Live Blogging the Red/White Game

What to watch today:

1) Forty Minute Farnold. Naturally, this is obvious. He should matched up opposite Marques Johnson, which will be doubly interesting.

2) Will Sid break up the troika of Hickson, McCauley, and Costner? I still expect all 3 to start, but maybe not at the outset. In the scrimmage format, it might make things a bit mismatched. We would be able to see how they would defend a smaller, quicker lineup (very interesting to me).

3) Simon Harris. We keep hearing whispers that he could see meaningful action. I work with a guy who played (very well, too), and he met Simon during homecoming weekend. Raved about what a great kid he is, and tough as nails. Could he be the invaluable “glue guy” that all great teams have?

4) Fells and Grant on the wing. We really need 1 of these guys to step up. Both would be even better.

5) JJ Hickson. Will we see the jaw-dropping flashes that have created so much pre-season buzz? How does he hold up defensively, if guarding Big Ben or Costner.

11:50 – It’s great to be sitting in seats usually off limits to us common folk. Too bad nobody is selling food, my daughter and I are starving! The band is here, as is the Costner family.

11:57 – Simon Harris arrives, gives Pack Laddie the “black guy handshake/backslap combo.” It must be cool to be black. Or Pack Laddie.

12:01 – Grant looks even stronger this year. I wouldn’t recommend saying anything bad about his mother.

12:06 – Big Ben and Fells are on the “white” squad. Interesting.

12:13 – Costner on white, too. The demarcation must just be random.

12:42 – Larry Harris got the second biggest ovation (after Sid). Our fans kick ass.

12:45 – Horner is playing the 2 for red squad.

12;51 – Degand looks very good. Twice, he sped down court and found Horner for wide open 3s (made 1). Hickson is very strong in the post. Harris gives a great hard foul.

1:11 – Good Lord, Hickson is fantastic. He just swished an 18-footer, and is 3-3 at the foul line. He looks unstoppable.

Overall: Hickson and Degand looked really good. Degand is super fast, strong with the ball, and a “talker” running the offense. His build is slighter than optimal, but that’s all. Hickson is strong in all areas. McCauley has great mid-range game and Grant a great passer. Smith was a bit sloppy with the ball, and the offense overall was sloppy. Costner was like a bull in a china shop (good and bad).

Due to lack of food, had to leave after Fuller ceremony.

About BJD95

1995 NC State graduate, sufferer of Les and MOC during my entire student tenure. An equal-opportunity objective critic and analyst of Wolfpack sports.

07-08 Basketball

36 Responses to Live Blogging the Red/White Game

  1. vtpackfan 10/27/2007 at 12:50 PM #

    Who coach’s each team, Sid?

  2. Sw0rdf1sh 10/27/2007 at 1:07 PM #

    Thanks for the live blog. Couldn’t make the trip up today, gave the tickets to VA away to my neighbor.

  3. westwolf 10/27/2007 at 1:22 PM #

    Thanks for the blog effort today…reading it here in Denver before going to the Series tonight.

  4. cabwolf 10/27/2007 at 1:29 PM #

    Howling Kudo’s to the blog!
    From year to year atheletes change their body types, better shape,step slower? who looks stronger, other than Grant? Is Tracy Smith as advertised?

  5. nemesisj 10/27/2007 at 1:32 PM #

    Wow, Hickson looks really good down near the post. It’s a great feeling to have someone crashing the boards and making tough shots down near the post. He’s better than I would have thought just from watching this game – very athletic, good body control, and a really nice soft touch when putting the ball up.

  6. westwolf 10/27/2007 at 1:33 PM #

    I’m really curious about Degand’s handle. We have penty of athleticism, but we need someone who can handle the ball agianst pressure. How does that part of his game look?

  7. westwolf 10/27/2007 at 1:35 PM #

    As a comparison, does Degand handle the ball like a converted 2 guard, ala Bennerman, Bethel, or even Atsur or more like a true point gaurd? Low dribble, or high?

  8. nemesisj 10/27/2007 at 1:36 PM #

    Westwolf: There hasn’t been much ball pressure so far (at least, from what I can tell on my jerky internet connection), but he looks much more comfortable with the ball than Atsur did. He’s just got that natural ball handling look to him that you see with guys who’ve been playing the point all their lives. I’m impressed so far, but of course, this is more of a PR event than a real game.

  9. westwolf 10/27/2007 at 1:38 PM #

    PR event or not, that is music to my ears!! That’s exactly what I was hoping to hear…”that natural ball handling look”. Thanks for the update.

  10. nemesisj 10/27/2007 at 1:38 PM #

    A good example of what the blogger mentioned just happened – Degand pushed the ball all the way for a nice layup with three guys standing around after a made basket. I can’t remember that ever happening in the last 4-5 years for us.

  11. cabwolf 10/27/2007 at 1:40 PM #

    How about the crowd, is it a pretty good one?

  12. nemesisj 10/27/2007 at 1:42 PM #

    Hard to tell on the crowd – it’s definitely fairly quiet during the game, but the fightsong and other cheers are getting pretty good participation. looks like the lower level might be about 50% filled, but it’s really hard to tell.

  13. nemesisj 10/27/2007 at 1:46 PM #

    Man! Hickson looks really good. He just pump faked at the top of the key and then immediately pulled up for a soft swish over McCauley. Him and McCauley are really battling it out with both of them scoring on the other pretty consistently.

  14. cabwolf 10/27/2007 at 1:49 PM #

    Thanks again for the info. Wish I could see the game!
    match ups? defense, man or zone?

  15. redfred2 10/27/2007 at 1:51 PM #

    “pushed the ball all the way for a nice layup”

    Thanks nemesisj! Love hearing all of that! Fells can push it whenever the urge hits him, and we know Grant can. Hell, even Costner can put it on the floor and push it when needed.

    Keep the posts coming.

  16. cabwolf 10/27/2007 at 1:58 PM #

    Brother’s in red,
    from what you see so far….granted, it is merely a glimpse. Starting five projections? I have heard several mentioned up to this point. If you had to base it on today,from what you see today,how about slinging a couple of senario’s out there.

  17. Pack92 10/27/2007 at 1:59 PM #

    Seriously, thanks for the updates! It’s so good to hear the intangibles (ovation for Coach Harris) as well. Thanks again.

  18. nemesisj 10/27/2007 at 2:07 PM #

    This may just be me, but I feel like Grant’s shooting motion from long range has improved alot. He’s no longer doing that jump and hang-then-release motion from last season, and he’s knocked down two three pointers that looked very natural. Last season I would cringe when Grant took a three, but he looks pretty good out there from long range today.

  19. nemesisj 10/27/2007 at 2:08 PM #

    Again, Hickson with a pump fake then a jumpshot from fairly long range. Really impressive. Over McCauley.

  20. cabwolf 10/27/2007 at 2:15 PM #

    Got to go and arrest somebody! The gall of some folks interupting my cherished wolfpack moments!

  21. BJD95 10/27/2007 at 2:33 PM #

    Nemesis – keep it going for the second half, if still there!

    Degand’s handle looked great to me. Confident. What to watch is how he adapts if and when the defense plays off of him and dares him to shoot. He didn’t take a single jumper in the first half, but was money on the driving layup.

    Simon Harris definitely looks to be the 10th man. He held his own at least as well as Smith.

    Horner did shift back to forward later in the half – but he definitely played a little 2. He has filled out a little more – now he looks like he’s 17 instead of a freakingly tall 14 year-old!

  22. cabwolf 10/27/2007 at 3:01 PM #

    Wouldn’t it be nice if horner pulled a Gugliotta, or Dunleavy, or even a Admiral Robinson… Who knows? He’s probably still growing? Has his voice changed yet?….I hope everyone knows I am kidding!

  23. xphoenix87 10/27/2007 at 4:06 PM #

    Is the moving screen the “point of emphasis” this year for the officials? I think they called about 20 of them.

    I’d read interviews with players raving about Farnold’s quickness, saying that he was as fast as Ty Lawson. I thought it was your typical preseason hyperbole. Nope, he’s every bit as fast as advertised. He’s a one-man fast break and blew by his man multiple times to get to the rim. I don’t think we’re going to have to worry about ball pressure that much this year. He also looked like a solid defender. His shot seems a little rough. He didn’t shoot a lot of jumpers, seemed to have a bit of a flat release, and missed some free throws. He’s got moxie, I like him. He’s not all-ACC, but I’m confident with him at the point.

    Marques Johnson had some really nice passes. He didn’t shoot a lot and struggled with defense on the quicker Degand (he has 8 fouls by game end), but he looked to have very good court vision, and he did a good job of being steady at the point, putting his back into the defender and protecting the ball like we saw Atsur do a lot last year. He’ll be a good change of pace guy.

    Hickson is as good as advertised. He got a rebound where he came crashing in from the opposite wing that was just amazing. He’s got a very good midrange jumper, quick feet in the post and he finished with authority. Defensively he’s going to be tough to shoot over. He forced McCauley into some really tough shots.

    Tracy Smith was completely over his head trying to guard Costner. Brandon just abused him on the low block for a few plays. Smith’s going to have to get stronger in order to bang in the low post.

    Simon Harris looked great. He can’t be an inch over 6’6, but he’s really strong and has great hops. I think he’ll get more minutes this year than Smith, he looked like he can really contribute.

    Fells played GREAT defense. He was streaky on offense (surprise surprise), but he was up in Gavin’s jersey all game.

    I hate to harp on Gavin, but I just didn’t see much different from him than I’ve seen in years past. He made some really dumb passes, and had one play where he started a dribble drive right into the space where Degand was cutting. It led to a turnover, and as they walked towards the bench he was blaming it on Farnold. I’d love to thin that he’s improved and we’ll see some senior leadership from him, but it looked like the same old Gavin. On the plus side, he did have a beautiful pull-up jumper that probably only a handful of players in the country could’ve pulled off.

    I think Ben McCauley might be my favorite NC State player of all time. Outside of Tim Duncan in the NBA, I don’t know if I’ve ever seen a smarter post player than Big Ben. He makes the pass to the baseline cutter better than anyone I’ve seen. When he faces up on the baseline, he’s almost impossible to stop because he’s automatic with that jumper, he can go middle and hit the little baby hook with either hand, or he can go baseline and dunk it or finish with a reverse. Working in practice with the big, athletic Hickson is going to be great for him. He hit a high-arcing jumper over JJ that was just a thing of beauty.

    Good players know to get to the line when their shot isn’t falling. Costner does that.

    I’m trying not to, but it’s hard not to have huge expectations for this team.

  24. Pack92 10/27/2007 at 4:34 PM #

    ^cabwolf, I watched first-hand the change in Gugliotta. I really believe he grew 3 inches from the first time I saw (at NC State) him and put on 30 lbs. If we get anywhere near that from Horner AND the level of play Tom grew into – LOOKOUT!

    Sounds like the new guys are going to fit right in!

  25. PackerInRussia 10/27/2007 at 4:40 PM #

    “Simon Harris definitely looks to be the 10th man.”

    Wow, it’s nice to be talking about a 10th man after last year. At this rate the Bball team may have more players than the football team by the end of the season.

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