December 1, 2011
NC STATE BASKETBALL
JP GIGLIO (N&O)
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.”
CAULTON TUDOR (N&O)
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.”
Hulls Scores 20, Leads Indiana Past N.C. State 86-75
Jacey Zembal (TheWolfpacker.com)
Pack falters late
“Our games played very hard and I liked how we competed, but I thought we had a stretch there â€” from the 6 1/2-minute mark to about the three-minute mark â€” 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 (BackingthePack.com)
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
Brett Friedlander (starnewsonline.com)
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 â€“ especially the ACC haters like Doug Gottlieb and Digger Phelps â€“ 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 ACCâ€™s best win Tuesday, is deserving of its lofty preseason expectations.
NC STATE FOOTBALL
Brett Friedlander (starnewsonline.com)
Kuechly was great, but Amerson deserved Player of the Year honor
As impressive as Kuechlyâ€™s numbers are â€“ and theyâ€™re impressive enough that in any other year, this discussion would not be necessary â€“ 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 donâ€™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 UNCâ€™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