Wednesday Woolgathering

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Joe Giglio (N&O)
Late rally not enough, N.C. State falls to Michigan 79-72

On Tuesday, the Wolfpack cut Michigan’s double-digit lead down to five points twice in the final 90 seconds.

“We’re a better basketball team today than we were one week ago,” Gottfried said. “I think they are a legitimate top-3, top-5 team in the country. Our team is not that far off.”


Without Howell, N.C. State made a late charge behind junior forward C.J. Leslie (16 points and 10 rebounds) and freshman forward T.J. Warren (18 points).

Leslie showed the elements of his post game, facing the basket and taking the ball to the rim, that made him one of the best forwards in the country last season.

“I liked his aggressiveness, I’ll take that every night,” Gottfried said.

Leslie scored four straight points to cut Michigan’s lead into single digits, 73-64 with 4:24 left in the game. Then Warren, making his first start of the season, scored four straight to make it 73-68

After a timeout by Michigan coach John Beilein, Hardaway scored off of a set play to stretch the lead to 75-68 with 1:41 left.

Warren responded with another bucket and guard Lorenzo Brown (10 assists) jumped on a loose ball to give the Pack the ball back, down by five points.

Leslie backed down Michigan forward Mitch McGary in the post but was called for an offensive foul by referee Ted Valentine with 42.6 seconds left.

The N.C. State bench did not like the call, nor the fact that Leslie did not attempt a free throw in the game, despite 17 field-goal attempts.

“It came down to a last-minute call,” Brown said. “We can question the call all we want to but we can never get it back.”

Akula Wolf (
Michigan Holds Off NC State, 79-72

For large portions of the game, it was a disappointing effort on State’s part. The defensive communication and footwork isn’t there, and I was baffled by the choice to go under ball screens rather than go over the top and force Michigan players to put it on the floor. I know our dribble-drive defense isn’t exactly stellar, but there are better alternatives to allowing wide open threes.

Richard Howell’s foul trouble was a major issue. He hit 5 of 7 shots and grabbed five boards in just 19 minutes. He is enormously valuable to this team, and we have got to find a way to keep him on the floor for closer to 30 minutes per game. If that means a little more zone defense, then that’s what will be necessary. I think part of this issue is simply Howell’s reputation, which tends to send those 50-50 or potential no-calls in the other direction, and that’s bullshit. Unfortunately, that’s just what Howell is going to have to deal with, and it will probably be a bigger issue in league play. He needs to be more careful about picking the right spots and play smarter, don’t get me wrong; but man, it sure seems like he rarely gets the benefit of the doubt.

Associated Press
No. 3 Michigan Holds Off No. 18 N.C. State 79-72

Trey Burke had 18 points and 11 assists, and No. 3 Michigan held off a late rally by No. 18 North Carolina State in a 79-72 victory Tuesday night.

Freshman Nik Stauskas led the Wolverines (6-0) with 20 points and Tim Hardaway Jr. added 16, but it was Burke who controlled the game, equaling his previous career high of nine assists in the first half and going the whole game without a turnover.

N.C. State (4-2) trailed 73-58 before going on a 10-0 run capped by T.J. Warren’s layup with 2:11 remaining. Hardaway answered with a driving bank shot.

It was 75-70 when the Wolfpack forced a turnover and called a timeout with 54.4 seconds to play, but C.J. Leslie was called for an offensive foul.

Leslie appeared to swing his left arm a bit while backing down against Michigan’s Mitch McGary. N.C. State coach Mark Gottfried was incensed by the call on the sideline.

Warren led the Wolfpack with 18 points.

Michigan committed only six turnovers – four in the first half. N.C. State shot 57 percent from the field but lost its fifth straight game in the ACC-Big Ten challenge.

Andy Reid (
Instant Analysis: Michigan 79, N.C. State 72

With the Crisler Arena crowd fully ramped up, NC State calmed down, ran a more methodical system and climbed back into the game by halftime, outscoring the Wolverines 20-12 in the final seven-and-a-half minutes of the opening stanza.

Although NC State turned the ball over six turnovers in the half — including a disappointing three from junior power forward C.J. Leslie — the Pack offense was effective when it held onto the ball. NC State found plenty of success working the ball inside against the Wolverines’ young post players, knocking down 12-of-16 shots in the paint.

Michigan had no answer early on for senior center Richard Howell, who bullied his way inside and knocked down his first four shots of the game before early foul trouble sent him to the bench.


Leslie continued his off night, adding three more turnovers to finish with six. He went 8-of-17 from the field and finished with a team-high 16 points and added 10 boards to cap a double-double.

Howell continued to be NC State’s most dangerous offensive weapon — when he could stay on the court. He picked up his third and fourth foul early in the half, sending him back to the bench. He fouled out with 12 points on 6-of-7 shooting.

Andy Reid (
NC State locker room report

NC State coach Mark Gottfried and senior wing Scott Wood spoke with the media following the Wolfpack’s 79-72 loss at Michigan on Tuesday.

Andy Reid (
NC State falls to Michigan in Challenge

The Wolfpack have surrendered at least 76 points in each of their last four games, and those numbers have — and will — improve.

“When you watch the tape, you’ll say, ‘We need to close out better at times. We need to defend the ball screen better at times,'” Gottfried said. “When they run the ball screen, they really run the center right to the rim, and we have to come over and help better at times. They ran a couple guys off of some double screens, and we’re trailing off there and we have to be better and tighter off that. It’s one breakdown here and there and there. We have to get better defensively.”


Senior center Richard Howell was a force inside, hitting 6-of-7 shots for 12 points, but two early fouls in both the first and second halves forced Howell to the bench for long stretches of time. He fouled out after just 19 minutes.

Still, NC State was effective inside, nabbing nine offensive rebounds to keep possessions alive.

“Richard was playing really well. The foul trouble hurt us, but I thought we found ways to overcome it,” Gottfried said. “[Redshirt junior center] Jordan Vandenberg gave us a few minutes, and we went small and played [junior power forward C.J. Leslie] at the center basically and put four good scorers around him. But we’re certainly a better team when better players aren’t on the bench.

“We shoot 57 percent from the field. That ought to be good enough to help you win.”


“A couple of his turnovers were right around the rim, where he was trying to be aggressive and get to the basket and score,” Gottfried said. “I like his aggressiveness. I thought he got bumped a lot around there, too. There was a lot of physical play, but we just didn’t seem to be able to get a foul called in there.

“I’m not knocking the officials. It was just a physical game around the rim for him, and he missed a couple in there. I liked his aggressiveness. I’ll take that every night.”
ESPNU To Cover Wolfpack Practice Live Thursday

NC State fans will get an inside look at the Wolfpack men’s basketball practice Thursday, Nov. 29, when ESPNU will broadcast the session live from 3-4 p.m., from the Dail Center.

The hour-long show will be hosted by Doug Sherman with Dino Gaudio providing a breakdown of the action and Allison Williams serving as the courtside reporter.

The broadcast will feature interviews with NC State coach Mark Gottfried and players.

Dylan Burkhardt (
Game 6: NC State at Michigan Recap

Make no mistake about it, this was a dominant offensive performance. Michigan scored 1.25 points per trip despite a 4:20 scoring drought late in the second half. For about 33 minutes, the Wolverines were nearly flawless offensively. Michigan hit 60% of its twos, 38% of its threes, and got to the free throw line consistently. The Wolverines didn’t attack the offensive glass as aggressively (to counteract NC State’s transition game) but their prolific shooting efficiency was more than enough to win the game.

Michigan’s defense wasn’t nearly as effective as it has been in early season play. As I wrote in the preview, NC State has more than its fair share of individual one-on-one talent and Michigan had no answer on the defensive side of the ball. The Wolfpack matched Michigan’s heroic shooting effort, connecting on 60% of their two point attempts and racking up a 59% effective field goal percentage. Michigan’s front court defense couldn’t slow CJ Leslie, TJ Warren and Richard Howell as they combined to make 22 of 34 shots inside the arc and would have done even more damage if not limited by foul trouble. Michigan’s defensive rebounding also hit a snag, allowing NC State to rebound a third of its missed shots including seven second half offensive boards. 54 of NC State’s 72 points came in the paint and 14 of those were off of offensive rebounds.


Michigan has done a pretty good job at closing out games this season but came dangerously close to letting this one slip away. The Wolverines appeared to be in cruise control, up 15 points with 5:57 to play, before setting off on a victory lap before the final whistle. NC State held the Wolverines scoreless for six possessions and mounted a quick 10-0 run. Hardaway bailed Michigan out with a big finish at the bucket before McGary sealed the deal by drawing an offensive foul on CJ Leslie in the post. The late game sloppiness should serve as a lesson for Michigan’s young team (McGary and Robinson both had critical turnovers late) to learn going forward and is certainly a valuable lesson.

The buzz on Twitter, ESPN or anywhere else is that Michigan looks like a team capable of making a Final Four run. The offense is clearly good enough. John Beilein is spoiled with far too many weapons including Burke, Hardaway, Stauskas and Robinson to not score points in bunches. The defense has been good through six games but Tuesday’s performance serves as a reminder that it’s not quite at an elite level just yet.


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Chip Alexander (N&O)
N.C. State trustees expected to discuss football coach salary

N.C. State has scheduled an emergency meeting of the board of trustees for Wednesday, and the hiring of a new football coach is expected to be the subject of discussion.

It’s expected the meeting will deal with the amount of compensation and length of contract NCSU will be able to offer at a time when several high-profile schools such as Tennessee and Arkansas also are looking for coaches. But approving a new hire can’t be ruled out.

The Monroe (La.) News-Star reported Tuesday night that Louisiana Tech coach Sonny Dykes would interview for the Wolfpack job on Wednesday morning.

Former N.C. State coach Tom O’Brien was fired Sunday after six seasons, and athletics director Debbie Yow said she would like to move quickly to hire a new coach. She hired Parker Executive Search of Atlanta to help in the search, at a cost of $90,000.


The jobs available are impressive: N.C. State, Tennessee, Auburn, Arkansas, Purdue, Boston College and Colorado among the openings. Pat Forde of Yahoo! Sports ranked the Wolfpack job third-best, behind Tennessee and Arkansas.

Successful coaches such as Dykes and Butch Jones of Cincinnati should be in demand. Dykes, whose Bulldogs were 9-3 this season, was paid $760,000.

“It’s always a good policy to look at people with proven track record,” Yow said Sunday. “At the same time, there can be individuals who are coordinators who have not yet had that opportunity to prove what they can do. So we’re not going to lock those individuals out of the deliberative process.”

Brett Friedlander (
LA Tech’s Dykes reportedly will interview for N.C. State job

It appears as though Debbie Yow isn’t wasting any time in her pursuit of a new football coach.
Just three days after firing former coach Tom O’Brien, the N.C. State athletic director is already prepared to start interviewing candidates, according to a published report. The News-Star of Monroe, La., is reporting that Louisiana Tech coach Sonny Dykes will be in Raleigh on Wednesday to discuss the position with Yow.


Dykes has compiled a 22-15 record in three seasons as Louisiana Tech’s head coach. He previously served as the offensive coordinator at Texas Tech under Mike Leach and is the son of former Texas Tech coach Spike Dykes.
The Audible: NC State’s next man is…

Mark and Mike discuss what it takes to become a Top-25 football program and who the next head coach for the NC State Wolfpack could be on this week’s edition of The Audible presented by Goodnight’s Comedy Club.

Stephen Schramm (
Local Wolfpack fans react to firing of N.C. State football coach Tom O’Brien

“It’s just a little mind-boggling. All he did was take us to a bunch of bowls and beat Carolina five out of six times and he gets fired,” said Hope Mills attorney Charlie Gardner, who’s been a season-ticket holder since graduating from N.C. State in 2004. “. I understand Debbie Yow has an idea of where our program should be and, not to say that I’m complacent, but I think we were heading in the right direction. I was proud of the players he brought in.”


“I think he’s about that type of coach,” said Gary Autry of Hope Mills, who’s been buying season tickets regularly since the 1980s. “We’ve been within a game or two of what he’s going to do every year. It takes more than seven wins to make it into the top 25 and I think that’s what everybody wants.”

There was little disagreement when it came to the type of coach they felt the Wolfpack should bring in. The top quality mentioned was energy; however, they acknowledged that improved results would trump any surface trait.

“A coach’s personality doesn’t matter to me as long as they win,” said Fuquay-Varina’s John Dix, a longtime N.C. State fan who’s originally from Hope Mills.

Each fan said they hope to follow the team to its bowl game and, regardless of who’s on the sideline in the fall, plan on buying season tickets again next season.

“We’re not bandwagon people,” Autry said.


conference expansion

Andrew Carter (N&O)
UNC AD Bubba Cunningham: We want the ACC to be our home for another 60 years

Amid rumors that North Carolina might be interested in leaving the ACC to join another conference, Bubba Cunningham, the UNC athletic director, emailed a letter today to UNC supporters that reaffirmed the university’s commitment to the ACC.

In the days since Maryland announced it would leave the ACC to join the Big Ten, Cunningham has received correspondence from UNC fans who have expressed concern about the Tar Heels’ affiliation with the ACC. Further, some national media members have speculated whether UNC would be interested in another conference.

W.E. Warnock (N&O)
East Chapel Hill football coach Bill Renner steps down at East Chapel Hill

Bill Renner is stepping down as coach of the East Chapel Hill football team.

Renner, who led the Wildcats to their best regular-season finish in football since the school opened in 1996, met with the team Monday after school to inform the players of his decision. He later sent an email to all the parents.

“As I told the players, I can identify with how they may feel,” Renner said. “My football coach left before my senior year in high school also.


“After 28 years in public education, it is time for me to move on to another venture in my life,” said Renner, who formerly coached and taught in Virginia high schools.

East Chapel Hill finished 5-5 this fall and played at No. 1 seeded Scotland County in the first round of the state playoffs.

Renner, the father of University of North Carolina quarterback Bryn Renner, said he and his wife Cindy plan to stay in the Chapel Hill area.

Brett Friedlander (
ECU-Big East: A marriage of convenience that works for both sides

For awhile, East Carolina must have felt like the smallest kid on the playground, waiting patiently for its chance to get into the game while everyone else around it got picked to join a team.

Tuesday, after years of hoping, praying and politicking, it’s finally the Pirates’ turn.

Though the long-awaited invitation to join the Big East isn’t as appealing as it once might have been before others began cannibalizing the conference for its best schools, the new affiliation is still a victory for athletic director Terry Holland and his underappreciated program.

It doesn’t even matter that ECU was only asked to join in football, leaving its other 18 sports teams in need of a place to play. At least now the Pirates have their foot in the door.


This, however, isn’t the same Big East that served as a springboard to the big time for the likes of the Hokies, West Virginia, and newly minted Big Ten member Rutgers. It’s a watered down version that looks an awful lot like the conference the Pirates are about to leave.

In fact, fellow C-USA refugees Memphis, Central Florida, Houston, SMU and Tulane are all scheduled to join the Big East before or at the same time ECU plays its first game as a member in 2014.

The mere fact that the Big East was even interested in talking to Holland, let alone admitting his school as a football member, speaks to how far the league has fallen on the college sports food chain.

Brett Friedlander (
ACC playing hardball by suing Maryland over $50 million exit fee

As expected, the ACC is playing hardball with Maryland when it comes to its newly established $50 million exit fee.

According to the Associated Press, the league filed a lawsuit in Guilford County Superior Court on Monday to force the Terrapins to pay the full amount in order to leave the ACC for the Big Ten.

The actual amount the league is seeking is $52,266,342, or approximately three times the ACC’s operating budget for the current athletic year. According to commissioner John Swofford, the ACC’s council of presidents unanimously voted to pursue the action in response to Maryland’s decision to leave the conference last week.

“’We continue to extend our best wishes to the University of Maryland.” Swofford said in a statement. “However, there is the expectation that Maryland will fulfill its exit fee obligation.”

Chip Patterson (CBS Sports)
Report: ACC to vote on expansion Wednesday, Louisville a likely candidate

The ACC presidents and chancellors will participate in a 7 a.m. conference call on Wednesday morning to vote on possible expansion candidates, according to

David Glenn, founder of the ACC Sports Journal, wrote Tuesday night that Louisville is the school most likely to receive an invitation. When’s Jeremy Fowler reported that the league could vote on a replacement for Maryland this week, he also named Louisville, along with Connecticut, as candidates for the 14th spot in the future league.

But according to Glenn, the vote on Wednesday could be exclusively about Louisville.
“Given the way the conversations have gone to this point, either Louisville will be approved for an invitation (Wednesday), or nobody will be approved for an invitation,” one ACC source said. “Any other result would be a major surprise.”

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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7 Responses to Wednesday Woolgathering

  1. gumby 11/28/2012 at 9:08 AM #

    If the ACC loses on its efforts to make UMd pay the entire $52 million exit fee, there won’t be an ACC left to fire Swofford.

  2. UpstateSCWolfpack 11/28/2012 at 9:08 AM #

    I am sure now the Big East will want ECU as a full member.

  3. DC_wolf 11/28/2012 at 9:28 AM #

    Not a bad loss to UM, as much as anyone is in the mood to hear that in SFN right now. The main difference was free throws (& arguably 3s to a lesser extent), State actually knocked down 5 more field goals (32-27) but the Wolverines had SEVEN more threes; @ 1 point shooting an unconscious 9 of 17, so perimeter defense is definitely an issue. But when you give a team twice as many trips to the free throw line (resulting in a hard-to-overcome 10 more points) there is something going on beyond just home court advantage.

    Still, a 2nd half furious comeback almost saw the kind of magic that appeared in the Texas game last year – so this NCSU team definitely has some fight in it & I believe this will be rewarded in heavyweight bouts later in December/January. Hopefully we don’t drop too far in the rankings (dependent heavily on what happens w/ UConn) it’s nice to be able to catch the score on the bottom line!

    Someone tweeted in last night: “wouldn’t it be nice to have Josh Davis coming in off the bench…”, how f’n TRUE! What a spark plug that guy was. Glad someone else remembers him – he was a raw version of C.J. Leslie from Athens Drive who possibly could have matured into a viable 6th or 7th man by now.

  4. sholtzma 11/28/2012 at 9:28 AM #

    “It’s just a little mind-boggling. All he did was take us to a bunch of bowls and beat Carolina five out of six times and he gets fired,” said Hope Mills attorney Charlie Gardner, who’s been a season-ticket holder since graduating from N.C. State in 2004. “. I understand Debbie Yow has an idea of where our program should be and, not to say that I’m complacent, but I think we were heading in the right direction. I was proud of the players he brought in.”

    Dear Mr. Gardner, asssuming you were quoted correctly and not out of context, I trust that you know more about the law than you apparently do about State’s football program. Because if your knowledge of the law is not significantly better than the simplistic drivel you offered as reasoning about our football program, I would be forced to advise people not to come to you for legal advice. Suggestion: you might try reading up on the good information and analysis on either this site or TOS; you’ll learn a lot about why TOB needed to go. Cheers.

  5. ADVENTUROO 11/28/2012 at 9:57 AM #


    Some of my thoughts also. We actually, from most measures, won the game on paper. We DID outrebound UM, which had a +14 coming into the game. We had a better FG %. They hit 7 more 3’s, went to the line twice as much – 10 points MORE and we had twice the fouls.

    Here is the box score link.

    As to Josh Davis, yep, would have been good to have him. Also would have been good to have Painter. Painter left for PURE personal reasons….NO concerns about PT. He would definitely be the difference (IMO) this year.
    You can’t go back and re-analyze folks leaving. If Harrow had not hightailed it, then Zo would not have matured into a premier PG.
    Things happen….ask Roy about his Wear (Ware?) Dynamic Duo and Tyler’s younger brother. Cody just seemed to “rub it in” last night.
    Coach G’s comments on the WPRN last night were concise and clear. He was pleased with how we never quit and how well we responded to a challenge. He was not happy that we allowed a huge run.
    I listened to Jimmy V.’s Audio Book “Lifetime Contract” yesterday while doing yard work. His message to the team during halftime of the Houston game was that every game, assuming you are still in it, is a matter of runs. He told them to play like a national champion and never give up. He was probably lucky…but sometimes luck is actually pre-determined. In his case, he died, but that created a legacy that transcends BB. He will alsways be loved by us for the 1983 run, but most of the world loves him for his courage.
    I like to think that Coach Gottfried has a bit of John Wooden, Jimmy V. etc. in his personality. I do not think that he has the “destroy them at all costs” attitude of two certain blue clad coaches….
    I had hoped we would come out of the UM game with a narrow win, or at best, a close loss. Other than we let them run up some hefty margins, that was accomplished.
    Ted Valentine is not known for being nice to us. The fouls are distorted due to our late game strategy, however, we did not get to the line much in the second half….that is somewhat telling….

  6. BureauOfMines 11/28/2012 at 12:26 PM #

    Some of our shortcomings can be fixed before league play commences. We need to take better care of the ball. The turnovers hurt us. When we do get free throws, we need to make them.

    It was just too mush deficit to overcome. But our players never quit. That is encouraging.

  7. NCSU84 11/28/2012 at 12:45 PM #

    Some comments from the Michigan blog site:

    “UM is much more athletic this year, but we don’t have anyone remotely like Leslie in terms of hops. My goodness. He bounded through the lane a couple of times and made our guys look like they had weights in their shoes.”

    “solid game except the last 7-8 minutes. NC State has some very good players. McGary made a big difference in defending their bigs, we would’ve lost the game last year.”

    “Just need to crash the glass a little more, but the team has been good at that everygame outside of this one. NC State has some very athletic bigs too.”

    The take away from these comments: We are not as bad as some saying. Go Pack!

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