OTR: Predict Pack’s ACC Record (with bonus imbalanced schedule stats)

It’s that time of year again!  Time for you to go ‘On the Record’ with your Wolfpack perspectives and knowledge.

State opens the season tomorrow with an extremely difficult task on the road at Clemson (we’ve got your pre-game discussion)  And, the schedule doesn’t necessarily get THAT much easier.  You can view the imbalanced nature of the ACC’s schedule by clicking hereNote the following observation:

Pity poor N.C. State, who because of rivalries always draws UNC and Clemson twice a year, and this season has it compounded by facing BC twice and only getting road games against Duke and Clemson.

[Note: The author of ^that piece incorrectly referenced Clemson as NC State’s other natural rivalry. Wake Forest is actually NC State’s other partner for two games each season.]

If only that observation was a new observation!  This is the fourth season of the conference’s imbalanced schedule and our own VaWolf has historically does a fantastic job of crunching the data.  (For more detail click here and also feel free to click through the links to past entries.)

The following is the breakdown of the conference strength of schedule over the last three years.  Herb Sendek coached NC State in 2006; Sidney Lowe is entering his third season as the Wolfpack’s Head Coach.

The Wolfpack’s ACC schedule this year shapes up as follows:

January 10 at Clemson
January 13 Florida State
January 17 Georgia Tech
January 20 at Duke
January 24 at Boston College
January 27 Miami (FL)
January 31 North Carolina
February 8 at Virginia Tech
February 11 Wake Forest
February 14 at Georgia Tech
February 18 at North Carolina
February 21 Virginia
February 26 at Wake Forest
March 1 Maryland
March 4 Boston College
March 7 at Miami (FL)

We’ll go with the following:

Sure losses: at Clemson, at Duke, at UNC, at Wake, UNC (0-4)

Probable loss: Wake (0-1)

Toss ups:  the remaining 11 games

Splitting the remaining 11 games equally and with a bias to defending the home court would lead to the following toss-up wins:

  1. Georgia Tech
  2. Florida State
  3. Virginia
  4. @VT or @GT or @ BC (win one of these three)
  5. Boston College
  6. Maryland 

If the Wolfpack can hold serve in a manner that puts us anywhere close to the above scenario then the following three games become the “swing/defining games” on the schedule:

  1. Miami in Raleigh
  2. Game #2 of the @VT or @GT or @ BC
  3. Game #3 of the @VT or @GT or @ BC

Coupling this schedule with what we know about the composition of this NC State roster and the importance of guard play in college basketball…then a 6-10 record should serve as an acceptable baseline with a 7-9 record or 5-11 record within the realm of possibility.  Anything more or less would serve as a surprise.

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08-09 Basketball General On the Record

58 Responses to OTR: Predict Pack’s ACC Record (with bonus imbalanced schedule stats)

  1. com state10 01/09/2009 at 2:39 PM #

    The talent to shock some people with an 8-8 record or even 9-7.

    However, with what I’ve seen in terms of leadership on the floor late in games, lack of PG play, I have to put my money down for 7-9.

    That includes a buzzer beater classic finish against one of the ‘sure loss’ games, similar to J. Hodge’s shot to knock off UConn in the tourny.

  2. RickJ 01/09/2009 at 2:41 PM #

    “Pity poor N.C. State, who because of rivalries always draws UNC and Clemson twice a year,”

    Shouldn’t this read “UNC and Wake Forest twice a year,”?

  3. Rochester 01/09/2009 at 2:51 PM #

    ^Yeah, pretty sure our rivalry matchups are Orange County CC and Wake, not Clemson.

    Being realistic I’ll go on record with a 7-9 forecast. We’ve got enough “winnable” games win 8 or 9 games, but we’ve dropped three “winnable” games against mid-tier ACC talent level teams already.

    If Mays continues to improve I like our chances more in the second half, when a 5-3 record isn’t totally unrealistic (wins at Ga. Tech, vs Virginia, vs Maryland, vs BC, and at Miami).

  4. tvp1 01/09/2009 at 2:52 PM #

    What we’ve seen so far:
    We’ve played three good teams, and lost all three. The three games were all lost in the last minute, and two of the three were on the road.

    We beat all cupckades and only got a real scare in one of the games. Most of the other mid-level ACC teams have been much more up ad down with big wins and bad losses.

    Based on the performances of Calathes and Curry, we will not be able to stop any star “point” guard from scoring at will on us. So mid-level teams like BC, Miami, and Maryland will be big problems for us because of Rice, McClinton, and Vazquez.

    In theory, we should get a little better as the season progresses due to Fells, Ferg, Javy, and Degand getting healthy. But that probably won’t happen, because we are who we are.

    So I’m going with 5-11.

  5. pakfanistan 01/09/2009 at 2:56 PM #

    You know, I don’t necessarily think that it’s a detriment to us to only play Duke away.

    I think it’s good that we get Florida State / Maryland / Virginia at home only because they’re winnable games with home court advantage giving us an edge.

    Honestly, we probably wouldn’t beat Duke anyway, so by playing them away, we have everything to gain and nothing to lose.

    SFN: I tend to agree with you and subscribe to this line of thinking. Except when I remember how we would have beaten Duke at home last year if not for squirrelly officiating by Les Jones.

  6. wufpup76 01/09/2009 at 2:57 PM #

    I follow Pack basketball as closely as anyone, but I don’t really want to touch this …

    If I was pinned down for an answer, I would go with a surprising/optimistic to some 8-8 … there, I’m OTR

    This of course is a purely wild guess based only on things as they stand now, not taking into account trends, injuries, and changes for each and every team … In other words, there are always surprises that pave the way for one or more teams to either rise unexpectedly or disappoint

    For that reason, I won’t waste the space of trying to call out each potential victory or loss (unless someone really wants me to, and I doubt it!)

    I see some wins we could definitely get, even some surprises … BUT, we can lose to every team in this conference … It remains to be seen if we can beat every team in this conference, but we know we can lose to them

    Of course, BC was picked to finish 11th in the league and just finished beating the 2nd coming of the ’76 Hoosiers on their floor … so what does anybody know? God I love college basketball

    Let’s hope to get to 8 wins and hopefully more!

    Go Pack

  7. seanb724 01/09/2009 at 3:02 PM #

    I say 5-11, mostly due to a clear lack of leadership, especially when it is needed — at the end of a close games. And unfortunately that falls on both the players and the coaches, in my opinion.

    We have fairly decent talent overall, though point is suspect. Maybe Mays comes on strong and we have a better 2nd half like a prior commenter said…

  8. sautz 01/09/2009 at 3:03 PM #

    Since we only play UVa once and nothing surprises me, I am going with 3-13.

  9. ChuckAllYall 01/09/2009 at 3:06 PM #


  10. 93Pack 01/09/2009 at 3:08 PM #

    Under sure losses you have 5 games listed and 0-4, I think you meant 0-5.
    Under toss ups you have 11 remaining games, and only 9 listed. You need to change to 10 remaining games and add the at Miami game.

  11. BJD95 01/09/2009 at 3:13 PM #

    Duke is much, much better than last year. We almost beat them b/c Paulus was so slow that Javi dominated him.

    Paulusis no longer starting, or even playing PG at all, IIRC.

    Duke and Clemson are awful matchups for us, so I’m glad we only play them once and on the road.

  12. graywolf 01/09/2009 at 3:15 PM #

    The key to winning in the ACC is guard play. NC State’s guards work hard but we are short on talent and thus will be fortunate to have 6 wins in the league.
    It will be two years before this changes. As usual just accept it and move on…..

  13. Dan 01/09/2009 at 3:16 PM #

    4-12. But there is a chance for 2-14. The B boys quit last year. It could happen again. This team is fragile.

    And the fanbase/turnout is pathetically uninspiring. Seriously. Get your asses to some games.

  14. LKNpackfan 01/09/2009 at 3:16 PM #

    We have the exact same roster as last year, minus a great post player, plus a freshman guard. The schedule is slightly harder. The air of toxicity is gone, but I don’t see that the team has gel’ed either. Degand being semi-healthy is a plus, which is the only reason why I think we’ll beat last year’s record by 2 games.

  15. Classof89 01/09/2009 at 3:56 PM #

    5-11. Unless DeGand has a sudden and profound improvement. If Julius Mays and Javi have to play 20+ minutes a game, this team simply won’t be able to compete against anyone with quick athletic backcourt players. We’ll see on Saturday how they fare against pressure defense, ACC style. I hope I’m pleasantly surprised.

  16. BSIE80 01/09/2009 at 4:09 PM #

    10-6, +/- 5

  17. Big Worm 01/09/2009 at 4:26 PM #

    And the fanbase/turnout is pathetically uninspiring. Seriously. Get your asses to some games.

    This is, and always has been, a no-win argument. Fanbases that show up to support mediocre teams are in geographic areas where there is no competition for patron’s entertainment dollars. Packer fans and South Carolina football fans (is there such a thing as a USC basketball fan) don’t have an abundance of entertainment, especially sports entertainment, options in Green Bay and Columbia.

    Fan support is more fickle in other, larger cities with more entertainment options. I think our attendance is fantastic given the on-court results the last eighteen years. We have consistently been a top-25 fanbase with regard to national attendance figures since the RBC opened, which is to say that our fanbase has dramatically outperformed our team during that time period.

    I challenge anyone to name an NCAA institution out there that has better fan support than we do, evidenced by football AND basketball attendance, while experiencing worse on-court and on-field results than us the last twenty years. There is not a school out there that supports their football and basketball teams more than ours relative to team performance, and I get tired of keyboard jockeys insulting our fans for not selling out the RBC.

    We are, IIRC, fourth in basketball attendance in the ACC this year, and will most assuredly not finish fourth or better in the conference standings. Wake me up when our team finishes ahead of our fans in the conference standings or when someone finds evidence somewhere that there are actual examples of other universities that simultaneously support their football AND basketball programs more than ours while experiencing comparable or worse results on the field or court. Good luck searching.

  18. WV Wolf 01/09/2009 at 4:35 PM #


    If we had any semblance of a backcourt and/or if Courtney Fells had appeared to improve his game I would go higher than that, however…

    And in typical NC State fashion, for each road upset we pull off there will be a corresponding debacle at the RBC Center.

  19. hball57 01/09/2009 at 5:49 PM #


    Pack fans undervaluing their team.

  20. travelwolf 01/09/2009 at 6:21 PM #

    i’m not sure where on the map to put us – esp. since i have yet to see a game against a non-cupcake. i’d say 7-9 due mainly to an improved approach by our coach. but, if any of the guards get injured again, it might drop quickly.

  21. highstick 01/09/2009 at 6:34 PM #

    3-13 to 4-12. Obviously not optimistic at all.

  22. Packster 01/09/2009 at 7:04 PM #

    4-12 or 5-11. Hopefully I am pleasantly surprised. With regard to Dan’s comment about going to games…..since I can’t afford any lifetime seating rights, the best seats I’ve ever been able to get for the RBC were in the club level, and that was for just one game. There’s no way I’m paying to sit in the 300 level of the RBC for any game other than Duke or UNX when I can watch it on TV. After growing up on Reynolds Coliseum, where it seemed I was always close (even in the back), the RBC just doesn’t work for me. I know that this argument is long since dead, but switching venues was a big part of the death (or at least very serious illness) of our program.

  23. wolfpackbball 01/09/2009 at 7:40 PM #

    6-10 is, IMO the ceiling. That being said, I’m never right with predictions anyway, so maybe 10-6

  24. BJD95 01/09/2009 at 7:48 PM #

    5-11 or 6-10. Probably 5-11, since BC might not suck as bad as previously expected.

  25. Ed89 01/09/2009 at 7:53 PM #

    9-7. I guess I’m an optimist. This team has the experience and talent to do that well. We’ll see if they have the “fight.”

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