Pack Takes Best Shot, Holes Win By 12

Deliberate word choice – the Pack didn’t lose the game – UNC just won it. When an opponent takes your best shot, and beats you fair and square…you shake their hands and move on.

Lots of positives – the all-around game of Calvin Leslie, the tenacity of Lorenzo Brown, the hustle and determination of DeShawn Painter. Most importantly, no shell shocked, deer in headlights look (that had me worried about a 7-9 finish on Saturday). In Chapel Hill, the Holes were clowning around most of the second half. Tonight, they had to fight for 40 minutes and it very much seemed like they respected the game we played.

Two benchmarks to keep your eye on – first, the very realistic goal of finishing with a winning league record. This would suffice for at least one home NIT game, which would be a nice reward for a season of great progress. The second is a longshot, but by no means a pipe dream – a five game winning streak that would earn the Pack an NCAAT bid (or four if State is the 4 seed in the ACCT).

But please, God – if the Pack can’t win the ACCT, please let a non-blue knock us out. Preferably, Florida State. Amen.

About BJD95

1995 NC State graduate, sufferer of Les and MOC during my entire student tenure. An equal-opportunity objective critic and analyst of Wolfpack sports.

NCS Basketball

53 Responses to Pack Takes Best Shot, Holes Win By 12

  1. Daily Update 02/21/2012 at 11:11 PM #

    Yes, great game by Calvin.

  2. tractor57 02/21/2012 at 11:13 PM #

    Agreed the Heels were the better tonight. Even with that I saw a much better State team than in the last few games. That effort would have won most all the games on our schedule this year. I haven’t given up on a NCAA bid but as you say there is no slack left and even with a win out to the regular season and a good showing in the ACC tourney.

    I was very concerned with the early UNX lead that the Pack might fold but was very happy to see them fight all the way to the end.

    Proud of the effort and proud to see how this team has progressed through the season.

  3. BJD95 02/21/2012 at 11:19 PM #

    I think either Clemson or VPI likely will beat us, but not both. Those are both toss-up games on the road. The Tiggers and Hokies are playing a bit better of late, and they are the kind of “mudder” team that could give us fits.

  4. wolfie91 02/21/2012 at 11:20 PM #

    Spot on analysis. We’re obviously a team that needs a talent upgrade and continued improvement on both ends of the court, but we put in the effort tonight. I especially liked how we didn’t hang our heads when UNC started out with a lead. I really do hope we can win 2 of the next 3. Won’t be easy.

  5. Wulfpack 02/21/2012 at 11:20 PM #

    Agreed. We played well. UNC played better. If we play like we did tonight, we will have no problem winning 4 straight. Of course, I’ve watched enough Wolfpack sports to know it is never that easy. Going to have to scrap. Starts with Clemson, and the Tigers will scrap.

  6. Thinkpack17 02/21/2012 at 11:21 PM #

    Lo Brown needs to do whatever shooting drills CJW did this summer. Scott Wood needs to do whatever ball handling drills CJL did this summer.

    Scott finished his high school career at the point, he really needs to expand his game. He’s absolutely no threat to go back door. He comes off screens and Bullock would just go around everyone and meet him and the 3-point stripe face guarding him. Diversify your bonds Scooter.

    But yeah…they played well. Just short on troops.

  7. Dogbreath 02/21/2012 at 11:21 PM #

    Johnson, Brown, Howell, Leslie, Williams should start and log 32 minutes per game. Wood and Painter getting 18 minutes each off the bench, and De Thaey and Harris playing the last 2 minutes of the first half. The zone was a good call tonight.

    Go with this formula and we make the field.

  8. 61Packer 02/21/2012 at 11:22 PM #

    CJL was great tonight. The rest of us except Brown weren’t so great. Brown was pretty good.

    It would’ve been much closer had the free throw shooting been as good as the effort.

    Perimeter D continues to be a concern. So does Scott Wood’s whereabouts.

  9. logarithm 02/21/2012 at 11:26 PM #

    UNC-CH played possibly their best game of their season. We shot poorly from the 3-point line and the charity stripe. We did the other things we were supposed to do, limiting turnovers and winning the boards. We just couldn’t overcome our limited bench, even playing de Thaey AND Harris a few minutes and their excellent play.

  10. BJD95 02/21/2012 at 11:27 PM #

    As noted in the game thread, Woo did at least move around without the ball today. Not effectively, but at least he TRIED it. He hadn’t been lately.

    UVA could still blow it tonight, meaning the ACC would still only have 3 locked bids.

  11. BJD95 02/21/2012 at 11:30 PM #

    One thing I’ve definitely noticed – Carolina has really tightened up their defense, particularly on the perimeter. Our looks from three were highly contested.

  12. Wulfpack 02/21/2012 at 11:39 PM #

    UVA wins.

  13. BJD95 02/21/2012 at 11:42 PM #

    UVA sure knows how to sweat out the last minute in hideously ugly fashion.

  14. JEOH2 02/21/2012 at 11:48 PM #

    Our strategy was exactly what it should’ve been…if Marshall shoots at the rate he’s been shooting…this game is much more in doubt in the last 3 minutes…I liked that we played zone…just that we weren’t terribly good at closing out of shooters…

    CJL has been playing excellently as of late and may be moving up the draft boards, he outplayed Henson for the first time in his career…Brown is more aggressive than he has been and AJ has stepped up his offense…Howell’s fouls were all in the post for once…

    Sweep the final three (I think 9-7 most likely) and we’ll have a shot going into the ACC tourny…

  15. gcpack 02/21/2012 at 11:58 PM #

    I watched Mark Armstrong’s report on WTVD. In addition to the game report he informed the viewers that Debbie Yow had the natioinal director of NCAA officials at the game tonight. Armstrong even got in a few questions with the guy.

    I love that with Yow. Gets the top NCAA man over officials to come to our building after the fiasco with der Fuhrer Hess.

    Nice touch Debbie,,,if John Swofford wont control his hired goofballs in black and white then by damn we’ll get the top guy in here to review officiating.

    Love it.

  16. NCSU84 02/22/2012 at 12:00 AM #

    I just got back from the game, and I must say that I am proud of this team. There is much improvement over last year and they played about as well as they could (minus the missed free throws). I do not think anyone will argue that UNC is (and has been for the past 20 years) a superior team. Their superiority showed tonight and they kept hitting shots and making plays. However, with the direction things are headed, we are possibly two years away from being a team that can compete with the blue teams. We must crawl before we can walk, and walk before we can run. I just hope the fan base can remain patient for a few more years.

  17. Astral Rain 02/22/2012 at 12:15 AM #

    No issues or excuses tonight.

    Lo Brown needs to shot a bunch of 3’s over the summer.

    The effort we put out tonight would have beaten 90% of teams on a good night.

    Even if an NCAA bid doesn’t happen this year, we’re still on schedule, and next year it should be expected.

  18. mak4dpak 02/22/2012 at 12:16 AM #

    We outscored them in the paint, outrebounded them, and our bench outscored them. Sounds like we won, but Marshall was lights outs from beyond the arc, and 10 of 19 shooting. Our free throw shooting was also terrible. So we did show signs of progress, but still gotta get over the Sid mentality, and play like winners, and make shots when we need to, especially at home. Scott Wood has been terrible the last few games, and has got to find a way to get open, and CJW has gotta help him out from the perimeter. Definitely need the win the rest of our regular season games. But as the coach said, we are gonna have to regain our shooting touch, or this season is going down the tubes. Let it begin Saturday at Clemson.

  19. StandUpAndHowl 02/22/2012 at 12:16 AM #

    We got beat by a better team. We are better than last year, but the journey back from the abyss is going to be a long one. We are a couple of years away from competing with light blue.

  20. Prowling Woofie 02/22/2012 at 12:19 AM #

    Played well tonight, but UNC shot lights out. Liked the game plan, but Wood needs to sit. We were better without him on the floor. We matched up well, athlete vs athlete, and taking it right at the Holes.

    Having Howell and Leslie face up Zeller and Henson was great coaching. Made the Holes look a little slow and awkward in there, as our guys pounded them in the paint. Leslie owned Henson tonight. Beautiful job, Calvin !

    Don’t know why we can’t screen, or use them, but we can’t, which eliminates Wood from the rotation. If he can’t come off a screen and hit a jumper, he’s worthless. What is he, 3-25 in our “Big Three” games ??? I could do that, for Pete’s sake…

    I’d like to see Howell, Leslie, Painter, Brown and Williams start against Clemson. If they go small, bring Johnson in for Painter.

    Oh, and 4 turnovers for the game. Four.

  21. Thinkpack17 02/22/2012 at 12:27 AM #

    Subbing Johnson for Wood is a knee jerk reaction. Johnson has been good for a few games but he has had stretches where he was just as terrible as Wood has been for the last two. It would be nice to have both of them play well for a game but there is no way to tell which one of them is going to lay the egg.

  22. packpowerfan 02/22/2012 at 12:28 AM #

    Harrison Barnes on RBC Center vibe: “It different from Duke. It’s a hate. It’s a distaste. They don’t want to see us. They loathe the color blue, They just want to see all misfortune happen to us when we walk in here. At Duke it’s like ‘We really dislike you.’ Here it’s like, ‘We hate you. Anything that befalls you, we applaud.’”

    Amazing that the players grasp what the fans deny.

  23. 8pack 02/22/2012 at 12:30 AM #

    We will be a better team when Scott Wood is on the bench. He simply cant handle the minutes he is being asked to play, or, the defensive assignments he is reponsible for. Next year, he should be a 6th/7th man role player/sharpshooter (think Terry Gannon in 83)that other teams cant game-plan as easily for. I believe Wood will thrive in this role… Less minutes, but hopefully more efficient (and maybe a fresher, better defender).
    Obviously, its no one’s fault that we are too thin depth-wise to do this now.

  24. Tuffy2 02/22/2012 at 12:36 AM #

    Wood is a liability if his shot does not go in. We do not set a picks for him to get a shot off , and for the most part he just stands in one position like he is on an NBA team where there is an isolation about to happen and the other four our frozen.

  25. WolfmanDave 02/22/2012 at 12:41 AM #

    Overall a good game. A guy who they don’t count on to score gets 20, including 4-5 on threes, there’s not much you can do. I did think we stayed with the zone about 3 possessions too long in the first half and we kept trying to trap a guard and left a shooter open, but we had a game plan to deny them inside and did a pretty good job of that. There were a couple times there where it seemed like we didn’t realize Marshall was left handed and “made” him go left. I thought we were prepared and didn’t fold. If we played Saturday like we played today, we beat FSU. If we play our last 3 like we played today, I think we can win out. That UVA game and Duke game still sting, though.

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