Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Cameron Bennerman College Dunk Contest

Sports Videos, News, Blogs

Ryan Harrow on the Mend


Playing basketball almost every day for about 8 months straight is not recommended. Just ask 2010 NC State commit Ryan Harrow, who started complaining of sore feet a few months ago. The aching arches had him icing and taping his feet before every game. He tried switching shoes, he was fitted for orthotics, but nothing seemed to work. After finally visiting a doctor and going through a round of X-rays two weeks ago, they got to the bottom of this foot aching mystery. 

Ryan had stress fractures in both feet, forcing him to shut it down for a while. However, after taking a couple weeks off, including a relaxing visit to Raleigh, Ryan is ready to get back at it. He said that he was feeling good and that he is starting to ease back into it. He told us  that he lightly tested his feet out for the first time yesterday and felt healthy. Although he still won't be able to do anything that involves any pounding on them for a while, he is certainly itching to get back out there. "I enjoyed (the rest) , but I'm ready to get back out there, I just want to play!"

It's good to hear that Ryan is making progress and will probably be able to return to the AAU circuit before the summer is out.  We'll keep you updated as best possible and would like to wish Ryan a speedy recovery and a relaxing  few weeks off. 

Monday, June 29, 2009

ACC Time Capsule: NC State's 1955 ACC Championship

In 1955, Everett Case guided the Pack to their second consecutive ACC Championship, and his second consecutive ACC Coach of the Year honor. NC State finished the regular season with a 25-4 overall record and a 12-2 record in conference play. Junior Ronnie Shavlik jumped right in and filled the shoes of Mel Thompson, who graduated the year before, and left a team void of their leader. Shavlik and Molodet, who were the Sophomore studs that forecasted so much hope for the Pack in the previous season, lived up to the hype. Both of them earned All-ACC honors, with Shavlik landing on the All-ACC First Team and Molodet landing on the All-ACC Second Team for the second straight year. As a Junior, Shavlik ranked 5th in the ACC in scoring (22.1ppg) and 2nd in rebounding (18.1rpg). Molodet was the model of consistency, averaging 13.5 points per contest, which was right in line with his production from the previous year (13.8ppg). 

NC State entered the ACC Tournament as the #1 seed, and they played how you would expect a #1 seed to play. The Pack matched up against Clemson in the first round, and NC State handed the Tigers a 25-point beating, winning 101-76. Next up for the Pack was Wake Forest. The Wolfpack again won with ease as they defeated the Demon Deacons 85-70. NC State made it three-for-three, beating the Duke Blue Devils 87-77 in the ACC championship game. Ronnie Shavlik (1st Team), Vic Molodet (2nd Team) and Phil DiNardo (2nd Team) were all selected to the All-Tournament team, with Shavlik claiming the MVP honors. His numbers were worthy of the honor, as he averaged 23.3 points and 18.0 rebounds in tournament play. 

This basketball team was purely dominant and no one will ever no what they might have accomplished. The Pack was held out of the NCAA tournament due to recruiting violations and Duke represented the ACC in their stead. Even though the Pack was held out of the prized tournament, they managed to finish the season ranked 4th in the AP poll.

The Josh Powell Basketball Camp

WHO: Youth that want to attend a basketball camp taught by Josh Powell and other NBA players and coaches.

WHAT: The Josh Powell Basketball Camp

WHEN: July 30th - Aug. 1st

WHERE: Vicksburg High School, Vicksburg MS

WHY: To bring awareness to youth about education, team work, and health & fitness. The camp will consist of one-on-one mentoring, health and fitness workshops and basic basketball 101 fundaments.

The Three-day Josh Powell Basketball Camp will be filled with fun and excitement for all the students and youth in the Vicksburg area. Participants will get a chance to interact with Professional NBA athletes and coaches. Several NBA Players and Coaches from the NBA have been invited to assist with The Josh Powell Basketball Camp.

The Mission of Josh Powell Basketball Camp is to bring awareness to youth about education, team work, and health & fitness. The camp will consist of one-on-one mentoring, health and fitness workshops and basic basketball 101 fundamentals.

The idea of bringing Professional NBA athletes to the Vicksburg area will not only bring excitement for the youth, but will give the community of Vicksburg a since of pride. The students will also be able to carry a life-time memory of participating with an NBA player from one of the most prestigious teams in the NBA. Participation in this historic event will be one remembered year after year!

A registration fee of $50.00 will cover the entire Three-Day Camp. The Three-Day camp will include enrichments classes & fitness/training fundamentals. One Camp T-shirt will be provided to each youth for participation in the camp. The camp will begin promptly at 8:00 AM and end approximately 12:00 Noon daily. There will be an awards ceremony on the last day of camp for all participants and the top performers.

Registration deadline is July 15, 2009. Please complete early registration, as space will be limited for enrollment. We look forward to your acceptance to the participation in the Josh Powell Basketball Camp.

To enroll your child "Click Here"

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Atsur Named to Turkish National Team

According to FIBA, Engin Atsür is on the preliminary roster of the 2009 Turkish Men’s Senior National Basketball Team for Eurobasket 2009. This is the qualifying tourney for the 2010 FIBA World championship, which will be held in Turkey. It is also the same tournament that, in 2006, saw Atsur guide Turkey to a 6th place finish.

This should come as no surprise, as Atsur was playing for Turkish National Teams even before he arrived in Raleigh for his freshman season. This season, Engin's stats have been nowhere to be found, however it is rumored that his heel problem that caused him so much trouble at NC State has resurfaced. We're not sure if he underwent surgery or has been simply rehabbing the heel, but his name on the Turkish National roster tells us that he must be on the mend.

We wish Engin the best, and will try to catch up with him in the near future.

Friday, June 26, 2009

WolfpackHoops.com T-Shirts : Now Available!

**We now are offering the Red "We All Bleed Red" Tees in sizes Small and Medium**

The "WolfpackHoops.com On-Line Store" is now open for business. To check out the T-Shirts we currently have in stock, just click on the tab on the top that says "Store," or the advertisement on the right. Shipping should take anywhere from 7-14 days and since this is the initial release, we don't have a giant inventory. More are on the way, so if we sell out you can still "back order" and we'll ship your shirt as soon as we get more in stock.

To assure safe payment, we used "PayPal," which accepts all major credit cards.

If you are in the Greensboro area and are interested in the "We All Bleed Red" Tee, you can email Cam Bennerman (cb@likuidnation.com) and simply pick up a shirt from him, as he has some in stock. However, they will only be with Cam for this weekend. After that you will have to go through the online store to purchase one.

Thanks for all your support and we hope you enjoy your T-shirts!

The Next Step For Fells

After watching the entire NBA draft last night and not hearing a Pack player's name called, we were determined to see what was next for our aspiring professional basketball players. Courtney Fells created quite a name for himself during the NBA workouts, and we were sure that even though he was not drafted last night, NBA teams were still calling for his services. We just received an update from Courtney Fells' agent Jamie Knox who informed us that Courtney will be playing in the NBA Summer League with the Orlando Magic. He also said that Fells had a monster workout with the New Jersey Nets and that while they were very interested in him playing with them in the summer league, the Magic seem to be the best fit at this point. Jamie also said that there is some interest in him participating in the Vegas summer league as well. It is exciting to see that even though Courtney didn't hear his name called last night, the NBA still looks like a strong possibility.

Hickson's Back Acting Up

Former NC State star, JJ Hickson, is still feeling the lingering pain of the back spasms that kept him out of action earlier in the season. After an MRI, doctors confirmed that there is no structural damage or disk problems that are apparent. This news is a sigh of relief for Hickson, who was nervous about the prospect of off-season surgery. Although there is nothing seriously wrong, JJ said that it is "very doubtful" that he'll be able to participate in NBA Summer League games this year. The Cavaliers are looking for him to be ready for training camp in October, where he'll be slotting in as a nice compliment to new addition, Shaquille O'Neal. We'll keep you updated on JJ's status as the off-season continues.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Burleson on a "Mission"

This Sunday there is a chance for you to go out and support one of the greatest players to ever play for the Pack. According to the Franklin Press Tommy Burleson will be the guest speaker at First Presbyterian Church in Franklin, North Carolina. 
"At the 9 a.m. and 11 a.m. services, Burleson will speak on his 23-year Christian Evangelistic Ministry through basketball camps for youth and international work in Malawi, Africa, with the Nkhoma Hospital."

"In addition to delivering the sermon at the two morning services, Burleson will be available to answer questions and share experiences in the church Fellowship Hall between services.The community is warmly welcomed to attend."

No matter what your personal religious convictions are, you have to admire the ministry that Burleson has been doing in Africa over the past 23 years, and I'm sure he would appreciate your support this Sunday.

Here is the address and contact information of the church.

26 Church St, Franklin, NC 28734     
(828) 524-3119

Jerseys In the Rafters: Dick Dickey (1947-1950)

Many NC State fans are well versed in the history of the University and it's basketball program. On the other hand, there are also a large number of fans that have never heard all the stories or know all the players who helped build the storied history of NC State. Throughout the off-season we will be highlighting each and every player that had a big enough impact to have their jersey hung in the rafters of the RBC Center. Without further ado, we'd like to introduce... "Jerseys in the Rafters."

Let's start off with a few questions for all you NC State Basketball historians out there.

Who was...

- the only 4-time All-Conference selection in NC State history?

-the first NC State Basketball player to be drafted to the NBA?

- the 8th leading scorer in school history?

If you answered all three questions with "Dick Dickey", you'd be correct. When talking NC State Basketball history, many will throw out names like Thompson, Monroe, Corchiani, but few mention the accolade-laden Dickey. Dick, born in Alexandria, Indiana, was the first real superstar to wear the red and white. Recruited by Everett Case, Dickey was one of the pioneers of the college game and helped put NC State basketball on the map by being named to the National All-American team 3 different times, one of only 3 Wolfpackers to ever accomplish such a feat. The Pack has been to the Final Four on three separate occasions. Most of us are well versed in the previous two Final Fours, however, the trip in 1950 is not as well documented. In 1950, NC State was led by the marvelous scoring and nationally recognized star, Dick Dickey. Although the Pack did not take home the trophy that season, Dickey was named to the 1950 NCAA Final Four All-Tournament Team. This capped an extremely successful and extremely consistent career in which he scored 1,644 points and led the Wolfpack to an overall record of 107-82.

After college, Dickey was drafted by the Baltimore Bullets, making him the first player from NC State to ever play in the NBA. He ended up as a journeyman, playing for the Anderson Packers(NBL) before moving on to the Boston Celtics. In 2005, Dickey was inducted into the college basketball hall of fame and also voted one of the top 5 players to ever play at NC State University, and having the privilege of getting his "Jersey in the Rafters."

Dick Dickey passed away in 2006. He was 79.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Aldridge Calls Fells A Sleeper


Earlier today on NBA.com TNT's David Aldridge went one-on-one with some NBA bloggers, answering their questions about tomorrows NBA draft. When asked about who he thought were sleepers in tomorrows draft, Courtney Fells was one of the two names that he threw out.

"Who are some of your sleepers in this Draft?

DA: Oh boy, sleeper that's always kind of a loaded question. If you're talking about a guy that nobody's heard of, that nobody knows anything about...I'll give you a couple guys that I think might have a chance to surprise some people...the other guy is Courtney Fells out of NC State, a guy that was kind of up and down the last couple years at NC State. He's an incredible, freakish athlete that may be one of those guys that comes out as a free agent or a second round pick. He's going to be one of those highlight reel guys that people are going to like seeing."

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Harrow Enjoys Relaxing Trip To Raleigh

Last week, NC State commit Ryan Harrow dropped by Raleigh as he was unable to participate in the NBA camp due to the doctor's orders to rest his injured feet. Ryan was on campus from Wednesday through this past Sunday. We talked with him yesterday and he informed us that he really enjoyed his stay at NC State. He said that he hung out with the team a majority of the time, spending most of the weekend with Julius and Tracy. Ryan was either at the gym watching the guys play, hanging out at the mall, or playing video games back at the apartments. So, what did he enjoy most about his trip to Raleigh? "The Cheesecake Factory at Crabtree and playing video games with Tracy, Julius, Josh Davis and Lorenzo Brown." he told us. 2009 commit Lorenzo Brown was also in town taking his official visit. Ryan also said that he enjoyed signing a few autographs for the younger kids that were up at State for basketball camp. Ryan will still attend the upcoming Deron Williams camp, even though he won't be able to participate. He did say that he will be ready when the AAU circuit starts back up in July, with the Atlanta Celtics kicking things off at the Adidas Take-5 Tournament.

Lorenzo Brown Highlight Reel

Here's a Lorenzo Brown (2009 NC State Commit) highlight reel with a lot of never before seen footage, courtesy of our friends over at OneEntertainment.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Catching Up With Brandon Costner

With the NBA Draft coming up this Thursday night, we thought that we would catch up with Brandon Costner to see how he is feeling with the big day approaching. The former McDonald's All-American has been trying to show that he belongs in the NBA by attending every workout possible and leaving with positive feedback wherever he has been. Here is how our conversation with Brandon broke down:

WPH:How have the NBA workouts been going and what has been the feedback that you’ve been getting?

Costner: Things have been going very well. I'm very upbeat. I had my last workout with the Nets 2 days ago. In all of the workouts I thought I really played well, and showed these guys that I belong and that I’m an NBA player. I'm really excited.

WPH: What has the competition been like at the NBA workouts?

Costner: The competition has been tough. Each workout is different and the intensity varies. Some teams run you to death and then play you to see if you will quit. Other are more interested in seeing your skills by doing drills and playing games of 3-on-3 and 1-on-1.

WPH: Obviously your pursuing a career in basketball, but what are some of your other aspirations in life? What do you plan on doing "when the ball stops bouncing"?

Costner: Hopefully I can milk basketball as long as possible. But my future lies in youth. I would like to develop a basketball academy and teach the game and teach fundamentals. I want to be a leader and a mentor to younger people. I would also like to start a non-profit organization one day that gives inner city kids the chance to learn to play sports that they might not be accustomed to like golf and tennis. I really want to do as much as I can to affect as many young people as I can. So many people were instrumental in helping me become the person I am today and I want to do the same for others.

WPH: How would you describe your time at NC State?

Costner: I really enjoyed my time. I was there all four years. I gave the school all I had. Obviously I wish we could have been more successful, but I wouldn’t change anything for the world.

WPH: What is your favorite memory from playing basketball with the Pack?

Costner: I would have to say making the tournament finals my Freshmen year. My biggest thing is winning and we were playing some of our best basketball then.

WPH: What is your relationship like with Coach Lowe?

Costner: I have a real good relationship with Coach Lowe. I talked with him 2 days ago to give him an update on how every thing is going. It’s the type of relationship that a player should have with his coach.

WPH: Why did you decide to forego your Senior season?

Costner: It really had a lot to do with me graduating. I also think that it is hard to ignore the grumbling around campus and from the Wolfpack Nation about how many wanted to see the old regime out of there. When the majority of people had negative things to say to me, I kind of got the feeling that it was my time.

WPH: How much do you think the negativity of the fanbase and media outlets affects you as a player and the team as a whole?

Costner: I wouldn’t say that it consumes us, but we definitely hear it. Seeing that this is a our job, we understand that it is part of the territory and we are used to it. The ignorant rumors and people saying that we don’t care about the university and that we don’t care about winning hurt. Half the people don’t know how much goes into what we do every day. Bottom line nobody loses on purpose. It’s the paper, it’s the friends at school who read this stuff religiously. They come up and say "did you see what so and so said about you." Then we go and see what people have said. One of the biggest things was the year that J.J. was here. I think that as a team it affected us and we were out there trying our best and they are saying that we have chemistry issues and that Gavin is messing with my girlfriend. The thing is, we all get along and we are a really tight team. I mean we all hang out outside of basketball.

WPH: Did all of this negativity leave a bad taste in your mouth when it comes to your opinion of NC State?

Costner:I definitely don’t have a bad taste in my mouth. I truly believe that the State fans that supported me and my teammates and the people that are really positive and love the university made my time at State worthwhile.

WPH: What relationships did you develop with your teammates that you think will last into the future?

Costner: From day one on campus me and Courtney have kind of been inseparable. I talk with Ben, Simon and Trevor every day. We all became very close especially because of everything we went through. I see us doing that through the rest of my life. All of the NC State alumni and the present team make a big Wolfpack family. People like Josh Powell, Marcus Melvin and Anthony Grundy have come back and been big impacts on all of us. They all come back and play and workout in the summer. If we are not talking every day then it is every week. All of us have a lasting bond and friendship. It's a huge family. I talked with Engin all last year and he is one of my best friends. They are the ones that teach us how to be student athletes and better people.

WPH: Are you going to be like the Alumni that you have mentioned, coming back in the summers and pouring into the Pack players?

Costner: Oh definitely. I want to come back and be one of the guys like Josh Powell, who took me under his wing. I want to come back and pass on the tradition.

WPH: Thank you so much for your time Brandon. We wish you the best and look forward to following you wherever you go.

We really appreciate Brandon's honesty and transparency. I hope that this interview will be read by as many State fans as possible. I think Brandon's words are important to hear. The words that we say and the words that we type can truly be detrimental to the health of our Basketball program.

Thank you Brandon for all that you gave to this university!

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Fowler And Lowe On Same Page

This past Friday morning in the News & Observer, J.P. Giglio ran a piece entitled "Lowe, Fowler Envision Progress". Fowler's words in this article were very complimentary of Coach Lowe and of the direction that the basketball program is heading.

"He and Fowler are on the same page.

"There's no ultimatum that he has to make the [NCAA] tournament to keep his job," Fowler said Thursday. "The main thing is to make progress. Like he does, I feel like the program is headed in the right direction."

Fowler said he hasn't put any kind of timeline on Lowe, whose contract runs through the 2012-13 season. Fowler said both sides understand the expectations at a school that has won two national titles and shares a backyard with national powers North Carolina and Duke.

"We should finish in the top half of the league, at the minimum, and get to the tournament every year," Fowler said. "I think with the great class he's bringing in, we're going to have a great chance to do that, if not this year, then in the near future."

Happy Birthday Scott Wood!

We here at Wolfpack Hoops would like to wish Scott Wood a Happy Birthday today. Scott and the rest of his family are frequent visitors here, and I'm sure it would mean a lot if all of you wished Scott a Happy Birthday as well. Scott will be arriving on campus next Sunday along with a majority of the other members of the '09 class. Happy Birthday Scott!

Saturday, June 20, 2009

A Couple Of Courtney Fells Notes

-Earlier this week Marcus Thornton was interviewed by NBADraft.net, and when asked who the toughest player was that he had gone up against in the NBA workouts, he had this to say:

"Who is the toughest player you've gone against in the workouts, anyone standout to you?

Courtney Fells from N.C. State, he's a guy who's not to high on a lot of people's draft boards but from the times I've played against him he impressed me a lot"

-Also, The Sporting News got the chance to interview a lot of the NBA prospects this week and Courtney Fells happened to be one of them.

Q: What do you expect will be the biggest transition from college to the NBA?

N.C. State's Courtney Fells: Everybody's better. Everybody can shoot in this league. You've just got to be ready to go. You're going to be a rookie, so you're going to get a lot of fouls called on you.

What was your most memorable college moment?

N.C. State's Courtney Fells: "Winning a championship with my team down in Orlando, the Old Spice classic. That was one of the best feelings I've had."

Friday, June 19, 2009

WolfpackHoops.com's "Design Our T-Shirt Contest" Finalists

Here are the top 4 Finalists in the WolfpackHoops.com "Design Our T-Shirt" contest. We had a lot of great entries and we thank everyone who submitted one. There were some very good ones with designs that just had too many colors and were too complicated to get pressed (meaning they'd cost way more.) So althought these are somewhat simple, we would be able to get these printed and out to you fast and at a fair price.

Now it's your turn to pick the winner (We may actually take the top 2.) To vote just post a comment letting us know which one you want. For you to vote, simply post a comment letting us know which T-Shirt you like. One vote per person please. That being said...Vote Away!

#1 We All Bleed Red Submitted by: Likuid Nation/Pinc

#2 The Positive Voice of Wolfpack Basketball

#3 WPH Red Outline

#4 Wolf Logo

Open Thread

I'm down at the beach on vacation and I'm sitting here under an umbrella brainstorming on a good topic for an Open Thread. I thought this would stir up some good conversation. When you look back on the history of our basketball program, who makes the All-NC State 1st Team? Second Team? Third Team? Honorable Mention?

ACC Time Capsule: NC State's 1954 ACC Championship

One of our goals here at Wolfpack Hoops is to help educate the Wolfpack Nation on the legacy of our basketball program. In fact, when you look back in ACC history you will find that NC State layed the foundation of the ACC basketball tradition. Over the summer we will be covering all of our ACC championships, our honored jerseys in the rafters, and both of our NCAA championships. We have a rich basketball history at NC State and sometimes I think that is forgotten. In this article we will be covering the Pack's 1st ACC championship.

After arriving at NC State in 1946, Everett Case wasted no time, scooping up 5 quick Southern Conference Championships. He was one of the proponets of the formation of the ACC and his extreme success in the Southern Conference helped open people's eyes that a better brand of basketball was needed. The Pack's 1st ACC Championship came in 1954 (which was actually the 1st of a three-peat), with Case at the helm. Not only was this the 1st ACC Championship for the Pack, but it was also the 1st year of the ACC Tournament. Case's '54 squad was led by 1st Team All-ACC Senior Mel Thompson. He had a productive Senior campaign averaging 18.6 points per contest, which ranked him 4th in the ACC. The Pack also had a studded Sophomore class that was headlined by Guard Vic Molodet and Center Ronnie Shavlik. Molodet was a 5'11 guard out of Chicago who entertained the crowds with his ballhandling and flashy style of play. His Sophomore campaign was so impressive that he earned 2nd Team All-ACC honors. Ronnie Shavlik was a 6'8 Center out of Denver and also made noise within the ACC as a Sophomore, ranking 2nd in the ACC in rebounding, pulling down 13.4 boards a game.

The ACC was in its elementary stages and in 1954 they had yet to establish a system where every team played an equal amount of ACC games. The ACC schedule for each team was sporadic to say the least. One team played a mere 5 ACC games and another played 12. The Pack played 8 ACC games going 5-3, ranking them 4th in the league. After going 21-7 during the regular season the Pack didn't finish the regular season ranked, even though they were in and out of the rankings through out the year. They entered the inaugural ACC Tournament as the #4 seed. The Pack might have held a slight advantage with the tournament being held in the sacred Reynolds Colliseum. I think all of us would covet the cost of admission to the '54 ACC tourney. You could buy tickets for the entire tournament for only $10. It must have been a beautiful thing to see the Wolfpack take down each member of the Tobacco Road crew.
39,200 people attended the 1954 ACC tournament. The Pack began their destruction of the Tobacco Road crew by handling #5 seed UNC 52-51 in their Quarterfinals. The Duke Blue Devils were the next victims, falling to the boys in Red & White 79-75 in the Semifinals. The State fans probably had their nerves shot by the end of the tournament, as none of the wins came in an easy manner. NC State went on to claim the ACC Title by defeating the Wake Forest Demon Deacons 82-80 in Overtime. Mel Thompson and Ronnie Shavlik were selected to the All-Tournament First Team and Herb Appelbaum was selected to the Second Team.

The ACC Tournament held a lot more weight back then, because the winner was the only team to represent the ACC in the NCAA Tournament. The Pack went on to win two out of their three games, as they represented the ACC in the NCAA Tournament. The Pack was victorious in the opening round of the tourney, defeating George Washington 75-73. After loosing to La Salle in the Second Round 81-88, they went on to defeat Cornell 65-54 in the 3rd place Regional game. The Pack could hold their head high knowing that they lost to the team that went on to win the National Championship in La Salle.

State finished the season with a record of 26-7 and finished the season 10th in the AP poll and 14th in the Coaches Poll. Everett Case's incredible run in the inaugural ACC tourney earned him the Coach of the Year award in the ACC, and this would become one of many in his 18 year career at NC State.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Wood Has Slightly Torn MCL, No Surgery Required

We reported the other night that Scott Wood had injured his knee during an All-Star game last weekend. Scott informed us two nights ago that he "felt fine" even though he was still "limping around a bit." The doctors told him the other day that they didn't believe that he had any major structural damage in his knee, but they would have to wait for the results of the MRI. Scott sent us a text today and let us know that the MRI results showed that he has a partially torn MCL, but surgery will not be required. Three to four weeks of rest is the recipe that the doctor ordered. Scott will still report with a majority of the '09 class on June 28th. This is great news for Scott and for the Pack.

Sidney Lowe Press Conference : 6-18-09 (Part 2)

Q: Coming into your fourth year does it feel like its actually your first, seeing as this is the first season with your players?

Coach Lowe:
"It does, it does, because it is the first time we're going to be young. It's the first time that it's going to be the majority of my guys."

Q: Do you feel like this is your chance to put your stamp on the program?

Coach Lowe:
"Absolutely, absolutely. There is no question about it and I've gotten that from three different college coaches. "This is your chance to make a mark, this is your chance to change things...you can change the culture"

Q: Who were the 3 coaches?

Coach Lowe:
"Tubby Smith, Tom Izzo and Todd Bozeman."

Q: Does that type of thing excite you, does this opportunity excite you?

Coach Lowe: "I'm excited. I'm extremely excited. I just like the way the guys are together right now. The way they're carrying on, the way they're working. I'm excited about the guys I know are going to be better. I really expect Dennis Horner to have a great year for us, I really do. I didn't recruit him, but you know what, he stuck it out, he stayed here. He could have left. He's bigger now, he's been in the gym, he's working out, his mind set is good. I think Javi is going to be better. I think Johny is going to be better, he's going to play more. I'm just really excited."

Q: Can you talk about Farnold's knee? It just never seemed to be right last year.

Coach Lowe:
"Yeah, that concerns me a little. You know, he took some time off and he actually went home to Boston, but that is going to be a key for us. See, because we'll have situation where he and Javi are in the game at the same time. We could have Farnold and Julius in the game at the same time. We need to have flexibility to move guys around, we need to have ball handlers to be able to go small. Lorenzo is 6'4, he can go the small forward. He can give us a great advantage there with his quickness and I wouldn't be concerned with his rebounding because he rebounds pretty well for his size. But, Farnold's knee is going to be crucial for us.

Q: Do you see C.J. as more of a 3 because of his size or I know you could slot him in at the 2. Where do you think he'll see most of the time?

Coach Lowe: I see him more as a 2. I think he can play 3 at times but he's a 2. I think he's settling in at that, and he knows that is his position.

Q: It seems Painter and Howell are very similar. Can you talk about the difference between the two?

Coach Lowe:
Deshawn is a longer and a little more bouncier than Richard. Richard probably can face up and shoot a little better, but yeah Deshawn is long.

Q: How is everybody eligibility wise (referring to the incoming freshmen)? Is everybody all set to go?

Coach Lowe:
"We're hoping so. Right now they're all getting there academic stuff in. There are few things that were late coming in. We're ready for everybody, but we have 2 guys that have some stuff to come in, but it's not a problem. It's just the Clearinghouse needing to get something and the school having to get something and the school hasn't gotten it yet."

Q: We never got your take on the John Wall circus. What was your thought process on watching that unfold?

Coach Lowe:
"You know, my only thing is that I wanted the best for him. He's a young man that is very talented and I think the media attention came quick and fast and in mass amounts. I think he'll be fine. He's a good young man and I just hope the best for him."

Q: Is Vandenberg a project or can he help this year?

Coach Lowe: "I think in some areas. I think with his size he can help us out on the defensive end. He actually has a nice shot, 15 to 16 feet out. He has good footwork, good hands. I think he'll need to work on his size, he needs to get bigger with the guys in our conference. But he's really not a project. He does have skills. When you say project I think of a big guy that has no skills. I think Jordan will advance a little quicker than that. "

Q: With most all of the great guards exiting the ACC, if there was ever a good time to be young, is this year the time?

Coach Lowe: "Yes it is. If there is ever a time...yes, because that's the way it is. When you play experienced guards it's hard, it's hard to beat a team with that. I think this is a great time for us. Hopefully we can advance and we can have those experienced guards. Certainly Javi has had his share with opening up against Carolina and Clemson his freshman year.

Q: How do you feel about the 1 year rule in college basketball?

Coach Lowe:
"We certainly would like to keep them more than one year. I guess I think that's best. So I guess if they want to go, let them go because the ones thinking one year, often times they'll choose a school for the wrong reason. Maybe if there was a 2 year rule they would think a little more about it, think about everything that is involved. I don't think a lot of kids think about things outside of basketball. What's going to happen when the ball stops bouncing. Would I like to live in that city? Am I going to be loved in that city. Kind of like when you're playing home, there's nothing like playing at home around people that know you and grew up with you. "

Q: How do you feel Tracy will do now that he'll be keyed on. How will that change his game, if at all?

Coach Lowe: "Obviously he'll have to continuously improve and get better and get smarter. He'll have to recognize when teams are doing things, and he'll have to be unselfish and sacrifice when teams decide to double him down there. He'll have to make the appropriate passes and trust his teammates to make shots. It might be frustrating for him at times, but he'll get through. He'll get though not just because we'll teach him, but his teammates will help him."

Q: (WPH) Coach, you mentioned that you feel C.J. is more of a 2. If he's slotted in there, who do you see competing for the small forward spot?

Coach Lowe: Johnny and Scott. Scott Wood is a solid, solid player. He's going to be a freshman and he'll make some mistakes, but he's a solid basketball palyer. He'll need to get bigger and stronger, but as far as knowing the game, he knows it and he knows how to win. Johnny he just plays hard, he plays so hard. I feel very comfortable with those 2 guys and we'll see through practice who is going to start. "

Q: What about Dennis, what do you see his role being?

Coach Lowe: Dennis will be at the 4. He could play some 3 but that's the thing, we'll have a team where we can move the guys around. It'll be a luxury for us. Hopefully we'll have 2 maybe 3 guys that can handle the ball and make good decisions for us on the court. I just see Dennis more as a 4, I feel he's more effective as a 4. He gives us the luxury of being able to stretch the defense by stepping out and pulling the 4's out.

Q: Was there a To-Do list this off-season?

Coach Lowe: "Te get better at everything and I feel very comfortable and confident in that. I don't know if you've seen any of our guys, but if you have you'll see. They're different, they're just different. Their expressions are different, their mindsets are different, their bodies are different. Dennis Horner likes to walk around with his shirt off for the first time. It's interesting. He's proud of his work. When you see our guys you'll be able to see and it's because of the extra work they're putting in. No one is telling them to be in the gym at 6:30am. They're in there working out, that's what they are doing. Kind of the same thing J.J. did."

Q: (WPH) How is Johnny's knee holding up? Is he still touch and go?

Coach Lowe: "No, Johnny is a go. It is what it is. It will be sore and it will swell, but he can bounce right back. He wants this to be a big year for him. It's kind of like he needs to get in there and get after it or get out. He's definitely ready to go.

Sidney Lowe Press Conference : 6-18-09 (Part 1)

Sidney Lowe held his summer press conference this morning and we were there to get the inside scoop on what's been going on with the team this off-season. Usually you get a watered down, version of simply the highlights from the press conference. Here at WolfpackHoops.com, we want you to be as informed as possible. So, although it will be a long read, we will give you a rundown of each question asked and what Coach Lowe had to say. So without further ado, we bring you Coach Lowe's Summer Press Conference (Part 1):

Q: Coach, what is the mindset going into this season, seeing as this is your first real season with your guys?

Coach Lowe: "I see it going definitely up. I see it going in the right direction. I'm excited about the players we have coming back and the players that we have coming in and going forward because these are the guys that we were able to get in on early in the recruiting process. Now we're starting to get some of the top players and it's going to continue to be that way. I mean, I'm excited"

Q: Is this a "make or break" year for you or is this a year where you are simply looking to make progress?

Coach Lowe:
"Um, for me, as a coach you are always trying to get better. This is my fourth year and this is where a lot of coaches are their second year, as in bringing in such a big class. Of course, these are going to be all my guys, guys I had the opportunity to watch as high school players. So instead of being young our second year, we're going to be young our fourth year. I think the thing to watch this year is the progress. We'll have 6 freshmen and then some sophomores logging some major minutes. I think throughout the nation when you see a team this young, you're looking for progress. I think we're going to be better. We'll be more versatile in some positions and be able to play a little different style at times. As far as I'm concerned when you look at a young team, you look for growth, you look to get better. The guys coming back, you'll see improvement in them, but I think as a team we'll do some things well."

Q: Coach, have to talked with Lee Fowler about expectations for this coming year?

Coach Lowe: "I talk with Lee all the time. I know his expectations and he knows mine and they haven't changed. The thing is the reality of where we are, and of who we are. We're a young team and obviously winning is the most important thing, but you have to look for progress, you have to look for development and sometimes that can translate into winning. I feel very comfortable and very confident. I think the guys coming back have had great experiences playing, I think they feel better. This is the first time we've had guys coming in at 6:30 in the morning doing their own thing. To hear the conversations they are having, it's encouraging. As far as expectations it's always to win. You have to be realistic but sometimes special things happen. But, you have to look for progress and we have 6 young guys coming in, but I feel confident in those guys and the guys coming back."

Q: So Duke wins the ACC last year and Carolina wins a National Championship. Do feel that will make the expectations rise?

Coach Lowe:
"I think that happened when I walked in the door. That's just the way it is. It's no different than I've always thought. I expect us to win and that's why I was so disappointed at times in the past. I felt we should have won games and we didn't do everything we had to do. So yeah, I am fully aware of that and I knew that coming in and taking this job. I also know though, that we can get that done but you've got to have the right people in place. Sometimes time is a factor. Time for us to develop and get our players. In the conference, time for the older guys, the top players to graduate."

Q: As far as coaching and recruiting, where do you feel you are now compared to where you were when you first arrived?

Coach Lowe: "I definitely know I'm more aware of the dynamics of this job. The most important thing, and I probably should have known this coming in here, the most important thing is that you go out and get the players. You've got to get good players, good people, players that are committed. I think you look at the top programs, they find the guys that are committed. It's got to be 1 to 13, not just five guys, everyone committed and that's what it takes. The great coaches, if you look at their personnel, it wasn't until they got their personnel there that they started to take off. A lot of great coaches, even ones in the hall of fame, some of them struggled their first three years. You've got to make sure that you have everyone on the same page just striving to win."

Q: (WPH) Coach, with Ben and Courtney gone, who are you looking for to step up as a leader?

Coach Lowe:
"You know, it's interesting. I think I said this some last year. I talked about CJ Williams and Julius Mays, just how they approach the game and their demeanor. Those two guys have stepped up this summer and are leading this thing about working out and also Johnny at times. They're in the gym working out until 10 at night. They're working individually and talking to guys about winning and what we have to do to win. So, CJ and Julius are two guys that I feel will step up and step up in the right way. That's what's important."

Q: Could Lorenzo also be a leader next year?

Coach Lowe: "Yeah, he could, but Lorenzo is a little quiet. He may not vocally but certainly in his play. I don't think he's afraid to tell a guy in his way "Hey, you're not getting it done, you have to do something." I think, he too might be a little hesitant coming in as a freshman, something I don't agree with, but young men are who they are. I think CJ, if guys are willing to accept and I think they will, he and Julius will be our leaders."

Q: Guard play has been spurratic the past couple seasons. Who do you think will step up and take that guard role for you?

Coach Lowe:
"I think it's going to be a competition. I can't say who is going to do that. Our point guards are different personalities. Javi is a go-getter, but Javi isn't going to verbalize much, he's not going to talk much to guys. Now, he'll get mad at a guy, but he's a little different in his way of leading. Julius is more of a leader. Farnold is similar to Javi. Farnold is "on Farnold." Julius is more in tune with the entire dynamic of playing the position. Part of that could be that Javi was a scorer in high school so he really didn't have that strong mentality of the whole position, but certainly he's capable of running a team and he's looking outstanding right now. So, again, I'm not sure which one is going to step up and take that position.

Q: How important is it for you to find a consistent rotation coming into the season?

Coach Lowe: " It's very important, but once again it's consistency in play. I think a coach likes to go into the season with a rotation, but if that person coming off the bench first at that position is not playing well, then you have to go back with your starter and go with somebody else. Even teams that win a national championship, if you're not playing well you get them out of there and have to give somebody else a try. So it's very important that our guys are consistent in their play which will enable us to have a solid rotation.

Q: A lot of older fans know the history of NC State, but the younger guys weren't born yet. How do you go about recruiting when the kids aren't educated on the history and tradition of the University?

Coach Lowe: "We still have to try to educate them on it and make them aware. You're right, they don't remember even when I played, so certainly they don't remember the best college basketball player to ever play the game, David Thompson. We still have to show them the history of this university, our facilities and the opprotunity. That's the thing, opportunity to play in this conference. See, I want players that want to make a name for themselves. It's an interesting dynamic now, where players want to play for schools that have other All-American players so they can win a national championship...and a lot of times that still doesn't happen. A lot of times, when I came out, you wanted to go somewhere where you could do something special, where you'd get an opportunity to play and either put that team on the map or back on the map. That's something I talk to the guys about, and if you find those type of guys, you know they are here for a reason, they're here to get something done. I think we're going in the right direction with the guys coming in next year and after that. They all understand and have said things like that, about coming in and doing something special."

Q: Do you see the incoming class having a big impact on the court this coming season?

Coach Lowe: "Impact wise I don't know, but they're all going to play, they're going to have to, but I'm comfortable with that. I think they all have a certain thing right now that they do well and from Lorenzo's ability to handle the ball at the 2 guard position and run ball screen, make passes, defend and run the floor. That's who he is and yes he's going to make some mistakes, but when pressure is on I think he'll revert back to what he's most comfortable with. Scott Wood...making shots, and handling the ball at times and just knowing how to play. What I feel comfortable with these guys is the basketball IQ. It's really pretty good."

(Keep checking back as we'll be posting the rest of the press conference later today.)

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Former Pack Players To Participate in NC Pro-Am League in Durham

What: NC PRO-Am League

Where: McLendon-McDougald Gym on the campus of NCCU in Durham

When: July 2-Aug. 9

Why: Watch former Pack players and current  NBA stars in action...for free!

If there was ever an instance where you'd find yourself saying "thank you" to a UNC alum, now is the time. Former Tarheel and NBA All-Star, Jerry Stackhouse, started up a league in Durham last year in which professional, college and high school basketball stars come together under one roof to compete against each other in a league that is second to none in the triangle area. The NC-Pro Am League is dubbed "The Rucker of the South," and has replaced the Chavis League as the place to go to watch past, present and future NC State (and other ACC) players during the summer.

Established last year to help the Durham community, the Pro-Am league is beginning to be recognized as one of THE premiere summer leagues in the nation. This talent rich league will take place every week starting July 2nd and running through August 9th. The games will take place in McLendon-McDougald Gym on the campus of NCCU in Durham, NC. Admission is free, but if you want a good seat you'll probably want to get in the doors early.

We will be covering the league as extensively as possible. According to an agent that represents most of the Pack's former players, there are a good amount of NC State alums planning on playing in the Pro-Am. You can expect to see Josh Powell, Anthony Grundy, Courtney Fells, Jordan Collins and Marcus Melvin. Keep checking back as we will be updating you with schedules and rosters as soon as they are available.

Harrow Diagnosed with Stress Fractures, Gets 3 Weeks Rest

2010 Commit Ryan Harrow will finally get to take a much needed break from basketball after doctors diagnosed him with stress fractures in both feet yesterday. Weeks and weeks of tournaments, camps, and showcases had Harrow complaining about his feet becoming extremely sore. According to Ryan, it's something that has been going on for a while, but he continued to play through the pain. After it started to effect his play on the court (in France), he decided to get them checked out.

After visiting the doctor yesterday and going through a series of X-rays, Ryan found out that he's been playing with stress fractures in both feet for quite some time. A stress fracture occurs when there is constant stress put on a bone, repetitively, over a long period of time. Also known as a "fatigue fracture," you usually see this type of injury in athletes that consistently run and jump on hard surfaces, such as basketball players and runners.

The good news is that this is not a type of injury that usually reoccurs, nor is it an injury that takes much treatment or rehab at all. Ryan will be taking the next 3 weeks off to rest his feet and will be held out of basketball activities until he heals. Honestly, this rest is much needed for the always busy Harrow, who was supposed to be at the NBA camp this week followed by the Deron Williams Camp after that. Ryan will have to settle for visiting and watching the NBA camp today and then travel to North Carolina to visit some friends at his old school (The Cannon School) near Charlotte. Then, head into Raleigh this weekend to visit the Pack along with his god-brother and fellow commit, Lorenzo Brown. Brown will be on his official visit.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Scott Wood Injured, Not Severe

There has been a lot of questions asked about Scott Wood's apparent exit from the Indiana/Kentucky All-Star game this past weekend. Well, we're here to bring you the news right from Scott himself. According to Wood, he twisted his knee in that game and was forced to leave. While Scott assured us that he "felt fine" and is walking around, he still has a slight limp. The doctor that examined Wood told him that he did not tear any major ligaments, nor did he do any serious damage to his knee. What may have happened, according to the doctor, is that there may be some strained or slightly torn small ligaments or cartilage. So what does this mean? "They told me that I need to rest it for 3-4 weeks. The worst case scenario would be that I have to get arthroscopic surgery. Even then I'll only be out (of basketball activities) for about 3 to 4 weeks." Said Wood.

Scott was planning on resting up these next two weeks before heading to NC State on the 28th to join the team and to enroll in summer school. If the worst case scenario is the one he faces, he'll only miss 2 weeks of time with the team in Raleigh. If in fact Scott does need arthroscopic surgery, he'll come to Raleigh immediately and get all the work done here.

We will have more updates as they are available, and let you know how the MRI turns out when Scott gets it back.

Lorenzo Brown Update

We've been receiving emails and comments galore with people wanting to know "What's going on with Lorenzo Brown." We've talked to a few people including Lorenzo himself and what we can say right now is that there seems to be nothing to worry about.

Brown's been a bit frustrated lately about the rumors swirling around so we wanted to come out and set some of the record straight in his behalf.

Elite athletes in high school are usually spread very thin, with playing for their high school, dealing with the media, traveling throughout the nation for all-star games and keeping up with the classwork necessary to graduate.

Apparently there was a miscommunication and Lorenzo will have to tie up some loose ends before he heads to Raleigh for good. We've been told that there is nothing to worry about and that Brown should be good to go, although he may not be in Raleigh until a bit later in the summer.

"I'll be there next weekend" Brown told us. Lorenzo will be heading up to Raleigh to take his official visit, something he never got to do during the season since he was so busy. Although he's already signed his LOI, there's no reason to sit on an official visit when you still have one to use. This will allow Brown to get on campus, meet some of his teammates and talk to the coaches face to face.

All in all, we are told there is nothing to worry about and this can be looked upon as a closed case for the time being. We're looking forward to catching up again with Lorenzo when he gets on campus in August.

Powell Doubters Need to Think Again

Since he left NC State in 2003, Josh Powell has constantly been questioned. Many ask "What could have been?" ... "Will he even ever make it in the NBA?" This past season those questions were answered with an important role on the world champion LA Lakers. However, as we all know, Josh's road to the NBA was not without a few bumps.

Many criticized Josh for leaving NC State early and felt that he needed another season in the ACC to be ready for professional basketball. What people did not realize was that it wasn't as if Josh felt he didn't need another year to hone his game, it was that he needed to support his family. With most NBA GM's impressed with his game, Josh saw his opportunity to provide that support. However, much like anything in life, it did not go as planned, as Josh went undrafted and found himself without an NBA contract.

"It's been a long road. I started off overseas and then went to the D-League and eventually got signed by the Dallas Mavericks. I've had to work extremely hard and be patient. Throughout all of this, I've gotten married and we have two children. It's all been a blessing." Josh told us in a recent interview.

Throughout it all Powell has stayed grounded and kept working. He stayed in shape, he went to every workout they would let him in to. In the off-season Powell would head back to Raleigh and work out with the Pack players at NC State's Dail Center. Many erroneous rumors swirled about Josh not feeling comfortable at NC State, thus causing him to exit early. However, when asked about the situation, Josh was quick to squash those rumors...

"I pretty much live in the (Dail Center) gym (in the offseason). I work out 2, sometimes 3 times a day doing different things. I the morning I do individual work which involves skill work, conditioning and lifting weights. In the afternoons I play ball with a lot of guys on the NC State team. I still keep in contact with guys like Brandon Costner, Courtney Fells and Simon Harris."

All the work seemed to finally pay off when he finally landed a small gig with the Dallas Mavericks. After a decent season he moved on to even smaller roles with the Pacers and then the Warriors. Finally he joined the Clippers, a team riddled with injury during the 07-08 season, giving Josh a chance to prove himself on the court. Josh did just that as he averaged almost 20 minutes per game, starting in 25 games and posting a line of 5 points and 5 boards. After opening a lot of eyes with the Clippers, Powell joined the Lakers, a team who many favored to take home the NBA Championship. With a roster stacked with all-stars and premier role players, many felt Josh would be a forgotten man, but working hard and proving people wrong was nothing new for Powell. In his opportunities he shined. When he entered the game he was aggressive and played as if his career depended on it, because it did. He gained the trust of Phil Jackson and went on to average over 11 minutes per game, along with 4 points and 3 boards, on what was one of the deepest rosters in the NBA. Oh and in case you missed it, he also earned himself a Championship ring as the Lakers defeated the Orlando Magic in the Finals.

For every Lebron James or Kobe Bryant there is a guy you have probably never heard of. A guy who's physical gifts could not deliver him the world on a silver platter. A guy who is only where he is because he never gave up, he never took "no" for an answer, and he never listened when people told him he couldn't. A guy like Josh Powell.

One of his workouts was for the Washington Wizards, where Patrick Ewing was then an assistant coach.

After the workout, Ewing stunned Powell, by telling him that he would never make the NBA.

Powell has not forgotten. "Every time I see him," he says, he remembers the words that once cut him. "It was just motivation. I can't do nothing but respect it, if that's his opinion. It just drove me to go hard. It drove me to stay hungry."

About then, some NBA personnel came through the champagne-soaked Laker locker room with the gleaming NBA championship trophy. Powell finishes his thought, reaching for the trophy: "Everything worked out for the best ... now let me see that thing right there ..."

We are extremely proud of Josh and his will to succeed. We are glad to be able to call him part of the Wolfpack Family and wish him luck as he continues to pursue his dream to be an NBA star.

Quotes from this article came from our own WolfpackHoops.com Interview with Josh and ESPN's NBA Finals article on the Lakers.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Josh Powell: NBA Champion

In case you missed it last night, the LA Lakers took home the NBA Championship by defeating the Orlando Magic 99-86. Although he didn't get to see any court time last night,  Josh Powell, former NC State forward, will be receiving the NBA's most coveted prize...a championship ring. Powell becomes the first NC State player to go on to win an NBA Championship since Chuckie Brown did it in 1995 with the Houston Rockets. Powell began to come into his own this season, playing the role of the valuable reserve off the bench. He averaged 4.2 points and 2.9 rebounds per game. There's also something to be said about averaging 11 minutes per game on the best team in the world. Next season should be even more of a coming out party for Josh as Lamar Odom is a free agent and should he leave LA, there would be a big opening for Josh to fill. Congrats Josh and best of luck in pursuing your dream of being a star in the NBA!

Off-Season Update: An Interview with CJ WILLIAMS

We recently had the opportunity to sit down with Pack sophomore C.J. Williams. We talked with him about his first year at NC State University, what he’s up to this off-season and what to expect for the coming year. Here’s how it went down:

WPH: The fans got to know you on the court this past season, but can you tell us a little bit about C.J. Williams off the court?

C.J.: Off the court I really spend a lot of time by myself. I spend time with my teammates too, but I just like to hang out, you know, play video games.

WPH: Really? What type of video games do you play?

C.J.: I actually have all the systems, but actually my Xbox360 just got stolen from my house, but I still have the PS3, the Wii and actually out here I have the Gamecube, haha.

WPH: So other than workouts and video games what have you been up to this offseason?

C.J.: Well, right now I’m working the Sidney Lowe Team Basketball Camp. I’m doing the scoreboard and stats. It’s basically a camp for high school teams. They come up here and play against each other .

WPH: Ok cool... Well lets talk a little bit about your basketball career and let’s take it back to your Junior year of high school. You’re averaging 26 points per game, your name was getting pretty hot on the recruiting circuit, a lot of coaches are starting to take notice and then you get hurt. Now, not many people are aware of the severity of this injury. Can you talk about this a little bit?

C.J.: Yeah, well actually at first it was misdiagnosed. They first thought it was a pulled hamstring and they treated it for that. It didn’t get better, so then I went to get another opinion and they said it was a pinched nerve, and that wasn’t it either. Finally, I found a doctor that knew what it was. It’s actually called the sacroiliac joint, the SI joint. It’s a joint in your back that when you jump, it bears all your weight. That joint was actually out of place and they say if that joint is only 1/16th of an inch off, you’ll be on a pain scale of a 9. In my case the bones were actually stacked on top of each other. The pain would shoot from my buttocks all the way to my knee so I had to get surgery.

WPH: And how did an injury like this even occur? Was it basketball related?

C.J.: What had happened was that I was in the weight room lifting and I had just jerked the wrong way. I actually didn’t feel it until the next morning when I got out of bed and literally couldn’t stand up. It was from years of not really stretching before games.

WPH: So at what point did you finally recover and feel like you were 100%?

C.J.: It really wasn’t until half way through my senior year that I actually felt 100%. It was a game against 71st, after that I felt real good. I even missed a few games that season because of the pain in my back but I played most of the season at about 70%.

WPH: So coming into college, was there anything that surprised you about the level of competition? For instance, the speed of the game or the strength of the players?

C.J.: To be honest what surprised me was how close I was to being able to compete on that level. I used to look at some of these guys and think, “It’d be so hard to be like them.” And I mean it is, you have to work out and eat healthy, but I didn’t realize how talented I really was until I got here. When I started competing against guys like Wayne Ellington and Rakhim Sanders from Boston College, I started to be like, "hey I’m right there." I’m not far off from being as good as these guys. That was the most shocking thing, but physically the strength was the biggest difference between high school and college.

WPH: What about off the court? How hard was it to walk right in and balance playing for a top flight D-1 basketball program, going to class, and having a life?

C.J.: It really is a full time job. I wake up in the morning and I have an 8 o'clock class, and when I leave for that class I won’t see my room again until 10pm. It’s like a full time job. It’s probably actually more than a full time job. You spend time in class then tutoring then study hall then practice. It’s kind of hard to learn how to balance your time, but you get the hang of it. I got the hang of it during the spring semester. It’s something that at first weighs on your mind a lot. I have to go to practice, I have to go to class, but after a while you develop that internal strength to get through the day.

WPH: So, coming into next season Coach Lowe is going to have a team of mainly all his players. Do you think there is going to be any difference? Did you ever see a difference between the guys coach brought in and the guys that he inherited?

C.J.: Probably the biggest difference between this team and last years team is that you see a lot more guys working out on there own. There were guys that did that last year, but not as many. I mean, every day you see Javi, Johnny, me, Julius, Dennis, Tracy in the gym. Now we are all working out but it’s on our own. One is shooting, one is lifting, one might be relaxing and then we have a little chain going. When one person is done shooting someone else will go shoot and another person will go fill his spot in the weight room. It’s just that there are a lot more guys taking it upon themselves to get better. I really like that and I like that idea and I think because of that, things are definitely going to change.

WPH: So speaking of next year’s team, can you talk about your relationship off the court? Is this a pretty tight knit group?

C.J.: We are, we really are. As a matter of fact, a few days ago Javi, Johnny and I went to the movies and we actually ran into Brandon Costner there too, so we were all there together and stuff. It was cool. We watched “The Hangover” which is a very funny movie. Haha…a VERY funny movie! But, yeah we hang out a bunch together, we play video games and just do typical guy stuff, you know.

WPH: So in a lot of interviews Coach Lowe has been referring to you and Julius as leaders on this coming year’s team. You’re only about to be a sophomore and you’re being called a leader of a big time ACC basketball school. How does that make you feel and what is it that you do that gets coaches attention as a leader?

C.J.: It gives me confidence. Julius and I, we’re younger guys and to know that Coach Lowe trusts us gives us a lot of confidence. Julius is a great player and a very efficient player. That’s what I try to do as well, just do things the right way. We don’t take a lot of chances and we don’t do things we know we can’t do. That probably got coaches attention. That and our attention to detail, I like to look at every aspect of our plays and see what works and what doesn’t and if I have a suggestion, like going off a screen a different way, I bring it to Coach Lowe and if he likes it, or it works, then we add it in the play. Overall, I think it’s our attention to detail and our basketball IQ that coach notices.

WPH: Do you see yourself playing more of the 2 or the 3 next season?

C.J.: I think I can play both, more of a combo. I think at about 6’5, 200lbs, I can guard the 3, but I can also go out and I feel like I’m quick enough to guard the 2. I’m just going to prepare for both, because I’ll play anywhere.

WPH: No matter where you play you’re surely going to be an important piece to this year’s team and a major contributor. Is there anything specifically that Coach has you working on or that you feel you need to improve on before you take on that role?

C.J.: Yeah, definitely. My ball handling is something that I need to work on. I mean, I don’t think it’s a weakness, but it was something that I was not completely comfortable with last year and this year I’ll have the ball in my hands more. Last year I shot a lot of 3’s. Actually, my Dad and I looked back at it and over half my shots were 3’s. That really isn’t my game. I love to attack the hoop and hit the mid range jumper. I want to be able to do that this season and improving my ball handling will certainly help that.

WPH: Last question. With the #11 recruiting class coming in next season and a really good core group of returning players, where do you see this team going? What goals do you have for this team? And try not to give me a record, because someone did that a couple years back and um... it didn’t work out so well.

C.J.: Haha, yeah, no, I know. Um I just think that we’ll have a very talented team and we can compete with any team that we play, no matter where we play them. I think we have the players and the talent to do that. We just have to keep working hard and stay mentally tough. I know it’s nearly impossible to win every game, but that is the mindset we have to have. Sometimes the ball will bounce your way and sometimes it won’t, but as long as you’re in the game you have a chance. This is a team that’s going to work hard and compete.

WPH: That’s good to hear. Well, we really thank you for your time C.J. and wish you luck this coming season.

C.J.: Thank you.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Coming Up on WolfpackHoops.com...

We know it's the off-season and you may be thinking "What could possibly be going on with NC State Basketball that I'd be interested in?" ...We're glad you asked, because we have an action packed week that you won't want to miss. Here's whats on tap for the next 5 days:

- Off-Season Update: An Interview with CJ Williams

- Lorenzo Brown Update

- A brand new "Where are They Now"

- Anthony Grundy, Marcus Melvin, and Josh Powell in Durham?

- The premier of "Jerseys in the Rafters"

- And the unveiling of the winning T-Shirts in the WolfpackHoops.com T-Shirt Contest

Scott Wood and The Indiana All-Stars Take Down Kentucky All -Stars 78-65

Another All-Star game for 2009 NC State commit, Scott Wood, and another seemingly easy victory. The Indian All-Stars rolled over the Kentucky All-Stars in the Indiana/Kentucky All Star Game 78-65. Scott Wood had 7 points, going 3-9 from the field. If you've been keeping up with Scott, then you'll see that this Indiana All-Star circuit is no joke. These aren't your run of the mill run and gun All-Star games, these are competitive match-ups for pride and bragging rights for who holds the hoop crown in middle America, a place that basketball is king.

Scott won't be competing in this circuit too much longer as next week is when commits will finally head to campus to join the team, get enrolled early in summer school and start their workouts.

US Team Taken Down At The Buzzer

The buzzer beater is one of the more exhilarating experiences in all of sports...for the winning team. Losing at the buzzer on the other hand just might be the most deflating thing in all of sports. While last nights game was definitely exhilarating, it was deflating for the US team, who fell to the Australian team 77-79. Tennessee commit Jordan McRae led the US team with 19 points on the night (McRae also plays with Ryan Harrow on the Celtics). Ryan Harrow didn't play for the third straight game due to an ankle injury. This makes the US team 0-3 thus far in the World Basketball Tournament. Check out a more detailed game recap at HighSchoolHoop.com.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

US Team Falls Again

For the 2nd straight game Ryan Harrow sat out due to a bum ankle and for the 2nd straight game the US team fell in the World Basketball Tournament. The game was gut-wrenching as it came down to the final seconds with the US team losing to Lithuania 111-110. The US team was paced by Harrow's Atlanta Celtics teammate Trae Golden (20 points) and Ohio State commit Jared Sullinger's double-double of 21 and 13.

Check out HighSchoolHoop.com for a more concise game recap. We'll continue to keep you posted on how Ryan and the team do.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Powell Getting his "NBA FINALS" On

Josh Powell logged a few more minutes in the finals as he filled in for a foul plagued Andrew Bynum in Game 4 last night. Josh managed to drop 2 points and an assist in eight minutes against the Magic. If you're keeping track at home, that brings Josh's running total to 11 mintues, 5 points, 2 rebounds, and an assist. Josh is definitely making the most of his minutes and with a contract well below league average at near $859,000, Powell is a definite bargain. However, that won't be the case for long as Powell projects to see more floor time next season. With the way he produced this season, more minutes would equal better numbers and better numbers would lead to a pretty nice payday for Powell. The Lakers currently lead the Magic 3-1 in the Finals and took another step closer to the title with a win last night. Tune in Sunday at 8pm for a chance to see Josh and the Lakers seal the deal.

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