BC Dominates Wolfpack (Updated)

The following was posted at halftime of Saturday’s game:

Halftime: Miserable, State down 19

It is halftime of the Wolfpack’s ACC home opener vs Boston College and State trails 37-18.


State’s year-to-date formula of playing weak defense and staying in games with offense has failed as the Pack has been unable to shoot well against defense that is better than what we have faced in the first half of the season. Additionally, the first half was just one of those cold spells that happen to teams and our offensive drought was enhanced by a failure to get some of the foul calls (particularly with McCauley) that we have come to rely upon in games against weaker opponents.

Add to the offensive woes the fact that the first half of this game was a microcosm of all of the bad things that we saw in November and December and were hoping wouldn’t bite us once conference play began:

* Poor defense all around. Especially on the perimeter where Boston College, like Wofford, ECU, Cincinnati, West Virginia, UNC-G and others had record performances from the three-point line. BC is shooting 50% (5 of 10) from the three point line, significantly better than their 10 of 27 on two-pointers.

* But, a lack of commitment to rebound from whomever is on the floor not named McCauley and Costner has allowed the Eagles to score points even with poor shooting. State was outrebounded 29-14 in the first half! That is effort and heart. Not a skill problem.

* Brain farts and weak fundamental play from the guy that is postured as the leader of the team, Gavin Grant. You people that only look at boxscores and don’t understand basketball need to give up the stat sheet and start watching someone who fails to block out effectively, mentally zones out on the floor, takes two bad shots for every one good shot, and who doesn’t consistently maximize his physical gifts on defense or on the glass. We’re not trying to be too negative on Gavin…but, if he wants to be the leader that he and others say then he needs to show it by exhibiting 100% effort as much as he can.

The following is some post-game follow-up after Saturday’s game:

* State played better in the second half. Particularly, Gavin Grant played better in the second half. A trend is definitely developing on the Pack’s team – McCauley and Costner are solid rocks who are going to consistently contribute to the best of their ability in every game. Courtney Fells is still developing as a player but is not breaking out yet. All of this means that, ‘as Gavin Grant goes, so goes the Wolfpack’. This doesn’t necessarily mean that as Gavin scores, so goes the Wolfpack. Grant had a poor first half; State had a poor first half. Grant had a much better second half; State had a much better second half.

* The N&O pointed out that Engin Atsur was shaking-off offensive rust on Saturday (while he was simultaneously dealing with foul trouble on the floor). Even though Atsur’s shot wasn’t falling, he played 31 valuable minutes and led the Pack with an impressive 10 assists. The N&O piece was insightful and included some of the following quotes:

State coach Sidney Lowe figured Atsur was operating at about “40 percent,” but 40 percent of Atsur is an asset for a young Pack team needing a leader and a sure ball-handler.

With him in the lineup, the Pack made nine turnovers, a significant reduction from its 16.5 season average.

While Atsur wasn’t the remedy for the migraine headache BC caused, his presence provided a boost to teammates, particularly Gavin Grant. “With Engin back at point, I was able to do a little more,” said Grant, who scored a team-high 22 points operating at forward.

BC outrebounded the Pack 50-30, grabbed 23 offensive boards and scored 19-second chance points. On two separate possessions, they got five shots, scoring on the fifth attempt each time.

ONE SHINING MOMENT: When State switched to a 1-3-1 zone defense in the second half, the Pack went on a 9-0 run. But the Eagles eventually adapted by attacking the gaps and regained the momentum.

TEACHABLE MOMENT: Atsur said older, experienced BC taught his team a lesson: In short, get tougher or get beat. “We have to learn what it takes to win [in the ACC],” he said. “They pushed us around. We should have been much tougher.”

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06-07 Basketball General

80 Responses to BC Dominates Wolfpack (Updated)

  1. dthompson44 01/06/2007 at 3:30 PM #

    Engin is the only one playing with passion and fire–where is the effort from everyone else???

  2. StateFans 01/06/2007 at 3:40 PM #

    Engin’s passion and fire has translated to the rest of the team with his presence on the floor in the second half. It just goes to show his importance.

  3. Lee Fowler 01/06/2007 at 3:41 PM #

    Gavin Grant is the most frustrating and erratic player Ishua Benjamin

  4. Lee Fowler 01/06/2007 at 3:42 PM #

    insert “since” b/w “player” and “Ishua”

  5. redfred2 01/06/2007 at 3:44 PM #

    I’m telling you the BC defense is in the flow because the ball is being walked up the court every time after a made basket. Atsur has to realize that at some point. He is a calming influence, but maybe TOO CALMING!!! Nothing works when he allows the defense to gather itself. He has got to move and ATTACK!!! Where in the hell is Fells???

    Also, does it come standard with the uniforms, or is anyone ever going to learn to block out?

  6. jwrenn29 01/06/2007 at 4:03 PM #

    Didn’t get any better 2nd half. We lost big.

    We had shots, but no one could make any it seemed.

  7. Lee Fowler 01/06/2007 at 4:04 PM #

    We are who we are. Obviously, the final score is not indicative of the way our team hustled in the 2nd half. Its important that our guys keep an even keel and keep chopping wood. Our team had a low intensity quotient, and we can’t have that. We have a couple of days to prepare for a fine Clemson team, so we’ll stay inside our daytight compartments and honor the process. Thanks Tony.

  8. Rochester 01/06/2007 at 4:06 PM #

    Frustrating, but we at least showed a little fight in the second half. If there’s one kid I can’t stand to see go off on our court it’s Sean Marshall. I hate that kid so much. As a senior he finally has some game to back it up, but he’s been a talker for four years. He needs an elbow to the throat from someone.

    Grant looked way better in the second half with Atsur out there for maybe the full twenty minutes. Maybe he’ll get back to what he does best from this point forth.

  9. old13 01/06/2007 at 4:16 PM #

    gopack.com has a score of 78-54. ESPN.com and CNNSI.com say 74-58. Is Foulup writing on gopack now!

  10. PapaJohn 01/06/2007 at 4:37 PM #

    Not a performance to be proud of anywhere on the court. Poor defense with a few exceptions from wire to wire. It never seemed like the passion was there. The rebound in the first half when all of our guys stood around and waited for everyone else to pick it up – and of course we lost it – really pointed out that no one took the lead. BC on the other hand was cool and polished and made few mistakes. I expect to see them do well this year.
    It appeared from the beginning of the game that if we couldn’t pose any type of threat from the outside that BC would pack it it, limit our inside scoring, and dominate the boards. And that is exactly how the game played out.
    I was disappointed that we didn’t try the Valvano strategy at the end of the game – foul & defense the free throw – and then shoot threes at the other end. The team we saw today will end up at the bottom of the league. Hopefully Sid, and the team, will learn what playing in the “bigs” is all about and improve rapidly.
    The only good news is that it appeared the house was packed, and the crowd really rocked at points when we got a run going.

  11. gopack968 01/06/2007 at 5:01 PM #

    Maybe Gavin and Engin worked out the kinks. Gavin was dominant late in the game, just too late.

  12. Woof Wolf 01/06/2007 at 5:05 PM #

    We actually won the second half 39 – 37. Grant finally showed up and everyone hustled. Of course BC played a lot more straight up on defense. In the first half they doubled McCauley every time he touched the ball and concentrated on shutting us down inside. We are going to see a lot more of that until we start shooting better from the outside. Grant , McCauley, and Costner scored 55 of our 58 points.

    Also it would be nice to see us come out with fire in our eyes at the beginning of the game. We don’t have the talent or the depth to regulary overcome double digit deficits against the teams we have left on our schedule. We knew there were going to days like this. Lot’s of stuff to work on. GO PACK

  13. ShootingGuard 01/06/2007 at 5:48 PM #

    Just in case anyone needed a reminder, we aren’t very good this year. We have a coach coaching with passion and a limited number of players playing with extreme heart, but we lack a lot all over the court and will struggle all season as a result.

    If anyone has been fooling themselves about how great we are—or should or could be—and doesn’t understand what we lack, just look at BC vs us. They have a Sr. 6’8″-6’9″ combo forward playing the 3 while we have 2 similar but young combo forwards playing pf and center for us—going up vs their 2 experienced 7-footers. They have a little quick pg while we have no one who is particularly quick on the perimeter. We do have decent size and athleticism on the wing, but BC, like almost everyone else we will face, can match that with their own—so we get no advantage there.

    As much as I like Atsur’s scrappiness and having him back for a 7-8 man rotation, he was made for a slowdown PO type of offense and is really more of a “coming off the bench” type of guy for a really good team rather than a main leader type as he has to be for us—a poor man’s Greg Paulus, unfortunately. Although Atsur’s calmness will be big help sometimes, I think, unfortunately, it will also hurt us at times as well as his walk-it-up style allows defenses to set against us. It would be nice if we had a speed burner pg AND Atsur for a changeup, but “we are who we are” and have to make the best of it for now…

    Atsur’s 4 fouls and zero points pretty much somes up his rustiness…

    Grant looked a lot better in the second half when he could play the wing exclusively. Boy, it would be great to have that speed burner pg to go along with Atsur so that neither Grant nor Fells ever had to come off the wing, but…

    Fells needs to get focused and bring it every game. I was glad to see Sid sit him because it was obvious that he stayed up too late or something last night because he didn’t have it at either end of the floor. Unfortunately, with such a limited bench, benching a guy—or two—who are off means a huge drop off in talent or potential on the floor…

    Unfortunately, to go along with our lackings, we also came out ice cold today…

    We also came out and were intimidated by Sean Williams early. Would have been nice to see Williams pick up HALF the fouls he committed in the first half, but, alas, we drew the “no fouls” refs vs a bruiser team. I’m sure we will draw the “touch fouls” refs next time we play a finesse team—when being able to hack would be an advantage for us…such is the way of the wolfpack…(BTW, I’m not blaming the game on the refs. We were the far weaker team and we came out and played bad early and deserved to lose, but, seriously, what home underdog team in America doesn’t get that Horner call?? Would have loved to have seen Horner get the 3-pt play, cut it to 8, and see what happened the rest of the way…little things, like refs, can mean a lot for any team, but even moreso for a limited team like ours…)

    Oh well, I guess I will stop before I waste anymore time analyzing our limits and failures—or falling into dreamy WTNY mode wondering how the game might have been different with a speed burner pg, Costner sliding out to cover Dudley while JJ Hickson played center and Ben manned the pf…

    Let’s hope Clemson wins today and comes in cocky as hell at 16-0 thinking it will be a breeze beating us by 18…

  14. redfred2 01/06/2007 at 5:49 PM #

    Grant had a very solid game, stayed aggressive, and came up with some big rebounds late. He was one of the only bright spots all day. I cannot understand how Jared Dudley was allowed to stand around waiting for uncontested rebounds all day long. There should have been a body assigned to keep him out of the paint, and nothing else.

    I agree Rochester, Sean Marshall is a chump. I remember when he scored against Duke then ran down and chest bumped JJ Reddick on the other end, not once, but twice, and nothing was called. Somebody will drill him if he makes it to the NBA. BC is a solid team, Dudley especially, but because of Marshall’s attitude the whole team comes off looking like thugs.

    As far as the Wolfpack goes, I will say again, only if Atsur will stops walking the ball up the court, picks up the tempo himself by pushing it inside the arc and being more aggressive on the offensive end, or just basically loses some his old habits from the previous years, only then will there be some rapid offensive improvement with him at the point. Fells disappeared again, he also has to become more of a factor.

  15. Wulfpack 01/06/2007 at 5:54 PM #

    Thoroughly whipped in all phases of the game today. Given that, it was still good to see we didn’t mail it in the second half. This team does have heart, just very little talent to go along with it. BC is just flat out better. We’re bound to see much more of this as the year goes on. I shudder to think what UNC is going to do to us. We just have got to get through this year. The guys are learning valuable lessons and will surely be battle tested come next season. We’re building for better days. Keep your head up.

  16. redfred2 01/06/2007 at 6:10 PM #

    About today’s game and speaking for myself, I would say that I’m disappointed in certain fundamental aspects like positioning and not blocking out, no one setting up or coming off picks to loosen up BC’s interior defense, and the slow tempo early on. But I’m not really upset about the loss or with the players themselves. There is a lot of coaching yet to be done, but we will improve.

  17. beowolf 01/06/2007 at 6:12 PM #

    Nothing good to take from this game.

  18. Woof Wolf 01/06/2007 at 6:36 PM #

    Clemson is coming in 16 – 0. They won by one on a shot that left 2.2 on the clock. I only saw the last ten minutes but both teams look really good. Oregon beat UCLA so Clemson is the only undefeated team in d1. Wish I believed we were going to change that next week.

  19. c6by66 01/06/2007 at 6:55 PM #

    Although the comments about the crowd were correct…the enthusiasm was missing….mine included. Maybe it was the weather. There were flashes of brilliance and also long and enduring periods of mediocrity. Clemson was lucky…if you make your own luck. Having the GT player throw and elbow and get ejected was a great piece of coaching…(remember V’s comments on UNX’s 1982 NCAA Championship against Georgetown). I certainly hope that the Tigers come in cocky…NOW REMEMBER – WOLFPACK FAITHFUL – Clemson USUALLY brings in a CROWD and they are LOUD…ECU was also LOUD…

    We need to be there with our best CROWD Effort…Maybe someone can get CTC to come and hype us up. Speaking of that where was TOB and the folks today? I really was disappointed that he did NOT show up…but it might have been a bit TOO much…since we were playing BC..

    Anybody heard any scuttle on CTC and FSU…Will Chucky return to FL? Appreciate any REAL info…not just rumors

  20. Delete-Me 01/06/2007 at 7:45 PM #

    The good is that Atsur is back. Doesn’t have his shot, but he was diving to the floor.

  21. Texpack 01/06/2007 at 7:50 PM #

    The 1-3-1 really helped us guard the perimeter in the second half. Somehow Sidney has got to get them to play full throttle from the opening tap. The effort was really lacking in the first half. Until we find a couple of guys who are dead on spot up jumpshooters, we are going to see McAuley doubled and tripled to death. He is such a good passer that he will hit the open man. The open man has to hit the shot. Maybe this is why Herb left. Can you imagine trying to play Herb’s offense with this kind of outside shooting? Without Sidney pushing the ball inside we’d be 6-10 or 7-8 right now.

  22. wolfpackbball 01/06/2007 at 7:57 PM #

    I live a couple of hours away from Raleigh, but I do make it to a few games each year. I pay high prices outside to sit in good seats. My biggest gripe is the crowd. It looked like the end zones were pretty full, and I’m sure the top was filled, but you could see MANY missing seats along the sidelines.

    That is one thing I HATE about our ‘fans’ that have the big $ season tickets. They suck at getting to games. I wish I couldn’t get the seats I get when I go. At least that would mean they were full.

  23. wolfonthehill 01/06/2007 at 8:01 PM #

    That was a very disturbing game, from the player rotation (or complete lack thereof, despite the availability of Atsur) to the effort (or complete lack thereof) to the execution (or complete lack thereof).

    BC is no deeper than we are (strictly number-wise) – they just chose to use their depth. Plus – their guys stepped up and PLAYED – ours didn’t until the outcome was decided.

    Sid’s gotta figure something out FAST – we don’t have to be good this year, but this looks like a team capable of going 0-16 in the league – he’s gotta at least get the guys to put up a good fight in every home game, or the natives will become restless very quickly.

    SFN: 0-16? Relax, dude. BC started the season #15 in the country and has been dealing with injuries in the early season. We lost to an NCAA Tournament whom we happen to have TERRIBLE match-ups with.

  24. NCSUwolfpack4Life 01/06/2007 at 8:09 PM #

    It has NOTHING and i mean NOTHING to do with Atsur’s “slow-down” type of play. When Atsur had the opportunity he pushed it up the floor and ran it well. The problem is that to do so, you have to either get a steal or a rebound and we just weren’t getting it. Atsur isn’t going to force a faster tempo when it’s a detriment to the team, and he shouldn’t. Also, I love how you point out that he had no points, but didn’t point out the fact that he had a career high 10 assists. It’s his first game back, give the kid a break. He shot a couple times and realized he was off, so instead of forcing the shot, he passed it off and got assists which is what a good PG is supposed to do.

    McCauley missed 6 or 7 shots that usually he’s automatic when he takes. He’s used those moves MANY times in our previous games and is simply automatic when he does. Today he was off, nothing more nothing less.

    I would have liked to have seen us start fouling with 2 minutes to go, rather than with 1 minute to go. That can only fall on Lowe, and I’m probably one of his biggest supporters. I just think that with that type of a deficit you have to start fouling earlier than that.

    They were calling ticky-tack fouls on us but we couldn’t get a foul when Atsur was straight MUGGED on our end. One jump ball that they called when we were on a mini-run, the BC player had his hand on the ball for all of half a second and had it ripped out and they called a jump ball which was complete and total bullshit and gave them the ball back.

    All that being said, we STILL had the opportunity to make a comeback on that BS call on Horner. If he makes that shot and the free throw, we cut it down to 7 and its a completely different game. Instead that dumbass calls a charge and Marshall drains a three. So that retarded call was a 6 point turnaround, instead of 7, now it’s 13.

    There were enough positives that we can rally around them but also enough negatives that they need to be fixed, and soon. We have to come out quick and we have to box out.

  25. NCSUwolfpack4Life 01/06/2007 at 8:12 PM #

    And quit whining about Lowe.

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