Barry Jacobs of the News and Observer takes a close look at NC State center Jordan Vandenberg today, and some of the quotes from the article are illuminating not only for the senior center but also for the entire Wolfpack team’s mindset:
“I’m not trying to play for my own personal glory,” he said repeatedly during an interview this week. “I’m trying to get my team somewhere.”
It’s a pretty good read on a player who’s becoming a fan favorite and one who could — get this — possibly break into the Top 10 single-season leaders in blocked shots for the Wolfpack if his current rate continues the rest of the year. If it does, the Wolfpack team, its coaches and its players may have a nervous Selection Sunday afternoon, hoping to hear its name called. That’s the goal of this squad, even if it is stated in a low-key manner, but one that is not out of reach should the team stay healthy and continue to play the way it has since it lost to NC Central.
Hmmm…Jordan Vandenberg emerging and becoming an important part of NC State’s Basketball season? That sounds *vaguely* familiar. Oh yes, welcome to StateFansNation – please click here for a relevant preseason conversation.
That would be good news for a Wolfpack team that wouldn’t have a true center without Vandenberg. At 7’1?, he could be a formidable presence on defense and if he can exercise some will in the paint, he could be a scoring option that opposition defenses would have to take into account. That in turn would help prevent defenses from focusing completely on forwards like T.J. Warren, the player who will likely be the Wolfpack’s most consistent scoring threat whenever he is on the floor. In short, Vandenberg’s play could help his entire team be more effective.
That’s a lot of expectations, sure, and like all players he’s sure to have his ups and downs throughout the year, but if Jordan Vandenberg has more ups than downs in the upcoming hoops campaign, Wolfpack basketball will certainly benefit and will definitely surprise everyone who has low expectations for a team in transition.