Gavin Grant Sets the Bar High

“With the incoming freshmen we have coming in here and what we have coming back, I don’t see us losing any more than four games this year,” Grant began. “Honestly. If we stay healthy, I think we have the talent to be a Final Four team and contend for a national championship.”

He had just finished producing more bulletin-board material than there is cork in ACC country, so when Gavin Grant took a breath, the question had to be asked.

Did he know what he just said?

“I know,” the NC State swingman said. “Go ahead and print it. I meant it.”

So listen up, Tar Heel faithful and Blue Devil worshippers. Gather ’round, Clemson Tiger believers and Cavalier converts, because here it comes.

“With the incoming freshmen we have coming in here and what we have coming back, I don’t see us losing any more than four games this year,” Grant began. “Honestly. If we stay healthy, I think we have the talent to be a Final Four team and contend for a national championship.”

Pausing briefly to take a breath that surely will fan the flames, Grant continued.

“I’m not just saying that because I’m here,” he said. “Looking at the talent we have, I firmly believe that we can play with anyone in the country. There’s no team in the country that can beat us. We can only beat ourselves.”

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07-08 Basketball General NCS Basketball

30 Responses to Gavin Grant Sets the Bar High

  1. pakfanistan 08/25/2007 at 12:23 AM #

    I don’t care if he is a turnover machine, I love Gavin Grant.

  2. Cosmo96 08/25/2007 at 12:36 AM #

    Check out Gavin’s comments about Sidney:

    “He’ll be in the middle of a game and he’ll see something,” Grant said. “He’ll say, ‘Listen, every time down, they’re doing this or doing that, so you need to do this.’ I’ve never seen anything like it. The first time he did it, it worked. We scored like eight points in a row, so I was a believer. He called some for me, so I was like, ‘Alright I like this.’ I think we’ve got the best coach in the country.”

    Nothing wrong with that!

  3. Cosmo96 08/25/2007 at 12:39 AM #

    Also, Gavin’s optimism makes me wonder; since point guard is the biggest question we have this season, and he sees what we have at PG first hand….

    We just might be in for something special.

  4. crackdog 08/25/2007 at 12:55 AM #

    Whatever happened to “speak softly and carry a big stick”?

  5. WestCoast 08/25/2007 at 3:50 PM #

    A little noise is fine, the boys down the street need to know we’re still here. After all, it’s been 20 years since we’ve won the ACC. I love the confidence! And you know the recruits are reading the same stuff!

  6. MrPlywood 08/25/2007 at 7:06 PM #

    You gotta have goals. Coach will make sure that the team puts in the hard work it will take to even come close to backing up that prediction. And after all, Sid did break out the red jacket.

  7. choppack1 08/25/2007 at 10:23 PM #

    Hey – I like honesty in shapes and forms. I hope Gavin is right!

  8. theTHRILL 08/25/2007 at 10:39 PM #

    “There’s no team in the country that can beat us. We can only beat ourselves.”

    I don’t have a problem with confidence, but we’ve rightfully ripped comments like this by competitors in years past.

  9. highstick 08/25/2007 at 10:46 PM #

    Man, I like this kid! But, the best thing I see in his comment is that “Sid gets it!”. Not sure his predecessor ever did!

    Four might be a stretch, but “we got us a coach”!!!!

  10. Astral Rain2 08/25/2007 at 11:50 PM #

    Let’s just hope he’s right. I don’t think anyone will remember this one in a couple months- it’s not liked he said the other guys suck.

    Hopefully back in his real position he can play with the confidence that’s needed.

  11. vtpackfan 08/26/2007 at 10:22 AM #

    Speaking of setting the bar high. Anyone remember the qoute GG gave the media after a disastrous game which followed a series of bad games by the Pack that went something like.

    “I’ve been to the NCAA’s every year I’ve been here, so we just need to win the rest of our games to get in.”

    That was a poor job of paraphrasing, I’m sure. At the time it hit me as an odd thing to say since they just needed to put to halfs of basketball together and win a single game. Looking back at it now I realize you have to pay attention more to whose doing the talking and not what’s being said. I’m a huge GG cheerleader, but something tells me he’s not majoring in communication.

    It would be cool if anyone can remember where that post game quote came from by GG last season so we could link it and compare the two. They were eerily the same in that the proposed the Pack would run amuck through NCAA competion in an undefeated run of glory. Got to love GG. Go Pack!

  12. thebigwood 08/26/2007 at 1:13 PM #

    Agreed Astral…Everybody has high expectations during the preseason. This seems pretty normal to me. As long as he isn’t ripping on other teams, then this seams like no big deal…

    And you have to really like the confidence.

  13. ShootingGuard 08/26/2007 at 2:42 PM #

    I don’t like this kind of talk from players normally (see Rashad McCants), but I DO like the raised expectations and drastic departure from years past when we didn’t talk about doing anything great…You have to really believe you can do something before you can actually go out and do it. Gavin is no Jimmy V, but reporters thought Jimmy V was nuts when he said that the Pack would win it all if they got by Pepperdine. Nobody really thought we could beat UNC last year, but Sid showed what he thought when he threw down the guantlet and walked out there in that now famous (again) Red Jacket.

    Did Gavin just say that Sid makes in-game adjustments? Holy cow! Say it ain’t so…

    In the end, I think too much is made of so-called “bulletin board” material, etc. Unless you say something personal about somebody or “dis” them publicly or say their team sucks or something like that, any team with any sack is going to be ready to play you and want to beat you anyway. Besides, when the game starts, fans provide all of the extra “bulletin board” material and motivation anyway (see State fans yelling STD, etc. at Rashad McCants…see Rashad McCants proceed to whoop our collective asses and have the last laugh at us…)

  14. RochesterRedWolf 08/26/2007 at 3:53 PM #

    anyone who doesn’t like his comments, please remember this is a 22 year old kid. He saw the last half of the ACC season, the ACC tournament, etc, they got as far as they did in the NIT on sheer heart alone, now they have a friggin bench. GG knows the talent level in the ACC, he didn’t say any of this lightly i don’t think and what also comes thru is that he loves Sidney Lowe, he’s a players coach, he’s a coaches coach. Like Sidney said, JJ Hickson already has skills that he said most pro players take years to develop. Tracy Smith and the rest of these guys are good as well. What I like about Tracy Smith is that he put it on himself to lose a bunch of weight, he didn’t have some high-priced (and alum paid for) yoga trainer that ol-Roy gets for his guys, he did it on his own, says alot about the kid’s character and drive to be better. I expect alot of things out of NCSU this year, i think a few of you (we’ve all been snake bitten no doubt) are just afraid to dream that big; Go Gavin and Go Wolfpack.

  15. PackGirl 08/26/2007 at 5:19 PM #

    Usually I don’t want the summer to end, but this year I can’t wait til November. 66 days and counting until the Barton College exhibition game.

  16. redfred2 08/26/2007 at 5:26 PM #

    I guess it’s understandable that some people are afraid to really get their hopes up when thinking back on how many times we’ve been excited and then barely squeaked into post play by the skin of our teeth. I said privately to some friends months ago that depending on many factors, the biggest being how quickly some of the inexperienced players mature and become comfortable playing bigtime BB in the ACC, that we should compete with anyone this season and have very legitimate chances for at least one, and maybe even make a serious run for a second title in this upcoming season. There is always some luck and good fortune involved in every great season and whether this turnaround all materializes in this short a period of time is yet to be seen. One thing I do know for sure though, is that the program is finally on the road to recovery after a lenghty twenty year old hangover, and THE WOLFPACK will really be taken seriously (AGAIN!!!) from here on out.

  17. RabidWolf 08/26/2007 at 8:12 PM #

    I love the confidence GG showed by making those comments, and IMHO, he is absolutely right. This team has the right pieces, now they just have to be put together. This years team will be underrated and will definitely surprise a lot of people. I agree with GG’s assesment that this could be a final 4 team, but everything has to go right and we can’t have injury problems. I REALLY look forward to the ‘Pack getting back to the top of the ACC and returning to the elite level of the NCAA.

  18. Rick 08/27/2007 at 8:25 AM #

    “”That game just made me realize how good we are. We’re too good to be accepting moral victories. ”

    I love the mentality Lowe is instilling in the players. None of this happy to be there crap. He exects great things. You have to shoot for the stars to actually hit them. I hop GG is right.

    I have very high expectations for this team and am excited about basketball for the first time in many many years.

    A few other things I noticed
    1) in game adjustments – Lowe knows basketball. He sees things to exploit and then exploits them
    2) Like shooring guard, I normally do not like this kind of talk, bujt given it has been so long since we heard it (I think optimism was banned during the Sendek years) I am happy to hear it.
    3) I think GG will end up being the leader on this team. No way he sits. It will be interesting to see the starting five. I cannot imagine JJ starting right now.

    BTW, I had a conversation this weekend with a UNC fan (who reads htis blog alot) about NCSU basketball. I said I was excited, he mentioned the poor record and no NCAA. I think they are scared for the first time in a long time.

  19. RAWFS 08/27/2007 at 9:13 AM #

    ^ They are taking notice, but I don’t think anyone important in the UNC program is “scared” yet. Let’s not forget that UNC has a solid team themselves and beating them will be a bright spot in anyone’s year this year. State included.

    I do agree with you about the mentality changing in the Wolfpack’s program. Seems like in the Sendek era, if things went right the team would win. Now, it seems like Lowe’s mentality is that they will find a way to win no matter the circumstance.

    I know this: I felt better in the UNC game down a couple buckets late with Lowe on the bench than I did State up eight with Sendek’s crew leading the way. No offense to Herb, but Lowe’s charges bring fire to the proceedings.

  20. newt 08/27/2007 at 9:59 AM #

    Reminds me of some Julius Hodge quotes. He used to promise national championships, etc.

    I understand the similarity to “we can only beat ourselves” to some things other players have said that we’ve jumped all over. There is a difference in saying it now and saying it just after you’ve been beaten.

    In the end, Grant’s predictions have no bearing on whether we succeed or not. His statements about Sidney’s coaching talents are more interesting to State fans. It’s confirmation of what many of us believe.

  21. tcthdi-tgsf-twhwtnc 08/27/2007 at 10:11 AM #

    Whatever happened to “speak softly and carry a big stick”?

    Gone to ASU, the one in the desert not the mountains!

    Praise the gods for Gavin Grant and Sid Lowe or Syd as the AD would put it.

  22. packgrad93 08/27/2007 at 10:17 AM #

    The foundation has been set up beautifully & Sid is building upon it nicely.
    Hopefully the injury bug won’t hit like it has most years in the recent past.

  23. tcthdi-tgsf-twhwtnc 08/27/2007 at 10:39 AM #

    “Hopefully the injury bug won’t hit like it has most years in the recent past.”

    I would say Les had to have the worst luck with the ankle injury. How many guys hurt their ankle during his tenure. Seemed like at least 2 or 3 every year. I remember people being concerned about their Adidas.

  24. partialqualifier 08/27/2007 at 10:56 AM #

    My Two (actually three) Cents:

    1-Those of you who mention the mentality that Lowe is instilling has hit the nail on the head! That is the thing to be taken from this article. As long as players are making these types of comments and not disrespecting other teams, coaches, fans, or players there is absolutely nothing wrong with being confident and proud of your own team’s future! So thanks Gavin!

    2-Also…he made those comments with some humility……
    I think if me and a few other guys had played better in that ACC final game last year, we would have beaten Carolina and been in the NCAAs,” He is admitting here that he has to play better for this statement to become a reality!

    3- One of Jimmy V’s fav quotes: Nothing great can happen without first a dream! Lowe has our players dreaming again! You cannot imagine the HUGE impact this will have on recruiting…and to some degree already has I am sure. As fans what more can we ask for out of a second year coach?

  25. Rick 08/27/2007 at 11:05 AM #

    “Hopefully the injury bug won’t hit like it has most years in the recent past.”

    I hope (pray) that Lowe’s experience with long NBA seasons has taught him how to work players without over working them. I feel alot of our recent injuries were because of being over worked.

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