State @ Carolina Day

It is State – Carolina day!!!! I could type all day.

I’m not going to spend all day previewing the game and directing you all over the internet to specific URLs — Pack Pride and The Wolfpacker do a super job of that.

But, there are some sources that you shouldn’t overlook if you have some time to read today (many of these are highlighted in our list of links on the right hand side of the front page of the blog):
(1) ACC Basketblog typically has super news round-ups.
(2) The ACC & NOw Blog at the News & Observer has quickly become a great place to visit.
(3) Section Six (NCSU Blog) has hit a ton of great points that save me the time of having to construct. Great Work!!

=====> Today
Herb Sendek continues his quest to claim his second ACC Coach of the Year title in the last three years. Make no mistake – if the Pack comes out of today with a win in Chapel Hill, we will catapult into the Top 10 and make a lot of national radars. What a nice feeling to already be “playing for seeding” in the NCAA and not be sitting on the proverbial bubble.

You can click here for my “Keys to a Wolfpack Win”

=====> Thinking about the Future
The Charlotte Observer mentioned today that, “N.C. State is considering a medical redshirt for this season for freshman forward Brandon Costner, who has missed five straight games with a stress fracture in his leg. Coach Herb Sendek said Costner remains unable to practice.”

I endorsed this exact idea over the holiday and think that is a great idea. We’ve got tons of depth this season and don’t need Costner at all. Additionally, next year’s freshman class is a little weak and there is a chance that Cedric Simmons & Andrew Brackman will not remain in Raleigh to wear Wolfpack red for their senior seasons (in 2 years).

Why NOT pay attention to scholarship spacing at the 4 & 5 position and be a little proactive about stockpiling talent for the future?

=====> Quotable
I liked this quote from Herb this week and wanted to chronicle it:

“I like people thinking we’re good,” he said. “I think it’s good there are expectations for our program. We don’t want to run away from that. We’ve worked hard to continue to take steps forward, and I think that’s a good thing.”

=====> Balance
THE primary unkown variable facing the Wolfpack coming into this season wer the departure of Larry Hunter and Julius Hodge.

To this point of the season, the Wolfpack’s balance and depth (and defense) have more than compensated for the departures. In fact, I feel safe to proclaim that we are more than past the issue of losing Julius Hodge. This article talks about the Pack’s balance and potential.

Although it doesn’t seem as though Larry Hunter’s departure has negatively impacted the program very much, I need to wait to see State win some close games that should come in conference play. Thus far this season, State’s only loss has come in our only close game — a key indicator of Hunter’s supposed strengths of making adjustments. I hope that we don’t have to have to learn more about this topic today.

=====> Flashback
If you have a weak stomach…don’t look. If you need some motivation to get pissed off before todays game, then feel free to click.

It started very early

…it ended up being a horrible beating

…that led to some pretty damning comments from ESPN, the local media, and the blogging community.

=====> Prediction
In the only place that “favorites” count – Las Vegas – the Wolfpack is generally a 2 to 3 point underdog today.

If my “keys to the game” fall in the Wolfpack’s favor — I’m predicting the Pack by a 76-71 score.

If my keys to the game fall to the Tarheels — I’m going with 77-69 for the Heels.