Important Affair with Hurricanes Today

Just because State lost on Tuesday night does not mean that you can underestimate the importance to today’s game. I look at the rest of the season as follows:

State needs two wins to feel good about securing an NIT berth (especially in light of the amount of tickets that we will no doubt sell to NIT games). We have to project that those two wins need to come against our two weakest remaining opponents – Miami and Wake Forest.

That would get the Wolfpack to 5 ACC and 15 overall wins.

As improbably as it sounds, every win after 5/15 is a step towards a potential NCAA bid that would only come if State was able to reach .500 in the ACC (with two remaining games vs Maryland as well as hosting VPI and traveling to UNC-CH and FSU.)

SO, today’s game against a similarly thin Miami Hurricane team is very important to Sidney Lowe and NC State. Coach Lowe addressed the depth issue this week and plans to use more players in Coral Gables today. The N&O says:

For the Pack, that probably will mean minutes for freshman guard Trevor Ferguson, who has not played the last two games, and possibly senor Braxton Albritton. It may mean more minutes for freshman forward Dennis Horner and senior Bryan Nieman.

I respectfully submit that the N&O missed the name of Darrell Davis in their projection. I wouldn’t be surprised to see more of Davis as opposed to Ferguson and Albritton. Additionally, I expect the Wolfpack to exploit the strong post play that goes with our height advantage in both Brandon Costner and Ben McCauley.

As usual, we will turn to Section Six for a great preview of today’s game.

The Hurricanes continue to maintain a guard-oriented attack, with Jack McClinton playing the (very) poor man’s Guillermo Diaz. They don’t shoot well, but they protect the basketball and they’re pretty good on the offensive glass even with a bunch of forwards missing in action. They’ve struggled to score on the road in conference play, but they’ve more than held their own at home–they have the fourth-best home offense in the ACC (112.9 pts/100 poss).

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06-07 Basketball General

37 Responses to Important Affair with Hurricanes Today

  1. REDforman 02/10/2007 at 11:53 AM #

    That Ga Tech game is still hurtin me. If we had that one a win today would have us tied for 5th

  2. PapaJohn 02/10/2007 at 12:12 PM #

    red … agreed
    If we’d won that, we’re the most dangerous team in the league.
    Oh well, fun to dream.
    Come on guys, let’s take care of business in Miami!

  3. choppack1 02/10/2007 at 12:33 PM #

    Time to get over that one and focus on this one. We win here, and we’ve still got a snowball’s chance at an NCAA bid. I’ve got our magic # at 6 wins right now for an NCAA bid.

    Hopefully, we’ll see that the team that played so well 5 out of the last 6 halves.

  4. BJD95 02/10/2007 at 12:58 PM #

    We can’t afford to have a GT hangover. With a loss today, we would be in contention for last place again, and would be in very real danger of missing the NIT.

    Making the NIT would be fantastic for this team. Ensuring that would take the pressure off, and if a MIRACLE happens and we get an NCAA bid, then so be it. But make no mistake about it – a loss to Miami today could send us down a very bad spiral, and we could be looking at a losing season.

    It would be nice to keep a losing season off Sidney Lowe’s NC State resume.

  5. tvp 02/10/2007 at 1:02 PM #

    Miami, and the two games after it (Maryland and VT at home) look to be 3 of the 4 most winnable games on the remaining schedule. Hope we can get on another run…

  6. wolfonthehill 02/10/2007 at 1:32 PM #

    Come on – a reference to the Section Six analysis, and you didn’t include this quote:

    Copeland’s conference-only stats suggest he’s in way over his head, but he might just be distracted. Will he be the next forward to go down? He could be attacked by a shark. He could slip in the shower. He could draw the ire of the 7th Floor Crew. Or get trapped under a gas truck–that’s the worst.

  7. bTHEredterror 02/10/2007 at 1:59 PM #

    GT was the hangover. 1 field goal the last 14 minutes! I felt our guys finally hit the fatigue wall, and will be interested to see if the 4 day rest bolsters their legs. I think Ferguson could definitely spell Atsur today, and with Miami being a poor perimeter defensive team, I expect he’ll be able to find his shot and some confidence. McCauley should dominate this game.

  8. Charles Kuralt 02/10/2007 at 2:15 PM #

    This season reminds me of Sendek’s first. Short on depth, winless through the first rotation of the conference schedule (although we managed to go 2-6 this year), then we kicked off the second half of the ACC slate with a huge home win over #3 ranked Clemson (akin to this year’s UNC win). That season, we had good road win at Wake and home win against Ga Tech to finish 4-4 in the second half. Everyone knows what happened in the ACCT and subsequent NIT run. If we can have that type of a season end, I will be very happy.

  9. wolfonthehill 02/10/2007 at 2:34 PM #

    ^ We were 3-5 in the first half this year. Hate to nitpick…

  10. TNCSU 02/10/2007 at 3:34 PM #

    SFN: Are you guys going to be doing a game thread during the Miami game? Still interested to see how we play in a game that we are actually favored to win. I do think the GT was a matter of us running out of gas. Up to the ~10minute point, we were playing both good D and running the offense effectively.

  11. branjawn 02/10/2007 at 3:49 PM #

    Rant: Anyone watch the WV – UCLA game? Who was commentating? He said that the Pac-10’s only bad loss this year was Arizona to UNC.

    Didn’t Arizone lose to UVa? Yes they did. So losing to UVa isn’t a bad loss, but losing to UNC is? Basically, that commentator didn’t do any research (obviously he has no idea that Zona lost to the ‘Hoos) and needs to shut his pie hole.

  12. wufpack 02/10/2007 at 3:57 PM #

    I assume it was a bad loss because of how they lost (worst home loss EVER for Arizona), and not to whom they lost. Why would a loss to a top-5 team ever be a bad loss, unless it was in spectacular fashion?

  13. TNCSU 02/10/2007 at 4:15 PM #

    Anyone know the totals for PAC-10 vs. ACC this year?? Any chance of Arizona State vs. Duke matchup? I’m sure Coach K wouldn’t mind…

  14. DaPackster 02/10/2007 at 4:19 PM #

    Hopefully during the timeout our players will get some advice on blocking out and taking charges.

  15. branjawn 02/10/2007 at 4:25 PM #

    I have ACC pride, being born in Raleigh and a lifelong State fan. So it annoyed me that this announcer (one of the regulars, his voice was familiar, I’m just not a names guy) sings the praises of the PAC-10 as the “best conference in America” with nothing to back it up, and only partial information.

  16. TNCSU 02/10/2007 at 4:29 PM #

    Best conference, my %^&! We’ll see tournament time, but I don’t buy it right now — and neither does the RPI. Any score on the game?? updates??

  17. branjawn 02/10/2007 at 4:29 PM #

    Ok, as of Feb 1, here are conference OOC wins over top 30 teams (when the game was played I assume), minus UCLA and UNC (3 each). Pac-10: Oregon over Georgetown (A), Arizona over Memphis (H). ACC: BC over Michigan State (H), Duke over Air Force (N), Duke over Indiana (H), Duke over Georgetown (H), Virginia over Arizona (H), Clemson over Georgia (H),
    Florida State over Florida (H), Maryland over Michigan State (N), Georgia Tech over Memphis (N), Georgia Tech over Georgia (H).

  18. wolfonthehill 02/10/2007 at 4:46 PM #

    ^ You see? The PAC-10 is clearly better. 😉

  19. branjawn 02/10/2007 at 4:50 PM #

    How about this, the #1 team in the Big Least is 0-3 vs Top 25 this year. How are they #7 in the country?

  20. BJD95 02/10/2007 at 4:57 PM #

    Wow, did we ever eat shit in that first half. These miracle shots before the halftime buzzer have got to stop. Part of this one was our own fault – Costner shot WAY too early.

    Still, we are lucky to be down only 3, and if we just pull our collective head out of our collective ass, we can get out with the win we need.

    But there is DEFINITELY a post-GT hangover. Our effort and execution suck. I was afraid this might happen.

  21. branjawn 02/10/2007 at 5:06 PM #

    Why is Atsur sucking at shooting the basketball? 2-13 in the last 3 halves (GT game, and today) Whereas Costner is 4-9 from 3pt in that same span. Why has McCauley only taken one FG attempt? I can’t watch the game, in NY, so just going by the box score. Someone please fill me in.

  22. wolfonthehill 02/10/2007 at 5:07 PM #

    ^ Agreed, BJD… we look totally flat. Fortunately, we’re still in the game, and we can pull it out if we just start to execute. So far, we’re slow… we’re not blocking out… we’re letting them get to loose balls first… we just don’t look like we care.

    Step 1 – Remove heads from asses.
    Step 2 – Try. Just try.
    Step 3 – See if the refs can call offensive interference (there were 2 in the first half).

  23. BJD95 02/10/2007 at 5:18 PM #

    The sucking continues unabated. We just can’t afford to play half-assed like this. This game is ours for the taking, and we just won’t freaking take it. Very, very frustrating.

  24. DaPackster 02/10/2007 at 5:28 PM #

    We are playing with no passion, heart, or desire. We are going through the motions. We look like 5 old slow fat white guys at the church gym. We look like we are playing ECU or Greensboro and we know we are going to still win. I’m embarrassed to be a State fan looking at this lack of effort. Anybody really think we are still an NCAA team? What a joke. Take the NIT and be happy.

  25. Par Shooter 02/10/2007 at 5:31 PM #

    This is absolutely putrid. No O, no D, absolute refusal to give even a tiny bit of effort on the glass. You get the distinct impression that the team has adopted the mantra of too many fans – we beat unc-ch so the season is a success. I really hoped that Sid would at least get the guys to play hard in all of our acc games, win or lose. But this total lack of effort is embarrassing.

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