January 11, 2012
NC STATE BASKETBALL
The Wolfpack looks to improve to 2-0 in ACC play when it entertains Georgia Tech on Wednesday at the RBC Center. Gametime is 9 p.m. Doors open 60 minutes prior tipoff. Wednesday’s game can be heard on the NC State Radio Network and will be televised on RSN with Mike Hogewood (play-by-play) and Mike Gminski (color analyst) providing the description of the action. Check your local listings for the channel in your area. Pack fans across the country can see the game via ESPN Full Court package.
Wednesday’s game closes out a six-contest homestand for the Pack during which NC State has assembled a six-game winning streak. A victory over the Yellow Jackets would tie State’s longest winning streak since the 2007-08 season.
Josh Goodson (WRALSportsfan.com)
State is better than Duke
NC State is better than Duke. Yeah, I said it.
I believe State is better than Duke at something in basketball.
During a delicious pregame media meal recently before the NCSU-Delaware State contest, I said to some of my media brethren, â€œI believe NC Stateâ€™s starting 5 is better than Dukeâ€™s.â€
As you would expect, I got the â€œare you drinking?â€ response. Sure, if you look on the surface, that does sound crazy, but it doesnâ€™t take much time to sit down and analyze both teams less than a week into ACC play, and come to that conclusion.
Letâ€™s break it down position by position:
Point Guard: Lorenzo Brown vs Tyler Thornton/Quinn Cook.
Edge: Brown: The most important position on the court is the point guard. Letâ€™s go ahead and use the expected clichÃ©sâ€¦floor general, quarterback, etc. Iâ€™m going to go with Lorenzo Brown on this one. Of all the matchups, this is the most one-sided. Brown has turned into a VERY good point guard. Just look at the stats. Against Maryland, Brown churned out 11 points, 9 rebounds and 7 assists. For the season, Brown averages 12 points, 5 rebounds and 7 assists.
Neither Cook nor Thornton is close to that sort of production at the position many deem to be the most integral part of a team. Brown being the point guard is also responsible for making the rest of his team better. Letâ€™s seeâ€¦NC Stateâ€™s starting 5 EACH average 12 points. Iâ€™d say thatâ€™s helping the team be better.
J.P. GIGLIO (N&O)
Gottfried embraces Pack mentality
DANIEL SHIRLEY (macon.com)
Georgia Tech hits road in ACC
Ken Sugiura (ajc.com)
Georgia Tech seeks new road results
Even if the Jackets remembered to bring those intangibles to Raleigh, the challenge will be considerable. The Wolfpack are 12-4 under new coach Mark Gottfried and began ACC play with a 79-74 win over Maryland on Sunday. Forward C.J. Leslie leads N.C. State with 13.5 points per game, one of five players who averages in double figures. Gregory was wary of point guard and Centennial High grad Lorenzo Brown, who has averaged 6.8 assists per game. Further, the RBC Center is one of the louder arenas in the league.
While the Jackets are 7-8 and on a four-game losing streak, they have managed a 2-2 road record, already surpassing last seasonâ€™s road victory total. That includes their Dec. 7 win over Georgia, which ended their 13-game losing streak in Athens. To center Daniel Miller, the win did not hinge on a strategic adjustment or emotion-filled pep talk. Rather, it was almost the opposite.
â€œWe got the lead and we didnâ€™t destroy it,â€ he said. â€œWe just kept doing what we were supposed to do, and it turned out for the best.”
Guard Jason Morris invoked the same all-out effort theme as his coach.
â€œI feel like that was our problem, sort of, last year,â€ he said. â€œWe came out a little too relaxed to start games.â€
Still, the Jackets can hardly consider themselves road titans. Any team that can lose to Fordham (Sagarin rating: No. 242) while getting out-rebounded 45-30 will invoke more snickers than fear in ACC circles.
â€œYou can [talk about effort] as much as you want, but weâ€™ll see once we tip off how it goes,â€ Morris said. â€œBut that is the plan, coming out full-fire, full-fledge, because we have lost the last four games.â€
Brett Friedlander (starnewsonline.com)
Opening hoops weekend provides hope for ACC
I am, by nature, a glass half empty kind of guy. But even Iâ€™m tired of hearing and talking about all the gloom and doom surrounding ACC basketball these days.
Yes, the league is down, perhaps historically so.
At the same time, Iâ€™m a lot more encouraged about the future â€“ both for the rest of this season and especially long-term â€“ than I was a few days ago after what I saw during the opening weekend of conference play
Surprisingly, the most positive sign came from a team that lost.
While both Wake Forest and Clemson showed unexpected improvement in their respective home victories against Virginia Tech and Florida State, it was Boston Collegeâ€™s performance at North Carolina that provided the most hope that there may yet be life at the bottom of the standings.
Andrew Skwara (accsports.com)
Midweek Preview Part 2, Jan. 11
Georgia Tech (7-8, 0-1) at N.C. State (12-4, 1-0)
When: 9 p.m. (EST)
TV: RSN (Sirius 93)
Whatâ€™s at Stake?
If N.C. Stateâ€™s going to land a spot in the NCAA tournament, these are the kind of games it can ill afford to drop. Georgia Tech is in the midst of a rebuilding year and sits 155th in the RPI. But the Yellow Jackets did put a scare into Duke in their ACC opener. Playing well here â€“ against a hot Wolfpack team riding a six-game win streak â€“ is a chance to prove that wasnâ€™t a fluke and that Brian Gregoryâ€™s club is truly improving.
Key for the Yellow Jackets
Get Glen Rice, Jr. plenty of touches and open looks. Rice looked like the best player on the court against Duke, hitting tough shots and finishing in traffic.
Key for the Wolfpack
Balance. This well-rounded club is at its best when sharing the ball. That starts with Lorenzo Brown penetrating off the dribble and setting up scoring chances for his teammates.
Rice is coming off a career-high 28 points in a loss to Duke â€¦ N.C. Stateâ€™s Scott Wood has made 47 straight free throws, which is the third-longest streak in ACC history â€¦ Wood is shooting a league-high 46.1 percent from 3-point range (41-of-89) â€¦ During its current six-game win streak, N.C. State has made 102 of 118 free throws (86.4 percent) â€¦Georgia Tech ranks third in the ACC in rebounding margin (+6.7 rebounds per game) but last in turnover margin (-3.5 turnovers a game).
N.C. State 79, Georgia Tech 66 â€“ Even if Rice goes on scoring tears, he wonâ€™t have enough help. The Wolfpackâ€™s balance will win out with ease.
All-Access with Men’s Basketball
Go inside the War Room with Head Coach Mark Gottfried and the rest of the Men’s Basketball Staff as they prepare for an upcoming game.
R&R Podcast: Episode 33
R&R Podcast: Our Final Conversation With Chuck Amato