State vs Duke (Updated 3/8)


NOTE: There is A LOT of activity going on at SFN today (recently). So, please don’t do yourself a disservice by not scrolling down our entire front page for different entries that may be of interest to you.

Although the 54th Annual Atlantic Coast Conference Tournament will take place in a “new school” city, the opening round will have a distinctive “old school” feel to it for Wolfpackers as NC State will play Big Four rival and the #7 seeded Duke Blue Devils on Thursday at 7 pm. The winner of the game will advance to play the #2 seeded, Virginia Cavaliers on Friday at 7 pm. All seeds are set and BJD has a great look at what each team needs to do this weekend in this parity-laden event that anyone can win.

Wolfpack fans will be happy to know that Sidney Lowe is breaking out the red jacket tonight, and we have a super blog entry on the topic.

Regardless of the Gerald Henderson’s presence, SFN – and others – believe the Pack matches-up better against Duke than with some of the other potential alternative opponents that existed before last weekend’s games were played. This is because:

(1) State laid a miserable egg vs Duke earlier in the season and would like a shot at redemption.

(2) We physically match-up better with Duke than some of the other opponents.

(3) We have defeated both North Carolina and Wake Forest this year. It would quite a nice feather in the cap for Coach Sidney Lowe to win at least one game against each Big Four rival in his very first season!

This N&O preview says NC State wins if State:

(1) Remembers Jan. 20
State played its worst game of the season, including the Cincinnati disaster, against Duke. There was never an offensive flow because Duke forced 20 turnovers. As Sidney Lowe said, Wednesday, it’s going to come down to that again

(2) Slacks off Duke’s guards
Maryland provided the template to beat Duke — make them beat you from the outside. Even at Cameron, Duke didn’t have enough shooters to make Maryland pay for backing off the perimeter and protecting the basket. State didn’t play any interior defense in the first game, so that’s going to have to change too.

A major key to the game – and something that you won’t see mentioned in the polite media – is best explained by TexPack in a previous entry:

The hand checking and clutching and grabbing really neutralizes our athletic advantage. That is why I don’t like the match-up. IF, by some miracle, the assaults by the Dookies were to be called and they were forced to play legitimate defense it might be a different story. I’m just happy to see “Tournamenttime.”

Additionally, if you REALLY want some detailed statistical analysis of keys to tonight’s game, then all you have to do is visit Section Six and take a look at some of the recent analyses that have been done. (If anyone has a personal relationship with Section Six and can convince him to merge into our platform here then please don’t hesitate. We think that we do a super job of covering a lot of angles of what is going on in Wolfpack world; but, our current team of authors just don’t have the time/resources to dig as deeply into numbers analysis that we would like. Adding S6’s wonderful insight from that side would build a POWERHOUSE of a blog!!!)

It isn’t ‘ACC Tournament Eve’ anymore, but you have some relevant links to review in this entry from 850TheBuzz. Anyone who wants generally great ACC Tournament information then you should just click here and surf around.

If you are interested in a little more due diligence on tonight’s game, has a notebook up for Duke, and one for State.

From the historical irony category comes the following:

* Ten years ago NC State had first year coach leading the Wolfpack into the ACC Tournament as a very low seed. You probably remember what happened!

* 20 years ago a low-seeded NC State team entered an ACC Tournament that was being played in the unconventional host city of Landover, Maryland. That NC State squad miraculously swept the Big Four on consecutive days to win Jim Valavano’s second ACC Championship. The Wolfpack’s win in the first round of the 1987 tournament came against Duke.

* 20 years later, a low-seeded NC State team enters an ACC Tournament being played in the unconventional host city of Tampa, FL. The Wolfpack will match up with…Duke…in the first round.

* Duke’s Gerald Henderson will be suspended for the first round game against an NC State who may need another win (or two) to make ourselves more attractive (to the NIT committee) for a potential post season berth. Sound familiar? Just two years ago NC State entered the ACC Tournament needing a couple of wins to impress (the NCAA Tournament) for a post-season bid. Because of Chris Paul’s suspension, the Wolfpack got a much needed win over #3 ranked Wake Forest in Friday’s session (after defeating Florida State on Thursday). You can remember it all by clicking here.

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06-07 Basketball General

28 Responses to State vs Duke (Updated 3/8)

  1. #44 17 24 03/04/2007 at 11:21 PM #

    Well regardless if it was intentional or not, Gerold Henderson is my new favorite player…he helps us out by not playing in our tourney game, and he wacked hansbrough a good one….everyone in the league is jelous of him now.

  2. kool k 03/05/2007 at 8:15 AM #

    I am glad we get another shot at Duke, this time with Atsur. Without Hendu, Grant and Fells should be able to eat them up….of course the key word is should, doesn’t mean it will happen

  3. vtpackfan 03/05/2007 at 9:01 AM #

    What still troubles me about playing DOOK is their man to man defense. Athletic or not, the players for K play great in your face basketball. We’ve got to take care of the basketball in a way that allows us to run our sets. Playing keep away outside the arc and running down the shot clock just inspires the Duke defense.

    I like the high post pick and roll against them. It forces MC Bob away from the basket and can open the lane up for GG and Costner.

    It is critical that Courtney fight through screens (single, double, whatever) and prevent Scheyer too many open shots. I expect to see Nieman come in to keep up this effort. For all of the up side Fells has displayed at times (dunks, 3 pointers) nothing could aid more in our efforts then Fells disrupting Dukes best three point shooter.

  4. Rick 03/05/2007 at 9:04 AM #

    I like this matchup.
    Duke is about the only team less atheletic than us.

  5. Mr O 03/05/2007 at 10:14 AM #

    After Duke’s domination of the ACC tournament for the last decade, I can’t tell you how satisfying it would be to us and every ACC fan to have Duke lose on Thursday of this tournament. Literally, the whole arena will go nuts if we actually win this game. There is absolutely nothing worse than going to the ACC tournament and having your team lose its first game especially on Thursday.

  6. BJD95 03/05/2007 at 10:25 AM #

    Good point, O. We will have lots of temporary Pack fans in the arena Thursday night!

    Without Henderson, I really like how our rosters match up. Their only area of real advantage is Scheyer/Fells (and if Fells is on, he’s probably better – he’s just not on with any regularity). Both benches are now 2-3 guys that each coach CAN play, but doesn’t really want to.

  7. Mr O 03/05/2007 at 11:14 AM #

    Agree on the matchups.

    Fells could have had a great game the first time against Duke if not for his two bonehead missed dunks. Even though we got killed, we played one of our worst games of the year and really should have been in the game if not for missed “chippies”.

    And that was without Atsur and Duke had Henderson.

    Anyone remember the last time we played Duke in the first round?

    Year 5 of the Sendek era IIRC. We got blasted by Duke in the Georgia Dome. There was so much heat on Sendek at the time than it is still hard to believe he returned for year six.

  8. kool k 03/05/2007 at 11:36 AM #

    That logo is indeed hideous…it looks like they made that with some default template from Windows 95…or they were going for a bootleg t shirt kind of look

  9. Rick 03/05/2007 at 11:56 AM #

    “Their only area of real advantage is Scheyer/Fells (and if Fells is on, he’s probably better – he’s just not on with any regularity). ”

    Fells has not played well since the UCN game. We do not play well without him. IMO we win this game if he plays well and lose it if he does not.

  10. PittsburghPackFan 03/05/2007 at 12:43 PM #

    I bet if State can play an effective Zone defense, they’ll win. Duke is BEGGING to get beat.

  11. RickJ 03/05/2007 at 12:55 PM #

    Agree on the Fells issue. McCauley is another key. He was on quite a roll going into the Duke game. Duke let McRoberts guard Ben without any help thus closing down his passing lanes. Ben tried to score early but McRoberts length really bothered him causing him to miss several close in shots. McRoberts could have been called for some early fouls but was not. This could be critical again if Duke uses the same tactic of letting McRoberts guard McCauley without help.

    In almost every game that we play well, McCauley scores early and/or makes passes off the double team that lead to wide open looks for others.

  12. DIXIE Wolf 03/05/2007 at 1:12 PM #

    We’ve had some big wins this year …. I’ll think this team will add DUKE to the list …. with the help of Jimmy V pulling some strings upstairs, we just might make this weekend tourney “one for the ages”….

  13. Gene 03/05/2007 at 3:26 PM #

    Both benches are now 2-3 guys that each coach CAN play, but doesn’t really want to.

    Considering some of the guys, K isn’t playing like Johnson and Zoubek are Burger Boys or Top 30 players coming out of high school, Duke is still in better shape, depth wise, than we are.

    Also, Mikie K, has played short benches for several years and has had a lot of success, so I don’t think extended minutes for his starters would “cramp” his coaching style.

    I hope this team is looking to redeem itself from its poor outings in Florida, so far, and plays with a vengence.

    I’m just keeping my fingers crossed and hope for the best, during this game, because I think this game could be a real heartbreaker for us.

  14. highstick 03/05/2007 at 6:38 PM #

    For what it’s worth, I don’t think the “nose shot” was intentional either. Hard foul, yes! Hate to see it happen because it was a stupid move on Henderson and as it might “ignite” Hansborough even more. However, hope this puts State at an advantage and we beat Duke, then whoever’s next, then Psycho T in the finals!

    I do get a little miffed with how Hansborough can foul, travel so much, and the Tarhole brethren can’t see it!

    If you’ve played basketball(or football) and have never had a broken nose, then “you ain’t been playing very hard”! I’ve had 2 or 3 and can’t say that any of them were intentional though. S-H-I-x Happens!

  15. Dr. Seuss 03/07/2007 at 12:52 PM #

    Whether or not the Henderson foul was intentional is to a large degree irrelevant. If you have too much to drink and kill someone on the drive home, it really makes not difference what your intentions were. Same goes here. The problem lies in the result of Henderson’s actions, and not the action in and of itself. You have to be held accountable for the consequences of your actions, hence a justified one game suspension.

    Unless I skipped too many posts, at least most of you guys aren’t blaming the victim by buying in to Hypocrit K’s comments about Hansbrough being in the game. Consider the following:

    Duke’s late game lineup:

    Gerald Henderson (with a game high 16 pts.)
    Demarcus Nelson (a starter)
    Jon Scheyer (a starter, who once scored 21pts in 75 seconds)
    Greg Paulus (fouled out with 19 seconds to go)
    Josh McBob (foulded out with 18 seconds to go)

    UNC’s late game lineup:

    Tyler Hansbrough (with Copeland, not Thomposn or Stepheson, waiting to check in)
    Bobby Frasor (a non starter)
    Dewey Burke (a non starter and senior walk-on)
    Danny Green (a non starter)
    Wayne Ellington (a starter)

    And to further demonstrate the hypocrisy of Coach Kryzcshsyzechsyzrshitskii, note the closing minutes of the Dook / Wake game:

    0:49 38-59 Josh McRoberts made Two Point Dunk Shot.
    0:34 Ishmael Smith missed Three Point Jumper. 38-59
    0:34 38-59 Josh McRoberts Defensive Rebound.
    0:08 38-62 Greg Paulus made Three Point Jumper.
    0:05 Ishmael Smith missed Two Point Layup. 38-62
    0:05 Ishmael Smith Offensive Rebound. 38-62
    0:04 Ishmael Smith made Two Point Layup. 40-62

    Don’t recall any blood being shed at the end of that one.

    My opinion on the foul is that Henderson went in to make an aggressive play that was going to result in either an emphatic block are an extremely hard foul. His play was over aggressive and reckless and has now cost him a game. But that’s just my opinion, everyone is obviously entitled to theirs. What bothered me much more than the foul was the manner in which the hypocrites at dook attempted to blame the victim and divert responsibility for their mistake.

    As far as the comment “The refs would only make that call if the opponent is Carolina and the venue was the Smith Center” is just biased rival dribble and you know it. Not tryin’ to ruffle any feathers here, just trying to give an accurate assessment. All of that having been said, I hope you guys kick the $#!% out of K and his merry band of wussies on Thursday. Good luck in the tourney and hope to see you guys in the Finals.

  16. Dr. Seuss 03/07/2007 at 1:02 PM #

    Perhaps some of you heading down to FL can take some Kleenex to throw at McBob.
    If this doesn’t epitome the definition of a brat, I don’t what does…

  17. StateFans 03/08/2007 at 11:29 AM #

    I bet if State can play an effective sone defense, they’ll win.

    Good point. But, State’s problem is not that we don’t play an effective zone defense. Our problem is REBOUNDING out of our zone defense. The zone works on the initial shot. It is the 2nd and 3rd and 4th shot that teams get against our zone that kills us.

  18. redfred2 03/08/2007 at 12:11 PM #


    I agree, REBOUNDING is the key. I see a sluggishness when the ball is the air and nobody moving in anticipation where the ball will come off, or blocking out, if it does. I still say these kids do not understand that positioning relative to the basket is more important than being all over someone, but still allowing the angles, while playing D.

  19. RedTerror29 03/08/2007 at 12:16 PM #

    More specifically, rebounding by Costner. Head over to Section Six and check out his eye-opening stats on the matter.

  20. gopack968 03/08/2007 at 12:19 PM #

    Help me out here… which “new school” is located in Tampa? The ACC schools I am familiar with are 275 and 280 miles from the arena.

    As for the game – If we show up like we did against VT and UNC (at home) we will win. If we are flat, we will lose. We need to go for broke tonight. No thoughts about tomorrow, or NIT, or anything except beating Dook.

  21. burnbarn 03/08/2007 at 12:21 PM #

    that section six guy is really impressive with analysis. He has a good sense of humor too. k

  22. redfred2 03/08/2007 at 12:59 PM #

    I like Towe’s comment about the 70’s from over at section six:

    “I compare that team to a circus,” Towe said. “We had the giant. We had the midget and we had the high-wire act. And you had the ringmaster in Coach Sloan.”

  23. Lunatic Fringe 03/08/2007 at 1:00 PM #

    One of the major factors in the previous game was that when we crossed the half court line that Duke had guards pressuring (to the point of fouling) the ball handler. Fells/Grant just did not know how to handle that type of pressure since they had never been up against it before.

    Physically, Atsur is about 3” taller, 10-15 pounds heavier, and much stronger (especially in the upper body) than Paulus so it will be harder for Paulus to push him around. Mentally, Atsur will not be “intimidated” by the pressure of the Duke guards at the half court line and is experienced enough to know how to handle that type of pressure.

    The Duke game was the one game in my mind that I would have loved to have had back with a healthy Atsur. I am glad that we get the chance in the tournament.

  24. Trout 03/08/2007 at 1:40 PM #

    The Andrew Jones article states that: “The Coliseum seats 23,530, but 2,000 permanent seats might be added. ”

    If true, that is great news. Making the G-boro Coliseum hold 25,500 would give it a great advantage over Charlotte and every true “arena” – of course the Georgia Dome is bigger, but not a true arena.

  25. BoKnowsNCS71 03/08/2007 at 2:59 PM #

    Fred — Back in the day — the Technician referred to the Freshman Wolfpack team as the “Towe & Thompson Flying Circus.” That was when freshmen weren’t allowed to play NCAA Varsity ball. There were crowds going to see that JV team play and people couldn’t wait till they were Sophs.

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