Gators come to town

The Florida Gators come to town for an ‘inflexion’ in the Wolpack’s 2009-2010 season.

To this point in the season, the NC State has tracked slightly ahead of expectations. Today’s game will be particularly significant to the Wolfpack’s season because of the ‘Florida’ name and the major conference in which the Gators play. If Coach Lowe’s Wolfpack is fortunate enough to be discussed for any postseason tournaments when we get to March, today’s game will truly be one of the swing games on our schedule.

Ignoring Florida for a moment, the Pack could effectively hold a 12-3 record before launching into the main part of the ACC schedule with a ‘must win’ when we host very beatable Virginia next Saturday, Jan 9th at noon. If one were to presume wins over Holy Cross on (Jan 6) and North Carolina Central (Jan 30th) then today’s game makes the difference between a solid 13-3 record or a respectable 12-4 that would require six conference wins to get to 18 wins. At the end of the year, 18 wins could be enough to earn an NIT berth; and non-conference wins over both Marquette and Florida could be differentiating factors for the Wolfpack.

This is the type of game that deserves a deeper look at the opponent. There is no reason for us add to all of the hard work already provided here by Backing the Pack.

Between opponents’ low 3FG% and low 3FGA/FGA ratio, Florida’s perimeter D is looking positively Duke-esque. They’ve turned around their interior defense as well. And they’re forcing lots of turnovers while avoiding fouls, which is the defensive ideal everyone should strive for. I wonder about that TO%, though. Their steal and block rates are right in line with last year’s, so the higher TO% could be a function of a slate of crappy, mistake-prone foes. But that’s pure conjecture; obviously, there’s much more to a team’s defensive impact than block and steal rates.

I have a hard time believing their FG% defense is that much better, and if we manage to not throw the ball away willy-nilly, second chance opportunities should be available.

The Pomeroy Predictor says flip a coin.

If we’re flipping a coin in the matter then one can only hope that the home court advantage can make the difference today.

Go Pack!

Post-Script: For some additional fun, please click here to see comments before last season’s match-up with the Gators that focused a lot on former Wolfpack recruit, Dan Werner. Backing the Pack penned the following blurb today:

If I recall correctly, Werner was much more highly regarded than Dennis Horner coming out of high school, but Horner’s going to have the better college career when all is said and done. Not to sell Werner short–he’s been a reliable role player throughout his career. He’s just never been able to take the next step, and he’s shooting a modest 31.9% from beyond the arc in 3+ seasons, which feels disappointing in retrospect.

About StateFans

'StateFansNation' is the shared profile used by any/all of the dozen or so authors that contribute to the blog. You may not always agree with us, but you will have little doubt about where we stand on most issues. Please follow us on Twitter and FaceBook

09-10 Basketball

111 Responses to Gators come to town

  1. Pack Mentality 01/03/2010 at 3:26 PM #

    Is this game on tv? I don’t get fox sports atlantic with time warner. Is that the only channel it’s on?

  2. StateFans 01/03/2010 at 4:03 PM #

    It is on a host of Fox Sports regional channels.

  3. Rick 01/03/2010 at 4:05 PM #

    Not a good start. Horner with tos and airball.

  4. StateFans 01/03/2010 at 4:06 PM #
  5. ncsslim 01/03/2010 at 6:21 PM #

    It’s just not meant to be.

  6. bradleyb123 01/03/2010 at 6:26 PM #

    If there was ever any doubt that NC State was cursed, I think we have the proof now.

    I’ve been thinking all season long that our poor free throw shooting was going to cost us some games. It finally happened, although it wasn’t supposed to happen today. Just dumb, rotten luck caused this. But one or two more free throws and we either win in regulation or certainly in overtime.

  7. bradleyb123 01/03/2010 at 6:27 PM #

    Oh, and one more thing…


  8. bradleyb123 01/03/2010 at 6:27 PM #


  9. bradleyb123 01/03/2010 at 6:28 PM #

    Oh, and one more thing:


  10. 61Packer 01/03/2010 at 8:49 PM #

    There were a number of Gator fans sitting around us in Section 124 tonight, but they all left in the final minutes and seconds leading up to that last shot. But we seasoned Wolfpack fans didn’t fall for that one, keeping our seats.

    We knew better.

  11. ADVENTUROO 01/03/2010 at 9:03 PM #

    If EVER there was evidence that Jimmy V’s ghost is roaming around the haloed halls of the RBC Center, today’s game should provide clear evidence…..even to the unbelieving.

    The CURSE of Jimmy V is alive….

    He and Sid KNEW that we had to hit our free throws….and we only hit 50%.

    He and Sid KNEW that you MUST get a rebound…..and we didn’t

    He and Sid KNEW that you MUST block a shooter, regardless of his statistics and keep him from hurling up a Hail Jimmy Shot….and we didn’t.

    The Canes FULLY understand the curse of the V man….it is ABOUT time that we owned up to the fact that we have NOT honored the man whose dream we call the RBC Center has come to fruition….

    We are CURSED….and need to appease the ghost and clear the areana of it’s bad Karma…

    It is time for a movement….where are all the intigators….where are the REAL believers?

    It was a GREAT game up until the final shot….

  12. cooperpop 01/03/2010 at 9:13 PM #

    Look gang, that wasn’t just rotten luck out there today. That was a case of Sid getting out coached by Donovan. Why do you put a 80% FT shooter on the line 4 times when the Gators were shooting 12% from 3 point land? Why do you do that when you know you will get fouled and your team shoots 50% from the FT line? Donovan’s team executed down the stretch. Sid doesn’t know what his team nor the opponent is capable of; he also can’t get the Pack to execute on what he wants to do. Miserable performance today.

  13. 44fan 01/03/2010 at 9:20 PM #

    all the injurys in football….year after year…..then to lose games like that….God hates NC State….This school is cursed for the way it treated Coach V!!!!!

  14. Dogbreath 01/03/2010 at 9:33 PM #

    God hates NC State, and to top it off, our next opponent is “Holy Cross.”

  15. catbird 01/03/2010 at 10:04 PM #

    Look, I admired Coach V as much as the next Wolfpack fan; we coined Cardiac Pack during his heart throbbing wins and losses. Do I think his ghost hovers in the RBC Center. . .? NO! Coach Lowe made a “Chuck Amato” mistake. Remember that unforgetable football game that we had within our grips and loss in the last play during Amato’s era? Amato said after the heartbreaking loss that his last minute coaching strategy was “coaching to ‘not lose’ rather than coaching ‘to win’.” Today, our Basketball team played another one of those Cardiac Pack games. The moral to take away from this game moving forward is the season is: “Play to WIN; coach to WIN… right down to the last second.” That’s what the Florida Gators did, and that’s what 2-time national champions do. Cheer up Wolfpack fans! Need a little help…think about the 1 point win over Carolina in our last football game of 2009! That was SWEET, and we’ll have plenty to cheer about with our ACC basketball wins as we march towards MARCH MADNESS. I’m predicting a 20 win regular season. Anybody with me on that prediction? GO PACK!!

  16. JeremyH 01/03/2010 at 11:05 PM #

    I’m more concerned with how the players react to losing this way then the loss itself. If you’ve seen it enough, you learn how to deal with losing in this fashion, but these kids need to realize this season has only started (ACC season). They can easily make up for this loss by beating some teams they are not supposed to, which they are more than capable of. Wood looks good, the shooting guard position is getting better (by committee), and our young guys are getting great experience. Free throws can be fixed. Go pack.

  17. MA Wolfpack 01/03/2010 at 11:15 PM #

    I think we played this game correctly down the stretch. I hope we continue to foul when up 3 with minimal time left (especially when the other team is in the 1 and 1). Hell, UF tried to miss their last FT intentionally and still made it. UF knew that was their best chance instead of needing a miracle shot…unfortunately, they found a miracle shot.

  18. AveryPage 01/03/2010 at 11:31 PM #

    But why are we fouling (worrying about them hitting a three) WHEN THEY WERE 2 FOR 23 BEFORE THE FINAL SHOT!

  19. AveryPage 01/04/2010 at 12:47 AM #

    my view when i got home

  20. bradleyb123 01/04/2010 at 1:27 AM #

    Why did we foul rather than allow them to shoot a three point shot? Because they can hit three point shots. Just because they missed a lot tonight doesn’t mean they’re going to keep missing them.

    Sidney played it right. What we didn’t do was hit about two more foul shots. This WAS dumb luck, as much as you’d like to pin it on Sidney. Sidney’s strategy resulted in a two point lead with a free throw pending and 2.6 seconds on the clock. Give me that situation every night and I’m a happy man because most years, I’m going to end up undefeated. We missed a free throw and a guy nailed a 75-footer.

    Sidney won this game. Dumb luck stole it away from him.

  21. xphoenix87 01/04/2010 at 1:35 AM #

    There are plenty of criticisms you can level at Sid for this game (infuriating substitution patterns, an inexplicable confidence in Julius Mays, predictable and unimaginative offensive sets, basically, the same problems he’s had for 4 years now), but the end of game strategy was perfectly legitimate and worked out exactly as you might hope. Instead of having 8 seconds in the half-court to get at least a reasonable look to tie, Florida had to shoot a 3/4 court shot to win. The odds are heavily in favor of Lowe’s strategy, regardless of the results of that last shot.

  22. Broccoman 01/04/2010 at 2:44 AM #

    What you can get on tonight is the poor foul shooting down the stretch.

    Sid’s coaching did not lose this game. The players did.

    No, I’m not criticizing their effort, just the execution, particularly foul shooting/ballhandling.

  23. Gene 01/04/2010 at 2:47 AM #

    “an inexplicable confidence in Julius Mays,”

    Javi was out of control and had a bunch of turnovers, which is why he was sent to the bench.

    If Javi’s not playing well it’s going to be Mays at the point, since the only other option is Degand.

    Personally, I wouldn’t mind seeing Degand at the point, with CJ Williams at the 2 guard. Maybe not a productive backcourt, but at least Degand can push tempo.

    The way our team is configured right now, Mays is the only other option at PG, if Javi’s not playing well.

  24. Dogbreath 01/04/2010 at 7:24 AM #

    Mays should never see the court under any circumstances. I hate to say this, but we’d be so much better off if he just vanished, because its obvious Lowe doesn’t see what tens of thousands of fans and every opposing team recognizes.

    The only way to keep that kid off the court is for him to disappear from Lowes deck of cards because as long as he is sitting near Lowe, he is going to get 18 mpg.

  25. wolfmanmat 01/04/2010 at 8:20 AM #

    ^ I don’t like Mays much either. He has a complete lack of confidence. But, against a press like Florida, Javi can’t play the whole game. Nor do we want him to. Degand played alot, but he’s fashioned into a pretty good 2 guard/combo guard, not really a sole ball handler versus traps/presses. Until next year when we have more depth at guard, Mays has to play. ….Anyway, I think Sid did a good job. I like fouling at the end. The key to this strategy, however, is that players have to make free throws. My only complaint: the wrong players got to the line. We need Wood/Horner at the line in must foul situations. Sid will have to start running in-bounds plays for those 2 at the end of games. Other than that, this is a game we should have won. I hope our team is strong enough to realize it is only 1 game and bounce back with a win vs. UVa next weekend.

Leave a Reply