Another season, another injury to a key component of the Wolfpack’s program.
I wish that I didn’t have to bump all of the great football-related entries that precede this…but, we can’t just leave this out there now that we have a little ‘official’ clarity.
After one game of the season, Farnold Degand already has tendinitis in his ‘repaired knee’. ESPN has the story.
North Carolina State point guard Farnold Degand has tendinitis in his left knee and may be sidelined two weeks.
Degand developed tendinitis in the knee that was surgically repaired last season, coach Sidney Lowe said Friday.
Degand missed the final 2½ months after tearing a ligament last December. Lowe said Degand likely had tendinitis before, but his recovery from surgery may have worsened it.
Degand started and played 13 minutes in last week’s opener at New Orleans.
I don’t mean to be an alarmist here – but this is simply NOT good news for a player and a position that NC State desperately needs if we are to have any opportunity at success in the 2008-2009 season. We really drilled deeply into the Degand/point guard situation in this preseason entry and some of the entries linked therein.
In addition to Degand, Johnny Thomas and CJ Williams are battling through some bang-ups. Pack Pride’s ‘Notebook’ mentions that Javi Gonzalez is also banged up.
Lowe also said Degand’s primary backup, Javi Gonzalez, played the last four minutes of the New Orleans game with a sore knee, but he is OK now. Gonzalez wears a protective sleeve over that left knee.
“Fortunately or unfortunately, Javi has been in this situation before and I think he’s well prepared for it this time” Lowe said. “Julius, obviously his minutes are going to go up with playing time and he’s been doing a nice, solid job for us.”
Strategically, I *hope* that Coach Lowe is truly treating this as extra-precautionary for Farnold. A quick look at the Wolfpack’s schedule indicates that we *should* be able to takle care of business the next couple of weeks without Degand. “About two weeks” would mean that Degand should be back on the court just in time to help guard Stephon Curry when State battles Davidson on December 6th in Charlotte.
If the Wolfpack can handle the nine cupcakes on the out of conference schedule – and, realize that I recognize that we did NOT handle the cupcakes last season – then the match-ups with Davidson (Dec 6th); Marquette (Dec 22); and Florida (jan 3) become potential ‘season shifting’ games. A win against any three of these teams would create a situation where a .500 record in ACC play could get the Wolfpack into the NCAA Tournament. Two wins against those three opponents would mean that a .500 record in ACC would strongly position the Wolfpack for a berth.
State takes the court on Saturday night in Raleigh against High Point. As usual, Section Six has a nice preview of the game.
The Panthers have the unfortunate task of replacing Arizona Reid, who averaged a double-double last season and won his second consecutive Big South Player of the Year award. Reid was phenomenal in 2008, shooting 56.2% while taking 37.7% of the shots (that %Shots figure ranked 2nd nationally). He was an excellent rebounder for a 6-5 guy, never turned the ball over, and even managed the team’s best steal rate.
They’ve also lost point guard Mike Jefferson to graduation, and he was the only other player on the team who took an above-average proportion of the shots. His assist rate ranked in the top 20 nationally, because every game he could be all like, “I’m going to give it to AZ.” And then Reid was all like, “thanks. I will now score this basketball.” The two of them essentially did the work of three guys.
It’s going to be a difficult transition, then, not just for all of the freshmen, but also for the returning players who’d become accustomed to secondary roles. The early returns aren’t so good, though they did beat the shit out of some church league team.