Tomorrow at 12pm in Charlotte, the Wolfpack tips off against Davidson in the Pack’s first game against an opponent that will be close to the caliber that they can expect to see night after night in conference play. To kick off SFN’s coverage, here’s an article I found about the Wildcat team’s commitment to not be a flash-in-the-pan one-year Cinderella:
The team’s focus turned to this season almost immediately after last season’s loss to eventual national champion Kansas.
Not long after that game, coach Bob McKillop found a four-page letter on his desk.
“They met as a team and put together this four page manifesto, and it covered a variety of topics from the standpoint of basketball technique, training methods, practice sessions, schedule, involvement in the community, the way we would travel, diet,” McKillop says.
“So every aspect of their lives as student athletes was included in this particular manifesto.”
Senior forward Andrew Lovedale says players wanted to express their commitment to improvement on and off the court.
This is going to be a tough game for the Pack and will obviously require the best performance of the the young season in order to grab a win. If you are around the Queen City, tickets are still available here.
SFN Update @ 2:45pm — NC State received some good news today that Farnold Degand is expected to return for the Wolfpack. I can’t stress the importance of Degand’s presence for the Wolfpack’s match-up with Stephon Curry.
Degand’s speed is well known, but his height is under appreciated. At 6’3 and laterally quick, Degand provides the the Wolfpack with another body that can challenge Stephon Curry. I expect Coach Lowe to throw both Courtney Fells and Degand at Curry on Saturday. Additionally, it will be interesting to see if either CJ Williams or Johnny Thomas gets the opportunity to step up and challenge Curry for a possession or two.
Pardon me while I take a moment to promote SFN and our forward-looking analytics. Please allow me to take you back to November 21st’s entry for a moment
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.
Update 2: Seth Davis Makes His Pick (Based on faulty info)
N.C. State (4-0) at No. 22 Davidson (5-1)
Most major teams have played at least seven games by now, but for some reason N.C. State has only played four. The Wolfpack was the odd team out so it did not participate in the ACC/Big Ten challenge this year. Perhaps it’s just as well, because they are once again without their starting point guard, Farnold Degand, who is suffering from tendinitis in the left knee he had surgery on last December, which cost him the final 2 1/2 months of the season. (SFN Note: see above, Degand will play) N.C. State edged out Davidson last year by one point in Raleigh partly by outscoring the Wildcats from the free throw line 18-6. It will be hard to duplicate that advantage on the road. I also don’t expect N.C. State to double-team Stephen Curry the way Loyola did en route to a 30-point loss. Davidson is at full strength, it’s playing at home and it has already played in a big-time game this season (at Oklahoma). N.C. State can’t say any of those things.
Davidson 79, N.C. State 70
We’ll see, Seth.