RBC Crowd Improving

The RBC Center has (unfortunately) never really ‘caught fire’ as big home court advantage for Herb Sendek’s basketball program. Theories and rationalizations on the topic range from the arena’s off-campus location to a growingly apathetic student population to just bad teams. Surely, many of the opinion’s of the RBC’s environment are framed against a backdrop of venerable Reynolds Coliseum that also works against the new building.

But, perhaps the arena’s tide is turning in tandem with the on-the-court-fortunates of the program. (Wow!! No kidding? Oddly, I’m sure that some people never saw this coming)

In this article about the “Pesky Pack” in the Macon Telegraph, it seems that others are taking note of the improving environment in the RBC:

RALEIGH, N.C. – Perhaps no college basketball team in America annoys opponents more than North Carolina State. The in-your-jersey defense. The methodical, pass-and-cut offense.

Even the Wolfpack fans are among the most agitating around.

“It’s crazy out there,” Tech forward Jeremis Smith said. “Duke is crazy with their crowd … but overall I’d have to put N.C. State at the top of the list.”

State’s fans got under the skin of Georgia Tech head coach Paul Hewitt. The students sitting behind the Tech bench spent the afternoon insulting center Theodis Tarver, who was declared academically ineligible last Monday but won an appeal and returned to the team Friday.

One fan brought a homemade sign that security confiscated the sign, but the verbal abuse continued. Hewitt snapped in the game’s final minute, turning toward the stands and trading words with the instigators.

“I reacted poorly,” Hewitt said. “Theo’s been going through a tough time and I thought there were some things said that didn’t need to be said. But I reacted very poorly and I apologize for my behavior.”

This was the way it was in Reynolds, and the way that it should be in the RBC.

General NCS Basketball Quotes of Note

22 Responses to RBC Crowd Improving

  1. class of '74 01/16/2006 at 11:35 AM #

    You are right on this completely. But you know winning has a way of curing all ills. I know the RBC can be a very loud place just ask the people who attended the Canes Stanley Cup games. Big time winning is the recipe for curing a lifeless building.

  2. Rick Jernigan 01/16/2006 at 12:35 PM #

    Super find from the Macon Telegraph. I thought the RBC environment was actually quite good in the first few years but as the disappointing seasons mounted, it wasn’t maintained. Someone made an entry a month or two back concerning the lack of “classic” games that State has won in the RBC. This really rang true to me. Big comeback wins and last second heroics are such a big part of the allure of ACC basketball. We’ve actually had more of these games on the road in recent years. On the other hand, the butt reamings have been many – Shumpert’s banked in 3 for Syracuse years ago and Singletary & Paul’s last second killers last year come quickly to mind.

    The fans of NC State have never been a problem in any way and represent one of our best advantages. The fact that other schools are constantly bitching about State fans is good.

  3. choppack 01/16/2006 at 1:11 PM #

    The RBC can get very loud. However, there are problems w/ this building
    (1) – Arena set up – Too many fans too far away from the action. Like a lot of multi-purpose monstrosities – w/ emphasis on comfort, ease of use and accomidation of multiple site lines – you end up w/ a situation that is not ideal for at least one of the sports. I think RBC is a better hockey arena than a b’ball arena.

    (2) – Buyer’s remorse – I would compare our current feelings on the RBC to that of some Tiger fans I spoke w/ while seeing a game at Comcast Park. Yea, they liked the new park, but man, that old Tiger Stadium was special. And while the great memories no doubt played a role in the stadium being special, Tiger Stadium was special. Comcast, well, it was relaxing, unique and great place to kick back – but it didn’t have a special feel to it.

    (3) – Alcohol – Don’t underestimate the impact of selling alcohol at a hockey game. IMHO, that’s a key component to crowd noise. (If you don’t think that’s the case, look at C-F for a noon game vs. C-F for a night game.)

  4. Jeff 01/16/2006 at 1:28 PM #

    I would like to add that the current ticket distribution policy on campus impacts the environment a significant amount. When tickets are doled out in the manner that they are — they are percieved to be worth ‘less’ since a student’s investment in getting them is so minimal.

  5. choppack 01/16/2006 at 5:10 PM #

    Good point. I remember how it was back in my day. If you wanted to go to a big game, you camped out. How is it now?

  6. Tom 01/16/2006 at 7:41 PM #

    I thought the crowd was rather sedate Saturday until we got into crunch time, then it was loud and stayed loud for the last six minutes. I have noticed bigger crowds and better attendance at mid-court.

    The year we are having is mainly responsible for that. Also we have a very friendly schedule for those that are out of town ticket holders and those that are fickle local attendees. More Saturday afternoon and fewer Sunday evening games. Almost all weeknight games at 7, save UNC at 9 which will be full regardless.

    I think we are looking at our best year for attendance since 99-00 when the “curiosity factor” kept the then new arena full.

  7. Sammy Kent 01/16/2006 at 10:04 PM #

    Back in the day nobody in the ACC questioned whether Reynolds was a harder place to play than Cameron or Littlejohn or the Dean Dome or the Thriller Dome. Even Dookie Vitale had to admit it when I cornered him one night when I was working press row back in the late eighties. Exciting, winning basketball will do that.

    I don’t mind giving the business to the opposing coach or players (I’ve done my share of it), but we do have some fans that go overboard in vulgarity. We can do better than the vermin at Dook and Maryland and USC. Some fans (mostly students) just can’t stand NOT to lace their language with every blasphemy and profanity known to man. It is very low class and out of line.

  8. Slader4881 01/16/2006 at 11:09 PM #

    Our fans are borderline with some of the stuff said in the past few years. I was there for the “Lang is Ugly” chants a few years back, and the out or nowhere chant of “STD” while McCants was on the foul line. The latter of course worked against us, b/c Rashad went off the rest of the game and just took over against Jules. I think at this point we have still not reached the Maryland fans low of “worst fans in the ACC”. I still remember the football game in Raleigh when they were hitting our fans with Oranges after they won. Or the endless vulgar taunts towards JJ Redick. We may be bad sometimes, but not that bad. We haven’t reached the level of making t-shirts that say “F*#k you JJ”, and I hope we have enough class to avoid that.

  9. JeremyHyatt 01/17/2006 at 2:58 AM #

    identity stolen!!


    “We have a lot of interchangeable pieces. We all look alike, play alike, do the same thing. So it doesn’t matter who shoots,” said Hall, whose five assists included a pretty no-look pass to Williams for a dunk.

    who does GW think they are…NC State? We beat you punks! find your own identity. although NC State players don’t look alike.

  10. Sammy Kent 01/17/2006 at 7:44 AM #

    Geez, Jeremy, stop trying to put that five interchangeable parts moniker back on us like an albatross. YECH! Let them have it. Identity STOLEN? How about identity ABANDONED! By us! Gladly! The most glaringly obvious lesson from this season is how much better we are having position players playing their positions instead of trying to have five ballhandling three point shooters.

  11. cfpack03 01/17/2006 at 10:46 AM #

    This is off-topic for the bball post, but gopack has a good article out there with insites into our 2006 football program, losses to graduation/NFL, and what to look for in our offense, (the wishbone?)…


  12. choppack 01/17/2006 at 11:19 AM #

    It’s dated. It has a picture of Tulloch saying he’ll lead our D.

  13. Mr. O 01/17/2006 at 1:00 PM #

    Sammy Kent: I don’t agree with that at all. Our strength is definitely the versatility of our players combined with their experience. Additionally, we have a system that is an absolute perfect fit for the guys that make up our roster and it is most definitely utilizes the versatility of our players.

    I have not been a big believer in Herb’s approach to basketball until this year. In fact, I absolutely hated that our program was being labled as a Princeton system that chews clock. I didn’t think our program was being positioned to ever be a top 10 program with his approach.

    However, perception and reality are often two entirely different things. Fore example, our offensive statistics in our 4 ACC games are unbelievable. We are 2nd in the ACC in scoring, 1st in assist/TO ratio, 1st in FG%, and 1st in 3 pt. percentage. We are shooting 52.5% from the 3 point line thru 4 games. We are 3rd in FG% defense.

    IMO, having an approach to basketball that produces these kinds of statistics can win a lot of games.

  14. choppack 01/17/2006 at 1:37 PM #

    O – I think a couple of things are going on here.

    1) We have a very good post prescence w/ Ced and Brack. This gives our guys better looks.
    2) We have 2 shooters, who w/ an open look and feet set, will make an open 3 more often than they miss. We have two, Bethel and Atsur – who are almost that good, but who can also shoot it off the dribble and w/out being as set.
    3) Bethel is very effective at breaking down an opponent off the dribble.
    4) We have 2 starter quality reserves coming off the bench in Grant and Brackman.

    We’ve had good skill players in the past. What really makes this team different is the combo of an offensive and defensive post prescence and a guard who can create his own shot. I’ll also say this, if you ‘ve got Ced down low, Evtimov, Atsur, Bethel and Cam on the perimeter, you have close to a perfect offense to attack a D. If Cam had a little better handle, and if Ev and Atsur were a little quicker, it would be perfect. However, this is college ball and perfection ain’t a requirement.

  15. Mr. O 01/17/2006 at 1:58 PM #

    Choppack: I guess what I was saying is that I don’t think Herb’s philosophy has changed this year one bit. Simply, Cedric’s improvement has given our coach more options and allows us to do things that we couldn’t do with last year’s team. You can only do what your personnel allows you to do. I think we are on the same page. I just disagreed with Sammy Kent’s assertion that we have abandoned an offense based on interchangeable parts.

  16. choppack 01/17/2006 at 3:21 PM #

    I agree O. We utilized the low post a good deal w/ Powell in 2003.

    And one thing folks don’t understand. The offense itself is designed to create isolation in the post. Grundy and Hodge both scored probaly 10-13 ppg in iso post moves.

    Folks see what they want to see. What you typically won’t see is the flex offense – w/ 2 big men spending time on the blocks concurrently.

  17. JeremyHyatt 01/17/2006 at 4:16 PM #

    –sounds like that flex would give you much more offensive rebounding opportunities.

    Choppack–by the way I don’t think shooting off the dribble is Atsur’s strength at all, he is a “catch and shoot” kind of player. He looked terribly out of sync when he did the former in the Carolina game. Bethel may have the ability to penetrate and shoot after penetration but i have seen the majority of his production coming behind the 3-point line (which is fine because he is blowing it up right now, after a slow start).

    The offense has got to be a hybrid at this point, or rather an evolution. Obviously we are not melting the clock like we used to, and not relying on points from Princeton-like backcuts. We play to our strengths, Ced inside (or is it Ced Leap ahead?) and our blistering 3-point shooting. This has been echoed before by others and i agree with it.

    However when Ced is in foul trouble, as we have seen so often this early ACC season, and when the 3-s aren’t falling, case-in-point both loses, Iowa and Carolina, we end up not looking like top 15, but my sister’s tee-ball team. Hansborough ran over us like a truck.

    But the interchangable parts moniker, hey that’s ours mofo! That’s our tag-line: its all about team, and it doesn’t matter who ends up taking the shot. But maybe we deserve the moniker more than GW, if we relate the definition of “interchangable” not as all having the same skillset, but that is doesn’t really matter WHO is shooting the ball; each person has full confidence the others will knock it down. Hence that other person shooting might as well be you! Interchangable.

    Actually screw it. GW can have this one. We shed the Princeton offence label like a cheap suit, didn’t we?! However this one had a positive spin.

    .. How about, there is no DUKE in team. Geez..

  18. choppack 01/17/2006 at 5:35 PM #

    Hyatt – I think any team will struggle when their most dominant player is in foul trouble and their 3s aren’t falling.

    Do we depend on the 3 more than most teams – yes. Do we have better 3 point shooters than most teams – yes.

    I would be more discouraged about our losses if they weren’t both to Top 25 teams on the road. I’m not happy w/ either – against UNC-Ch our thought our defense was horrid for most of the game – against Iowa- our offense really stunk. That said, we’re 6-2 against high level competition – that’s pretty durn good.

    Will it continue? Well, that’s the 1 million dollar question right?

  19. JeremyHyatt 01/17/2006 at 10:08 PM #

    There’s no reason for it not to continue; for the first time in ages we have been healthy (barring Costner, who has the choice of redshirting anyway).

    For the first time in ages we have several excellent shooters on the perimeter.
    Back in the day or Ron Kelly, Kenny Inge, and Archie Miller, we had several big men that couldn’t shoot and were “ok” down low, and 1 or 1.5 shooters.

    And there is no secret Simmons completes the puzzle and keeps defenders honest.

    Million dollar question it sure is, but at least we have it to ask rather than gelling in late Feb to eck out a NCAA spot. They just have to maintain at this point, and find ways to get better.

    Regarding tomorrow, hopefully Ced will cancel out Williams, hopefully Atsur will cancel out Redick, and hopefully Bennerman, Bethel, and Brackman will play career games, respectively. And hopefully Evtimov can provide demoralizing blows for outside to quite the Crazies. Hopefully. Composure.

  20. choppack 01/18/2006 at 8:50 AM #

    I think we match up well w/ Duke…I am hoping we can exploit Paulus, McRoberts and Melchionni, because Redick is getting his and the refs will be watching Simmons like a hawk while Williams, aka No Means No, gets away w/ crimes on the court as well!

  21. Rick 01/18/2006 at 9:09 AM #

    “I just disagreed with Sammy Kent’s assertion that we have abandoned an offense based on interchangeable parts.”

    We are not playing an “interchangeable parts” offense right now and I hope we never go back to the offense of the previous four years. It is too limited to win a championship.

    My belief/hope is Herb saw the limitations of that offense and is moving towards a more traditional offense with some of the tenents of the PO (ie spread the floor, back cuts).

  22. Sammy Kent 01/18/2006 at 11:18 AM #

    I respectfully submit that you better hope this is the beginning of a sea change in Herb’s philosophy, as a coach, teacher, and especially as a recruiter. If, when these players move on, he hasn’t recruited and trained successors to play these POSITIONS, AND PLAY THEM AS POSITION PLAYERS, and instead tries to make everyone out there a round peg, we’ll be back on the bubble or worse in no time flat. The concept of a positionless offense is very novel and elegant in theory, but that’s all. Like communism or the perpetual motion machine, the practice doesn’t equal the theorem. It hasn’t worked because IT DOESN’T WORK. It doesn’t work in any phase of life or work. Soldiers are not riflemen AND truck drivers AND tank drivers AND quartermasters AND signalmen, AND whatever else. They have their duties, and each one doing his job is what makes the Army an effective fighting team. You can apply that principle to any team endeavor…I mean, it’s even in the BIBLE!

    If Herb has merely “tweaked” his offense to fit his personnel, then wonderful. Like someone said, people see what they want. Herb isn’t just assigned personnel and has to make do with what he’s given. He has a huge say in what he chooses to recruit, train, and put on the floor. Surely the successes of this season can make him understand that this is the kind of personnel he needs. This is an entirely different kind of team from 2004. That team was just like all his other 8-8 type teams except for some record-breaking foul shooting. That team was a bona fide fluke. This one can be for real.

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