Tudor: “If Leslie Returns…”

Does anyone remember the last time we were talking (positively) about State basketball in April?

Caulton Tudor takes a brief look at a few items of interest next season (N&O):

Here’s what we can look forward to seeing beginning in early November, assuming Leslie returns for his junior season:

All-ACC: Terrell Stoglin (Maryland), C.J. Leslie (N.C. State), Lorenzo Brown (N.C. State), Michael Snaer (Florida State), Erick Green (Virginia Tech).

ACC Player of Year: C.J. Leslie (N.C. State).

ACC Top 5: 1. N.C. State, 2. Duke, 3. Florida State, 4. North Carolina, 5. Maryland.

Pressurized ACC coaches: Virginia Tech’s Seth Greenberg and Wake Forest’s Jeff Bzdelik .

Pressurized Pac-12 coaches: UCLA’s Ben Howland and Arizona State’s Herb Sendek.

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46 Responses to Tudor: “If Leslie Returns…”

  1. Prowling Woofie 04/09/2012 at 8:35 AM #

    Notice how Tudor stayed away from ranking State in the Top 5 nationally, even though several publications have the Pack ranked anywhere from 4th-6th preseason ?

    I don’t blame him – predicting chemistry can make one look foolish. If all the chips fall into place, then great things are possible. But, like this year, I believe it will be a work in progress !

  2. vtpackfan 04/09/2012 at 9:22 AM #

    I have 100% confidence in this coaching staff and the two freshman Guards at putting the team first and foremost.

  3. Clarksa 04/09/2012 at 9:26 AM #

    Does anyone remember the last time we were talking (positively) about State basketball in April?

    Yes, after Sid’s first year…although no where near the same level. I think we were being mentioned as 4th in the conference as long as we could replace Engin Atsur…but that of course never happened.

  4. Pack84 04/09/2012 at 9:37 AM #

    When was the last time you saw a pre-season All-ACC first team without a single blue player on there? I’m sure The Swoff isn’t happy.

  5. Sw0rdf1sh 04/09/2012 at 10:02 AM #

    No Clark, I’m usually trying to be optimistic about Football and so immersed in the Spring Game this time of year to be wondering about WTNY.

    How strangely odd to be thinking about BBALL.

    I think I like it.

  6. Texpack 04/09/2012 at 10:28 AM #

    ^”Yes, after Sid’s first year…although no where near the same level. I think we were being mentioned as 4th in the conference as long as we could replace Engin Atsur…but that of course never happened.”

    Winner, winner chicken dinner. We had just made a run to the ACCT finals and won two games in the NIT. We had JJ Hickson coming in as the savior recruit. That whole situation along with others like Damien “Pump Fake” Wilkens is why I never over estimate what freshmen will mean to a team. It’s nicer to have three McD’s AA selections coming in than it is to have three 3-star recruits, but they still have to produce on the court. Every coach including K (see Cherokee Parks) and Dean (see Curtis Hunter) has had a can’t miss recruit that wasn’t all that.

  7. graywolf 04/09/2012 at 10:35 AM #

    Clarksa :”When was the last time you saw a pre-season All-ACC first team without a single blue player on there? I’m sure The Swoff isn’t happy.”

    We should be wary of Swoff and Co. He and the blues are not happy about this quick turn around and will be looking at NC State with a magnifying glass attitude. If they find anything they will try to pound us into submission again.

  8. Plz2BStateFan 04/09/2012 at 10:46 AM #

    Handling preseason expectations becomes very important. NC State doesnt typically handle things like this well.

  9. Prowling Woofie 04/09/2012 at 10:52 AM #

    ^ Haven’t had much recent practice, unfortunately… 🙂

  10. state73 04/09/2012 at 10:55 AM #

    No way in hell the media leaves both of the blues off of first team all-acc.

  11. PackFanInLA 04/09/2012 at 11:10 AM #

    I am a little fuzzy on this. Is it likely that Syracuse and Pitt will join the ACC next year for bball? I understand they aren’t coming for football, but is there a possibility they will join for winter sports?

  12. TruthBKnown Returns 04/09/2012 at 11:18 AM #

    I think a better question is, when was the last time anyone outside of the NC State fan base was talking about NC State in April.

    The fans may jump the gun on stuff like that (like some did after Sid’s first season coaching the Pack). But when multiple media outlets are ranking State in the top 5-6 teams, maybe it means something.

    At a minimum, it gets us much-needed positive attention that can only help recruiting. At best, they’re right and we’re contenders once again.

  13. slushy1975 04/09/2012 at 11:24 AM #

    I hope the crowd here won’t take this opinion the wrong way. The Wolfpack should certainly be ranked entering next season but they should have to earn their way into the Top 15, Top 10 and then higher.

    Placing us at the mountain top before a game is played is simply too much. If we’re that good, we’ll be there in short order while building team confidence and experience along the way, earning the “swagger” that the players will no doubt develop and should develop.

  14. treznor 04/09/2012 at 11:30 AM #

    It’s possibly that Syracuse and Pitt will be ready to join by the time basketball season rolls around, but I highly doubt that the schools will switch conferences mid-season.

  15. PackerInRussia 04/09/2012 at 12:07 PM #

    Clarksa, you beat me to it. I was also going to mention the team after Sid’s first year. And it wasn’t just State fans talking about it. They were picked to finish in the top part of the league. But, in no way do I think there are any similarities to the two situations.

    1) That year the prediction was based mostly on potential without having the results the year before. True they beat UNC and made it to the ACCT final and had a chance to win again, but their record was not good. The results from this year’s team were exponentially better. So we’ve already seen the product in action, not just the possibility of it.

    2) They were returning almost everyone and getting a great player (JJ Hickson). But, that team depended so much on Engin Atsur. When he was out, the team struggled a lot. We were just hoping that they could figure it out without him and that JJ would make up for any loss of talent. Didn’t work out. The talent we’ll gain this year will be very high compared to the talent lost. AJ was a good guy coming off the bench and made a good contribution, but losing him won’t have the same impact as losing Atsur. Now if CJ Leslie leaves, that will be a different story. But, the team will still have a chance to be very good even if he leaves.

    3) That team looked like it had done the Krispy Kreme Challenge all summer, only without the running part. We’ve already heard how this current regime has higher off-season expectations.

    4) Sid had just completed his FIRST year as a college head coach. Mark Gottfried has a little more experience and a very good supporting cast.

    5) The amount of success expected from next year’s team is much greater than what was expected out of that team. When Top 10 or 5 in the nation and ACC champs are thrown around, there usually needs to be more than some “ifs” and “maybes.”

    There are probably others, but those are the main differences that stick out to me. It sounds nice to hear Top 5, but I agree with others that it needs to be earned. I’m not a fan of preseason polls anyway.

  16. WolftownVA81 04/09/2012 at 12:33 PM #

    “Pressurized Pac-12 coaches: UCLA’s Ben Howland and Arizona State’s Herb Sendek.”

    Can you be pressurized if you’re in a day tight compartment?
    If so, how does that pressure affect your ability to keep chopping wood?

  17. ADVENTUROO 04/09/2012 at 1:03 PM #

    I posted this on the Baseball article as I thought it was of interest.


    It was the only report that I found about the Kentucky Derby Classic game. It was a GREAT article about what we have.

    Tudor’s column is interesting. Sort of a “clean sheet” prognostification or maybe some will even call, “daydreaming”. Can’t argue with some of his comments.

    Real test, as was with Coach Lowe, is the CHEMISTRY of the team. When we had superstars, the “wood choppers” from the past year were a little miffed. Add into the mix the PURPORTED issues of sharing girlfriends and the tensions that brings when two guys have too “play together” on the court.

    Hopefully, Coach Gottfried (and I believe he DOES) fully understands how to integrate new talent (perhaps better) with existing (tried and proven) talent. He did a great job of using Alex to mentor Zo. I think that he will figure out how to mix them and come up with the best formula.

    Coach W and Coach K have had this “problem” in the past and always seemed to figure out (but they goofed occassionally) how to have a winning season and a goood post season showing.

    Really hope that Calvin will stay. Going to take my GS to the Basketball Banquet tonight. Don’t know if tickets are still for sale, but it starts at 6:00 in the McKimmon center.

    GO PACK!

  18. NCSU84 04/09/2012 at 1:07 PM #

    Tudor has placed Sendek on the hot seat – really? But on a serious note, if Callipari leaves Kentucky for NBA money as Tudor implies, I fully expect Kentucky to make a run at Gott. We “Gott” to be ready for this one.

  19. Alpha Wolf 04/09/2012 at 1:11 PM #

    ^ ASU fans certainly have.

  20. tjfoose1 04/09/2012 at 1:21 PM #

    “If all the chips fall into place, then great things are possible. ”

    With competent coaching, we don’t have to rely on the hope of falling into place. Coaching will provide direction and guidance.

    When considering individual development, team strategy and tactics, intra-team development and team building, AND personal growth as young mean and teammates, that is something we have not had for decades.

    Sad, as all are basic requirements of good coaching.

  21. Mike 04/09/2012 at 1:45 PM #

    If KY makes a run at Gott, what will Harrow do?

    Seriously, I dont see Calimari leaving unless….er…. until scandal hits. The squid has already said been there done that and he is not interested again.

  22. BJD95 04/09/2012 at 1:50 PM #

    I still caution that progress is often two steps forward, one step back. Give the team and program room to breathe and grow.

  23. pacman23 04/09/2012 at 2:23 PM #

    ^^ All in favor of allowing the team to breathe and grow – from Sweet Sixteen to Elite Eight to Final Four to National Champions!

    I don’t believe this team will be taking any steps back this season. Too much core talent returning finally knowing what it takes to make those steps forward and a coaching staff that will make sure that we continue to progress.

    BJD – you’re taking about the “old” NC State. Welcome to the new NC State basketball program where winning is an expectation and expectations are delivered!

  24. 61Packer 04/09/2012 at 3:26 PM #

    It was interesting to compare Toot’s ACC predictions to the one in the April 9 Sports Illustrated, by Luke Winn. Winn picked UNC higher than 4th in the ACC; he put them at 8th in the nation if McAdoo returns, with no other ACC teams in sight.

    Continuing with the national media’s bias toward blue, Winn went on to say that if McAdoo returns, he’ll be surrounded with five quality guards who will help the Heels repeat as ACC champs.

    Even if all FIVE of UNC’s starters from this season returned, they cannot possibly repeat as ACC champs, because Florida State won the ACC championship. Am I missing something here?

  25. Bowlpack 04/09/2012 at 3:30 PM #

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