After watching both performances turned in by this year’s Wolfpack, it is already clear to me that we will be facing two primary challenges/hurdles that need to be overcome if we are going to have a successful 2007-2008 Basketball campaign:
(1) Effectively managing minutes, playing time, and egos.
(2) Outside shooting.
Neither of these items was unexpected heading into this season, but effects of both issues couldn’t be more obvious after two games.
The guard rotation of Farnold Degand, Dennis Horner, Javi Gonzalez, Courtney Fells and Trevor Ferguson simply MUST nail open three pointers when provided the opportunity. We aren’t suggesting that they need to be Terry Gannon out there…but, these guys will be provided anywhere between 4 and 10 WIDE OPEN jumpers per game and they simply MUST nail the attempt (for points AND to open the floor for our big men) if the Wolfpack expects to win 20+ games this season.
Tonight, this group shot 2 of 10 from behind the three point arc and Trevor Ferguson didin’t even attempt a shot in twelve minutes of playing time.
Speaking of Ferguson, after reviewing tonight’s game we (unfortunately) uncovered a phenomenon we now think is called the “Trevor Tremor” to describe the impact to the scoreboard that takes place when Ferguson is on the floor. Tonight, NC State was outscored 20-7 in the twelve minutes Ferguson was on the floor. (We only lost by two points).
(a) In the first half, Ferguson entered at the 14:44 mark with the Pack up 13-9; he exited the game with Pack down 13-16 with 9:32 remaining.
(b) In the second half, Ferguson entered the game with State ahead 41-33; he left with 8:17 remaining and State holding just 48-46 lead.
Coach Lowe needs to scrap this concept of a 10-man roster if we aren’t going to press &/or exert more effort on defense. What is the point of playing 10 men if the players don’t play hard enough to get tired when they are out there? Hell, you could play your 7 or 8 best players and have a much better opportunity of winning games if you aren’t playing a pressuring defense.
State’s bench of Gonzalez, Ferguson, McCauley, Smith and Horner scored only three points in 52 minutes of play! ‘The bench’ combined for 1 of 11 shooting from the field on offense; and whomever Ferguson was supposed to be guarding played with the confidence and offensive proficiency of Michael Jordan.
In short, the following contributed to tonight’s unexpected and unacceptable upset:
– Continued poor shooting from the outside (31.2% from the three point line)
– Lazy Defense
– Idiotic intentional foul
– No emotion
– Lack of intensity and focus
(a) just look at the free throw shooting of 52.6%
(b) we were OUT REBOUNDED by a team who fielded a significantly shorter player than us at EVERY position.