I ran across this little preseason blog entry this morning that I wanted to share. It’s not too special, just a little primer on the college basketball season as we head into the first weekend of games.
Specifically of interest to the Wolfpack in the entry was the following:
Three bold predictions
1. Two Kentucky players will earn first-team All-American honors.
2. North Carolina State and Virginia will be among the top five teams in the ACC.
3. Butler and VCU will miss the NCAA tournament.
First, how nice is it to see Mark Gottfried’s new NC State already getting a little ‘sleeper love’ as we head into the season? The Wolfpack has gradually been garnering some attention in recent weeks from prognosticators and now a ‘top half of the ACC finish’ along with a positioning on the NCAA Tournament bubble has entered the public conversation. I would encourage you to review our message forums (click here) for more specifics on some of the conversations that have been evolving regarding NC State basketball.
Second, how friggin satisfying is it to see that the great Shaka Smart and VCU are being picked on as someone who won’t even make this year’s NCAA Tournament? Of course, there is an entire season in front of us to be played…but, I can’t help but pull against Smart and VCU after the way that our coaching search played out last year. To be clear, I never was attracted to Smart as a potential replacement for Sidney Lowe and was not excited when his name was surfacing. Regardless of my lack of attraction to Smart – at the end of the day he pulled the rug out from Debbie Yow/NC State in a manner which I did not respect.
Hell, if Shaka isn’t ‘Smart’ enough to step up to the big time with the opportunity he was given then I look forward in watching him struggle in the future. If he wasn’t ‘Smart’ enough to recognize that he could leverage the resources at NC State to immediately build Top 3 recruiting class then I look forward to watching him recruit at VCU in the future. Oh wait…maybe Shaka realized that he couldn’t build Top 5 recruiting classes…so, I’m very happy that we went out and hired someone who obviously can.
A little more NC State-related information today as former NC State player, Andy Kennedy, is on the hotseat down in Ole Miss.
Three coaches on the hot seat
1. Andy Kennedy, Ole Miss
2. Jim Christian, TCU
3. Darrin Horn, South Carolina
From the “another example of the awesomeness of NC State fans when compared to other schools” –
(Grade of) D — Baylor fans: Even though it was only an exhibition game, it’s inexcusable that a measly 3,082 fans showed up to watch the Bears dismantle Abilene Christian last week. This is a top-15 team with two potential lottery picks and a legitimate chance to win its first conference title since 1950. Maybe Scott Drew needs to put Robert Griffin III on the roster to create some additional buzz.
For more warm up on pre-season NCAA Basketball you can click here for Luke Winn’s top 16 Power Rankings indicating that NC State plays just under 20% of our 2011-2012 schedule against teams ranked in the TOP NINE in the country! (Five total games)