A “Feel Good/Look Ahead” Mini Webrun

Photo Credit – Ethan Hyman, Newsobserver.com


After a tough season-ending loss to Kansas last night in the Sweet Sixteen, Wolfpack nation understandably seems a bit quiet and subdued today.  I, for one, couldn’t come anywhere near the internet today until just a little while ago.  The NCAA Tournament rolls on today without us, and I wasn’t emotionally ready to let go of the magical end-of-year run of this ’11-’12 season.  Nor was I yet ready to look ahead.

When I finally did start to browse the sports news of the day, I wasn’t surprised at all to see the positive press the program is still receiving, but I was still pleased just the same.  Reading the articles and watching the videos was a bit cathartic and helped me to feel better about last night’s defeat (though I’m still not over it completely).

If you’re feeling like me today, I hope these links help.  The future is bright.

In addition:  The Wolfpack Baseball team took game one of a three game weekend series against Carolina today in Chapel Hill, 3-1.  Game two is tomorrow at 2pm (ESPN3/WKNC-FM), and game three is Monday evening at 7pm and is being televised nationally on ESPNU.

Also, the 2012 Wolfpack Football team kicked off spring practice on Friday.



 Gregg Doyel (CBSSports.com)

N.C. State’s future bright after surprising run to Sweet 16

Sad night for the Wolfpack? Sure, I guess. But what a future this program has, and what a long time this fan base has waited for this kind of optimism. N.C. State was good under Herb Sendek, good enough to reach the NCAA tournament five years in a row, but they never entered a season with the kind of optimism that should surround the Wolfpack in 2012-13.

How optimistic? Top 10 in the preseason. Something like that, depending on what the team’s two potential early-entrant candidates do about the 2012 NBA Draft.

Luke DeCock (Newsobserver.com)

DeCock: Despite tournament loss, N.C. State basketball much improved

“I’m not sure I could be more proud than I am of our team,” N.C. State coach Mark Gottfried said. “This team learned how to compete, they learned how to keep fighting, and they did it again today. We just came up just a little bit short. We grew a lot. We improved a lot. But it’s just tough because we felt we certainly had a chance and could have won the game.”

But even Friday’s loss can’t derail the momentum N.C. State built during this run. It started out with the Wolfpack building a foundation for next year. Then it turned out next year was here, far sooner than anyone — the players, the coaches, even Debbie Yow, who took a chance on Gottfried in the first place — could have imagined.

JP Giglio (Newsobserver.com)

N.C. State’s NCAA run a big step forward

For a program that went 15-16 a year ago and hadn’t won more than six ACC games in a season in five years – Gottfried’s team won nine – it was not only progress but the first step toward returning a proud program to national relevance.

Still, there was a “what if?” quality to the ending of State’s remarkable season, and a larger question: What’s next?

Leslie, who led State with 18 points despite foul trouble Friday, has a decision to make about his NBA future. The team’s leading scorer, he blossomed into a potential first-round pick under Gottfried this season. Senior guard C.J. Williams, a starter, and Alex Johnson, the top guard off the bench, also will have to be replaced.

Adam Smith (ShelbyStar.com)

A breakthrough year for N.C. State basketball

ST. LOUIS – The hour was after midnight here at the Edward Jones Dome, and past 1 a.m. back home in Raleigh, when C.J. Williams offered a telling comment with the finality of his North Carolina State career still painfully fresh.

“I’m just proud to say I’m an N.C. State basketball alum,” the senior swingman said.


N.C. State posted 24 victories – only one men’s basketball team in the school’s last 37 years, the 1983 national champion, has won more – and experienced an uplifting return to relevance under first-year coach Mark Gottfried.

Fifty-six head coaches were hired entering this college basketball season. Only one, Gottfried, delivered a berth to the Sweet 16.


Bret Strelow (Fayobserver.com)

Strelow: N.C. State must put ‘what ifs’ behind it

Gottfried stood outside the locker room door waiting for the last of his players to arrive before he went in, and the door shut behind him. This first chapter has closed, but there could be more compelling ones ahead for Gottfried and the Wolfpack. Left for dead at the conclusion of a four-game losing streak in late February, N.C. State proved worthy of the big stage during its three-game stay in the NCAA tournament.

Jacey Zembal (TheWolfpacker.com)

NC State players relearn winning ways

Aaron Beard (WRALSportsfan.com/AP)

Gottfried’s 1st year offers hope for Wolfpack


Leslie: We have something to be happy about (WRALSportsfan.com)

Wood: Hopefully we can learn from this experience (WRALSportsfan.com)

Howell: I feel like this is a game we could have had (WRALSportsfan.com)


About Wufpacker

A 2nd generation alumnus and raised since birth to be irrationally dedicated to all things NC State. Class of '88 and '92.

11-12 Basketball College Basketball General Mark Gottfried Multimedia

21 Responses to A “Feel Good/Look Ahead” Mini Webrun

  1. pacman23 03/24/2012 at 8:37 PM #

    Here’s another story on NBC SportsTalk > http://collegebasketballtalk.nbcsports.com/2012/03/24/this-is-only-the-beginning-for-nc-state/

    And you’re right – losing that game hurts the more I think about it. When it looked like we might lose by ten or so, I was mentally preparing myself to be letdown gently, but that incredible comeback giving us a chance to steal it at the end made it much tougher to take. Still SO proud of our guys.
    It really is hard to believe that twenty four wins is the most we’ve had in a season since ’83. Too bad we couldn’t have ended the season with the same result!

  2. blpack 03/24/2012 at 8:44 PM #

    Really a remarkable season when you think about it. This team came a long ways and did some things State teams have not done in a long time. Still have to work hard on the court, classroom and weight room to improve. Can’t get complacent. I don’t think State will. Go Pack!

  3. nav 03/24/2012 at 9:27 PM #

    I would love to thank the team for the memories this year. Great year. I wish all the Seniors the very best. They played their hearts out this year. Like all of you I so hated to see it end. The team played as a team to the end and we couldn’t have asked for anything more.

  4. NCStatePride 03/24/2012 at 10:31 PM #

    Glad to see the sun eventually rose, Wufpacker! Bummed at the loss, but I relate to the articles you linked….. so much promise moving forward.

  5. choppack1 03/24/2012 at 10:51 PM #

    The reason this really stings is because we were right there… And because of the uncertainty surrounding our 2 star players.

  6. nouveau wolf 03/24/2012 at 11:15 PM #

    Let me tell y’all a story, and explain my username along the way. I’m from NJ/Philly. That is where I met my wife. She had moved back after going to State and then working in Raleigh for a couple of years. After we got married, we decided we wanted to pursue career options somewhere else besides NJ. NY, SF, Chi-town- all too expensive. I said “Where did you go to school?”..Hmmm lower cost of living…here we are(for 3 years).

    I was informed of the sports culture here pretty quickly after we moved. Rooting for Duke or UNC was unthinkable, my wife was a State girl(tho not quite the sports fan I am, in fact I took her to her 1st BB game…6 years after she graduated. In her defense, she’s all in now!).

    Anyway, I was working in a restaurant in Philly (2001) the year the Iverson-led 76’ers went to the finals. We had a big bar and all thru the playoffs HUGE crowds came in to root them on. In the Finals, we beat the Lakers (Shaq & Kobe) in game one. Then we got beat easily the next 4 games.

    With one minute left in the last game, with the Sixers down 10, something pretty great happened. Everyone in the bar, 300-400 people, started clapping; getting up out of their seats and cheering the wonderful ride the team had given them. It was a moment that reminds you what is great about sports.

    I applauded the Pack when time ran out on this wonderful season, and it’s great seeing how so many of you feel the same way.

  7. ToddFullersFlattop 03/25/2012 at 12:46 AM #

    I had hoped to feel better this morning when I woke up. I didn’t. You know what made me feel better (though, it made me inpatient)? Do yourself a favor and watch the below videos of our three burger boys. I’m sure a lot of you may have already seen these already, but just watch them again and imagine these 3 with the core we already have (sans Leslie, though I hope SO MUCH he will come back):

    Rodney Purvis:

    Tyler Lewis:

    TJ Warren:

  8. GoldenChain 03/25/2012 at 7:47 AM #

    The nature of college sports is turnover and change. Based on what Gott did with the BIG change of coming into a program that was flat as a pancake I can’t wait to see what we will have next fall!

    I FINALLY have that feeling I had through the 70’s & 80’s where the day after the last game I’m wondering how I can make it through the summer!

  9. PoppaJohn 03/25/2012 at 8:12 AM #

    For the first time in many years, ‘Wait Till Next Year’ is not an apology, it’s a threat.

  10. swamppack 03/25/2012 at 8:53 AM #

    I am nothing but proud of the team this year and I for the first time in years cannot wait till this coming season. I saw more heart with this team and more development than I saw in all the years put together since Jules left.

    The heart finally showed up after the Clemson loss and the development has been a steady thing all year.

    Do you realize what a remarkable thing Gott did to step into the sad situation he was faced with and turn it around so quickly?^^^ GoldenChain put it nicely.

  11. state73 03/25/2012 at 10:13 AM #

    Congrats to the baseball team for defeating the “holes” yesterday in Chapel Hell. Good luck today and monday. Hope you can sweep the series like you did last year!!

  12. PackerInRussia 03/25/2012 at 10:32 AM #

    Agreed PoppaJohn. “Wait Till Next Year” hasn’t felt this good in a long time.

  13. pacman23 03/25/2012 at 11:43 AM #

    Good to know there is definitely no uncertainty surrounding Lorenzo Brown. He “can’t wait for the new guys to come in next year”. He will be back and I think Leslie follows suit. He has a special relationship with Coach Gottfried and he’s going to help him become the best he can be. He’s getting close, but there’s still work to be done and he knows it – otherwise there would be no “uncertainty”. Another year of hard work under this coaching staff, and he will leave State as a legend and his jersey will be hanging in the rafters. CJ came here for bigger things than just getting to the NBA. He can accomplish everything he said he wanted to do when he came here next season. How great it will be to see our team highly ranked and playing for the ACC title, beating both UNC and Duke, while “Calvin” earns POTY and Wooden Award honors and REALLY puts Raleigh back on the map. One trip to the NCAA’s is a nice start – put us there again next season and the Pack are definitely back and will be on a consistent basis. He also needs to go to Lawrence next year and show Kansas who’s boss!

    Think about how important this trip to the Sweet Sixteen was for this team – getting to play in a Dome under the bright lights on the national stage for the first time and acquitting themselves quite well. They’ll only learn from the experience and be that much better for it. Coach told them he thought they were a Final Four team this year, but I’m not sure he or they really believed it – next year there will be no doubt either from him or the players. There will be no celebration for making the Sweet Sixteen next year, because this team will know that there is a much bigger prize waiting for them and they will really have a chance to grab it!

  14. wolfmanmat 03/25/2012 at 12:03 PM #

    Reports on Amile Jefferson are between NC State and Duke. After our recent tourney performance, we should be in a good position to sign Amile if it’s between us and Duke.

  15. YogiNC 03/25/2012 at 12:04 PM #

    Those three burger boyz are DA BOMB. Underhand 3 pointers from half court…are you kidding me??? Tyler Lewis could have Zo back in the 2 position. Heck, that bunch makes you wonder what the possibilities are, dang they look good. I’m SO amped. I say gott convinces Leslie to give it one more year and let them work on his weight, strength, foul shooting and outside shooting. Lewis could turn Calvin into a highlight reel. It could be Thompson-Towe revisited, only this time with Slam JAMS.

  16. wufpup76 03/25/2012 at 12:41 PM #

    It feels so good to hurt like this.

    It means State basketball is ‘alive’.

  17. haze 03/25/2012 at 1:24 PM #

    There are lots of Wolfpack flags and t-shirts out and about today, 2 days after the battle with Kansas. I think it’s a fair belief, for the first time since the 80’s, that this skirmish is just the beginning. What’s clearly true is that the formerly patronizing pats from the blue neighbors are now tinged with genuine concern. Wow, that’s a fine feeling.

    Wherever we go from here, I hope to remember the feeling of this unexpected run. It’s been pure and rare and something that this team and staff made it’s own this last few weeks. Yea & thanks to those guys and to Debbie Yow, who may just be as lucky as she is good.

    From here, goodness, lots of variables… next year could be a monster or merely dangerous but it surely seems there’ll be more folk looking up than looking down at the Pack. Please Gott, stay hungry.

  18. turfpack 03/25/2012 at 2:19 PM #

    Yes…the wolf was wounded for a few years….but the wolf has GOTT..EN well….and No Barnes you didn’t put down the wolf(don’t think we forgot that comment) like you thought you did….it’s on the rise and going to make the blues life a bitch.It want matter who comes back next year…we Gott a coach…and three(maybe 4)wolf pups that are hungery and I here they really like blue meat…ask Tyler Lewis….AND WE ALL KNOW WHEN WE HONGERY WE EAT!!!!! Ask Mr.Hodge.

  19. BJD95 03/25/2012 at 2:30 PM #

    Don’t know how many of you kids are watching today…but damn, is Kentucky ever impressive. In my view, best college team since UNLV 1990 (the won that beat Duke by like 40 in the final). Kansas, UNC, or Ohio State is going to have a very bad night a week from Monday.

  20. coach13 03/26/2012 at 11:06 AM #

    We lose a Senior Leader and all around hard worker in CJW, and our backup PG. OK.

    We are gaining (at least) 3 MCDAA’s bolsetering the PG, SG anf SF postions. Expectations are they will be able to contribute year 1.

    We are regaining depth/height at Center when JV returns.

    Maybe our 3 freshmen from this year get to contribute more?

    We will be led by 4, maybe 5, upper classmen.

    The definitive question will be Calvin. He leaves, IMO we are in for a pretty good year. He stays, we may be in for an amazing year.

    Nice thing also, the tone is set. Gottfried no longer has to work to change the mindset of a whole team. That hurdle is out of the way. That will allow more time to get right into preparation. He will have 8, maybe 9, returners who know what to expect, have bought in, and are ready to execute his plan opening game. He will have 4 freshmen to bring up to speed, with help from upper classmen. I think we look sharper four those first 14 non-conference games. Get some resume building wins early. It’s hard to guess, Gott only knows, how much time will be saved next season converting/winning over players.

    I heard Mark Thomas trying to play down expectations of next year on the radio this morning. (I usualy don’t listen to those guys) He was comparing Lowe’s ACC tourney run and Hickson coming in the following year with this year’s success. We know how that turned out. IMO their is just no comparison. This has the feel of something good coming. Its going to be exciting to see how it unfolds.

  21. pacman23 03/26/2012 at 12:25 PM #

    “I heard Mark Thomas trying to play down expectations of next year on the radio this morning. (I usualy don’t listen to those guys) He was comparing Lowe’s ACC tourney run and Hickson coming in the following year with this year’s success. We know how that turned out. IMO their is just no comparison. This has the feel of something good coming. Its going to be exciting to see how it unfolds.”

    No way that mess happens again. Those Sendek recruits were a bunch of babies and couldn’t stand for Hickson to come in and start. What a dysfunctional group that was.
    The foundation has been laid for next year. We have every right to have high expectations and to see them realized. This was no fluke – I can assure you of that!

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