Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Mail Time!!

Hey everyone, thanks for all the emails this week. This is our first installment of mailbag, which we will do every Tuesday morning. This is where we answer the questions you sent us over the week to the best of our ability. Each "Mail Time" will be archived, and will be able to be retrieved by clicking the "Mail Time" link on the right. Remember if you have a question about anything we've written, or anything you want to know about our Wolfpack, please feel free to email us at: Wolfpackhoopsblog@gmail.com.

What would you say the odds are, individually, of State landing each of the big 3 (Wall, Favors, Cousins)?

-Chad (New Jersey)

Well Chad, I think overall we are in a pretty good spot right now considering we are, or are rumored to be in the top 3 choices for each player...and this late in the game that is always a gigantic positive with top tier players such as these. The player who I think we have the lowest chance of landing is Cousins. We got in the game a little late and we hear he has a Memphis lean right now, but we also hear that the Pack is a close second, but of course everything depends on the whole Mike Davis situation and what happens to him at UAB. As for Wall and Favors...I think both of these kids are sincerely unsure of what their final decision is going to be. Wall is being pulled by his "basketball people" to choose Memphis, but his family surely would like him to stay close to home and play for State, especially his mother. We feel like with Wall it's a 55/45 Memphis lean at this point. Believe me when I say that John Wall knows how much the Pack wants and needs him, but a lot rests on whether Derrick Favors joins the Pack. If he does, we think Wall follows, but if he doesn't then all bets are off with Wall. That brings us to Favors. In our opinion Favors is the most likely to commit and the chances rise every time Georgia Tech loses a game. With Hewitt likely gone if GT continues to play the way it has this season, Favors will surely mark them off his list. The only other factor in this process is the Georgia Bulldogs, but it's hard for us to imagine a player of Favors quality going to a down-trodden SEC team that receives very little exposure. The only pull that Georgia has is that Favors' good friend Trey Tompkins will also be playing there, but will that be reason enough? Remember, Favors isn't looking for a degree, he's looking to get to the NBA. And with fellow ATL-ian, Hickson, probably putting in a good word about Lowe and the NBA, we believe Favors will run with the Pack (barring a GT season turnaround), as he has said that proximity to home will not factor into his decision. Again this is just us putting puzzle pieces together. Getting into the mind of the recruits is impossible, and we may be overlooking some gigantic factor that we just do not know about. But you can bet your bottom dollar that Sidney knows how important it is to land one of these guys, because the dominoes will fall.....and the Pack desperately needs to be on the right side of them.

Do you think that the Wolfpack has any chance of beating UNC or even stopping the game from being a blowout?

-Bill, Chapel Hill

Thanks for the question Bill. I'm going to start by asking if you saw the game on Sunday night? The one where Boston College gave UNC an embarrassing work down on national TV? Well if you did then you saw how to beat Carolina. BC attacked them with a lot of dribble drives by Sanders and Rice, which exposed the fact that without a healthy Marcus Ginyard, Carolina is not a very quick team outside of Lawson, and this is where they can be beaten. Carolina on defense is aggressive, but for the most part, undisciplined. Having Degand is very important for our game against UNC, as his ability to penetrate a defense brings a different dimension to this team and will be a big factor in the outcome of the game. Brandon Costner will be another one to watch. As of late he has been playing lights out, and against UNC, a team that doesn't really have anyone that can match up with his inside/outside ability, we may see a very big game from him. UNC is going to put on the pressure. Roy is not stupid, and he knows that turnovers and guard play have doomed us. Which is why I believe when Javi returns we will more often see a smaller line-up of Degand, Javi (or Mays), Fells, Costner, and McCauley. This will allow two capable ball handlers to be on the court against the smothering pressure of Carolina. Taking ball handling duties away from Fells will open him up to score more and will also help in limiting turnovers in the backcourt. Guarding UNC is another beast in itself. Stopping Lawson is a very hard task but as you saw on Sunday it can be done. The key is playing a disciplined defense and forcing Hansbrough and Thompson to catch the ball outside of their comfort zone, just as BC did. Obviously Carolina has superior athletes, but the Pack can surely hang with these guys. The outcome of this game depends a great deal on the discipline Coach Lowe can instill in our guys. To beat UNC you have to either out coach Roy Williams or catch UNC on an off day, and the chances of them all being off at once is slim to none.

Is Degand back to being 100%? Can he fill our point guard void?

-Greg, Raleigh

Degand got his brace off on January 1st and I think you could see an increase in his quickness and confidence against Florida on Saturday. If you've ever broken a bone or torn a ligament then you know that even after it is healed it takes a little while to truly get back to form. It's going to take some playing without the brace to convince Degand in his mind that he is 100%. While you can do all the rehab in the world, there are just some cuts and movement in basketball that you make that cannot be repeated by a machine or exercise. I think game by game you will see steady improvements in Farnold's game. A source on the training staff told us that Degand's body is 100% but his game isn't there yet, but assured us that this is normal and said "by season's end you won't believe that this is the same player you saw at the beginning of the season."

I really enjoy your blog. Do you work with the basketball program or the University? Are you going to keep this up all off season and next year too?

-Matt, Cary

Thanks Matt. To answer you question, no we do not work with the basketball program although we know a few guys in the program that relay us information. Nor do we work for the University, although we all graduated from NC State. And yes we will be working hard in the off season to bring you as much recruiting information and updates on what current players are doing with their time in the summer as we can. We are receiving a lot of positive feedback so yes we will continue this because we see it as a service to our fans who should have a place to come where its easy to navigate and get all the information that is out there about recruits and the current team. We want students and fans to know when a recruit is in the building, or when a local recruit is playing at a gym near them so they can do their part in the recruiting process by showing up and wearing Wolfpack Red. Our plan is underway to have a web designer, who is a student at State, work with us to bring you a clean and cool website dedicated solely to NC State Basketball that you can check everyday with updates about our team and our recruits.


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