The Chris Collins led Wildcats of Northwestern will be the Wolfpack’s opponent in tonight’s matchup in the ACC/B10 Challenge (ESPNU 7:30pm). Northwestern is currently 4-4 after a playing in the Las Vegas Invitational. They have played actual competition in their losses to Stanford, Missouri, and UCLA, with their worst loss coming against Illinois State. Where […]
As the ’13-’14 edition of Wolfpack Basketball prepares itself for the upcoming season (only 9 days and counting…if one counts exhibition contests, that is), much is being talked about regarding the Pack’s significantly lowered expectations as compared to this time one year ago.
NC State basketball: What went wrong in disappointing 2012-13 season (NewsObserver.com)
RALEIGH — Chairs can’t talk, but the empty ones around Mark Gottfried said it all.
This is the difference a year makes for the N.C. State basketball coach and his program. A year ago, the Wolfpack was the talk of the ACC, the sexy preseason pick – top 10 in the country and the choice of both the coaches and the media to win the ACC.
Then came a disappointing fifth-place ACC finish and an opening-round loss in the NCAA tournament. Fast forward to Wednesday, back in the same Charlotte hotel. While the media’s double-stacked around Duke’s Mike Krzyzewski, as they would be later around North Carolina’s Roy Williams, there are five people and 12 seats at Gottfried’s table.
“We have a completely different team,” Gottfried said. “We’re in a different place.”
Were the expectations too high last year? Some of us around these parts thought it at least a possibility, and weren’t hesitant to say as much. But there can be little doubt that even if that bar of expectation was set too high a year ago, the results which did eventually happen were, at times, little better than a train wreck even still. Or a dumpster fire. Feel free to pick your own terminology.
[Lorenzo] Brown said he felt responsible for the team’s 11-7 ACC record. He led the ACC in assists (7.2 per game) but said he should have done more, even before an ankle injury cost him two and half conference games.
Brown shot 20 of 76 (26.3 percent) from 3-point range, which he said should have been better. He said wasn’t aggressive enough.
“Our offense never clicked like it did the year before,” Brown said. “That was on me, I needed to do more.”
“We had some immaturity at times,” Gottfried said after the Temple game. “It just seemed hard at times to have everybody buy in all the way.”
Gottfried has since said it was difficult to blend the returning players with the new players.
“As freshmen, we looked up to the older players,” said guard Tyler Lewis, a reserve freshman on last year’s team. “If we saw them having a bad day or being lazy, we felt like we could as well.”
So then, what of this year’s significantly lowered expectations?
With returning McD AA’s TJ Warren and Tyler Lewis, and with a considerable load of incoming talent, both freshmen and transfers, are this year’s lowered expectations as much of a kneejerk response to last year’s results, as last year’s pre-season hype was to the Sweet Sixteen run to end the ’11-’12 campaign?
Yes and no, I think.
This year’s team has talent and boatloads of potential. But it also has a LOT of new parts which will need to learn to work together. How quickly those parts can mesh and become a cohesive unit, all pulling in the same direction, will determine when, and to what extent, this team realizes its potential.
When do YOU think that might happen? March? February? Lest we dream…January?
Should we go ahead and chalk this up as WTNY already?
Tell us what you think.