NC State 82, #7 Wake Forest 76

#8 Wake Forest (18-4) 34 42 76
NCSU (13-9) 42 40 82


Perhaps the best coverage is from long-time sportswriter A.J. Carr:  “Wolfpack Knocks Off Deacons” (News and Observer)

For a moment, let your imagination run rampant.

Picture the No. 10 ranked team in the ACC beating the No. 7 ranked team in the nation. Envision N.C. State guard Farnold Degand out scoring Wake Forest’s player-of-the-year candidate Jeff Teague. Close your eyes and see Brandon Costner going on a scoring spree.

All that and more happened  Wednesday night at the RBC Center, where the Wolfpack emerged from the depths of the conference to conquer Wake 82-76.

In my book, Carr is the best scribe the N&O has and it is good to see him back covering the Wolfpack.  I first met him in the late spring of 1974, when I was in the seventh grade and he was kind enough to bat tennis balls back and forth with me and regale me with tales of my heros, Thompson, Towe, Burleson, Rivers and Spence.  There’s not much A. J. hasn’t seen in the ACC, and his write-up gives the Pack their due.

Joe Ovies of 850 The Buzz posted some great player interviews in their write-up of the game.

The AP chimes in with “Wake’s second-half rally falls short as NC State prevails” (ESPN)

Three days after squandering an 18-point lead with 13 minutes remaining, North Carolina State was in nearly the same position again.

This time, they held on for the win.

Let’s hope that these are signs of future things to come.

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08-09 Basketball NCS Basketball Sidney Lowe

98 Responses to NC State 82, #7 Wake Forest 76

  1. BJD95 02/11/2009 at 9:59 PM #

    Just a reminder – this is how we expect people to operate on this blog. Make POINTS, don’t get personal with other posters. If you don’t like people being critical when they believe criticism is warranted, then this blog is not for you. Period.

  2. McLovin 02/11/2009 at 10:01 PM #

    Levelsixtyfour I actually hate PUKE basketball more than the baby blue sissys too


    I’m just hoping we don’t expect too much for the rest of this season and then lose a very winnable game in the near future. The anti-Lowe talk will be back with a vengeance.

  3. BJD95 02/11/2009 at 10:03 PM #

    Lowe will critically analyzed here, for good and for bad. He did a great job mixing up defenses tonight, and I was very pleased with that.

    The key is to win enough games that we ultimately achieve a realistic goal for this group of players (NIT).

  4. LRM 02/11/2009 at 10:06 PM #

    We were at the Ale House in Cary, they had the game on the big screen with the radio broadcast accompanying it. Dare I say, I actually enjoyed myself…even if we did try once again to blow another monstrous lead.

    If only…

  5. McLovin 02/11/2009 at 10:09 PM #

    NIT is a must for Sidney this year in order to secure support and attract recruits.

    Without an appearance, it will be a very hard uphill climb IMO

  6. wufpup76 02/11/2009 at 10:10 PM #

    Cel-a-brate Good Times … c’mon!

    wooooooooo!!!! yayyy!!!

    I haven’t read any comments from this thread or the other, so please forgive me if I repeat some stuff from others

    We rightfully point out things to be concerned or upset about, so I feel obligated to give some credit tonight

    – Great win. If anybody needed a win over a good opponent it was Sidney Lowe and the Wolfpack

    – Outstanding game plan tonight. Say what you want to about our overly passive play down the stretch, the Pack was ready to play and fought hard throughout. The defensive calls and effort were tremendous. The mix and match zones and especially the box-and-1 were very effective in taking them out of what they wanted to do. Sidney Lowe called all the right defenses all night long.

    – Radio guys gave player of the game to Brandon Costner – and that’s a good call. But I would’ve gone with Courtney Fells for his outstanding effort on Jeff Teague all night – especially in the box-and-1. Really tremendous effort by Fells tonight. We were able to get up by 20 due in no small part to Fells and the defense just really locking down on Teague and disrupting their game plan.

    – Sidney Lowe deserves a lot of credit for tonight’s performance. In addition to the defensive calls, I thought the rotation was pretty good tonight. And when Dennis started turning the ball over Sidney was quick to get Javi in at the same time as Farnold which helped us immediately after they had scored 7 points in 30 seconds. Coach Lowe really did pull all the right strings all night long.

    – Javi has been disparaged enough on here, so he deserves some real love for his performance tonight. He had several huge plays in the 2nd half. The steal and layup going under McFarland; a great hustle offensive rebound late after Fells took a poor shot; a couple of big free throws in the last minute. Well done Javi! Way to not get down or give up on yourself. He was a real key performer tonight.

    – Tracy Smith with 10 offensive rebounds, including that huge play after he missed 2 free throws and he got the board and put back – great job. CJ Williams was huge off the bench with his minutes given in place of Fells and spelling the 3 spot as well. Farnold Degand played great and with a ton of confidence. He looked like a really good point guard tonight – not adequate – really good. Brandon was huge with all those consecutive points for us in the 2nd half, and Ben was solid.

    – We started playing not to lose, and it almost cost us big time again. On the postgame, Sidney was saying he was telling them to stay aggressive, but we were clearly very tentative against their press. Our crowd was letting ’em know about it, but man we almost blew it.

    – Great job guys! Teriffic win! Go Pack!

  7. McLovin 02/11/2009 at 10:15 PM #

    wufpup is right

    celebrate tonight – we can hypothesize and worry later

  8. LRM 02/11/2009 at 10:17 PM #

    Students rushed the floor against a team we beat regularly…what a truly sad state of affairs.

  9. Rochester 02/11/2009 at 10:24 PM #

    Man, I wish I could have seen this one. Makes no sense that this is our only ACC game all year not on TV. Glad we won, but it would have been fun to see.

    Let’s make it two in a row this weekend. And to think if we could have held on on Sunday we’d be a thoroughly respectable 4-5 right now. We can put some space between us and the bottom feeders with a win against Ga. Tech.

  10. MA Wolfpack 02/11/2009 at 10:27 PM #

    We can beat BC in Raleigh too. This win was huge for NCSU. Now we have to follow it up with a solid road win @ GT. If we can get that one, then NCSU has a chance to make this a decent last 8 games of the season. I would take 6-10 right now.

  11. choppack1 02/11/2009 at 10:27 PM #

    I’m thrilled w/ this victory. To come back after Sunday’s game – says a lot about this team and this staff.

    I agree w/ pretty much everything wulfpup said.

    I said after VaTech’s game, that I think it’s a good sign if you can build a good lead – even if you blow them. Lowe has done a great job prepping his team for every game this year – I think we’ve lead against every opponent we’ve played this year in the second half w/ the exception of Clemson, BC and UNC.

  12. Sw0rdf1sh 02/11/2009 at 10:27 PM #

    Ha ha….there can be only ONE!

    And people still think it is UNC or Dook.

  13. BSIE80 02/11/2009 at 10:31 PM #

    Lot of good play tonite. We needed it against a very good Wake Forest team.

    Degand earned his starting job back tonite. He played great- hit shots, good defense, drove to the basket.
    Javi has this confidence about him. He makes mistakes, but he really has improved.
    Sid made a great move putting both Degand/Javi in the ball game at the same time.
    CJ played great as well.

    If Degand/CJ/Javi can give us 80% of what they gave us tonite, our backcourt will be ok and we can win more than 3 games.

    Tracy’s double double was big as well.

    Great game.

  14. BJD95 02/11/2009 at 10:32 PM #

    Basically, we need to win 3 of these 4: @GT, BC, UVA, UMD. That’s a realistic goal for this team.

  15. jasondeans 02/11/2009 at 10:34 PM #

    wufpup76 – I agree with you that the guys showed a lot of heart tonight. They pulled out a really tough win but I would still give our coaching a failing grade based on the following:

    We “sat” on the lead way too much. The best way to beat a press is to take advantage of numbers and attack the basket when you’re fortunate to have numbers. It’s has been obvious since last season that this team has trouble with the press and it’s the coach’s responsibility to prepare his team and teach them how to effectively beat it. If we had played ball like we did the first half we would have never squandered a 20 point lead in such a short time. The dual point guard decision was very wise but way too late. Everyone in my section was suggesting this 5 minutes before he did it.

    Another constant failure is his ability to hold the refs accountable for their bad calls. He is way too passive and could push them much more than he does without getting a technical. Basic human nature is to want to please everyone and when Sideny gives the refs “passes” for bad calls he gives the other team an advantage. Maybe his “ref strategy” works in the NBA but I would argue that a good college coach is ALWAYS working the refs in some manner.

    Finally, the micromanaging of players has to cease before our team can truly become great. There was a point during Wake’s final run when he directing at least three players at one time. I cant’ be sure but I believe the reason Costner got hit in the face with the ball was because Sid was giving him instructions on the way down the sideline. I’d love to see the replay on that.

    For NCSU’s sake I hope Sid comes around but it’s evident that our team can hang with anyone for [more than] 15 minutes. To me this indicates that we have the talent to compete against almost any team we’ve faced. The mental breakdowns and squandering of leads are a symptom of a lack of mental discipline and focus that a coach MUST train his players for.

    In the end tonight we were lucky. Wake was clearly off tonight allowing way too many TO’s and 2nd chance points….but I’m still proud of players heart tonight. Costner and Javi especially!

    As for our coach, let’s hope he continues to improve and leads us to a nice end of season rally!

    Regardless, here’s to a great win!

  16. jbpackfan 02/11/2009 at 10:37 PM #

    Best things about this game:

    I loved the mixing up of defenses, it really confused Wake
    Courtney Fells defense
    Costner’s effort, scoring and take charge attitude down the stretch

  17. jasondeans 02/11/2009 at 10:41 PM #

    One more thing and I’ll toss the soapbox. There’s something about Sid’s post game comments that didn’t sit well with me. There seems to be an attitude after a win like this that we played great basketball. The fact is we did at times, but it’s hardly “great basketball” There’s never an acknowledgment or mention of our weakness or inability to “close” a game. It’s always we played a great game etc etc, when it should be we played a great game but we have to continue to improve on XYZ down the stretch and close the game out. I didn’t hear that tonight and haven’t all season. Maybe the radio interviews miss that? Anyone else agree?

  18. JeremyH 02/11/2009 at 10:41 PM #

    anyone working with Vitale willing to look him in the eye and say “stop being such a douchbag..honestly, you’re ridiculous and people want you to stop”

  19. jasondeans 02/11/2009 at 10:42 PM #

    jbpackfan – the “junk” defenses were great. I failed to mention that…they were very well prepared on D. But we still have to work on “getting back” after a score 🙂

  20. levelsixtyfour 02/11/2009 at 10:43 PM #

    On another note, Carolina is looking strong. New Jersey is not happy tonight.

  21. GAWolf 02/11/2009 at 10:43 PM #

    Sid needed this game and called a great game defensively. I sat right across from our bench and so we were in front of our basket down the stretch. Tonight was the first time I could actually watch the game unfold and the bench (for being there and in that position).

    Some things I noticed: To me it seemed we took some very frustrating shots in the last 7 or so minutes and when I looked up Sid was obviously not happy. Most of the trips down the stretch we did a fantastic job giving help breaking the press and doing so aggressively. There were still a couple of just boneheaded passes, but they were obviously less in number than on any other night this year. What drove me crazy were the shots with 10 or more seconds left on the shot clock. IIRC in the last 7 minutes I counted close to 60 seconds that we left on the clock not counting offensive rebounds/putbacks and Javi’s steal. That means that last horrifying (i wish I could call it exhilirating but given our past performances that’s just not the feeling in the air in the RBC) minute should have never happen.

    Most importantly I could see Sid reacting similarly to me and that ar least let me know that he didn’t want Fells jacking 3’s with 20 seconds left on the shot clock in the waning minutes, and that was comforting. Yes it’s important to stay agressive, but that doesn’t include Degand driving UNDER the basket with 15 seconds on the clock when we don’t want to shoot free throws attempting to score with the clock STOPPED.

    I’m a Sid supporter and honestly I was looking to see if we were going to come out tonight after Sunday’s heartbreaker and just shit the bed. We played good solid ball (even during parts of the late WFU run) for longer than we have all year. Guys hit HUGE shots when we needed them (BC comes to mind, Degand too). That’s something we haven’t had all year…a guy step up and hit the must-make-bucket.

    Good going guys! Good work, Sid. At least for 3 days the Pack fans have backed off the ledge.

    Duke is much more hate-worthy.

  22. GAWolf 02/11/2009 at 10:48 PM #

    I actually love to see ANYONE win in Cameron besides Duke. The fans actually cry. There’s a difference between being a fan and a…..

    Here’s something for you guys…. I’ve only got tickets to two games this year: Tonight and….UNC in Chapel Hill. Maybe? Please? Maybe?

  23. GAWolf 02/11/2009 at 10:51 PM #

    Also, Jason Deans:

    I see what you’re saying, but our guys need confidence after Sundays debacle and the almost-repeat we saw tonight. He can’t do anything but puff after this one. It’s a must.

  24. wufpup76 02/11/2009 at 10:51 PM #

    “I cant’ be sure but I believe the reason Costner got hit in the face with the ball was because Sid was giving him instructions on the way down the sideline. I’d love to see the replay on that.”

    ^This did happen. Costner was looking back at Degand who was bringing the ball up … Sidney called over to Brandon and Farnold had let the pass go – Brandon couldn’t react in time and the ball bounced off his hands and head out of bounds. We were up 64-45 at the time, and this play preceeded Teague or Clark hitting a 3 and Wake going on their 7 points in 20 seconds run.

    Tough for me to give Sidney a failing grade, but you are correct in saying it’s his responsibility to keep them attacking down the stretch. Also, I and others have brought up uncomfortable aspects of Coach Lowe’s postgame comments on numerous occasions – so you’re definitely not alone there.

    But good win! Go Pack!

  25. ktforres 02/11/2009 at 10:51 PM #

    A great win, no doubt about it. But this doesn’t make us a top team, just as the sky wasn’t falling a couple of days ago.

    As mentioned I loved seeing the mixture of defenses, a definite positive from Sid. I really think he knows what he is doing and how he wants to play the game, he just needs the right personel.

    In response to a comment above, I don’t think this team has under acheived as far as the record goes. It is definitely ridiculous the games we lost in the final minutes, but before those games began, we didn’t realistically expect to win many of them.

    Here’s to a boost in confidence, and a great run to, and through the ACC tournament.

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