Saturday, January 31, 2009

BELIEVE AGAIN

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It's that day again Wolfpack fans. The day you mark on your calendar the moment the schedule drops. The day you tell your wife that all plans are to be put on hold. The day that bleeds anticipation, and stinks with a sense of nervousness. For many of you it's a day you secretly dread, your pessimistic bones rattle at the thought of facing such a powerhouse as Carolina. You fear your boys at work will chop you up and spit you out for actually believing State has a shot to take this one. But for this one day, put your fears aside, allow your inner Pack fan to show through the years of abuse and turmoil you've received. Bring back the old you...the one that used to brag about State, the one that used to predict victories and upsets, the one that wasn't embarrassed to wear your Wolfpack shirt and tie to work.

Now there are some fans out there that I run into that never waiver. They will go to their grave believing the Pack will win every game...yes, their head is riddled with grays and they're on heart medication but their pride is obvious. The sad fact is there are other State fans. The ones that don't like to wear their State tie to the office anymore, the ones that feel it's easier to turn against and bash our team, than to believe and support them. Whoever you are, if you have a ticket tonight we ask you one favor. For just this day...believe. Let go of all your spite and bad memories, the pessimism and the doubt. It's time to give this team a fanbase they can be proud to play for, one they never want to let down or give up on.

I know you feel it, because I often do. When you're in the arena and the Pack grabs a lead, it only takes two or three possessions of not scoring before the place falls deaf with an eerie silence that so loudly says "Oh no, we're going to lose the lead and lose this game." You can feel it, you can feel the doubt and the sense of hesitation to be excited, it fills the arena like a thick smoke, and chokes the life out everyone in the building, players included. Which is why we urge you all to start truly believing.

Remember when Sidney walked out of the tunnel with the red jacket for the first time? It was 2 years ago against the heels, and the RBC was buzzing. The ghost of Jimmy V was everywhere...at least that's what people believed. It was State basketball coming full circle, it was a game of destiny that fate wanted us to win. Remember? And we cheered as such. No "Boos" on turnovers or gasps at Carolina surging back. There was no doubt in us that day and the players could hear it on every possession, they felt it and so did we...we were the most confident team that day, our fans were sure for once that this was our game to win. And win we did.

After that day it was a few road game losses that brought the fanbase back to grumbling and doubting, firing up the message boards with hate and anger. And we know, believe me we know, that it can be frustrating to put your heart and soul into something and not be gratified at every turn. But are we holding up the part of our bargain? Do we walk into that arena for every home game and give 100%? We expect the players to come out and believe in themselves, to want to win and to never back down no matter what. We'll disgrace a kid on the message board for taking a few plays off or being scared on the court, but we need to take a look in the mirror. We too are guilty of taking a few plays off from screaming. We're guilty of being hesitant and nervous when we grab a lead, as if we're scared to win. I've played a lot of competitive basketball in my day and I know for a fact that the atmosphere and the attitude of the fans have an effect on the play of a team, as much as you don't like to believe it, it is there.

So today at 3:30 show up in your finest red outfit, exuding an unwavering confidence and support for this team. And while I'm not going to predict a victory, nor will I dispute that Carolina is favored to win this game. I will say this, if we the fans show up and give 100% to this team, push them and encourage them, never give up on them and truly believe in them...then there's no telling what could happen. We want the attitude of the program changed, we want a culture of belief and excitement back in Raleigh...then why don't we, the fans, usher in that change tonight.

Friday, January 30, 2009

State Looks for Upset against Heels

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NC STATE WOLFPACK vs. UNC TARHEELS

Game Time: 3:30pm
Location: Raleigh, NC
Television: ABC


Instead of telling you the keys to the game and talking about what it's going to take, we won't waste your time. You know what we need to do. We're going to just give you the stats and leave you with the post above.


RECORD
NC State- 11-7 (2-4)
UNC- 18-2 (4-2)

LEADING SCORER
NC State- Brandon Costner (14.5)
UNC- Tyler Hansbrough (21.8)

LEADING REBOUNDER
NC State- Ben McCauley (7.6)
UNC- Tyler Hansbrough (7.8)

ASSIST LEADER
NC State- Brandon Costner (2.6)
UNC- Ty Lawson (6.6)

TEAM FG%
NC State- 46.5%
UNC- 48.7%

TEAM REBOUNDING
NC State- 36.6
UNC- 43.2

TURNOVERS PER GAME
NC State- 13.9
UNC- 13.5

Costner and Fells Thrive Against the Heels

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In our last post we introduced you to the Carolina Killers of old. Allow us to introduce you to a present day duo that has made it a habit of having big games against the Heels: Brandon Costner and Courtney Fells. They do not fear UNC. Period. It is as if they wait all year to get to play their arch rivals.

As a freshman Brandon Costner averaged 20.3ppg against the Tar Heels by manging them with outputs of 15, 18, and 28 points. The 15 point effort helped lead the Pack to a huge victory in the RBC center and the 28 points came in the championship game of the ACC Tournament. Last year, Costner only averaged 5ppg against the Heels because he played less due to the presence of J.J. Hickson. Costner is back to his Freshmen form and seems ready to feast on the Heels tomorrow.



Courtney Fells has been the most steady player on the Pack roster against the blue infants in sweater vests. He has averaged 14.8ppg against them which is well over his career average. In 4 out of the 5 games that he has played against them he has scored 15+ points. With his thirst for Blue blood and his hand flaming after the Miami game, we are anticipating Courtney Fells to be in rare form. This is Courtney's last shot to give the Home crowd what they live for: a Blue bus full of Sweater Vests crying on Roy's shoulder, heading back to Chapel Hill after being annihilated in a Wolfpack workdown.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Carolina Killers

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As the big game against the Tar Heels looms, we here at Wolfpack Hoops would like to introduce you to the greatest Carolina Killers in NC State Basketball History.

#1 on our list is CC Harrison
In 1998 C.C. Harrison caused Tar Heel Blue Sweater Vests to unravel as he drained 8 Three Pointers in the Dean Dome to lead the Pack to an 86-72 victory.



The #2 Carolina killer is Tom Gugliotta. Googs tied CC for the most Three Point Field Goals made in a game against UNC as he shredded 8 Three's on Carolina in a 99-88 victory in Raleigh in 1992. He also went on to finish that game with 36 points, which happens to also be the most points scored by a player in a game against the Tar Heels. Both of these Pack Legends are two of the best 3-Point shooters in NC State History. Goog's is sixth on the list and C.C. is tenth (3-Point FG's Made).

Our # 3 Ram slayer is Ronnie Shavlik, who happens to be NC State's All-Time leading rebounder. He gained the record for the most rebounds against the Tar Heels, when he sucked down 23 boards in a 79-73 victory in 1956.

Killer #4 is current Portland Trailblazers head coach Nate McMillan. His game against UNC in 1985 was a profitable endeavor as he collected 13 dimes in Reynolds, which was a record against the Heels as well. Nate is seventh on the All-Time Assists list.


Even though this isn't a highlight reel from that particular game, we thought you might enjoy seeing Coach Nate pin the Heels to the backboard in a game in Reynolds in 1986.

.Finally, Carolina Killer #5 is none other than Ishua Benjamin. In the same game that C.C. Harrison had 8 Treys, Ish became a con artist by committing a mass thievery: a record 7 steals against the Heels. Ishua made quite a habit of doing this in his career as he sits at fourth on the All-Time Steals list.

Ryan Harrow Highlights vs. Peachtree Ridge...Vintage Scott Wood Reel

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Harrow is #12 in the White.

Walton crushed Peachtree Ridge 97-55. Ryan put up a double-double of 22 points and 12 assists in this game (1/10/09).

Things you need to see: Harrow's no-look pass to the guy cutting down the middle of the lane, his three-point stroke, his alley-oop dunk, and his ability to finish on the break.



We are aware that you have probably seen Wood's stroke. We just thought that you might not have seen this reel from last summer. And to be honest, we here at WolfpackHoops don't get tired of watching him shoot.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Cam Bennerman Presents:

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Join Cam and company as he releases his clothing line "Likuid N'Ation" at Buddha's Belly in Raleigh, this Friday from 7:30-10pm

We recently had a chance to catch up with former Pack star Cameron Bennerman. Cam was a vital part in some very good Wolfpack teams, and he led the team in scoring as a senior when he averaged 14.1 pts per game. You've all gotten to see the athletic side of Cam, with his game changing slams and his ridiculous hops. Now we're going to expose to you a different side of him. Meet Cameron Bennerman, the artist/business mogul, and the founder of Likuid N'Ation, a clothing line that will make it's debut in Raleigh this Friday night at Buddha's Belly on Hillsborough st., and YOU are invited! They will have apparel from Cam's line at a discount price, along with music and possibly free wine. You will also have the opportunity to meet Cam. The event will start at 7:30PM on Friday night and last until 10pm. Get out there and support your fellow Wolfpacker as he pursues his dream. Or if you can't attend, hit up his website and place an order, especially you students...that Wild Wolf Tee is a nice break from all those ho-hum book store T's.

Here's the interview we got with Cameron about life, work, and basketball.

Wolfpack Hoops: So Cam, how did you get into designing clothes?
CB: I've always been a clothes connoisseur. I like to have my own individual style, and it was just hard to find something unique that I really liked. I was tired of other peoples stuff. I love things customized, from my shoes to my car, and now to my clothes.

WH: When did you get this idea for Likuid N'Ation and when did you really get going, and decide to turn this into a business?CB: It really came about last summer after I finished up with school. I took Sports Management at State, got out and just wanted to get this thing started.


WH:Do you have stores? Where can we buy your clothing line?CB: I try to get them out there everywhere I touch down. I'm from Greensboro, went to school in Raleigh, and played over seas in Italy. So you can get them in all 3 cities. (Check out these locations to pick up your Likuid N'Ation gear)..or just order online.

WH: So after college you played over seas, correct? Did you, or do you, still keep up with any current Pack players?CB: Yeah I played in Italy and then Spain the past 2 years. I try to follow NC State basketball as much as I can but I'm always on the fly so it's hard. But I do keep in contact with Ben, Courtney, Brandon, Dennis and Simon. I also try to keep up with my old teammates but I'm sure they'll tell you I'm kind of hard to get up with as of late. I've been so busy.

WH: So right now at NC State we're missing that do-it-all type guard, a role you filled during your time with the Wolfpack. Speaking of your time with the Wolfpack, is there any single moment that sticks out to you from your years at State?CB: Besides the Sheldon Williams dunk which everyone knows about lol, the other memory that stands firm in my time at N.C. State was losing my senior game to Boston College. I had a torn hamstring and still continued to play. I felt like if I had been 100% we would have won that game.

WH: And what is it that you miss most about playing for the Pack?
CB: What I missed most about playing for State is the anticipation. That build up for an ACC match up. That's definitely what I miss the most.

Again, we'd like to thank Cam for the interview, and we'd also like to encourage you to get out there this Friday night and support his new clothing line by picking up a shirt or hitting up his blog. (Likuid N'Ation Blog)

What: Cameron Bennerman's clothing line launch
Where: Buddha's Belly (Hillsborough st., directly across from the Bell Tower)
When: This Friday, Jan. 30th (7:30pm-10pm)

Reco McCarter 08-09 Season Stats

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

Reco McCarter: Profile

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Height: 6'7
Weight: 187
Position: SF
Class: 2010
Team: Wayne Country Day (Goldsboro, NC)
Stars: Rivals and Scout - 3 Stars
ESPN Grade: 90
Status: Prospect
Offers: NC State, Clemson, Virginia Tech

Description:

The potential for Reco McCarter is limitless and his ceiling is sky high. He is 6'7 and runs the fast break like he is a point guard. In fact the fast break is where McCarter thrives. He has great handles for someone his size and can go coast to coast in the blink of an eye. If this lefty were to be described in one word it would be the word explosive. He loves to attack the rim and is ferocious in his approach. Reco is also a skilled passer on the break and within the half-court offense. He has a well-developed spin move that seems to be his bread and butter. His quickness and length make McCarter a nightmare on defense. Lack of effort is not in his vocabulary: he plays his heart out. Truth be told, this wonderful attribute leads to his weaknesses as well. Reco plays with so much energy that he can at times be out of control and take poor shots. He also needs to work on his perimeter shot. If Reco can harness some of his energy (mentally and physically) and develop his perimeter shot, he will be a nightmare of a mismatch in college. Even though Wake Forest hasn't officially offered Reco yet, most people think that they are a major contender as well. Reco is the #22 SF in the 2010 class and the 128th player overall.

Highlights of John Wall's Triple-Double Against Flora McDonald Last Friday

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Wall finished the game with 42 points, 12 rebounds, 10 assists.

Check out Wall's handles, passing vision, 3-point stroke, and his uncanny ability to attack the hoop. His hands seem to be magnetically attracted to the rim with all the dunking he's doing. Also check out Bishop Daniels; let us remind you that your boy is only a sophomore amd supposedly already holding a scholorship offer from the Pack.

Murrah's Emotions Riding High...Walton Falls in Top-10 Battle

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Murrah's emotions were riding high last night as they played in their first game since a tragic car accident took the life of one of their teammates and injured 3 others. After taking a moment of silence for the passing of friend and teammate Chris Ulmer, Murrah got off to a slow start, trailing 33-19 at halftime. But this was not going to be a night of losing for the Mustangs, because they had lost enough in the past week. Even without Dandy Dozen guard Dundrecous Nelson, who suffered a skull fracture in the car accident, the Mustangs found a way to win, defeating Jim Hill 77-75 in overtime last night. Murrah was propelled by LaQuinton Ross' 33 points. This young man is arguably the best player in the 2011 class.

Murrah is now 11-10 and LaQuinton Ross is averaging 23.7ppg.

Last night was a battle between giants. It was a faceoff between #5 Walton and #7 Lassiter. A couple unexpected things took place in the game: Walton was defeated 61-58 and Ryan Harrow was held to a season-low: 13 points. I talked to Ryan after the game and he was in the hospital. Apparently during the game he caught a vicious elbow to the temple that caused his eye to swell up. I told him I would be praying for him and he assured me he was ok. I'll give Ryan a buzz later today to make sure he is doing alright.

Walton is now 13-7 (5-4) on the year and Harrow is averaging 29.2ppg.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

"a-MAYS-ing " ; Wolfpack bury Canes in OT Thriller 84-81

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He only played a total of 11 minutes, but it will be a night that he'll never forget. Freshman Julius Mays, who was forced into the game after starting point guard Farnold Degand fouled out with less than 30 seconds to play, walked down the court and with ice in his veins pulled a game winning 3 in the face of Brian Asbury, which sent the RBC Center into a frenzy.

The finale was fitting for a game that was an all out dog fight. The Pack led at one point by 19 points but turnovers and poor shot selection let the Hurricanes, who to their credit never gave up, back into the game. But it was Brandon Costner, Courtney Fells, and Ben McCauley who stepped up and won this game for the Wolfpack. Paced by Fells' 24 points on 6-9 shooting from beyond the arc, and Costner's 21 State handled everything Miami threw at them. Ben McCauley anchored the Pack in overtime as they went on to shoot 84% in the bonus period.

But it was the freshman Mays who brought the house down with his clutch 3 as time was expiring. Although the attendance tonight in the RBC wasn't anything to write home about, the place was loud and the fans gave the Pack the momentum to push through a few tough stretches. During one particular stretch, in which Miami had come back to take the lead, Sid called a timeout that marked the turning point in the second half. In the huddle Sidney said, "Why are you afraid to win!? You stopped cutting hard, you stopped defending hard....why are you afraid!?" From that point forward the intensity was at 100% and the Wolfpack fought it's way to the victory.

Tonight we need to give credit where it is due. Sidney Lowe coached one heck of a game. From his starting line-up to his substitution pattern, Lowe showed his doubter that he does know how to handle his team and tonight you saw mental toughness at work. A move that will go unnoticed by many and I actually heard criticized by some fans, was a move that won NC State the ballgame. Simon Harris, who had logged all of 1 minute in regulation, started the overtime and locked down Adrian Thomas (#30) who was eating Tracy Smith's face off every time he got the ball. Thomas is a strong 6'7 that has 3 point range and perimeter prowess. Simon Harris locked on Thomas and played outstanding defense which helped State fend off the Hurricanes in the final minutes of the game.

Some more good news...2009 recruit Scott Wood was at the game and got to see his former high school teammate, Julius Mays, hit the game winning 3. CJ Leslie also was taking in the game with a group of friend....and yes, one did happen to be John Wall, who after the game ran down the tunnel like a kid at Christmas to give some dap to Courtney Fells. Leslie has been sitting his past 2 high school games with what we believe to be a sprained ankle. We'll let you know for sure when we hear more.

So now it's on to this weekend's game against our arch-rival, the Carolina Tarheels. Coming into the season the Tarheels were the favorite to win the ACC, but early slip-ups have provided a blueprint on how to beat, or at least contend with, the Tarheels. When asked how the Pack plans to defend the Tarheels, assistant coach Larry Harris responded, "We'll have the guys mentally prepared, but we don't have to say much to get the guys ready. We're going to go at them. They're going to come at us, but we're going to throw it right back at them. We're going to battle their a**." He also had a word for the fans at the RBC: "Bring your megaphones, your bats, and your musket guns...its going to be a war."

Pack Prepares as Hurricanes Approach

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NC State Wolfpack vs. Miami Hurricanes

Game Time: 7pm
Location: Raleigh, NC
Television: ESPNU

If last Saturday's game at Boston College was a must win, then I'm not really sure what to call tonight. Usually teams start worrying about the post season in mid-February, but for this year's Wolfpack, who has allowed too many games to slip away, the time to start worrying is now. It's hard win on the road in the ACC, so winning winnable games at home is a must. If you're going to make any noise in the league at all you probably can only lose one or two games on your home floor. Seeing as we still have to play UNC, and FSU has already walked into our house and had their way with us...I'd say that losing to Miami tonight on our home floor is not an option if we want to see any kind of post season dream come true.

So what are the keys to the game? If you're a frequent reader here at Wolfpack Hoops (or if you've tuned into any NC State games this season), I'm sure you can name number 1. Yep, you guessed it....TAKE CARE OF THE BALL. If the pack can limit turnovers they will have a pretty good shot at taking this game.

#2 would have to be winning the battle on the boards. NC State was manhandled in the 1st half last Saturday, and that's putting it lightly. Boston College banged, bumped, and pushed us around in the paint for the entire first 20 minutes. But Sidney's adjustment of the line-up to include Costner, McCauley, and Smith all at the same time proved to be the remedy because we out rebounded BC in the second half and almost came back to win. With three starters in the 6'7-6'10 range, Miami bolsters a big and rough front court that likes to scrap. You very well may see that line-up of Costner, McCauley, and Smith more than you're used to.

The last key, but certainly not least, is stopping Jack McClinton. He is the type of guy us Wolfpack fans despise lately. You know, the kind that single handily takes over a game, has a career day, and beats us with a last second buzzer beater as we stroll home weeping...But with a strong effort on McClinton, the Pack could very well pick up a gigantic victory and confidence boost heading into the big game against the Heels.


RECORD
NC State- 10-7 (1-4)
Miami- 14-6 (2-3)

LEADING SCORER
NC State- Brandon Costner (14.1)
Miami- Jack McClinton (17.9)

LEADING REBOUNDER
NC State- Ben McCauley (7.6)
Miami- Dwayne Collins (7.7)

ASSIST LEADER
NC State- Javi Gonzalez (2.7)
Miami- Jack McClinton (3.1)

TEAM FG%
NC State- 46.0%
Miami- 43.3%

TEAM REBOUNDING
NC State- 37.2
Miami- 42.6

TURNOVERS PER GAME
NC State- 14.1
Miami- 13.3

By the way, we are excited that Scott Wood is currently in Raleigh taking his official visit with the Pack. He arrived here yesterday, will attend the game tonight, and will head back to Indiana tomorrow.

LeFlore Makes it 10 in a Row...Word of God Isn't Far Behind With 7 Straight...Murrah Takes a Slide

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DeMarcus Cousins and the LeFlore Rattlers seem to be unstoppable. They have won 10 straight and boast a gaudy 23-2 record. They are ranked #9 in the nation according to MaxPreps and #13 according to USAToday. Last week Cousins and crew cleaned up 3 more wins against St. Paul's Episcopal, Duncanville, and Union.

Cousins straight owned the court as he posted a double-double in all three endeavors. He had 24 points and 11 boards in a 79-62 victory over St. Paul's Episcopal, 28 points and 14 boards in a 54-51 victory over previously ranked Duncanville, and 26 points and 15 boards in a 88-57 victory over Union. Cousins is now averaging 22.4ppg.

Word of God is supporting a streak of their own. They have now won 7 consecutive games as they beat Waccamaw Academy 75-46 last night. John Wall had 18 points and Bishop Daniels had 12. This makes the second straight game that WOG played without C.J. Leslie. We hope to have some information on this soon. Word of God is now 14-7.

Murrah has taken a little bit of a slide. They have lost two straight games at the hands of Melrose and NW Rankin. LaQuinton Ross scored 24 points against Rankin and continues to have a dominating sophomore campaign. He is averaging 23.2ppg.

Scott Wood 08-09 Season Highlights Part II

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31 points for Mr. Wood against Oak Hill.



Let's just say it is hard to find highlights from a game where Scott didn't score 30+. He dropped 31 on Eastbrook on 1/9/09.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Scott Wood 08-09 Season Highlights Part I

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Here are 2 pretty impressive Scott Wood videos. Notice his ability to shoot off the dribble, to shoot in traffic, and what about that range? With a release as quick as his, he's going to be pretty tough to stop.

Scott Wood scored 33 points against Lawrence North on 12/6/08.



Scotty also scored 36 against Lafayette Jefferson on 1/3/09.



Stay tuned for Part II in the morning.

Where Are They Now?: Ilian Evtimov Interview

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We recently caught up with Ilian Evtimov, a fan favorite who was a member of many very good Wolfpack teams of the not so distant past. We asked him a few questions about his whereabouts and about the recent state of Wolfpack basketball. He also provided us with a few pretty cool pictures that I'm sure you'll enjoy. And yes, that is him playing against former Pack star Marcus Melvin.

WOLFPACK HOOPS: What are you up to these days? We hear you're still playing basketball...hows that going?

Ilian Evtimov: I am currently playing basketball in Frankfurt Germany. It is going well... I am doing what I love. This is my second season here and I really like the city.

WH: What do you feel the difference is in playing in college and in Europe, as far as the speed of the game, and the fan support of the teams?
IE: The shot clock is 24 seconds in Europe. This is a big difference from college's 35. Everything in professional basketball is quicker. The plays, the time to make decisions...However, college players are physically quicker. I know, it is a bit contrary to itself. The game is played faster in the head now, and college was more about quickness physically. As far as the fans and organizations, I have to say that at NC State, the fan support and organization of the team was at the highest level possible. The difference in Europe is that it depends on teams. We do not have 5 managers to rebound for you, or 4 assistant coaches including the video coordinator... Everything in professional basketball in Europe is more generalized.
The fans are different in each country. The craziest ones are in Italy and Spain, and of course Greece. You could compare those to the Cameron Crazies. In Germany, the fans are not as crazy. We have good fan support however. Our gym capacity is 5,000 and it is usually full. Some gyms are smaller, and others bigger. But we will not get the 19,400 spectators we get at the RBC center against Carolina or Duke.

WH: Do you still keep track of NC State Basketball? What are you thoughts on it?
IE: I keep track of NC State basketball as much as I can. Anthony King from Miami is on my team, and we have other guys from North Carolina so we always keep track of all the ACC games. I think State has good talent and can achieve a lot. The ACC is the best conference in the US and any team can beat anyone. I played with some of the guys on the team like Ben, Brandon, and Courtney. So I keep up with them ...

WH: You were a fan favorite and a very smart player while you were here....any chance you'll come back to help coach, or coach your own team someday?

IE: Coaching has always been the thing that I want to do once I am finished playing. I have seen many different coaches throughout my career. Sometimes I think it is unfortunate that kids don't get taught the basics at an early age, instead they work on dunking or their cross overs. I also really believe it is imperial to be a player in order to be a good coach and understand the psychology of the players. I plan to come back to North Carolina after my career and see what doors are open in order to start coaching.

WH: Right now at State, our team's confidence seems to be down. Our fans seem to not really believe in this team's ability to win games, even when we have a lead. Do you feel like the attitude and outlook of the fans ever seep into the locker room, or bring down the team's morale?...Or do the players honestly not worry about how the fan base feels?
IE: In basketball, it is important to keep outside influences outside the team. Things like criticism from fans, friends, and the like, the media (good or bad), and other things that can influence the play of the team, needs to be kept away. The self confidence to win those games has to come from the team, because at the end of the day, they will be the ones on the court performing and winning. It is the job of the players individually and collectively to do this task. But the fans need to understand that it doesn't hurt anyone more than the players and coaching staff to lose a game. Reason is the fans have no idea how much work is put behind closed doors, and some of the sacrifices that have been made. No one likes to lose. Especially not the guys fighting on the court.

WH: We all at Wolfpack Hoops want to let you know that you were one of our favorite players to watch, and we know the fans feel the same way. Is there anything you would like to say to the Wolfpack Nation?

IE: The road is bumpy, but that is the only way to appreciate the goodness when it comes and when it goes. If it was easy, it wouldn't be interesting. So support the players throughout good and bad times, because they are playing to win. The fans are great at NC State, some of the best there is.


Again, we at Wolfpack Hoops would like to thank Ilian for giving a great interview and providing us with some awesome pictures. It's great to know we have people like him representing our university all over the world! And FYI...the picture below is very interesting. It's Ilian in the background with his brother shooting a hook shot over none other than Kris Lang.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

John Wall Goes 40+ For The Second Straight Game..."The Legend of Lorenzo Brown"...Leslie Soars in Rankings

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John Wall stepped into a league of his own on Friday night, as he scored 40+ points for the second straight game in a victory over Flora McDonald. With C.J. Leslie not playing, Wall had to step up his game. His 42 points were enough to give Word of God a 97-91 victory. In the past two games Wall has improved his scoring average by over 4ppg. He is now averaging 22.2ppg.

We are unsure why Leslie didn't play in the game, but we will try to find out. Also, it should be noted that Bishop Daniels had one of his best games of the season, scoring 18 points. Word of God, who was at one point 7-7, has won 6 straight games to improve to 13-7 on the year.



Centennial almost destroyed their #1 ranking on Friday night. If they had lost to Roswell it would have been a tremendous upset. But at the end of the night the team with the "best player on the court" won the game. Lorenzo Brown's 29 points, including the game winning basket with 16 seconds left on the clock, led Centennial to a 69-67 victory.

Beaconcast.com's opening line to their write-up of the game was perfect. It read:

"The legend of Lorenzo Brown continues to grow."

Also in the write-up, Coach Whitehart (Centennial's coach) was quoted as saying:

"“If [Lorenzo's] not a McDonald’s All-American then they need to rethink the selection process,” said Whitehart."

Beaconcast.com Article




Also, ESPN has just updated their Super 60 rankings for the class of 2010. Let's just say that Leslie must have made an impression on the people up in Bristol because he jumped from the 53rd spot to the 19th.

Wheeler vs. Walton: Howell too Much to Handle

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Richard Howell has had quite a weekend. He led his team to two victories in two days over two of the Top-10 teams in the state of Georgia. After scoring 25 points in the victory over Milton on Friday night, Howell put up one of the best stat lines we have seen all year last night. He churned out 28 points, 20 rebounds, and 4 blocked shots in a 106-95 victory over Ryan Harrow's Walton Raiders. Harrow was a warrior as usual, doing all that he could to get his team the win, matching Howell's 28 points. Wheeler has turned their season around and they are looking more like the team that many thought might contend for the State Championship. Both Walton and Wheeler are now 13-6 on the season.

Check out the Marietta Daily-Journal's write-up of the game:

Excerpt:

"Howell's a beast, and our guys battled against him, but he's tough to guard."

Marietta Daily Journal

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Pack Can't Dig Itself Out of Early Hole; Lose to BC 79-68

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The story of a hard fight that falls short is starting to get old as it was the story once again today. The Wolfpack came out cold and flat allowing Boston College to jump out to a big lead that in the end would never be relinquished.

The first half was a story of the offensive boards. Boston College wanted them more than NC State did and it showed. Boston College ended the first half with 16 while the Wolfpack pulled down just 5. The scene at Chestnut Hill was nothing to be proud of: the crowd sparse, the fans quiet, and the play poor. Boston College out-muscled the Pack 42-27 going into the half.

The theme of the second half was adjustments, and no matter who you are, you have to credit Sidney Lowe. He came out with a never before seen line-up of Degand, Fells, Costner, Smith, and McCauley who went to work by shooting 8 for 8 to start the half and taking control of the paint with high-lows and post exchanges. The other adjustment Sidney made was to bring a big to double Tyrese Rice as soon as the ball was inbounded, forcing another player to bring the ball up the floor which for the most part ended up with poor quick shots by players that Boston College really didn't want shooting. State fought all the way back to within 3 at the 11:45 mark, but then McCauley and Smith got into foul trouble and that was the end of that. The Eagles held on and took down the Wolfpack, making State's chances for any postseason even slimmer. The name of the game was rebounding: State couldn't handle the extremely active BC frontcourt who finished the game out-rebounding the Pack 40-24...and 19-10 on the offensive boards.

Lowe and company take on Miami Tuesday at home and hope to change their fortunes before the showdown with the Heels next weekend.

BOX SCORE

Pack Women's Coach Kay Yow Dies at 66

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1942-2009

We at Wolfpack Hoops would like to extend our prayers to the Yow family and friends at such a tough time. Kay Yow was a great basketball coach, a great person, and a true fighter. We are proud to have had the opportunity to watch her and to have had her represent our University for all these years.

Wolfpack Take on Eagles In "Must Win" Match-Up

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NC STATE WOLFPACK vs. BOSTON COLLEGE


GAME TIME: 2pm
LOCATION: Chestnut Hill, MA
TELEVISION: Raycom

If there ever was a must win road game in the ACC, this game is it. The Pack, coming off a hard fought loss against Duke, hope to carry over their effort today against the Eagles. If they hope to win they will need to, and this is no surprise, take care of the basketball. The Pack turned the ball over 19 times against Duke, and we will continue to sound like a broken record when we say that number must come down in order to win...especially on the road. Against Duke, the Pack had 10 points off turnovers while the Blue Devils raked up a clean 27...that is a 17 point difference, the final score was 73-56....a 17 point difference.

To beat the Eagles it is no secret that you need to stop Tyrese Rice, the senior leader and monster scoring guard for the Eagles. His 18 points and 6 assists per game are pretty gaudy for a point guard, but if Degand or Mays can slow down Rice, and Fells can hold their 6'5 combo player Rakim Sanders steady, NC State should walk out of Chestnut Hill with a victory.

The key for State is to realize the magnitude of this game. Win this and they still hold on hopes for a postseason, but lose this and the odds of playing deep into March slim down quite a bit. Hustle, intensity, and focus will be what the Pack need to go on the road at Chestnut Hill, where they are 1-2, and pull out a victory. Boston College likes to bomb from downtown where they shoot 34.4%. But it's the NC State frontcourt that has a big advantage, skill wise, over the Eagles and if NC State is to pull away, it's going to need to exploit that.


RECORD
NC State- 10-6 (1-3)
Boston College- 14-6 (2-3)

LEADING SCORER
NC State- Brandon Costner (14.6)
Boston College- Tyrese Rice (18)

LEADING REBOUNDER
NC State- Ben McCauley (7.7)
Boston College- Joe Trapani (7.0)

ASSIST LEADER
NC State- Javi Gonzalez (2.7)
Boston College- Tyrese Rice (5.9)

TEAM FG%
NC State- 46.1%
Boston College- 44.6%

TEAM REBOUNDING
NC State- 38
Boston College- 38.5

TURNOVERS PER GAME
NC State- 14.4
Boston College- 13

Wheeler beats Top-10 Rival...Wood Crosses 1,000 Point Mark...Harrow and Wall in the News

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Richard Howell seems like the type of player that can take care of business when he needs to. Through following his play all year, I have noticed that he doesn't seem to be a selfish player. Rather, he seems like a player who lets the game come to him and can take the game over for his team when they need him to. That is exactly what Howell did last night when he led Wheeler (12-6, 6-1) to a tremendous victory over Milton (#8 in Georgia) by a score of 76-63. Howell scored 25 points in the game, setting the tone early on by pouring in 20 points in the first half.

Last night's win over Anderson was more than just your ordinary Friday night High School basketball game for Scott Wood. In route to leading Marion to their 9th straight win by a score of 81-65, Wood also became the 13th player in Marion history to score over 1,000 points. He added 33 more points to his career numbers last night in the win.

Check out the Chronicle-Tribune's write-up on Wood's great accomplishment.



We love to share the wealth when it comes to articles that we find on the web. We are about to present to you one of our favorite finds. In this morning's Marietta Daily Journal there is a feature story on Ryan Harrow. The article is a biographical sketch of Ryan's life, painting a picture of how he learned to love the sport of basketball, how he ended up at Walton, and why he chose to commit to the Wolfpack.

Excerpt:

"Harrow, who made his verbal commitment to North Carolina State at the end of his sophomore year, has been playing basketball in some form [since] he was 2 years old. He says his father taught him to play, but he also picked [up] a few things watching television."

"I watched TV and just tried to do whatever I saw on the screen," Harrow said. "I was always just working on my game and trying to get better. It makes me feel good to see that all my hard work is paying off finally. I still have another year to maybe do even better than I did this year."

"I think it (NC State) is the best place for me, and it looks like it is going to work out," he said. "We are going to have some other pretty good people going there."

Marietta Daily Journal Ryan Harrow Article




Also, we would like to share an article the Lawrence Journal-World & News put out on what it is like to live in John Wall's World. The article is insightful and very well-written. Give it a read...

By the way, in the article John says that everyone is just going to have to wait until April. No problem John, we'll wait as long as you like.

John Wall Article

Friday, January 23, 2009

Interviews After the Centennial/Walton Game...2009 Spalding Hoophall Classic Highlights

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On January 16th Lorenzo Brown's Centennial Knights beat Ryan Harrow's Walton Raiders 91-90 in a Regional battle. Check out this post-game interview that features Centennial's Coach Whitehart, Lorenzo Brown, Ryan Fleming, and Devonta White.

Favorite Quotes:

-Coach Whitehart basically said that you really can't hope to defend a player like Harrow, you can only hope to contain. He also talked about how Lorenzo has been carrying the team on his back all year as a leader.
-Ryan Fleming, who made the game winning layup on an assist from Lorezno Brown, raved about Brown's defense and about what an awesome teammate he is.



Also, check out this highlight reel from this past week's Spalding Hoophall Classic which featured Pack prospect DeMarcus Cousins, the highly touted and unsigned Lance Stephenson, Georgia Tech's Derrick Favors, UNC's Travis Wear, Tennessee's Josh Selby, Memphis' Xavier Henry, and Oklahoma's Keith Gallon.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Where Are They Now: Anthony Grundy

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One of our goals at WolfpackHoops is to not only look towards the future, but to embrace a history of NC State Basketball that is rich and filled with tradition. One of the ways that we hope to accomplish this goal is through a section of this site that will be titled "Where are they now?" In this section we will give you a detailed breakdown of each player's career at NC State, and what their basketball career has been like professionally, along with continual updates of their current season production.

Our feature in this episode of "Where are they now?" is none other than Anthony Grundy. In our opinion, Anthony Grundy doesn't get the credit that he deserves. Grundy left a dent in the NC State Record Books more so than most players in the past two decades. If you are new to the Wolfpack Nation you might not be familiar with our dear friend Mr. Grundy. If you have been bleeding RED for a long time, then you can remember this phenomenal basketball player. When you remember Anthony Grundy you might remember his unorthodox form, his impossible to forget free-throw stance, or his acrobatic ability to finish around the hoop. What needs to be remembered is that it was through his play that the NC State Basketball program was brought back to respectability.

Anthony Grundy played at NC State from 1998 through 2002. Even though he averaged a respectable 8ppg as a Freshman, it was Grundy's Sophomore season that really launched his college career, and there was no slowing down this athlete once he got rolling. He led the Pack in scoring and steals his Sophomore, Junior, and Senior campaigns.

Scoring:
99-00: 12.5ppg
00-01: 14.6ppg
01-02: 17.8ppg

Steals:
99-00: 2.1spg
00-01: 2.2spg
01-02: 2.1spg

He found his way onto the All-ACC Tournament Third Team as a Sophomore and donned the Tourney's First Team as a Senior. Grundy's leadership his Senior year helped end a streak that haunted Wolfpack Nation for over a decade by leading the pack to the treasured NCAA Tourney for the first time in 11 years. He didn't just get the Pack to the Tourney, he led them to the Second Round. In 2002 the Pack defeated Michigan State 69-58 in the First Round and lost a heartbreaker to UCONN 77-74.

Grundy also splashed ink all over the NC State Record Books. Here is where he stands amongst all of the great players in NC State Basketball History:

9th on the All-Time Scoring List
10th on the All-Time Assists List
2nd on the All-Time Steals List
12th in Career FG's Made
9th in Career 3PT FG's Made

He is also one of only 18 Pack players to score over 30+ points in a single game more than once in their career.

Since College, Grundy has gone on a World Tour in the Realm of Professional Basketball. Here is a breakdown of Grundy's Professional Career thus far:

2002-03: Grundy played in Germany for EWE Baskets Oldenburger and averaged 12.5ppg (25 games)
2003-04: Grundy played a brief stint in Germany with TSG Ehingen and averaged 28.1ppg (12 games). Later that year he played 16 games for the Raleigh Knights (WBA) and averaged 20.8ppg during that stint.
2004-05: Grundy crossed the ocean again, this time playing for Ockelbo BBK in Sweden. He only played 9 games (33.4ppg) in Sweden before heading off to the Promised Land of Israel. He played 19 games for Ramat Hasharon, and scored 17.7ppg. If you haven't noticed, this man couldn't seem to stay put. For the third time in one year Grundy moved and this time he landed in Venezuela. He played 12 games for Panteras de Miranda and scored 23.8ppg.
2005-06: Anthony jumped back across the Pond in aspirations of fulfilling his dream of playing in the NBA. He started in the NBA D-League with the Roanoke Dazzle. The Atlanta Hawks must have noticed the damage that he was doing in the D-League (44 games: 23ppg) because they called him up to the Big Leagues. While his stint in the NBA was brief (12 games: 4.3ppg), he did fulfill a lifelong dream.
2006-07: The World Traveler got itchy and jumped the Pond once more and played for Siviglia Wear Teramo in Italy where he averaged 18.2ppg (33 games).
2007-08: Our dear friend moved on to Greece where he played for (and still does) Panellinios Athens. In his first season with them he averaged 21.4 in the regular season (26 games) and 18ppg in the playoffs (2 games).
2008-09: Greece seems to be a good place to call home for Grundy because he signed a 2 year extension with Panellinios Athens in 2008. This year he is averaging 14 points per game.


Professional Awards:
All-WBA 1st Team - 04
All-WBA Defensive Player of the Year - 04
All-NBA D-League 1st Team - 06
2005-06 - Grundy became the 1st player in D-League History to score 1,000 points in a season.
Greek League All-Star Team - 08Eurobasket.com All-Greek League Honorable Mention -08

We are proud of Anthony Grundy. He has represented our University well and has shown tremendous perseverance and determination in his career. His numbers speak for themselves and we will continue to update you weekly as they pile up.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Catching Up With Ryan Harrow

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We've been privileged to develop a friendship with 2010 NC State commit Ryan Harrow. We have nothing but good things to say of the young man. When you talk to him it doesn't take long to realize that he is a rarity in our society because he is friendly, humble, and polite. We appreciate Ryan's cooperation with us, and it is because of it that we are able to provide you with consistent updates on his stats/results. Earlier this season we were able to do a phone interview with Ryan and we were able to catch up with him again today.

This past Saturday Ryan made it up to Raleigh for his first NC State Basketball game, as he and the rest of Wolfpack Nation were treated to an Overtime Thriller, when the Pack triumphed over Georgia Tech. We were curious about what Ryan thought of his first experience in the RBC Center.

WolfpackHoops: What did you think of your first NC State Basketball game in the RBC Center? What did you think of the atmosphere?

Harrow: I loved how much the fans were into the game. During the timeouts I would just look around at all of the fans in their Red and White.

WolfpackHoops: Did you get a chance to talk with Coach Lowe? With any of the Players?

Harrow: After the game I was able to go back in the locker room with Coach Lowe and the team. Coach Lowe told me that he was happy that I was able to make the game and that he wished that I was out there on the court for him now. He also told me that he was proud of me and was excited to hear about how I was playing this season. He also told me that he was excited to hear about my ability to score and that I wasn't just a passing point guard. I also got to talk with Brandon, Courtney, and Farnold. I got to meet all three of them over the summer when I came up and they all told me that they were excited to hear about the season I've been having.

WolfpackHoops: Do you think you will be able to make anymore Pack games this year?

Harrow: I will be coming up to the UNC game on January 31st and I will also go to the game at Georgia Tech. I am going to try to make some other games as well.

WolfpackHoops: What was it about NC State and Coach Lowe that drew you to come play for the Pack?

There are a lot of things that I like about NC State. I like that they are in the ACC and I like that they are close to home. Coach Lowe was also a big draw for me. I love how much Coach Lowe understands the game and I understand how much he understands the point guard position. I'm looking forward to learning under him as a Coach.

WolfpackHoops: What part of your game do you see yourself working on the most this upcoming offseason?

Harrow: I'll probably work on my defense the most. I will also hit the weight room so I can put on some weight so I will be more prepared to play in the ACC.

WolfpackHoops: You've told us in the past that you and Lorenzo Brown were God-Brothers. How did this come about?

Harrow: Lorenzo and I met playing basketball when we were 8 years old. We've been attached and been best friends ever since. We would play ball and hang out together all the time. We grew up playing AAU together, 3-on-3 tournaments, and pick-up ball at the YMCA and Boys and Girls Club as well. His mom pursued my mom about being Lorenzo's God-parents and it sounded like a good idea for both families.

WolfpackHoops: You had a real big game last week against Centennial. What was the game like? Did you and Lorenzo talk any friendly junk?

Harrow: The game was really intense. We were both so intense and focused that we could barely even look at each other. We've always wished that we could just have played High School ball together.

WolfpackHoops: Do you and Lorenzo ever sit around and talk about what NC State's backcourt might look like in the future with the two of you at the helm?

Harrow: We always say it is going to be crazy. We're both pretty good and we play so well together that we think that we will be able to make the team a lot better. We talk about coming in together and leading State to a championship.

I also asked Ryan what his vertical was and he told me that he has never had it measured. He said he was going to get his P.E. coach to measure it tomorrow because people keep asking.

By the way, Ryan had 33 points and 10 assists to lead Walton 88-68 over Pope at home last night.

We look forward to talking to Ryan after the UNC game and will keep you updated on how he is doing. I think Sidney has found us a gemstone folks.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

#2 Duke Shoots Pack Out of Cameron: 73-56

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The Pack played their hearts out, but fell to the Devils 73-56 in a game which the score doesn't even begin to tell the story. In the beginning it looked as if this game was going to be ugly, with Duke starting the game shooting 1-12 and State turning the ball over 3 times before they even got a shot off in the first half. But 5 minutes in, the battle began. Duke and State fought back and forth, and it was State who held the 26-22 lead going into halftime.

The play of Brandon Costner (15pts, 5rebs) and Ben McCauley (15pts, 5rebs) once again fueled the Pack, who at times looked to be the more disciplined focused team on the floor. The Pack was at it's best when it played inside-out, meaning they worked their offense until they were able to get a good feed into the post, then the defense would either defend it one on one, or bring help, which then dictated what the post player would do: if he would hit a cutter, pass out to the open man, or attack the defender. When the Wolfpack run their offense and play inside-out they look surgical and precise as they get good shot after good shot. It's only when they begin to get away from that do the turnovers mount up and the bad shots begin the fly.

The point guard play was poor again, with the only true bright spot being the play of Julius Mays, who mysteriously only logged 5 minutes in the 2nd half. With Mays at the helm the Wolfpack looked disciplined, confident and patient. He got the ball up the floor with no troubles, and orchestrated the offense, telling people where to go, and scolding teammates for quick, poor shots. Although Sidney wants to run at a faster pace and get out on the break, the personnel on this team is built for a half court offense and sometimes gets out of its comfort zone when going at too high of a speed. Farnold Degand played a decent game; but again, he was not as sure or confident as Mays, as he consistently struggled to get the ball up the court and get the team into its offensive sets, which many times turned into Degand driving and kicking. Mysteriously Degand logged almost all the minutes in the 2nd half. Note that he also had a team high of 6 turnovers which had many pack fans questioning the decision Lowe made.

Overall it ended up being Gerald Henderson and his 21 points, many of which were dunks that sent the Cameron Crazies into a frenzy, that did the Wolfpack in. That, and the fact that Duke shot 76% in the 2nd half rendering the Pack helpless against Duke's onslaught. Although they put another L in the loss column, this team is improving. Duke is good, they are the #2 team in the land, and the Wolfpack stood toe to toe with them for 35 minutes at Cameron Indoor. The key to success for the Pack is to work out the point guard problems, and as Mays continues to grow and gain experience those problems should slowly but surely begin to disappear. Although the loss is a heart breaker, because of how close they kept it through most of the game, this should be looked at as an improvement. The Pack walked onto the #2 team in the country's home floor and walked out with their heads held high, and even more reason to believe in themselves.

When asked "Do you feel there is a gap between you guys and say, Carolina, Wake and Duke?" Brandon Costner answered "I don't feel there is any gap. I feel that at some points we give in mentally to mental fatigue and those mistakes dictate the outcome. If we can eliminate those mistakes as you saw, there is no gap...we can play with anybody"

Centennial's Streak Ends at 14 and A Big Shout Out to Bill Self

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We all need to give a big shout out to our dear friend Bill Self. The Kansas coach has admitted to having a verbal exchange with John Wall last week after Word of God's first round game of the Tournament of Champions in Springfield, Missouri, last Thursday night. While it doesn't seem that there was much of an exchange, it did take place during an evaluation period last week when coaches were not allowed to contact prospects beyond exchanging greetings. Self apparently greeted Wall and then went on to compliment him on his performance. The NCAA now has to decide if this exchange qualifies as a "contact." While we have nothing personal against Mr. Self or the Kansas program, we do covet the #1 player in the country and appreciate the coach's assistance in possibly eliminating one of the teams from the mix.

Centennial hadn't lost since November 29th, 2008, and since then had put together a vicious 14 game winning streak. Yesterday the streak came to an end. I'm sure the Knights would have preferred that the streak end under better conditions considering the fact that they lost on their own court while hosting an all-day Holiday Classic. Miller Grove (15-2), who is no slouch, beat Centennial 88-66. Lorenzo did his usual by putting in 23 points. Centennial is now 14-2 on the year.

Wolfpack Ready to "Duke" It Out in Cameron

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NC STATE WOLFPACK vs #2 DUKE BLUE DEVILS
***UPDATE: A person on the staff has informed us that the game will go on unless weather worsens, which is not expected.

GAME TIME- 8pm
LOCATION- Durham, NC
TELEVISION- Raycom, ESPN Full Court

Improbability seems to be the theme today. Today we are swearing in our first African-American President, a president many said would never have a chance to be in the running, let alone be elected. If you live in the Triangle, you went to bed with Greg Fischel telling you that this storm was breaking down and would be nothing more than a dusting of snow. You woke up with 2 inches of snow covering the ground, and schools and businesses closed. It was improbable, but it happened. Tonight NC State looks to add to the list of improbables as they attempt to take down #2 Duke in Durham, and while nobody is giving them a chance... they believe it can be done.

The Pack faces the #2 Blue Devils tonight at 8pm at Cameron Indoor, a place they haven't been very successful at as of late. In fact, the Pack hasn't won in Cameron since the 94-95 season. But this Wolfpack team is starting to believe, and with the emotional win against Georgia Tech on Saturday, the team feels as if they've got a shot in Durham and are looking to start their first ACC winning streak since last February.

The key to the game against Duke is, you guessed it, taking care of the basketball. The Wolfpack have had the turnover blues all season, and it's not going to get any easier against Duke, a team that forces an average of 17 turnovers per game by applying intense back court pressure, staying in the passing lanes, and switching on almost every screen. Coach Lowe has stressed this in practice, showing the team what Duke wants to do and how to attack their pressure defense by exploiting mismatches and making the extra pass to get an open look.

To stop Duke you need to stop their motor, Gerald Henderson. While Henderson is not a great scorer, he is a dynamic athlete and can shift momentum with one high flying dunk or one soul stealing block. State needs to keep him in check while also being active and keeping leading scorer Kyle Singler from getting in a groove because when Singler gets hot it's hard to stop the Devils. Enter Brandon Costner, who will take on the assignment of checking Singler, who by the way, leads Duke in scoring, rebounding and assists. In the past you might cringe at the thought of B-Cost having to check a play maker like Singler, but this is a new year and Sidney's "play hard or don't play at all" ultimatum seems to have struck a nerve in Brandon who put together 36 minutes of high energy, high intensity basketball, as he defended, rebounded, and took charges in the big victory over Georgia Tech.

While he only scored 4 points against G.T., the Pack is looking for Senior Courtney Fells to step up and start to score. No doubt that when Fells is on, the Wolfpack are usually successful, but big games from the Senior have been few and far between since he went down with an ankle injury earlier this season. If Fells is going to have a big game this season, tonight is the night. If he can play within the offense and take good shots he should be able get his scoring groove back as Duke likes to switch on screens, leaving Fells with a great deal of mismatches he should be able to take advantage of.

RECORD
NC State- 10-5 (1-2)
Duke- 16-1 (3-0)

LEADING SCORER
NC State- Brandon Costner (14.6)
Duke- Kyle Singler (16.8)

LEADING REBOUNDER
NC State- Ben McCauley (7.9)
Duke- Kyle Singler ((8.4)

ASSIST LEADER
NC State- Javi Gonzalez (2.9)
Duke- Kyle Singler (3.1)

TEAM FG%
NC State- 46.2%
Duke- 47.1%

TEAM REBOUNDING
NC State- 38.1
Duke- 39.8

TURNOVER PER GAME
NC State- 14.1
Duke- 14.4

Monday, January 19, 2009

Cousins To Take an Official Visit to NC STATE

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According to Rivals.com, coveted recruit DeMarcus Cousins will be taking an official visit to State sometime in the near future. He will also visit Memphis and Kansas State. Here is a link to that article:

Rivals Article on Cousins

Things to think about:

- Cousins has eliminated UAB, but still says he's "down" with Mike Davis. This likely means that if the relationship between Cousins and Davis is as close as they all say, Davis will have a say in where Cousins ends up.

- If what was stated above ends up happening, it's important to remember that UAB plays in the same conference as Memphis, and if Davis is still around at UAB, you'd think he'd rather not have his friend and former recruit playing against him...especially for that serpent Calapari.

Howell and Cousins Impress

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Richard Howell and DeMarcus Cousins both played today in the Spalding Hoophall Classic and both looked ACC ready. Howell, who already has committed to the Pack, wasn't very active early and was on the bench most of the second quarter because Wheeler had to go small against St. Benedict's, who was quick and very fast paced. Howell started off by showing us a quick peek at his versatility by raining down a smooth three ball from the corner. The second half was a new game for Howell who decided to get active in the paint. His body is already that of a grown man, with wide shoulders and rippling arms. We knew he could finish inside but what we weren't aware of was his court vision and passing ability. Howell, time after time, passed on an open jumper to find a cutting teammate under the basket. His post moves are ok, they aren't polished yet, but you can tell he has an idea what to do with the ball when he gets it in the paint. Sidney Lowe keeps promising Pack fans an uptempo offense, so he's going to need guys like Howell who run the floor with ease and can finish on the break. Sir Rich finished up with what we counted to be 16 points. No official word on rebounds yet but he did a fair job on the boards for having to share the paint with Wake Forest recruit Ari Stewart.


DeMarcus Cousins. Wow. This guy is gonna be good but I'm not necessarily sure he's a one and done type guy, which would add a huge bonus to whatever team happens to land the stud Senior. Lets just say this....he's big, he's smart, and he can shoot. His footwork was very impressive and he made a few big plays where he showcased his handles with behind the back dribbles and spin moves in traffic. Remember folks, some have him listed at 6'11. What he needs to improve on is his back to the basket post game which isn't his strong suit. He likes to catch the ball about 12 feet out and do work on you with dribble drives or short jumpers. But don't get us wrong, if Cousins gets inside he can ruin faces with his long limbed powerful slams. But lets forget about scoring for a second. I want to bring out a play that really caught my attention and got me DROOLING for Cousins to choose the Wolfpack. About midway through the first half Lance Stephenson, the monster forward from Brooklyn, got free on the break and was yearning for that YouTube special in Cousins grill, but just as you thought Cousins was going to make the big mistake and jump with the athletic phenom, he made a quick step forward and took a picture perfect charge, sending Stephenson into a child-like frenzy. Cousins ended up with 17 points and 20 boards and was the ultimate team player and beast in the paint.

Here are some highlights from the LeFlore/Lincoln game, and an interview with Cousins.





A Trip Down Memory Lane

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Set aside around 25 minutes to watch these videos. Pop some popcorn. Crack open a Coke. Kick your feet up. Glory in the past...Dream of the future.

1988: The Pack is led by Monroe and Del Negro down the stretch to lead Jimmy V's Pack past Duke in Cameron (The rest of the crew: Chris Corchiani, Chucky Brown, and Charles Shackleford).



1989: Fire and Ice do it again in Reynolds.



Your boy Fells makes Thomas look like an infant.

Recruits On TV Today (ESPNU)

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Check out Richard Howell and Wheeler High as they take on St. Benedict's at 11:30am on ESPNU....immediately followed by your second dose of DeMarcus Cousins in one week, as LeFlore squares off against Lincoln (Brooklyn, NY) at 1:30pm.

Post game write-ups of our recruits will follow.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Brandon Costner One of NC State's All-Time Leading Scorers?

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1. Rodney Monroe 1988-91 2,551
2. David Thompson 1973-75 2,309
3. Julius Hodge 2002-05 2,040
4. Sammy Ranzino 1948-51 1, 967
5. Hawkeye Whitney 1977-80 1,964
6. Kenny Carr 1975-77 1,772
7. Ronnie Shavlik 1954-56 1,761
8. Dick Dickey 1947-50 1,644
9. Anthony Grundy 1999-02 1,641
10. Tommy Burleson 1974-76 1,598
11. Todd Fuller 1993-96 1,585
12. Mel Thompson 1952-54 1,574
13. Van Williford 1968-70 1,543
14. Tom Gugliotta 1989-92 1,536
15. Lorenzo Charles 1982-85 1,535
16. Paul Horvath 1948-51 1,513
17. Thurl Bailey 1980-83 1,495
18. Bobby Speight 1951-53 1,430
19. Chris Corchiani 1988-91 1,425
20. Vic Molodet 1954-56 1,405
21. Clyde Austin 1977-80 1,383
22. Chucky Brown 1986-89 1,357
23. Kenny Inge 1998-01 1,355
24. Gavin Grant 2005-08 1,342
25. Marcus Melvin 2001-04 1,301

These are the Top 25 Leading Scorers in the History of NC State Basketball. It shouldn't go unnoticed that Brandon Costner is on pace to be one of the All-Time leading scorers for the Wolfpack. He currently has 1,094 points. If he were to continue to score 14.6 ppg for the rest of the regular season and 1 ACC game he would finish this year with 1,313 which would move BC into the 25th spot bumping Marcus Melvin out. If Brandon were to come back next year like he alluded to earlier this season, it is feasible that he would finish as one of the Top-10 Wolfpack scorers of All-Time. Give B-Cost his props.

Sharing the Wealth

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We thought we would share some of the articles that have been floating around on the web:



Here is a good read on Wall from the News-Leader of Springfield, Missouri. This is a small snippit:

"Jerry Meyer, Rivals.com's national basketball recruiting analyst, said Wall is a true pass-first point guard with uncanny north-and-south speed. Meyer compares Wall to NBA guards Rajon Rondo of the Boston Celtics, Tony Parker of the San Antonio Spurs and Derrick Rose of the Chicago Bulls at a similar stage."

John Wall Article

Here is a good read on Scott Wood from the Chronicle-Tribune. It's focus is on Wood being a Mr. Basketball candidate in the state of Indiana.

Excerpt:

"Marion coach Joe Luce believes Wood has bucked those trends because of his role in the Giants’ success over the past 2½ years.

“When you talk to college basketball coaches, they will mention Scott as one of the three best players in Indiana,” Luce said. “He’s done everything that he can do to make himself a household name in Indiana.”

Luce said another successful postseason run for the Giants would help send Wood to the top of the Mr. Basketball list, and Wood agrees.

“I have no chance to win Mr. Basketball if we don’t win games,” Wood said. “If we win games and go back to state, that other stuff will take care of itself.

“My main thing is to win games, whether that means I have to score 30 points or zero points,” Wood added."

Scott Wood Article

Also, check out this video interview with Scott Wood that Digital Sports did.

Scott Wood Interview

Here is a write-up from Beaconcast of the Walton vs. Centennial game that was this past Friday.

Excerpt:

"Whitehart was genuinely amazed at the talent he saw on both sides of the ball.

“You really can’t defend those kids. You can’t defend a Glen (Rice), you can’t defend a Ryan Harrow, you can’t defend a DeVonta and you can’t defend a Lorenzo. You can only hope to contain them.”"

Game Recap

Saturday, January 17, 2009

John Wall is the #1 Player in the Country?...We Think the Title fits...Wall Goes for 41. Murrah, Marion, and Centennial Keep Streaking.

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Everybody has an opinion on who the best high school basketball player is. Well, John Wall played like the best last night in an MVP manner. Wall had a season-high 41 points in a victory over Olympia 80-77, which was the championship game of the Bass Pro Shops Tournament of Champions. He also added 10 rebounds and 7 assists. In fact, he either scored or assisted on all of WOG's final 25 points of the game. C.J. Leslie also scored 19 points and made the All-Tournament Team along with Tournament MVP Wall. WOG has made a 180 turn and is now 12-7 this season. Wall is now averaging 19.9 a game and Leslie is averaging 18.8.

Scott Wood kept a streak alive and so did his Marion Giants. Scott Wood has now scored 20+ points in 10 straight games, which is every game he has played in this season. Marion has also won 8 straight games as they beat Mississinewa 67-54. Marion is now 9-1 on the year and Scott Wood is averaging 27.8 ppg.

Murrah has won 4 straight after a subpar first half of the season. Sophomore LaQuinton Ross has been a big part of the turnaround. Murrah beat Grenada 59-53 on Friday night. Ross scored around his usual with 20 points. Murrah is now 10-8 and Ross is averaging 23.1.

Centennial also streaked on to their 14th straight win as they beat Whitefield 58-46. Lorenzo Brown had 17 points in the win.

DeMarcus Cousins vs. Southlake...and Glaxo Highlights

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DeMarcus Cousins is #15 in the green with the white headband.



Someone put together a good highlight reel of the GSK.

Word of God vs. Rocky Mount: John Wall is #11, C.J. Leslie is #5, and Bishop Daniels is #10 in the white and purple. Tashawn Mabry is #43 in the black.

Panther Creek vs. Enloe: Earnest Ross (Auburn Commit) is #33 in the light blue.

Middle Creek vs. Southern Lee: Garrius Adams (Miami Commit) is #24 in the black and red.

BUZZ OFF! Pack Outlasts, Out-Executes Yellow Jackets; 76-71

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After the loss to FSU, Sidney Lowe gave his team an ultimatum. Play hard all the time, or don't play at all. Well, it looks like the Pack got the message. Fueled by the all out hustle and aggressiveness of Brandon Costner, the Wolfpack ground out an OT victory 76-71.

The offense was crisper, the defense more intense, and Sidney Lowe was at his best, switching defenses and letting loose the hounds with an unexpectedly successful full court press. Coming into the game it seemed as though the Pack had found it's answer at point guard with freshman Julius Mays (who got the start along fellow freshman CJ Williams), but 8 minutes into the game the pressure got to Mays and he was sent to the bench in favor of Degand, who in the end proved to be the better point guard on this day.

After the score teeter-tottered for most of the first half, NC State came out in the second half and took control as Lowe had GT on its heels, switching from man to man, to a 2-3 matchup zone, to a 1-3-1, and back to man. But State couldn't put them away as Clinch and company caught fire and clawed their way to a 9 point lead. That's when the Pack seemingly made the decision that this was not going to happen again. Costner's non-stop energy sparked the Pack as Sidney Lowe unveiled a never before seen full court zone trap that led to 3 consecutive turnovers and brought the Pack back into the game.

With the Pack only down 3, and freshman point guard Mays on the bench, Farnold Degand had to step up....and that he did. An old fashioned 3 point play and a pair of free throws down the stretch sent the game to overtime where, after Costner fouled out, it became the Dennis Horner show. Horner came in and picked right up where Costner left off, going 100% on both sides of the floor and converting on a game changing layup assisted by McCauley. Horner sealed the deal with free throws and the Wolfpack's relentless defense which never backed down and never took a play off.

Tonight Sidney had the boys motivated and it showed. We have never seen Costner sustain that much energy for that long since he stepped foot here in Raleigh. McCauley was stronger and more aggressive than ever. But the story today was Lowe's in-game management. Switching defenses and bringing out the full court press was what ultimately won us this game. Although the turnovers were still a big problem, they were negated by our defensive pressure, and our forced turnovers.

NOTES:

- State won the "points off turnovers" battle 24-20, and was only out rebounded by 2 rebounds.

- According to Larry Harris, Trevor Ferguson is still struggling with the broken hand he is playing with, though it didn't show tonight as he stroked down 3 triples.

- Larry Harris told me after the game that switching to the zone is something they've been working on and will implement whenever the staff feels the opponent get comfortable against our man defense.

-He also noted that the kids really responded well in practice to Lowe's ultimatum and he feels that they've bought in to this system.

-22 Turnovers...OUCH! If the Pack is going to get a winning streak going, that number is going to have to be cut in half.

-The boys will have to hit the early service tomorrow because they're having a "Conditioning heavy practice, complete with suicides" at 10 am tomorrow morning.

-2010 PG commit, Ryan Harrow was in the house today. We will catch up with him and see what he thought of the overtime thriller.

-Next up: DUKE @ Cameron Indoor
 

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