Monday Musings

March 19, 2012

Grab your favorite cup of joe, sit back, and soak up the good times Wolfpackers.

NC STATE BASKETBALL
ncsu bball logo

JP GIGLIO (N&O)
N.C. State beats Hoyas 66-63, heads to Sweet 16

LUKE DECOCK (N&O)
Leslie’s big plays turned game for N.C. State

CAULTON TUDOR (N&O)
Wolfpack win, Marshall’s injury add to the March drama

Associated Press
Wolfpack Erase Early Deficit, Hang On To Top Hoyas

Lorenzo Brown hit three free throws in the final 10.6 seconds and North Carolina State conjured up its glorious tradition with a 66-63 upset of third-seeded Georgetown in a Midwest Regional on Sunday.

The Wolfpack (24-12) advance to play the Purdue-Kansas winner on Friday in St. Louis.

A lowly 11th seed coming in, they had to survive a furious comeback by the Hoyas (24-9) and only were assured of the win when Jason Clark’s hurried 3-point attempt from the right wing was off the mark at the buzzer.

C.J. Williams, Scott Wood and C.J. Leslie each had 14 points, and Brown added 12 for the Wolfpack, who earned their first trip to the round of 16 since 2005.

Hollis Thompson led the Hoyas with 23 points.

Brown, a 74-percent shooter at the line, made both ends of a bonus with 10.6 seconds left for a 65-61 lead. After Clark, who finished with 10 points, raced the length of the court for a layup to cut the lead to two, Brown was fouled again with 4.6 seconds left. He hit the first but missed the second, with the Hoyas racing downcourt for a potential tying 3.

They got a great look, with Clark, defended by C.J. Williams, stopping and getting off a rushed shot that was wide of the mark.

It set off a wild celebration among the Wolfpack players. Three teammates hefted Brown to their shoulders and carried him across the floor, while guard Alex Johnson popped his jersey and yelled to the roaring North Carolina State faithful, “We back baby! We’re going to the Sweet 16!”

GoPack.com
How Sweet It Is, Pack Continues Onto St. Louis

For the first time since the 2004-05 season, the NC State Wolfpack has advanced to the Sweet 16. Next stop, St. Louis.

The 11th-seeded Pack captured the lead late in the first half and never surrendered it, in ousting third-seed Georgetown, 66-63, Sunday afternoon in Columbus.

“Well, I’m extremely proud of our team and these young guys,” said NC State head coach Mark Gottfried. “I think that they have grown up a lot this year.

“I think today, when you look at how we were down early. We came back, took the lead, and just how tough-minded they have become. It makes you feel very good as a coach, very proud of them. It’s a great win for our program.”

NC State advances to the Round of 16 for the 13th time in school history, and will be looking to move onto the Elite Eight for the first time since 1985-86.

“How sweet it is, that’s all we’ve been saying,” said senior C.J. Williams. “How sweet it is. It feels great. We are sky high. We are confident in ourselves and our coaches.”

TheWolfpacker.com
Georgetown locker room report

Andy Reid (TheWolfpacker.com)
Pack tops Georgetown for a Sweet 16 berth

And yet, here they are, headed to St. Louis to play the winner of the No. 2 Kansas vs. No. 10 Purdue game. Win that, and a likely rematch with in-state rival North Carolina in the Elite Eight could await NC State.

“When I went to Alabama, I was much younger. At that time, John Wooden told me one time, ‘Coach, don’t give them too much too fast. They might start expecting that every year,’ Gottfried said. “Well, we failed in that category already. That’s something we’ve done a poor job with.

“All you try to do is get your team to be the best they can be. That’s all we’ve been trying to do. It’s been a nice ride. The good thing about our team is they’re a hungry bunch. I don’t see a satisfied group at all in our locker room.”

The Wolfpack can smell blood now. The seeds of this run were planted months ago, by a coaching staff committed to resurrecting the program and a roster full of players that wanted to buy in.

“One of the first things I said to Coach Gottfried when I met him was, ‘I don’t want this to be a rebuilding year. I don’t want to just play to get better. I think we’ve got the talent and the pieces that we could be a dominant team,’” NCSU junior Scott Wood said. “You never think you’re going to be this far from where you were last year. I think we did a good job of coming together. Coach did a good job of putting in the system and gaining the trust of his players, and we just continued to get better.”

Erin Summers (WRALSportsfan.com)
How sweet it is for NC State

Athletic Director Debbie Yow beamed after State’s win over Georgetown, she admitted she wasn’t a coach but knew the win was an upset over a very good Georgetown team. Yow found C.J. Leslie in the tunnel and grabbed him for a hug and to tell him how proud she was of him and the team.

The exchange between the two could make anyone happy for the team. It’s been a roller coaster for Wolfpack fans, a few hard years under Sidney Lowe, a new Athletic Director, a new head basketball coach and no garruantee that things would look up.

But now Wolfpack nation can celebrate more than they expected to and head coach Mark Gottfried is encouraging it.

“I just hope they keep celebrating, it’s all good,” Gottfried said with a huge smile on his way out Sunday.

Ken Medlin (WRALSportsfan.com)
A bit of cardiac in this Wolfpack

It’s hard not to be impressed by what N.C. State is doing on the basketball court.

They scratched and clawed their way into the NCAA Tournament, and now they’ve made the most of it – sweeping their games in Columbus to earn a berth in the sweet sixteen.

But, it’s the way the Pack is winning that’s captivating fans. The video of their Selection Sunday celebration went viral on the Internet, then the last shot by Georgetown had fans on the edges of their seats. There’s a bit of “cardiac” in this Wolfpack team, and it’s fun to watch develop.

Akula Wolf (BackingthePack.com)
NC State Is In The Sweet Sixteen

Man, this is insane. How are we here now after where we were last year? This is crazy insane stupid insane. I am going to hug everything for the next five days. Coffee tables, fire hydrants, innocent bystanders, everything.

[snip]

It’s a great win. Feels amazing. This team has gone so far beyond expectations. I can’t wait for next weekend, no matter the odds against us.

Akula Wolf (BackingthePack.com)
ANIMATED: Lorenzo Brown Can Be Really Really Good When He Wants To Be

A tip of the cap to the mothership for this gif of Lorenzo Brown’s crazy runner/fada with about two minutes to go:

PackPride.com
BOX SCORE: NC State 66, Georgetown 63

Sammy Batten (FayObserver.com)
Batten: N.C. State coach Mark Gottfried building his own tradition

Living in the present

Changes were already occurring in the N.C. State basketball program when Gottfried was hired in April 2011. The team’s practice facility, the Dail Center, had been refurbished and adorned with photos and banners illustrating the Wolfpack’s past.

David Thompson, Tommy Burleson, Hawkeye Whitney, Lorenzo Charles, Chris Corchiani. The national championship teams of 1974 and ’83. All of those and more are remembered in one way or another in the Dail Center.
Teaching his players about that history was important to Gottfried. But more than anything, he wanted them to become part of it.

“They needed to get to know that history some, and I think they have,” Gottfried said. “We always talk about we have such great history at N.C. State, but it’s also time to build some new history. It’s time to build some things in the present rather than going all the way back to ’83 or ’74, or different years that they’ve had great teams. It’s nice to have that tradition, but we also need to build some for ourselves, and our players know that.”

Sammy Batten (FayObserver.com)
C.J. Williams makes some big plays for N.C. State in win over Georgetown

C.J. Williams was having dinner with his family Friday at N.C. State’s team hotel when his father, Wendell, pulled the senior forward off to the side.

Wendell, a former college baseball player at Florida A&M and long-time AAU basketball coach, knew his son was frustrated about a shooting slump that had seen him make just 12 of 38 shots over the Wolfpack’s last six games. That included a 3-for-7 performance earlier that day in State’s 79-65 victory in the NCAA tournament.

“My mom was with us and he pulled me off to the side,” Williams said. “At first, he just listened while I was telling him what I thought was wrong. Then he just told me, ‘Just stay confident and get your legs into your shot.’ ”

Williams heeded his father’s advice. The result was some clutch first-half shooting that helped the Wolfpack overcome an early deficit en route to a 66-63 win against Georgetown on Sunday.

Associated Press (ESPN.com)
Wolfpack knock off Hoyas as Lorenzo Brown steady at line in clutch

It’s been a long time since North Carolina State was mentioned in the same breath with the elite programs in the nation — let alone its own state.

Now, a new coach and a new attitude have the Wolfpack faithful harkening back to the glory days of David Thompson and Jim Valvano.

[snip]

It’s a return to the big stage for a program that has been lost in the rather large shadows cast by neighboring powers Duke and North Carolina. The Wolfpack won national titles in 1974 with Thompson and in 1983 on Lorenzo Charles’ dramatic last-second putback of Dereck Whittenburg’s wild shot, leading to coach Valvano’s memorable celebration.

But maybe the new Wolfpack have turned a corner.

Myron Medcalf (ESPN.com)
C.J. Leslie leads Wolfpack revival

As two of the heroes from NC State’s 66-63 victory over Georgetown on Sunday walked through a hallway toward the postgame news conference, C.J. Leslie remained in the locker room.

He sat on a blue folding chair with a towel draped over his knees as reporters scurried over a pile of warm-ups, jerseys and shoes in the middle of the sardine can that doubled as a temporary Q&A hub at Nationwide Arena.

Scott Wood and Lorenzo Brown, the two young men who made clutch plays throughout the third-round NCAA tournament win, deserved the opportunity to represent the program in the postgame presser.

NC State Wolfpack forward C.J. Leslie energized his team in its NCAA tournament third-round victory.

Wood scored 14 points and sank four of his five 3-point attempts.

Brown earned Mr. Clutch honors with a variety of plays in the final minutes of a win that sent the Wolfpack to the Sweet 16 for the first time since 2005.

MULTIMEDIA/PODCASTS

microphone

GoPack.com
NC State Basketball Team Sweet 16 Homecoming

The NC State Men’s Basketball Team returned home Sunday after defeating Georgetown to advance to the Sweet 16 of the NCAA Tournament. Hundreds gathered outside of the Dail Basketball Center to welcome the victorious Wolfpack, and to hear encouraging words from Coach Mark Gottfried and the players.

Andy Reid (TheWolfpacker.com)
Video: Painter on advancing to Sweet 16

NC State junior backup center DeShawn Painter discusses the Wolfpack’s 66-63 win over No. 3 seed Georgetown.

Andy Reid (TheWolfpacker.com)
Video: Leslie on beating Georgetown

NC State sophomore power forward C.J. Leslie led the Wolfpack with 14 points in a 66-63 upset over Georgetown to advance to the Sweet 16.

WRALSportsfan.com
Gottfried: We are continuing to get better

WRALSportsfan.com
Debbie Yow congratulating CJ Leslie after win over Georgetown

WRALSportsfan.com
Mark Gottfried leaving the court after win over Georgetown

WRALSportsfan.com
Gottfried: Let’s hope we keep celebrating

WRALSportsfan.com
Leslie: We had nothing to lose

WRALSportsfan.com
Johnson: Coach thinks we’re a final four team

WRALSportsfan.com
Williams: I didn’t know what to do, I just started running around

WRALSportsfan.com
Howell: We wanted to keep pushing

WRALSportsfan.com
Wood: Always be able to say I went to the Sweet 16

WRALSportsfan.com
Brown: I’m just glad my teammates are happy

About 1.21 Jigawatts

Class of '98, Mechanical Engineer, State fan since arriving on campus and it's been a painful ride ever since. I live by the Law of NC State Fandom, "For every Elation there is an equal and opposite Frustration."

11-12 Basketball College Basketball Multimedia

59 Responses to Monday Musings

  1. wolfonthehill 03/19/2012 at 7:29 AM #

    The video of Yow and Calvin literally made me tear up a little… this is all pretty damn special… we need to enjoy the ride…

  2. Sweet jumper 03/19/2012 at 7:41 AM #

    Another great job 1.21 Jigawatts. Thanks for these media compilations. They really help me keep up with the Pack. Keep surviving and advancing boys. Go Pack!!

  3. LRM 03/19/2012 at 7:44 AM #

    10:17 tip Friday night.

  4. Gene 03/19/2012 at 7:47 AM #

    What a difference in having AD that actually seems to want the job…

  5. GAWolf 03/19/2012 at 8:03 AM #

    These are special times indeed for all Wolfpackers everywhere. It’s just fantastic. This team obviously has fun together, and that’s simply great. They appear to be building friendships, and certainly special memories, that will last them a lifetime. And ultimately, that should be the constant underlying focus of amateur athletics. I couldn’t be more happy for a bunch of young men and a staff who have obviously worked their tails off to get better. This week in the lime light is a just reward for that and they’ve earned it. Each and every person associated with our basketball program has earned this week. Enjoy it, gentlmen and ladies. And more importantly, thank you for allowing us to enjoy it with you.

    Go Pack!!!! Off to New Orleans we go!

  6. Hawkeye Whitney 03/19/2012 at 8:07 AM #

    It is heart-warming to see so much genuine closeness among the team and the athletic department. We appreciate each other in the NCSU family. I would be curious to see if there is any video of the Holes returning to Chapel Hill from Greensboro. I would be willing to bet they got nowhere near the reception that our team did. Great to be a Wolfpacker anytime, but especially right now!

  7. Trout 03/19/2012 at 8:09 AM #

    Great job SFN! I turn here each morning just for this. Appreciate the hard work and Go Pack!

  8. GAWolf 03/19/2012 at 8:26 AM #

    I love Alex Johnson. Please watch his video above if you haven’t already.

  9. Trout 03/19/2012 at 8:30 AM #

    ^ I was thinking the same thing. He is a guy that is really enjoying his one chance with a major conference program, and making the most of it.

  10. tuckerdorm1983 03/19/2012 at 8:37 AM #

    no matter what the outcome Friday we have won. We have won recruiting, we have won respect, we have won with the players. When I saw what Gott did to the practice center where he set it up as a shrine to winning, then I knew that mindset would eventually take. Last year during the season we hung our heads. I saw Howell do it all the time and Calvin do it some. To win you have to have a winning mindset. You have to be tenacious and not let set backs cloud your vision of your potential. Don’t give up, don’t ever give up.

  11. howlie 03/19/2012 at 8:39 AM #

    Who is it that Coach is hugging in the 3rd video down as he’s coming off the court?

  12. howlie 03/19/2012 at 8:43 AM #

    ^& likewise, to whom does he give a shoulder & playful elbow (who stays stationary) at the beginning of the video that those two walk past?

  13. albunde6 03/19/2012 at 8:53 AM #

    We have all played the game of picking our dream job. I think Yow has her dream job. We should all be so lucky. Thank you to this
    team and coach Gottfried for making us relevant.

  14. JVM4PACK 03/19/2012 at 9:01 AM #

    Thank you to all the writers of Statefansnation, I check this site 15-20 times a day for all the different perspectives and little bits of possible insider info.

    This can’t hardly be put into words to do our team, the school, coaches and fanbase justice for the ABSOLUTE ELATION in the Wolfpack Nation. GO STATE!!!!!!!!!!!!

  15. tractor57 03/19/2012 at 9:20 AM #

    This all could end Friday but it does have the feel of ’83.

  16. JeremyH 03/19/2012 at 9:23 AM #

    Somehow “peaking at the right time” just doesn’t cover it. They are playing unselfish team basketball, with all the guys, not just Leslie, playing to their potential. We knew Brown’s had potential to be very good, but we are finally seeing it given more experience. And it is just me or have both Painter and Howell found another gear? They are definitely peaking at the right time : )

  17. Texpack 03/19/2012 at 9:33 AM #

    When the shot clock is winding down and Lorenzo Brown has the ball it’s advantage State. He is a terrific play maker both with the shot and the assist.

  18. PackerInRussia 03/19/2012 at 9:37 AM #

    I like the attitude the players have had. So many teams in their situation employee the “nobody believes in us/us against the world” motivation. After the win, there wasn’t chest pounding (that I saw) and angry scowls and “nobody said we could do it” (that I heard). They were just happy (not just happy to be there). They’re confident, but not cocky. They represent well.

  19. packof81 03/19/2012 at 9:48 AM #

    “This all could end Friday but it does have the feel of ’83.”

    Yes it does feel like ’83. I have a feeling it won’t end Friday or Sunday. I think these guys have what it takes.

  20. coach13 03/19/2012 at 9:53 AM #

    What get’s me is how workmenlike and non-pancied they were. While I’m sure they were a bit frustrated at how they were not shooting wqell first 10 minutes, they didn’t come off track, start doing stupid stuff, etc, etc. They stayed the course. the course Gottfried helped layout. And it worked.

    If they win and go to the EE, I’ll be tickled. However, if they don’t make it, I can say this has been one helluva season. Ups, downs and a great run down the stretch. This is what we’ve wanted all along, for 20 plus years. Not just to be there. HWSNBN got us there, but we (or I) was waiting for the bow out. Now I’m waiting to see what the heck this team will pull off next. There is an optimism and no limits attitude about this team right now. And as we all know, the style, coaching, recruiting looks awesome looking ahead.

    We are coming back. We are back.

  21. Hungwolf 03/19/2012 at 9:58 AM #

    Big Bad Wolves headed to Saint Louis!!! Whooo Hoooo!

  22. icanttakeitanymore 03/19/2012 at 10:00 AM #

    Big fun on friday night…….cocktails & the pack

  23. WolfBlood 03/19/2012 at 10:07 AM #

    I didnt see anything out of the Kansas team last night that really scared me. They are good but I think we can beat them, and I think our players believe they can too.

  24. newt 03/19/2012 at 10:13 AM #

    Pretty sure that’s Associate AD Chris Kingston in the photo with Gottfried.

  25. Trout 03/19/2012 at 10:28 AM #

    Opening line: Kansas +8

Leave a Reply