Friday Farrago

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R. Cory Smith (N&O)
Purvis at the point for NC State

“It’s going to be different because I haven’t played as many minutes as Zo,” Lewis said. “But not a lot of freshman are in this situation right now, so I have to take advantage of it.”

Lewis said this might give him the opportunity to play the role he is comfortable with – controlling the court.

“I definitely feel like this is my opportunity,” he said. “It’s not my game coming in for two minutes at a time. I’m the type of player that likes to control the pace and you can’t get into the flow of the game when you are playing that many minutes.”

Purvis echoed Lewis’ sentiment.

“This is an opportunity for us to step up while our junior guard is sidelined,” Purvis said. “We’ll see how much heart we’ve got. This is the type of game that we need at this point in the season.”

While it is still unclear whether Brown will play any minutes at all against Miami, who still stands as the only undefeated team in conference play, both Purvis and Lewis have been splitting time in practice – something Wolfpack forward C.J. Leslie said he is comfortable with.

“I have trust in both of our guys,” Leslie said. “They both have two completely different styles, but they are both able to get the job done. We’re going to rely heavily on them playing well.”

Joe Giglio (N&O)
Three Points: Injuries, respect and Plan B

3) Now what?

N.C. State coach Mark Gottfried didn’t sound optimistic about Lorenzo Brown’s ankle after the game. N.C. State is off Wednesday and Brown’s injury will be re-evaluated.

Gottfried talked about possibly playing against first-place Miami on Saturday without Brown, who leads the ACC in assists.

“If you have an injury, you have to find a way to make it work,” Gottfried said.

Gottfried called Brown the best point guard in the ACC and said his absence changes everything for the Wolfpack.

“We have to overcome that and if he doesn’t play Saturday, we’ll have to do that for 40 minutes,” Gottfried said.

Gottfried used freshman guard Rodney Purvis, normally the off guard, at the point and freshman Tyler Lewis at the point in Brown’s stead.

Purvis finished with six points, an assist and one turnover in 33 minutes and Lewis had three points, two assists and no turnovers in 15 minutes.

Gottfried hasn’t shown a lot of trust in Lewis, who had played a total of 21 minutes in seven ACC games before Tuesday. It’s unclear how much he’ll use Lewis against an athletic Miami backcourt on Saturday or how long Brown will be out.

Duke lost point guard Kyrie Irving two years ago to a toe injury and it derailed its season. UNC lost Kendall Marshall last season to a wrist injury and its season was cut short. This is one area, N.C. State would have preferred to not be like Duke or UNC.

Joe Giglio (N&O)
Pack taking wait-and-see approach with injured Brown

“I’m going to guess it’s going to be a couple of days before we start to have a feeling if he can or can’t play,” Gottfried said. “We’ll just have to wait and see.”

Brown has already shown an ability to recover quickly from injuries. He had his right knee surgically repaired at the end of June and returned ahead of schedule to play in N.C. State’s preseason tour of Spain in August.

Gottfried said he would not rush Brown back in the lineup and risk further injury. At 5-3 in the ACC, N.C. State still has 10 conference games left on the schedule.

“I don’t want to take a chance on him injuring himself worse,” Gottfried said. “We have a lot of games left. We’ve to be smart about it, so we’ll see.”

Durham’s Julian Gamble has Miami on top of ACC

Saturday, Gamble returns to the Triangle, leading the first-place Hurricanes against N.C. State.

Gamble deserves some of the credit for the Canes’ rise. His scoring picked up during Reggie Johnson’s absence, but his touch and tenacity around the rim also are key reasons the Canes are 16-3 and ranked No. 14.

ESPN commentators joked that in the win against North Carolina, Gamble backed into the paint like an older guy backing down a young guy in a YMCA league. Miami coach Jim Larranaga said that is exactly how he wants Gamble to play.

“When they say old man, they should really describe it as fundamental basketball in the low post, ” Larranaga said. “Because a low-post player’s job is to attack the rim and get inside buckets for you, and he does it with his left-hand jump hook, his offensive rebounding and running the floor. Those are three fundamental things we ask him to do, and he is doing them very, very well.”

Gamble is extra motivated against teams from North Carolina because they didn’t recruit him heavily out of high school. Though he averaged 18 points, 10 rebounds and five blocks as a senior at Durham Southern, he flew under the radar until a phenomenal showing at the AAU Breakdown Hoops Festival in Miami in the summer of 2006.

Then-UM coach Frank Haith immediately took notice, as did coaches from Tennessee, Kentucky, St. John’s and Georgetown. Gamble fell in love with Miami and never visited another school.

“That was kind of my coming-out party, ” Gamble said. “I didn’t have anything to lose, so I was really aggressive and had a great week. I really liked Coach Haith and the laid-back family atmosphere on the team, so that sealed the deal for me.”

Andrew Jones (
Gottfried’s misuse of his bench could cost team

If Brown can’t play in Saturday’s home game against soaring No. 14 Miami (16-3, 7-0), Lewis will be the team’s most important player. Gottfried has to go with the other point guard on the roster. Playing Purvis means freshman T.J. Warren will start, and that certainly helps the Wolfpack (16-5, 5-3 ACC) maintain a very talented starting five, but it also means two players are essentially out of position: Purvis and whoever the two guard is.

Scott Wood can shoot, but he’s not a great defender on small forwards, much less shooting guards. Warren is comfortable on the perimeter, but is most productive playing closer to the basket, so he needs to play the three position. Purvis can spell Lewis, but Gottfried has to go with a young man he felt enough of to give a scholarship.

“I think he’s (Brown) the best point guard in the ACC,” Gottfried said. “Obviously, we are different without him. We have to overcome that, and if he doesn’t play on Saturday we’ll have to do that for 40 minutes. It’s part of the game. I think it affects everything.

“Injuries are part of the game … so you just have to find a way.”

Lewis may not be Brown, but he’s State’s best option of Brown can’t go.
Julius Randle: “NC State was my best visit so far.”

USA Today is running an ongoing column where they allow 2013 mega-recruit, Julius Randle, to blog about his senior season and his recruitment. In his most recent post he recaps his visit to NC State, where he got to see his good friend Rodney Purvis, hang out with the Gameday crew from ESPN and see the Wolfpack wax the Tarheels. Here are some blurbs from the article…


ncsu helmet

Ryan Tice (
New staff starts strong out of the gate

It’s dangerous to pen an article of this nature before the ink dries on National Letters of Intent on Feb. 6, National Signing Day, but the early returns on new NC State head coach Dave Doeren and his staff’s ability to recruit are impressive.

The first bit of evidence came with the transfer of Florida quarterback Jacoby Brissett, a former four-star recruit ranked as the nation’s No. 75 overall player in the class of 2011. He picked State thanks to his relationship with Doeren, which dates back to the field general’s freshman year at Dwyer High School in West Palm Beach, Fla., and the addition of the signal caller would serve as a shot in the arm for any program.

After redshirting, Brissett will have two years of eligibility remaining to compete for starting duties with Pete Thomas, another transfer who was ranked as a four-star quarterback coming out of high school, and the athletic Manny Stocker, who served as Mike Glennon’s back-up as a true freshman this fall.

Some recruits have parted ways with the Wolfpack, but that is to be expected after a coaching change has been made. However, Doeren and company have been able to retain some exciting prospects, such as Florida offensive lineman Tylar Reagan, who was tied for the Pack’s best recruit — according to the Rivals’ rating system at 5.7 (the highest grade for a three-star recruit) — and is listed as the nation’s No. 28 offensive guard; and Georgia running back Joshua Mercer, the No. 53 rusher in the land.

Some of the others who re-upped with Doeren but are not nationally ranked at their position by Rivals are intriguing, like 6-foot-6, three-star athlete Pharoah McKever, a prep quarterback who could end up at a number of different positions on either side of the ball, hard-hitting Florida linebacker Jerod Fernandez or any of the five future Wolfpackers that represented North Carolina in the Shrine Bowl — linebackers Quinton Patterson, who was named his team’s defensive MVP in the contest, and Artemis Robinson, cornerback Jack Tocho, and offensive linemen Patrick Roane and Cole Blankenship, who has already enrolled at State.

As soon as news broke Wednesday night that three-star Florida running back Matt Dayes, a hard runner who really emerged as a senior at Weston (Fla.) Cypress Bay, had committed to the Pack, the new staff’s closing ability is beginning to impress. One of Doeren’s focal points as soon as he landed the job had to be working alongside running backs coach Des Kitchings to bring the talented ball carrier back into the fold, and it was a resounding victory to keep the exciting rusher from suiting up in the SEC.
Letter from Mike Glennon

To the City of Raleigh and Wolfpack fans everywhere:

As I donned my N.C. State helmet for the last time in the Senior Bowl, I took a moment to reflect on the last few years I have spent in Raleigh and how thankful I am for my experience. My time at State was filled with countless memorable experiences, from the win in the Belk Bowl to one of the most exciting Saturday nights ever in Raleigh this past October.

As much as I am looking forward to fulfilling my dream of playing in the NFL, I am also saddened by the thought of leaving the place I have come to call home. I loved being a student at North Carolina State while earning my undergraduate and graduate degrees, and every second I wore the Wolfpack uniform was special to me. This school and city have given me so much and for that I will be forever grateful. I have every intention of remaining an active member of the Raleigh and N.C. State communities to begin paying back all of the support you have shown me over the years.


NC State’s Cinderella Season to Be Featured in ESPN Film

ESPN Films has announced that the next entry in its Emmy-nominated and Peabody Award-winning 30 for 30 film series will be Survive and Advance. The film, which will debut on March 17, takes a poignant look at Jim Valvano and the Wolfpack’s remarkable ‘83 National Championship season.

Directed by Jonathan Hock (Unguarded, The Best That Never Was), Survive and Advance chronicles the events of that Cinderella season through the eyes of senior captain Dereck Whittenburg and explores what at times has been a tragic and heartbreaking aftermath in the 30 years since.

“When we select film topics for 30 for 30, we are always looking for stand-out moments that really captured the hearts and minds of sports fans across the country,” said Connor Schell, vice president of ESPN Films. “Though it is a coincidence that these two films happen to be about events from 30 years ago, the stories behind both Jimmy V’s magical championship season and the landmark ’83 NFL draft changed the history of those particular sports and we believe these films will show our audience a side of these events that they didn’t know.”
Behind the Scenes with Coach Doeren

It was a full day for Wolfpack football coach Dave Doeren last Saturday. He began the morning with an appearance with American Idol Scotty McCreery in front of the ESPN GameDay crowd, spent the day meeting and greeting recruits and followed it up by watching the men’s basketball squad take down UNC. Here’s a look behind the scenes with the Pack’s new head coach.



Peter Tiernan (
Bracket Science 101: Nailing the basics

Bracket Science is different. I don’t care so much about all that. I’m more interested in examining which teams are going to advance in the tourney once the bracket gets set on Selection Sunday. My job involves intensive analysis about who’s going to overachieve in the tourney, who’s going to fall short of expectations and who’s most likely to cut down the nets.

From a business point of view, my gig doesn’t have the shelf life of bracketology. Speculation on who will be in the bracket goes on for months. Analysis of who will advance through the bracket has a big audience for about four days — from Selection Sunday to the time when you have to submit pool sheet.

Eighty percent of my traffic on comes in those four “bracket pondering” days. At some level, everyone wants to know the same thing: how can I build a winning bracket? Some people come right out and ask me what the answers are, as if I have them at the ready and am just holding out. Others are more appreciative of the predictive challenge before them and the limits of statistics. They like to think alongside me and use the numbers I offer to develop their own theories.

But my analysis gets pretty deep pretty quick, especially if you’re giving yourself just a few hours to absorb all the guidance I provide and relate it to the 68 teams that make the dance. Last year, did a great thing. They packaged a lot of my research into a handy tool they called the “Bracket Lab.” It gave people a quick read on the historical trends I’ve uncovered from the 28 years of data I have on the 64-team tourney era.

But many of the metrics I use still take some time to understand. And time is a precious commodity after Selection Sunday. thought it might be a good idea to offer a few “Bracket Science 101” courses in advance of the dance. I agreed. Starting this week and continuing all the way up to tourney tip-off, I’ll offer at least one class per week on the basics of bracket science. That way, when you conduct your experiments in this year’s “Bracket Lab,” you’ll be able to speed through the information much faster.

So let’s get started building a better bracket.

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."

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19 Responses to Friday Farrago

  1. Tau837 02/01/2013 at 6:58 AM #

    Classy move from Glennon.

  2. DC_wolf 02/01/2013 at 8:09 AM #

    Looking forward to Lewis running the point – I know he’s untested, & Miami is looking ferocious right now – but this guy LOVES the Pack! Everyone be sure to show up on Saturday & show the love back…

  3. wolffpride 02/01/2013 at 8:22 AM #

    Lewis can ball, and I think he will succeed at controlling our pace, even against Miami. We can win this game without Brown, but everyone will have to show up.

  4. FergusWolf 02/01/2013 at 9:08 AM #

    I’m looking forward to Lewis getting a big opportunity this weekend also. Despite the fact that I hate having to play without Zo, I think this is an opportunity to strengthen our team, for the remainder of this year and for the next 3, as getting TL more experience cannot be a bad thing.

    We may win or lose against Miami (certainly I hope we win), but either way, I think this is our teams opportunity (challenge) to grow, which will help in both the ACC and NCAA tournaments.

  5. Khan 02/01/2013 at 9:10 AM #

    Question: Why is it teams who like to play slow and deliberate, like UVA and MD, always end up dictating the pace of a game? That’s all you hear about when playing those teams, and it’s usually what you end up seeing play out. Why can’t teams like State, who like to run, impose their style of play in those games? Why does it always seem to be the other way around? Ok, that’s questions, not question.

  6. Alpha Wolf 02/01/2013 at 9:10 AM #

    State’s margin of error is thin already, and Lewis’s inexperience may be something that hurts us in a close game.

    That said, I am pessimistic of our chances, and the long, slow slide towards being a bubble team playing for its life on Thursday and Friday at the ACCT will continue.

  7. MP 02/01/2013 at 9:15 AM #

    ^^ I don’t know, but IMO a team committed to getting back on D can effectively stop the primary break but a high level offense can dictate play with a secondary break. As good as our O is this could improve.

  8. Wolfpack F-14 02/01/2013 at 9:16 AM #

    Khan, I know in the UVA game the announcers mentioned numerous times who when they (UVA) took a shot 2 or 3 of their players immediately went towards the defenive end of the court. UVA was willing to have less players going for offensive rebounds in order to have enough defense back down the court to prevent a fast break.

  9. Thinkpack17 02/01/2013 at 9:28 AM #

    Khan- We score most of our point in transition. UVa gave up the offensive glass, as soon as they put a shot up they had 3 players not even looking at the glass. They just put they’re heads down and got back. They also took care of the ball for the most part. A lot of their turnovers were dead ball TOs.

    And they bleed the clock on offense leaving less time in the game to run.

  10. state73 02/01/2013 at 9:33 AM #

    Mike Glennon joins a long list of NC STATE QB’s who are class acts! Wish him the very best.

  11. PoppaJohn 02/01/2013 at 10:06 AM #

    AW – I share your fear. Tough stretch coming.

    Miami was going to beat us under the best of circumstances, they are everything we struggle with. Very talented guards that shoot well and drive. Plus their inside game is frightening. Then visiting Cameron right afterwards … no place to overcome road woes. And then a beaten up team goes to Clemson.

    If we don’t figure out how to win on the road, this will be “the season that wasn’t.” But, 16 wins at the beginning of FEB feels like a much stronger position to be in than we have been in the past. Still optimistic about making the dance.

  12. Khan 02/01/2013 at 10:14 AM #

    Thanks guys. This just highlights our half court game all the more. If we don’t improve that, we’re going to continue to struggle.

    It’s amazing to me how often other teams get easy baskets against us in the half court and how difficult it looks for our guys to get open shots. It seems like every shot is hard and contested. And we miss so many shots around the rim. That hurts.

  13. Alpha Wolf 02/01/2013 at 10:27 AM #

    Khan, the way I see it, the general uselessness of Scott Wood lately has made it all the easier for the opposition to collapse into the paint. Wood plays defense by accident, that much is well known, but he seems mired in one of his cold streaks from the three-point line and that just puts more pressure on the rest of the team.

  14. Khan 02/01/2013 at 11:21 AM #

    Alpha, yeah, Woo has gone cold. It certainly doesn’t help that he can’t get open. But there is an awful lot of standing around on offense that I notice. It’s just an area where we tend to struggle.

    And by the way, if any coach of any basketball team is out there and wants to demonstrate to his or her team now NOT to close out a half, just queue up pretty much the last 20 seconds any half of a State basketball game, and you’ll have what you need. It’s so depressing to just absolutely know that State will not score and the other team will….and we’ll probably do something stupid as well.

  15. JohnGalt78 02/01/2013 at 11:26 AM #

    Lose a starting guard, mid-season, to a foot injury, against UVA???? Sound familiar anybody???? HINT: Don’t give up….don’t EVER give up!

  16. Gene 02/01/2013 at 11:45 AM #

    “the landmark ’83 NFL draft changed”

    Other than a bunch of QB’s going in the first round, I’m not sure what’s so historic about that draft.

    Elway, Kelly and Marino panned out. Blackledge and O’Brien didn’t.

    As far as impactful drafts go, I’d think the 1989 draft ranks up there. 4 of the first 5 picks are Hall of Famers – (1) Troy Aikman, (3) Barry Sanders, (4) Derreck Thomas and (5) Deion Sanders.

  17. EdMar 02/01/2013 at 11:51 AM #

    Brown out for a few games may not be great for the short term but t is a great opportunity for the team to develop back ups at point guard. Lets see, I remember 1983 when Whit was out for a few game came back late in the year and the rest is Wolpack History

  18. Rochester 02/01/2013 at 12:58 PM #

    At least we are at a point in the schedule where there are a few days between games. If Brown misses the Miami game or isn’t at full strength, he’s got another five days before we play at Duke on 2/7.

    Miami’s due for a loss. No one’s going undefeated in this conference. Let’s go Pack!

  19. MrPlywood 02/02/2013 at 2:32 AM #

    Maybe this will be Miami’s WTF loss…

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