Ilian Evtimov is My Hero!!

NC State put together one of the top ten performances of the entire Herb Sendek era on Friday night to defeat #3 ranked Wake Forest (sans Chris Paul) in the Quarterfinal round of the Atlantic Coast Conference Tournament. In conjunction with many of the events of the last two days related to other teams sitting on the NCAA Bubble, the win definitely enhances the Wolfpack’s chances to squeeze into this year’s NCAA Tournament.

Tonight, NC State showed would we could and should be. On the whole, the Wolfpack never looked so good. Offense, Defense, the entire package. If State could play with that kind of focus, determination, and successful execution on a more consistent basis, the Pack couldn’t help but succeed more and the incessant Herb Sendek debates would not exist. Unfortunately for the consistent followers of the program, the performance that we savored tonight has been the exception as opposed to the rule. Here’s hoping that we’ve got two more exceptions ahead of this weekend!!

Brackman & Bennerman
The win probably prompted many to ask the question, “Why hasn’t Cameron Bennerman and Andrew Brackman played more in the last few weeks?”

Bennerman seems to excel on the Tournament stage every season; and tonight, Brackman was allowed to return to his early-season form because…he got to play.

I’d like to particularly thank these two guys for not putting their heads between their legs and writing tonight’s game off because Tony Bethel was hurt. All of our guys are given scholarships for a reason, and I’m sure that the players are exhausted of Lee Fowler and others constantly making excuses for the guys that have been healthy all year.

Hodge & Evtimov
Despite Brackman and Bennerman’s great play, Ilian Evtimov and Julius Hodge were the headliners, as it should have been. The two team leaders turned in a performance that will be treasured in Wolfpack lore for a long time.

Other Notes
— Nobody will mention it from looking at the boxscore, but Gavin Grant deserves a mention. Grant didn’t do much in the statistical category, but his confident ball handling and floor presence provided solid minutes when needed tonight.

— Herb Sendek improves to 3-0 against Wake Forest in the ACC Tournament, with a win over the Deacs when they were seeded #1 and #2 in the conference. Sendek is only 5-13 against Wake in the regular season.

— Unless Virginia pulls the huge upset tonight, State will take on Duke on Saturday afternoon’s late game at 3:30 ET. The Blue Devils are also missing one of their key players in Sean Dockery, adding to what is considered to be a team without a lot of depth.

— Of Sendek’s 8 losses in the ACC Tournament, half have been at the hands of the Blue Devils. Sendek is 1-4 against Duke in the Tourney (and 2-15 in the regular season).
— Go Cavs! We love Pete Gillen.

General NCS Basketball

3 Responses to Ilian Evtimov is My Hero!!

  1. Jonathan 03/12/2005 at 3:28 AM #

    i like all the kudos and agree, not only that, but can u remember when atsur was a freshman…i was nervous everytime he brought the ball up the court. Now, holy cow, the guy looks solid solid. No Chris Corchiani of course or Raymond Felton, but what a solid ball handler now! Which leads me to my only knock on this article: these guys love Sendek and he is obviously a great coach.

    For u to use the specious logic that “you can’t use the injury excuse because bethel was sick earlier and look at them now” is ridiculous. those guys have gotten better, brackman, grant, atsur, collins etc…they have gotten noticeably better. Even in Coach K’s press conference tonight he talked about how the average fan doesnt realize how deeply disturbing injuries are to a team’s chemistry. His comments were in reference to Pete Gillen’s position. The guys best players have been hurt for the most part of the year and it f’ing makes a difference.


  1. StateFans Nation » Blog Archive » Lowe Wins 3rd in Row vs UNC - 02/03/2007

    […] Carolina is the the highest-ranked opponent State has beaten since the Pack’s win over third ranked Wake Forest in the 2005 ACC Tournament. You will remember that as the game that the Demon Deacons played without All-American point guard Chris Paul who was suspended for punching Julius Hodge in the groin in the team’s regular season finale the previous week. […]

  2. StateFans Nation » Blog Archive » State vs Duke on Thursday - 03/04/2007

    […] Duke’s Gerald Henderson will be suspended for the first round game against an NC State who may need another win (or two) to make ourselves more attractive (to the NIT committee) for a potential post season berth. Sound familiar? Just two years ago NC State entered the ACC Tournament needing a couple of wins to impress (the NCAA Tournament) for a post-season bid. Because of Chris Paul’s suspension, the Wolfpack got a much needed win over #3 ranked Wake Forest in Friday’s session (after defeating Florida State on Thursday). You can remember it all by clicking here. […]

Leave a Reply