Gameday Headlines: Pack vs. Hoos

January 28, 2012

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Pack looking for its offensive touch

There were moments in N.C. State’s loss at North Carolina on Thursday when Wolfpack senior C.J. Williams didn’t recognize his own team.

The Wolfpack could not create enough shots from the perimeter and struggled to get shots off from the interior.

“That’s not how we played the first 20 games,” said Williams, who finished with eight points and four assists. “We’re disappointed in how we played.”

N.C. State (15-6, 4-2 ACC) will have to find its offense, and quickly, with No. 19 Virginia (16-3, 3-2), one of the best defensive teams in the country, visiting the RBC Center tonight (8 p.m., ESPN2).

The Wolfpack shot just 36.8 percent against the Tar Heels, even with three banked-in 3-pointers – notably, one from 80 feet by guard Lorenzo Brown. N.C. State scored a season-low 55 points, with just 23 in the first half as a relatively close game – UNC led 27-20 with 4:30 minutes left in the first half – turned into what junior Scott Wood called a “disaster.”

Gottfried good for NCSU; Haith better?

A day before N.C. State announced the hiring of Mark Gottfried – April 5, 2011 – Frank Haith left Miami to take the coaching job at Missouri.

Even though Gottfried was a popular hire and has quickly re-energized the program, there was a sizable faction within the Wolfpack fan base that thought Haith would be an ideal choice to succeed Sidney Lowe.

Both coaches absorbed disappointing defeats this week – N.C. State lost 74-55 at UNC and second-ranked Missouri’s 79-72 stumble at Oklahoma State, which has an unimpressive 10-10 record.

Nonetheless, Haith still has about a five-furlough lead in everyone’s national coach of the year handicapping.


At N.C. State, Gottfried is off to a 15-6 start – including a 4-2 mark in the ACC – and has emerged as a productive recruiter. Both camps are happy, but it’ll be interesting to see how the two programs progress over the next two or three seasons.

Wood is State’s sharp shooter

Scott Wood put it like this: When a boy is growing up in Indiana, there are but two things he can do.

“Either you go to the farm,” the N.C. State junior guard said recently, “or you decide to shoot basketballs.”

Wood decided to shoot basketballs. During the Wolfpack’s 78-73 victory at Miami on Sunday, Wood set the ACC record for consecutive made free throws – 58 and counting.

When he stepped to the line with a chance to tie former Duke guard J.J. Redick’s record of 54 straight, Wood said he wasn’t nervous. Nor did he feel any jitters when he released the shot that passed Redick’s mark.

Then a strange thing happened. Wood, who hadn’t felt any nerves at all during his streak, began to feel them the next time he prepared to shoot.

“Because I was like, it would be a shame for me to break the record and then miss a free throw,” Wood said. “So I was actually trying to make that one more than the others.”

Preview: N.C. State vs. Virginia

N.C. State’s problems against North Carolina are well-documented, but Virginia (16-3, 3-2 ACC) has been a thorn in the Wolfpack’s side recently as well. Third-year coach Tony Bennett has a 3-0 record against the Wolfpack, including a 69-58 win in Charlottesville, Va., last season. Going back to the 2006-07 season, Virginia has won six of eight against N.C. State.

Brett Friedlander (
UNC loss not the end of the world for Wolfpack

How frustrating was Thursday’s loss to North Carolina for the N.C. State basketball team?

If you’re not sure, check out what junior forward Scott Wood had to say about it afterward. That pretty much sums it up.

And yet, as bad as the 74-55 beatdown might have seemed to a Wolfpack Nation fed up with the annual ritual of losing to the rival Tar Heels, the 11th straight defeat in the one-sided rivalry really isn’t the end of the world.


Akula Wolf (
Previewing The Virginia Cavaliers

NC State has had the luxury up to this point of being able to get out and run when they want to but that doesn’t figure to be so easy against Virginia, the slowest team in the ACC and the sixth-slowest in the country. Tony Bennett loves him some half court offense; in his six seasons as a head coach, his teams have never ranked higher than 317th nationally in adjusted tempo. Of the five ACC games they’ve played this season, only one has cracked 60 possessions.

That pace helps the Cavaliers limit turnovers, for one thing. That’s an area where Bennett made an immediate positive impact on Virginia’s offense. It’s taken him some time to build a team that can shoot a decent percentage with leftovers from the Dave Leitao era of vocal oppression, but he finally has one in 2012, thanks largely to the efforts of Mike Scott.


This is why Virginia has improved so much overall–the offense is a little better, but the defense is a whole lot better. The Cavs are playing better interior defense, and nobody’s better at limiting opponents to one-and-done possessions.

Good overall defense and defensive rebounding are two Bennett staples, so it’s not surprising that he’s been able to make those things happen at UVA after getting acclimated for a couple of years. The extent of Virginia’s success at this end is a bit of a surprise, though.

The Pomeroy Predictor likes Virginia by one.

Andrew Skwara (
ACC Weekend Preview, Jan. 27

Virginia-N.C. State Takes ACC Weekend Spotlight

If Virginia wants to prove it’s a top 25 team, it needs to prove it can beat N.C. State on the road.

The No. 19 Cavaliers travel to N.C. State in a Saturday matchup between two teams in the upper half of the ACC standings. A loss would likely drop the Cavs out of the top 25.

N.C. State has plenty to prove too after being crushed by North Carolina, 74-55, on Thursday night. Beating a ranked team two days later would put the Wolfpack back on track for a breakthrough season.

Read on for a breakdown of the N.C. State-Virginia matchup and five other games involving ACC teams this weekend:

No. 19 Virginia (16-3, 3-2 ACC) at N.C. State (15-6, 4-2)

When: 8 pm (EST)

What’s at Stake?

Virginia can snag a resume booster with a road win over a quality N.C. State team and also prove its home loss to Virginia Tech last week wasn’t a sign of things to come. But a loss would knock Tony Bennett’s squad out of the top 25 and back to the middle of the pack in the league standings. N.C. State’s looking to bounce back after being dominated in a 19-point loss at North Carolina. Beating a ranked team would give the Wolfpack some instant confidence again and put Mark Gottfried’s team a half game out of first place in the league standings.
Key for the Cavaliers

Akil Mitchell. The 6-foot-8 sophomore is starting in place of the injured Assane Sene. He isn’t much of a scoring threat, but the Cavs need him to play strong post defense in order to slow down N.C. State big men Richard Howell and C.J. Leslie.

Key for the Wolfpack

Avoid an emotional carryover. The Wolfpack were completely manhandled in a 19-point loss at North Carolina on Thursday, falling behind by double digits early on and never mounting any kind of a comeback. With this game just two days later, it makes you wonder if the disappointment will still be lingering.

Numbers game

Virginia is 3-0 against N.C. State under Tony Bennett … Virginia is just the second team in the shot clock era to hold consecutive league opponents to under 48 points – Georgia Tech (38) and Virginia Tech (47) … Virginia had twice as many assists (16) as turnovers (8) in its 66-49 win over Boston College on Thursday … N.C. State was held to season lows in points (55) and shooting percentage (36.8) in a 77-54 loss at UNC last Thursday.


N.C. State 65, Virginia 62 – The Wolfpack is a better team than it showed in Chapel Hill. Look for State’s balance to trump another solid game from Virginia’s Mike Scott.

Stephen Schramm (
With important stretch ahead, N.C. State needs to shake off disappointment

By now you’ve probably heard that angst was flowing freely for N.C. State in the aftermath of Thursday night’s 74-55 loss at North Carolina.

The restlessness was best summed up in one, now oft-discussed, exchange outside of the Smith Center’s visitors’ locker room.

In response to a question about the frustration of the Wolfpack’s losing streak to the Tar Heels being pushed to a now series-record 11 games, N.C. State’s Scott Wood fired back with this gem.

“I don’t know. Has your wife ever cheated on you?” Wood responded, followed by a long awkward pause. “That’s probably about how frustrating it is, probably.”

Ah, yes, but here’s the thing: As disappointing as it was to be manhandled by North Carolina in a game many around the Wolfpack program were viewing as a barometer of its progress, there is no point stewing over it.

Starting today, life is moving on quickly for the Wolfpack (15-6, 4-2). And many of its goals are still very much in play.

“We know we’re going to get more chances at games that everyone classifies as ‘big games,’ ” N.C. State’s C.J. Williams said.

The first one of those is already here.

The Sports Xchange
Quick Turnaround For Pack

QUOTE TO NOTE: “We’re going to try to run and score a lot of points.” — Coach Mark Gottfried, whose team had at least 71 in six consecutive games before Thursday’s 74-55 loss at North Carolina.


–vs. Virginia, Jan. 28

KEY MATCHUPS: The Wolfpack has shown the preference for a faster pace and Virginia will make every attempt to reduce the tempo. This will be the Wolfpack’s only home game during a four-game stretch and keeping track of Virginia F Mike Scott will be one of the key assignments.

ON THE SPOT: The Wolfpack has had the answers after disappointments this season, but first-year coach Mark Gottfried hasn’t had his team in this position. After a 19-point loss (with a deficit that once stood at 31 points) to rival North Carolina, Gottfried will be tested to repair the damage in a turnaround of less than 48 hours. Similar turnarounds on the schedule have taken place, but not after the Wolfpack were the victims of such a lopsided loss.

An instant response would be good for Gottfried’s status as well because the heightened expectations against North Carolina came crashing down. Unlike his predecessor Sidney Lowe, Gottfried didn’t win in his first coaching outing against North Carolina.
Pack Returns Home To Host No. 19 Virginia

NC STATE (15-6, 4-2 ACC) vs. 19/21 VIRGINIA (16-3, 3-2 ACC)
8 PM
Mike Patrick, Play-by-Play, Len Elmore, Color Analyst

The Wolfpack return to action with its second game in three days when it plays host to 19th-ranked Virginia on Saturday. Game time is 8 p.m. RBC Center doors open 90 minutes prior to tip.

The Pack is seeking its fifth ACC win of the year when it takes on the Cavaliers. A victory would equal NC State’s conference victory total for all of last season. State has had success versus Cavaliers at home, sporting a 7-3 mark at the RBC Center and 38-18 all-time against UVa in Raleigh.

Saturday’s game can be heard on the NC State Radio Network and seen on ESPN2 with Mike Patrick and Len Elmore on the call. Wolfpack Auctions will also be held in conjuntion with Saturday’s game.

No Fear Cavalier (
NC State Primer

3. When NC State runs its offense out of a halfcourt look, that set is usually the UCLA High Post, which Gottfried picked up when he was an assistant under Jim Harrick in Westwood. The High Post is run out of a 2-3 set (two-guard front) that is designed to pull the defense out of the paint, relieve pressure on the point guard, and create spacing for post-up and 3-point opportunities. Here is the basic alignment of the offense from a piece that Fran Fraschilla did on the offense for ESPN:

You can check out the rest of the article for some of the plays that are run out of it. Against Dana Altman’s Oregon squads the last two seasons, Virginia has faced a version of the High Post and had a good deal of success against it, holding the Ducks to 48 points in a 63-48 home win last season and 54 points in a 67-54 road win this season. This makes sense given that the Pack-Line isn’t going to be lured out of the paint, pre-empting the spacing that the High Post seeks to accomplish.

Moreover, NC State hasn’t run the High Post that efficiently all season although it ranks No. 51 in adjusted offensive efficiency. Instead, many of the Pack’s points come in the transition game, with point guard Lorenzo Brown often rifling 3/4 court passes that result in dunks and layups. When opposing teams force the Wolfpack to slow down and play halfcourt offense, there’s often a stultifying effect, with the Pack turning the ball over and getting low quality looks at the basket. I think that we can expect Tony Bennett to have the team crashing the offensive glass even less than usual in an effort to put the brakes on the Pack so that he can see what they can do when caught in a speed trap.

4. Defensively, Mark Gottfried’s go-to defense is man-to-man although he has been known to sprinkle in some 1-3-1 and 2-3 zones, which could be effective given UVa’s recent struggles from behind the arc. The Wolfpack, however, are only No. 225 in the country in 3-point field goal defense, with opponents shooting 35.5% from behind the arc on the season. And overall, the Pack has played pretty poorly on the defensive end, coming in at No. 94 in adjusted defensive efficiency although its defensive performance has improved since the start of ACC play.

MATT BECKER, STATS Senior Writer (
(19) Virginia (16-3) at N.C. State (15-6)

With starting center Assane Sene injured, Virginia needs Sammy Zeglinski to consistently hit outside shots to keep defenses from placing so much focus on Mike Scott in the post.

Zeglinski seemed to regain his shooting touch in the team’s last game, but building on that performance could be tough Saturday night when the 19th-ranked Cavaliers visit a North Carolina State team that is defending the perimeter well.

Zeglinski leads Virginia with 35 3-pointers and connected on 43.3 percent of his attempts in non-conference play, but he hasn’t been as steady from long range since the ACC slate began. The senior hit two big 3-pointers during the decisive run in Thursday’s 66-49 win over Boston College, and Scott had a game-high 18 points.
UVa Plays at NC State on Saturday

The Virginia men’s basketball team plays its second Atlantic Coast Conference game in three days on Saturday (Jan. 28) when the Cavaliers play NC State in Raleigh, N.C., The game is scheduled to begin at 8:00 p.m.

Virginia enters the game with an overall record of 16-3 and a 3-2 record in the ACC. The Cavaliers are coming off a 66-49 victory over Boston College on Thursday (Jan. 26) at John Paul Jones Arena.

In this week’s national rankings, UVa is ranked 19th in The Associated Press poll and 21st in the ESPN/USA Today Coaches poll.

NC State enters Saturday’s game with an overall record of 15-6 and a 4-2 record in the ACC. The Wolfpack lost at North Carolina 74-55 on Thursday.

Saturday’s game will be broadcast on the Virginia Sports Radio Network. It will also be televised by ESPN2 and carried on ESPN3.

UVa shot 50.9 percent (27-53) from the field in its victory over Boston College. It marked the seventh time this season the Cavaliers shot 50 percent or better from the field in a game.

It also marked the third consecutive game and the ninth time this season Virginia has held its opponent under 50 points. The nine opponents held under 50 points are the most in a season for the Cavaliers since the 1981-82 season when UVa held nine opponents under 50 points.

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."

11-12 Basketball College Basketball

26 Responses to Gameday Headlines: Pack vs. Hoos

  1. primacyone 01/28/2012 at 10:08 AM #

    BIG Game. Let’s Go Pack!

  2. pack76 01/28/2012 at 10:24 AM #

    We need this one badly! Get it done Pack!!!!

  3. graywolf 01/28/2012 at 11:37 AM #

    I believe that we must win this game today or we are an NIT team unless we win the tournament.

  4. state73 01/28/2012 at 11:46 AM #

    The PACK should be ok against UVA if they play as they were before the Chapel Hell game. UVA has a better record but has played a much softer schedule. GO WOLFPACK!!

  5. Howler 01/28/2012 at 11:58 AM #

    This will be interesting. Two different styles of play. Whichever style prevails will probably win the game.

  6. Lunatic Fringe 01/28/2012 at 12:26 PM #

    Missouri’s success speaks more to how good a coach Anderson is (was) and how he left the program. Haith took over a successful program with A LOT of experience in the top 7 contributors (in minutes/production).

    The break down for Missouri for top 7 is 5 seniors, 1 junior, and 1 sophomore (the soph is one of Pressey brothers who is pretty solid Soph).

    My prediction is Arkansas will rise from ashes and Missouri will revert back to being fairly irrelevant in the next 2-3 years.

  7. eas 01/28/2012 at 1:05 PM #

    WTF is up with the comparison of Frank Haith and Gott for the Wolfpack job? That has no business in the news. Haith did nothing at UM.

  8. chriscgray 01/28/2012 at 1:25 PM #

    Anybody have an update on Amile Jefferson???

  9. coach13 01/28/2012 at 1:50 PM #

    Agree eas. WTF? Where did that come from? And I know of NO State contingency that wanted Haith. That was just stupid.

  10. swamppack 01/28/2012 at 1:55 PM #

    Although I still have no confidence in State making the big turn around in the department that includes things like confidence, body language and swagger(WE ARE THE N.C. STATE WOLFPACK, WE BOW TO NO OPPONENT!),<<That all disappeared when V was let go, this game will indicate whether we go NIT or NCAA.

    I love the Pack and would like nothing more than to see a NCAA bid in Gott's first year with supposedly great recruits coming in. I have no faith things are going to change. Only when I see it. Before you get too upset with my lack of faith, think about it. My faith is going to change nothing until the team has faith in itself.

    Go into the game today with merciless confidence Wolfpack and play like a man instead of scared children.

    :)I will use my faith to pray that Carl Hess is not calling the game today.(:

  11. TheCOWDOG 01/28/2012 at 2:44 PM #

    Nonetheless, Haith still has about a five-furlough lead in everyone’s national coach of the year handicapping.

    Jeezus, WTF is a five furlough ?

    Nice work Tudor, it’s furlong, nit wit, fur – long.

    Five FURLONGS is 5/8 of a mile, for horse racing neophytes.

  12. rtpack24 01/28/2012 at 2:49 PM #

    Tudor’s article is bush league. Haith was not even considered for our job. And he write’s after we get our asses kicked. Miami situation with Haith has not gone away and he is winning with Anderson’s players. Hope we win to night we need this win.

  13. MattN 01/28/2012 at 3:17 PM #

    Mike Patrick is calling the game tonight? Awesome. I can’t wait for him to tell us again its been 6 years since we went to the NCAA after all Herb did was win win win. Only way it could be better is if Ayers is working the game.

  14. wolfie91 01/28/2012 at 3:30 PM #

    I remember Haith being mentioned after Sendek left, and had some supporters, but if was mentioned to replace Lowe, it was by a handful of people at best. Can’t imagine the overwhelming surprise and disappointment if Yow had hired him. And can’t imagine too many who aren’t wondering where MO will be in a few years. Strange article by Tudor.

  15. eas 01/28/2012 at 3:33 PM #

    For Tudor to write a piece on our coaching choice is just wrong. We are already doing much better under Gott with less talent. Nothing against Haith but he was not a match here nor does this article have any relevance to anything. The timing is strange to say the least and It is truly a horrible comparison. Did Tudor start taking crack all of the sudden? This is such an odd article to write.

    Go Wolfpack and Gott!!!

  16. nuclearwolf07 01/28/2012 at 4:51 PM #

    Wasn’t Haith implicated with the whole Shapiro debacle at Miami? That being said, where does Tudor get off even mentioning him in the same sentence as Gottfried? Great piece of journalism… to line the bottom of my dog’s crate that is.

  17. Lunatic Fringe 01/28/2012 at 5:16 PM #

    Tudor should do us all a favor and take furlough until the end of March.

  18. PackerInRussia 01/28/2012 at 5:25 PM #

    “And I know of NO State contingency that wanted Haith”

    Yeah, I wondered about that statement. I remember his name coming up after Herb left, but not this time. I am interested in how Haith will do partly because he was mentioned that first time. But in no way am I thinking about Haith being here now instead of Gottfried. Haven’t heard/read that from anyone (except that article).

  19. bill.onthebeach 01/28/2012 at 5:35 PM #

    …Frank Haith is from Gibsonville, NC more or less,

    you guys know anybody else from Gibsonville ????

    …of course, his name came up….just wasn’t up for more than five minutes….

  20. 1.21 Jigawatts 01/28/2012 at 5:51 PM #

    I thought everyone would enjoy Tudor’s POS today.

  21. Lunatic Fringe 01/28/2012 at 6:03 PM #

    Tudor had that piece written for about a month now waiting for us to have a dreadful game. He just dusted it off with a couple updates, like records, and sent it the editor on Friday so he could take an early day and enjoy the springlike weather.

  22. mak4dpak 01/28/2012 at 6:07 PM #

    As bad a the loss was to UNX Thursday, I still believe we waited until the final 10 minutes to play Gottfried style basketball, and cut a chunk out of the lead, and there was no let up by UNX, as they prefer to beat us a badly as possible. When the team plays the way the coach taught them, we always have a chance to win. He even said at the halftime interview, we were not doing anything the way we were supposed to. Here is hoping the team, will remember tonite, and give us another W in the league.

  23. wolfonthehill 01/28/2012 at 6:58 PM #

    Haith’s name rightfully came up 5 years ago. And it rightfully didn’t come up this time…

  24. 61Packer 01/28/2012 at 7:00 PM #

    I generally agree with Tudor’s articles, but he missed the mark badly on his Gott vs Haith article today. First, I cannot imagine ANY sensible Pack fan who would’ve wanted Frank Haith to become the Pack’s basketball coach. Haith’s Miami teams were the epitome of sloppy, undisciplined teams that had no clue which end of the court was which. They played and looked exactly like the Sidney Lowe teams except for the uniforms. Haith has inherited a very good veteran squad in Columbia, but as Tudor notes, the Tigers’ season is far from over.

    As for tonight, I hope that CJL watches most of if not all of this game from the bench, where he can’t continue to hurt this team with his self-centered attitude and atrocious lack of fundamental skills. If he does get into the game, he should be told to stay under the basket and rebound or block shots, and not to try to create a shot or shoot under any circumstance, unless it’s a slam dunk. I know Gott’s bench is limited and he has to use most of his guys, but eventually this coaching staff is going to have to face the fact that this team’s NCAA chances depend on team play rather than on talent.

    Other than this presently-failing CJL experiment, I like everything I’ve seen so for from Gott and feel like we’ll be ok tonight.

  25. choppack1 01/28/2012 at 7:33 PM #

    Tudor …what a jerk.

    Hopefully we’ll play well. The sabre seems to think this one is in the bag. I imagine they thought the same thing in football.

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