First, stop watching this team as if had (or has) a chance to be good. It doesn’t. Whatever long-shot chance NC State ever had went down the drain when we first saw Farnold’s knee in action (he simply can’t cut on it playing defense). Keep in mind that our best guard, by far, is Trevor Ferguson. How can a team be good when that is the case? Depressingly, we received an e-mail last night noting that Trevor broke his arm or wrist during the Marquette game (kudos to him for finishing). UPDATE: Per the N&O’s “ACC Now” blog, Ferguson has a broken bone in his non-shooting hand, and will be out 3-6 weeks. Shit.
So, what do you look for this year? Baby steps. I see them. For the most part, State plays hard for 40 minutes (don’t confuse that with playing well or playing smart). The gameplans make sense, at least to me. There’s just not much we can do when the opposition makes adjustments. Subjectively, I don’t hate watching this team play, and am not embarrassed that they wear the uniform of my alma mater. Couldn’t say that last year.
Is this progress? I think so. We haven’t lost to any crap teams, unlike last year (ECU, New Orleans). We haven’t mailed it in. There’s just no way to do much more than that with the personnel currently in place.
Which leads me to 2009-10. This is when we need to see a great leap forward. We will have much better players in place, and at least one plus player at the guard position (Lorenzo Brown). If Lowe’s gameplans are in fact good, and he’s learned how to reach and motivate college players, then the 2009-10 will win some games, and make the NCAA tournament. Until then, we have to watch games from a different point of view. Take a Xanax if you need one.