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. Woof Wolf 01/06/2007 at 8:23 PM #

    McCauley shot 50% today. Most of the misses he was mugged. We need somebody outside to start making some shots.

  2. PapaJohn 01/06/2007 at 8:48 PM #

    And what happened to Trevor? He came in, had a quick cup of coffee, and hit the bench for most of the rest of the game. With Engin in foul trouble early, it would have been nice to see Trevor get some experience. Even if only in short spurts. We’re going to need his legs. I trust Sid’s judgement, but when we had the two runs in the second half, I think we got a little tired and couldn’t maintain the intensity.
    Unfortunately, I think our next best opportunity for a win will be at home versus VA on the 24th. If so, that’s four straight losses.
    GO PACK, we’re with you Sid.

  3. Lee Fowler 01/06/2007 at 8:53 PM #

    When are people going to realize that the reason 30% of the seats on either sideline are rarely filled is b/c they are owned by corporate LTRs. Pay close attention here:


    The people who own the rights to those seats couldn’t find NC State if you gave them a map to Hillsborough Street. They don’t care.

  4. xphoenix87 01/06/2007 at 8:56 PM #

    The officiating was terrible, but it wasn’t particularly biased. There were plenty of calls that went our way (Engin hip-checked a guy out of bound right in front of the ref and we got the ball, I couldn’t believe it).

    Despite the stats he puts up, Costner is infuriating to watch. He doesn’t move his feet or block out well. He should be getting 10 rebounds a game at least, but he’s just lazy on too many plays. If he played with the intensity of McCauley, he’d be unstoppable.

    On the subject of infuriating players, can someone inform Courtney Fells that he could be a dominant offensive player? Ugh.

    Gavin is an infinitely better player when he’s not on the point. He looked so much better with Engin out there running the point.

    Horner played exceptionally well on the top of the 1-3-1, I was really impressed by him. He made a freshman mistake on the fast break (commiting a charge when he had 2 guys trailing), but he played well. I underestimated him at the beginning of the year, he could turn out to be a really solid player.

  5. vtpackfan 01/06/2007 at 9:19 PM #

    Were you at the same game phoenix? That was a case of one team intimadating both the opposing team and the officials. I not only saw a rageed and physical style of play being left unchecked early on, but also the refs taking a certain amount of lip from players like Dudley when ever he felt like dishing it out. The Pack players to their credit didn’t whine to the officials, they just let Lowe and Harris deal with it. On the flip side, evidently Dudley and Marshall need to jaw off to the officials whenever things don’t go their way, and that is acceptible to this ACC crew.

    That was just crap side show stuff. The fouls called directly resulted in this game being a rout. I have no doubt that BC didn’t outplay and outcoach State today. Only by a little though, and the outside shooting was good enough to secure a win on the road. This I have no doubt. But the manner in which this officiating crew let the this game get out of hand early on caused it to become a disgusting event to watch at times. They (the refs) had no presence, and virtually no authority at times. It was if they vanished at certain parts of the first half only to reappear to call a slight hand check on Atsur.

    Thats my opinion. What the facts are read like this. In BC’s three losses to Vermont, Providence and Dusquesne they were averaging 20 fouls per contest. Today they had 15. Besides a little streaky outside shooting and thrash talking, this BC team is nothing more then what that given nights officiating crew allow them to be. There was undercutting, pushing and and shoving going on under the basket more then there was moving your feet and boxing out. This ACC crew came out more flat then State did and couldn’t manage it before it got to late. If BC gets this crew for many moregames this year then I have no doubt they will finish in the top tier of the conference.

  6. vtpackfan 01/06/2007 at 9:33 PM #

    I would have liked to see the 1-3-1 a bit earlier. Horner on top seemed a good fit. I’ve been really impressed overall w/ Horner. His 3 point shot looked really flat today. Neither Costner or Atsur could deliver from long range today (yes, Costner starting playing horse when the game was over), and that is going to spell trouble everytime from here out. We need both of these two to make some 3’s in the first half to open up this offense.

    Speaking of the offense. I thought it looked pretty terrible. If Grant, McCauley, and Costner hadn’t taken it upon themselves to make one on one moves to the basket we may of never reached 40 points. With Atsur back I felt that at times too many guys were just standing around, and when we did start to run the offense the ball never gotpast the first and second pass. Atsur shpould start the offense by distibuting, but he should then be available for a kick out afterward. I can remember two, maybe three times at the most that we actually got enough ball movement to where Atsur got the ball back in a position to shoot. Part of it is familiarity and rust, but part of it to was just poor execution.

  7. ShootingGuard 01/06/2007 at 11:33 PM #

    “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.”

    Not including the assists was not intentional—I should have added “although the assists were nice and needed.” His shot was clearly RUSTY as he couldn’t make one, and his defense was clearly RUSTY since he couldn’t guard without fouling. That’s not a cut on the guy or his health condition, it is just a fact—he was RUSTY.

    As far as giving the kid “a break” goes, that’s why I said “RUSTY” and not he sucks or something. I like Atsur. I have played ball with him. I have seen him out having a drink before (during the offseason). He’s a great guy. I like having him on my team. He’s gritty and brings a lot of intangibles to the table…But, that doesn’t change the fact that he is a step slow and is not really made for an uptempo game. That doesn’t change the fact that he is not made to carry a team. That doesn’t change the fact that he is more of a more of combo guard and more of a role player than anything else. That doesn’t change the fact that this team is sorely missing a speed burner out on the perimeter who would be a great change-up to Atsur at point. Last year, even when Atsur was healthy, Sean Singletary and others exposed his weaknesses. That doesn’t mean he is not a great guy to have on your team. It just means not to act like we are not missing a lot key components or are going to magically overcome those missing parts just because Engin is back. You can be honest about your team and individual players, it doesn’t mean you are cutting on them…

    Oh boy, I can see where this season is going with over sensitive posters…I may have to follow Bill Cowher’s lead and take a year off…

    As far as someone hinting that the “natives” might become “restless” goes, I sure hope not. If the natives get restless with Sid this year, then the fanbase is indeed a bunch of “lunatics” and Greg Doyel will be rightfully laughing his ass off somewhere…Seemingly every coach in America turns Lee Fowler down, and a legendary player with at least a little ACC-NCAA Championship and NBA sizzle jumps back into college to get his degree and save the program’s ass, and, after less than a year, the natives want to get restless with the guy?? I have been to every game this year, and there have been thousands and thousands of empty seats from Game 1 on—the natives can go to hell!! This team was picked by the “experts” and hyena laughing opposing fans to finish dead last in the ACC—with Andrew Brackman—and be one of the worst teams in ACC history. Just because we beat Michigan, beat ALL of the no names, and played some BCS conference teams close on the road doesn’t magically change the fact that this team is very limited in personnel and what it can accomplish as a result. Today is EXACTLY what the “experts” and hyena laughing opposing fans expected from us. Well, the great thing is, this is our second game in January, and we can still do a lot of things no one expects. Beating the last undefeated team standing on Tuesday night would be a great way to start…I wonder if all of the “lunatics” will be there?? I know I will be…

  8. xphoenix87 01/06/2007 at 11:34 PM #

    I wasn’t at the game, I had to watch it from home, so I can’t comment too much about trash talking (you don’t see that as well on TV, and I wasn’t particularly watching for it). The game was very poorly officiated, no doubt about that. However, it wasn’t as one-sided as everyone seems to think it was. Allowing contact does play to BC’s strength, but that’s going to happen in basketball, you just have to live with it. There were bad no-calls both ways, but we didn’t get blown out because of officiating. We got blown out because of terrible perimeter defense and because our rebounding sucks. It’s the exact same thing that has killed us all year.

  9. Rochester 01/06/2007 at 11:43 PM #

    I don’t think we match up particularly well with BC, and we’ll probably fare much better against teams that don’t have quite so much size/depth in the paint. McCauley is very skilled, but he’s not a banger and wouldn’t have the fouls to give if he wanted to be. Next year with Hickson and Smith mixed in there, this will be different. In the meantime we’ll face other teams that we match up better against. I’m not going out on a limb and promising a victory, but I’d say we match up better against Duke, for example, than we do against BC.

    Factor in that Atsur didn’t have his shot in his first game back and that adds up to a loss, but it doesn’t spell doom and gloom for every ACC game the rest of the way. Don’t give up.

  10. beowolf 01/06/2007 at 11:46 PM #

    ShootingGuard, that may be the first time I’ve seen a sentence with the words “Greg Doyell” and “ass” in it where the latter wasn’t describing the former.

  11. ShootingGuard 01/07/2007 at 12:14 AM #

    “ShootingGuard, that may be the first time I’ve seen a sentence with the words “Greg Doyell” and “ass” in it where the latter wasn’t describing the former.”

    I know, it hurt me just to type it that way…Hopefully state fans won’t prove the “ass” right this year…

  12. PurplePeopleEaters 01/07/2007 at 1:04 AM #

    What I noticed from watching the game:

    Dudley is a little beeyatch. Always trash talking and complaining to the refs.

    Gavin Grant may have turned it over his fair share of times again, but I was really impressed with him back in a slasher type role. He reminds me so much of Hodge with his inconsistency and his ugly release on his jump shot.. Really kind of creepy how alike they are.

    The refs sucked, enough said. We had a few good opportunities that were killed by the refs late in the game.

    I was impressed that the O’Brien thing wasn’t shown today. Classy move.

  13. dj9686 01/07/2007 at 1:45 AM #

    Not to jump off the bandwagon here, but the last few games we’ve played, even the ones we won, have been so unimpressive that we may have won our last basketball game of this season in OT against UNG-G.

  14. class of 74 01/07/2007 at 6:06 AM #

    We simply were exposed for what we are this year. Sid has very few tools in the tool box and some of those he has are not top quality. Just have to grin and bear it this year and WTNY for any real improvement.

  15. BJD95 01/07/2007 at 7:48 AM #

    Don’t get all loony just yet – Miami and Wake are downright horrible. We aren’t going to go 0-16. We are in a bad lull right now, where we are playing very badly, even taking our limited capabilities into account.

  16. Rochester 01/07/2007 at 8:12 AM #

    Will the 0-16 people please come in off the ledge. The two preseason magazines I have pegged BC for 3rd and 4th in the conference. They may have lost to Duquesne, but they’re a good team. They exposed our weaknesses, sure, but had some of our early shots fallen that might have turned out a little better.

    It was too late to make a difference, but we played even with them in the second half, and they still had their starters out there. This is going to be a season of adjustments. We made some that worked, the hole was just too deep. We’ll learn and move on. I still think there are five wins out there for us somewhere.

  17. wolfonthehill 01/07/2007 at 8:33 AM #

    ^ We didn’t even compete – at home. Look around the league & please find a team against whom we should succeed if we continue giving the same kind of effort we have for the past few weeks. And considering the fact that we’re winless outside the friendly confines of “the arena in Raleigh” right now, where’s the dose of confidence coming from?

    Don’t get me wrong – I’ve been cautioning poeple about having expectations too high – because we should not be very good this year. It just appears that we may fail to meet even the hope that we will give a great effort & have fun every night.

  18. Rochester 01/07/2007 at 9:53 AM #

    Look for example at one of my favorite teams of all-time, the 8-20 UNC squad from 2001-02. They lost to Hampton and Davidson at home, nearly lost to Binghamton at home. They flat out sucked. And they still managed to win four games in conference (4-12).

    We have talent, just not enough of it. Some games we shoot ourselves in the foot. It is distressing to see us come out flat as frequently as we have. I don’t believe we’ll do it every time, though. Maybe I’m naive, but I still think this team is good enough to pick off a handful of wins and possibly reach the NIT.

  19. choppack1 01/07/2007 at 10:03 AM #

    The first half effort was one of the worst I’ve seen from the Pack in a LONG time…We played flat and our defense was AWFUL. It was infuriating not watching our players fight through picks or fight for rebounds. We looked like a soft, lazy team out there in the first. The second was better. However, there’s no excuse whatsoever for coming out so flat for your first home game – UNLESS – you were expecting a nice crowd.

    The crowd was every bit as disappointing as the performance. But I’m not talking about the crowd who showed up…It is disgusting to look and see so many open seats. We need to consider moving back to Reynolds if we can’t do a better job of filling this place. For years, many State folks clamored for a coaching change – now we’ve got one, and the showing for our first ACC game was horrid.

    Maybe it’s a chicken or egg thing though, because I certainly don’t won’t to waste 7 hours to witness what I witnessed yesterday.

    Back to the game, we’ve got to play w/ more intensity or we won’t win more than 4 games. In the beginning of the year, I thought the problem was depth. Of course, I watched BC play yesterday w/ what seemed 7 or 8 players, and they looked great. Maybe our guys just don’t understand the effort that has to be put forth to win in this conference, maybe they are out of shape, maybe their afraid to play hard defensively because they’ll get in foul trouble – but we’ve got to play harder.

    Finally – thanks to Horner – who I think really turned up the intensity on D. I give him most of the credit for increasing our overall intensity.

  20. vtpackfan 01/07/2007 at 10:48 AM #

    Honestly, I was on the floor and it looked like a sell out. 17,400+, or something. Section 323 in the mid court nose bleeds weren’t full and there were a few empty chairs right behind the benchs, so I can’t figure out this thing about the missing crowd. After the Horner “charge’ and subsequent five point swing I noticed that many seats were vacated, but at thatt point I can understand why alot of people had seen enouugh (State squandering, Dudley & Marshall beating themselves in the chest, and the refs).

    Purple People^, I don’t think GG turned it over once (we had only 9 TO’s). He took a few ill advised pull-ups, and put his head down once or twice in the face of double teams. Overall his game was solid.

    I wasn’t making excuses above, just trying to relay what I saw in person. It felt better reading Chip Alexander’s take on it as well this morning. BC is a bully, and if they want to win that way and bring that into the ACC, that’s fine. For many years, sports writers and commentators have thought that the greatest disadvantage to ACC teams come NCAA tournement time was the pushing and shoving allowed in the Big 10, SEC, Big East games would be aloowed in the championship tourney. I guess were are on the way to fixing that, I hope Coach Lowe got the memo before the game.

    Speaking of Sid, he flat out called a couple players (positions, but come on) in post game comments, saying they failed to show up. GG (who by default has turned into our chief player spokesman) also had some harsh words for his teamates. I know that expectations should be temered this season to the extreme, and that it will be a roller coaster ride at best. My thoughts as a fan and spectator are that Costner and Fells, if nothing else, better come ready to play every game. If not, no matter what there single game exploits are, they are going to get some good seats come next year. I don’t think anyone could fault a player for mistakes and rough nights once in awhile. But this was a warning to those two that the casual act they perfomed for most of the game is going to land them in a place they far different to this years set up. Make the most of this opportunity, and GO PACK!

  21. PackGirl 01/07/2007 at 11:07 AM #

    BC is the new Wake Forest – a team of thugs.

  22. NCSUwolfpack4Life 01/07/2007 at 11:15 AM #

    I hope these chicken littles that keep trying to tell us the sky is falling and that we’re going to go 0-16 in league play and how bad we suck come back here and tell us how wrong they were when we start winning a couple games. But they probably won’t because most likely they’re sheep in wolves clothing

  23. redfred2 01/07/2007 at 11:33 AM #


    We have both expressed the same concerns with regards to Atsur’s style of play, also everyone knows he coming in off a long layoff so he was going to be rusty. But, there isn’t a person on the planet who can tell me that walking the ball up the court doesn’t allow a defense to get set, better communicate with one another, or even rest before they are pressured on that end. I just believe that Atsur needs some minor adjustments that would go a long way in making the offense much more effective. There is lack of the speed at the point and a player like Atsur can’t help that, but he can pick up the tempo and go deeper into defense to start the offense. Atsur doesn’t need another gear or to rush down court with his hair on fire, but he needs to change it up over the course of the game with occassional penetration and pressure on the defenses to step out on and come to him. That in itself spreads the defense and allows the others to create passing lanes for themselves. A leisurely walk and a ten second transition period from the defensive end to an offense set is no longer required or necessary. It should flow, and the offense should be starting before the ball the even arrives down court. I will readily admit that Grant tried to penetrate and create opportunities in the earlier games, but everyone else watched and no one moved to the ball when he penetrated down low. Which left Grant alone, in no man’s land, where he was forced to have to take a bad shot himself, and which, he received much criticism for.

    As far as all of the criticism of Grant, I don’t see it. He stepped up and was willing to try to play the point in Atsur’s absence, and the record wasn’t so bad during that time period. He has a flat trajectory on his shots, similar to Hodge, so what? He stays aggressive, always puts pressure on the defenses, and if the others would start moving their feet, block out and go to the ball, he could possibly dish or they could at least be in position to get an offensive board. In the second half against BC, especially late, he was the only one who wasn’t intimidated, and he was also the only one kept up the offensive pressure.

    I do not know what is happening with Fells, if a shot doesn’t fall for him early on, he disappears and seems to be getting more and more tentative to say the least. If he’s not willing to take the shot, make him stay down low and position himself for the board. Either way, he has got to come out of his shell and be more productive on both ends.

    Like I said before, I am not upset with a loss to BC, I just don’t like the many fundamentals that where lacking in it.

  24. StateFans 01/07/2007 at 11:34 AM #


    If you can’t understand the difference between insightful discussion and analysis of actual facts and developments, then SFN is probably not the place for you.

    We aim to have conversations and analysis based in fact and without straw man arguments and mis-interpretations of intent behind perfectly appropriate comments.

    We will NOT have EVERY entry and our reader’s good comments derailed by people who can’t understand the mature nature of the manner in which comments are made here. Discussion of REALITY is NOT necessarily “criticism”. It is simply the discussion of the truth. Get over it.

    We will NOT allow stupid comments intimating or explicitly stating that “natives are restless” / etc about ANY NC State coach in their first three years of coaching.

    ^This is not a problem yet. But, we just want to head it off before it becomes a problem.

  25. 70wolf 01/07/2007 at 11:58 AM #

    sitting down front in section 105 I have the following comments.
    (1) as some one has already said the place was packed, those saying “a lot of seats were empty…” were not at the game
    (2) we seemed in slow motion in the first half. I think this is due to the competition we have been playing – no more UNCG, St MArys or East CArolina – this is now the ACC and some of the young players seemed shocked at the BC talent level. Costner was being rebuffed by a wall of 6’10” forwards and Bens turn around jump hook wich worked so easily on the 6’5″ players from the chumps we have been playing didnt have a chance against the BC front wall. If we dont pick up the level of play the prediction of finishing in the basement might come true. To their credit they picked it up significantly i nthe last 12 minutes of the game – but it was too late.
    (3) Grant is the most frustrating player we have – his 22 points are completely miss leading. In the first half he was non existent scoring no more than 2-4 points ( can’t recall exactly). After we fall behind by 23 in the second half, a switch turns on in him and he starts to literally “score at will” On 9 plays during the comeback he drove about 7 times and scored or was fouled on 5 of them. BC could not stop him. Whats with this switch that turns him on and off. Where the hell was he in the first half ??
    (4) As has been mentioned we seem to have no defense for the opponents 3 point shooting. This hurt us against all the “chumps” but against the ACC opponents this will be insurmontable. We either fix this or it will be a long, long season.

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