NC State’s basketball team decided to show up for the second half of today’s game at Boston College but by then the damage was already done. The embarrassing first half performance that lacked effort, focus and intensity dug the Wolfpack too deep a hole.
Perhaps the rest of the team simply followed the example of one of the Wolfpack’s seniors, Courtney Fells. If anyone wants a clinic in how to loaf through a game while exerting almost no effort then use your DVR to watch Courtney Fells today. Wow.
I don’t know who Fells thinks he is fooling – and maybe he is fooling this coaching staff – but he sure as hell is not fooling many of us who contribute to the Wolfpack Club for his scholarship. He entered the season with a physique that has obviously deteriorated over the last couple of years, and his effort has been consistent with what appears to be a lack of dedication off the floor. For the year, Fells is quickly approaching the record Brandon Costner set last season for number of easy passes dropped coupled with the number of lazy passes committed.
Today, I think Fells managed to play the entire game without boxing out a single Bost College Eagle while his perimeter defensive effort was as lackluster as his 2nd half effort at Duke earlier in the week. His shot selection was equally suspect, once appropriately drawing criticism from color commentator Jason Capel. He had one nice defensive play on a blocked shot; the problem is that he had to make that play to save face for playing bad defense that allowed his man to cut through the lane and easily catch an entry pass a couple of feet from the basket.
If you have limited time, just watch the first six and a half minutes of the game where Fells committed THREE unforced turnovers – one by having a simple pass slide through his hands and two boneheaded passes to Boston College defenders. Simultanwously, the player Fells was supposedly guarding managed to score almost half BC’s points in that time period. (Not that any other NC State player seemed to play defense in the first half). The official boxscore only shows Fells with two turnovers for the entire game. LOL! Riiiiiigh.
We’ve been increasingly frustrated with Fells’ anemic effort and resulting poor performances this year and just don’t think it is fair to ignore it any more. Many of the ‘little things’ like not coming to help the ball during pressure, failing to find the proper spacing without the ball on offense and not communicating with teammates on defense are things that don’t show up in the boxscore; although the boxscore showing 4 of 10 shooting; 0 of 4 from the three point line; and 0 of 2 from the free throw line certainly isn’t kind to Fells, either.
I expect someone will reference Fells’ lingering injury from the Davidson game. Maybe that has some merit. On the other hand, his inury has nothing to do with his lack of effort to find people to block out and play with just a tiny bit of consistent effort. Additionally seems just fine whenever there is a fast break for free points or an opportunity to get off a shot.
If there was any good news to come out of today’s game it would be the following:
(1) “The young guys” of Tracy Smith and Johnny Thomas again played very well and made things happen out there.
(2) Farnold Degand seems to be regaining some form and is gradually playing better. He is obviously the best option to start at point guard right now.
(3) Javi Gonzalez did not play.
(4) The official box score attributed State with only ten turnovers for the entire game.
(5) Johnny Thomas, Tracy Smith and Julius Mays combined for 8 of 11 shooting.
There was a lot of conversation in the open game entry. I am going to elevate one of the comments:
Wellâ€¦All I can say is Iâ€™m proud of the effort in the 2nd half. We ran out of gas around the 6 minute mark, and everyone knew that when Trapani hit the three it was game.
If we put that same effort or even half of that effort in the first half, we win this game by 10. There was no effort whatsoever in the first half. I watched the game, but for those of you who didnâ€™t it is apparent by the number of offensive rebounds that Boston College had. I can guarantee that 70% of the offensive boards came in the first half. Donâ€™t get me wrong there were two, sometimes even three guys going for the board, but itâ€™s a damn shame that they were all Boston College players.
Sid finally played the rotation weâ€™ve been begging for. Costner, McCauley, Smith and the two guards. We made a 16-0 run with this lineup. Maybe Lowe will notice how good Smith and McCauley are together in the game, and keep Brandon at SF and put a rotation of Fells, Williams, Mays, and Degand in as guards. Maybe play Fergs for 5 mins a game, and see if he can provide. Also I wouldnâ€™t mind seeing Thomas play some SF/SG some. He impressed me. In his few minutes he had some boards, hit a shot, and hustles like no one else on the court.
For all of you insulting Costnerâ€¦drop it. Seriously. Heâ€™s changed his game completely. He got the ball completely stolen from him at the top of the key and instead of jogging down, he hustled down the court and made a good block, but unfortunately fouled the guy, but he HUSTLED . Another instance, A BC player got a rebound over Costner and ran it out, and Costner didnâ€™t give up, chased him down and stole the ball from him. Heâ€™s hustling. Thatâ€™s all you can ask for. His shot isnâ€™t dropping right now, and heâ€™s trying not to force it. Good for him. So seriously get off his back. All of you talk about other fans jumping on and off bandwagons, some of you are just as bad about jumping onto and off our players.
Degand played well, and had some good steals. The game is coming back to him. He can see things develop, heâ€™s beginning to read people. Made some really nice passes, but also made a few bad ones. I honestly think heâ€™ll turn out to be a good PG and I believe heâ€™d be more than capable if not for the injury. I think Mays will be a better guard by the time his career is over, and is a better scorer, but he still makes a couple of freshman mistakes. He picks up his dribble a little too easily, and doesnâ€™t look for his shot enough, but heâ€™s getting there.
Ben also played well, but had a couple of cheap fouls called on him. You expect that playing on the road in the ACC, but not this bad. I may be the only one complaining about the refs, but I thought a lot of the loose balls that went out of bounds BC got. Which is funny considering how many people they had crashing the boards?? Anyways, Ben looked like a new man today, and wanted this win bad. Itâ€™s a shame he had to sit in the 2nd half.
So rotation rest of the year:
PG – Degand/Mays
SG – Fells/Williams/Thomas/Fergs (more when heâ€™s back)
SF – Costner/Williams/Thomas
PF – Smith/Horner/Costner
C – McCauley/Smith/Costner
I would love to not see Dennis Horner in another minute of a red and white N.C. State jersey, but I think itâ€™s inevitable. I also believe Gonzalez transfers. His minutes are done, which is unfortunate for him, but fortunate for N.C. State.
Good 2nd half effort Pack. Letâ€™s go steal one from Miami and focus for 40 minutes. Letâ€™s GO PACK