Degand Emerging

The key to this season for NC State was getting effective play from the PG position. Overall, Farnold Degand, Javier Gonzalez, and Julius Mays have not performed at the level NC State needed to make the NCAA tournament. However, an NIT bid would be a solid step for Sidney Lowe’s third team considering the change in the NIT format making it more difficult to receive a bid. No longer does a .500 record from a major conference guarantee an NIT bid. Instead, the tournament awards at-large bids in a similar format to the NCAA Tournament and automatics to any regular season conference champion that doesn’t win their conference tournament.

With upset home wins versus Miami and Wake Forest, the team has repositioned itself so that making one of the post-season tournaments (two others besides NCAA and NIT) seems likely. One of the main reasons for the improvement in recent weeks has been the play of Farnold Degand.

Over his last four games (did not play @ VT) against some of the best backcourt players in the league, Degand has been playing at a very high level. Against Boston College and one of the best players in the country in Tyrese Rice, Degand had 10 points, 7 assists, 2 turnovers and 3 steals in 30 minutes. In a win over Miami, he had 7 pts, 7 assists and again only two TOs. In the next two games, he matched up against Ty Lawson and Jeff Teague(on offense at least) and his play was crucial in NC State’s upset of #7 Wake Forest. He hit crucial three point shots coming off the bench in the 1st half and finished with 14 points, 4 assists, 2 TOs, and 3 steals.

During this four game stretch, Degand is averaging:

  • 10.2 points
  • 5.5 assists
  • 2.0 turnovers
  • 2 steals
  • 2.75 assist/turnovers
  • 15-29 FGs (.517)
  • 7-13 3pt FGs (.539)
  • 4-6 FTs (.667)

His play over this period makes you wonder how the last 1.5 seasons could have been different had Degand been healthy.

Looking back at Degand’s play last season, maybe these most recent numbers are more reflective of his true ability:

At the time of the injury, Degand’s production was trending upward and he was averaging almost 7.0 points, 3.2 rebounds and 28.6 minutes per game while leading the team in assists (2.9 per game) and three-point shooting (.500, 8-16). Defensively, the quickness he possessed in his 6′4 frame proved to be much more valuable than anyone realized until Marques Johnson and Javi Gonzalez attempted to replace Degand after the injury.

The shooting percentages last year are most interesting to me.

08-09 Basketball General

30 Responses to Degand Emerging

  1. Rick 02/14/2009 at 8:49 AM #

    While not mind blowing that is solid play.
    I am still not convinced he is the leader we need though. He has got to take the team on his back while we are losing leads.

  2. BJD95 02/14/2009 at 8:55 AM #

    Go back to my season preview of the PG position. Lowe was putting all his eggs in Degand’s basket because he’s our only real shot at suck avoidance. He’s not great, but he’s quite capable of being a competent ACC starter, when he’s physically right. His offense has been miles ahead of what I expected, although lost lateral quickness has really hampered his defense.

  3. Daily Update 02/14/2009 at 9:11 AM #

    Those FG percentages make a huge difference in our offense. Combine those with the 2.75 a/to ratio and you have a very solid PG.

    Heck, Javier has even shown some flashes. If the two of them could get their heads on straight and stay healthy, IMO we have a solid combination there and they actually play well together. For Gonzalez, I think he has lost all confidence after having big games last year against both Duke and UNC. As bad as he has looked at time, I think he has to play minutes and you just keep playing him. He isn’t that far away IMO.

    So next year, maybe Lo Brown doesn’t have to play PG. Maybe we rotate four players at the backcourt position with each versatile enough to play either position (Degand, Javier, Mays, Lo Brown)?

  4. jwrenn29 02/14/2009 at 9:20 AM #

    I like his speed, and he does control his speed and ball handling better than the other two. His decision making is better.

    He may not be the ideal leader we need, but he is a much more solid option right now.

  5. Daily Update 02/14/2009 at 9:31 AM #

    So with Degand, he has played about 30 games so far in his career…right?

    That isn’t a lot especially when he has been out of action for such a long period from HS to finally getting to play four years into his career.

    His numbers the last four games are Justin Gainey numbers with maybe a little more upside. He could really improve his free thrown shooting though.

  6. txpack 02/14/2009 at 10:30 AM #

    I thought Fells defense (or Sid’s) was the key to “shut down” Teague, rather than Degand’s offence – not to dis-credit him any way.

    Degand did play a good game against Wake.

    I am not sure about Javier. His size and speed is not suitable for an ACC plays. His shooting release is terrible, especially the 3s.

  7. BJD95 02/14/2009 at 10:35 AM #

    Degand’s O and Fells’ D were both pretty key. Degand tied his career high in points, and had 4 assists (only 2 TOs, exact opposite of Javi).

    The hidden factor is Degand’s ability to handle the ball effectively without help, which is absolutely essential when Fells plays the 2.

    This is the kind of game that NC State teams have historically lost (road game against a weak, but physical, opponent, coming off big home win). But I’m strangely confident for the second time in a row. Today will be very telling.

  8. redfred2 02/14/2009 at 10:36 AM #

    Since no one else probably will, I just thought that I’d point out that these are two players, Degand and Gonzales, who were brought in ON EXTREMELY SHORT NOTICE, and, who have been dragged through the mud, along with the coach who made the decision to bring them here, again, ON EXTREMELY SHORT NOTICE.

    So Rick, it’s not enough for Degand to finally be healthy and just playing solid basketball? Now, it sounds like it’s some kind of disappointment because he hasn’t suddenly strapped the team on back and delivered them to the promised land?

    I’m probably overreacting, but I’ll swear in EVERYTHING good that happens, somebody has to come up with a negative angle.

  9. txpack 02/14/2009 at 10:44 AM #

    BJD, 100% agree with Degand’s ability to handle the ball.

    This is exactly what we need. I do not see that in Javier. Most his turnovers were just around the half-court line (at least for the few games I watched over TV)- which is an automatic 2 points for the other team.

  10. Daily Update 02/14/2009 at 10:46 AM #

    I don’t remember exactly, but I am sure Degand was guarded mostly by Teague(hence my comment about being matched up against Teague on offense). Yes, obviously Fells on Teague was key to our win as well.

    Javi has played good games in the past. He has something mental going on. I am convinced he can be a solid backup PG for us for the next two years. IMO, he should get time and be allowed to play despite his mistakes. I think his mistakes will go down and his shooting percentages will go up the more time he gets.

    Most of Javi’s turnovers are over-aggressive penetration or passes. However, he is getting better at attacking. The example was against Wake the other night when he drove and made a nice pass around a defender only to have T. Smith not catch the ball and it resulted in a TO. Most of Javi’s TOs are these kinds of plays.

  11. wolfonthehill 02/14/2009 at 11:01 AM #

    BJD – I like to hear your optimism again. Would your optimism waver if I told you that Section Six will be liveblogging the game today, and that we’re 0-for-lifetime in games that we liveblog there?

    Karma be damned…

  12. tvbman 02/14/2009 at 11:10 AM #

    Degand has to be the answer this year because Javier is just not ACC material and Mays is too inexperienced. It is nice to see his play improve and hope it continues in the positive direction.

  13. txpack 02/14/2009 at 11:14 AM #

    wolfonthehill, can you ask Section Six to stop liveblogging? So we may have a better chance today:)

  14. BJD95 02/14/2009 at 11:19 AM #

    I am still heavily medicated (stone did not pass completely as hoped), so I will blame that for this pesky stretch of optimism.

    6-10 is my benchmark for being satisfied with “progress” this season. Win today and we have a better than even shot of making it.

  15. RickJ 02/14/2009 at 11:41 AM #

    If I could change one play during the last three seasons, it would be the numb-nuts from Cincinnati pushing Degand in the back on a lay-up when he wrecked his knee. It was not the dirtiest play ever but Cincy had about 10 similar fouls during that game. If Degand had been healthy, I think we could have a fairer evaluation of Lowe.

    During the Arena Club gathering after the Wake game, Coach Strickland said that Lowe & Degand had a two hour private conference prior to the game. Hopefully, he can build on this recent success.

    Degand is a pretty solid 3 point shooter when open and he has not taken bad outside shots. In addition to going 8 – 16 from behind the arc last year, he is 10 – 19 this year.

    I agree with the comment that he still does not have his lateral quickness back. However, he has started being more disruptive defensively, particularly in transition. He has had a couple of great steals and blocked shots in transition in recent games.

  16. redfred2 02/14/2009 at 11:47 AM #

    BJD, Hope you are feeling better and on the mend.

    As far as Javi goes, at least in these last few games that I’ve been able to watch anyway, he has decided to push it on his own. Sometimes he does get into positions where he doesn’t have much way of getting rid of the ball without turning it over, but that is because his teammates aren’t anticipating anything, they aren’t moving, and they aren’t playing aggressively along with him.

  17. bradleyb123 02/14/2009 at 12:02 PM #

    We just need to win the ACC tournament to remove any doubt about an NCAA bid.

    The Pack is BACK, baby!

  18. redfred2 02/14/2009 at 12:24 PM #

    ^Since when did just “making” the tournament become the end all, be all, around here???

    We just need to hope to see confidence gained by more consistent efforts from start to finish, win or lose, and that’s it.

  19. Cosmo96 02/14/2009 at 12:27 PM #

    With upset home wins versus Miami and Wake Forest, the team has repositioned itself so that making one of the post-season tournaments (two others besides NCAA and NIT) seems likely.

    Wait, when did this happen? There are post-season tournaments other than the NCAA and NIT?

  20. Pack Leader 02/14/2009 at 12:29 PM #

    BJD stay tough and keep those meds coming!!

    I agree with redfred, Javi def likes to push the ball and get in transition more so he doesnt have to worry about the pressure where as julius is more of a walk the ball up the floor set up the offense and work the ball around. I believe that is why sid is starting Javi because he likes that quick boost of energy to start off the game then can bring in degand to get comfortable and also let him find his shot (Because degands offense is very important to us) Right now I think sid likes 2 pg’s instead of 3, one to run the offense and one to flat our run and get in transition. I believe we are playing our best ball since the old spice tourney over a year and a half ago, but that doesnt mean that we are by any way consistant. until we can win more than 2 in a row I will say that is our biggest hurdle.

    You know favors will be watching this game very closely and might even decide to attend the game. I hope we whoop techs yellow ass and makes him question his pick, even for just 1 hour. By the way I read online Lo Brown had a triple double the other week playing his cross town rivals. Mabey we did get the best player in georgia and dont even know it!!!!

    Against GT last meeting the guards are the one who let down the jackets, so hopefully our hot guard play can continue and we can exploit their weakness. GO PACK!!!!

  21. Gene 02/14/2009 at 12:42 PM #

    Not highly ranked players usually take a few years to develop. The ones we remember being successful, like Gugs and del Negro, didn’t have to be in the spotlight as freshmen.

    I wonder what we’d think about those two, if they had to be the main guy at their positions, as freshmen. Heck, even Todd Fuller was backing up Kevin Thompson, as a freshman.

    Hopefully our PG’s will get better as their careers progress and we can forget about them being forced into starting roles they weren’t ready for as freshman.

  22. wolfonthehill 02/14/2009 at 12:44 PM #

    txpack – Looks like you’ll get half your wish. The S6 Liveblog is on… but I will unfortunately not be in attendance today. If we pull it out, we’re going to know that the bad karma follows me, not S6.

  23. redfred2 02/14/2009 at 12:52 PM #

    Ebb, then flow. Ebb, then flow.

    It’s overreacting and terrifying predictions of gloom and doom around here one day, and then setting the table for disappointment the next.

    I do not understand it.

    There is a HUGE difference between EARNING a spot in any kind of tournament, as opposed to a friendly invitation to simply participate. For too long already I’ve felt the emptiness of making appearances, simply for appearance sake.

    So we don’t win the ACCT and somehow still get into a tourney on our record alone, that’s a good thing, but so what? It’s been decades, I’ve waited this long, I can wait a little longer for a little legitimate legitimacy, without having to have meaningless appearances year after year.

  24. Texpack 02/14/2009 at 12:57 PM #

    It has been nice to see Degand progress back to the point where he was when the knee got trashed. He has been very important to the up tick in offense out of this team. I also think the “big” line up has helped because it gives Degand and Javi somebody to kick the ball out to that can actually make a 3 point shot. CJ Williams and/or Johnny Thomas have got to become decent spot up shooters in the future. Even if Scott Wood can shoot as advertised, we need a solid second option on the perimeter. Nothing pads assist totals like good jump shooters. (see S. Lowe/D. Whit & C. Corch/R. Monroe)

  25. Greywolf 02/14/2009 at 12:58 PM #

    BJD, one of my favorite says is “This too shall pass.” I hope ‘this too shall pass’ for you.

    Let’s give Sid and Monte some props for the development of PGs who most of us had written off at one-time or another as too this or too that. Players commit to a school and IMNSHO the school has a commitment to the players. Javi is on scholarship at NCSU and we don’t get to declare him “Not ACC Material.” It’s Sid’s (and therefore all the coaches) responsibility to help each and every young man they bring in to develope to be all they can be. Not every player is all natural talent, but every player can develope to be all he can be. Those of us who are all knowing and can determine that this player and that is ACC material and this or that one is not, might want to consider that playing God may not be as becoming as you think. Those declarations tell more about the character of the judge than potential of the judged.

    TOB in his two years here has shown more openmindedness about ability and possibility than ay other coach I can recall. The walk-ons aren’t getting the chances they are getting to play because of their looks. TOB plays who wins the chance to play in practice.

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