Tonight’s Big Game Evolves into Survival Mode (Updated 4:45pm)


The theme that we have attached to basketball this past week is one of major importance for NC State. Sunday night’s win over Cincinnati basically allowed the Wolfpack to hold serve while waiting for tonight’s opportunity to strengthen our NCAA Tournament resume’ with a road game at (RPI #25) Seton Hall.

Over the last two games against Davidson and Cinicinnati, a more energized Wolfpack team showed great significant improvement as point guard Farnold Degand became more effective on both offense and defense while helping the Pack with effective three point shooting when the open shot was available (8 of 16 for the year). But, Degand’s season ending knee injury has thrown water on our parade and now we don’t necessarily know what to expect when the Pack takes the court.

Pack Pride provides some preview information calling the game “HUGE” and Wilmington’s Andrew Jones says that Gonzalez is now the Wolfpack’s key and says,

Unless Gonzalez proves he a vastly different player from the one I’ve seen so far, State is in trouble. In 111 minutes, the Miami native has just nine assists.

Gonzalez, however, has only made a few plays worthy of an ACC point guard. He’s been extremely hesitant, almost timid at times, and hasn’t played with confidence. Gonzalez doesn’t shoot well, almost never penetrates into the lane, and starts the offense way too close to midcourt.

Lastly, ACCNow is discussing the improtance of this ‘home game’ for Brandon Costner; but – as ususal – Gavin Grant steals the spotlight in the ‘quotable’ department.

Asked if the game had special significance for him, Grant quickly quipped, “Nah, I live in the Bronx, man. We don’t even associate with Jersey.”

WRAL-TV has a report on tonight’s game with a focus on Grant but I can’t figure out how to do this damn embedding BS so you can view it by clicking this link.

Updated 4:45pm
Two new links worth posting:
(1) Section Six’s always informative preview

Well, this should be interesting. Of Seton Hall’s top five minutes-getters, no one is taller than 6-5. How they’ve managed the OR% they have, I do not know…probably just a function of the early season schedule seeing as how none of the short guys are very good rebounders at that end of the court; they had a similarly short team last season, and as you can see, they didn’t rebound well offensively…

SHU’s 2FG% defense ranked 292nd last year and currently sits at 259th this season.

Protecting the basketball is going to be huge for us in this one, as that’s really the only leg they have to stand on defensively; they don’t force misses and they give up plenty of second chances, so if we keep the mistakes down we’ll be in good shape for a nice day.

(2) ACCNow says that the Wolfpack is starting a new season tonight in light of Farnold Degand’s injury.

It also might be time to take another run at the Gavin Grant Experiment. Grant, a senior, ran the point with mixed success in Engin Atsur’s absence last season.

Lowe laughed this summer when it was suggested Grant get another turn at running the offense. But if Grant, Courtney Fells, Brandon Costner, Ben McCauley and J.J. Hickson represent State’s five best players, then they should be on the floor at the same time.


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07-08 Basketball

206 Responses to Tonight’s Big Game Evolves into Survival Mode (Updated 4:45pm)

  1. redfred2 12/27/2007 at 6:58 PM #

    I can’t remember who up there said they were a senior at NCSU and “only a Pack fan for eight years” and the “the students were behind Lowe and willing to give him until next year…”. Or something like that.

    I would ask you folks to think hard about that. I mean the guy lost almost an entire incoming class, a center to the NBA, and the services of a skilled 6’10” player to Major League Baseball. Then, he gets his hopes about the services and “commitment” of a top PG recruit, who only backs out at the last moment. Then he goes through a tough off season with a family matter. Now, he has invested time and worked to build up a kid who hasn’t seen the court for awhile, has him gaining confidence and coming around, and the kid suffers a season ending injury.

    I guess what I’m trying to say is that Sidney Lowe’s start here has anything but…easy.

  2. Trip 12/27/2007 at 7:01 PM #

    For those of you hoping to listen to it on XM with the free pass, I checked it out, channel 132 isn’t available online, you have to own an actual XM receiver to get it. I left my receiver at home, so it looks like pack pass it is for the christmas break. 😛 The sound quality is pretty good surprisingly.

  3. redfred2 12/27/2007 at 7:04 PM #

    I don’t know what it is, but I cannot for the life of me, type a final sentence without skipping AT LEAST one word.

  4. Trip 12/27/2007 at 7:08 PM #

    Redfred, that was me.

    I’m willing to give Sidney much longer than an additional year (3 years probably), but some of my classmates seem much less willing as they’ve read too much into the preseason hype. I love the guy. But I’ve also followed NC State basketball more than they have, some of them probably don’t even realize that we had a star PG back out at the last moment.

  5. Sweet jumper 12/27/2007 at 7:12 PM #

    Sid has definitely not had it easy, and he has done a good job of making adjustments to the losses of Simmons, Brackman, Davis and Werner last season and Atsur for a large part of last season. I hate to say “what if,” but with Simmons, Brackman and Atsur playing full time last year and Davis and Werner developing with all the other talent, Sid might have had an excellent first season along the lines of Press Maravich and Matt Doherty. Sid will bring us back where we belong, but it will not be easy. We need John Wall and some other top notch recruits to go along with several consecutive injury-free and defection-free seasons. Go Pack, and hold Larry Davis scoreless!

  6. Trip 12/27/2007 at 7:16 PM #

    Man, Costner loves him some whitecastle. From the pregame…

    “What do you miss most from New Jersey?”
    “How’d I know you were gonna say that, haha”
    “I don’t know what it is, I’m just addicted to it.”

    We know Costner, we know…

  7. Trip 12/27/2007 at 7:38 PM #

    Javi throws a pick on first press by seton.

    they ARE thieves. 2 steals already I believe.

  8. Trip 12/27/2007 at 7:43 PM #

    Davis is bricking all of his shots.
    Johnson was put in pretty quick, 4 minutes in.

    They’re pressing pretty hard so far, Javi isn’t faring too well against it, probably why Johnson was put in. Fouls all around too, thankfully we’re shooting well at the FT line.

  9. Jamie 12/27/2007 at 7:51 PM #

    I just wish BC would try another 3 pointer. Sit. His ass. Down.

  10. Trip 12/27/2007 at 7:55 PM #

    Seton can keep on throwing up the 3’s as long as they want, so far they’re 1-7 from long distance.

    Looks like Fells showed up, I think he’s in domination mode at the moment.

  11. tvopack 12/27/2007 at 7:58 PM #

    looked like a good timeout for Lowe. We went 8-1 vs SH.

  12. Trip 12/27/2007 at 8:03 PM #

    Jeez, we’ve had 2 3 second violations and 2 goaltending calls… I can’t tell from listening to it, but were they legit calls? I don’t usually hear a single 3 second violation in our games, let alone 2 of them within 3 minutes of each other.

  13. redfred2 12/27/2007 at 8:03 PM #

    I love Grant’s comment(s), that Bronx thing sounds just like him. I don’t really agree with how the link from WRAL portrays Grant though. Grant definitely plays with emotion, but he is nothing but a positive influence on the court. If he gets upset, it is rarely at anyone but his ownself.

  14. Trip 12/27/2007 at 8:04 PM #

    8 steals so far… woah.

  15. redfred2 12/27/2007 at 8:07 PM #

    I can’t get the game, I’m listening.

    How does MJ look in general? Comfortable? Confident? Competent? Athletic?

  16. Jamie 12/27/2007 at 8:08 PM #

    One of the tending calls (on GG) was crap. Am I the only one screaming at my TV for Costner to get his fat lazy hands up on defense? Jeez, at least act like you give a crap.

  17. BJD95 12/27/2007 at 8:12 PM #

    No idea why Brandon ever shoots the 3 from the wing. Top of the key, sure. He can make those on occasion, and they lead to more offensive rebounds.

    Do you guys see my point re Degand running the offense better yet? Thank God the good Fells showed up.

    Had no idea Don Criqui was still alive and working. I always liked him.

  18. BJD95 12/27/2007 at 8:17 PM #

    Neither PG has done anything positive. Johnson seems to screw up less. Fells is playing out of his mind.

  19. Jamie 12/27/2007 at 8:17 PM #

    Holeeee Smokes, that dude is an athlete.

  20. Anthony Grundy 12/27/2007 at 8:21 PM #

    how many minutes did MJ play in the first half?

  21. Trip 12/27/2007 at 8:22 PM #

    From what I could tell it seemed evenly split, 10/10 for javi/mj. Javi might have a minute more for 11/9

  22. redfred2 12/27/2007 at 8:23 PM #

    Sweet jumper,

    There WERE a bunch of “what if’s” and it “what could have been’s” that “could have” made for a much different start for Coach Lowe. Initially, I blamed a lot of that on the former coach for not selling the university instead of promoting his “system” of basketball, and I still do. But in retrospect, I blame those at the very top of the foodchain in Raleigh even more. They didn’t even remotely succeed in keeping any continuity at all, during, or after, the coaching change.

    Sidney Lowe didn’t receive any help from the “professionals” who hired him and seems he isn’t receiving much in the way of good fortune right now.

    We do have a lead at the half though!!!

  23. highstick 12/27/2007 at 8:25 PM #

    Did not the announcer say that we beat Carolina twice last year???

  24. vtpackfan 12/27/2007 at 8:27 PM #

    ^BJD, if we get it across halfcout and Lowe gets a chance to call a play, be it a set one or motion, then thats a positive in the pg dept., IMO.

    We are playing good solid B-Ball, let’s hope we can finish and close the deal. We need a little more calls on our end, because they are slappin’ and prying like crazy and we’re are still looking to feed it down low. 4 fouls called in a half works if the opposing team is just settling for outside shot’s, otherwise the Big East refs might be cooking at home a little.

  25. WolftownVA81 12/27/2007 at 8:30 PM #

    Yes he did. Boy if we can keep pounding it inside and protect the ball we have good chance of walking out with a W.

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