Friday Farrago

February 10, 2012

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Associated Press
NC State avenges earlier loss to Yellow Jackets

C.J. Williams scored 15 points and North Carolina State avenged a loss to Georgia Tech last month, holding off the Yellow Jackets 61-52 Thursday night.

The Wolfpack (18-7, 7-3 Atlantic Coast Conference) got a typically balanced scoring attack, with three other players in double figures. Kammeon Holsey had 17 points for Georgia Tech (9-15, 2-8), which couldn’t overcome 32 percent shooting, including 1-for-17 from 3-point range.

The Yellow Jackets upset NC State 82-71 in Raleigh, giving coach Brian Gregory his first ACC win. The Wolfpack could not afford another setback like that, not if they want to make a run at an NCAA tournament bid.

NC State forward Scott Wood finally missed a free throw, ending his ACC record streak at 66 in a row. Actually, he missed three, going 2-for-5 at the foul line.

The Wolfpack has its best mark in conference play after 10 games since the 2005-06 season and trails the top three in the ACC – Duke, North Caroling and Florida State – by only one game in the loss column. C.J. Leslie added 13 points, while Wood and Lorenzo Brown had 10 apiece. N.C. State came into the game with all five starters averaging in double figures.

Akula Wolf (
NC State Improves To 7-3 In ACC Play With 61-52 Win Over Georgia Tech

It wasn’t much to look at from an offensive perspective, but State overcame a painfully slow start to control every aspect of this game…well, except rebounding. Georgia Tech built an early lead on the strength of offensive boards, and we didn’t do a good job of shoring that up as the game went on, but fortunately the Jackets were so bad in the shooting and turnover categories that the rebounding discrepancy didn’t end up costing the Wolfpack this game.
NC State locker room report

Did the team have to overcome some adversity tonight?

“Well, they did. What I thought was key for us, was what was just mentioned, the defense at the end of the half and the second half. Inside of our defense is that our rebounding improved. The first half, we weren’t very good. When you look at the first half, the only way I think they were in the game is their offensive rebounding. We weren’t doing a good job of finishing the defensive possession.

“That was the crux of halftime, ‘Fellows, we are guarding them good enough, but we are giving them a second shot and scoring.’ Every shot they had in the second half was around the rim. We corrected that and I thought we did a nice job. They had some open threes they missed, but we also had a hand up on a lot of them. We made it a little bit tougher three-point shot attempts for them. Our defense and rebounding was much better today and that was the difference in the game.”

What do you think of NC State having the most ACC wins in six years?

“It is [a measure of improvement]. I never at the beginning of the year, people always asked me, ‘What do you think this team can do?’ You don’t really know. It’s my first year, and if you said 18 wins, yeah, that’s pretty good. I don’t know.

“Now, the game changes now. We are a little greedy. We are going to slug it out all the way until the end. We got a group of guys right now that have a lot of confidence. They play really well together. That’s one thing you have to like about this team. They share the ball, they pass the ball. We have found ways to grind out some wins so far.”

What are your thoughts with the top three ACC teams coming up on the schedule?

“You better tie your shoes up real tight right about now. What is great, we get to play those teams and they are ahead of us. That is the opportunity. That is what you want. The chance to go get them. They are really good teams, no question. Our guys will play hard, that is one thing I do know.”

Wolfpack wins 3rd straight

Pack’s Wood extends ACC record for free throws

Wolfpack has 3 McDonald’s All-Americans

Ken Sugiura (
Georgia Tech loses to N.C. State

Said coach Brian Gregory, “We’re not a great shooting team. We have to make sure that we take quality shots.”

At the moment, describing the Jackets as even an average shooting team might be a stretch. Tech shot 1-for-17 from 3-point range and is 4-for-32 in the past two games. Entering the game, the Jackets ranked last in the ACC in 3-point shooting percentage at 31.8 percent.

“Sometimes, it just doesn’t fall,” Holsey said. “I’m confident in our guards that they’ll make those shots the next game.”

Tech fell to 9-15 overall and 2-8 in the ACC. N.C. State (18-7, 7-3) avenged its Jan. 11 loss to Tech in Raleigh and moved forward in its attempt to earn an NCAA tournament bid in coach Mark Gottfried’s first season.

The Jackets’ shooting woes were the demise of what was otherwise a commendable performance. Tech held N.C. State to 40.8 percent shooting from the field and out-rebounded the Wolfpack 42-31. The Jackets, 11th in the ACC in free-throw percentage, made 13 of 16 free throws.

Holsey led all scorers with 17 points with eight rebounds. He and center Daniel Miller worked extra minutes as backup center Nate Hicks sat out with mononucleosis. Hicks will likely be out for the next two weeks.

Brett Friedlander (
McDonald’s selections affirm strength of State recruiting class

The McDonald’s All-America Game rosters are out, and as usual, an ACC team from North Carolina has the most recruits selected.

But here’s the surprise – it’s not UNC or Duke.

It’s N.C. State.

The quality of coach Mark Gottfried’s first recruiting class was affirmed Thursday when three Wolfpack signees – point guard Tyler Lewis of Oak Hill (Va.) Academy, shooting guard Rodney Purvis of Upper Room Christian in Raleigh and small forward T.J. Warren of Brewster (N.H.) Academy – were selected to play in the nation’s premier prep all-star game.

Akula Wolf (
NC State At The Halfway Point Part II

State’s improvement doesn’t have much to do with FG% defense; it’s the big gains in forcing turnovers and securing defensive boards that have really paid dividends. Effort helps a lot. Also, opponents have hit 67.8% of their free throws against State in 2012, compared to 75% last season, so our FT defense has gotten way better.

Jacey Zembal (
Gottfried learns valuable lessons in prior jobs

NC State coach Mark Gottfried is often linked to his past history at Alabama, but it’s the school where he had his first coaching job that is starting to grab the headlines.

Gottfried coached his first three years at Murray State from 1995-98, after serving as an assistant coach at UCLA where the Bruins won the 1995 national title. Gottfried went 69-23 overall and 40-12 in the Ohio Valley Conference, which helped him land the job at his alma mater in Tuscaloosa, Ala.

“I feel like that is where I learned how to coach,” Gottfried said. “It’s a great basketball job. They want to win, and their fan support is amazing for that level. At the same time, you aren’t getting scrutinized like you would in the SEC or ACC or Pac-10. You could make mistakes, whether with players or staff.”

Gottfried was able to learn from his mistakes and put himself into a better position to handle being the coach at Alabama.


The thrill of chasing another national championship is what propelled Gottfried to eventually leave Murray State.

“That is my goal — like every coach, I want to compete at the highest level,” Gottfried said. “I knew at Murray there was a ceiling on that, and that is just how the world works. I had a great time there and loved it there.”

RPI ACC Rankings

2 Duke (20-4)
8 North Carolina (20-4)
30 Florida State (16-7)
35 Miami (15-7)
44 Virginia (19-4)
51 NC State (18-7)
89 Virginia Tech (13-11)
93 Maryland (14-9)
130 Wake Forest (11-13)
144 Georgia Tech (9-15)
186 Clemson (11-12)
210 Boston College (8-16)

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 Basketball Recruiting College Basketball Mark Gottfried

29 Responses to Friday Farrago

  1. Hungwolf 02/10/2012 at 8:21 AM #

    Great road win for the pack! Would have not been as close had Scott Wood played smart. He kept fouling the shooter on jump shots. Sometimes he plays really stupid. Now we get a nice rest before going to Duke.

    Really great to see us on the NCAA projected fields and WOW how about THREE McDonalds All-Americans!!!!!!

  2. BJD95 02/10/2012 at 8:24 AM #

    I can’t say enough how glad I am that MG rightly sees this next stretch of games as an opportunity, rather than an excuse to whine and…well, make excuses. What a breath of fresh air after Sendek and Lowe and their lame attempts at perpetual self-preservation (with the Wolfpack radio crew’s fawning enabling).

  3. tractor57 02/10/2012 at 9:04 AM #

    Good teams don’t run away from top flight competition (unless Roywonder boy) and it appears the Pack is headed in the direction of a good team.
    I like that MG doesn’t hide from the obvious when talking to the press.
    Not a pretty game last night but a sign of a maturing team – winning even when things aren’t perfect.

  4. Wufpacker 02/10/2012 at 9:09 AM #

    Definitely good to get the road win, as well as to win one that we “should” win. But damn, I can’t believe we lost to those guys at home. Oh well….it’s spilt milk under the bridge. Would be nice to steal one of the next three.

  5. STLPack01 02/10/2012 at 9:16 AM #

    I liked Akulawolf’s comment about FT defense. Classic.

  6. Wufpacker 02/10/2012 at 9:25 AM #

    “Pack’s Wood extends ACC record for free throws”

    Kind of an odd headline for them to use, no?

  7. Hungwolf 02/10/2012 at 9:29 AM #

    “One game doesn’t mean more than another.”
    “There’s not really a difference between a recruit ranked 100 and recruit ranked 40”
    “With the importance of every game, I was not able to start my senior on senior night.”

    Herby 8-18 at ASU currently.

    Hope he sticks his head out the car window and gets arrested for mooning!

  8. YogiNC 02/10/2012 at 9:57 AM #

    For someone who claims to be the smartest man in the room Herbie sure is an ID 10 T. Gee Herbie, wonder where the RPI rankings come from? How about a rivalry… oh that’s right, UNX isn’t our rival. To quote Walter, “Dumb Ass”.

  9. Dreadstone 02/10/2012 at 10:11 AM #

    The first game against Tech they shot * 60 % * from three point range. Banking in 3’s FFS.

    Insofar as recruiting, the day I follow the shenanigans of some 18 year old, regardless of how many hamburgers he can eat is the day I actually pay attention to reality TV. (read – NEVER)

  10. eas 02/10/2012 at 10:14 AM #

    Bottom line is Gott “gets it”. He gets the fans, school, media, history and most importantly being a true coach (on and off the court). He surrounded himself with a great coaching staff and has recruited his a$$ off.

    I am not drinking the Kool aid completely but we are lucky to have him. That doesn’t mean he is the greatest coach BUT he is much better than the last 3 we have had in the job.

    I get frustrated with some of the ugly play just like anyone else but hey this is a LESS talented team than last year that is making it work! They are a better coached, prepared and consistent team than previous. When was the last time we all can remember actually feeling good about game ending situations (minus the UVA play call)? I feel like this team has a legit chance to win EVERY time they play.

    Tourney or no tourney this team has worked hard. We are heading in the right direction.

  11. rtpack24 02/10/2012 at 10:17 AM #

    This team is so much better in every aspect this year. We did not always execute down the stretch last night but I really liked the coaching job Gott did. We have a great opportunity in the next three games and it is nice to hear that is how we are approaching it.

  12. Rick 02/10/2012 at 10:52 AM #

    “You better tie your shoes up real tight right about now. What is great, we get to play those teams and they are ahead of us. That is the opportunity. That is what you want. The chance to go get them. They are really good teams, no question. Our guys will play hard, that is one thing I do know.”

    This is the attitude I like to hear. We might lose but we will not go into the game expecting to lose like we did the past 20 years.

  13. Wufpacker 02/10/2012 at 11:14 AM #

    Agreed. I can definitely understand why recruits seem to like this staff. Kinda makes you wonder even more if young Master Harrow really gave them an honest shake before bolting.

  14. Tampa-Pack 02/10/2012 at 11:40 AM #

    ^ I always wondered if the staff saw right through Mr. Harrow and didn’t really welcome him to stay. Ir if he saw he would actually have to work to play, and therefore bolted. We’ll never really know, but couldn’t be happier how its worked out for us!

  15. gtspack 02/10/2012 at 11:47 AM #

    We still have a shot at getting Amile Jefferson. Can you even imagine having 4 McD all-Americans on our roster. We are definitely heading in the right direction of becoming an elite program.

  16. Wufpacker 02/10/2012 at 11:48 AM #

    Yes, all things being equal I think this year’s results speak for themselves and I think we are better off the way things have worked out. But if he hadn’t been a head case, his abilities sure could be helping this team even further right now.

  17. NCSU84 02/10/2012 at 12:24 PM #

    Is it just me or do the next three games seem like, well, impossible to win. DUKE and UNC scored over 80 points against each other, but we struggled to get to 60 points against GT. Keep in mind we are a “running” team and a 60 point game against the league’s last place team does not give me a feeling of confidence. I just do not see the fire power to compete with the big boys. Please enlighten me if I am missing something.

  18. sundropdrinker13 02/10/2012 at 12:54 PM #

    GT plays a slow down game, so getting 61 is actually decent. I don’t know what the possessions were last night, but State only took 49 shots, when they usually take high-50s low 60’s, and average 57 shots a game, so that is 8 less shots.

  19. Prowling Woofie 02/10/2012 at 12:56 PM #

    NCSU84 – Eliminating turnovers and controlling the boards are our only hopes of success. The guys did a better job of this in the second half last night (only 3 TO’s, relatively equal on the boards), but the first half was abysmal. Have a stretch like the first half against Duke (or UNC) and they will bury us. Focus, Hustle, and Discipline.

    Piece of cake….

  20. Dogbreath 02/10/2012 at 1:33 PM #

    mark it down: we beat either Duke or UNC, but not both. Once every 8-10 years, the league office will throw us a bone, and allow the officiating to be administered fairly. This is almost always a home game – think Duke 2007.

  21. eas 02/10/2012 at 1:58 PM #

    Anybody know what the latest on Torian Graham decision is? Maybe the 3 rd time is a charm….

  22. Rochester 02/10/2012 at 3:53 PM #

    Torian Graham doesn’t seem to be what we need at this point. Seems like a big man would round out the class better. If Leslie leaves after this year we could use another 4/5. If he stays maybe it’s not as high a priority. Hope he stays. We could have a sick rotation next year with him at the 4.

  23. gtspack 02/10/2012 at 4:53 PM #

    eas, My understanding is that Torian wants to come to State but wasn’t ready academically. I’m not sure on any more details than that.

  24. ncsu_kappa 02/10/2012 at 5:23 PM #

    I hear Amille is all but signed with Duke and that there is only a small chance that he doesn’t sign with Duke. I hope I’m wrong, but I’m not getting my hopes up.

  25. eas 02/10/2012 at 5:42 PM #

    Thanks for the info on Torian. I read today that Amille was impressed by Coack K flying up to watch him play in Jan. especially during the middle of the season. It does sound like he is a lock at Duke. We really do need a some big men badly. For once we will actually have plenty of guards by next year. Come on Gott and hop a plane to check out Amille one more time.

    The video interview Amille just did sure sounds like a strong lean towards Durham…..

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