full-court press and the Pack's 18 turnovers that led to our demise. Even with our 18 turnovers, we still had a chance at the end of the game.

Brandon Costner surely wasn't the reason that we lost the game. Brandon had 24 points (9-10 FG, 5-5 3PT), 8 rebounds, 4 assists, and 2 steals. Brandon's hands were on fire last night and it is disappointing that he only put up 10 shots. Brandon looks like the Brandon Costner we saw his Freshmen year. He seems to be getting used to his leaner body and his increased athleticism is evident.

The box score won't show it, but Julius May's was the point guard that gave us the best shot at winning last night. When he was in we were able to break the press and run our offense more effectively against Marquette's pesky defense. Degand seemed to be passive and hesitant and Javi was emotional and frustrated after some poor decisions that led to his increased time on the bench. Julius wasn't afraid to attack the basket and he did the best job of our three point guards last night at handling the pressure.

Courtney Fells and Tracy Smith also put together efficient performances. Courtney had 13 points shooting 5-9 from the field and 2-4 from three-point land. Tracy Smith continued to make the most of his minutes pouring in 10 points in only 12 minutes played.

State did manage to out-rebound Marquette 29-25. This is a continued improvement from last year. We also shot 51.1% from the field. On the other end of the spectrum, we also allowed Marquette to shoot 48.2% from the field, which marks our worst defensive effort of the year.

At the end of the day we are disappointed in the amount of turnovers our program has coughed up against Top-25 talent (19 against Davidson and 18 against Marquette), but considering our depleted and injured guard play, we are encouraged by our play. While we don't completely understand Coach Lowe's subbing patterns, we are not the coach and will not criticize his methods. We continue to hit the boards hard, which is drastically important as we head into ACC play.

Even with the loss, we still think it is possible for us to finish 11-2 heading into ACC play. With the way that we have played against Davidson and Marquette, we believe that we should be able to run with Florida. When it comes to the ACC season, besides UNC, Duke, and Wake, we believe that we have shown the ability to compete in the ACC this year. Our improved assist, rebound, and turnover numbers point to hopeful possibilities. If Brandon Costner continues to play like this, an NCAA Tourney birth is definitely a possibility.

Box Score

Wheeler and Word of God Both Fall in Florida

-Yesterday Wheeler lost to the #1 high school basketball team in the country, Mater Dei (California), by a score of 81-72. Richard's foul trouble kept him out for good portions of the game, but when he was in he played tremendously. He racked up a double-double for the second straight game with 16 points and 10 rebounds, along with 3 steals. A loss always stings, but losing to a squad where all five starters have inked Division 1 scholarships, and to give them a pretty good game at that, is nothing to be ashamed of. Not to mention the fact that Wheeler still earned a spot on ESPNU today as they will be playing at 3pm today in the 3rd Place game.

Wheeler is now 4-3 on the year. Their current record is disappointing considering Wheeler was a preseason Top 25 team nationally according to USAToday.

Richard Howell is averaging 18 ppg.

Box Score

-Word of God made it two losses in a row yesterday as they got beat up by Westchester (ranked 10th in the nation), 76-57. C.J. Leslie finished with 17 points (7-12 FG) and 8 rebounds. John Wall also had 17 points. I will reiterate my disappointment with John Wall's performance. He is a point guard who had 3 assists with 6 turnovers. He has averaged 7 turnovers a game in the Classic, which is never going to be a recipe for victories. I understand that John has been playing against the best competition in the nation in the Classic, but he is supposed to be the best player in the nation. Don't get me wrong, Wall has unbelievable talent, and as a State fan I would love to land Wall, I'm just a little shocked at the recent numbers.

Word of God is now 5-4 on the year which is a devastating record to a preseason Top 25 team.

C.J. Leslie is averaging 16.75 ppg and Wall is averaging 18.38 ppg.

Box Score

Centennial Advances to Championship Game...Walton Misses by a Hair

-Yesterday, Centennial High beat Butler with ease, winning 72-47. Lorenzo Brown had 20 points and he scored half of his points in the first quarter. He also added 11 assists, 8 rebounds, and 3 steals. Centennial advances to the championship game of the Prep All-Star's Invitational in Charlotte today at 7:30pm. Centennial is now 5-1 on the year and Lorenzo Brown is now averaging 20.67 ppg.

It should be noted that Centennial is looking like a power house as they have won by an average of 30 points per game in their 5 victories on the year.

-Walton High missed the championship by a hair last night in a gut-wrenching loss in double overtime to United Faith 110-109 (2OT). Ryan Harrow did all that he could to lead his squad to victory, scoring 26 points in the fourth quarter and two overtime periods, and finished the game with 38 points. He also tallied 12 assists on the night. Glen Rice Jr., the son of NBA star Glen Rice, who is committed to Georgia Tech, had 28 points in the game, including a three-point basket at the end of regulation to send the game into overtime. Walton plays today at 6pm against Butler in the Third-Place game.

Walton is now (4-3) on the year and Ryan Harrow is averaging a gaudy 32.43 ppg. It should be noted that two of their three losses have come in double overtime.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Wheeler Keeps Championship Hopes Alive...Word of God Falls

-Richard Howell and his Wheeler squad won their first game at the City of Palms Classic 101-84 against Lincoln (N.Y.). Richard had a double-double with 16 points and 12 rebounds. This keeps Wheeler's championship hopes alive and guarantees them a game on ESPNU on Tuesday in either the Third-Place game at 3:00pm or the Championship game at 5:00pm.

Wheeler plays tonight at 7pm against Mater Dei (California).

Richard is now averaging 18.5 ppg and Wheeler is now 4-2 on the year.

-Word of God lost to St. Patrick (N.J.) 77-69. C.J. Leslie had 20 points and 8 rebounds and John Wall had 21 points. John continued his turnover happy play in the Classic, putting up 0 assists with 7 turnovers. Word of God still has a shot to finish 5th in the Classic.

Word of God plays tonight at 5:15pm against Westchester (California).

John is now averaging 18.57 ppg and C.J. is averaging 16.71 ppg. Word of God is now a disappointing 5-3 on the year.

Checkout Sir Rich tossing a one-handed oop to Wake Forest commit Ari Stewart on the break. Dang Mr. Howell.

Lo-Brown and Harrow Victorious in Round 1

Lorenzo Brown's Centennial High and Ryan Harrow's Walton High both were victorious in the first round of the Prep All-Stars Holiday Classic in Charlotte on Saturday.

Centennial smashed Hunter Huss 72 - 39. Lorenzo Brown had 21 points to increase his season scoring average to 20.8 ppg. He also had 7 assists. Centennial increased their record to 4-1 on the season. They will play again tonight at 6pm and if they win tonight they will move on to the championship game tomorrow night at 7:30pm. If they lose they will play in the third place game at 6:00pm.

Walton defeated East Meck 80-68. Walton was losing the majority of the game but Ryan Harrow led them to victory with a huge third quarter surge. Ryan finished the game with 29 points. He is averaging 31.5 ppg on the season and Walton is now 4-2 on the season. They will play again tonight at 7:30pm and if they win they will play in the championship game tomorrow night at 7:30pm. If they lose they will play in the third place game at 6pm.

As you might have figured from reading this post, there is a good chance that Ryan and Lorenzo could end up playing each other in either the championship game or the third place game.

NC State 78 Lipscomb 58

The Pack picked up another win against Lipscomb on Saturday to move to 7-1 on the season. Lou and I were both out of town and were unable to go to the game...but here are a few notes from looking at the box score.

-State continued to shoot the ball well, shooting 50% from the field, and held Lipscomb to 35.5%. We currently lead the ACC in FG Percentage Defense and 3PT FG Percentage Defense.

-We finished the game with 20 assists and 9 turnovers. We are currently 3rd in the ACC in assists per game and 2nd in the ACC in Assist/Turnover ratio. This is a drastic improvement from last year.

-We continued to out-rebound our opponents by raking down 43 boards compared to Lipscomb's 35.

-On a final note Julius Mays brings in the Player of the Game award from Wolfpack Hoops as he put up 9 points and 7 assists, committing 0 turnovers, while filling in for the injured Javi Gonzalez.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Wall and Leslie Take Game 1 in Florida

Word of God came up with a huge win on the road last night as the Raleigh squad made a trip down to Florida to take on American Heritage in the City of Palms Classic in Florida. Word of God won 63-61 to move to 5-2 on the season.

-John Wall put up a gaudy fantasy basketball night, creeping near a triple-double by racking up 15 points (7-13 FG, 0-3 3PT, 1-4 FT), 8 rebounds, and 9 assists. He also had 2 blocks and three steals. One notable statistic that we would like to see decrease is the fact that he netted 9 turnovers. John Wall is now averaging 18.17 ppg.

-C.J. Leslie also had an extremely efficient game with 11 points (5-8 FG), 7 rebounds, 4 blocks, 2 assists, and 2 steals. C.J. also had 3 turnovers. C.J. is now averaging 16.17 ppg.

Box Score

Jerry Meyer of Rivals was at the game and here is what he had to say about Wall and Leslie:


"Wall simply dominated the first half with his speed and passing, racking up seven of his nine assists. As previously documented, Wall's speed with the ball, ability to change direction and court vision are as good as it gets. His diagonal passes against the grain were impressive in this game. In the third quarter American Heritage employed a zone press which slowed down Word of God's transition game and influenced other players than Wall to try to make plays."


"I had him for a lot more than four blocks in the official stats. The vast majority of Leslie's blocks came in the first half when he was active and challenged everything in the paint. A quick jumper, Leslie is a strong rebounder and shot blocker, but his offense is pretty much limited to a baseline spin move."

Jerry Meyer's Rival's Article

P.S. Frank Haith of Miami was at the game along with representatives of Duke and Kansas. No mention of the Pack being represented. Word of God will play St. Patrick's of New York on Saturday at 3:30.

Thursday, December 18, 2008



Pack outlasts Pirates 87-76

He's back. He's finally back. After a one year hiatus in which an injured knee and some personal problems hijacked his season, Brandon Costner had his 2008 coming out party. Playing with a bruised rib, Costner dropped 24 points and cleaned up 17 boards as he paced the Pack in their 87-76 victory over the ECU Pirates. It was only one year ago when the Pack walked out of Minges Coliseum stunned and embarrassed after taking a 75-69 loss to the Pirates. But this was a different day, and a very different team. With basically the same personnel (minus Grant and Hickson) the Wolfpack are showing a very different look. They are more unselfish, more disciplined, smarter, and more of a team than they were at any point last season.

Defense was the name of the game as the Pack held the Pirates to 38% shooting by staying in the passing lanes and playing impeccable team defense. Costner and McCauley were near unstoppable inside and out as State shot to the tune of 52% from the floor. This was even with ECU playing an aggressive 1-3-1 zone, which was designed to take away the inside game of McCauley(20 and 6), Costner, and Smith(11 and 2). But it was those three that imposed their will and led the Pack to victory.

We at WolfpackHoops were very impressed with a few things that we felt were the keys to success tonight. Obviously, the play of Brandon Costner was a breath of fresh air. Costner holds a very important key to the Wolfpack's season. If he can play like he did tonight, State will be a very tough team to beat. Remember, following the 06-07 season Costner was a on a lot of people's lists of players to watch nationally. Another big surprise was the play of Dennis Horner. He was extremely active in his 11 minutes on the floor. In his first action of the night, Horner grabbed an offensive rebound and had a nice put back followed by a vicious block on the other end. Lastly, we were extremely impressed (as usual) by the play of Ben McCauley and Tracy Smith. These two guys are starting to look unstoppable when they get their man 1 on 1 in the post. Whether it be Ben's crafty pivots or Tracy's pure power and athleticism, there hasn't been a team that has found an answer for these two. Having two dominant centers will surely come in handy come ACC time.

Overall it was a very good showing and a nice piece of payback handed out by the Pack, who by the way was minus one of their top scorers and senior leader, Courtney Fells, who missed the game with a bruised calf. If this game was a sign of things to come, then we are very optimistic about the remainder of the season.


-PG Farnold Degand saw his first significant action since Nov. 15th and looked fast, but still not 100%

-PF Javi Gonzalez hit a half court shot with .01 seconds remaining in the first half to give NC STATE a lead (45-42) at the half.

-State out-rebounded the Pirates 39-35

-State had 16 assists on 27 FG; a stat that continues to be a good one for the Pack and shows the unselfishness and offensive flow the Wolfpack have shown lately

-Attendance: 16,763

ECU vs. NCSU Box Score

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Offers on the Table

A question that gets asked all the time is: "What recruits actually hold offers from NC State?"

This is a very valid question and here is how the answer breaks down:

2009: In 2009 we already have commitments from Lorenzo Brown (GA), Richard Howell (GA), and Scott Wood (IN). We have also made offers to John Wall (PG), Derrick Favors (C), and DeMarcus Cousins (PF). All three of these players who still hold offers from the pack are consensus 5-star players that are in the Top-10 on everyone's list. In fact many lists contain all three of them in the Top-5.

2010: In 2010 we already have commitments from C.J. Leslie (SF, PF) and Ryan Harrow (PG). We also have an offer on the table for Reco McCarter (SF) who is a 3-star recruit out of North Carolina. Tashawn Mabry (SF) is a mystery, because he did hold an offer from the Pack at one point, but now the status of that offer is unknown. Tashawn is a 3-star recruit out of North Carolina.

2011: In 2011 we do not have any commitments at this point, but we have made an offer and are making a strong push for LaQuinton Ross (MS). LaQuinton is argued to be the best player in the 2011 class. We also have an offer on the table for Rodney Hood (SG) who is a 4-star recruit out of Mississippi and Word of God's Bishop Daniels (who also holds an offer from Memphis).

Quotes on Ryan Harrow

"I thought we made him (Harrow) work," Leib (Althoff, head coach) said. "He's a load. The only way to beat him is getting him off the bus with a bat or something. He's a good player.", December 30th

"According to Walton head coach Joe Goydish, opposing teams and fans are finding out about his star point guard.
"We played in a tournament in Tennessee over the weekend and we probably only brought about 20 [fans] with us," said Goydish. "By our last game in the tournament, there were probably four or five hundred people there mainly to watch him play. He's so fun to watch because he'll do something that will just make your jaw drop. Ryan loves to pass, and he really gets just as excited sometimes with great looks and feeds... he's made some unbelievable passes.
The kids love playing with him, and he's playing extremely well. He's come in and he's averaging right at 35 points a game and eight assists. He's finding his niche with the team... as far as working with Glen and some of the other kids that have been together all these years.""

- Pack Pride, December 12th

"On the other hand, Harrow showed exactly why Goydish called him 'one of the best in Georgia'. Harrow went on to score 30 points and had so many steals that I believe the JCPD is charging him with some sort of crime. His fluid shot, ball handling and quick moves captured the attention of everyone in the building, especially the Toppers Head Coach Ken Cutlip."
“Number 12 (Harrow), what a little waterbug,” said Cutlip, “he’s as quick as I’ve seen; I don’t know anybody that would want to bring the ball up against him.”", December 5th.

Luke Cothron 09-10 Season Stats


*CLICK IMAGE TO ENLARGE; Stats will be updated on this post after every game.

Richard Howell 08-09 Season Stats


*CLICK IMAGE TO ENLARGE; Stats will be updated on this post after every game.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

C.J. Leslie 08-09 Season Stats


*CLICK IMAGE TO ENLARGE; Stats will be updated on this post after every game.

John Wall: Profile


CLASS: 2009
TEAM: Word of God
STARS: Rivals and Scout-5 Stars
ESPN Grade: 98 (#5)
STATUS: Prospect
Offers: NC State, Memphis, Kansas, Duke, Baylor, Miami (FL), Oregon

John Wall is the "IT" guy for 2009. He is the #1 ranked PG in the nation, no questions about it. Wall can do it all, and do it all at almost an NBA level. He is faster than most at the college level and his court vision, hops, and finishing ability near the rim and (way) above the rim are unbelievable. It looks as if Wall is going to be one and done, but it would be great if he spent that one year in Raleigh. Wall plays at Word of God here in Raleigh, and his Mom is not in the best of health, so staying close to home for college is a plus for John. A commitment from Wall would go a long way for Sidney Lowe by putting his stamp on a Wolfpack program on the rise.


Lorenzo Brown 08-09 Season Stats


*CLICK IMAGE TO ENLARGE; Stats will be updated on this post after every game.

Richard Howell: Profile


CLASS: 2009
TEAMS: Wheeler High School (Marietta, GA)
STARS: Rivals and Scout-4 Stars
ESPN Grade: 92 (#65)
STATUS: Committed
Offer: NC State, Texas, Marquette, Oregon, Georgia, Virginia Tech, Auburn

Looking at Richard Howell, you'd think long and strong...and you'd be right. Howell is not just a bruiser though, he can put the ball in the hoop from the inside or beyond the arc. His strength is his post game where he is most comfortable facing you up and taking you off the dribble. But don't get us wrong, Richard Howell is not soft by any means, Bob Gibbons was quoted as saying that he believes Howell will have a more immediate impact than any other of the Wolfpack's '09 recruits. Richard comes in as the #15 PF, according to Rivals, and the #51 player overall.


Scott Wood 08-09 Season Stats


*CLICK IMAGE TO ENLARGE; Stats will be updated on this post after every game.

Lorenzo Brown: Profile


CLASS: 2009
TEAM: Centennial High School (Alpharetta, GA)
STARS: Rivals and Scout-4 Stars
ESPN Grade: 95 (#29)
STATUS: Committed
Offers: NC State, Florida, UCONN, Memphis

Lorenzo Brown is a do-it-all combo guard who should be ACC ready the day he steps on campus. Standing at 6'5, Brown is more comfortable at PG, where he currently slots in for his Centennial High team. His dribbling, shooting, and court vision are all way above average, and his ability to get to the hoop is uncanny. His ability to score along with his presence at the point is something the Wolfpack is sorely in need of and will surely welcome with open arms. According to Rivals, Lo Brown ranks in as the number 7 rated point guard and 43rd ranked player overall. According to Scout, he ranks in as the number 8 shooting guard in the nation.


Ryan Harrow 08-09 Season Stats


*CLICK IMAGE TO ENLARGE; Stats will be updated on this post after every game.

Scott Wood: Profile


CLASS: 2009
TEAM: Marion High School (Marion, IN)
STARS: Rivals and Scout - 3 Stars
ESPN Grade: 89
STATUS: Committed
Offers: NC State, Virginia Tech, Western Michigan, Butler, San Jose State, St. Louis

Scott Wood stands at 6'5 and weights 165 pounds and is a dead eye marksman from beyond the arc. His range is likely the best in the entire 2009 class. He is most comfortable catching and shooting, and has mastered the art of using screens and moving without the ball to create open shots. His release is extremely quick and his form is impeccable. Wood is a former teammate of current Wolfpacker Julius Mays. Mays and Wood are good friends and should certainly click when Wood arrives. Wood will bring a much needed scoring presence and he is the pure shooter the Pack has needed for a long time. According to both Scout and Rivals, Wood is the 29th ranked SG. Wood was also named ESPNU's Signing Day "Sleeper" of the 2009 class. He will certainly be a much needed addition to the 2009 squad.


Wednesday, December 10, 2008

CJ Leslie : Profile


WEIGHT: 190lbs
CLASS: 2010
TEAM: Word of God Christian Academy (Raleigh, NC)
STARS: Scout 5 Stars and Rivals 4 Stars (Scout #12, Rivals #51)
ESPN Grade: 97
STATUS: Prospect
Offers: NC State, Kentucky, Florida, Miami, Michigan St. and Arizona State
AAU Team: Lake Norman Wizards

CJ Leslie is only beginning to understand what he is capable of when he steps onto the court. This kid has the body and the skill set to become a Kevin Garnett Lite. He has the athletic ability to play and star at a high major, he has better hands than most players at his position, a shot with very good form, and the handles of a guard. This kid is going to be very special for the Wolfpack program. His footwork and quickness are almost unheard of in a man his size and his lust for the thunderous dunk or the mid game 360 will have the crowd on its toes at every moment. According to Scout, Leslie checks in as the number 4 PF in the nation.


Leslie is #5

Ryan Harrow: Profile


CLASS: 2010
TEAM: Walton High School (Marietta, GA)
STARS: Rivals 5 Stars and Scout 4 Stars (Rivals #25 and Scout #50)
ESPN Grade: 95
STATUS: Committed
AAU Team: Atlanta Celtics

Harrow is a small point guard with extreme quickness, magical handles, and a juicy jumper from anywhere on the floor. He stands at a not so intimidating 6'0, but Harrow sports the skills to become an elite point guard in the ACC. He is smart, crafty and has some of the best ball handling skills we've seen outside of the AND 1 mix tape. He was very under the radar before NC State stepped in, but since he's been in the spotlight Harrow has done nothing but impress. He's going to be a very good one.



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