Thursday Compendium

February 2, 2012

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Wood, Leslie help Wolfpack salvage win against Eagles

Boston College started the week at No. 229 in the Rating Percentage Index, one spot ahead of Savannah State and one behind Lafayette.

That’s not the kind of company N.C. State can afford to keep if it wants to end its season in the four-letter postseason tournament instead of the three-letter one. Scott Wood and C.J. Leslie saved the Wolfpack from an RPI-crushing loss on Wednesday – and string of other four-letter words from a portion of its fan base.

Wood (16 points) and Leslie (13) lifted N.C. State to an aesthetically-challenged 56-51 ACC win, in name only, over the Eagles.

“We didn’t play particularly great,” Wolfpack coach Mark Gottfried said. “But what I liked, even on a night when we struggled to score, we still found a way to win.”

In front of a sparsely populated Conte Forum – in a city with Super Bowl fever or Stanley Cup fever or anything-but-college-basketball fever – Eagles coach Steve Donahue squeezed every ounce of effort out of his willing team which fell to 7-15 and 2-6 in the conference.

Observations: Pack ‘out of sync’

Several of N.C. State’s players walked to the locker room at the half leading 25-23, but with glum looks on their faces. Wolfpack coach Mark Gottfried noticed the same thing and let the players have it.

“I’m not going to tolerate that and hopefully we won’t see it again,” Gottfried said.

Gottfried said the team’s body language was off in the first half, especially from Richard Howell and Lorenzo Brown.

“We were allowing things to bother us,” Gottfried said. “Mentally, we were out of sync. We were much better in the second half, much better.”

Associated Press
Wood Carries NC State To 56-51 Win Over BC

Scott Wood scored 16 points and C.J. Leslie 13 to lift North Carolina State to a 56-51 win over Boston College on Wednesday night.

C.J. Williams and Richard Howell each scored 10 points for the Wolfpack (16-7, 5-3 Atlantic Coast Conference). N.C. State has won 10 of its last 13. Howell also grabbed eight boards.

Matt Humphrey led Boston College (7-15, 2-6) with 15 points. The Eagles lost their fifth straight.

Wood also hit 5 of 5 free throws and has made 63 straight dating back to last season, extending his school record.


ncsu helmet

Homegrown talent missing on Signing Day

Both nationally and in the ACC, out-of-state schools built their recruiting classes with the help of some of the best prospects in North Carolina. Charlotte offensive lineman D.J. Humphries and Shelby defensive end Jonathan Bullard, the top two prospects in the state according to Rivals, both signed with Florida.

Tarboro’s Todd Gurley and Keith Marshall, who starred at Millbrook, both signed with Georgia. They were ranked as the state’s top two running backs. Clemson, which put together the third-best class in the ACC, according to Rivals, also signed two of the state’s top-10 prospects, as did South Carolina.

“I don’t think we’ll be satisfied until we sign everybody in-state,” O’Brien said.

“That’s the goal … Continue to go to bowl games, continue to win, to put ourselves in a position to challenge and to go to Charlotte [for ACC title game], and that will increase our chances to keep a lot of the kids home.”

News & Observer
N.C. State recruiting class

Recruiting ratings can be misleading

One of the most impressive football recruiting hauls in ACC history was accomplished by a single assistant coach working without the benefit of a staff and in remote territory.

When Joe Pate came back from Alabama in the late winter of 1999 with quarterback Philip Rivers and wide receiver Jerricho Cotchery, the foundation for a record setting offensive era at N.C. State was secured.

Pate was selected by then-Wolfpack athletics director Les Robinson to stay in touch with recruiting targets following the dismissal of Mike O’Cain and most of his staff by school chancellor Marye Anne Fox in late November.

The signings of Rivers and Cotchery rate as classic examples of how misleading recruit ratings can be.

Brett Friedlander (
N.C. State signing day thread

OBSERVATIONS: As usual, most of the experts and large number of Wolfpack fans are going to slam this class as being mediocre – if not worse – because of the lack of stars next to the names. We’ll see how that plays out in the coming years. For now, though, there can be no denying that O’Brien has addressed several pressing needs, especially on the defensive front and linebacker. Of the 23 players State signed Wednesday, four are defensive ends and two are defensive tackles. Of those, early enrollee Delay Buntyn and solidly built prospect K’Hadree Hooker both stand a chance to step right in and play right away. The same is true for JUCO linebacker Robert Caldwell, would could be a key addition if he can fill the void left by Manning’s early departure. O’Brien also bolstered the offensive line with Kennedy, McKinney and Tu’uta and added a promising wide receiver prospect in Hegedus. The Wolfpack also picked up some insurance at the quarterback position at O’Brien prepares to replace starter Mike Glennon after next season. Again, this isn’t a class that’s going to be rated high in the ACC. But that’s how O’Brien likes it.

Earl Vaughan Jr. (
National Signing Day: Jack Britt, South View standouts take rivalry to ACC

Salahuddin is headed to N.C. State and McKinnon to Virginia Tech.

They now compare notes about what’s ahead for them, but that wasn’t the case when the season started.

Back then, the two played linebacker for bitter rivals, Salahuddin at Jack Britt and McKinnon at South View.

“We knew of each other, we were acquainted, but we weren’t the type of close friends we are now,” McKinnon said.

What changed that was the Shrine Bowl of the Carolinas in mid-December. McKinnon was an original selection to the annual all-star game between the best high school football seniors in North and South Carolina.

Salahuddin was a late addition to the North Carolina roster for the game, and suddenly the pair found themselves teammates.

They stayed in the same motel, rode the same bus to and from practices and the game.

The week they spent together changed everything.

“We’d sit by each other on the bus, talk about school.”

The easy friendship came as a surprise to McKinnon. “I was expecting a bit of tension,” he said. “It wasn’t like that. He turned out to be a really cool dude and we clicked.”

Like McKinnon, Salahuddin wasn’t sure what to expect of his South View rival.

“He was a real good guy,” Salahuddin said. “He was humble and everything like that.”

Salahuddin actually took the friendship a step further and tried to convert McKinnon from his oral commitment to Virginia Tech and talk him into going to N.C. State.

“I let him know there was a good chance for him to play at State,” Salahuddin said.
Signing Day: Owino’s Journey to NC State

Owino came to Raleigh in December of 2010 from his home in Nairobi, Kenya. His father, Simpson, had been here for nine years working to support his family back in Africa. He would talk to his father on the phone once a week and his mother traveled to the U.S. every year or so to see his dad, but he hadn’t seen him in almost 10 years.

“I came to be with my dad,” says Owino in his heavy accent. “I came as a student, to learn over here. That was the plan.”

That plan had worked well for Owino’s older siblings. His brother played basketball at Peninsula College in Seattle and now attends Washington State, while his sister is pursuing a master’s degree at Ohio State. And although, like many Kenyan children, he had spent years in boarding school, leaving his mother to move across the world was difficult.

“It was pretty much hard,” he remembers. “I had friends over there and my mom is there still. I miss a lot of people. I talk to my mother once a week.”

The transition from life in Kenya to life in Raleigh was smooth for Owino, as he settled in at Sanderson High School. He recalls how classmates and teachers tried to use google translator to speak to him in Swahili before they realized he spoke English.

Moving from a city with almost five million inhabitants to one with around half a million was also a big change. “I much like the way people drive cars over here,” he laughs. “It is much more organized here.”

Owino was no stranger to sports when he arrived in the U.S. In Kenya he played rugby and basketball but didn’t know much about American football. One day, he was walking down the hall of his school, when a man stopped him.

Jacey Zembal (
NC State fills its needs

NC State coach Tom O’Brien was full of pride in unveiling his fifth full recruiting class in Raleigh.

NC State signed 22 players Wednesday — including 17 three-star prospects and five two stars — to help the Wolfpack rank No. 9 in the ACC, and No. 11 in the league in average stars per player (2.77).

The Wolfpack didn’t crack’s national top 50, but the team rankings will get altered prior to the college football season to take into account players that don’t make it to campus. NC State landed 17 three-star prospects and five two stars.

“Certainly we are excited about today,” O’Brien said. “This is a really talented group of young men that have decided to come to NC State. It’s a long, athletic and talented group of kids, and I think the thing that stands out at you is the size of them and the length they have, and the fact that they can run.”

Seven of the players picked NC State after originally committing to other colleges, while the Wolfpack lost four players to other colleges during the recruiting cycle. NC State signed players from seven different states, highlighted by eight players with ties to North Carolina high schools and six from Georgia.


Pack Perspective with Mark Thomas

Sophomore forward C.J. Leslie opens up to Mark Thomas about playing for State and how he has improved his game.
O’Brien likes the strength and length of his signing class

NCSU Tom O’Brien talks with the media about his 23-man signing class and updates the injury status of Mustafa Greene, RJ Mattes, etc.

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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46 Responses to Thursday Compendium

  1. wolfbuff 02/02/2012 at 8:41 AM #

    It was an ACC road win. Let’s face it, if that win were a girl, yeah, sure it was a piece of tail. But, I’d be gnawing my arm off about now.

    Where has our shooting gone? Abysmal. Hopefully, this gets us a little mojo back.

  2. albunde6 02/02/2012 at 8:42 AM #

    What kind of car did Summers get? Did his mom and dad get a new house in Chapel Hill? How did we loose this kid? I thought he had us listed as his number one for over a year?

  3. GAWolf 02/02/2012 at 8:51 AM #

    Thanks, Jig. Nice work as always.

    I almost hate to type this, but one thought that crossed my mind yesterday reading about the top two running backs leaving the state to go to Georgia is that you have to think that our history of putting backs in The League isn’t great. Guys have come here, and to UNC for that matter, highly touted only to wind up out of football either from injury or simply a failure to develop. I’m by no means blaming that on any one particular thing because it’s such a complicated equation on whether a kid makes it big on Sundays. However, if you look at that versus what UGA, for instance, has done through recent history it’s difficult to blame the NC kids for heading to Athens. (H. Walker, T. Davis, N. Moreno, T. Worley, H. Ward (played numerous positions including RB), R. Edwards, T. Brown, M. Smith, R. Hampton, G. Hearst… this list is probably not all-inclusive)

    Sadly, Gurley and Marshall (to some the best RB in the country in this year’s class) are going to follow behind Crowell who was considered the best RB in last year’s class. They’re going to play behind guys that are great. I think that says volumes about just how far we are behind the SEC in what we have to offer.

  4. UpstateSCWolfpack 02/02/2012 at 9:14 AM #

    The solution to our recruiting woes with in-state talent, is not to join the SEC, it is to start winning division and conference titles. We are never going to be in the SEC, but if NC State is a constant in BCS bowls the in-state talent is going to want to play at State, no matter what conference we are in.

  5. Wufpacker 02/02/2012 at 9:14 AM #

    Want to know how bad BC is as far as RPI is concerned? Beating them on the road dropped our RPI a couple ticks. That’s not terribly surprising, but losing to us at home actually bumped theirs up about 6 spots. Think about that for a minute.

  6. Prowling Woofie 02/02/2012 at 9:19 AM #

    There was never a chance that Keith Marshall was playing for State. He’s a terrific kid – smart, polite, comes from a great family – and would be a wonderful representative of the University, but he’s not built for taking constant pounding for prolonged periods.

    State’s offensive line is awful at run blocking. Awful. If I were Warren (Keith’s dad), there’s no way I’d allow Keith to risk his guaranteed-except-for-catastrophic-injury NFL career by playing behind a line that can’t open holes for him.

    Until we develop an earth-mover front line, we’re not going to keep elite running backs in state. Not gonna happen.

  7. Hungwolf 02/02/2012 at 9:22 AM #

    We easily on track for a 20 win season and from looks of recruiting and returning players should become a consistent win total in future years. That is something to celebrate. If we finish 5-3 in the second half of conference play also that puts us at 10 confernce wins. That is a good ACC conference record. If only Gott has said 10, instead of 11?

  8. jljones 02/02/2012 at 9:28 AM #

    As usual TOB has signed a bumper crop of 2 and 3 stars. Forget about having any national relevence when you are ranked #9 in a weak league. TOB and his bullshit approach will reap nothing but middle of the pack to last in the conference. No kid wants to play for a coach with no desire to be the best. He and his staff lack the drive to be anything but small time. Anyone who thinks differently should look at the schools who sign top notch players. I would be happy to sign an occasional 4 or 5 star. You can bet on NEVER being anything but BOTTOM OF THE BARREL AS LONG AS TOB IS THE COACH. Even Duke out recruited State. I love his excuse—stars mean nothing, we will develop our 2 and 3 stars to be 5 stars. Saban etc choose to go after the 4 and 5 stars and stay relevent nationally year afte year. State sticks its head in the sand and PRETENDS. Appears that we have no intention of being anything but a whipping boy in the ACC and a laugh on the national scale.

  9. jljones 02/02/2012 at 10:30 AM #

    Do we expect to become relevent in football with another bottom barrel recruiting class–#9 in the ACC behind DUKE. For those of you who still believe in TOB’s bullshit wakeup and look at the facts. He is nothing but excuses. Results like this will only buy national regonition as a bottom feeder–a laugh. Developing 2 and 3 stars into 5 stars in a pipe dream 95% of the time. The truth is — TOB can’t or won’t recruit top tier players and we will always be non relevent as long as he is in command. Kids don’t want to play for a non dynamic low key coach who occasionly lucks in to a better than average season. Look at the facts/history—unacceptable by any standards.

  10. Deucepeters 02/02/2012 at 11:40 AM #

    The fact that Gott found positives in last night’s game scares me. He’s getting fat and happy (read complacent) off of moderate early season success. If that was any other team in the league than BC it ends in a big Wolfpack loss. This team is moving backwards. Someone suggested to me that Gott has lost the team. While it might be premature to say that it does appear to be trending that way. I give you numerous outside jumpers by Calvin in the previous two games as exhibit A.

    And they need a specialist to step in and figure out what the heck has happened to Zo. He’s a shell of his former self ever since the beginning of the UNC game. He was the key to their previous success and they don’t stand a chance without him getting back to being arguably the best PG in the league.

  11. Packfan28 02/02/2012 at 11:42 AM #

    A couple of should win games coming up. After those two, I think the pivotal game, if we have any hope at all of making the NCAAT is FSU at home. Carolina at home and Duke at their place are real long shots in my opinion. Carolina has too much size, and Duke rarely loses at Cameron. That would leave FSU as our lone remaining shot at a quality win. And that would have to be combined with at least two wins in the ACCT. Even with all of that, the losses to Virginia and GT could end up keeping us out of it completely.

  12. Thinkpack17 02/02/2012 at 11:58 AM #

    Lo Brown throws up another clunker. His 4th in a row if you’re counting, the Sophomore slump is officially here. Last night was the first time it seems like it was actually getting to him though. He usually shakes off his casual turnovers pretty quickly, probably too quickly. But last night he did look like he was beating himself up.

    Gott looked to be able bring him back in the short term, seeing as he came back in and got to the paint for a drop off and an and-1, I just hope his long term mental state doesn’t take a hit.

    He’s just too damn cool/smooth for his own good. His intensity takes a hit, I know you can’t change who he is but he needs to understand that this ain’t high school. Opposing PGs are looking to eat his lunch every game on every play. Especially with people elevating him to “best PG in the league” status.

  13. GAWolf 02/02/2012 at 12:00 PM #

    You make those things Upstate? If so, do you also make the duck call lanyards similarly built?

  14. GAWolf 02/02/2012 at 12:03 PM #

    Lo is good and will ultimately be great. But he is a sophomore. Sophomore is of Greek origin meaning foolishly wise. He’ll be okay.

    Similarly, I learned last night on late night History channel that “moonshine/moonshiner” is because during prohibition they had to go off into the woods to distill in the cover of darkness by moonlight or, if you will, the shine of the moon.

  15. wolfie91 02/02/2012 at 12:18 PM #

    I don’t care what anyone says, I’m happy to be 5-3 and in 5th place. haven’t been in this position since Sendek’s last season. Hope the guys started another big winning streak last night.

  16. drspaceman 02/02/2012 at 12:30 PM #

    “Want to know how bad BC is as far as RPI is concerned? Beating them on the road dropped our RPI a couple ticks. That’s not terribly surprising, but losing to us at home actually bumped theirs up about 6 spots. Think about that for a minute.”

    RPI is calculated as follows (per wikipedia — and it’s the way i’ve calculated it myself in the past):
    RPI = (WP * 0.25) + (OWP * 0.50) + (OOWP * 0.25)

    where WP is Winning Percentage, OWP is Opponents’ Winning Percentage and OOWP is Opponents’ Opponents’ Winning Percentage.

    Home and away doesn’t factor into it. only wins and losses and your opponents (and opponents’ opponents) wins and losses.

    ETA: But some formulas do factor in home and away I suppose. So I might be totally off here. I guess it depends on the formula being used. Looking at another example, it seems they weight a road win more than double a home win. Don’t really know where that number comes from though.

  17. SuperStuff 02/02/2012 at 12:34 PM #

    Georgia gets a RB from North Carolina we sign a RB from Georgia. That’s the way it works sometimes.

  18. drspaceman 02/02/2012 at 12:50 PM #

    and I found my answer:
    “For Division 1 NCAA Men’s basketball, the WP factor of the RPI was updated in 2004 to account for differences in home, away, and neutral games. A home win now counts as 0.6 win, while a road win counts as 1.4 wins. Inversely, a home loss equals 1.4 losses, while a road loss counts as 0.6 loss. A neutral game counts as 1 win or 1 loss. This change was based on statistical data that consistently showed home teams in Division I basketball winning about two-thirds of the time.[2] Note that this location adjustment applies only to the WP factor and not the OWP and OOWP factors. Only games against Division 1 teams are included for all RPI factors. As an example, if a team loses to Syracuse at home, beats them away, and then loses to Cincinnati away, their record would be 1-2. Considering the weighted aspect of the WP, their winning percentage is 1.4 / (1.4 + 1.4 + 0.6) = 0.4117”

    so my comment was totally off. disregard.

  19. Packfan28 02/02/2012 at 1:03 PM #

    In Sid’s last two years, he won a total of 3 ACC road games. Gott has done that in half a season. Pretty good progress any way you look at it.

  20. Wufpacker 02/02/2012 at 1:07 PM #

    ^^ So basically, considering the competition level and the site, our best bet for a “signature” win that gets us off the bubble and into the NCAAT safely, is a win at Cameron.

    No pressure.

  21. JEOH2 02/02/2012 at 1:17 PM #

    Can someone with extensive knowledge on the tourny and RPI tell me what the difference between Clemson last year who finished the regular season 20-9 with an ACC record of 9-7 (with one win in the ACC tourny) and us this year if we finish the regular season 21-10 with a 10-6 ACC record? Both programs had comparable RPIs and SOS…Clemson got in as one of the First Four…why couldn’t we?

    Not being argumentative…a serious question…

  22. VaWolf82 02/02/2012 at 1:35 PM #

    Can someone with extensive knowledge on the tourny and RPI tell me what the difference between Clemson last year who finished the regular season 20-9 with an ACC record of 9-7 (with one win in the ACC tourny) and us this year if we finish the regular season 21-10 with a 10-6 ACC record?

    It doesn’t matter if there is a measurable difference between two teams in two different years or not. What matters is that each year, prospective NCAAT teams are measured against all of the other prospective candidates FROM THAT YEAR. There is no magic line for bubble teams that guarantees an at-large bid. You just have to be better than the other bubble teams.

    Most of my entries on the NCAAT bubble have been spent defining when a team is on the bubble, and what it takes to guarantee an at-large bid. Clemson’s bid last year was unprecedented for ACC teams in that they had no Top-50 wins. At least one previous year, VT was left out because they only had one Top-50 win. In 2002 and 2003, State had a grand total of three wins against NCAAT teams (including two wins against the #1 seed in the ACCT) but still got at-large bids both years.

    So all those that are expecting an at-large bid without beating anyone of significance are pulling for a really long shot. You might as well buy a lottery ticket while you are playing long odds.

  23. 61Packer 02/02/2012 at 2:07 PM #

    As long as we win most of the games we should win, I still think we’re going to dance. The Pac-12 is unranked and the SEC isn’t a powerhouse league by any means. You’ve got some good teams in the other 3 “BCS” conferences, but not nearly as many of them as you’ve usually had.

    The only thing to have gained from last night was avoiding a bad loss, which we did. Saturday we can sweep another bad team out for the season, which we will hopefully do. This is something we never did with Lowe and seldom did with Sendek. Our program is slowly improving.

    We’re 5-3 and halfway through the ACC schedule. If we go 5-3 for the second half, or even 4-4, barring a Thursday flameout in the ACCT, I like our chances of making the NCAAs.

  24. WeAreCured 02/02/2012 at 2:26 PM #

    61Packer, State is 0-5 against top 50 RPI opponents, and has a home loss against number 148 GT. They have work to do if they want to get into the tournament. They absolutely must beat a top 50 team to counterbalance that terrible loss to GT, and they can’t lose to any team they shouldn’t.

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