Tuesday Tidbits

January 17, 2012

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Back to normal for Leslie, Pack

N.C. State will go “back to normal” for Thursday’s game against Boston College, Wolfpack coach Mark Gottfried said. That means a return to the starting lineup for sophomore forward C.J. Leslie.

Gottfried benched Leslie for disciplinary reasons, stemming from a practice incident last week, in Saturday’s 76-40 win at Wake Forest.

“I told him that was for one game and we’ll go back to normal,” Gottfried said Monday on the weekly ACC teleconference.

Leslie, who’s second on the Pack in scoring with 12.8 points per game, came off the bench Saturday and was scoreless in 17 minutes. He tweaked his left ankle in the second half of the blowout but is expected to make a full recovery by Boston College’s trip the RBC Center on Thursday.

Stephen Schramm (FayObserver.com)
Wolfpack coach Mark Gottfried expects things to be back to normal with C.J. Leslie

In his place, DeShawn Painter played 28 minutes and tied his career high with 12 rebounds.

“There’s no question I was proud of DeShawn,” Gottfried said. “I told (Leslie) that that was for one game. We’ll go back to normal. I think it was a good confidence boost for DeShawn and we need DeShawn. And we need (Leslie). And we need everybody. My anticipation is that we’re right back to normal and let’s go work.”


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Brett Friedlander (starnewsonline.com)
BEYOND THE ARC: The mighty have fallen … and fallen hard


2. Message received: After his team fell flat in a damaging home loss to Georgia Tech, N.C. State coach Mark Gottfried publicly challenged his team to be better and more intense on defense. Three days later, the Wolfpack answered that challenge with a vengeance by holding Wake Forest to 29.1 percent shooting and forcing 17 turnovers in a dominating 76-40 road win.


1. Terrible Tar Heels: Coach Roy Williams worried that his UNC team had gotten complacent during a nine-game homestand, and his worst fears came true in a 90-57 loss to Florida State in Tallahassee on Saturday. The Tar Heels showed a lack of defense, poise and most of all, mental toughness in suffering the worst defeat of Williams’ nine seasons in Chapel Hill.

4. Now what Calvin?: Although the exact reason isn’t clear, N.C. State coach Mark Gottfried acknowledged that he didn’t start star forward C.J. Leslie Saturday against Wake Forest for disciplinary reasons. It’s at least the third time in his season-and-a-half that Leslie has been publicly punished by either a coach or the NCAA.

Barry Jacobs (accsports.com)
ACC In Flux

The ACC’s other new Mark has done well with a talented if thin roster largely inherited from overmatched Sidney Lowe. Some days Mark Gottfried has the Wolfpack playing like one of the conference’s better teams, particularly at the offensive end.

The play of Lorenzo Brown is a major reason for that prowess.

The sophomore has a tattoo on his upper left arm that proclaims, “Only God Can Judge Me Now.” Point taken. But the rest of us surely are free to evaluate, and what’s clear is Brown’s evolution into a formidable point guard, among the ACC’s most effective.

The 6-5 Brown has learned to run a team efficiently, if not yet with the elan of a true playmaker. His 2.3 assists for every turnover is third-best in the league. His distributing skills are reflected in five N.C. State players averaging at least 12 points per game.

The natural combination guard leads the Pack with 12.9 points per game although he’s still groping to strike a smooth personal balance between support and assertion. Brown managed well enough in a rout of spiritless Wake Forest at Winston-Salem, pacing both teams with 20 points, six assists, and four steals.

Meanwhile C.J. Leslie, N.C. State’s previous offensive leader, played less than half the game against Wake and failed to score.

Leslie has more growing up to do than many in his age group. He was benched to start the Wake game for unspecified disciplinary reasons according to Gottfried, who regularly calls the sophomore “Calvin” in a manner as much admonitory as affectionate.

The gifted forward, a creative offensive force, no longer mopes on the bench with a towel draped over his head, as he did last season. But Leslie is still learning to share the ball and to work harder at the defensive end. He rarely seems to incur a foul or make a mistake without complaining to an official.

Leslie’s stylistic opposite is teammate Scott Wood, a subtle presence who relies heavily on discipline and skill.


Andrew Skwara (accsports.com)
ACC Hoops Power Rankings, Jan. 16

6. N.C. State (13-5, 2-1)

Mark Gottfried’s plea for better defense clearly made the right impression. Three days after allowing Georgia Tech to shoot 51 percent in a loss at home, the Wolfpack held Wake Forest to 34 percent on its way to a 36-point win on the road.

Games This Week: Thursday vs. Boston College, Sunday at Miami
Previous Rank: No. 4

7. Miami (9-6, 0-2)

After opening up ACC play with road trips to Virginia and North Carolina, the Hurricanes get a seven-day break between games before a two-game homestand with Clemson and N.C. State. They may need to win both in order to turn their season around.

Games This Week: Wednesday vs. Clemson, Sunday vs. N.C. State
Previous Rank: No. 8

11. Boston College (7-10, 2-1)

So much for the Eagles getting embarrassed once ACC play started. The youth-laden team already has two ACC wins after edging Clemson (59-57) and Virginia Tech (61-59) at home. A visit from Wake on Saturday gives the Eagles a good chance at a third.

Next Game: Thursday at N.C. State, Saturday vs. Wake Forest
Previous Rank: No. 12

Robbi Pickeral (ESPN)
Conference Power Rankings: ACC

4. NC State: After coach Mark Gottfried challenged his team to play better defense than it did during its midweek loss to Georgia Tech, the Wolfpack responded, holding Wake Forest to 2-of-20 from 3-point range and 40 total points in a 76-40 win. All five NCSU starters continue to average double figures in scoring.

7. Miami: The Hurricanes, on paper, have the pieces to be a factor in the ever-shuffling ACC standings, but they still haven’t put it all together. They’ve had plenty of time to stew after their big loss at UNC last Tuesday, but they can’t afford to have guards Malcolm Grant and Durand Scott both shut down, as they were against the Tar Heels.

11. Boston College: Who’d have thunk it? The freshman-laden Eagles followed a two-point win over Clemson with a two-point win over Virginia Tech. You’ve got to respect what Steve Donahue is building in Chestnut Hill.

Bret Strelow (FayObserver.com)
ACC power rankings shaken up after UNC’s road loss

4. N.C. State (13-5, 2-1)
Scott Wood has seven blocks in last three games; he had four blocks in first 14 games

7. Miami (9-6, 0-2)
Malcolm Grant has struggled while dealing with the recent death of his older brother, Sayeed

12. Boston College (7-10, 2-1)
Eagles won home games against Clemson, Virginia Tech by two points apiece


unc fallout

Andrew Carter (N&O)
UNC coach Roy Williams didn’t mean to leave walk-ons stranded at Florida State, spokesman says

North Carolina coach Roy Williams did not intend to leave five players on the court for the final 14 seconds of the Tar Heels’ 90-57 loss at Florida State on Saturday, a UNC basketball team spokesman said on Monday.

“Roy thought that the walk-ons followed him [off the court], too,” said Steve Kirschner, the director of communications for the UNC athletic department.

With 14 seconds to play on Saturday and his team trailing by 33 points, Williams, approached Florida State coach Leonard Hamilton during a timeout. Williams said later he was concerned about his players’ safety during what he expected would be a wild postgame celebration on the court of the Donald L. Tucker Center.

According to Kirschner, Williams asked Hamilton if he would be offended if the game could be declared over with 14 seconds to play. Williams, according to Kirschner, believed that Hamilton had agreed to end the game early.

Video: Van Pelt’s One Big Thing on UNC

Scott Van Pelt reacts to UNC’s 33-point loss to Florida State on Saturday.

ACC Morning Five: 01.16.12 Edition

Raleigh News & Observer: Speaking of the beatdown, the other story (or diversion, in my opinion) from Tallahassee was Roy Williams taking his players off the floor before the end of the game to avoid potential injuries during the court rushing. Leonard Hamilton says it was his idea. That left five walk-ons to face the masses of Seminole faithful streaming onto the court solo. Obviously the move drew a lot of criticism. It also drew this awesome photoshop.

Joe Ovies (WRALSportsfan.com)
No Tar Heel left behind (unless you’re a reserve)

Roy Williams repeatedly told reporters in Tallahassee that his decision to pull his team off the court, save the 5 members of the Blue Team and a couple of assistants, with 14.2 seconds left in the game shouldn’t take away from Florida State’s great win.

Considering Williams has been the center of various self-induced so-called “controversies,” he had to know the chances of that happening were slim. So let’s get the shiny object out of the way before tackling what went wrong against the Seminoles, shall we?

Williams is clearly sensitive to his bench environment. He infamously alerted Smith Center security to a Presbyterian fan who obtained a ticket to a limited section and heckled Tar Heels at the free throw line. Williams burned a week’s worth of media appearances after the UNLV loss talking about Rams Club members who sell their tickets and BB guns.

Lost in the laughs over Photoshop work featuring Williams dressed up as Ralphie from “A Christmas Story” was the fact a female North Carolina manager was knocked to the ground by a drunk Runnin’ Rebels fan. Clearly Williams hasn’t forgotten the incident and he wanted to avoid a similar situation before Florida State fans created bedlam on the court.

Joe Ovies (WRALSportsfan.com)
A quick followup to “No Tar Heel Left Behind”

On Monday, North Carolina associate athletic director for communications Steve Kirschner called 99.9 The Fan to offer some explanation as to why head coach Roy Williams wanted to leave the floor before Florida State fans could storm the court and that Williams didn’t realize the final 14.2 seconds of the game had actually been played.

We openly questioned the explanation on the air, which is our right to do, but apparently that didn’t sit well with the coach. During his radio show later in the evening, Williams was displeased with our characterization that what Kirschner said was untrue. “You’ve got to handle a lot of things in life, but you’re not going to call me a liar,” sad Williams.

Except that nobody called anybody a liar. Only that the explanation was rather odd and that it would be fair for people to question it. Semantics? Perhaps. But here are some quick thoughts to put a wrap on this and move on.

Stephen Schramm (FayObserver.com)
The Rebound: Storming the court edition

The word for the week is: Safety.

Look, far be it for me to criticize Williams for pulling his team off the floor for the final seconds of Saturday’s blowout loss to Florida State. He’s got a collection of college-age celebrities with lucrative futures. The last thing he needs to do is risk anything by exposing them to a swift tide of fired up strangers.

Would anything bad have happened had he left them out there? Probably not. But let’s be honest, all it takes is one yahoo doing something stupid in one of these situations to change the whole debate for good.

So if Roy wants to protect his guys, fine. I’m not going to begrudge him.

But, let’s not forget that storming a court is part of college basketball. When done right, it can be a natural, zesty enterprise. It’s the confluence of youthful exuberance and college basketball’s ability to provide delightfully unexpected moments.

Bret Strelow (FayObserver.com)
Name-calling, mistaken identities and a reference to Hades: Roy Williams’ explanation for the FSU mishap

North Carolina coach Roy Williams said he didn’t realize until Monday, when he was watching tape of the Tar Heels’ 90-57 loss at Florida State, that five reserves had remained on the court for the final 14.2 seconds.

Most members of the team, including Williams, left the court early to avoid the rush of floor-storming FSU fans. Williams, citing miscommunication with assistant coach Joe Holladay as the reason why not everyone departed, said on his weekly radio show that he apologized Monday to the five players: Stilman White, Jackson Simmons, David Dupont, Patrick Crouch and Stewart Cooper.

Of all the variables in play, the fact that they were left behind upset fans of the Tar Heels’ rivals as well as UNC supporters.

► Before Williams’ show aired Monday night, UNC spokesman Steve Kirschner was an afternoon guest on Raleigh radio station 99.9 The Fan to offer Williams’ side of the story.

Williams was bothered by the notion that some people might be skeptical of Kirschner’s explanation, saying, “I told him the exact truth. The exact truth.”

Williams also said, “You’ve got to handle a lot of things in life, but you’re not going to call me a liar.”


ncsu helmet

REPORT: Sands To South Carolina

According to South Carolina’s official site, NC State running backs coach Everette Sands has accepted the same position at the University of South Carolina.

Ryan Tice (TheWolfpacker.com)
Corey Edmund excited to return to Raleigh

Before the head strength and conditioning coach position for the NC State football team opened up this winter, it had been quite some time since former four-year letterwinner Corey Edmond had been back to Raleigh.

In fact, it had been since 2003, when the Murphy Center opened, that Edmond was on campus last, so he was taken aback by how much things have changed during his absence.

“It’s great to come back to NC State, it’s a great feeling,” he said. “I’ve been gone a while so it will take some getting used to. When I came back and walked the facility, I was just floored by the changes – the facility itself and the whole stadium have transformed over the years. It isn’t just the stadium or the athletics buildings, though, the whole campus has changed and grown so it’s an exciting time.

“I was very excited when I heard about the opening, it was a great opportunity. I couldn’t have asked for anything better than this situation. I’ve been out in this profession for 20 years and now I am getting the opportunity to invest in the lives of players at a place that is so dear to my heart.”



Watch the Mark Gottfried TV Show

In this week’s episode, Head basketball coach Mark Gottfried discusses the Wake Forest and Georgia Tech games with host Tony Haynes. Mark Thomas visits with junior forward Richard Howell.

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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27 Responses to Tuesday Tidbits

  1. PackerInRussia 01/17/2012 at 8:15 AM #

    I know Roy thinks that if only he’d remembered his 5 reserve players (whose names he had to learn before apologizing to them), then there’d be nothing to criticize. I think you just introduce a whole new reason to criticize. I’m sure it happens, but is it a normal practice to quit with 14 seconds left in order to avoid a court rush?

    By the way, that Lost Colony picture on Rush The Court was hilarious.

  2. Spike 01/17/2012 at 8:33 AM #

    I was curious too if that was normal PackerInRussia. While I can understand as a coach you are concerned with the safety of your team, if that is truly what the reason was, I thought it was classless. To me, it seemed more like they got their asses handed to them and wanted to get the hell out of dodge as fast as possible. It sucks to get beat…and to get beat badly….and especially to get beat badly by a team you should have beat but I think Florida State deserved the respect of them staying out there until the game was over. They kicked their butts and they deserved to play until the end. After reading the comments that he thought the walk-ons were behind him made it even worse. He didn’t even want to finish the game. Had that really happened I think he would have been raked across the coals and rightfully so. The fact that he left the walk-ons out there to fend for themselves made it look even worse. It seemed like just another instance of them being crybabies who can’t man up and take it when something happens to them.

  3. Prowling Woofie 01/17/2012 at 8:34 AM #

    What’s more damning – leaving your walk-on players alone on the court, supposedly in harm’s way while “protecting” your ‘staaahhhzzz’, or not noticing that those five players weren’t in the locker room with you ?

    Hope those five (and their families) feel MUCH better now…

    Roy IS a liar, and a tool. He should face a Red Rider firing squad.

  4. 61Packer 01/17/2012 at 8:36 AM #

    A Captain ALWAYS goes down with his ship, unless it’s in Tallahassee or Italy.

  5. lawful 01/17/2012 at 9:03 AM #

    Bravo, 61!!!

    Would you say that’s been happening with metronome regularity?

  6. state73 01/17/2012 at 9:14 AM #

    Nothing ever changes in Chapel Hell. Roy and his cronies trying to put a different spin on what happened at FSU. Now he is not only a coward, he is also a liar!

  7. NCStatePride 01/17/2012 at 9:25 AM #

    So there are two scenarios to consider:

    1) What some people say happened.
    Roy Williams either (a) loses his temper or (b) wants to protect the safety of this stars or a mixture of the two. Regardless of the reason, he pulls his players off early and leaves his scrubs in to “finish the game” while protect what is, in reality, the secret to his success: his stars. After the shit-storm, he realizes how damning it is to the public (or someone in the UNC athletic department realized it) and comes us with some story to save face.

    2) What Roy says happened.
    Williams wants to protect all of his players and asks to end the game early to get to the locker room prior to the crowd rushing the court. Through either negligence or senility he simply “forgets” 5 bodies which makes up a significant part of your roster.

    So the interesting question is whether Roy Williams’ explanation really makes him look any better. I’d rather look like an a**hole that understands where my money is (my stars) then a senile old man who simply ‘forgets’ 5 bodies. Either way, if the bodies were just ‘forgotten’, I don’t know why you would leave assistant coaches on the bench…

  8. sequoyah 01/17/2012 at 10:20 AM #

    & his excuse is to prevent ‘What Happened in Vegas’???

    from this angle, time is running out and the UNX bench kinda strolls to the locker room (but the 5 guys on the court left behind & running to catch up – must’ve been the walk-ons)… The court rushing isn’t even around the UNX bench yet. & where is the female manager on the bench, the one who got knocked down?


  9. Rochester 01/17/2012 at 10:21 AM #

    Roy’s a douche. That was completely classless. How could he not know they were finishing the game? And does he really believe when a team gets down by 33 points they should have the option of quitting before all 40 minutes are over? Did he offer that exit strategy to any of the five teams his Heels have whipped by such margins this year? What exactly is the point where a team can walk off the floor? 14 seconds? 1 minute? 5 minutes? If a team is down 20 at half time can they just go home?

    He’s the biggest fair-weather coach in college sports. As soon as anything turns against him and his team he throws a tantrum.

  10. BassPacker 01/17/2012 at 10:44 AM #

    Just looked at the vid from UNLV win, first impression is man they got some old students. Second is how obvious the students/fans who rushed the floor were far from being close to the UNC bench. Also look how open the space was for UNC to leave the court, basically the whole team was ignored by fans. Roy is a liar….period. I hope Joe Ovies calls him out more on this fairy tale.

    None of the follow up story makes sense. Is he so incompetent that he doesn’t know where his players after are after the game, specially with it being an AWAY game? Or when the game is over? Sounds like another program at UNC lacking control.

  11. rtpack24 01/17/2012 at 11:06 AM #

    Roy had just put in the 5 walk-ons. When he walks down to FSU’s bench to shake Leonard’s hand. When he did this since the game was still in progress and Roy left the coaches box with no injured player then this should have been a technical foul. Of course no tech no word from Swofford, what a joke! Roy “no mas” “no mas”. Then they tell 3 different stories trying to explain that ol Roy is one more episode away from pulling a Woody Hayes.

  12. Rochester 01/17/2012 at 11:09 AM #

    Maybe Roy needs a sign-out sheet for his walk-ons so he always knows where they are.

  13. Alpha Wolf 01/17/2012 at 11:19 AM #

    Reading the Tarheel True Believers defense of their coach on various message boards has been nothing short of hilarious. Their cognitive dissonance is so massive you almost think they forgot their Thorazine for a few days.

    One even went so far as to try a wacky straw man by asking “does anyone rush the court when they beat NCSU?”

    And that has what to do with anything that happened in Tallahassee? Oh, that’s right, it’s page 3 on the Tarheel fan playbook: “When we look bad, change the subject to NC State ASAP.”

    Doesn’t work, though. Roy’s on his own this time.

  14. genew 01/17/2012 at 11:53 AM #

    If Roy were truely concerned about his burger boys getting hurt in end of game situations he would have them on the bench at the end of games they are on the plus side of blowouts where opponents could loose controle while being embarrased in front of their fans. Note that Barnes hit a buzzer beater in Talahassee last year to stretch the margin to 40+. His antics at the end of games that go the other way are most likely about emotional harm rather than physical and probably his rather than players.

  15. packof81 01/17/2012 at 1:03 PM #

    Has any other college basketball coach ever left the court like this prior to the final buzzer?

    Is this a first? Is there a precedent?

  16. MP 01/17/2012 at 1:04 PM #

    Roy’s “apology” sounds like a case of “I’m sorry that you don’t like my style”.

    One of his walkons on the court tried to talk to him while he’s performing his attention-grabbing handshaking of the entire FSU athletic department… but can’t get his attention because Roy is too self-absorbed to realize it.

    He goes out of his way to tell the media that he spent 48 hours giving his team the silent treatment and therefore was not “exposed” to the news that the entire world thinks he’s a douchebag for abandoning his players.

    He tells how he apologized to his players – But manages to work a “joke” in that he would only sacrifice one guy, not five.

    He pulls the old bully tactic to the media: “You callin’ me a liar?”

    Crash and burn, baby, crash and burn.

  17. WolftownVA81 01/17/2012 at 1:55 PM #

    On the surface, this is fun story for us Wolfpackers. However, really it’s pretty sad that a coach would be so full of himself that he would knowingly abandon 5 players to fend for themselves (I never saw an assistant still on the bench) or just forget about them until he watches the replay. Neither scenario portrays Williams in a positive light.

    I personnally think Williams has a hard time telling the truth and the spin machin on the Hill couldn’t tell a truthful story if the Ram’s life depended on it. Roy’s behavior is shameful on so many levels……..and where is the ACC on this one? The conference looks bad as well since Roy has, embarrassed the whole conference on National TV by his actions. He should disciplined by UNC and then be kicked out of the ACC Hall of Fame.

    I don’t like everything Coach K does, but I do respect him. Roy is the lowest class coach in the conference by far. Maybe in all Division 1.

  18. pack76 01/17/2012 at 2:40 PM #

    wolftownVa81, well said! I agree totally! Hey ole Roy, “Liar!!!!”

    Roy is the biggest fool in the ACC. He loves to win and strut around like a peacock but let him get beat and he’s like mole. Get underground as quick as you can! Idiot!!!!

  19. PackerInRussia 01/17/2012 at 2:57 PM #

    To show how serious they are about safety, UNC is designing new away uniforms in the event that they lose another game. It’s said to be modeled after this uniform that was tried out by the Mets:


  20. Prowling Woofie 01/17/2012 at 4:41 PM #

    That’s great, PIR !!!

  21. MrPlywood 01/17/2012 at 5:10 PM #

    @Alpha – I also had a look-see on IC, and evidently page 1 of the UNX playbook says “write off any win by an opponent as ‘their Super Bowl'”… Which they did after State’s latest football win, in this case with FSU, and I’m sure on many other occasions.

  22. Alpha Wolf 01/17/2012 at 8:27 PM #

    @Plywood… we not only won “our Super Bowl” AND we showed up for our bowl game. Imagine that!

  23. Icabod61 01/17/2012 at 10:31 PM #

    let’s see…..
    if you’re a women’s soccer coach, already bound for the NCAA tourney and you hold your best players out of the ACC tourney to avoid any possible injuries… you get heavily penalized by the ACC top brass.
    a non-revenue sport, not televised, probably not even much attended.

    if you’re a coach of the “flagship” of the conference, you can use the “safety of my players” excuse during the actual event while getting your butt kicked. major revenue sport, nationally televised…
    where’s the commish on this one?? like we don’t know…..

    second line of thought… if safetly from rushing fans is the concern, i completely expect them to pull their starters and staff whenever they’re behind by any amount to an underdog, near the end of a game. wolfpackers should post a public announcement that if we win, be it by 1 or 100, we’re rushing the court. so pull your players near the end, because we’re coming!!!

  24. ancsu87 01/18/2012 at 12:03 AM #

    Is anyone surprised by (A) UNC-BS thinking there are beyond the rules such that they can just take their ball and go home when they are getting their ass kicked, (B) once people question what UNC-BS has done the full press spin machine comes out in force and (C) normally logical people who are also UNC-BS fans, alumni, or students accept the spin machine drivel no matter how illogical or unbelievable it is????

    This is just more of the same and, yes Roy, we are going to call you a liar because there is no way that a highly successful coach of a major college bb program could “forget” that he left his team on the floor. For him to even think anyone would believe this story just shows how deeply ingrained the UNC-BS “I love me” culture is on anyone associated with that university.

    I guess all of the media did not get the spin story:
    “Out of respect for the game, five UNC players remained to play out the final 14.2 seconds of the contest before making a bee-line straight for the visitor’s locker room. After all, rushing the court would be fairly anticlimactic if the entire UNC squad had walked off the court prematurely.” — http://bleacherreport.com/articles/1025043-rules-sense-in-interest-of-safety-unc-correct-to-leave-floor-before-games-end

    Imagine the NC media articles if any other ACC coach (including Coach K) did this.

  25. tuckerdorm1983 01/18/2012 at 7:41 AM #

    “Cut and Run Roy”


    “They were expendable”

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