Tuesday Early Practice BBall Bytes


A new era of basketball (and attitude) kicked off last Friday as practice began for the 2006-2007 basketball season on the heels of JJ Hickson’s big commitment to the Wolfpack.

We are going to hit some quick items of interest today:

* The News & Observer has a photo slideshow and audio of the Wolfpack’s first practice this year. You can click here to view it. Gone are the days of CIA-level secrecy and the program choosing to isolate itself so much from free media coverage and attention. Also gone are the days of hiding from our heritage for fear of not ever living up to historical standards; you will note the two National Championship banners now prominently displayed on the wall of the Dail Practice Center that recently replaced the text of “One Heartbeat” on the wall.

* You can click here For more audio clips related to NC State’s Basketball program from media day.

* Andrew Brackman‘s decision to forego basketball was blogged nationally by Mike DeCourcy of The Sporting News here.

Brackman now is the fifth player among NC State’s seven leading scorers from the 2005-06 season to depart the program. Four completed their eligibility, and center Cedric Simmons entered the draft and became a first-round pick. With them goes 71.4 percent of the scoring from a team that was not an offensive juggernaut.

With Brackman gone from the picture, State will struggle to stay out of the ACC basement. It will be a far tumble for a program that has made five consecutive NCAA Tournaments and whose fans ache to be competitive with local sluggers Duke and North Carolina. It’ll be much harder to play in that league now.

* The big news in the Triangle is the injury to Greg Paulus‘ foot. (Update linked here) . This is the kind of injury that could linger all year if not properly cared for. No team can afford injuries to key players – particularly point guards – but NC State’s season would be over before it started with such an injury. Until Trevor Ferguson becomes eligible at the end of the first semester, NC State will be playing with only seven recruited scholarship players.

* The Fayetteville Observer has a nice set of previews of Big Four basketball teams available here.

* If you don’t check Luke Winn’s College Basketball Blog at Sports Illustrated then you probably should give it a try every now and then. This link will take you to his most recent entry that includes a lot of quick videos from March Madnesses from around the country.

* This NCAA Hoops Blog also has some random musings of interest to start to get the season rolling.

* The NCAA has unveiled its logo for the 2008 Final Four. San Antonio is a great place for the event. The logo is featured at the beginning of this entry.

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06-07 Basketball Alums General

47 Responses to Tuesday Early Practice BBall Bytes

  1. Rick 10/17/2006 at 11:08 AM #

    “Gone are the days of CIA-level secrecy and the program choosing to isolate itself so much from free media coverage and attention. Also gone are the days of hiding from our heritage for fear of not ever living up to historical standards”

    I never understood why you would want to cut yourself off like that. It alienates the rpess and the fans. That is no way to build up enthusiasm. I am thrilled to see the openess of both the practice and our history.

  2. RAWFS 10/17/2006 at 11:52 AM #

    The banners of national championships should serve to remind players that NC State has won the title, can win it again, and that the coaches teaching them hung those banners while in a NC State uniform.

    Hiding from our heritage was ridiculous. We should have always held it high for recruits and players to see, and told them “this could be you.”

  3. packbackr04 10/17/2006 at 12:30 PM #

    I love the fayetville observer article….. sid told grant “maybe he needs to wear the short shorts”

  4. Sam92 10/17/2006 at 12:32 PM #

    a couple of years ago when back in raleigh for a football game, my friend and i went into reynolds coliseum and saw the bball team practicing

    after about a minute, a guy, presumably a student assistant of some sort, asked us to leave because the practice was closed. i wasn’t offended — it’s coach’s prerogative to close the practice — but why?

    was “chop wood” such a compelling secret strategy that practice had to be closed so that we could surprise the opposition?

    kudos to Coach Lowe for opening things up — more visibility for him to work with, and more fun for us

  5. Pack Laddie 10/17/2006 at 12:38 PM #

    somebody got a return e-mail from the N & O, in regard to their slide show, and coverage of the initial practice–she relayed this—My husband also heard back as to why the N&O did not write a more comprehensive article about practice. It wasn’t their fault. NCSU did not allow them to send a reporter to practice and their photographer was only allowed into practice for a very short time. Sid is all business apparently. When he says it’s time to work, he means it’s time to work.

  6. StateFans 10/17/2006 at 12:39 PM #

    For the record, practice wasn’t open to the general public last week. We don’t think that practice will be open to the public. But, it is nice to know that it isn’t closed to the world 100% of the time.

  7. noah 10/17/2006 at 12:53 PM #

    Didn’t Sendek say that he kept practices closed because if he needed to chew someone out, he didn’t want to embarrass the player?

    I remember going to Vs “practices.” If you could call them that. They were, uhh…interesting. He had a drill that was five-on-eight. And no fouls were called. The defense’s job was to get the ball back. Apparently, just about anything went.

    It was like a fumble-drill…only on hardwood.

  8. BoKnowsNCS71 10/17/2006 at 2:19 PM #

    As I recall, most practices are closed to keep out distractions. Personally I would prefer that. However, eons ago, I can recall when during the NCAA payoffs, the practices were left open to get the team and the fans pumped up. There’s a time and place for open and closed practices.

  9. StateFans 10/17/2006 at 2:31 PM #

    By the end of V’s tenure he had learned his lesson regarding open practices and began closing them.

    Just to provide further clarity on this topic — I think practices SHOULD be all-business and focused. The point of the comments in this entry was to highlight that the new regime takes a different perspective on the external marketing/media strategy of publicity. It seems slightly more flexible and “market-focused” than it used to be.

  10. Pack Laddie 10/17/2006 at 2:32 PM #

    I think a lot of the closed practice mentality of today is due to the NCAA rules limiting amount of practice time. The coaches feel the need to maximize their on court time with their team, with minimal distraction. Cannot blame them.

  11. Pack Laddie 10/17/2006 at 2:38 PM #

    Even at the NCAAs, where there are mandatory open practices the day before the games, coaches will have a dog and pony show for the fans and media, then take their team to another local gym for regular practice.

  12. BJD95 10/17/2006 at 2:53 PM #

    I seem to remember sitting in on alot of Les’ practices when I was in school. Not that we should emulate Les or anything…

  13. Cardiff Giant 10/17/2006 at 2:57 PM #

    ^ You probably know just how to shove your thumb in your ass and whistle “Dixie” during critical time outs at the end of regulation, then. That was Les’s speciality.

  14. Pack Laddie 10/17/2006 at 2:58 PM #

    BJD—you peobably could have participated in Les’s practices. Remember when the troops got so thin, he had to call up a manager to dress out for games?

  15. RAWFS 10/17/2006 at 3:23 PM #


    To where should I send the bill for the replacement of my keyboard?

    The old one is now full of spit ice-tea.

    Well done, sir!

  16. Cardiff Giant 10/17/2006 at 3:35 PM #

    Thank you, RAWFS. Remember the Duke game his last season?

  17. Pack Laddie 10/17/2006 at 3:41 PM #

    Cardiff, I remember the Chris Collins, bounce off the side of the rim, up to the top of the board, back down and in 3 ball, followed by Curtis Marshall driving to the other end, and getting off a great shot, only to have it spin around the rim and out. That was pretty much the end of the line for Les.

  18. Wolfpack4ever 10/17/2006 at 3:42 PM #

    I took my dad to one of Sloan’s practices just before Pop died. We sat up in the main seats and watched some great players and an outstanding coach work. Sloan mostly let them practice as I recall but when he chewed someone out, they knew they had been chewed. Burleson took the worst of it.

  19. Wolfpack4ever 10/17/2006 at 3:44 PM #

    CG, thanks. With all the noise I couldn’t tell WHAT they were whistling. The thumb was self-explanatory.

  20. Cardiff Giant 10/17/2006 at 4:09 PM #

    “Cardiff, I remember the Chris Collins, bounce off the side of the rim, up to the top of the board, back down and in 3 ball, followed by Curtis Marshall driving to the other end, and getting off a great shot, only to have it spin around the rim and out. That was pretty much the end of the line for Les.”

    Spot on. The eponymous Dixie-whistlin’ took place in the time out immediately before that infamous play. K was huddled with his boys drawing up an evil scheme. Les was striding the sidelines ten feet away from the players, thumb inserted and whistlin’ away.

    I threw something at the TV and very nearly broke it.

  21. BJD95 10/17/2006 at 4:40 PM #

    Poor Curtis Marshall. You could always tell that the losing was eating him up inside. I really hated it for him when his game winner rimmed out.

    Les could have used me. I have few discernable skills (other than being able to hit the rim on long desperation heaves), but I can give a hard foul.

  22. Mr O 10/17/2006 at 5:30 PM #


    Packpride posted some interviews with all the guys on the team. Nothing substantial here, but it is interesting hearing their comments about Coach Lowe and each other.

    Sounds like most of the guys think Fells is going to have a big year.

  23. packpigskinfan23 10/17/2006 at 5:56 PM #

    ^ I know I think he will… Grant will also.

    look forward to seeing Brandon Costner as well

  24. vtpackfan 10/17/2006 at 6:30 PM #

    The Paulas injury is going to be big news leading up to start of season, as will UNX’s freshman class and the new look Wolfpack. Not sure if any of it will cause to much major shake ups this year however, maybe UNC Charlottesville or GT can raise there programs up a notch. I think BC has a huge hole to fill with the absence of their big man (Smith?) and will certainly have trouble scoring as many points unless Rice heats up from outside. All in all its got to be a glass half full attitude for us Pack backers this year and maybe get excited about going to six dances in seven years in ’07 with freshman Hickson, Thomas, (Smith, and Warren).
    Besides seeing a new tempo and attitude brought by Sid and staff I like so many others are nervously waiting to see what signs of emergence Grant, Fells, Costner, and McAuley we’ll witness. Will it be hints of greatness and confidence in spurts or will we see some consitent ACC caliber competence rising from these unknowns. Important to me is to sit back and have some fun for the first time in years, sort of a saabatical from what’s been happening to program the last decade or so. Also I’m really rooting for Atsur to have a great senior campaign. Maybe this Paulas injury could spark guys like Atsur to really step up in the ACC this year and let their experience take over in big games. We all know that to have any shot to finish middle of the pack or miraculously any better that Atsur is going to have to be a second or third team ACC guard.


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