The Fells Factor

There has been alot of talk about our dominant frontcourt (rebounds anyone?), our new point guards and all of the new players but this Wolfpack team can only go as far as Courtney Fells will take it. I know that is alot to put on one player but I have three reasons why I believe this:

1) We have no viable backup at this position. Ferg isn’t going to cut it and Horner cannot guard a shooting guard. So if Fells is having a bad game we have no one to replace him. Maybe Johnson can be his backup but right now there is no reason to think so.

2) He is our best backcourt defender. He is a shut down defender that sometimes makes some mental errors (cough)UNO intential foul(cough) but with his length and atheletic ability he has proven he can give good offensive players trouble.

3) When he shoots well we win. Since he became a starter NCSU has won 11 games when he shoots better than 50 percent from the floor while only losing 2. NCSU is 11 and 13 when he does not. Also, when Courtney scores more than 13 points NCSU has a record of 10 and 2. The wolfpack is 7 and 1 when he both scores more than 13 and shoots better than 50 percent. (Note: there are a few games with missing box scores and thus are not a part of this analysis)

So watch his play against Michigan State tomorrow night. It is the key to an NCSU victory.

About Rick

1992 and 2002 graduate from NCSU. Born and raised an NCSU fan. I remember the good ol' days and they weren't in the last 20 years.

07-08 Basketball General NCS Basketball Sidney Lowe

45 Responses to The Fells Factor

  1. wallacepark 11/27/2007 at 7:25 PM #

    Couldn’t have said it better. Fells is the key for us this season.

  2. highonlowe 11/27/2007 at 7:37 PM #

    I’m sure Atsur’s minutes are signficantly correlated to Fells’ points last year, but overall I agree with your premise.

  3. VaWolf82 11/27/2007 at 7:51 PM #

    Spot on. Fells is a key player on both ends of the court.

    I first became impressed with Fells’ defense when I got to see him play in person last year in B’burg. He absolutely shut down Dowdell who was VT’s best player last year.

    Outside shooting was one of my concerns for this year. Consistent shooting from Fells would go a long way in reducing my concern.

  4. Trip 11/27/2007 at 8:09 PM #

    When fells is on fire it’s a real treat to watch… he makes some outstanding plays, the last minutes in the first half against Villanova were a testament of what he can do every game if he comes to play.

    What about Javi as the backup for him when Johnson becomes available (Assuming that Johnson himself is running the show)? He has a good 3 point shot technique from what I’ve seen, he just hasn’t taken a lot of shots to tell if he can make them or not. Javi seems pretty scrappy on defense so far, so it might not be a huge dropoff, atleast better than the dropoff to Tferg.

  5. Rick 11/27/2007 at 8:14 PM #

    Playing two point guards (especially if one can shoot and I think Javi is a good shooter) can be very effective but so far Lowe has not. I have to assume there is a reason for that.

    Another thing I forgot to mention was Lowe’s comments about the tournament. He said Fells was talking it up and being a vocal leader.

  6. old13 11/27/2007 at 8:20 PM #

    I think that putting all the load on Courtney does a disservice to the rest of the team. Certainly having him on is a large benefit toward winning. But there is so much overall talent on this team, which will become more of a factor as the season goes on and freshmen develop, that if Courtney is not having a good night, the points or D can come from elsewhere.

  7. ErB 11/27/2007 at 8:24 PM #

    I agree 100%. I’ve been waiting for him to break out of his shell and i can’t think of a better time than now (not counting the last two seasons).

  8. sautz 11/27/2007 at 8:25 PM #

    Great post. I cannot emphasize how important guard play is in the ACC.

  9. Primewolf 11/27/2007 at 8:31 PM #

    Interesting stats on Courtney. I would never have imagined.

    Is he becoming more consistent as a defender? He still has those times he doesn’t appear to be on the court.

    Box and one sounds like a plan.

  10. Dr. BadgerPack 11/27/2007 at 8:36 PM #

    Since I don’t pay much attention to Gavin’s defense… can he guard a two against a bigger (Michigan St.) team and Horner guard the 3?

  11. Rick 11/27/2007 at 8:40 PM #

    I think the only defense we can play with Horner and Grant at the wings is a zone.

  12. Sw0rdf1sh 11/27/2007 at 8:52 PM #

    I agree with most of this, but I think that Horner will bring more than what you are implying. His D is improving and his ability to also hit the three from time to time is also there.

    Speaking of the three, I think Fells ability to fearlessly hit the three is great. I don’t think he’s gotten too many reviews where they have mentioned his capabilities there.

  13. Packster 11/27/2007 at 9:25 PM #

    I think I kind of started this when I said “So goes Fells, so goes the team”. It’s not putting the pressure on him it is just the way it is. When he is on he is a great player….when he isn’t on he usually sinks the ship. Fells is in every way the key to success for this team.

  14. redfred2 11/27/2007 at 10:04 PM #


    Fells just doesn’t step up enough and there are times when he disappears for long periods of time. Until he shows an ability to be a threat every time down and throughout the ballgame, he won’t ever get the recognition that his athletic abilities should warrant.

  15. tppack12 11/27/2007 at 10:15 PM #

    I’d like to see Fells use his athleticism to penetrate and drive more. We’ve got very little penetration that has broken defenses down. Farnold has looked hasn’t to get to the rim at times. Fells is a good ballhandler that can attack the rim strongly, which should open up easy buckets for JJ, Ben, and BC.

  16. tppack12 11/27/2007 at 10:17 PM #

    Sorry, Farnold has looked hesitant, not “hasn’t.”

  17. Jamie 11/27/2007 at 10:30 PM #

    I don’t know if I agree with this theory. Haven’t we had a different high scorer in every game so far? Yeah, the UNO foul was ill timed, but i don’t think that we should put it all on him.I will say though, that I do feel better about the team when he comes out hot.

  18. redfred2 11/27/2007 at 10:32 PM #

    tt, I keep looking for Fells to go inside and SLAM right over the opposing bigs. He can do it, and he if did he would put that thought in the back of their minds, making them wary of his presence, while drawing their attention away from the guys they’re supposed to be guarding. That would open the middle and allow some easy dishes for a very talented front line.

  19. bTHEredterror 11/27/2007 at 10:38 PM #

    We certainly look a lot better when Fells plays well. Fells is gonna need some backcourt help though, and we need him fresh in March. If the PGs can’t provide some minutes at the 2, Fells is gonna be tired at Tourney time. One year of 38 mpg is no big deal to most 19-22 year olds, but two consecutive years can wear those explosive legs down about the time we’ll need them most.

    I like Gonzalez, and he seems to have a solid stroke, but he has missed badly, too. If he can play solid on-ball defense to go with the deflections and harassment he gives off the ball, I think we could play both PGs for a 4 minute stretch and still be effective with extra dribble penetration. Remember the deep shooting of Grant, Horner and Costner can make up for a less accurate shooting guard, at least for short stretchs, especially if Ben and JJ are on in the paint.

    Grant and Horner on the floor together would mean an increase in scoring for both teams, us and our opponents. I like both players, but Grant tends to lose his man on D and Horner is just a step slower than most 3s. Because of the effort and shooting of Horner and the versatility of Grant, they would likely make one play more than they give up though, so I don’t think it would be quite as risky as Ferg and Javi at the same time. JJ inside can make up for some defensive mistakes, though he will give up some rebounds to try and block every shot in his area.

    I loved the matchup zone they played in the second half on Sunday, the fellas were communicating well and it shut down Nova’s outside shooting. Fells and Degand on the defensive perimeter is gonna be a matchup concern for most teams.

  20. redfred2 11/27/2007 at 10:40 PM #

    I don’t know if the perimeter oriented beginning of collegiate his collegiate career is still a factor now, but I am hoping Fells starts playing more aggressively on offense. Why someone with that much raw physical ability doesn’t want to challenge every time down the court is a mystery to me. If it were me, I’d be trying to jam it in everybody’s face.

  21. redfred2 11/27/2007 at 10:55 PM #

    There are no stats or anything that I’m using to back this statement up, but I say Grant is the glue, and the key player on the team. His, dust yourself off and go right back at it, attitude is something that was very needed last season and is just as important right now as this team struggles to find an identity. He is playing a more reserved role now, but it is a fact that this young team needs an experienced player who sets the example of someone who never gets down on himself. He’s made some bonehead plays at times, and he’s made brilliant game saving plays at others, but eitherway, he’s going to come back at you just as hard the next time down. I love that about Gavin Grant.

  22. Rick 11/27/2007 at 10:57 PM #

    Haven’t we had a different high scorer in every game so far?
    Does not matter. Fells is the key.

    Yeah, the UNO foul was ill timed, but i don’t think that we should put it all on him
    No one is putting the loss on him. The point is he sometimes does some questionable plays.

  23. Dr. BadgerPack 11/27/2007 at 11:19 PM #

    ^Rick, they’re college kids… EVERYONE makes some questionable plays… Hansborough w/ the ‘T’, lord knows how many ill-advised shots by Durant, Tucker, Wade, etc…

    Of course, I know you know this but sometimes it bears reminding. Personally, I’d much rather see the bad judgement occur on the court, than off the court.

  24. Jamie 11/27/2007 at 11:20 PM #

    Rick, after I commented I re-read your post. (I know, think first, type later) Point is, the numbers dont lie. That is very interesting that his shooting correlates to wins and losses. It also would seem, from a spectator point of view, that on his off games, he doesnt take as many shots. Do the stats point at all to number of shots taken?

  25. redfred2 11/27/2007 at 11:36 PM #

    Helping the kids finish their homework and trying to type occassionally at the same time tonight, sorry for the even worse than nomal typing.

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