Gameday Headlines: Pack vs. Deacs

February 4, 2012

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Pack’s Brown looks to rebound

Lorenzo Brown has no difficulty assessing the recent flaws in his game.

Since a 20-point outing in the Wolfpack’s 76-40 win over Wake Forest on Jan. 14, the N.C. State point guard hasn’t been “playing too well,” by his own account.

Brown and the Wolfpack are hoping today’s game against the Demon Deacons (1 p.m., WRAL) will recharge his sophomore season.

“It’s something I’ve got to get over,” Brown said Friday. “This is the point in the season where you have to be playing your best to get where you want to go.”

And that’s the NCAA tournament, Brown added. The Wolfpack (16-7 overall, 5-3 ACC) has already matched last season’s ACC win total (five) and surpassed last season’s overall win total, but Brown wants more. He knows he has to break out of his five-game mini-slump to help his team.

Brown’s scoring and shooting numbers in the past five ACC games have been off the pace of his first three conference games. Brown averaged 14.6 points and made 16 of his 32 shots in the first three ACC games. In the five games since, he has averaged 7.6 points and made 15 of 42 shots.

Wolfpack headed for a break

N.C. State vs. Wake Forest, 1 p.m., WRAL

N.C. State (16-7, 5-3 ACC) is about to get what amounts to a midseason break after today’s visit from the Demon Deacons (11-11, 2-6).

The Wolfpack will play only two games in a 10-day span, with road games at Georgia Tech (Feb. 9) and Duke (Feb. 16). N.C. State played four games in the previous 10-day span.

Brett Friedlander (
ACC’s new schedule turns State-UNC basketball into ‘just another game’

It’s become something of a tradition at basketball games against N.C. State for North Carolina fans to taunt the Wolfpack with chants of “Not our rival!” as the final seconds of another Tar Heel victory tick off the clock.

Apparently, commissioner John Swofford and a lot of others around the ACC feel the same way, because Friday, they officially ended whatever was left of the once-proud hoop rivalry between the Tar Heels and Wolfpack.

Oh, they’ll continue to play one another.

It’s just that for the first time since Woodrow Wilson was in the White House, it won’t happen at least twice every year.

Thanks to a new scheduling format brought about by the addition of Pittsburgh and Syracuse and formally adopted at the league’s annual winter meetings in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., the UNC game has become to State exactly what former coach Herb Sendek always used to say it was – just another game.

Maybe someday, when the ACC adds two more teams to arrive at an even 16, things will change and the tradition can return. But until then, simple math dictates that there’s only room for one permanent scheduling partner per school.

For the Tar Heels, that’s always going to be Duke. There’s just too much money and interest generated whenever those two schools meet.

That’s what this is all about, anyway. Isn’t it?

Dollars and cents, and lots of them.

NC State Faces Wake Forest on Saturday

NC State will be playing for a sweep of the season series when it hosts Wake Forest at the RBC Center on Saturday. Game time is 1 p.m. RBC Center doors will open 90 minutes prior to tip.

The Pack won the earlier meeting with the Demon Deacons, 76-40, in Winston-Salem last month. State has won the last three meetings with Wake Forest. All-time the Pack is 94-53 at home against the Demon Deacons and 8-4 at the RBC Center, including winning the last six straight on its home court.

In the Jan. 14 game, Lorenzo Brown led all scorers with 20 points, while C.J. Williams had 15, Scott Wood contributed 12 points as did Richard Howell, who also grabbed 12 boards for his sixth double-double of the year.

The Wolfpack defense held the scoring duo of Travis McKie (15.9 ppg) and C.J. Harris (17.4 ppg) in check as the tandem combined to score 12 points on the afternoon.

A Wolfpack Auction will be held in conjuntion with Saturday’s game, giving State fans the opportunity to bid on 23 great NC State-related items with a portion of all proceeds benefitting NC State Athletics. The auction items will be located on the concourse by section 124.

Josh Hyatt (
‘Gottfather’ takes over student section

He wants to make you an offer you can’t refuse.

Gene Smilek, a senior in criminology, has found his own way to support the new N.C. State men’s basketball coach Mark Gottfried. By taking one of Gottfried’s better-known nicknames, “The Gottfather,” Smilek has turned the term into a familiar sight at State’s home basketball games.

By simply making an 18-by-24-inch sign showing the coach with the name, Smilek has attracted attention from State fans, players, media outlets, and even coach Gottfried himself. After successfully catching the eyes of so many at sporting events, Smilek plans to expand the Gottfather domain to T-shirts.


The response truly was quick. Shortly after Smilek sported the sign during the Wolfpack’s early season non-conference games, Gottfried and the players clearly appreciated the gesture.

“[Gottfried] thought it was hilarious,” Smilek said. “He’s seen it a few times; I actually got his autograph on the sign. A lot of the players have talked about it; a few have said they want one. I’m trying to get some printed for whoever that wants one. Gottfried said it’s hilarious and fun to ignite the crowd with stuff going on with the basketball team.”

Andrew Skwara (
ACC Weekend Preview, Feb. 3

Wake Forest (11-11, 2-6 ACC) at N.C. State (16-7, 5-3)

When: 1 pm (EST)
TV: ACC Network

What’s at Stake?

In order for N.C. State to regain some confidence and momentum after two straight losses, it doesn’t need to just win, but dominate. That’s what the Wolfpack did in its first meeting with Wake, rolling to a 76-40 thrashing in Winston-Salem. The struggling Deacs haven’t improved since, losing each of their last three games by double digits. They need to be more competitive to show the program is building toward a more promising future.

Key for the Demon Deacons

Take this game personally. The last time these two teams met, N.C. State embarrassed the Deacs on their home floor. The Deacs must show they want revenge in order to keep the score close in the rematch.

Key for the Wolfpack

Don’t rely on outside shooting. At times, the Wolfpack can take too many 3-pointers. Making sure Richard Howell and C.J. Leslie touch the ball in the post is vital for getting the most out of their offense.

Numbers Game

N.C. State dominated the first meeting, cruising to a 76-40 win in Winston-Salem on Jan. 19 … N.C. State ranks third in the ACC in scoring (74.3 ppg) while Wake ranks last in scoring defense (allowing 70.0 ppg) … N.C. State’s Scott Wood (43.3 percent) is one of only two players in the ACC shooting better than 40 percent from 3-point range (Duke’s Andre Dawkins is the other at 40.8 percent) … In its last game, Wake shot 29.6 percent (16-of-54) from the floor against UNC …


N.C. State 79, Wake Forest 63 – The Deacs won’t get embarrassed again, but their defense has too many cracks to put a real scare into the Wolfpack.

Bret Strelow (
Three things to know: Wake Forest at N.C. State

3. Fewer fouls from Howell

N.C. State junior Richard Howell has averaged 5.3 points in six career games against Wake, but he actually had a double-double (12 points, 12 rebounds) in the first matchup this season. Howell can have another productive outing if he stays out of foul trouble like he did Wednesday against Boston College. Before that, he had fouled out of three straight games.

Bret Strelow (
Layup Lines: A look at the weekend of ACC hoops and the downer of league expansion

On Friday, the ACC announced its scheduling formats for when the league expands to 14 schools with the addition of Pittsburgh and Syracuse.

Each school will have one primary partner, meaning Duke and North Carolina will play each other twice a season. Same for N.C. State-Wake Forest, Clemson-Georgia Tech, Virginia-Virginia Tech, Florida State-Miami, Maryland-Pittsburgh and Syracuse-Boston College. Over a three-year period, one school will face the other 12 opponents four times apiece.

The biggest takeaway from that: Two out of every three years, N.C. State will have only one game against North Carolina. That hasn’t happened since the 1918-19 season (the Wolfpack, it should be noted, pulled out a 39-29 win).

In terms of deflation, this ranks up there with Starz canceling “Party Down.” Or, as my friend Victor calls it, “Funny Show.”

Mike Shalin (
All Wins Are Good Wins

Mark Gottfried knows there’s no such thing as a bad win, and State’s victory over Boston College gave the Wolfpack one more league win that it had all last season.

Mark Gottfried knows there’s no such thing as a bad win, and State’s victory over Boston College gave the Wolfpack one more league win that it had all last season.

“It’s a good win,” the coach said. “Any time you win on the road is good. We know that. I thought we didn’t play particularly great. I thought early we missed a lot of layups, missed a lot of shots around the basket.”

But they overcame a tough start and did what they had to do with the game on the line.

Said Wood: “I don’t think we overlooked them. I know in this league you can get knocked off by anybody. That’s pretty much the outlook I’ve had ever since I’ve been here. We just have to keep going, keep battling and getting better.”

As usual, there was a lesson in this game.

“There’s always something to learn,” Gottfried said. “I thought more than anything the lesson was was that even when we’re struggling offensively, we’re missing layups, we’re not playing well that we were able to mentally hang in there because that could have easily went the other way, no question.”
Gottfried says all wins are wins

The Sports Xchange
Previewing Wake Forest
Gottfried Talks Wake Forest

“I think [Lorenzo] is putting a lot of pressure on himself, and he has such a high expectation for how he should play that I think he is frustrated that he hasn’t played as well as he would have liked. What I did like is that when the game was on the line he had two great passes that were really big for us. He didn’t completely eliminate himself from playing well down the stretch.”

“He allows those things to weigh really heavily on him. Again, this is the first year for him being a point guard. It is a different role when you have to be the guy that shoulders so much. He’s learning it. He’s doing really well.”

“No, I don’t think he is pressing in that regard. I think he has allowed the fact that he hasn’t played as well as he would have liked to bother him.”

“Bobby [Lutz] does a great job in practice communicating to our guys on what we’re trying to focus on.”

“It’s hard to expect your team to memorize all their plays. We’ve got our own plays to worry about. We can’t memorize all of theirs. Our guys can’t even memorize ours half the time.”

“Different assistant coaches might do some prep work but Bobby communicates it to our team… one voice, but everybody on our staff is participating in scouting. Everybody is really involved, but I like the fact that they hear one voice.”

Martin Rickman (
Talking Wake Forest-N.C. State Basketball With Derek Medlin

Derek Medlin (below the fold)
Previewing Wake Forest: Q&A with Blogger So Dear

Robert Reinhard (
Wake Forest vs. NC State Preview

Mark Gottfried has been impressive during his first year in Raleigh. In addition to signing a top-5 recruiting class in the nation, he has already eclipsed the Wolfpack’s win total from last season. His team relies heavily on his forwards, as is evident by the percentage of points coming from 2 point field goals. This should make sense considering that Williams, Leslie , and Howell are all excellent players. Scott Wood is their only player who can make 3’s at a respectable rate. In addition to their forwards being able to score efficiently they are also above average offensive and defensive rebounders.

State’s man to man defense should cause the Deacs some serious problems given how athletic their team is. One of State’s weaknesses is their depth as their bench provides only 25% of total minutes, which is 5% below the national average. Unfortunately for our Deacs, depth is one of our many weaknesses as well. Another one of State’s weaknesses is their perimeter defense, which can certainly be one of our strength’s. If CJ, Chase, Travis, and Nikkita can get knock down some perimeter shots, then we absolutely have a chance to be very competitive in this game.

Bret Strelow (
N.C. State senior C.J. Williams feels blessed that Jack Britt High School is retiring his No. 21 jersey

N.C. State begins the second half of its ACC schedule Saturday afternoon in Raleigh. For senior C.J. Williams, there is one order of business to take care of before facing Wake Forest.

Tonight, Fayetteville’s Jack Britt High School will retire Williams’ No. 21 jersey before the Buccaneers’ home game against Cape Fear. N.C. State assistant coach Bobby Lutz plans to be on hand for the ceremony.

“It’ll be a busy 24 hours for me,” Williams said. “I’m just blessed; I’m actually kind of speechless about it. I never would have expected it, but I’m happy that they even considered me for retiring my jersey. I’m blessed they decided to go ahead and do it.”


Here’s what Williams had to say about:

How it felt to get the news this week …
“I didn’t even know they were considering it at all. I’m just blessed that they wanted to do that for me. It’s a great honor. It’s actually been one of my dreams since I was a little boy. I’ve always wanted to be recognized for being a good basketball player. Honestly, I couldn’t do it, first and foremost, without God. God has blessed me my entire life and allowed me to have the talents I have. Secondly, my teammates, I couldn’t have done it without my teammates. Without my teammates, I probably wouldn’t have done anything that I’ve done so far. I’m just thankful.”

The transition from being a scorer as a prep junior (about 25 points a game as an inside player) to more of a distributor as a senior (15 points per game while leading team to 27 wins and the East Regional final) …
“Senior year, I started out on the perimeter as just a wing, then Coach moved me to point guard. I had to distribute a little more, so my points went down, but I started noticing that my teammates were getting better and that we were getting better as a team. I was still getting my points, but I was trying to make my teammates better, was trying to build something more than for the team to just get to the playoffs. We were trying to do deep into the playoffs.”
WTVD ABC-11 video of Jack Britt alum and N.C. State senior C.J. Williams’ jersey retirement ceremony

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 Big Four Rivals College Basketball

8 Responses to Gameday Headlines: Pack vs. Deacs

  1. wufpup76 02/04/2012 at 10:03 AM #

    Thanks 1.21

  2. VaWolf82 02/04/2012 at 10:08 AM #

    Goodness gracious, that’s a lot of articles. It’s going to take from now to tip-off to read them all. 🙂

  3. VaWolf82 02/04/2012 at 10:23 AM #

    the UNC game has become to State exactly what former coach Herb Sendek always used to say it was – just another game.

    Friedlander has done some good articles that have been linked here over the years. He earns bonus points for slamming Sendek nearly six years after he rode off to the desert. Overall, he does a nice job lamenting the costs of expansions. It would have been nice if someone had done a companion piece on the advantages of expansion.

    In mid-Dec, I did an entry to explore the effects of going to 18 games. Many of the comments focused on how the ACCT was going to be changed to accommodate 14 teams. Has anyone seen an article that discusses the ACCT?

  4. Alpha Wolf 02/04/2012 at 10:28 AM #

    Swofford seems determined to make the SEC more and more attractive to NC State.

    I have to say I wouldn’t mind seeing it happen. The ACC is not “The ACC” anymore, and anyone who says it is simply isn’t paying attention.

  5. EasternWakeWolf 02/04/2012 at 11:03 AM #

    I totally agree. Once again, we’ve been treated like the redheaded stepchild by the conference officials. No one should be allowed to be commissioner if they have any ties whatsoever to a school in the conference. Swofford has shown partiality in everything that he has done.
    This would be a great time to go knocking on the door to the SEC to gauge any interest. True, we are one of the charter members of the ACC, but we’re certainly not being treated the way.

  6. 61Packer 02/04/2012 at 12:06 PM #

    Hey, isn’t this supposed to be about today’s game vs Wake Forest?

    Take a good look at the Deacon product you see on the floor today. What other ACC program BUT this one would you want to see show up twice a year every year on your schedule?

    Next season, I want to buy a home game package that features ACC “rivals” Miami, FSU, BC, Pitt, GT, Clemson, VT, UVA and of course Wake Forest. And please include among the OOC opponents ECU, Middle Tenn. State, Samford, Arkansas State, South Alabama, Directional Michigan (preferably Eastern), and ECU. What? I mentioned ECU twice?

    Well, don’t we get to play Wake Forest twice? After all………

    I’ve got a better idea. Scrap the ACCT in favor of playing all your league opponents twice.

  7. JT 02/04/2012 at 12:33 PM #

    I’d be briefly sad if State left the ACC, but The ACC lost it for me when it started adding the football schools. This conference expansion frenzy is a joke. How could or should I possibly care about Miami or BC as “ACC” schools? Soon Pitt and Cuse? And now it’s on only once a year vs. the Heels ? Screw the ACC. I don’t expect a move and am not pulling for one, but the ACC as an integrated whole is long, long gone. The conference used to deserve allegiance in itself….it’s sad to see those days have passed.

  8. JT 02/04/2012 at 12:33 PM #

    On topic, Wake can suck me.

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