Thursday, November 12, 2009

Wolfpack Comes On Late, Defeats Georgia State 69-53

The Recap
For a young NC State team, they'll take a win any way they can get it. Playing for the first time all season in the RBC Center and without senior guard Farnold Degand (academic reasons), the Pack faced a veteran ball club in Georgia State, and while they stumbled out of the gate, they came on late to notch the victory 69-53.

The Pack went to work early, feeding Tracy Smith on the block for a few easy buckets, but it wasn't long before Georgia State began sagging men in the paint and forcing the Wolfpack to beat them from the perimeter. Throughout the first half, the Pack struggled to do so, could not find a rhythm and were unable to establish themselves on the break. It wasn't until their lone senior stepped up and took control that the Wolfpack finally got it going. Horner went onto a run of his own, scoring 7 straight points and helping the Pack stay afloat, and go into halftime with a slight lead 32-29.

The Wolfpack came out of the tunnel in the second half knowing that they had to put the game away early and not allow the veteran Panthers to hang around, however, an early 3rd foul on Tracy Smith (18 points, 11 boards) sent him to the bench.

"He's thinking about getting pressure on the ball and getting his hands on it. He's got to be smarter about the personnel he's matched up against. We can't have him getting unnecessary fouls" said Coach Sidney Lowe

Without their star center, Sidney Lowe was forced to turn to his guards, something he's had to do in seasons past, but to no avail. Tonight, however, the guards answered the call. Javi Gonzalez hustled, scrapped and fought his way to 8 points, 8 assists and 8 rebounds, while sophomore Julius Mays dropped 16, 14 of which came in the second half. In the end, though, it was the defense keying the Pack's late game run, which closed the door on the Panthers for good.

"We made a nice run and came at them defensively. We went after it and got some rebound and steals, made some stops and that really allowed us to open up our game. Our offense took off from there." said Coach Sidney Lowe

The defensive pressure, and a few long rebounds, helped the Pack get out on the break, extend the lead and cruise to a 16 point victory.

The Player Rundown

Overall the Pack played decent, but there is certainly a whole lot of room for improvement. Tracy Smith did what Tracy Smith is going to do, he punished the opponent in the paint any time he was isolated one on one. He drew fouls, got to the line and played very physical.

The big story of this game was the guard play. 12 assists to only 9 turnovers. That stat alone will show you why NC state was able to hold off the Panthers down the stretch. Without Farnold Degand, and with Smith in early foul trouble, it was up to Javi Gonzalez, Julius Mays and CJ Williams to run the show. While Williams was unable to get things going tonight, Javi Gonzalez showed maturity and poise, as he dropped 8 points, grabbed 8 boards and dished out 8 assists, all while only committing two turnovers. A very impressive performance that got the attention of a guy who might know a thing or two about the position, his coach, Sidney Lowe.

"Javi was great. Two turnovers, eight rebounds. I thought he played great. I think he realized that we didn't have Farnold and that he was going to have to play both positions and play both positions well. He was outstanding. He went in there and got a couple key rebounds for us. He defended the ball, passed the ball, and overall played a great game. "

Mays also was great down the stretch. For a good deal of the first half the Wolfpack basically ran their sets and passed it around the perimeter, looking to drop it to the post. There was very little attempt at creating by the guards until Mays began pushing the envelope and making things happen on offense. His 14 second half points were huge in the Pack getting this victory.

Another player that really stood out was Josh Davis. Although Davis doesn't have much to show on the stat sheet, aside from 3 rebounds, he was so active on both ends of the floor. He crashed the boards, dove for loose balls, and moved with a purpose on the offensive end. In fact, all of the freshman really deserved to be recognized for their effort. Jordan Vandenberg, Scott Wood and DeShawn Painter all played their hearts out, but the bright lights and the excitement of the home opener seemed to shake them a bit. Wood finished with 8 points, but was an uncharacteristic 1-6 from three. Vandenberg slotted in for Smith nicely and really played some important minutes for the Pack. His length alone is game changing, add in the fact that he's aggressive and you have yourself a piece that should play an important role on this team as the season moves forward.

-12 assists and only 9 turnoevers
-NC State shot only 18% from beyond the arc



23 Responses to "Wolfpack Comes On Late, Defeats Georgia State 69-53"
  1. TheUNCFan said...
    November 13, 2009 at 6:09 AM

    Coach Lowe has got to be happy that in a game that could go either way, the team did not fold up and lose, plus they didn't win on a last-second buzzer-beater, the two main options for the past few seasons. They hung in, trusted their game, ran their stuff, and imposed their will. Sure, it's GSU, not an ACC team, but this is a good starting point for a young team to boost confidence.

    Lowe is slowly surrounding himself with high-character guys who handled the adversity of foul-prone Tracy Smith and guys just jacking up random threes instead of running their offense.

    Lots of positvies and lots of room for improvement.

  2. Anonymous said...
    November 13, 2009 at 7:30 AM

    Any news on JT?

  3. Anonymous said...
    November 13, 2009 at 8:06 AM

    wow we took 35 free trows they took only 12 were they that rough on "D"?

  4. backdpack said...
    November 13, 2009 at 8:33 AM

    Thanks, UNCFan, I agree.
    I think the big areana really affected S Wood. We should give him a key and lots of practice time at the RBC to get used to it.
    It also scares me a little when we go to GT. That areana affects all shooters and if he is hyper sensitive it may be a long night for him. Just a random thought.

    Rebounding has got to improve

  5. Pack said...
    November 13, 2009 at 9:18 AM

    Well lets give the kid a chance ,I did not understand calling him the next JJ Redding after a game against Sid's Alma Mater . He will be fine in a year or two

  6. morpheus647 said...
    November 13, 2009 at 9:42 AM

    I think one of the reasons there was such a disparity in freethrows is that we did a pretty good job of attacking the rim (well by the post players, the pg's didn't really seem to start driving until the end of the second half), whereas they were either putting up jump shots or had open looks under the rim.

    I thought the team did a pretty good job of stepping up once Tracy went out with the fouls, BUT he really needs to avoid foul trouble because no one else on the team really has the power presence down low yet imo.

  7. Anonymous said...
    November 13, 2009 at 9:49 AM

    "I think the big areana really affected S Wood. We should give him a key and lots of practice time at the RBC to get used to it."

    Don't be so hard on Wood. The kid can shoot and that's the bottom line. He made that obvious at the exhibition game and he'll continue to make that obvious all season long. He's already my favorite player, hands down ... GO SCOTT!!! GO PACK!!!

  8. ppack3 said...
    November 13, 2009 at 10:21 AM

    I hope that the fellas learn that they HAVE to bring that late game intensity for 40 minutes in order to hang with the rest of the ACC. The PG's and the SG's must use the 'drive and decide' the whole game, not just in the waning minutes. When Sid talks about an up and down, fast paced game, he doesn't just mean 'get out on the break.' He wants to set up quickly, regardless of the situation, and find a good shot quickly. The best way to do that is with dribble penetration, whether you are facing a man-to-man or a zone defense.

    Javi and Mays, Degand (assuming he can play next semester) and CJ Williams will be relied upon to be aggressive and make good decisions with the ball as they are headed down the lane. We know that Javi is quick enough, we saw CJ's ability to take guys off the dribble this summer. We know that Farnold is as fast as anyone when he's healthy. And, Mays is crafty enough with the rock to get by his man with a quick first step.

    IMO, this is the way we will create shots, keep defenses honest and hang in games against teams with superior talent. Of course, we have to play solid defense ourselves, too, in order to accomplish these goals. This is going to be a tall order for a young team. But, we are scrappy, and we are learning. We just need to be aggressive, intense and smart with the ball...for 40 minutes. Heart and Hustle.

    Go Pack!

    PS - Don't worry about Scott Wood. He is a pure shooter, and no environmental back-drops are going to keep his stroke under wraps. He'll get used to the arenas, and then all he'll see is the rim. All he'll hear is the net. And I'm not talking about next year either. He'll come around this year. I don't know if he's the next Otis Redding, or J.J. Reddick, but his shot is pure and natural. He'll be the best pure shooter we've had since Monroe, Del Negro, or Gannon...but taller.

  9. TruthBKnown Returns said...
    November 13, 2009 at 10:27 AM

    I still have high hopes for Scott Wood to be a JJ Reddick type of player. In the last game, he was 4-for-4 from behind the arc, and all four shots swished the net. In warmups, I watched him swish the net on his first 7 attempts before missing. And that was from the time I started watching him. He may have made even more before that. And I heard that in the scrimmage game, he made something like 19 of 23 during warmups.

    This was his first official game and his first game in the RBC Center. He'll get better. I'm sure there were a LOT of first-game jitters last night. I think we'll be alright, and I still think Wood will be the great shooter I thought he would be going into this game.

  10. morpheus647 said...
    November 13, 2009 at 10:34 AM

    I'm pretty sure that Farnold can still play this semester. I think that Coach Lowe simply felt that his academics were not up to par right now, but he is not in violation of NCAA rules or anything

  11. Anonymous said...
    November 13, 2009 at 10:40 AM

    "PS - Don't worry about Scott Wood. He is a pure shooter, and no environmental back-drops are going to keep his stroke under wraps. He'll get used to the arenas, and then all he'll see is the rim. All he'll hear is the net. And I'm not talking about next year either. He'll come around this year."

    Completely agree w/ you ppack!!!

  12. TJ said...
    November 13, 2009 at 10:42 AM

    I had 2nd row seats at midcourt and I had a great time. Let me go over what I saw from the ballgame.

    Javy Gonzalez- He has improved from last year, he is stronger,a better defender,just needs to make smarter decisions with the basketball at times. I dont mean just turnovers because he did pretty good with that, but there was 1 time he had a fast break and had the defender in a bad position and then jumped up in the air a step or 2 too early and then forces a ugly layup which he missed and they got the rebound and went back the other way and scored 2 pts. thats a 4 poing swing. Overall he will be okay.

    C.J. Williams- I was dissapointed with how he played. He wasn't comfortable on the floor, didn't look for his shot, didn't play well defensively, didn't block out on numerous occasions, looked kind of shell shock almost like a freshmen coming into his first game. I am hoping he turns it around as our nucleus gets better.

    Scott Wood- To me this was a HUGE bright spot for me. I know his shooting numbers were terrible last night, but he has a good head on his shoulders and has a HIGH basketball IQ. He has a fluent shot which he will make ALOT more than he misses once he shakes the nerves and gets into a rhythm with the overall offense and his new team mates. I don't want to hear this crap about the RBC Center is too big and nonsense like this after 1 game. He will progress more than anyone this year from game 1 to the last game. He is solid basketball player.

    Dennis Horner-Played tremendous,showed lots of senior leadership,has bulked up,boxes out every time down the floor. Does all of the little thing's well. Can really shoot the basketball, also is a good defender. I expect big thing's from him this year.

    Tracy Smith- BEAST, BEAST, BEAST. Need I say more... This kid I really injoy watching play. He plays with heart and he has the talent to beat and bang with anyone. He is not scared of contact and he is in MUCH better shape than last year. Had it not been for crazy foul calls on him he would have had even MORE impressive numbers than his double double. Solid smart basketball player.

    J.Mays- Love this kid ! does now have the speed as a Javi and can't push it as fast as him tempo wise. But he seems so comfortable with the ball in his hands, he looks good running the offense, he is a smart player, he has a soft touch, he likes to drive it to the hole to create. SOLID on ball defender I really feel he has progressed from last year and will continue to do so as this team gels.

    Vandenberg- I was overally impressed. I mean we all know this kid is RAW has a lot to learn and needs to bulk up some. But defensively he was a good presense in the paint and I think officially he has 3 blocks but he altered atleast 6-7 shots while on the floor. He will get better throughout the year and I really like his 5 fouls we can use them in ACC play and he will play solid minutes to give Smith a blow.

    Painter- This kid has a lot of upside. He is young,didn't look comfortable in the offense last night at all. He was caught out of position several times on offense and defense. That all comes with time though of knowing your team mates and transitioning to the college pace. He will be fine. He is very active around the rim and has a soft touch. He will be a contributor this year no doubt.

    Josh Davis- LOVE HIM ! I mean that with all of my heart. If you read the stat sheet it looks like he was just out there but im telling you NC State fans will LOVE this kid this year.He plays 110% when he is on the floor, he is always in great defensive position, in my opinion the best defender on the floor. He is smart, he boxes out well, he hustles his ass off, and he bleeds nc state red. You can really see it in his eyes he wants to be here and give his all. I love this kid !

  13. ppack3 said...
    November 13, 2009 at 10:46 AM


    Can I call you Morph? Yeah, I just had a chance to boot up the old CPU and watch Sid's post game interview. I can't get WPH's videos on my iPhone, so I have to get settled in somewhere before I can get all of the information that I need. I think that Sid is doing a fantastic job of stressing academics. That is so very important.

    I'll bet the other guys in that locker room take notice when your Senior leader sits for grade issues. Sid has learned a thing or two about dealing with college players too!

  14. ppack3 said...
    November 13, 2009 at 10:50 AM

    And after seeing the interview with Lowe, I have a correction to make. Sid seems to want the guys to run some time off of the shot clock, making the defense work a bit harder for 20-25 seconds, if the break and secondary breaks aren't there. I still contend that the dribble penetration, the drive and dish, the secondary ball screens and the guards getting to the rim are going to be keys for us. If we relax, at all, we are beat.

  15. Anonymous said...
    November 13, 2009 at 10:58 AM

    Scott Wood- To me this was a HUGE bright spot for me. I know his shooting numbers were terrible last night, but he has a good head on his shoulders and has a HIGH basketball IQ. He has a fluent shot which he will make ALOT more than he misses once he shakes the nerves and gets into a rhythm with the overall offense and his new team mates. I don't want to hear this crap about the RBC Center is too big and nonsense like this after 1 game. He will progress more than anyone this year from game 1 to the last game. He is solid basketball player.

    ^Amen TJ!

  16. Bigzone said...
    November 13, 2009 at 11:02 AM

    Last night had its ups and downs for sure.

    Some positives

    Sid seems willing to let Wood jack up shoots. I think this is going to be key once he gets comfortable.

    I realy liked the group when Davis and Painter played together. They realy seemed do cause chaos on D. Iknow there stats did not show that but it seemed that set changed the game.GST seemed to at ease until then.

    Tracy was Tracy we will need that for sure. Nice double double out the gate . Good to see him making his free throws.

    Horner played the best game i've seen him play. It was good to see he was so poised. He realy kept us in it in the first half.

    The thing i liked the most was seeing our gaurds play like they did Finally. Javi was acting like a boxer jus figting .GREAT GAME MAN
    Mays steped up after a slow start but driving to the hoop Thats what i'm talking bout. We need someone to be a slasher .

    We closed strong . I hope this will be the case this season.

    Some negatives

    Team is real young and it shows at times .

    The tempo when fast plays to our advantage but they played real slow most of the game.

    CJ Williams has to step up quick .We have to have his scoring.

    All in all We had a good time last night. It was worth the drive from the beach in the storm. I would like to thank Jimmy for hooking up the seats behind the press tables considering we started of way up top . YOUR THE MAN .

  17. ppack3 said...
    November 13, 2009 at 11:28 AM

    Damn, TJ. Good Analysis! Thanks. See? Who cares about the length of a post. I like to get to know what somebody like TJ has to say about his view from the 2nd row.

    I agree with you about almost everything you witnessed, even though I wasn't there. :(

    Mays should be our PG. He is savvy with the ball, but under control nearly always. I don't want to knock Javi, but he struggles to do the right thing on a break (ie.give the ball up early, get the ball back and force the defender to commit before making a good decision as to what he should do with the ball). All too often, he waits WAY too long to make the first pass, if he ever passes it at all. I know these things tend to get better, and his heart is as big as a lion's, but Mays makes solid decisions.

    I was never in the camp that thought that Javi would be goo at the SG position. But, with Farnold out, Williams not being aggressive, Javi's heart and rebounding efforts, I'm rethinking my position on his position. With a stat line like that from the 2, that's impressive.

    I already gave my take on Wood. But, I second everything you said about him, TJ. Recommendation to Sid, start setting double screens for him.

    We haven't even seen Sir Rich yet. He'll have to adjust, just like Painter, but these two have huge upsides. They are both cut from a similar mold as T. Smith. They aren't 6'11", but they play taller than they are, and they can all three bang inside.

    And, I'm glad to hear good things about Painter and Davis. Davis will be this class' Javi, or Archie Miller, etc. Heart and hustle, baby. His love for this school drives him, on and off the court. Sid was right to recruit him. The teams needs to see that sort of appreciation, just to put on the uniform. The great hing is that Ryan Harrow will be the same way.

    JV is already better than Luke Senscher (Sp?) ever was. Period.

  18. Eric said...
    November 13, 2009 at 11:30 AM

    I am pumped to hear Horner play well. I am excited to hear people talk about the little things (boxing out, passing lanes, etc.). I am also pumped to hear the energy that Davis brought to the game. Wood and CJ will be fine.

  19. Realwolfpacker said...
    November 13, 2009 at 11:31 AM

    I was at the game and the defense was actually much improved from last year. There were some positives out of this game. Smith, Gonzalez & Wood are played very well IMO. May is better suited at the 2 guard IMO.

    I think Wood has the chance to be one of the biggest sleeper recruits in the entire country and will be a star in the ACC.

  20. redfred said...
    November 13, 2009 at 12:40 PM

    I can't get the video on ANY of the clips now??? It use to be sporatic, one day they'd show up, and then one day they wouldn't. Now I don't get anything!!!

    Somebody, I need help.

  21. Wolfpack Hoops said...
    November 13, 2009 at 12:45 PM

    Quick Notes:
    - Degand is eligible and may be available for the tourny next weekend.

    -The freshmen logged a total of 60 minutes last night. You'd be hard pressed to find another ACC team thats giving freshmen that many minutes. You have to expect that it will take a few games before they start feeling comfortable.

    -Dribble penetration will certainly need to improve, but without Degand, you really don't have a player capable of creating off the bounce (besides Javi on occasion). This team will need to create off the break or in the offensive set. They had a few good sets and looked decent in the flex variation that they were running. Julius Mays is made for those type of sets.

  22. Wolfpack Hoops said...
    November 13, 2009 at 12:47 PM

    We're going to check up and see why Johnny Thomas didn't get any run. Not sure if it was 'coaches decision' or if his knee was bothering him again.

  23. bigzone said...
    November 13, 2009 at 12:55 PM

    I know this is off subject but i wanted to shout out BIG LUKE Cothron for his 42 point preformance against OAK HILL


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