Wildcats, Officials Can’t Stop 4-1 Pack, 69-68

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A HORRIBLY officiated basketball game and the Wolfpack’s achilles heel of poor rebounding and free throw shooting was almost too much for Coach Lowe’s troops to overcome. But in the end, Gavin Grant‘s 2 (of 3) free throws with 0.4 seconds remaining lifted NC State to the Old Spice Classic Tournament Championship.

* Farnold Degand hit one of two free throws with 20.8 seconds remaining in the game to give the Wolfpack a 67-66 advantage before Villanova took the lead with a rebound and follow-up with 2.2 seconds remaining.

* Winning this tournament is going to be huge for State in March; it is particularly gratifying to ‘get back’ the UNO loss from last week. Now we have to hope that UNO, Rider, USC and Villanova all have fantastic seasons. Before the season, I pegged our record to be 4-1 right now. Of course I would have never predicted how we got to this 4-1, but in hindsight I think that this is the best 4-1 that we could have been.

* It only took the ESPN announcing crew until the last minute of the game to FINALLY highlight one of the bad calls against State. Fran Fraschilla commentated the entire game from the Villanova perspective and Len Elmore…well, Len Elmore can bite me.

* State just won two close games in a row by one possession. What an amazing change from the trend prior to Coach Lowe’s arrival in Raleigh.

* The ACC had a little stumble about a week ago, but since then the conference has really succeeded and seems to be out performing what some people expected heading into the year. The ACC is a combined 51-10 after play on Sunday.

* Coach Lowe has stated that we will have different players step up for us at different times this season and tonight was no exception. Ben McCauley played great in the first half and shooting guard, Courtney Fells was clearly the player of the game scoring 21 points on 6 of 9 shooting from the field including 4 of 6 from the three point line.

* State shot a fantastic 46.7% from the three point line. If the Wolfpack can just shoot at a 35%+ clip from behind the arc (and shoot 70% or better from the free throw line) then we will win a lot of basketball games this year.

* Any “old schoolers” out there remember Walker Lambiotte nailing two free throws with no time remaining on the clock to lift the Wolfpack to a win in an early season tournament in the mid 1980s?

* One of the things that I love the most about the internet is that forums exist for others to help validate my own opinion. I thought that the officiating and announcning tonight were both very, very challenging. So, you can understand how much I loved checking in on some of the message boards and seeing an inordinate amount of fans making similar comments. On one thread two posters with excellent historical reputations for objectivity whose opinions I respect more than most had chimed in back to back on a thread titled “Reffing in the Nova Game”.

There is absolutely no way that the ref that called that last foul on Nova was actually on the court the rest of the game. I dare anyone to prove it. The fact is, State got royally jobbed all night and for the Nova fans to actually boo at the end of the game was pretty sweet revenge actually. Take the refs and their phantom foul calls and over-the-back no calls out and we win by double figures IMO.

ABSOLUTELY HORRIFIC. This was as bad as the Alabama game 2 years ago. Unreal. We would have won this one by 10-15 with honest refs.

I will add that the announcers might as well be wearind Nova jerseys as well. Elmore needs to do a better job of sticking up for the ACC. If I see that 70 year old, no neck midget reffing on of our games again I am going to vomit.

Even though we won I am still pi$$ed. No calls on over the back. Phantom fouls to give them multiple three point plays. JJ geeting hammered time after time with no calls. Every single loose ball out of bounds went to Nova. Hopefully these guys go back to refereeing junior high games in Boca Raton now that the tournament is over.

More fantastic comments from BJD are included below:

* Sid could give a clinic on effective working of the officials. Make your point emphatically, but don’t show the ref up. Although the foul against Grant was legitimate, 9 times out of 10, it isn’t called. I firmly believe it was a make up call.

* Another great sign – Sid and Ben share an enthusiatic post-game hug. I think those issues are behind us as well. It can and will be different guys on different nights.

* Yes, I know he bricked one of the free throws. But we have no chance to win that game without Degand’s hustle play. Not only did he stop Nova from getting an easy two, he skied between THREE Wildcats, and by sheer force of will, got position and drew the foul.

* Hickson is handling the double team better, and his fast break assist was a thing of beauty.

* Fells rose to the occasion all weekend. As we showed in the first two games, it’s hard to run an effective offense without him.

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07-08 Basketball

115 Responses to Wildcats, Officials Can’t Stop 4-1 Pack, 69-68

  1. BigRed 11/25/2007 at 10:44 PM #

    W”OOOF!!!!

  2. VaWolf82 11/25/2007 at 10:44 PM #

    Add “turnovers” to your list of problem areas.

  3. BigRed 11/25/2007 at 11:12 PM #

    Fells showed up. And again, it made a huge difference. More smart play from Ben. Gavin brings the intensity, and keeps it under control. One or two _assists_ from JJ.

    Good to see some team ball, set plays and smart passes.

    Yes, there are still issues. But, oh my, how far this team has come in just a few games. And it doesn’t hurt to win these close ones as things come together.

    True Cardiac basketball.

  4. StateFans 11/25/2007 at 11:13 PM #

    back up. time stamps seem off

  5. Sw0rdf1sh 11/25/2007 at 11:13 PM #

    Holy Moly what a game.

    …and GREAT win.

    1 W at a time can win us respect.

    By the way, Fells and Grant were popping the 3’s. Good to see Horner in too.

  6. atlas 11/25/2007 at 11:14 PM #

    Just got home and damned Tivo stopped recording right at 9pm, just as Nova hit their last FG to go up 67-68 with 20 secs left.
    After a mild heart attack, this is the first place I came. Glad to see the Pack pulled it out!
    Big win fellas!

  7. BigRed 11/25/2007 at 11:15 PM #

    That ESPN box score is soo wrong. No turnovers by either team? What game were they watching?

  8. swiftcreekgrad 11/25/2007 at 11:17 PM #

    Len Elmore has had it in for NC State ever since we denied him and his precious Terps a trip to the NCAA in ’74

  9. MatrixII 11/25/2007 at 11:19 PM #

    Great win. Congs to our guys. But still too many TOs and too few off RBs. Hopefully, we can see some improvement on these areas soon.

  10. wxpack 11/25/2007 at 11:20 PM #

    Actually I thought Len Elmore was complementary of the Pack and always gives good impartial ingame analysis.

    The officiating was horrible. We have to rebound better and learn to put a body between our man and the basket when the ball goes up. Otherwise this was a huge win against a ranked NCAA tourney team.

  11. atlas 11/25/2007 at 11:25 PM #

    The box score has been updated with correct starters and accurate stats.
    BigRed-we had 22 turnovers to their 10

  12. Wulfpack 11/25/2007 at 11:26 PM #

    What a huge win! Boy is Fells a head scratcher. Keep it up. This win will be huge come tourney time.

  13. Packster 11/25/2007 at 11:28 PM #

    Get them any way you can. Not a bad performance from our team. We rose to the occassion. Still work to do. Too many turnovers and all but one of our players stood around as Villie made the go ahead shot. Sid called a great play that gave us a chance to win at the end and we got it! Go Pack!

  14. PackGirl 11/25/2007 at 11:29 PM #

    Thank you Gavin … and Courtney.

  15. Packster 11/25/2007 at 11:30 PM #

    Sid knows how to win them in the end! AKA Jimmy V!

  16. BJD95 11/25/2007 at 11:30 PM #

    Sid could give a clinic on effective working of the officials. Make your point emphatically, but don’t show the ref up. Although the foul against Grant was legitimate, 9 times out of 10, it isn’t called. I firmly believe it was a make up call.

    Another great sign – Sid and Ben share an enthusiatic post-game hug. I think those issues are behind us as well. It can and will be different guys on different nights.

    Yes, I know he bricked one of the free throws. But we have no chance to win that game without Degand’s hustle play. Not only did he stop Nova from getting an easy two, he skied between THREE Wildcats, and by sheer force of will, got position and drew the foul.

    Hickson is handling the double team better, and his fast break assist was a thing of beauty.

    Fells rose to the occasion all weekend. As we showed in the first two games, it’s hard to run an effective offense without him.

  17. Primewolf 11/25/2007 at 11:35 PM #

    Degand will shoot 1000 free throws on Monday. Unfortuneately, he will only make 444 of them.

    Don’t want the ball in his hands in a down to the wire ACC game where he has to make frees to keep us in it.

    Team looks much better. Each game is going to be different as to how the Hickson-McCauley-Costner minutes trade off.

    Man if we had a real point guard that could penetrate and finish a play off.

    Our point guard play is at the Div II level.

    There must be 75 other DI teams with better point guards.

  18. Texpack 11/25/2007 at 11:37 PM #

    If Grant & Fells shoot from behind the arc like this in March we will go to the Final Four. The experience gained in a tournament like this is so good for a team with two new point guards and a new feature post player. The cupcake early schedule of HWSNBN just didn’t afford us the chances to really make strides against real competition.

    JJ Hickson is one of the best fundamental shot blockers I have ever seen. He never seems to get caught by pump fakes and he alters a boat load of shots. His penchant for blocking shots is definitely a big reason we are giving up so many offensive rebounds though. Fells, Grant, and Horner have got to get Hickson’s man to minimize that impact.

    My Turkey Day observation about Degand and Javi may have been backwards. Degand looked better each night.

  19. nemesisj 11/25/2007 at 11:40 PM #

    Just a comment on the officials: I went to the Rider game in person and those of us that got to see things firsthand were treated with 15 dollar tickets and sitting 3-4 rows off the court. What you couldn’t see on TV as well (watched the last 2 games on ESPN2) was that the old ref was insistent that he call out of position fouls. He was truly terrible. Sid about lost it the first half of that game on one of those call the low post foul from the wing position jobs. Truly pathetic officiating. I doubt these guys are regular D1 college refs.

  20. wolfman 11/25/2007 at 11:45 PM #

    No doubt about it, the officiating sucked. Jamie Lucky can bite me, he screws us a lot, you can lump him right up there with Carl Hess and all the other scumbags I hate. It was amazing that we were able to pull this win out, in spite of ourselves, in spite of Villanova, and in spite of the refs. I guess it was some kind of payback for the crappy way we lost against UNO. We could have won easily if it weren’t for silly turnovers, no rebounding, and missed FTs. We will have to play a lot better in East Lansing to come out with a win. Give Villanova credit, they are a tough team with a good coach, and will give teams in the Big East fits this year.

  21. gumbydammit 11/25/2007 at 11:45 PM #

    Two observations about the game thread comments:

    1) Whining about bad officiating got old ages ago. It’s so Tarheelian in nature. Good teams win despite the officiating.

    2) Could we reign in the f-bombs? I’m as tempted as the next to drop one, but remember that this is not an “adults only” forum.

    Just my opinion…

  22. EverettBeez 11/25/2007 at 11:47 PM #

    Oh man, will there every be anything but close games?
    How is that we can be so tall, and do such a bad job rebounding? Are be knocking it out of each other’s hands? It sure looked that way to me.
    Was it just me, or did we look like we’ve never played against a press before? and the long, cross-court, please steal the ball, passes weren’t limited to moving up the court, but much of the offensive too. Lobbing the ball cross-court during league play will get us killed.
    Turn overs? Pitiful. We looked like we had hands of clay.
    Poetic justice that the Refs decided this game, they controlled it all night. Still, what folks will remember is the W, and other folks are right, this will help come March.

  23. EverettBeez 11/25/2007 at 11:49 PM #

    and I think Elmore does a good job – lot better then the other ass clown providing color. It sure seemed like the script for tonight was all about Nova – at one point, 3 things Nova did right, including highlights (early in the game) and one point about what state was doing wrong.
    Is this just mean? Do I have a persecution complex when it comes to the pack?

  24. WolftownVA81 11/25/2007 at 11:55 PM #

    Another win and hopefully more confidence for this team. We have work to do but winning can cure a lot of ills. I’d like to see everyone spend more time at the line. This will hurt us big if not corrected. We had some really nice passes and set plays. It’ll be nice when we run on all cylinders like we were at the end of the first half. I thought the foul on Grant was a gift too. Agree that the majority of the bad calls went against us so it all worked out. Wednesday night is going to be a tough one. We can’t afford to play sloppy ball or we’re gonna get blown out. Tonight was ugly but the effort was there. Good job Pack, way to hang in and pull out the W.

  25. mroli 11/25/2007 at 11:56 PM #

    has anyone noticed the karma shift? it’s been so long since we’ve had one of these types of games go our way. jimmy v must be lookin’ out for sid.. great game tonight. everytime I thought the momentum was going to do us in, we responded. my hats off to them!

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