December 16, 2011
NC STATE BASKETBALL
Pack Hosts Top-Ranked Syracuse On Saturday
For the first time since 1979, NC State will host a top-ranked non-conference foe when it plays Syracuse on Saturday at a sold out RBC Center. Game time is 6:30 and set for broadcast on ESPN2 with Jon Sciambi describing the action and Hubert Davis providing analysis.
This is the fifth meeting in the series between the Pack and Orange. NC State’s only victory in the series was a 82-68 decision on Dec. 8, 2001 in Syracuse when Orange was ranked ninth in the country. Saturday’s game is only the second time that the two teams have played in Raleigh with both meetings coming at the RBC Center.
The last No. 1-ranked non-conference foe to play the Wolfpack in Raleigh was Notre Dame in 1979. The Irish were coached by Digger Phelps and led by Kelly Tripucka, Bill Laimbeer and Orlando Woolridge. NC State was coach by Norm Sloan and featured Hawkeye Whitney, Clyde Austin, Tony Warren and Tiny Pinder.
Against the Irish, the Pack fought back from a 46-37 deficit midway through the second half and held a brief lead in the final minute. But a pair of Tripucka free throws with six seconds remaining sealed a 53-52 Irish win.
Riddick and Reynolds
My How Times Change… Or, The Curious Case Of Jim Boeheim And Lisa Love
In a search for an old Jim Boeheim quote and the news of today, I was struck by an odd confluence in the recent history of Boeheim and embattled Arizona State athletic director Lisa Love.
On March 21, 2009, in the midst of the NCAA Tournament and leading up to a matchup between #3 Syracuse and #6 Arizona State, Pete Thamel of the NY Times wrote this piece for the Times’ excellent college sports blog known as The Quad.
The piece details the relationship between Syracuse coach Jim Boeheim and Arizona State head man Herb Sendek. The piece concludes thusly:
But when it came to more serious matters, Boeheim sent a more piercing shot toward the administration at North Carolina State. Sendek led the N.C. State to five consecutive N.C.A.A. tournament bids but was constantly badgered by a fan base that always wanted more. After Sendek left, N.C. State conducted a dysfunctional coaching search that has become a gold standard in college basketball circles for ineptitude. They settled on an alum, Sidney Lowe, who hasn’t led them to any N.C.A.A. tournaments. He hasn’t even won more than six games in the A.C.C.
So when asked what he thought about Arizona State hiring Sendek, Boeheim’s final jab of the day wasn’t so good humored.
“I thought somebody was pretty stupid and somebody was pretty smart,” Boeheim said. “I’m not going to mention which one.”
The Sports Xchange
Pack Improved, But Cautious About Optimism
– The Wolfpack has been foul-prone at times and that could catch up to the team when conference play starts. Even against non-major teams, the post players have fallen into foul trouble, with F C.J. Leslie and F Richard Howell guilty against North Carolina Central. “Almost every game it appears that one of our bigs are in foul trouble,” coach Mark Gottfried said. “The good thing is we have some depth, and maybe I should play some guys with two (first-half) fouls more.”
– G Scott Wood’s shooting is often under close monitoring because he’s one of the top proven long-range shooters in the ACC. He’s shooting at a 56.8 percent clip (25-for-44) from 3-point range, which is better than his 33.3-percent mark (4-for-12) on 2-point attempts. He also made his first 17 free-throw attempts of the season.
– Mark Gottfried arrived as the new coach in the spring and vowed to upgrade the non-conference schedule while knowing there would likely be some highly ranked teams (North Carolina and Duke at the very least) on the ACC slate. But one game he inherited on the schedule was a Dec. 17 home date with Syracuse, which moved to No. 1 in the Dec. 12 AP poll and ESPN/USA Today polls.
QUOTE TO NOTE: “The difference between winning and losing is a big deal, and we’re always excited to win.” — Coach Mark Gottfried, a first-year coach whose team started with a 6-3 record. That’s the same mark the 2010-11 team had after nine games under former coach Sidney Lowe.
JOSH SHAFFER (N&O)
Arena sports a new name
Thanks to the alphabet soup of corporate naming rights, Raleigh’s round, white sports complex has just received its third official acronym: the PNC Arena, which replaces the RBC Center, which replaced the ESA.
Now, the Carolina Hurricanes and N.C. State Wolfpack will compete inside a building named for a bank based in Pittsburgh rather than a bank with Canada in its name.
Drivers on Wade Avenue could see PNC’s orange and white triangle logo – or is it a boomerang? – rather than the familiar blue and yellow lion with its paw on a globe.
The switch comes as PNC Financial Services Group acquires Raleigh-based RBC Bank. Initial approval came from the Centennial Authority, the arena’s owner and developer. The 20-year deal is worth $80 million.
News and Observer
Wolfpack stagnant against Spiders
The N.C. State women’s basketball team lost 72-58 to Richmond on Thursday at Reynolds Coliseum. The Wolfpack dropped to 6-3 on the season with the loss, while the Spiders improved to 8-2. The Pack shot only 31.8 percent (21-of-66) on the night, while Richmond knocked down over half of its shots, converting 50.9 percent of its attempts.
“I’m very disappointed in our lack of execution offensively,” said head coach Kellie Harper.
The Pack was led by Bonae Holston, who scored 21 points and grabbed 10 rebounds for her 21st career double-double. Holston’s 21 points are a season high. She is the only player in the ACC to have at least 10 points and eight rebounds in every game she has played this season.
Marissa Kastanek finished the game with a season-high 17 points, while Emili Tasler had a career-high eight rebounds.
ANDREW CARTER (N&O)
ACC moves to 18-game schedule
With the addition of Syracuse and Pittsburgh to the ACC, it seemed only a matter of time before the league expanded its regular-season basketball schedule. What had been expected became a reality on Thursday, as the Atlantic Coast Conference announced it would move from a 16- to an 18-game conference schedule for the 2012-13 season.
The expanded schedule will go into effect next season in both men’s and women’s basketball, regardless of whether Syracuse and Pitt have officially joined the ACC by then. It’s unclear when those schools will leave the Big East.
“Our member institutions have been talking about this increase for a while and knowing our league will be expanding to 14 in the future, we’ve decided to move to an 18-game conference schedule next year, regardless of our membership number,” ACC Commissioner John Swofford said in a statement. “The additional conference games create a more equitable schedule and we’ve received significant feedback from our fans for more conference games.”
Now the ACC will have to determine how to formulate an 18-game schedule. Before the league expanded beyond nine teams, each school played one another twice – once at home and once on the road – during the regular season.
NC STATE FOOTBALL
J.P. GIGLIO (N&O)
N.C. State buoys Belk Bowl sales
With 11 days until the game itself, more tickets have been sold for this year’s Belk Bowl than the game has sold in four of the last five years.
N.C. State exceeded its allotment of 12,500 tickets and has sold more than 24,000 for its matchup with Louisville on Dec. 27 at Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte. As of Thursday, more than 55,000 tickets have been sold for the game, said Will Webb, the bowl’s executive director. About 18,500 tickets are still available.
Playoff campaign launched
Along with that effort, two congressmen are forming the Congressional Collegiate Sports Caucus. The congressmen, Texas Republican Joe Barton and Tennessee Democrat Steve Cohen, are reintroducing Barton’s 2009 bill aimed at forcing college football to switch to a playoff system. The longshot bill would ban – as unfair and deceptive – the promotion of a postseason NCAA Division I football game as a national championship unless it’s the outcome of a playoff.
NCAA agrees to $500 million deal with ESPN
The NCAA has agreed to a $500 million deal with ESPN to broadcast the championships in many of its sports through the 2023-24 school year.
The contract announced Thursday gives the company international rights to the men’s basketball tournament. It continues the network’s U.S. coverage of the women’s basketball tourney and the College World Series for baseball and softball.
ACC Sports Journal
David Glenn Chats With Mark Gottfried, Dec. 16
David Glenn caught up with N.C. State basketball coach Mark Gottfried on Glenn’s afternoon radio show.
Among the topics they discussed: how Gottfried’s players are responding to facing Syracuse, the nation’s top-ranked team; whether he’s concerned about the Wolfpack’s depth; what he considers State’s biggest issue to be; whether C.J. Leslie is playing more like “C.J.” or “Calvin” right now; and who has emerge as State’s leader on the court.
Watch The Mark Gottfried TV Show
In this week’s episode, Head basketball coach Mark Gottfried discusses the Pack’s recent performances with host Tony Haynes. Mark Thomas goes behind the scenes with Coach Gottfried at the Dail Basketball Center.
Riddick and Reynolds
R&R Podcast: Bethany Bradsher, Author Of “The Classic”
When the author of “The Classic,” Bethany Bradsher, reached out to me a few weeks ago about doing an interview on the podcast, I jumped at the chance. Her fantastic book is about a subject that’s dear to the hearts of a lot of State fans and fans of ACC basketball, The Dixie Classic.
In an era where there are seemingly countless pre-conference-season or holiday tournaments, The Dixie Classic doesn’t seem that revolutionary, but half a century ago it certainly was. A tournament of The Classic’s scope and magnitude quickly became known nationwide at basketball programs far and wide who lobbied to be a part of the action.
Bethany and I sit down for a one-on-one to discuss the book, the subject matter, Everett Case and a host of other elements surrounding The Dixie Classic.