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. Glen Sudhop54 01/07/2007 at 12:33 PM #


    You are right about the LTR seatholders.
    I have LTR seats on the lower corner. The four seats beside of me are rarely filled, and when they are, they’re filled with fans of the opposing schools! When we play Duke-there’s 4 Duke fans, UNC-4 UNC fans. Same goes for Maryland , Clemson and Wake. Once in a blue moon there may be 4 State fans if we play TEch or FSU or Miami. But usually if there is anybody they’re rooting for the opposition.

    Yes, it’s a free country and you can root for who you want, but it gets tiresome. They are great seats, seats that should be filled with Wolfpackers.

    The advantage is except for a few select games—I have plenty of legroom.

    (Oh, I found out a few years ago that the seats are corporately owned by BayerCrop Science)

  2. legacyman 01/07/2007 at 12:38 PM #

    I want to clear up Lee Fowler’s badly mistaken idea regarding the seat distribution in the RBC lower level. He/she is totally wrong and needs to pay close attention…5% of the lower level seats are owned by large corporations. Get that…5%. The other 95% of the lower level seats are owned by small local business owners and private citizens. Once and for all, stop the crap with blaming large corporations…you are just so absolutely misinformed.

  3. choppack1 01/07/2007 at 1:35 PM #

    1) as some one has already said the place was packed, those saying “a lot of seats were empty…” were not at the game

    I was at the game in section 320….Maybe you were on the side that was empty – but directly across from me, (across the court from the player/coaches benches) was way too empty for my liking. The end zones were empty too. It did look like the seats below us were filled, but certainly not the ones across from us even on the lower level. The end zones were relatively empty as well.

  4. redfred2 01/07/2007 at 1:55 PM #

    70wolf: And any anyone else calling Grant frustrating for a playing a good second half. What about every one of the other players, the ones who weren’t really a factor in the first, or second half either?

    BC got comfortable and allowed some turnovers late in the second half, the court opened up with options that are not available when the offense is run so deliberately, and that’s when Grant is most productive. Grant is only frustrating in a deliberate, slow paced game, and if that’s what it’s going to be from here on out, you can continue to count on him to force the issue when maybe he shouldn’t. I call it playing at a pace that’s too slow to suit the most aggressive and possibly the most physically talented player on the team. I also believe that quicker pace may bring Fells back to life again.

    It is apparent that McCauley and Costner will not be able to set up, and post up, with the ball staying out at the top of the key, like they have against the teams leading into conference play. As was well in evidence against a talented and larger BC team. Someone has to force the ball inside to get the defense moving out of position and allow those guys some spacing. We will not be able to go straight up or over power most of the ACC front lines, so we have to penetrate and draw the defenses out of position in order to some space for our inside guys to get their shots off.

    If there was one impressive instance that did come out of the BC game though, and it doesn’t seem to be just a one game fluke, but Brandon Costner does appear to have some incredible!!! range on that jumper of his.

  5. vtpackfan 01/07/2007 at 2:44 PM #

    It is revealing that some may have noticed that McCauley and Costner will have games which they don’t match up well with other teams. No quarter will be made for GG. It is never been that he doesn’t match up right(or is having to play completely out of position), or is just having a bad night. I am more aware of this after attending games then just following along at home and reading post here. He is genuinely disliked by many Wolfpack fans, who groan whenever he makes any mistake and ho-hum if he does something amazing.

    It is pretty obvious that he will be the scape goat for many in a season that frankly needs to be absolved completely expectations and criticism. What is frustasting is that we don’t have the depth on this team to sit someone down who obviously isn’t mentally or physically prepared to play a competitive basketball game. From reading post game comments by coach and others on the team, yesterday’s effort by a few players was sickening. These are some of the same players that when things go right people act like they want to name their children after them, but when they look like they stayed out all night before the game then it’s just ok. No such luck for GG. Oh well, he’s probably lucky to be getting out of here in a year and a half.

  6. KChill 01/07/2007 at 3:02 PM #

    Atsur did try to push the ball forward to quite a few times, and was successful in some hit-aheads to GG in the second half. He did not leisurely “walk the ball up the court” very often. When he did take a while it was because he was being pressured. EA is just not quick enough to handle the ball against heavy pressure without expending a lot of energy. This is why we need to get rebounds and steals, because when the other team scores this year we are just not gonna be able to push the ball up the court.

    Saying this, I wouldn’t trade EA for any other player on the team. At some point in the second half, he and GG decided enough was enough and started taking the fight to BC, Grant with his relentless drives, and Engin with his will to rip the ball away from the opponent and dive on the floor – basically anything to disrupt their PG’s when playing defense. This SHOULD have gotten all of our players fired up, but other than GG and maybe Horner, no one else picked up the flag.

  7. vtpackfan 01/07/2007 at 3:03 PM #

    Red^ I think that BC outrebounded us so badly, especially on the offense boards, is the main reason that pace seemed slowed down. Atsur had 10 assists and one TO. Many times after an Eagle basket he did walk it up but Bc also did mix in 3/4 court pressure well through the game, so in many cases we were trying to ensure we got the ball in the half court set. Twice BC got FIVE possesions out of one because of their rebounding, physical dominating edge. We were so jumbled and mixed up that in many ways Atsur had to slow it up so some of the guys could figure out what direstion their goal was (exaggeration, but really the game was an exaggeration of futilty in certain areas).

    Anyways, here’s to Atsur be back and hopefully still healthy today. I keep failing to bring up the roar of applause he got when he was announced (the last roar heard until mid second half!). I agree that Atsur’s pace may not suit certain players, but I think that Atsur’s effort and concertation he brings to the table far trump any consequences. I think Fells and Costner are close to getting into Coach’s dog house (which is still being built and won’t be ready until this time next year, presumably made out of red brick), and not alot of adjustments to this pffense are going to made on their behalf until they show that they can be counted on. With Atsur, Grant, Horner and McCauley State atleast has a core amount of guys who will be prepared to give maximum effort and concentration.

  8. redfred2 01/07/2007 at 3:54 PM #

    I know I sound like it, but I am not down on Atsur. He is one, if not the single major key, in our ability to improve substantially this season. He is the leader on the court and I’m glad there is a determined senior like Atsur around to do it. He is not playing at full strength but his scrapping defense set a different tone for everyone on the team and made a huge difference late against BC. All I’m saying is that there are just some very slight vestiges left over from the years leading up until now, habits that were taught and expected, and some nuances that may be counter productive right now.

    I’m not talking about a huge change or anything that is unreasonable. I’m talking about a head up, pushing and looking from the second he gets the ball in his hands. Not every time, but instead of stopping and dribbling in the opposing guards face way out front, while everyone else stands around waiting to see when the offense will start, I’d like to see the transition to offense not include a total stop in the action. I’d like to Atsur move the ball further in and start pressuring without that STOP, and the hesitation that seemed to be the trademark of the offense of days gone by. I see it as small adjustment, one that would allow the offense to flow more easily, nothing more.

  9. Lee Fowler 01/07/2007 at 6:05 PM #

    Fair enough Legacyman. But whether its GlaxoSmithKline or some mom and pop business outfit, the bottom line is that too many of those seats go empty the majority of the season. As a 4th year LTR myself, I see this firsthand.

    If the seats were yellow, or some other color that contrasts to red, it would look a hell of a lot worse. Thank goodness for the burgandy, which at least tones down the emptiness somewhat.

    And someone on PP pointed this out: the ghetto temporary white “NC State University” signage along the wall behind the students has got to go. It looks cheap and is not befitting an otherwise first class arena.

    At least get some permanent panel signage that could be flipped over b/w NC State and the Hurricanes.

  10. Lee Fowler 01/07/2007 at 6:13 PM #

    To add to the above, is it too much to expect the lower portion of our arena to be rimmed with rowdy students like that which is done at Michigan State, an arena very similar to our own? Anybody seen one of their home games recently?

    Hell, even UNC was able to fix their sterile environment be prioritizing student seating along the court and behind the baskets.

    It can be done, but the longneck, sweater vest wearing, status quo, golf loving, steak eating, do nothing administrators of our athletics department are going to have to make some tough decisions and go against the grain of eternally appeasing these phantom LTR holders.

  11. jamieinkorea 01/07/2007 at 6:46 PM #

    Please read the “NOTE TO ALL READERS” above. It was meant for you. — SFN

  12. wolfonthehill 01/07/2007 at 7:40 PM #

    Apologies for anyone who saw my comments well above as Chicken Little-ish. Until the past couple weeks, I’ve been one of the group cautioning others against having expectations too high… and that a 6-win season would be a nice place to land.

    But after watching the game yesterday, THAT team would struggle to win an ACC game this season. Maybe they’ll snap out of it… maybe they’ll start playing loose and having fun again… maybe Engin needs a game or two to get his shot back… there are a lot of maybe’s, and I’m not PREDICTING 0-16 by any means. I think we’ll win 4-6 games, and that would be an OK start to the Lowe era. But the team that took the court yesterday will be lucky to win two games in the league… I’m not sure how that can be debated too hard… we were simply bad until it was too late to matter.

  13. Lee Fowler 01/07/2007 at 8:05 PM #

    Do not mistake critical for negative. There is a stark difference.

  14. vtpackfan 01/07/2007 at 8:49 PM #

    Pretty good info that combo guard Marques Johnson, the transfer from UT was courtside for yesterday’s game. Also found in a Ft. Wayne Indiana paper (his hometown), that it should be decided upon by the end of this week, at it strongly appears to be NC State as the favorite. Bio includes:

    Marques Johnson. Guard, 6-5, 200, Fort Wayne, Ind. (Snider HS)
    RANKINGS: Ranked No. 41 player overall by HoopMasters.com …HoopScoopOnline.com’s 42nd-best prospect in the country … Ranked No. 54 player in the nation by PrepStars.com … Rivals.com three-star prospect, No. 23 point guard in this class and No. 114 overall player in the nation … Rated No. 12 shooting guard by ScoutHoops.com … Rated as the 42nd-best prospect in the Class of 2006 by Scout.com … Rated the 20th best player at the NBA Camp in Virginia.

    STATS: Averaged 21 points, 6.2 rebounds and four assists as a junior at Snider High School … Two-time all-conference selection … AAU squad Blessed IJN was ranked among the Top 25 in the nation … A starter since his freshman year … Led the Panthers to a 50-15 record in his three seasons … Led Snider to a 2004 SAC regular-season championship and to the 2005 sectional finals … Coached by Ray Sims at Snider HS.

  15. vtpackfan 01/07/2007 at 8:58 PM #

    Also of interest is that according to scout Dave Telup, we haven’t got a realistic shot at Jai Lucas. If he goes anywhere in ACC it will probably be for Daddy’s alma mater, the Twerps.

    He also added on 850 am with Adam Gold that ’08 is the thinnest class of pg’s that he can remember for quite awhile. After Drew Jr., the recruits at pg start to drop off quickly. Remember this all of you who may throw the book at Lowe if and when Johnson accepts a scholly from State (not implying that it is definite at all). The old days of hoarding schollies because the right pg didn’t pan out are over.

    The fact is we have great athletes and potential recruits coming in at other positions over the next two years, and a solid foundation in place. It would be unfair to those players if Lowe and his staff didn’t do whatever they could to fill the huge void at this one position. I hope Johnson accepts and will be set in his paperwork come this time next year to suit up along with Degand. Mays will give them another combo guard the following year, and by then maybe something with Fells of Fergueson could materialize. Waiting for a diamond in the rough in the class of ’08, or just plain waiting till ’09 is just not an option, IMO.

  16. Woof Wolf 01/07/2007 at 10:58 PM #

    I also believe that Johnson would be a good get. Our old point guards would have a year to develope him. Also after yesterdays performance I’m not sure we have the right guy at the 2.

    RF2: I watched the 2nd half again this evening looking for what you were talking about with Atsur. I didn’t see it. I thought we pushed the ball at every opportunity. Even after made shots, timeouts, etc I thought we moved the ball up the court fairly well. I only saw Engin hesitate twice after
    he got in the front court and that was to take a look at Sidney because he was screaming instructions.

    I hope Engin feels good tonight and gets his shot back by Tuesday. Somebody has got to start hitting from outside or…

  17. BoKnowsNCS71 01/08/2007 at 8:30 AM #


    Maybe I’m woring but I thought the LTRs were separate. You can have LTR seats to hockey but those LTrs do not apply to WP BB. Aren’t WP LTRs sold separately to NCSU alumni?

    If some well to do alumni have tickets and don’t attend often then maybe the WPC needs to step in and help get those tickets to fans who will attend in their absence. They have (had) the same problem at EweNC with the wine and cheese crowd and big donors not attending all the time.

    IMHO sharing the RBC with a professional hockey team has brought lots of additional revenue to the RBC that would have come from NCSU pockets. So we have a place that impresses recruits and can even compete with G’boro and Charlotte for the NCAA BB Regionals. That isn’t going to happen at the Dean dome or at Duke.

  18. Rick 01/08/2007 at 8:46 AM #

    I am adding this late but there was not much good in this game.
    It shows that we are just not that good a team. We have some good players but they are not designed to mesh into a typical team framework.

  19. Dan 01/08/2007 at 8:55 AM #

    “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”

    Funny, when “you people” try to be jerks to the people that read this site, and then act suprised when people respond in kind…..”You people”… You crack me up.

    “takes two bad shots for every one good shot”…and shoots 10 of 15 while committing zero turnovers and playing 40 minutes. Kudos to Grant for being conscience of fouls as well. Two in forty minutes. Yeah, he can play better. Much better. But your analysis is devoid of logic. I suggest you rewatch.

    “All of this means that, ‘as Gavin Grant goes, so goes the Wolfpack’” (man, did that kid steal your lollipop?)

    This is a thin team. It’s on everyone. The key is Fells getting his offense going. We cant afford to have three people doing all the scoring. And the people above railing Atsur need to understand that he made plays in this game. Anyone who expected him to be at top form in his first game back is just asking too much. We wont see the best he has until midway through the ACC season.

    Comment on your note: (And this is sincere) If you want a certain a tone on this site. You need to set it. Be a leader. Insulting readers will result in being insulted. YOU as the contributors set the tone here, and repeatedly you choose (especially VaWolf82) to be beligerant and insulting. Now must of us take that as a sign that you like a good ribbing and that you can take a good ribbing as well. A MAN who enjoys dishing is out usually is man enough to take it. If that’s not true than I just feel sorry for you.

  20. zahadum 01/08/2007 at 8:59 AM #

    My take on the game was slightly different than most. Yes, our defense and rebounding were both quite poor. But what dug the hole was our early lack of offense. You’re not going to win many games scoring 6 points in the first 10 minutes, no matter who the opponent.

  21. BoKnowsNCS71 01/08/2007 at 9:30 AM #

    My mom’s favorite saying is “This too shall pass”

    It’s not going to be a fun year for WP BB or its fans. Slicing and dicing a team’s stats when it is playing against deeper, more experienced, teams is going to show the same thing after each loss.

    Find the good and look to the future. It’s a learning process and while mistakes can teach — they won’t make up for our shortcomings this year.

  22. Mr O 01/08/2007 at 10:31 AM #

    I was out of town, but I did make it to a sports bar to watch this game.

    The only comments I will make is that we played very poorly and it was very disappointing to me because there wasn’t any reason for us not to play at least decent. Our guys really showed their inexperience against BC. Mentally we just weren’t ready to play a team like BC.

  23. Cardiff Giant 01/08/2007 at 12:07 PM #

    ^ Well said and I agree.

    “But they probably won’t because most likely they’re sheep in wolves clothing.”

    I think anyone who makes this comment, from this point forward, should be banned from the site. It’s that simple.

  24. redfred2 01/08/2007 at 1:18 PM #

    Not that we should have won the BC game, but somewhere around the three minute mark(?), after cutting into BC the lead, the ball was walked up, and several seconds were then wasted in the back court without staying aggressive in the all out attack mode that got us there. The momentum was quelled, and everything suddenly settled back down, and slowed way back down once again. So did BC, and that is the last thing that you should want to happen when you’re down, the clock is the enemy, and you finally have the opposition rocked back on it’s heels a little bit. Instead of continuing to push and creating confusion on both ends of the court, we stopped and paused, and accomplished for them, exactly what BC needed to do at the time.

    I have no way to look back at it, just a feeling I had, so I can’t really say for sure so I could be very wrong about all of that. I will stress once again, what I’m talking about may be very subtle, but it only takes ONE time, at the wrong time. But in stopping your own momentum and slowing the pace just out of habit, you’re allowing the defense get back on it’s toes, gather itself, and surrenduring any momentum that has been built, back over to the opposing team.

  25. tcthdi-tgsf-twhwtnc 01/08/2007 at 1:34 PM #

    State played poorly on offense and defense.
    The refs didn’t have a very good game or at least didn’t call a fair game.

    The charge with about 8 minutes to play when state was on a run took all the air out of the arena. State was on a hell of a charge. A great one man effort and steal by Horner (I think) and he completes it with the basket only to be called for a charge. A call that 90% of the time goes on the defense and in this case should of been a no call. BC goes down and hits a 3 creating a 5 point swing. State could of had the lead down to 9 (or 11) if the basket had counted the call and 3 point BC shot created a 14 (or 16 point) lead and the run was over.

    Not that you can say we would of won the game without the charge call butt it sure as hell didn’t help the run.

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