Despite the holidays, we’ve posted a ton of stuff to the site in recent days…so, if you haven’t been visiting a lot then we ask that you don’t overlook some of our entries like the ACC expansion pieces and our comprehensive “BC fans” piece.
===> We obviously followed the Wolfpack’s win over Western Carolina closely. (See link) Pack Pride has a lot of links in their Web Run, including a link to Andrew Jones’ report card that includes the following grade on intangibles:
State intangibles: At some point State is going to be humbled enough to understand it just can’t walk onto the floor and beat teams, even ones like Western Carolina. Coach Sidney Lowe said his club was tired, that some players are playing a lot of minutes, etc. Ben McCauley – who never made such excuses a year ago when nearly 40 minutes was the norm for State’s top players – said coming off a (quick) trip to Seton Hall and playing two days later affected the team. There’s no excuse to only lead WCU by a point with 3:27 left, especially when you’ve already lost to New Orleans and ECU and have been pushed by several other mediocre-to-bad teams. The Wolfpack notched the victory and it required some toughness and smart play on offense to do so. For that, it deserves credit. But there’s just no reason this team should ever take anyone lightly. That’s on the staff and the players. Grade: F.
===>I know that a lot of fans are very frustrated with the Wolfpack’s tendancy to play ‘down’ to their competition as highlighted in Andrew Jones’ previous comments. I don’t criticize anyone for feeling this way as it obviously frustrating. However, as it relates to yesterday’s game I am going to make two mitigating points:
(1) State outscored Western by 21 points in the second half. 21 points in 20 minutes. I don’t have a problem if you were frustrated by the effort in the first half. However, you may be choosing to be just a little too negative if you allow the negative to define your perspective of the entire afternoon. As bad as the first half was, the second half was equally good.
(2) State was playing only our second game without starting point guard, Farnold Degand. Fans looking for blowouts need to remember that the point guard has the ball in his hand more than any other player on the court and therefore dictates the direction of the game. Even with Degand we aren’t built for blowouts like some teams.
===>Seaking of ^point guard, I was doing the math on Farnold Degand’s knee injury the other day. I am very happy to see that Coach Lowe has requested a medical redshirt from the NCAA in light of Farnold’s circumstances.
===>With ^that said, I am going to say something that those of you who like to keep your head buried in the sand won’t like and those of you who come to SFN for honest and accurate conversation with appreciate – especially if Degand gets an extra year of eligibility, I foresee a significant log jam at the point guard position in the future that can only be fixed by the transfer of more than one player currently on the team. During the year when we will be recruiting all-everything point guard, John Wall from Raleigh’s Word of God High School, the Wolfpack’s roster is projected to include FIVE (of 13) scholarship players who project to play the point: Trevor Ferguson (R-Jr); Marques Johnson (Jr); Farnold Degand (potentially a R-So); Javi Gonzalez (So); and Julius Mays (Fr).
===>For overall scholarship distribution and for the talent distribution of the point guard position while trying to recruit John Wall, I would expect that Trevor Ferguson has little to no future of playing time at NC State. Additionally, if Javi Gonzalez continues to project behind both Farnold Degand and Marques Johnson while NC State tries to land John Wall, then one has to wonder if Gonzalez will want to stick around Raleigh for all four years?
===>Few teams have been as pleasantly surprising this year as the University of Miami Hurricanes. Heading into the weekend the Hurricanes were ranked in the Top 20 with an 11-0 record and had seen the RPI as high as #2 in the country! But, to the detriment of the ACC, the Canes lost at home to previously 6-5 Winthrop. No word from the NCAA if the game counts when no fans show up to watch.
===>Speaking of RPIs, NC State fans will be happy know that Wolfpack is currently at a very solid #38 with two cupcakes ahead before entering ACC play. As I previously commented, as long as we can get out of the out of conference at 11-3 then the strength of the ACC will solidify our RPI and create a situation where the Wolfpack can secure an NCAA Tournament berth (before the ACC Tournament) with an 8-8 conference record.
===>The following are few RPI’s of interest now that we are about 35% to 40% through the season:
(10) Michigan State
(36) Florida State
(38) NC State
(49) Seton Hall
(52) Miami (FL)
(57) Boston College
(72) Georgia Tech
(79) Wake Forest
(96) Virginia Tech
(104) Arizona State
(107) South Carolina
(143) New Orleans
(171) East Carolina (thanks NC State)