Miami: Second Half Blogging

* That’s the way that playing a mid-tier ACC opponent should go when playing at home. Herb Sendek now has a 40-33 record in Raleigh in ACC games.

* Efficient offensive execution in the second half helped the Pack compensate for one of our less attractive defensive efforts.

* I’d like to thank Mike Gminski for validating my first half comments when he said, “Emphasis…on cleaning up rough play out on the perimeter. If you can’t bang cuts, I think it really works to NC State’s advantage.� For the record, I had previously said the same thing:

“One thing that scares me about the Wolfpack’s offense is that we need so much spacing to execute. We therefore need officiating that adheres to upholding the NCAA’s stated emphasis on defenders checking the offense away from the ball. We got some of these calls in the first half. Enjoy it while we can — we’ll play Duke and Carolina soon enough.”

* With 7:45 in the second half, Miami got three opportunities on the offensive end of the floor. Granted, the Canes got away with an over-the-back in the exchange, but that doesn’t matter. The next possession the Canes got 2 shots. The next possession the Canes were fouled close to the hole.

* Cedric Simmons was not on the floor during ^those possessions. Pay attention to this if you need an ‘indicator’ for defensive performance in future games. The Pack is going to be prone to struggle when playing without Simmons, especially if playing teams with skilled players with size.

* The intentional foul rule, and the manner in which coaches work the officials in such situations, drives me nuts. Andrew Brackman was obviously wrapped up on a fast break in the second half and the refs never considered the intentional foul. It wasn’t a huge deal, but Coach Sendek didn’t push the issue very much. I get sick when I think of historically horrible calls in similar situations –ie: Marcus Melvin vs Vanderbilt. Coaches need to make statements for their players and for the principal of consistency in those situations. My personal preference is for coaches who was more assertive and demanding in those situations. I can dream, can’t I?

* Wonder how Julie Donaldson got that role as a sideline reporter? Wonder no more. No matter how big of a fan of Julie’s that I may be, she needs to sharpen up just a little down there on the court. Her school-girl giggle to cover a second of quiet air time was when she didn’t know what to say during her ‘interview’ with Chris Corchiani and Chucky Brown was a little much. This just screams professional of the highest regard, doesn’t it? If you need more background, you can get it here.

General NCS Basketball

20 Responses to Miami: Second Half Blogging

  1. JVukovich 12/18/2005 at 11:20 PM #

    Bennerman had a very good game….maybe his best thus far, but clearly he can play even better. Brackman didn’t miss, but fouled out in 16 minutes of PT. Atsur forgot to attend the “Dont foul when ahead by 8 late
    in the game” class. He fouled out too. Sure would be nice if one of the
    frosh stepped up by Feb to fill in when the Pack starts running out of bodies. Diaz and Miami will definitely give teams fits this year….could
    end up on the NCAA bubble.

  2. JeremyHyatt 12/19/2005 at 1:39 AM #

    I didn’t think Ced was as “dominant” in this game but still is our bright big shining star. With Evtimov, Atsur, Bennerman, and Bethel on the perimeter, I think we are one more inside presence short of being a legitimate top 15 team. I keep hearing that Brackman gained 20 pounds but have seen him wishwashy down low. i hope he comes around. damn why did Evtimov have to lose all that weight? why not let McCauley or Costner a chance? or will they get barely any time this year and look as green as Gavin Grant does this year.. hmm…maybe they have been not all that great in practice..then what was Ronald McDonald talking about?

    our defense is strong and frustrating to the other team, our rebounding is still iffy, see above. we need someone to compliment Ced inside, would really make us a dangerous team.

    good to see Bethel do something, good to see Corchini in the crowd (does he still have that pizza place at Avent Ferry??)

    can’t wait to see us match up with Duke and UNC. Peace.

  3. Class of '74 12/19/2005 at 6:27 AM #

    Not very much to critcize in the pack’s performance but I just wondered why the freshmen didn’t see the floor if only for a few moments?

  4. bcudd17 12/19/2005 at 8:10 AM #

    oh my god, class of 74 isnt criticizing, strike up the band.what, you just dont know how to write good things, i guess you are just waiting for a loss, what a fan?far as freshman go costner has stress fracture, so kind of hard for him to play and why do we need mcauley out there.would like to see fells a few minutes.Herb has built a team finaly where we dont have to rely on freshman, no pressure on these guys and i like that

  5. Class of '74 12/19/2005 at 8:22 AM #

    Personally I expect us to beat the Miami’s of the world on a regular basis especially at home. Unlike some fans who will give praise no matter the level of competition or circumstance. False praise is just that FALSE!
    I wasn’t referring to Costner, as everyone is aware of his situation, but I do think it would be good long term if Fells and McCauley could get 5 minutes a game. But the win is paramount

  6. Rick Jernigan 12/19/2005 at 8:31 AM #

    Costner was not dressed out for the game. Apparently, he has just started to practice a little due to a potential stress fracture in his leg. Bethel played 30 minutes and had to leave the game with leg cramps in the second half. This is the second game he has suffered with cramps. Maybe he is not in the best of condition yet due to the long layoff. When Astur fouled out with 2 minutes to go, there was a real discussion on the bench about putting Tony in the game. This was another encouraging aspect – we didn’t turn the ball over and hit all our free throws down the stretch even without Astur.

    For those that were not able to attend the game, let me say that Cam played his best game at NC State. He scored 19 points while taking six shots. He fought through screens all night like Ishua Benjamin. On the breakaway foul on Cam, the ref had a easy choice of an “intentional” or “flagrant” foul. Maybe the choice confused him.

  7. Jeff 12/19/2005 at 9:56 AM #

    bcudd, thanks for the comments…but, let’s try not to instigate things if we don’t have to. We obviously have enough of that, anyway. No reason to ‘criticize’ others for things that they aren’t doing.

    I totally agree with Class74 on the the expectation of beating the Miamis of the world all the time. Had we beaten just Miami, VPI, & FSU last season….the complaints of others would have never materialized (despite not sniffing Duke, Carolina or Wake in the regular season).

    The 2003-2004 season is the ONLY season in 9 that we generally took care of business as we should against these types of teams. Coincidently, that was the smoothest and most enjoyable season for the fans.

    The watered down ACC and our watered down schedule provides us a great opportunity to elevate this season.

  8. Rick 12/19/2005 at 10:22 AM #

    Cam is looking good.
    There is no need to play the freshmen this year IMO.

  9. Class of '74 12/19/2005 at 10:33 AM #

    I do agree Cam looks good as does Tony but long term I think it is wise to find meaningful minutes for the freshmen, if they are capable. Maybe Herb thinks they aren’t ready yet and if that’s the case he sees them daily and knows more than I do.

  10. TVP 12/19/2005 at 10:41 AM #

    The problem with playing the freshman is that to play them, you must take minutes from an experienced player in a tight game. I have a feeling they’ll all get a chance at some point this year to shine.

    Cam absolutely played his ass off today. For those of you who didn’t watch, he made an unbelievable play in the early second half where he saved a ball going out of bounds by making a perfect behind the back pass to Ced under the basket. If he plays like that all year, he’ll be 2nd team all-ACC at worst.

    I know people love to complain about our offense, but after watching Miami, give me our style over their undisciplined 1-on-1 anyday. It works for them sometime because Diaz and their other guards are so talented, but they have no offensive flow at all. Conversely, when we actually ran our offense (as opposed to quick shots and quick turnovers during the first half drought) we got open looks inside and out all night.

  11. Jim 12/19/2005 at 10:42 AM #

    How was that not an intentional foul on that Cam breakaway? That was a very dangerous situation. Had that been a State guy fouling somone from behind all 3 refs would have called it intentional. Also, what was up with the T on Cam on that missed backwards rebound-dunk attempt? I thought you were allowed to hold on if you were in traffic. And I don’t think he really hung anyway. He just missed the dunk and grabbed the rim on the attempt. I try not to get into “conspiracy” thoughts but it is hard not to observe obvious inconsitecies when they always go against us. (See the 15-yard “diving” call and non-call in the GT football game, for a non-basketball example).

  12. Cardiac95 12/19/2005 at 11:22 AM #

    And for the 38th consecutive Fox Broadcast of an NC State game, we enjoyed another “Herb Is Great” Factoid…….”IF NC State makes the NCAA Tournament this year, he’ll tie Jim Valvano’s streak of 5 in a row.”

    G-Man: “Yeah…..and that V guy was a pretty good coach folks.”

    Put another way…..V made the NCAA Tournament EVERY YEAR he was allowed to qualify for a 64 Team Field.

  13. Jeff 12/19/2005 at 12:22 PM #

    ^ Don’t get me started on that. (I’ll have more on that later)

    I agree about the difficulting with finding time to play the freshman. Personally, I would like to see us extend our defense amd press more to take advantage of our depth and experience. That would be the best way to justify much freshmen time this season.

    Jim, the rule about hanging on to the rim focused on “safety” and not just “being in traffic”. Although the rule is applied horribly inconsistently, I did think that Cam deserved the T (by the letter of the rule) He wasn’t in any kind of danger on the play. He just loves hanging on the rim. Again, I think that I our coach should constantly be making a big deal about the way our players are treated on such calls (when compared to other schools), but that is a losing battle for me.

  14. Mike 12/19/2005 at 1:08 PM #

    Cam did look good……..almost as good as Julie. Who’s complaining? Oh yeah, my wife made me watch with the sound turned off but no complaints here. The good thing about watching without the sound, did not have to hear Gman and the other comments.

  15. Rick 12/19/2005 at 2:34 PM #

    Don’t get me wrong, I want our freshmen to play. I just think between the “it takes a year and a half to understand” offense and the upper classmen it is unlikely they will play much.

  16. VaWolf82 12/19/2005 at 2:49 PM #

    Personally, I would like to see us extend our defense amd press more to take advantage of our depth and experience.

    I am not sure about this. When I think of a team that uses a full-court press to its advantage, I think of a team strong, deep, and quick in the 1-3 positions and preferrably with a shot-blocker under the basket.

    State now has the best shot-blocker since forever, but I am not so sure about the 1-3 positions. State’s strength and depth is in the 3/4 positions, not so much at guard. If you wanted to press full-court, you are talking about using three of these….Bethel, Atsur, Cam, and Grant. I’m concerned about Bethel’s durability, Atsur’s quickness, and turnovers from Cam and Grant on offense.

    Maybe I’m wrong, but without being able to depend on the freshman, State is not exactly deep right now.

  17. Class of '74 12/19/2005 at 3:03 PM #

    One thing is sure, if the freshmen don’t see any action we won’t have to worry about depending on them for extra depth.

  18. SaccoV 12/19/2005 at 3:03 PM #

    A few things to take away:

    1) Still too many silly turnovers. Turnovers made from travelling (Gavin especially), a bad alley-oop pass, offensive fouls (two on Atsur and one on Brackman). Must play with more overall control and poise as conference season continues. Gavin must improve his overall play. I know his situation is one I wouldn’t wish on anyone, but he needs to concentrate on the game and play the way he’s capable of. His turnovers were hard to miss and his play brings depth to Tony and Engin at the point (especially if Atsur is in foul trouble.) Gavin, play smarter!

    2) I’m not so upset with Cam because he didn’t really hang on to the rim for a long time. He did pull himself up a bit but NOT to show up the opponent. I’m more concerned with the refs refusal to call two flagrant fouls on fast breaks against Miami (the one on Ced and the one on Cam) both of which would have been called if Atsur had committed them.

    3) My biggest peave during the Iowa game was a lack of unscripted work going to the basket on the offensive side. I saw much more plays setting up drives to the basket and shots off the dribble in this game which was a pleasing site. The more Atsur, Brackman, and Cam can take the ball to the basket, the better EVERYTHING ELSE offensively becomes.

    4) This was, in the final analysis, an EXPECTED win. With the win, I EXPECT State to continue to win home games in conference for the rest of the season. Don’t EXPECT this win to be our crowning acheivement of the season!

  19. Mr. O 12/19/2005 at 3:20 PM #

    “The watered down ACC and our watered down schedule provides us a great opportunity to elevate this season.”

    Also, Herb’s solid recruiting over the last few years has given us a chance to elevate this season. We have a really solid group of players. People talk about our freshmen not playing, but it is pretty amazing that we have this many talented veterans that we don’t need our freshman to play any minutes whatsoever.

    It will be interesting to see how watered down the ACC really is at the end of the year.

  20. choppack 12/19/2005 at 5:18 PM #

    Jeff – Regarding the officiating and Herb’s working them – I agree. However, I’ve noticed this year, I think it’s one of his “potential areas for growth.” He’s always tried to do things in a classy, low-key manner. This year, after the Iowa game, he commented on the refs refusal to give him a TO. Tonight, he was working them harder than usual.

    It’s a shame that officials are apparently like dogs – the only way to get consistent behavior out of them is to humiliate them. It shouldn’t be that way, but years of watching b’ball tells me it’s otherwise.

    Regarding Simmons – it’s been a long time since we’ve had someone who can dominate a game like him defensively. Cozell was a good defender, but didn’t have near the wing span of Cedric. Shack and Washburn had the ability, but weren’t as consistent. I think it’s worth mentioning that against the toughest competition we’ve faced, Ced has been a monster in the middle. When you combine his and Bracks shot-blocking ability, you’ve got a team that people aren’t going to want to penetrate against.

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