RALEIGH, NC â€“ Just days after a loss in the first round of the ACC tournament ended NC Stateâ€™s basketball season with a nine game losing streak that ensured a losing record for the year, jubilant Wolfpack basketball players emerged from a players-only meeting and announced that they had finally found the â€œway to win.â€
â€œMan, I am so relieved,â€ senior Gavin Grant said. â€œI mean, nine straight games is tough, especially with everyone relying on me for senior leadership. Iâ€™m glad we finally have this turned around.â€ Wolfpack junior Ben McCauley agreed. â€œWe really had some issues. Now that weâ€™ve talked through them, we feel that weâ€™re ready to take on any team in the country and win.â€
Redshirt sophomore Brandon Costner, whose game suffered a noticeable lapse in effectiveness compared to the 2006-2007 season, may be the most happy about the Wolfpack finding the way to win. â€œItâ€™s certainly been disappointing, losing nine straight games. But we always say that tomorrow is a new day, and I can tell you this: our next opponent is going to have their hands full.â€ Freshman guard Javier Gonzalez concurred with his teammate: â€œIn my case, finding the way to win meant realizing that turning the ball over to the other team wasnâ€™t really smart point guard play. I mean, thatâ€™s the difference between us and, say, Carolina and Duke. Weâ€™re just as talented, really, and weâ€™ll show that in our next game now that weâ€™ve found the way to win again.â€
Wolfpack freshman J.J. Hickson did not pause to speak with the media after the players gathering broke up, stating only that he had to attend â€œa meeting with some peopleâ€ before speeding away in a new Cadillac Escalade with a temporary tag.
Wolfpack head coach Sidney Lowe, notified of the players-only meeting, expressed his gratification. â€œI must say, though, Iâ€™d have been much happier if theyâ€™d come to this conclusion during the actual basketball season,â€ Lowe admitted.
When assistants quietly notified the players that the season was, in fact, over, the team was stunned. â€œSay what?â€ Grant said. â€œBut we have this turned around.â€ Costner too was crestfallen, stating, â€œSuch a wasted potential; we really were finally ready to win. I understand now why the fans were so upset yesterday. Oh, well.â€
NC State Director of Athletics Lee Fowler said, “This meeting is just another example of how, under my leadership, NC State is building top-caliber athletic programs. Like some guy once said, never give up. When the ACC thinks ‘champions,’ they think, ‘NC State’. And ‘Lee Fowler’.”