Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Wolfpack gets the "Point", but Takes the Loss 78-64

We've got good news and we've got bad news....

The good news...it looks like the Pack have found their point guard. Freshman Julius Mays gave the Wolfpack fans a glimpse of the future and it was impressive. Mays took care of the ball and even put some of the scoring load on his shoulders as he went old school on us with an array of hesitation moves and pull up jumpers that netted him 13 points.

The bad news...and there is a lot of it.... is that it wasn't enough to overcome the Florida State Seminoles, who exploited the smaller, less physical NC State frontcourt, and made NC State pay for their carelessness. State took a loss on the home floor against an opponent that by all means, was beatable. The Wolfpack came out of the gates guns blazing...Fells knocked down a 3, Costner hit one, then added a few from the line. But that's when the wheels fell off. Once again the turnover bug bit, and bit hard. From that point on it was back and forth until the last minute when FSU pulled away. At the end of the day, it was those turnovers (16), the lack of presence on the boards (31-23), and poor interior defense down the stretch that led to the Pack's demise.

2 starters (Degand and Ferguson) were held scoreless and it seemed as if Sidney Lowe had no place to turn, trying line-up after line-up until he finally found the combination he liked. Julius Mays, CJ Williams, Johnny Thomas, Dennis Horner and Ben McCauley stepped in and kept the Wolfpack in the game down the stretch, giving the fans a totally different look, and a more refreshing brand of basketball. 3 freshmen, a bench player, and our starting center was the best line-up he could find? Well, as it turns out...yes. Out were the turnover prone Degand, and Fells, on the bench was the on again off again Costner. Sidney went with the 5 players who would defend, take care of the ball, and leave their heart on the floor, and 3 of those happened to be players he recruited.

If you are starting to see a trend, then you're not alone. Sid's recruits are coming into their own and you can see that they are better basketball players. None are one dimensional and all of them seem to have better than average basketball IQ. Let's take a look at the numbers:

-Sid's recruits shot an outstanding 13-18, and only turned the ball over 5 times.

-The players Sid inherited shot 10-35 and had the other 11 turnovers.

Sid realizes that he is going to need Fells, McCauley and Costner if he is going to win many games, because down the stretch there is nothing that can take the place of experience...but don't be surprised if you start to see Mays, Williams, Thomas and Smith a lot more than you're used to. These kids can play, and aside from Smith, they are all freshmen. So of course there is a lot to hang your head about tonight, Wolfpack Nation, but I think tonight we saw that Sid is starting to find his rotation, and these freshmen are starting to hit their stride.


-You may not see much of Javi anymore this season. Tied at 41-41, Sid gave Javi a chance to redeem himself after a slew of horrific performances. He rewarded Sidney with 2 turnovers in 3 minutes.

-Dennis Horner played much of the game in place of Brandon Costner. While we know Horner was hustling and giving 100%, it's just hard to sit Costner who has the ability to catch fire and single handedly take over a game. Horner continuously is out rebounded even when he boxes out, which cost the Pack a few key rebounds.

-Courtney Fells is just not all there. Don't get us wrong... Fells cares, he tries his hardest and wants to win more than anyone else on that floor. But his decision making and shot selection hurt us big tonight.

-Ben McCauley was for the most part ineffective tonight and Tracy Smith was having a nice night, and probably would've seen more minutes if it weren't for his right knee flaring up and needing ice.


3 Responses to "Wolfpack gets the "Point", but Takes the Loss 78-64"
  1. Bonnie said...
    January 13, 2009 at 10:52 PM

    You guys are the real deal. Your site ranks at the top of my list. Too bad our Wolfpack sucks.

  2. j.sol said...
    January 14, 2009 at 12:12 AM

    this is spot on. thanks guys for a great write up. i know it's gonna take time for our team to come together, i just wish other wolfpack fans can see that sid's guys are showing us some good things to look forward to in the future.

  3. Wolfpack Hoops said...
    January 14, 2009 at 1:28 AM

    Thanks guys we really appreciate it!


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