Atsur & Evtimov: State Can’t Match Toughness

“We just couldn’t match their toughness.” – NC State guard Engin Atsur

“Tonight (Carolina loss), I would definitely say it was about effort.” – NC State forward Ilian Evtimov

Thursday, February 23, 2006
From: “UNC succeeds where State fails” By Jeff Carlton
Greensboro News & Record

General NCS Basketball Quotes of Note

11 Responses to Atsur & Evtimov: State Can’t Match Toughness

  1. class of '74 02/28/2006 at 12:19 PM #

    Well there is an easy answer for this one. Yes it’s Valvano’s fault! He brought our program down to such a low point that it has sapped all the grit and toughness we once had. Heck, it will take decades to rebuild the pride, effort, toughness and grit we once had but by gosh we are getting it back. You just
    WTNY and we’ll show ’em.

  2. Elrod 02/28/2006 at 1:15 PM #

    I do not know if we are tough or not. I believe Ilian described the basic problem best when he said we did not give effort. In my opinion, a player can’t demonstrate toughness until he has given sufficient effort to be in position to be to tough. Of course, everyone got to see first-hand the consequences of lack of effort in the BBU game. However, what I saw in the BC game was just as profound. In both games, the opposition played ‘over’ us. There’s not a lot a player can do about significant athletic differences, but they can give sufficient effort in basic basketball skills to minimize the impact. Case in point: watch our defense in the BC game when BC put up a shot from the outside. What did out guys do? They generally watched the shot while the off-side BC players were crashing the boards. I kind of felt sorry for Engin because he was routinely getting run over by the stampede. Literally no one was moving to block out or gain a rebounding position. Likewise, when Ced was double-teamed with the ball, what did our guys do? Well, they surely did not go to the rim to get an easy shot or otherwise move the defense for a better shot. These things are all about effort. It is a mental thing. None of this is rocket science; it is basic basketball. I can not imagine that our coaches are teaching them to not do these things.

  3. Syd 02/28/2006 at 3:00 PM #

    Everyone seems perplexed about the disapearance of Illian Etimov. I wonder why? Maybe it is because no one has observed the fact that the offensive set that had been used so successfully up until this year, has been totalled abandoned by Coach Herb. The one that has Etimov posted somewhere around the top of the key, single handedly triggering 90% the offense.

    You’ll find Cedric Simmons in that position more often than not now, with his back to basket, in no position to make a play, and struggling just to rid of the ball. Wouldn’t Simmon’s size be better used setting solid picks down low around the basket for Bennerman and the others? Wouldn’t that allow the 6′9″ Simmons with his 7′+ wingspan a better to opportunity to dominate down low in his natural position and take a few of the non-existent offensive rebounds and stick them back in the hole?

    Shouldn’t Etimov be given a chance to use his great passing skills with pinpoint passes to breaking players and lobs like he has done so well in the past? His skills and court savvy have been allowed to diminish because they are not being used at all this year.

    Hodge could drive and score or awkwardly draw a foul on almost anyone when he arrived, not part of Herb’s plans though. Marcus Melvin was a 6′8″ man with interior skills when he arrived, and he was instructed to stay 20′ feet from the basket and shoot three point shots. I could go on and on and beat a dead horse until I’m blue in the face, but the athletic director doesn’t believe that sports has anything to do with the overall success and appeal of the university. Look around at your closest neighbors Mr. Fowler.

    These are just a few cases in a line of too many of Herb’s ability to disregard a players natural strengths due to the lack of his own imagination and rigid agenda. That kind of flexible thinking is what all worthy coaches have the ability to do.

  4. Tom Federico 02/28/2006 at 6:16 PM #

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  5. NCBP 02/28/2006 at 9:12 PM #

    difference from this team and some Herb’s past, defense coming to play every night. We’re seeing some of the same offensive inconsistentcy that we always see with Sendek’s teams based on talent in the early years and 3 pt shooting in later years with the “NC State Offense”…main difference in our losses, we don’t play hard nosed D every night. Still time to correct but not likely as this has gone on all too often this year and we’ve won a lot of games because the 3 has fallen.

  6. Wolfpacklawyer 03/01/2006 at 8:54 AM #

    ^I agree. The tough D has not been there every game this year and it has really hurt us. The O can’t be on every night, but the D should be.

  7. K-class of 80 03/01/2006 at 12:15 PM #

    Get ready for another lackluster performance on Sat. against Wake. You
    KNOW we will play down to their level and maybe end up losing to the ACC last place team just because it’s their Senior Day. We have the talent to beat them by 20 at their own place but do we have the heart?
    Talent enough to win but coach enough…. maybe.
    If Herb had this record at Mid-Montana State he would be a hero but around here, I’m sorry, but it’s not good enough.

  8. RickJ 03/01/2006 at 12:49 PM #

    Agree with the comments regarding the defense. Last year, the defense was terrible the first half of the year but it improved and this made for a better second half. I thought the defense would improve this year because of Simmons but this hasn’t happened. The zone was pretty effective against BC – Can’t see Herb doing it but I wonder if a Temple or Syracuse type zone all the time wouldn’t help. It should help stop some of the dribble penetration. You worry about rebounding out of a zone but could this possibly get any worse?

  9. class of '74 03/01/2006 at 1:14 PM #

    ^One thing a zone does is mask our lack of quickness. But usually zone teams don’t rebound as well as man teams but we may be the exception to that rule.

  10. Smith 03/01/2006 at 4:07 PM #

    It is obvious the talent level of NCSU is not close to UNC or Duke. Talent doesn’t always dictate who wins or loses….but strategy becomes extremely important when faced with greater talent. Herb’s offense is effective against teams not properly prepared. Our problem is the better teams have seen enough of the same and Cedric Simmons is not going to make a play at the top of the key! Herb’s desire to play a man-to-man all of the time simply is a mistake. At times in a game, a zone defense…particularly against more athletic players will stop dribble penetration.
    This offense is also limited the type of athlete recruited. If you were Michael Jordon coming out of high school today…would you play for a coach that claims all the parts are interchangeable? You want interchangeable parts… you will get average players wanting to go to a school with a big name. The most talented players will never play in this system!

  11. PACDADDY 03/01/2006 at 4:39 PM #

    While I agree on certain occations our D has broken down(like most teams), many of our opponents of late have shot the ball extremely well while being defended closely. We had many breakdowns against UNC, but they also hit a lot of shots that were well defended.

    Our rebounding has been poor and Bethel/Atsur/Bennerman haven’t been playing like they were…that’s been our biggest problem the last few games. Against UNC, many times the ball simply bounced the wrong way too often and our kids clearly got the short end of those bounces and UNC out hustled them as frustration set in. WE could have used a 100% IE against UNC, but it’s not an excuse, because he did play and we got the crap beat out of us.

    That lost to BC hurt us…more than just w/l…we simply lost composure and didn’t finish on offense. Too often that has happened to this program and until HErb figures out how to solve this problem, he will never have an elite(top 10) program….which is what I expect.

    Again…all teams give up easy baskets to athletic players. We just seem to do it when our O is struggling and it magnifies the breakdowns.

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