State can’t stay undefeated – can Farnold Degand get is *(#&$ together to help this team?

In relatively even match-ups on the hardwood, one can often point to a single statistic that makes a difference in a one-game battle. This pretty much describes NC State’s loss tonight at the RBC Center to the Northwestern Wildcats.

For the night, NC State shot a putrid 2 of 18 for 11% from the three-point line with Javi Gonzalez hitting the Wolfpack’s only two threes (2 of 6)

It doesn’t get any more simple than that.

The Wolfpack missed wide open looks…half contested looks…quick ball reversed looks…you name the look, the Wolfpack missed it.

Additionally, our (expected) weak guard play had a difficult time (1) creating opportunities for the offense against the Wildcat’s extended zone defense and (2) struggled to control Northwestern’s point guard, Michael Thompson who finished the night with 22 points and was able to easily create/convert drives for key buckets in the last five minutes of the game.

Tonight was a night when you could really see where Farnold Degand could help this team. His athleticism, length, quickness and shooting ability are all superior to those of Julius Mays. I love Julius Mays and appreciate his contributions to this team. But that doesn’t make my statement about Degand less true. Who knows the impact Degand could have had on both ends of the court if he was playing.


Again, it really doesn’t get any more simple than this.

The Wolfpack falls to a respectable 5-1 for the season, at least one game better than most fans expected at this point of the season. State has another important out of conference clash on Saturday at 3pm on the road at Marquette. The Golden Eagles are a surprising 6-1 to start the season, losing by one point to Florida State in the finals of the Old Spice Classic on Sunday. (Link)

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09-10 Basketball

149 Responses to State can’t stay undefeated – can Farnold Degand get is *(#&$ together to help this team?

  1. wolfbuff 12/01/2009 at 10:07 PM #

    I figured the real Wolfpack would eventually stand up. No running game, no defense, no shooting, no guard play, no points off the bench. I’ve seen this story and am bored. When does football season start?

    SFN: That’s not a totally fair representation. You haven’t seen this before because you haven’t seen that kind of scrappy effort for 40 minutes or that kind of defense.

    These guys are limited in skill. No doubt. But, that is different than what you have seen the last two years when a more talented team would have thrown in the towel emotionally earlier in the game.

    It sucks to lose…but, it is not fair to represent their effort as the same old song and dance.

  2. graywolf 12/01/2009 at 10:07 PM #

    Its going to be a very long season if three’s fail to fall or Smith gets into foul trouble.

  3. Daily Update 12/01/2009 at 10:13 PM #

    Javi had a nice game. At least he attacked and played aggressive. Unfortunately he has nobody around him on the perimeter to give him a hand.

    CJ Williams? Where are you?

  4. Octavian 12/01/2009 at 10:16 PM #

    I’m sorry but I just can’t see what Towe and Lowe saw in Mays.

    He “may” be a decent shooter and have some court savy but I must say that he is far from being a legitimate ACC guard. His movement, his athleticism, the ball handling…it is just not up to snuff.

    SFN: Maybe he saw Scott Wood in Mays? To be fair, Mays is very good personality on the team. Considered a leader. Well liked. And, helps us in recruiting.

    There is a spot for Mays in the program — but, it is #9 or #10 or #11 on the roster. It isn’t his fault that Degand isn’t playing and Lorenzo Brown didn’t qualify.

  5. triadwolf 12/01/2009 at 10:16 PM #

    Saw some good things tonight – I liked the effort and at times we made plays on D that would’ve never happened last year. But…

    We still don’t have a consistant outside threat and most players cannot create their own shot. If we make 2 or 3 more threes during the course of the game (not garbage at the end), we probably win this game.

    Hopefully Wood or CJ can get into the flow of things and help us there, if not it’s going to be a long season no matter how good the coaching, the hustle, or the scheme.

  6. StateFans 12/01/2009 at 10:20 PM #

    CJ was on the bench most of the night replaced by Mays. Perhaps that wasn’t a totally smart move. Mays was 0-4 from the arc; CJ was 0-3.

    Wood was 0 for 6.

    So…the 2G/3F position shot 0 for 13 from the arc.

    That is just AWFUL

  7. Wulfpack 12/01/2009 at 10:24 PM #

    I fully get that hitting a few more shots would have made this a different game. But above all, the defense was poor. NW got wide open looks – layups, 3 pointers, you name it – all night long. Smith was dominated in the post. The guards couldn’t stop penetration. And we weren’t bumping cutters. We were not prepared for this game. That’s the way I saw it. Just calling it like it is.

  8. ncsu05mit10 12/01/2009 at 10:25 PM #

    CJ and Mays are simply too passive and look to pass the ball away as soon as it’s in their hand. I know CJ is a “let the game come to me” kind of player, but there’s just not enough firepower for him to sit back and watch like that.

    Javi has really become a point guard. Changes speed nicely, looks to penetrate, and has some really nice dishes to Tracey. 2-6 from 3’s is good enough to make people respect you… I guess.

    Defense overall I thought was good. Wood is still a little slow to the ball, but we had major defensive breakdowns as Mays can’t guard anyone.

    But the things I wanted to see improvement from this year I’ve seen. The things I expected to be bad (backcourt, offense) are.

    Really need Wood to find his stroke, though.

  9. triadwolf 12/01/2009 at 10:27 PM #

    I find it ironic that we’ve come full circle in just a few seasons. We used to be a team that was almost completely three oriented to a team that can’t make three. Not that we were an outstanding shooting team before, but we were at least respectable minus the 10 min. droughts.

  10. one00_proof 12/01/2009 at 10:32 PM #

    Hit the nail on the head SFN.

    Tired legs and lack of guard penetration were our achilles heel tonight and that’s exactly why if we had Degand, it could completely change the makeup of this team. Degand gives us the speed and driving ability for those easy twos in the lane which open up the 3 point lanes for the guys. Let’s be honest, each time the guys got a 3 point, the shooter is almost collectively holding his breath with the rest of us. Without a person who can get those easy shots in the lane, we put a lot of pressure on our shooters to make 3’s. Couple that with tired legs and it just wasn’t meant to be.

    Some of the state fans are being a bit ridiculous thinking we should have beaten an obviously talented, well coached (albeit gimmicky) team that will probably make some noise this year in the Big 10. Our team outside of Tracy Smith is NOT athletic at all, but we still managed to hang in there with scrappy defense and hustle. This team’s gonna steal some wins this year because we’re not gonna blow anyone out, but we’ll definitely stick around with most teams. Not happy with the loss, but I’m definitely not disappointed with the effort, which is something I cannot say for the past two years.

    emphasis added by SFN

  11. LRM 12/01/2009 at 10:36 PM #

    “Some of the state fans are being a bit ridiculous thinking we should have beaten an obviously talented, well coached (albeit gimmicky) team that will probably make some noise this year in the Big 10.”

    Meanwhile, we’re an untalented team that is very obviously poorly-coached that will make nothing beyond a whimper in the ACC this year.

    SFN: I didn’t see the obvious poorly coached thing tonight. Not trying to be argumentative. I agree we are relatively untalented. I don’t see any way that we lost this game because of coaching. We lost it because of talent.

  12. Wulfpack 12/01/2009 at 10:37 PM #

    The day State should not expect to beat Northwestern at home, is the day the program has truly entered the abyss of irrelevance. They are a well coached team with some decent enough players. But come on, we have no business getting drilled by them at home.

    SFN: We were down 4 with 5 minutes to play in a game we shot 2 of 18 from three point line. That is ‘drilled?’ They are projected to be an NCAA Tournament team this year. I don’t care what name is on their uniform.

  13. Lunatic Fringe 12/01/2009 at 10:45 PM #

    Degand gives you a much better defensive presence at the guard spot. I know offensively we struggled, but I thought our inability to control the PG was what really ended up costing us this game. The PG is good for Northwestern, but Degand would have challenged him much more than Mays.

    CJ was not on the court, because he was a liability on defense AND was a complete non-factor on offense. You simply can’t be both of those and expect to stay in the game long.

    Wood – I like how he plays the game for the most part (good on both ends of the court), but he has got to hit those shots.

    Thank God for Javy…

  14. BJD95 12/01/2009 at 10:51 PM #


    1) The defensive effort was much, much better. Northwestern seemed to have decent offensive skill, and we really made them work (most of the time).

    2) The opposing PG abused the hell out of us. I suspect this will be a pattern.

    3) Scott Wood’s shot is awfully flat. He’s not going to get the “shooter’s roll” very often.

    4) Javi was much less tentative. This was good, and this was bad.

    5) Halfcourt ball pressure still gives us fits. And that’s with Northwestern-caliber athletes.

    6) I don’t think you’ll see much depth in major OOC or ACC play. Our reserves don’t have much to bring against quality opposition.

    7) If CJ Williams isn’t contributing, we’re pretty much screwed.

    8. I don’t get the hue and cry about Farnold Degand. Since he blew out his knee, he’s been pretty much useless (lost the lateral quickness that made him a good perimeter defender, which was his highest and best use). Unless there’s a 40-yard dash competition that somehow is reflected in the final score, I honestly don’t think he’s missed.

  15. T-FIC 12/01/2009 at 10:53 PM #

    I didn’t see the game as badly as some. NW had a fairly tough defense and we had a horrendous night shooting. I saw some good hustling on offense and we are’t going to shoot 11% from three very many games (I hope). I’m not freaking out quite yet.

  16. .spree. 12/01/2009 at 10:53 PM #

    I don’t understand why CJ wasn’t in for Mays more often. Mays did not look comfortable with that trap and CJ gives you more height to throw over those defenders. His defense couldn’t have been that much worse than Mays’ either.

  17. frankiepack 12/01/2009 at 10:58 PM #

    Now Degand is the missing link? Northwestern plays smart and is well coached ,but they were playing without their 2 best players. Hey the 5-0 was great but right now we will still be overmatched on the floor and with the X’s and O’s as well.

  18. rbwolf 12/01/2009 at 10:59 PM #

    Well four years, same problem, not good PG play. I am wondering how long it takes to build a program. I guess Roy Williams must be great because it didn’t take him 4 years. I guess we State fans always have next year. I hope know more of our games are on tv, because on the radio I don’t see how bad we are again, and I dont have to explain to my 5 year old son why his daddy’s collage doesn’t win big games, but s—t I will pull for my team no matter what.

  19. Lunatic Fringe 12/01/2009 at 11:01 PM #

    ^^CJ lost his man several times on cuts to the basket. Guess Lowe decided he take his chances with Mays on PG over uncontested layups by cutter CJ was guarding.

  20. ncsu05mit10 12/01/2009 at 11:13 PM #

    I don’t put much hope on Degand’s return to fix our offensive woes. Like Mays, he’s turnover prone and a liability on D. Javi is pretty strategic with bursts of speed, however, Degand just says “I wanna go fast” and does so pretty recklessly.

    I hope he proves me wrong.

    That being said– we shoot 25% from 3 and it’s a much different game.

  21. foz 12/01/2009 at 11:20 PM #

    Attended the game, here are my observations:

    1) Not to blame officiating, but we were getting mugged on the boards with no calls whatsoever.

    2) Absolutley NO movement on offense. On one occasion Mays(?) picked up is dribble, and no one came to get the ball, he had to jump pass it out.

    3) Entire team, but Javi in particular seemed to really get frustrated as shots didn’t drop and no foul calls (see #1). When this happened, passes got sloppy, and poor shot selection ensued.

    4) Last 5 minutes, no one wanted to take a jumper. Several open shots on the perimeter, Wood, MAys, Horner passed them up.

    5) With < 2 minutes left, still within 7 points, Mays was SLOWLY walking the ball upcourt. No sense of urgency.

  22. 61Packer 12/01/2009 at 11:32 PM #

    Year 4 of Sidney Lowe is underway, and I was there tonight to see it. The faces were in many cases new, but it was the same old trio of porous defense, critical-situation turnovers, and 3-point bricks that did us in again.

    Lousy team defense in my opinion has been the trademark of this coaching staff now for 4 seasons. We were called for what, only one foul in the first half? That tells me that we could be playing a tighter defense, especially since Northwestern seemed to get most of the calls.

    The Wildcats were a decent team and should have a real shot at their first NCAA bid this season. As for us, I still think that an 8-8 league mark isn’t out of the question. Granted, we don’t have a wealth of offensive talent, but we do have quick, athletic players who could probably be taught to play enough defense to keep them in the game, and maybe even steal one now and then. A few of those could be the difference between a 6-10 season vs 8-8. If we allow teams to score on us inside as easily as the Wildcats did tonight, we’ll be watching the ACC-Big Ten challenge next season on tv.

  23. StateFans 12/01/2009 at 11:34 PM #

    Fantastic points and conversation from the community. Just wanted to say thanks to everyone for such high quality comments in such an even-minded expression.

  24. tvp1 12/01/2009 at 11:36 PM #

    I’m perplexed by some of the reaction I see here and on the game thread. No offense LRM, but your view seems like a major overreaction.

    LRM: C’mon, an overreaction perhaps, but a “major” one? Haha.

    Our problems can be summed up thusly: We have absolutely no one capable of playing the 2/3 positions that would see anything more than garbage time minutes on any other ACC team. That’s it.

    That’s not to say that CJ, Wood, and/or Mays won’t have good games here or there. But none of these guys can perform at a high-major level right now, and thus we will struggle to beat any high-major team on most nights.

    LRM: Again, this is an indictment against Lowe, not an excuse. Why, in Year 4, is this the case?

    But we knew all that going into the year. So I don’t see any point in ranting or raving about it after a loss. And stuff like this just doesn’t make sense: “More importantly, we can bring in Leslie and Brown and every other savior of the program but it won’t matter as long as Sidney Lowe is our head coach, because nothing he’s done here has ever suggested he can win.” Um, really? You don’t think it will make any difference to have elite talent starting instead of guys who couldn’t crack the top 150?

    LRM: Look, I respect your point here, but honestly, no I don’t think it matters. I think based on what I’ve seen over three previous seasons, it’s not an unreasonable opinion that Lowe will never win at this level, regardless of the talent he brings in. And that’s why I’m so frustrated right now, because based on the talent he’s supposedly bringing in, he’ll get two more years of losing before any kind of positive change is made.

  25. JeremyH 12/01/2009 at 11:38 PM #

    frankiepack and Wulfpack, i tend to agree with you. They just seemed like they have no idea how to attack a zone, and there was no real in game adjustments. And what specifically is Mays supposed to be doing in that backcourt, he looks aimless. Believe me, I don’t want to be saying this, but where is the scheming, the coaching?

    I may be able to work out calculus problems from morning until that 3pm espresso shot, but if I can’t effectively show students how to do them, I’m not a good teacher. Please prove me wrong.

    I don’t want to hear one thing about the officiating, the onus is on us to adapt to the way the game is being called. Every team we face is going to body and try to frustrate Smith. If we can’t establish an outside game we will not make the NIT. It would have been a closer game if at least one of our shooting guards could step up and knock down a three, but that did not happen. Trevor Fergusen, this is the NCAA Clearinghouse calling, we want your red mop back!

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