February 10, 2012
NC STATE BASKETBALL
NC State avenges earlier loss to Yellow Jackets
C.J. Williams scored 15 points and North Carolina State avenged a loss to Georgia Tech last month, holding off the Yellow Jackets 61-52 Thursday night.
The Wolfpack (18-7, 7-3 Atlantic Coast Conference) got a typically balanced scoring attack, with three other players in double figures. Kammeon Holsey had 17 points for Georgia Tech (9-15, 2-8), which couldn’t overcome 32 percent shooting, including 1-for-17 from 3-point range.
The Yellow Jackets upset NC State 82-71 in Raleigh, giving coach Brian Gregory his first ACC win. The Wolfpack could not afford another setback like that, not if they want to make a run at an NCAA tournament bid.
NC State forward Scott Wood finally missed a free throw, ending his ACC record streak at 66 in a row. Actually, he missed three, going 2-for-5 at the foul line.
The Wolfpack has its best mark in conference play after 10 games since the 2005-06 season and trails the top three in the ACC – Duke, North Caroling and Florida State – by only one game in the loss column. C.J. Leslie added 13 points, while Wood and Lorenzo Brown had 10 apiece. N.C. State came into the game with all five starters averaging in double figures.
Akula Wolf (BackingthePack.com)
NC State Improves To 7-3 In ACC Play With 61-52 Win Over Georgia Tech
It wasn’t much to look at from an offensive perspective, but State overcame a painfully slow start to control every aspect of this game…well, except rebounding. Georgia Tech built an early lead on the strength of offensive boards, and we didn’t do a good job of shoring that up as the game went on, but fortunately the Jackets were so bad in the shooting and turnover categories that the rebounding discrepancy didn’t end up costing the Wolfpack this game.
NC State locker room report
Did the team have to overcome some adversity tonight?
“Well, they did. What I thought was key for us, was what was just mentioned, the defense at the end of the half and the second half. Inside of our defense is that our rebounding improved. The first half, we weren’t very good. When you look at the first half, the only way I think they were in the game is their offensive rebounding. We weren’t doing a good job of finishing the defensive possession.
“That was the crux of halftime, ‘Fellows, we are guarding them good enough, but we are giving them a second shot and scoring.’ Every shot they had in the second half was around the rim. We corrected that and I thought we did a nice job. They had some open threes they missed, but we also had a hand up on a lot of them. We made it a little bit tougher three-point shot attempts for them. Our defense and rebounding was much better today and that was the difference in the game.”
What do you think of NC State having the most ACC wins in six years?
“It is [a measure of improvement]. I never at the beginning of the year, people always asked me, ‘What do you think this team can do?’ You don’t really know. It’s my first year, and if you said 18 wins, yeah, that’s pretty good. I don’t know.
“Now, the game changes now. We are a little greedy. We are going to slug it out all the way until the end. We got a group of guys right now that have a lot of confidence. They play really well together. That’s one thing you have to like about this team. They share the ball, they pass the ball. We have found ways to grind out some wins so far.”
What are your thoughts with the top three ACC teams coming up on the schedule?
“You better tie your shoes up real tight right about now. What is great, we get to play those teams and they are ahead of us. That is the opportunity. That is what you want. The chance to go get them. They are really good teams, no question. Our guys will play hard, that is one thing I do know.”
DAVID SCOTT (N&O)
Wolfpack wins 3rd straight
DAVID SCOTT (N&O)
Pack’s Wood extends ACC record for free throws
ANDREW CARTER (N&O)
Wolfpack has 3 McDonald’s All-Americans
Ken Sugiura (ajc.com)
Georgia Tech loses to N.C. State
Said coach Brian Gregory, “We’re not a great shooting team. We have to make sure that we take quality shots.”
At the moment, describing the Jackets as even an average shooting team might be a stretch. Tech shot 1-for-17 from 3-point range and is 4-for-32 in the past two games. Entering the game, the Jackets ranked last in the ACC in 3-point shooting percentage at 31.8 percent.
“Sometimes, it just doesn’t fall,” Holsey said. “I’m confident in our guards that they’ll make those shots the next game.”
Tech fell to 9-15 overall and 2-8 in the ACC. N.C. State (18-7, 7-3) avenged its Jan. 11 loss to Tech in Raleigh and moved forward in its attempt to earn an NCAA tournament bid in coach Mark Gottfried’s first season.
The Jackets’ shooting woes were the demise of what was otherwise a commendable performance. Tech held N.C. State to 40.8 percent shooting from the field and out-rebounded the Wolfpack 42-31. The Jackets, 11th in the ACC in free-throw percentage, made 13 of 16 free throws.
Holsey led all scorers with 17 points with eight rebounds. He and center Daniel Miller worked extra minutes as backup center Nate Hicks sat out with mononucleosis. Hicks will likely be out for the next two weeks.
Brett Friedlander (starnewsonline.com)
McDonald’s selections affirm strength of State recruiting class
The McDonald’s All-America Game rosters are out, and as usual, an ACC team from North Carolina has the most recruits selected.
But here’s the surprise – it’s not UNC or Duke.
It’s N.C. State.
The quality of coach Mark Gottfried’s first recruiting class was affirmed Thursday when three Wolfpack signees – point guard Tyler Lewis of Oak Hill (Va.) Academy, shooting guard Rodney Purvis of Upper Room Christian in Raleigh and small forward T.J. Warren of Brewster (N.H.) Academy – were selected to play in the nation’s premier prep all-star game.
Akula Wolf (BackingthePack.com)
NC State At The Halfway Point Part II
State’s improvement doesn’t have much to do with FG% defense; it’s the big gains in forcing turnovers and securing defensive boards that have really paid dividends. Effort helps a lot. Also, opponents have hit 67.8% of their free throws against State in 2012, compared to 75% last season, so our FT defense has gotten way better.
Jacey Zembal (TheWolfpacker.com)
Gottfried learns valuable lessons in prior jobs
NC State coach Mark Gottfried is often linked to his past history at Alabama, but it’s the school where he had his first coaching job that is starting to grab the headlines.
Gottfried coached his first three years at Murray State from 1995-98, after serving as an assistant coach at UCLA where the Bruins won the 1995 national title. Gottfried went 69-23 overall and 40-12 in the Ohio Valley Conference, which helped him land the job at his alma mater in Tuscaloosa, Ala.
“I feel like that is where I learned how to coach,” Gottfried said. “It’s a great basketball job. They want to win, and their fan support is amazing for that level. At the same time, you aren’t getting scrutinized like you would in the SEC or ACC or Pac-10. You could make mistakes, whether with players or staff.”
Gottfried was able to learn from his mistakes and put himself into a better position to handle being the coach at Alabama.
The thrill of chasing another national championship is what propelled Gottfried to eventually leave Murray State.
“That is my goal — like every coach, I want to compete at the highest level,” Gottfried said. “I knew at Murray there was a ceiling on that, and that is just how the world works. I had a great time there and loved it there.”
2 Duke (20-4)
8 North Carolina (20-4)
30 Florida State (16-7)
35 Miami (15-7)
44 Virginia (19-4)
51 NC State (18-7)
89 Virginia Tech (13-11)
93 Maryland (14-9)
130 Wake Forest (11-13)
144 Georgia Tech (9-15)
186 Clemson (11-12)
210 Boston College (8-16)