The one where NC State beats a ranked team and Scott Wood becomes my hero

Did that really happen?

So it definitely wasn’t a perfect performance by any stretch of the imagination, but I must say watching NC State beat FSU Tuesday night was just what I needed. Tuesday’s performance by the Wolfpack proves what I’ve thought all season, NC State does in fact have the ability to compete with pretty much anybody in the ACC if it plays well. Combine that with the fact that the ACC is down, and you have the opportunity for NC State to win some games (even on the road) that some people think it shouldn’t.

That being said, here’s some highlights from the game.

  • Scott Wood poured in a career-high 31 points while going 7 of 11 from behind the arc. He also pulled down seven big rebounds during his 37 minutes (wow!). If Wood can keep his shot going and start to score more consistently, it could be huge for the overall success of the offense. As teams continue to try and shut Tracy Smith down, Wood and others on the outside are going to have to continue to shoot well.
  • NC State shot nearly 83% from the free throw line. Didn’t think I would ever see that this season, but once again this proves that the ability is there. Not a ton of excuses moving forward.
  • Jordan Vandenberg and Richard Howell combined for 11 rebounds off the bench and Howell scored seven points.

Although most of what you can say about Tuesday’s win is positive, there are some points where NC State can improve. The most important one is turnovers. The Pack had 18 TOs Tuesday and Javi Gonzalez had six. This has to stop, soon.

One other thing I’d like to see is the ability to get the ball to Tracy Smith in different ways because teams are going to continue to double and hope other guys don’t make shots. Smith went 1 of 8 from the field and only scored seven points. Eventually there will come a time when Smith is being doubled and Soctt Wood or someone else is clanging shots off the backboard. Versatility is always good.

For those interested, here’s the box.

Also, thanks to those of you who joined the LiveBlog chat we did via Cover It Live. We had nearly 300 readers in the chat room and it seemed like there were about 50 guys typing feverishly during NC State’s win. It makes the game fun to watch, IMO. I’m going to keep working at trying to integrate the chat box into the main site rather than having a link that takes you somewhere else. We’ll do it again.

It’s amazing how much better winning feels. Especially compared to this…

Sorry, couldn’t help it.

09-10 Basketball

87 Responses to The one where NC State beats a ranked team and Scott Wood becomes my hero

  1. packplantpath 01/13/2010 at 10:29 AM #

    I had issues getting in the chat last night. Using eeepc with default setup (linux distro) + a few addons for firefox. Could be an issue with flash version or even the firefox version. These things can be a bugger with software since Asus has decided they don’t want to actually support them with software updates on a custom distro.

    I guess this could be the impetus I need to go put ubuntu on it…..

  2. D_Medlin 01/13/2010 at 10:33 AM #

    I don’t know what browser is best. I use Google Chrome and didn’t have any trouble.

    As for half of the other stuff you just mentioned, my head now hurts. Thanks.

  3. eas 01/13/2010 at 10:35 AM #

    We definitely have some areas to improve on but it was nice to see the 3 newcomers doing well.

    Smith is a beast BUT he needs to learn to kick the ball out when he is double/triple teamed. He still struggles making poor decisions when this occurs.

    Sid, please put Horner on the bench. He is very far from the answer, especially as a starter.

  4. choppack1 01/13/2010 at 10:44 AM #

    I think sid does a great job getting the ball to Tracy Smith.

    The problem is that Smith has never shown the ability to shots outside of 5 feet. As a result, the only option is to get it to him on the block.

    OTOH, I think Howell has better range already than Smith does – and Vandenberg may too.

  5. 66pack 01/13/2010 at 10:45 AM #


  6. packbackr04 01/13/2010 at 10:49 AM #

    i sympathize with Sid there, Horner is one of the few guys we haev who has shown he can score. i agree he is far from the answer, but its tough to plant him on the bench and wreck his confidence for when we do need him. Mays is the one who should ride pine until end of game foul situations, as he has shown to be the only player we have that can consistently hit free throws. the problem there is that sid seems unable or unwilling to make situational subs at the end of games/halves.

  7. Thinkpack17 01/13/2010 at 10:50 AM #

    Horner scores points…we need him. He also makes his free throws, minus the last 3 minutes of the game. He pulls the second big man away from Tracy Smith. He runs a lot of our offense out of the high post and there is no other big man I feel comfortable with making decisions out there, Horner rarely turns it over.

    Scooter went nuts last night. 2 of the 4 shots he missed came went we game him the ball at half court with a second on the shot clock. This is why I say sometimes we (as State fans, but really fans in general) talk above our heads a little bit. Just a few weeks ago people were talking about how he needed to change his stroke and how he really wasn’t the player we thought he was. It’s fun to talk about line up changes and player habits but at the end of the day…we are a bunch of guys who haven’t been athletes for sometime. With that said I will say this: Vandy needs to keep the ball above his head and stop bringing that thing down to his belly button.

  8. GAWolf 01/13/2010 at 10:58 AM #

    I mentioned this last night, but this is exactly the type of game HWSNBN would have lost. FSU cut it to five or so somewhere late in the second half. I was glad to see Sid and Co pull together and get the win.

    Vanderburg played well. I still don’t understand Mays. He makes some DING DONG plays. Javi followed suit there last night as well.

    It seems to me most of our problems are concentration-related (or lack thereof). I’m not sure what the problem is there or what a solution might be. Free throws are also about concentration and that seems to be improving… at least for now.

    I thought we moved the ball MUCH better on offense, and I thought our defensive intensity was a notch or two better than in past games.

    There’s hope, but like Ovies hinted at last night on the chat… don’t let this win get you too high. We’re sure to relapse at some point. I just hope last night’s play (minus the turnover problem…which is significant) becomes the norm rather than the exception. And fast. We need something positive to build on for next year.

    Wood… please stay out of trouble, go to class, avoid keg parties, don’t drink and drive, hug kids, and love animals, and stay well. We need you to stick around.

  9. D_Medlin 01/13/2010 at 11:02 AM #

    Haha GaWolf,

    In the chat last night, during the game, someone asked when Wood would get arrested? Welcome to NC State…

  10. Trout 01/13/2010 at 11:04 AM #

    “I mentioned this last night, but this is exactly the type of game HWSNBN would have lost. ”

    No he would not…Herb owned FSU.

  11. tractor57 01/13/2010 at 11:19 AM #

    Leonard Hamilton must have a headache from banging his head against the wall. For every good play the Pack made FSU made one (or more) awful ones.

    I don’t say this to diminish the effort or the win at all. A win on the road in conference play is always BIG no matter how it comes.

    Props to the team for staying the course, weathering the comebacks and sealing the deal.

  12. Thompson44 01/13/2010 at 11:36 AM #

    What no Sid bashing, that is change. If you think about it State got beat on fluke plays against Arizona and Florida. The loss to Virginia was just poor play. Overall I think Sid is heading this team in the right direction. We have won games this year that we have lost in previous years. So I am happy that at least for one day no one is bashing Coach. Do I expect us to finish .500 in the league, I am not sure yet but I do see promise and that is good. Great job by Coach and a nice win.

  13. thekind 01/13/2010 at 11:37 AM #

    I know this is a dumb question, but what does HWSNBN stand for?
    Thanks in advance.

  14. packplantpath 01/13/2010 at 11:38 AM #

    He Who Shall Not Be Named

    aka – Herb

  15. bradleyb123 01/13/2010 at 11:41 AM #

    What we’re learning is that we have the capacity to be GOOD. But we’re still a young team that will have some bad moments and inconsistencies. Just compare the Virginia game (a home game and an easy opponent for us) with the FSU game (a road game and a more difficult opponent for us). Going into these games, if someone told you we’d win one and lose one, which game would you have expected us to win? That’s the inconsistency. But that’s to be expected with so many young players.

    I still like what I see overall. I just hope we play like last night more often than the way we played against Virginia.

  16. bradleyb123 01/13/2010 at 11:41 AM #

    aka – Herb

    YOU NAMED HIM!!! His name was not supposed to be named!!! 😉

  17. wolfmanmat 01/13/2010 at 11:43 AM #

    Sid did a great job preparing the team for FSU. They came out and ran a little more, which opened up Wood and they played a bit more pressure defense, including a little full court press. It was nice to see adjustments. ….. On Mays, everyone knocks him, but guys, he’s a sophmore. He’s not a big name recruit; he’s a 3-star sophmore guard. And he is developing, which is the result of getting some PT and coaching. And he must be saying something right, because him and Wood went to the same high school and Wood is really going to be a star at NC State. If he is in any way responsible for helping get Wood, then I gotta like Julius. He may be one of those guys who makes some bonehead plays, but he showed incredible composure last night and even some solid ball handling at the end of the game. He may sit the pine next year, but then again, maybe he plays a role. Look at Farnie…nobody liked him for 3 years. He’s developed to where the announcers said he was “as quick as Ish.” IMO, Sid is developing players, and even if his rotations are funny, he has the team showing signs of improvement.

  18. choppack1 01/13/2010 at 11:45 AM #

    Thinkpack – You make some good points on Horner. He really runs into trouble when he gets the ball down low and it’s not a bang-bang play. He doesn’t have the explosion that most power forwards in this league have – and he doesn’t get a lot of calls down there. But as you rightly note – w/ Horner in the game, Smith has the low block to himself and you can’t use Horner’s man to double down.

    Regarding Mays – his 2 biggest faults are that 1) he doesn’t push the tempo and 2) in the half court offense he doesn’t dribble forward – so our offense starts wayyy out when he’s running it. Last year I noticed #1, but I think he’s being too cautious which is why #2 is happening. And yes, the consequences for starting your offensive sets 10 feet from the 3 point line aren’t pretty.

    However, he’s a great foul shooter – and should be on the floor when our team is going to shoot foul shots.

  19. Rochester 01/13/2010 at 11:45 AM #

    I needed this one to restore my faith a bit. Even after the Florida game I felt okay with where this team was compared to the last couple of seasons. But that Virgina meltdown was so pitiful it really left me scanning the schedule wondering who we could beat if not the Hoos. I’m up in NY and have to pay for ESPN Full Court to see most of our ACC games. This one was not available at all up here and I was almost kind of relieved in a way. Of course, it turned out I missed one of the best games of the year so far.

    I’d be glad to see the Horner hating end. So he might not be the most talented kid in ACC history. He plays his ass off and gets the most out of what he’s got. I still like him for being the only recruit not to bail on us four years ago. And it was clear in the Florida game that he was twice the man Dan Werner could hope to be. He has flaws, yes, but to claim that he brings nothing to the table just shows either an unnatural hatred for a kid who always hustles or a complete lack of sense.

  20. bradleyb123 01/13/2010 at 11:46 AM #

    From another blog (at WRAL):

    I don’t understand. Seven pages of posts, and no one has yet to show why this proves that Lowe is a lousy coach and needs to be fired. C’mon guys. You can do better than that.

    Just thought this post applies here, as well. While this win doesn’t prove that Sidney will lead us to the promised land, it’s strangely quiet here today.

    Which is it, guys?

    Wasn’t it a great win? When guys hit their shots, Sidney is a much better coach, isn’t he? Funny how that works. 😉

  21. packplantpath 01/13/2010 at 11:48 AM #

    “YOU NAMED HIM!!! His name was not supposed to be named!!! ”

    I know. I feel a little dirty now.

  22. thekind 01/13/2010 at 11:54 AM #

    Thanks packpp-
    On a funny note. I have seen that written for the last year or two and I always figured the HS were Herb Sendek and I always tried to piece in the rest with four letter words that never made any sence.

  23. Dr. BadgerPack 01/13/2010 at 11:58 AM #

    Horner may have his faults, but I like him on the court at the same time as Smith and Wood. That gives our two most reliable deep threats on the court; collapsing on Smith is a lethal proposition if there are TWO shooters to find on the kickout as opposed to one.

    Another observation (not to heap the praise on Wood… but should be pointed out); he is extremely confident with his passes and is not lazy at all. He’ll decapitate someone if they don’t pay attention. This probably explains why he was inbounding the ball late against Arizona (IIRC). Howell looked shaky at times inbounding last night, but not totally lost. With his length, if he can become a reliable triggerman that will be huge.

  24. Thompson44 01/13/2010 at 12:01 PM #

    Why is Painter not getting any PT, I thought he was highly recruited? Davis is getting more than him and wanted to know if anyone knew why?

  25. Thinkpack17 01/13/2010 at 12:02 PM #

    “Regarding Mays – his 2 biggest faults are that 1) he doesn’t push the tempo and 2) in the half court offense he doesn’t dribble forward – so our offense starts wayyy out when he’s running it.”

    I agree. Last night this was really shown. I don’t mind making an athletic team defend for most of the shot clock…because they hate that (Hopefully we can do this against Clemson) but when the clock runs down to 5 and it’s go time you need to GO! We all know what he is going to do with 5 on the clock. He’s going to spread every one out, back up, dribble towards the three point line, fake a crossover and launch a 3. That’s his best offense (he did win the Miami game last year with that though). Last night his defender got so frustrated he circled BEHIND Mays with 5 seconds left on the clock, instead of taking off Mays held the ball out, let the guy get back in position and took a step back three. Come on Jules. I mean there is patience and then there’s just kneeling on the ball. You have to be aggressive sometime.

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