State’s ACC Schedule

Jeff’s partial listing of RPI rankings earlier this week held several surprises and spurred me into looking at State’s ACC schedule versus these too-early RPI rankings. So let’s look a little closer at the surprises (well they surprised me anyway) as well as State’s ACC schedule which doesn’t open until next weekend against UNC.


The unpleasant aspects of this young season have been beaten to death, so I won’t dredge back through any of that. However, one thing that I didn’t expect when the schedule was unveiled was that State’s OOC schedule would be rated this highly.

From, State’s overall schedule currently ranks 73rd in the nation (which will change on a daily basis even when State doesn’t play). Now that doesn’t sound that tough for a team expecting to play in the NCAAT this March. However, this represents a tremendous improvement over what we’ve seen over the last too many years. (Check out this previous entry for a historical perspective on the OOC schedules and some of the problems caused by a weak OOC schedule.)

Unfortunately, the last two OOC games are exactly the kind of game that I would like to see removed from State’s schedule…Presbyterian (1-16), and NCCU (1-15). You can come up with reasons (some good, some not so good) to schedule UNCW, WCU, ECU, the Citadel, etc, but I can not think of any good reason to schedule the absolute dregs of Div I basketball with no ties at all to NC State.


I don’t follow UMD closely, so I was surprised to see them with the worst RPI ranking in the ACC. The same day that I read Jeff’s entry, I stumbled across this Q&A from through their apparent association with yahoo sports.

Are Maryland’s woes because of recruiting, talent, coaching, all or none of the above?

Maryland’s lack of success since its national title run is rather puzzling. But I don’t think lack of talent is the problem. You certainly can win without elite prospects. But to win without that kind of talent, you almost always need a lot of experience…
Gary Williams is a good coach. Once he has an experienced team, he will start winning again.

At first glance, I thought that this entire blurb was totally worthless and I intended to tear into this unbelievably weak analysis. However when I pulled up a list of UMD’s recent scholarships offers, I found that 10 of the 13 scholarship players are freshmen or sophomores. I expect that this will not be the last time that “youth” will be used as the excuse for UMD this year.

I do not intend to spend an enormous amount of time tracking Gary Williams’ successes or failures, but I believe that UMD’s problems run much deeper than this year’s inexperience. I say this because UMD has only had one winning record in the ACC regular season over the last four years….and that ain’t good no matter how many excuses you come up with.


Clemson and Miami both appear to be using the strategy of a weak OOC schedule to build as many wins as possible. This strategy has many weaknesses that we’ve discussed more times than I can count. The chief one being that a 9-7 conference record is not necessarily good enough to get an at-large bid to the NCAAT. Stay tuned to see how the strategy works out for these two schools this year.


If you caught the FSU-GT game Sunday night, then you heard the announcers mention several times that FSU hasn’t been to the NCAAT for nine years. Over the past several seasons, we’ve watched FSU climb onto the bubble and then fall into the NIT several different ways. Through Sunday night, FSU appears to be correcting several issues that have landed them into the NIT: an improved OOC schedule and the ability to scrap out a victory on the road.

I have no idea how Leonard Hamilton is perceived by FSU fans or administration, but this is his sixth year at FSU with no NCAAT appearances so far. You have to think that he needs to get FSU into the NCAAT soon…and the sooner the better.


Using the RPI rankings thru games played on 12/31, here is State’s ACC schedule for this year.








































My apologies for the crappy looking table. This is the best that I could do with over an hour’s effort. If any of the authors know what is going on with WordPress and tables, I would appreciate some help. Note that tables in past entries are not being displayed like they used to be….so the problem goes beyond whatever issues lie between my ears. 🙂

About VaWolf82

Engineer living in Central Va. and senior curmudgeon amongst SFN authors One wife, two kids, one dog, four vehicles on insurance, and four phones on cell plan...looking forward to empty nest status. Graduated 1982

07-08 Basketball Stat of the Day

31 Responses to State’s ACC Schedule

  1. StateFans 01/01/2008 at 1:24 PM #

    VAWOLF – Check your email…can you drop the table back into the entry? Thanks!

  2. Trip 01/01/2008 at 3:51 PM #

    I’m not sure to say if it’s good or bad that we have 2 games vs the top 4 in RPI in the ACC. If we drop the bomb and lose all 8 games to them it’ll undoubtedly be bad. But, if we can split them then I think we can grab an at-large bid with a 9-7 ACC record.

  3. Trip 01/01/2008 at 3:52 PM #

    ^^^ As long as one of our losses aren’t to Maryland… dang, thats a terrible RPI there.

  4. RickJ 01/01/2008 at 4:40 PM #

    As has been mentioned by Shooting Guard, with this ACC schedule we should make the NCAA tourney easily with an 8 – 8 ACC record assuming we win the next 2 games.

    Since losing to us, Cincinatti has beaten #29 in the RPI Miami, Ohio at home and today won at Louisville. They are not that good a team but they are dirty and/or tough as all get out to play.

  5. VaWolf82 01/01/2008 at 4:52 PM #

    I’m not sure to say if it’s good or bad that we have 2 games vs the top 4 in RPI in the ACC.

    We’ve known for months that State played the two best teams in the ACC twice this year. I wouldn’t get too hung up on Clemson’s and FSU’s ranking right now. Both teams could end up nearly anywhere in the final standings.

  6. StateFans 01/01/2008 at 6:54 PM #

    From gcpack in another entry —

    More help for the RPI!…..Cincy just knocks off L’ville in L’ville. We’ll need all the help we can get with the NO & ECU games on our record.

  7. Trip 01/01/2008 at 7:22 PM #

    At this point in our season, I think we all need to start cheering “GO PIRATES GO!” So far NO is sitting at 11-2, and while the other Pirates (ECU) have been destroyed thus far in the season, their schedule is left with easily winnable games thanks to CUSA and NC Central (Although it should be fun to watch the thrashing Memphis gives them on Jan 6th) and could end up with a .500 record.

    That Cincy win is huge though, huge.

    One thing to be worried about with the Wolfpack’s ability to play down to an opponents level, Presbyterian sports the nations 2nd highest 3PA/FGA ration. Every other shot they take is a 3 point shot. Combine that with the Pack’s outstanding ability to have lesser opponents blaze fire from the 3 point line and this could be a scary game. Not saying that we won’t win, because well, they do smell bad… but that 3PA/FGA ratio scares me because one of their guys is pretty good at hitting them. Pat Kiscaden 48-110 .436 and the rest of the team is all shooting at 33%+.

  8. Stoner 01/01/2008 at 8:57 PM #

    One thing to be worried about with the Wolfpack’s ability to play down to an opponents level

    I think the WCU game was sort of a “trap game”. Having to play, in less than 48 hours, after a good, hard fought, road win, I think many teams would not be in it mentally from the beginning tip off.

    Hopefully the earlier losses were due to coach Lowe getting used to the college game and the players getting used to having to each other and we’ve gotten over some of those problems.

    I don’t feel pessimistic about NCSU basketball for the fisrt time in awhile. Not optimistic mind you, the basketball program has done nothing to warrant optimism from me, the past 15 years, but at least I think we aren’t going to totally suck this year.

  9. Trip 01/01/2008 at 9:44 PM #

    I just remembered this, but Costner is getting beat up, he’ll need a week off to rest let alone get ready for a game. He had a sore knee when he came to the WCU game, got cut on his eyebrow, and I believe he jammed a few fingers in the 2nd half of his right hand (non-shooting). I wrestled back in high school and jammed fingers suck and just take time to heal, so his shot could be off for another week or 2… great. He still made both of the free throws after getting fouled on the play that jammed his fingers, so here’s hoping.


    I’m not pessimistic, but I do think that our team reads up on the opposing team stat-line a little too much. They see that Presbyterian is ranked #335 out of 341 schools in RPI… and well.. yeah.. I can see how they would take them lightly, even if they shouldn’t.

    Back to the ACC subject… I’m going to say that with continual improvement and one meltdown that we’ll end up 9-7 ACC. Optimistically I’ll say 11-5. We’ll have to win the games we can win with our talent, and we’ll have to fight hard to win road games at Clemson, FSU and UVA. When it comes to Carolina/Duke we’re just going to have to give 110% and have nothing left in the tank, and I think thats where the red blazer will come into effect, I hope.

  10. Texpack 01/01/2008 at 10:12 PM #

    The BC, UVa and VT games are huge. If you can pick up three road wins with those you can still lose two at home, beat UMd and finish 10-6. Those are the swing games in the schedule. A split with UNC-CH and Duke and we could easily finish 3rd.

  11. Trip 01/02/2008 at 2:52 AM #

    Credit to SectionSix for posting this… Apparently kempom recently implemented a rating for Height. This may be a surprise considering our rebounding struggles, but we are #1 in the nation when it comes to height. It also confirms what we knew before, that Grant at the SF position creates a huge mismatch. Even Fells is considered a height mismatch at #2 in the nation. I’m willing to bet that once MJ plays enough to show up in his rating system that our PG will go up a few places as well. Now… if only we could put all of this height to good use every game.

    Average Minutes-Weighted Height (inches)
    Overall: 78.9 1
    C: +1.5 33
    PF: +2.8 2
    SF: +2.6 1
    SG: +3.0 2
    PG: +2.4 13

    I quickly scanned through all of the ACC rankings and the closest match to our height is Maryland at #22 at 77.9 inches and Georgia Tech at #33 with 77.6 inches. Duke and Carolina are tied around #70 with 77.2. So far out of our matchups the only teams that fielded a team in the top 100 (unless i missed one) was Cincy and Michigan State.

  12. choppack1 01/02/2008 at 10:36 AM #

    Trip – on offense, Fells height advantage isn’t that significant when Hickson is on the court. Hickson will usually occupy the low post, so he can’t really take advantage of his height too often in the block.

    As far as mismatches – I’d love to see Gavin log some time at the 4 spot. At the 3, his defender has a hard time stopping his drive – at the 4 spot – it would be like taking candy from a baby. He’s also a better rebounder than McCauley or Costner.

    Two things have really changed since the ECU game.
    1) We’ve gone from being one of the worst rebounding teams in the country, to rebounding well. Our FG% D was already good, but when since we weren’t rebounding well, teams were still getting points on too many possessions. Now that we’re rebounding well, our D is suddenly “good”.

    2) We’re doing a much better job w/ spacing offensively. We can get away w/ a middle school offense and middle school spacing w/ a guy like JJ Hickson against the dregs of Division 1 ball. However, against the vast majority of Division 1A schools, Hickson needs more room to operate. The spacing makes it easier for Grant and Cos to drive and Big Ben to pass.

    * Regarding the Terps, Not many schools get worse after building to and obtaining an NCAA championship, but UMd appears to have pulled this off. UMd’s fall from the elite of college basketball after Williams’ championship is one of the stranger things I’ve ever seen.

    Personally, I think the reason you’re seeing this is that Gary Williams hasn’t found that superstar player who basically saved his job early at UMd. The first superstar was Joe Smith. The second one was Steve Francis. His final 4 teams and national championship teams didn’t have a traditional superstar, but it had supreme talent and at least 3 guys who now play in the NBA. They seem to have the rest of the supporting cast out there – a good shooter, lock down defenders, big athletic guys, cocky and annoying PGs.

    It should also be noted, that UMd was one of many schools that benefitted from poor NC State and UVa squads. I don’t think that it’s a coincidence that you see UMd start to decline while NC State emerged as an NCAA tourney squad. If both UVa and State return to glory, they’ll have to do something differently and/or start finding those superstars who lifted them out of the basement of the ACC.

    *I think Miami is a team that scheduled it’s way to a top 25 appearance, but IMHO, Clemson looks very tough. Of course, they looked tough last year. The bottum line is that most schools in the ACC have the combination of good guard play and coaching to consistently break their scary pressure. (If you caught some of the Bama game, you saw how scary this pressure can be.) They are athletic, big, fast, and they hustle. They have a pure 3 point shooter. Still, I can easily see them succumbing to the perils of the brutal ACC when they stop getting those easy layups and dunk follows and where free throw shooting is critical.

  13. SaccoV 01/02/2008 at 11:30 AM #

    I wouldn’t expect much help from ECU as they lost to a Division II school. Cincy will help us out, but NO and ECU will still make us cringe in March. I’m hoping that wins against UNC, Duke, BC and Clemson will help the committee overlook the bad losses.

  14. VaWolf82 01/02/2008 at 11:48 AM #

    By March, it is unlikely that we will still be talking about the NO & ECU losses. Performance in the ACC regular season and ACC tournament will far outweigh anything that happens in December.

    Some college teams improve over the course of the season….some really don’t. The bigger reason for concern over State’s bad losses comes from showing how much improvement State needs before it can be considered a NCAAT team.

    I will have to look to be sure, but I don’t think an ACC team with an 8-8 conference record and a 1st round tournament victory has been left out of the 64/65 team field. So I don’t think that State has to do anything “tremendous” to make the NCAAT just because of those horrible losses.

  15. Trip 01/02/2008 at 12:20 PM #

    Choppack, if Grant took the 4 spot, who would fill in at the 3? Costner is far too slow and Fells already has no backup at the 2 spot. Smith could be a good option though, now that I think about it. If Costner comes out flat in a game, yank him, put in Grant at the 4, stick Smith at the 3 for game time experience. Smith will probably end up being a 3/4 because of his height, which is listed at 6’7 so he needs to learn the position. Also, another option is Johnson. Johnson has enough size/height to compete at the 3 spot, and he played that position in his senior year of high school at times.

    Clemson is a tough team and they will fight with us for the #3 spot in the ACC. What makes their record impressive is not the SOS, but that they’ve been playing without arguably their best player in Mays. Mays is a tough opponent, and he’s finally back from a hip injury. The reason for the spanking they gave Alabama was Mays return.

  16. RAWFS 01/02/2008 at 12:49 PM #

    VaWolf82, I would recommend using Microsoft’s Live Writer to create entries with tables. See:

  17. packgrad93 01/02/2008 at 1:32 PM #

    All the blah, blah over the years complaining about the OOC schedule is a waste of time. Beat the teams on your schedule & the RPI, NCAA seedings, whatever will take care of itself.

  18. Rick 01/02/2008 at 1:50 PM #

    I wonder why packgrad comes on this site. All he does is complain about whats on it. I, for one, would be happy without his “input”.

  19. packgrad93 01/02/2008 at 2:20 PM #

    I read everything, some good info & a lot of opinions. Some I respond to, most I ignore. Don’t like mine, ignore & move on. Just because I have differing opinions doens’t mean they’re wrong.

  20. choppack1 01/02/2008 at 2:30 PM #

    Trip – Putting Costner at the 3 spot doesn’t really help us defensively or from a rebounding perspective. I would put in Javy and MJ as guards, Fells at the 3, Grant at the 4. I wouldn’t play this line up all the time, but I think it’s an options

  21. packbackr04 01/02/2008 at 2:55 PM #

    what about horner at the 3?

    im not a fan of packgrad, but he is right. just dont respond to his tripe if you dont like it.. or you could just explain to him how wrong he is. because OOC schedules and RPI’s are VERY important. the difference between a 3-5 seed and a 7-10 seed in the tournament is notable. i do agree however, that as a player, you should just be concerned with WINNING the games on your schedule, everything else is out of your control.

  22. packgrad93 01/02/2008 at 3:44 PM #

    ^ I never said OOC schedules & RPI aren’t important. I said the fans get too wrapped up in the OOC schedule, if just beat whoever we play the RPI would be fine. Like you said about players needing to just worry about winning games because the rest is out of their control, same for fans.

  23. Rick 01/02/2008 at 4:18 PM #

    “I read everything, some good info & a lot of opinions. Some I respond to, most I ignore. Don’t like mine, ignore & move on. Just because I have differing opinions doens’t mean they’re wrong.”

    What opinions? All you do is prop up Herb.

    Here is every post you ever made in one sentence.
    “Herb is great and you are stoopid if you do not agree wiht me!!!1!!1!!!!”

  24. packbackr04 01/02/2008 at 5:03 PM #

    wrong again Packgrad. if we as fans (and Sid and Quentin)arent satisified with 20 win cupcake seasons and squeeking in as a 7-10 seed, only to be trounced by a 3-5 seed in the second round for all eternity then yes, we as fans should complain loud and hard until someone in west raleigh hears it and fixes it. i for 1 am thankful Sid and Quentin understand this.
    again… the road to final 4 is much much easier coming out of a 3-5 seed than it is to fight from a lower seed. but you just keep chopping wood there packgrad

  25. doug74 01/02/2008 at 6:20 PM #

    I don’t think the NO and ECU games will cost that much. Our conference schedule is loaded in the first half and sets up well for building momentum later when our guards should be less tentative. I will be ecstatic if we start 3-3.

Leave a Reply