NC STATE BASKETBALL
Joe Giglio (N&O)
Wood, Purvis lead NC State over Boston College 82-64
Whatever N.C. State lacked in continuity on Wednesday night against Boston College, it made up for in variety.
Rodney Purvis scored in transition, Scott Wood made a bunch of 3-pointers and C.J. Leslie bounced back in the Wolfpack’s 82-64 win against Boston College at PNC Arena.
N.C. State won its 20th game of the season, giving the Wolfpack consecutive 20-win seasons for the first time since Herb Sendek’s last three teams did it from 2004 to ’06.
Purvis had scored a total of 16 points in the previous five games combined but poured in a season-best 21 against the Eagles. There’s something about B.C. that brings out the best in the freshman guard. His previous season-best was 19 points in the win against the Eagles in January.
Purvis, who came off the bench for the third straight game, admitted his confidence took a hit with the recent dip in his production.
“The last few weeks have been really, really tough for me, but never did I get down on myself,” Purvis said. “I was just ready to get back on the court. Once you play bad for a little bit, and people get to talking, you just can’t wait to get back on the court.”
Three of Purvis’ first four field goals came in transition, including a dunk off a blocked shot by Leslie just 13 seconds after Purvis checked into the game for the first time.
Wood made five 3s, including an off-balance leaner to close the first half and one in transition to start the second half. Wood finished with 17 points and three steals.
Leslie, who was challenged by coach Mark Gottfried after last Saturday’s loss at North Carolina, had a busy night against the Eagles with 10 points, nine rebounds, three assists and three blocked shots. Leslie, who had six turnovers against UNC, had only two in 29 minutes on Wednesday.
The junior forward said he understood Gottfried’s message after the UNC loss.
“He said everybody is entitled to a bad game, the best of them have ’em,” Leslie said. “Great players bounce back.”
N.C. State improved to 9-6 in the ACC and is trying to play its way out of the upcoming ACC tournament’s play-in round. With three games left, the Wolfpack needs to make up a game on either UNC or Virginia, both 9-5 in the ACC, in the loss column, to crack the top four of the conference standings.
Brett Friedlander (starnewsonline.com)
Wolfpack bounces back by doing what it’s supposed to do to BC
The N.C. State basketball team did a lot of positive things in its 82-64 win against Boston College on Wednesday. The most important of them is that it did what it was supposed to do.
No muss. No fuss. No drama.
And unlike last Saturday at North Carolina, no lingering questions to be overanalyzed.
Five players scored in double figures, including a rejuvenated Rodney Purvis, as the Wolfpack took the first steps toward regaining the momentum it lost with that disheartening setback in Chapel Hill.
In doing so, coach Mark Gottfried’s team kept itself in contention for one of the two remaining first-round byes at the ACC tournament two weeks from now in Greensboro.
“We’ve won four out of five and the sky’s not falling,” Gottfried said. “We’re still swinging. I think our guys have some confidence. … I think our guys are excited about trying to finish the year really well. That’s something they want. So we’ve just got to keep going.”
Stephen Schramm (FayObserver.com)
Shoe choice plagues Lorenzo Brown in Wolfpack’s win over Boston College
For about two minutes of N.C. State’s 82-64 victory against Boston College on Wednesday night, Lorenzo Brown took over.
With nearly 10 minutes left in the second half, the Wolfpack flicked the ball around on a possession that looked stalled, the shot clock dipping into single digits. The ball eventually found Brown, who drew his man into the air with a pump fake, took a dribble and swished a jumper.
Moments later, an Eagles turnover led to a fast break, which ended when Brown flipped a pass behind his head to Rodney Purvis, who scored on a layup.
The next time he touched the ball, Brown shook his defender with a crossover, drove and scored, drawing a foul in the process. He did it again on the Wolfpack’s next possession, putting N.C. State up 20 with a runner.
The junior point guard, who tallied 11 points and handed out six assists, was looking every bit like the player who drew votes for the league’s preseason Player of the Year.
Not bad for someone whose ankle was killing him.
“I just tried to keep this ankle off my mind,” said Brown, who missed two games after suffering a left ankle injury earlier this month. “It was bothering me this whole game.”
Brown had seen some progress on the ankle as he played 40 or more minutes twice in the last four games. But on this night, he said his choice of low-top sneakers proved problematic.
Before each game, Brown has anywhere from 10-15 pairs of Adidas basketball shoes to pick from. He said he prefers low-tops but with his ankle still healing, he hadn’t yet felt like it was ready for them. But on Wednesday night, he decided to give them a try, getting extra tape and lacing up the low-tops.
He realized quickly that it was a bad idea as he tweaked his ankle in the first half. From then on, it was all about just getting through the night.
Stephen Schramm (FayObserver.com)
Player of the game for N.C. State against Boston College: Rodney Purvis
Rodney Purvis spent the first 7:18 of Wednesday night’s 82-64 victory against Boston College on the bench. He only came in after fellow freshman T.J. Warren – the player who filled the starting spot Purvis lost – picked up his second foul.
But in 28 minutes on the floor, Purvis seemed to shake off a late-season slump, scoring a season-high 21 and filling the role of the night’s feel-good story.
Brown, with three steals, also energized the Wolfpack’s defense, which limited Boston College’s dribble penetration all night and held the Eagles to 38.9 percent shooting from the field.
“I thought the biggest key for us tonight was our defense and how hard we played, especially to start the second half,” said second-year head coach Mark Gottfried. “We had a lot of deflections and tips and that helped us get things going in our offense. “We guarded the ball well all night.”
Senior Scott Wood added 17 points for the Pack, thanks to five 3-pointers on the night. It’s the sixth time this season he’s made five or more in a game. He now has a total of 312 in his four years with the Wolfpack, drawing him within 10 of all-time leading scorer Rodney Monroe’s school record of 322.
Wood has made 19 3-pointers in the Pack’s last four contests.
None was more important than his 3-pointer at the end of the first half, after Boston College had crept within 3-points of the Pack’s lead. After a timeout, the Pack had a play set for Wood, but his 3-point attempt with three seconds to play was blocked.
He managed to rebound the ball and put it back up for another 3-pointer that went through the basket as the buzzer sounded.
“That was a huge shot for us, because they had gotten close as the half ended,” Gottfried said. “Scott has been huge for us here lately.”
The Wolfpack (20-8 overall, 9-6 ACC) raced out to a 22-6 lead to open the game, as State’s defense shut down the Eagles. Leslie and Howell blocked two shots each and BC shot under 30 percent from the field for the first 15 minutes of the game.
Jacey Zembal (TheWolfpacker.com)
Pack rolls past Boston College, 82-64
NC State took Boston College’s best shot during the first half, and delivered a knockout blow in the second.
NC State blew open a competitive game with a dominating second half to win 82-64 and improve to 20-8 overall and 9-6 in the ACC. Freshman shooting guard Rodney Purvis came off the bench to set a new career high with 21 points, and senior wing Scott Wood drained five three-pointers en route to 17 points. Boston College fell to 12-16 overall and 4-11 in the league.
The Wolfpack emphasized defense during practice this week, and the hard work paid off. Boston College shot 38.9 percent from the field (21 of 54) and fell behind by as many as 25 points in the second half.
“I thought our team played pretty well in a lot of different areas of the game,” NC State coach Mark Gottfried said. “Defensively, I thought we were down in a stance and communicating and talking as well as we’ve done in a while.
“Offensively, we really shared the ball. Very, very unselfish game offensively for our guys.”
Junior point guard Lorenzo Brown said the message about playing better defensively was definitely received.
“He [Gottfried] isn’t messing around anymore with us about defense,” Brown said. “Pretty much our whole practice was about defensive for the starting five and guys that come off the bench.”
Gottfried pointed out the players did better against dribble penetration and rotated to the BC shooters. The Eagles have some nice offensive schemes to free their players up for shots, but the Wolfpack were “locked in” defensively.
“It’s an area that we have to improve,” Gottfried said. “If we can get committed, stay committed and really focus in on becoming a better defensive and rebounding team.”
Akula Wolf (BackingthePack.com)
Hey, No Sweat: Offense Rolls In Second Half, Leads NC State to 82-64 Win Over Boston College
The first half was frustrating primarily because Boston College hit some silly three-pointers, but NC State left nothing in doubt in the second half en route to the victory, and that frustration quickly dissipated. The Pack hit 20 of 31 field goal attempts over the final 20 minutes, including 18 of 26 twos; it helps when you’re getting a lot of easy looks in-close. State’s offense found its groove, Lorenzo Brown took over for a bit, and the undermanned Eagles had no answers.
Another ugly road loss
Is it too late to ask the ACC to move its 2013 basketball tournament out of the state of North Carolina? Tobacco Road has not been kind to our fledgling Eagles as NC State trounced us 82-64 Tuesday night. NC State is a talented team, but they are underachievers and there was no reason the score had to be so lopsided. Once again we dug ourselves in a hole early and never really climbed out. Even our comeback in the first half was undone by letting NC State make a buzzer-beating 3. Other thoughts:
Jeff Martyn (BCInterruption.com)
NC State 82 , Boston College 64: Another Blowout Loss in North Carolina
The good news is that BC’s road games in North Carolina are over until 2014.
Early in the game it was all Wolfpack and 8:27 into the game Boston College had only 2 points. Those two points were from a Dennis Clifford dunk on BC’s first possession when Patrick Heckmann found him cutting to the rim. NC State’s largest lead of the first half was 16 which BC then responded to with a 11-0 run to get them back in the game. The BC run was started by another Dennis Clifford dunk, this time assisted by Joe Rahon. Clifford was looking healthier than he did in the Duke game, but he did not see as much time in the second half so he is clearly still far from healthy.
As halftime approached, it seemed BC had the momentum but Scott Wood was able to steal that back for the Wolfpack as time expired. With 5 seconds left in the first half, Eddie Odio blocked Wood’s 3 point attempt but the ball came right back to Wood and he was able to use a low post step through move on Odio and hit a floating 3 pointer as the clock ticked away and the teams headed to their locker rooms. In typical Scott Wood fashion he did not make a single field goal inside the arc. Wood finished the game with 5 3′s and 2 free throws for 17 points. Wood’s two free throws came from a technical foul called on Ryan Anderson for yelling “That’s a foul!” after driving to the basket and seemingly getting hacked, however the refs thought differently so the Wolfpack were awarded two points rather than Anderson going to the line.
Jacey Zembal (TheWolfpacker.com)
T.J. Warren providing rebounding spark
NC State freshman small forward T.J. Warren has four regular season games remaining before the ACC Tournament to get comfortable in the starting lineup.
The 6-foot-8, 224-pounder from Durham, N.C., moved into the starting lineup against Florida State on Feb. 19, and exploded for 31 points and 13 rebounds. He became one of only five NC State freshman to score over 30 points in a game joining Ernie Myers (35 in 1983), J.J. Hickson (33 and 31 in 2007), Scott Wood (31 in 2010) and Brandon Costner (30 in 2006).
Warren followed up his spectacular game with a solid showing against North Carolina last Saturday with 10 points, 10 rebounds, four assists and two blocks for his second double-double on the season.
NC State coach Mark Gottfried praised Warren’s work on the boards the last two games, which will enable the Wolfpack to get more fastbreak and second-chance scoring opportunities.
Warren is aiming for third straight double-double against Boston College at 8 p.m. tonight at PNC Arena.
“He got the opportunity to be in the starting lineup, and one thing he can bring is giving us an additional rebounder,” Gottfried said. “I don’t want him to be in the lineup just so he can score more points. He’s got to defend well and rebound well, And we’ve talked to him about that.
Joe Giglio (N&O)
Final ACC stretch favors Wolfpack
Despite needing to make up a game on Virginia and North Carolina, N.C. State is still in good shape to land one of the four byes in the ACC tournament.
With four games left, the Wolfpack is one of four teams vying for two spots in Friday’s quarterfinals of the ACC tournament. Miami (13-1) and Duke (11-3) will take the top two spots, likely in that order, which leaves two spots for UNC (9-5), Virginia (9-5), N.C. State (8-6) and Maryland (7-7).
N.C. State’s best path to avoiding the Thursday play-in round is winning its final four games. The home win over Duke on Jan. 12 will help the Wolfpack’s cause in the ACC’s tiebreaker system, which is based on head-to-head and group results and then “best” win.
“Best” meaning starting at the top of the ACC standings and working down until you have unique win from the team(s) you are tied with in the standings.
Duke will play a large role in the Wolfpack’s conference tournament fate. The Blue Devils play both UVa (Thursday) and UNC (March 9).
Brett Friedlander (starnewsonline.com)
Tiebreaking scenarios for final two first-round ACC tournament byes
Now here are the possible real-life tiebreaker scenarios:
State and Virginia tie for fourth place: Bye goes to UVa because of its head-to-head win in the only regular season meeting between the teams. Tiebreaker I;
UNC and State tie for fourth place: Still to be determined. If the Tar Heels lose to Duke, the Wolfpack would get the spot by virtue of its 1-1 record against the Blue Devils (UNC would be 0-2). If the Tar Heels beat Duke and still end up with the same record as State, they would get the bye on the strength of its 1-1 record against Virginia (the Wolfpack went 0-1 against the Cavaliers). Tiebreaker II;
UNC, State and Virginia three-way tie: State would be the odd team out because of its combined 1-2 record. UVa would get the No. 3 seed because of its 2-1 cumulative record with UNC, at 2-2, would be the No. 4 seed. Tiebreaker III.
Adam Gold (WRALSportsfan.com)
The worst part of college hoops
Unfortunately, the way the game is currently being played, and taught, is doing far more damage.
The college game has morphed into a defensive strategy whereby he who gets in the way the most plays the best defense. That’s awful. Drawing charges has become all the rage, and flopping to do so, is a plight on the sport. Three incidents in the last four days highlight exactly what I mean.
Early in the first half of Sunday’s Duke’s home game against Boston College, Eagles freshman guard Olivier Hanlon drove past his defender towards the basket. Duke’s junior charge-taker, Tyler Thornton rotated over and probably beat Hanlon to the spot and was awarded with drawing the offensive foul from his opponent. Never mind that Hanlon wasn’t even thinking about shooting at that point, he was still in the midst of his drive. But, the way the game is played, and taught, that’s solid defense and out came the whistle.
The following evening, Iowa State was seconds away from an upset of highly ranked Kansas when Jayhawks guard Elijah Johnson drove the ball to the basket from outside the 3-point line. Waiting for him — in front of the semi circle and for a considerable amount of time — was Cyclones forward Georges Niang. He stood his ground, absorbed some contact, and crumpled to the court thinking that he was going to be rewarded as Thornton was at Duke. Sorry. The officials let them play on, and when Johnson missed the lay-in, Niang was called for a hold when both players were on the floor flailing for the loose ball. Johnson hit the two free throws, tying the game, and Kansas prevailed in overtime.
For it’s part, the Big XII reviewed the game and admitted to “some mistakes were made by the officials”, though they failed to specify which ones. Sorry, ISU. Of course, the end of the game isn’t being replayed, so what’s the point.
Then last night, as Indiana was feverishly trying to rally to beat Minnesota, IU forward Will Sheehey was hounding the Gophers Andre Hollins in the back court with just a few seconds left in a 3-point game. As Hollins was attempting to wriggle out of the Hoosiers defensive trap, Sheehey was obviously hit by a poisoned dart from high atop Williams Arena. Well, it was either that or Hollins caught him with an elbow. As is the case now in college hoops, the officials can go to the monitor to determine if a player hits an opponent with an elbow or some other dangerous part of his body and they have the power to call a technical foul whether the contact is intentional or not.
In this case there was no contact whatsoever, and Sheehey was simply making the “heady” play in trying to draw the whistle. I wonder if when the referees viewed the replays on the monitor they burst out laughing as to the obvious academy award performance by Sheehey. He laid face down on the court, holding the side of his head for a few seconds, and even got up with a grimace as though he was in pain.
NC STATE BASEBALL
No. 10 Wolfpack Takes Down NMSU 9-2
No. 10 NC State took down New Mexico State 9-2 on Wednesday, behind another outstanding performance from Brett Williams.
The Wolfpack (6-1) battled to a 2-2 tie through three and a half innings, but took command with a three-run fourth. The Pack added two more in the sixth, and one each in the seventh and eighth to pull away from New Mexico State (3-5).
Williams continues to rake at the plate. The senior has reached base in 15 of his last 18 at-bats dating back to the Pack’s win last Saturday over La Salle. Williams pieced together a 2-for-3 effort on Wednesday with three RBIs, but his most spectacular play came in the field.
On a surefire double to the left center gap, Williams laid out on a full sprint, snagged the fly, and tumbled forward with a front flip to finish the play. Six games into his return from a torn ACL, Williams is batting .458 (11-for-24) with three homers and four doubles.
Tarran Senay drove in three runs on the afternoon, two of which came on a first inning triple to the wall in left center. Trea Turner moved to within 11 of tying NC State’s career stolen bases record with one swipe in a 1-for-3 performance with two runs scored. Bryan Adametz submitted a 2-for-5 outing with a double, one run, and one RBI.
NC State returns to action Thursday at 3 p.m. in the final game of its series with New Mexico State. Fans can follow along on Twitter via @NCStateBaseball, or with live stats on GoPack.com. Radio coverage will be provided by 88.1 WKNC, and streaming video is available to subscribers on GoPack All-Access.
NC STATE FOOTBALL
Five members of the 2012 NC State football team were named to the All-ACC Academic Football squad, as announced by the league office Wednesday afternoon. The Pack’s five selections marked the second-highest total in school history and the most since 2003.
Senior defensive end McKay Frandsen (Science & Technology) and graduate quarterback Mike Glennon (Master’s Program) were both named for the second straight year. Linebacker Zach Gentry (Business), wide receiver Charlie Hegedus (Undecided) and tight end Asa Watson (Communications) were also selected from NC State.
Jane Stancill (N&O)
UNC-Chapel Hill holds surprise inspections of classes to make sure they’re real
Surprise inspections have been taking place across the UNC-Chapel Hill campus in recent days as administrators seek to prove that students and faculty are, indeed, meeting for their scheduled classes.
Administrators have been working against the clock to account for courses before a visit this spring by an outside review team. The reviewers are expected to prepare a report for the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools’ Commission on Colleges – the regional accrediting agency that monitors campuses for academic quality. The SACS board could decide in June whether to sanction the university for the academic fraud scandal that has unfolded in the past couple of years.
To prove the legitimacy of classes, administrators have fanned out to hundreds of classrooms to verify that students and professors are present. Some departments even discussed bringing in photographers to document classes, according to one professor, Lew Margolis, a faculty member in public health.
While many accepted the mass monitoring effort as a necessary step in appeasing the university’s accreditors, others were incredulous.
“It was more than irritating,” said Margolis. “As I spoke to some colleagues about it, they looked at me and said, ‘This is ridiculous. What the heck’s going on here?’ ”
Margolis was prompted to write a blog for WCHL radio’s website in which he suggested that there is no system, short of George Orwell’s Big Brother screens in each classroom, that could really document students’ education. And, he pondered, what about all the informal time outside of class, when students are learning and teachers are teaching?
The unusual spot checks are the latest fallout from an academic fraud scandal that has dealt a blow to UNC-CH’s reputation. In December, a review by former Gov. Jim Martin and the Baker Tilly consulting firm found more than 200 African and Afro-American Studies classes with little or no instruction dating back to the late 1990s. Among the irregularities were no-show classes, poorly supervised independent studies, and hundreds of unauthorized grade changes. Athletes accounted for 45 percent of the enrollments in the bogus classes in a 10-year period, the review found.
The problems caught the eye of SACS, the accrediting agency, whose president, Belle Wheelan, sent a strongly worded letter in January to UNC-CH Chancellor Holden Thorp, saying that the university had not provided sufficient evidence that it had addressed breaches in academic integrity.
Now it appears that university leaders are taking the documentation effort seriously.
Gottfried: It was a good win
NC State head coach Mark Gottfried said the win over Boston College was a good win and he thought everyone played well.
Purvis: I’ve got my confidence back
NC State’s Rodney Purvis said he feels like he has his confidence back.
Leslie: Everybody played well tonight
North Carolina State’s CJ Leslie said that everyone on the team played well against Boston College.
Wood: We turned it up on defense
NC State’s Scott Wood said the team turned up the defense during the second half against Boston College.