The key to this season for NC State was getting effective play from the PG position. Overall, Farnold Degand, Javier Gonzalez, and Julius Mays have not performed at the level NC State needed to make the NCAA tournament. However, an NIT bid would be a solid step for Sidney Lowe’s third team considering the change in the NIT format making it more difficult to receive a bid. No longer does a .500 record from a major conference guarantee an NIT bid. Instead, the tournament awards at-large bids in a similar format to the NCAA Tournament and automatics to any regular season conference champion that doesn’t win their conference tournament.
With upset home wins versus Miami and Wake Forest, the team has repositioned itself so that making one of the post-season tournaments (two others besides NCAA and NIT) seems likely. One of the main reasons for the improvement in recent weeks has been the play of Farnold Degand.
Over his last four games (did not play @ VT) against some of the best backcourt players in the league, Degand has been playing at a very high level. Against Boston College and one of the best players in the country in Tyrese Rice, Degand had 10 points, 7 assists, 2 turnovers and 3 steals in 30 minutes. In a win over Miami, he had 7 pts, 7 assists and again only two TOs. In the next two games, he matched up against Ty Lawson and Jeff Teague(on offense at least) and his play was crucial in NC State’s upset of #7 Wake Forest. He hit crucial three point shots coming off the bench in the 1st half and finished with 14 points, 4 assists, 2 TOs, and 3 steals.
During this four game stretch, Degand is averaging:
- 10.2 points
- 5.5 assists
- 2.0 turnovers
- 2 steals
- 2.75 assist/turnovers
- 15-29 FGs (.517)
- 7-13 3pt FGs (.539)
- 4-6 FTs (.667)
His play over this period makes you wonder how the last 1.5 seasons could have been different had Degand been healthy.
Looking back at Degand’s play last season, maybe these most recent numbers are more reflective of his true ability:
At the time of the injury, Degand’s production was trending upward and he was averaging almost 7.0 points, 3.2 rebounds and 28.6 minutes per game while leading the team in assists (2.9 per game) and three-point shooting (.500, 8-16). Defensively, the quickness he possessed in his 6′4 frame proved to be much more valuable than anyone realized until Marques Johnson and Javi Gonzalez attempted to replace Degand after the injury.
The shooting percentages last year are most interesting to me.