Thursday Compendium

December 1, 2011

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Wolfpack falters against Hoosiers

N.C. State and Indiana turned the RBC Center into a time machine on Wednesday night.

Both proud programs have seen their national standing usurped by in-state rivals, but the only ACC-Big Ten Challenge matchup between two teams with multiple national titles felt like it mattered, even on the final day of November.

To Jordan Hulls and Indiana, it mattered a little more by the end of a hard-fought 86-75 win over the Wolfpack. Hulls’ 20 points, to go with 19 from freshman forward Cody Zeller, sent a Wolfpack crowd of 16,597 home disappointed in the outcome but not the effort.

First-year coach Mark Gottfried noticed the environment, calling it phenomenal, but regretted his team couldn’t close out the seven-point lead it had with 8 minutes to go.

“I wish we would have been able to deliver the win for them,” Gottfried said. “It was a missed opportunity.”

Pack can take away plenty from loss

In their fourth season with Tom Crean as coach, the once mighty Hoosiers (7-0) are getting back to where the Wolfpack hopes to go, but much quicker, with Mark Gottfried.

It was a game that exposed some flaws in the Wolfpack (5-2) but also underscored the team’s potential and did very little to debunk the notion that Gottfried’s first team will be good enough to finish among the top four in the ACC.

N.C. State is multitasking on the run and will be for the next month or so. But against a Big Ten opponent that likely will be in the NCAA tournament, the Wolfpack learned that Lorenzo Brown (19 points, six rebounds, five assists) can break down defenses and that Scott Wood can find perimeter shots against an aggressive defense.

“It’s fun to play these kind of (non-ACC) games that we’re playing this year,” said senior wing C.J. Williams. “This is the kind of opponent our fans want to see us play and measure us by.”

Associated Press
Hulls Scores 20, Leads Indiana Past N.C. State 86-75
Wolfpack Falls, 86-75, On Indiana’s Late Surge

Jacey Zembal (
Pack falters late

“Our games played very hard and I liked how we competed, but I thought we had a stretch there — from the 6 1/2-minute mark to about the three-minute mark — and had a lot of opportunities, but couldn’t capitalize on them,” Gottfried said. “Defensively, we broke down a couple two, three defensive possessions, and offensively, missed some free throws.”

“It’s a tough one, but I don’t agree with the call,” Gottfried said. “You always have to be careful with what you say, but Scott clearly went after the basketball. That one was frustrating for me, but you move on. That call didn’t lose us the game. We did enough things to hurt ourselves.”

Akula Wolf (
Loss Of Composure Dooms NC State Vs. Indiana

I could start with, “well, I have good news and bad news,” and then segue on to about seven different topics. State played hard tonight, the crowd was good, the players fed off it, and the game kinda felt like one of those games back when I was in college and there were actual stakes involved.

It looked like they were going to overcome an 11-point first half deficit and win the game going away after Alex Johnson scored to put the Wolfpack up seven with less than eight minutes to play. But Indiana didn’t fade, and yeah, there were some–shall we say–iffy whistles down the stretch, but I can’t help but dwell on the three free throws in a row that Richard Howell missed, or that gimme fast-break layup he missed, or that amusing turnover exchange between the two teams. We squandered a lot of opportunities in the second half that could have made those last five minutes different, no matter the calls. So I’m more preoccupied with how we were in control and could have put the game away regardless of the officiating. But it all super sucked hugely. I want to go Jim Bridge on this shit.
Locker Room Report: Wolfpack Players
Locker Room Report: Mark Gottfried

“I thought our games in New Jersey were all physical, and you’re playing good team. Indiana is much better than they’ve been. We got down early in the game, they got a great start and our guys battled back, took the lead at the half and had some momentum going into the half. Coming out of the half we played very well defensively, did a nice job for the first six or eight minutes of the half and we were able to establish a lead. We did a lot of things well and then we just had a period in there where we weren’t.”

“We’re going to have a lot of opportunities this year. That’s the beauty of playing a tough non-conference schedule, you’re going to have a lot of chances. That’s how you get better, you learn in a game like tonight, how good defensively you have to be. We didn’t guard the ball two or three trips and it hurt us. Around the basket we didn’t rotate well, we didn’t get a defensive rebound when we needed to get one. Those are things, you look at the tape, you watch it, you evaluate it, you teach, you coach and you are going to find yourself in these situations again. That’s where you have to get better.”

“Our fans are great. I wish we would have been able to deliver for them because their enthusiasm was terrific and I think our players fed off of that. Hopefully we’re going to have a lot of nights like that and hopefully even though we were disappointed and lost they see a team that’s going to compete. Our guys are going to compete hard, which they did tonight. We just have to get better and make sure we learn how to finish games.”
BOX SCORE: Indiana 86, NC State 75
Hoosiers Pull Away From Pack, 86-75


acc basketball logo

Brett Friedlander (
ACC-Big Ten Challenge only proving what we already knew

When the carnage is over and the Big Ten has come out on top, all the talking heads – especially the ACC haters like Doug Gottlieb and Digger Phelps – will hail the results as some kind of monumental shift in the college basketball landscape.

But in truth, all the 12 random matchups over two days in late November will have done is confirm a lot of things that we already knew.

Among them are:

That the ACC his historically bad this season, especially among the bottom 3-4 teams;

That Duke is a talented, but young team without a true point guard and a group of experienced, but habitually inconsistent big men who got rattled in their first true road game against an elite opponent;

And that Virginia, which beat Michigan for the ACC’s best win Tuesday, is deserving of its lofty preseason expectations.


ncsu helmet

Brett Friedlander (
Kuechly was great, but Amerson deserved Player of the Year honor

As impressive as Kuechly’s numbers are – and they’re impressive enough that in any other year, this discussion would not be necessary – they can be somewhat deceiving. Not only are tackles a subjective stat that like assists in hockey can be padded by a friendly home stat crew, they are also affected by variables such as defensive schemes and the ability (or lack thereof) of other players on the field.

Interceptions, on the other hand, leave no room for interpretation. You either get them or you don’t.

And no one in ACC history has ever intercepted more passes in a season than Amerson did this year. His 11 picks not only led the nation, but they also broke the State school record by three and tied the league mark set by UNC’s Dre Bly in 1996.

Bly, by the way, was also snubbed for Defensive Player of the Year honors that season.


Inside Wolfpack Sports

In today’s episode, Don Shea visits with junior forward Scott Wood before State hosts the Indiana Hoosiers in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge.
Gottfried: Defensive breakdowns were key to States struggles
Williams: We weren’t able to finish well
Brown: We got excited and let up

About 1.21 Jigawatts

Class of '98, Mechanical Engineer, State fan since arriving on campus and it's been a painful ride ever since. I live by the Law of NC State Fandom, "For every Elation there is an equal and opposite Frustration."

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32 Responses to Thursday Compendium

  1. tractor57 12/01/2011 at 7:37 AM #

    Even with the loss I greatly enjoyed the BB game. Already much progress has been made. Still quite a lot of work to be done but I do see signs of great things.

  2. Wulfpack 12/01/2011 at 8:06 AM #

    The ACC is clearly down as a whole, but I do think the Big 10 is in for a really great season. Potentially 7 tourney teams in Ohio State, Wisconsin, Purdue, Indiana, Michigan State, and Northwestern. Michigan also looks like it could have another good year. I still don’t know what to make of the ACC. I think we are right there with FSU and UVA for the third spot. Amazing that this has happened in no time on Gott’s tenure. This guy can flat out coach.

  3. BJD95 12/01/2011 at 8:28 AM #

    I think the “diversity of opinion” might be based on how much Kool Aid one drank the past two seasons. For them, they really thought this is a group that just needed a few tweaks and/or breaks, and a-dancin’ we will go.

    Then there are folks like me, who believe that Lowe left a hot mess that needed cleaning up. Frankly, I’m amazed at how quickly he’s changed the culture. I mean, CJ Leslie played with a high motor all the way. CJ LESLIE!!!

    But changing the culture doesn’t change the fact that we only have one even average pure shooter (and that one can’t create his shot at all), or that our overall basketball IQ isn’t very high (Lo Brown excepted).

    It’s easy to point out CJL “WTF” plays, but to me, Wood’s intentional foul is the best example. He’s got to know two things on that breakaway situation. First, he has three fouls. It’s not an even trade to have to play with four the rest of the game, in exchange for MAYBE one missed free throw. Second, you can’t wrap a guy up. That’s been his “breakaway stop” move most of the time, and he hasn’t learned that it is almost ALWAYS called intentional.

    I’m really tired of all the bitching about the call. As soon as I saw Wood start to extend both arms, I said “oh great, he’s going to get an intentional foul.” And he did. You can argue that it’s “safer” to try and wrap a guy up than just give a hard foul – but you’re tilting at windmills. That’s the way it’s officiated, and I pretty much guarantee that’s one of the points of emphasis passed on to the refs.

    Somebody put it best last night by saying this season is being played with house money. That’s very true. Laying the foundation and teaching good habits are MUCH more important than the W/L record. Hell, I would rather our team come into next season hungry than thinking they’re hot shit for making the tourney.

    Now, I would certainly LOVE to see us make it, but not at the expense of the foundation. And as long as that is being built properly, I will be happy regardless of record.

  4. backnine 12/01/2011 at 8:38 AM #

    Lets give credit where credit is due. The BIG is as good as I’ve seen that conference in a long long time. They have strong teams all over the conference and stability with talented veteran coaches. The only exception is an Iowa program clearly rebuilding under 2nd year coach Fran McCaffery.

    And that brings up a point I heard none of the talking heads cover during this event. Over half of the ACC programs have experienced a coaching change in the last two years, with most coming last April. That’s a lot of instability and transition to absorb all at once, for any conference I don’t care who you are.

    So yes, the ACC looks as bad right now as I can remember. But in a year or two, as these coaches begin to gain traction, I think you’ll see the conference regain its form. Its painful now but we needed to go through this. There were a LOT of bad coaches across this league 3 years ago, which is were the erosion in quality had started. So for now, we’ll take our lumps as all these “corrections” begin take shape. That does nothing to diminish the BIG’s accomplishment. They were great and deserving of the spoils. But there are some contributing factors to the ACC’s lesser showing that were worth mentioning but instead were ignored.

  5. baxter 12/01/2011 at 9:12 AM #

    Spot on BJD.

    Leslie only had one moment that bothered me, and it was the no look drop back pass to Johnson. Same thing being said to Brown, there were just a few times tonight where our team wasn’t counting the bodies in front of them. If you don’t see 5 red shirts, don’t be fancy. Pick it up, turn and pass it.

    I thought we played an excellent game, we just need to be more heady, because our only real mistakes were mental lapses. Like CJW looking at the ball handler instead of his man as he back door cut him, Howell’s missed layup/dunk and FTs, Scott’s intentional (which will always be intentional, you can’t put two hands on a guy, he did it against UNC last year too), Painter jacking 18 footers like he’s automatic – and he’s not, I don’t mind the shot occasionally, but when you are 18 feet away, if you don’t follow up, there goes our inside rebounding. Stuff like that, which will autocorrect over the season.

    I like what I see, i like that we change defenses and dictate pace, and I like that our guys are very, very hungry. We really only need a win against St. Bon, Stanford or Syracuse and most will consider the pre-ACC schedule a success. We haven’t really had the doors blown off yet, and while that can happen with those teams, especially at Stanford or Cuse, I have a good feeling it wont.

  6. SaccoV 12/01/2011 at 9:12 AM #

    ^^BJD, I agree with you that Wood’s foul was ‘intentional’ but was it flagrant? That’s where the definition and the call should be changed. As for Wood, an additional bad move on his part with regard to the foul is that he had been charged for TWO fouls that were questionable at best. His fifth foul was just as confusing, in that in each of those three (2nd, 3rd and 5th) Wood had either partially blocked or completely blocked the shot of the Indiana defender. Where Wood needs improvement is in understanding that he’s not getting the benefit on defense, so he should work more as a body defender than a shot blocker.

    ^Backnine, you’re right also with regard to the coaching. The Big Ten ranks #2 in coaching behind the Big East, in my view. Ryan, Izzo, Crean, Matta all have Final Four appearances, with three Final Four/NC coaches for the ACC (Roy, K and Larranaga*). Greenburg, Bzdelik, Gregory, Donahue are not worth having in a conference with the ACC’s tradition. Bennett and Brownell have shown great promise, with Hamilton still being the gross underacheiver of the conference.

  7. BJD95 12/01/2011 at 9:21 AM #

    As I understand it, what used to be “intentional” is now called a “Flagrant 1.” I believe a true flagrant is now “Flagrant 2” and comes with an ejection.

    It’s a bit of a misnomer, but I don’t believe that “intentional” fouls are no longer whistled because they have to be labelled “Flagrant 1.”

  8. hoop 12/01/2011 at 9:28 AM #

    ESPN’s Wednesday’s Top Ten Plays

    The C.J. Leslie rejection of Indiana’s what’s his name.

  9. coach13 12/01/2011 at 9:40 AM #

    Gottfried sounds pretty dejected in the video above.

  10. ryebread 12/01/2011 at 9:56 AM #

    BJD is correct re. the flagrant. There is no more intentional foul. It’s flagrant one (old intentional) or flagrant two (malicious). This was a flagrant one based on how the rule book reads today. I also agree with BJD that this was indeed going to clearly be called as a flagrant. Wood’s got to learn what to do in that scenario, and that’s not it.

    Wood’s foul only left us down about one, so that wasn’t the turning point. Really, for me the game was lost when we’d made the strong push to take a 7 point lead. I think there were about 4 minutes left on the clock. With that sort of lead at home, we should have been able to salt it away. Instead, we blew that lead in about a minute. What followed afterwards was just a total collapse that reminded me of HWSNBN.

    This collapse was attributable to multiple factors — both playing and coaching. We took ill advised shots, missed free throws, turned it over, didn’t really run the offense and didn’t play sound defense. I understood the strategy to hold the time outs, but one was clearly needed during that 7 pt run and also afterwards. There’s no consolation prize for having the most time outs left at the end. We needed to use those better — and ultimately coach better.

    I’m seeing some trends with this year’s team. Some of them are correctable — perimeter defense, playing within the offense ALL game, playing smarter situationally, and making free throws in the clutch. Unfortunately some of what ails us — particularly lack of perimeter shooting and foot speed — are only going to be fixed through recruiting. Like BJD, I think Lowe left us more line up problems than many of SL’s supporters would like us to believe.

    The pro is that I’m seeing a whole lot of good things out of the team. Our rebounding is by far the best I’ve ever seen it (this is dating back to V). We’re men and we want the basketball. Our conditioning really looks good. We have a recognizable college offense that consistently produces good looks. We have a team that looks to score on the break. We’re willing to switch defenses and try something different. Players are being actively coached on the sidelines. These are things on which to build off of.

    As for the Challenge, I knew we’d lose. The question was how badly. My heart said 7-5 with NC State pulling out a win. My brain said 8-4 with the ACC going 0-4 at the bottom and splitting the top 8. Outside of Wake/State, that’s pretty much exactly what happened.

    Hats off to the BIG 10/12 as they’re the best that I’ve seen them since they sent both Wisconsin and Michigan State to the Final Four (1999?). They’re RPI #1 right now and I think will be that way all season. They have solid coaching up and down the ranks, are fundamentally sound and have great size as a league.

    The ACC still has some holes in coaching (Bzz, Gregory, maybe Greenburg and Donahue) that need to be addressed. Unfortunately, they won’t be for at least three years. I’m not sure any amount of time is going to make Bzz and Gregory winners in the ACC. I think we’ve seen what Greenburg can do — a perennial bubble team that never gets in — and this year is shaping up no differently. I’m not sure if Donahue is going to be able to recruit well enough to win at BC. That’s the wild card. He doesn’t have the built in advantages against his peer institutions that he had at Cornell.

  11. Codebrown 12/01/2011 at 10:01 AM #

    It was a good loss, if there’s such a thing. Lorenzo is right, we got up 7 and let up. Free throws and parameter defense are two big flaws that we need to correct before we play Stanford and Syracuse.

    Great game to be at last night though. The energy was there certainly, even with some empty seats.

  12. Texpack 12/01/2011 at 10:03 AM #

    ^”But changing the culture doesn’t change the fact that we only have one even average pure shooter (and that one can’t create his shot at all)”

    I have been making this point for the past five years. Since Melvin and Etimov left the program, we haven’t had enough good shooters to keep defenses honest and score consistently. 42.4% shooting won’t get it done. I was really hopeful that TDT would provide some shooting. 18 offensive rebounds kept us in the game.

    Good stuff from last night was the effort level and the improved rebounding. Also have to single out Calvin for several unselfish plays that he would not have made last year.

    The missed free throws came at just the wrong time and allowed Indiana to get back in the game. Elmore said Howell had shot 80% from the line before last night and he had three misses during that stretch. 73% for the game is not poor.

    Syracuse, Stanford, and St. Bonneveture are still out there. We have to win at least one of those and two would be much better. Gott said it best when he described it as a missed opportunity.

  13. packof81 12/01/2011 at 10:17 AM #

    Akula Wolf said, “But it all super sucked hugely. I want to go Jim Bridge on this shit.”

    I guess I’m getting old. Who is Jim Bridge?

    I saw lots of missed scoring opportunities. Somebody needs to practice free throws.

  14. Wulfpack 12/01/2011 at 10:34 AM #

    Wake should get rid of Bzz yesterday. He was a horrendously awful hire. That stands today. Just an atrocious hire by Wellman.

    Not sure I agree that Hamilton has “underachieved”. He’s had FSU right there behind Duke and UNC, going to the NCAAs 5 years running. You may not like his style of play – but he’s been successful at least in ACC play.

    Bennett and Brownell will get it done. Gott will get it done. So I fully agree the ACC will improve in a year or two’s time.

    The call on WOOD (not Woods, you dufus Patrick) was correct by the current rulebook. You can’t make that play at that time. That didn’t lose the game for us, as Gott said.

  15. tuckerdorm1983 12/01/2011 at 10:50 AM #

    Gott knows whats wrong and is already trying to fix it before the game is over. I see improvement after every game. For instance, CJL drives down the lane with 3 guys on him he actually passed the ball to another big man for a easy shot. In the past he would jack up some off balance shot with very little likelihood of going in, that would inevitably start a fast break for the other team. Keep up the good work CJL

    Areas to improve game. Catching the ball down low and scoring.
    2.another consistent three point shooter
    3.perimeter defense
    4.maintaining composure in a close game with less than 5 mins to go

    If nc state basketball were a stock I would be buying it hand over fist.

  16. blpack 12/01/2011 at 10:53 AM #

    We blew that game. This team is still immature and needs to learn how to close teams out. It will come.

  17. SaccoV 12/01/2011 at 11:01 AM #

    Not to harp on Hamilton, but here’s his coaching record from FSU’s athletic website.

    To sum up, At Florida State 154-117 (.568) 3 NCAA Appearances, 1 Sweet 16 in 10 seasons.

    No perimeter shooter is going to kill us, especially trying to establish our bigs down low.

    As for Wood, if you know the refs are giving you the benefit of the doubt in terms of defense on the shooter, you have to up your defense on the dribbler. Move your feet more and keep the offensive player from getting to a good shooting position. With the refs on him consistently, it’s going to be hard to do that and keep himself in ball games.

  18. primacyone 12/01/2011 at 11:11 AM #

    I think MG and backingthepack summed it up nicely.

    Great effort, but just a TOUGH LOSS in which we had a decent opportunity to win.

    Only thing I’ll add to thier coments is we could have also used the CJ Williams missed dunk. Should have put that ball in the hole.

    We played with a lot of effort, just a TOUGH LOSS.

    I’ll give some credit to Indiana as well. I thought they played great.

    It was great game. This team brings back a lot of memories. I’m loving these 12-17 foot jumpers.

  19. ChuckT 12/01/2011 at 11:15 AM #

    As a State Alum and fan, but Hoosier fan by birth, last night was a complicated and confusing ordeal. This was a matchup I haven’t had to see in my lifetime til last night. Though all in all, I was very proud of both teams efforts. I think it came down to guard depth being the tilt for Indiana, as they kept throwing fresh guards at Brown and Wood all night, and eventually wore them down. I was a bit surprised Vanderberg never was given a chance to guard Cody Zeller, especially at the end when he got hot, I think Vanderberg is State’s best defensive post player, and would have given Cody fits, but Painter got the minutes, cause he was putting up points. Obviously both these teams are moving in the right direction, which I’m very happy to see.

    Interesting fact, three of the finalists for the Indiana Mr. Basketball for 2009 were all on the court last night. Scott Wood, Derek Elston, and Jordan Hulls (winner).

    That being said, I’m a bit ashamed of the twitter whining (twhining?) coming from SFN now about officiating. The same refs that called the 2nd half, called the first half, when State went to the line much more than Indiana. In the end….20 fouls called on IU, 19 on State….was the officiating perfect, no, some missed calls, some bad calls, but regardless….it was even.

  20. lush 12/01/2011 at 11:18 AM #

    “we only have one even average pure shooter”

    i disagree that wood is an average shooter. an average player sure, because he cant create his own shot, but an average shooter? who has had a better stroke in this league since he has been here?

    tom crean said that he could be the best shooter in the country and his team is full of good shooters.


  21. PackMan97 12/01/2011 at 11:26 AM #

    What I love best about this loss and the Vandy loss (if you most love something about a loss) is that there are very clear “teaching” moments for each game. Areas where it’s crystal clear that mistakes were made that didn’t have to be.

    This team is a work in progress and the coaches thankfully know what’s wrong, as do the players.

  22. Thinkpack17 12/01/2011 at 11:33 AM #

    I still don’t agree with the intentional call. Scott’s first contact was on the ball handlers elbow on the side he had the ball. Second contact got him on the shoulder, I won’t argue that. But if clear path is the argument then don’t you have to call the foul on Lo’s break away dunk attempt “intentional”? Don’t push yourself into the game as a ref, call a common foul and let the players decide the outcome.

    Oh Yeah…and good crowd last night but if you have a lower bowl seat try to get there at a reasonable hour. We were at about 50% of our actual attendance at tip-off. Come on. This ain’t a Miami Heat game.

  23. Sweet jumper 12/01/2011 at 11:50 AM #

    I have not seen it mentioned, but Indiana cleared out the left side of the court 4 straight possessions during the last 5 minutes for #4 against our lockdown defender CJW. #4 blew by CJW 4 straight times for layups. He converted 3 and CJL saved one with a tremendous block from across the lane.
    This was at a critical juncture when we had to have stops, and they got quick, easy baskets. Crean was smart to recognize the mismatch.

  24. MISTA WOLF 12/01/2011 at 12:17 PM #

    I’m most impressed with the fact that Gott has removed the “street ball” (for the most part) from these players repertoire. They are playing sound basketball overall and beginning to do the little things right. I almost shit myself last night when Calvin passed the ball to Richard rather than taking it up. He traded a more difficult shot for an easier one and I just couldn’t believe it.

  25. MISTA WOLF 12/01/2011 at 12:17 PM #

    I’m most impressed with the fact that Gott has removed the “street ball” (for the most part) from these players repertoire. They are playing sound basketball overall and beginning to do the little things right. I almost s h i t myself last night when Calvin passed the ball to Richard rather than taking it up. He traded a more difficult shot for an easier one and I just couldn’t believe it.

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