What does the loss against Ok St tell us?

If you are like me you were pretty mystified by the results of the game against Oklahoma State yesterday. I never expected to go undefeated so losing does not concern me. I am, however, a little concerned about the lack of effort and leadership displayed in the game or another way to put it is I am concerned about the lack of effort by our leadership. So the question becomes, was it a bad game or will it be a consistent problem?

As the often wrong but never in doubt announcer, Dan Dakich, told us over and over and over again, Brown did not play well. Brown has not shot well this year but yesterday he did not do much of anything well, he had too many turnovers (more TOs than points), was torched on defense by Smart and did not lead the team very well. I believe/hope this is an aberration and Brown will turn things around. He was very impressive last year and I see no reason to think he has regressed. Hopefully this is a wake up call and he gets back to last year’s high level of play and reminds everyone why he was placed on the Wooden player of the year watch list.

There are a few key things I think we can take away from this game. We have to rebound better. As a team, OK ST hit the boards hard and we did not box out or match their intensity. Rebounding is about two things, technique and effort. We need to improve on both or we will struggle against big physical teams (see FSU and UMd). Also, if Brown does not play better we will struggle against good scoring guards. Smart was able to score at will last night. Our guards have the size and athletic ability to stop players like Smart so the inability to do so was puzzling.

There were some good things to come from the weekend games. Purvis is a much better shooter than most thought he was. After seeing him play in high school I argued that his shot was very good despite what the “experts” said and it appears the “experts” were wrong. Purvis is an excellent all around player with strong leadership qualities who I really enjoy watching. And what can you say about TJ “Buckets” Warren. The guy simply knows how to score. His shot is not the prettiest thing I have ever seen but it goes in with shocking regularity. He has an uncanny ability to be in the right place at the right time to score. He brings instant offense off of the bench and that is a sorely needed skill set. Both of those two are better than advertised. If we can get the upper class man to play as well as those two we will have a very good team.

Overall, this game gives the team some things to work on and to think about. As a fan I wish we had won but realize some missteps are inevitable and I believe Gottfried will refocus the team so they come back better than ever.

About Rick

1992 and 2002 graduate from NCSU. Born and raised an NCSU fan. I remember the good ol' days and they weren't in the last 20 years.

12-13 Basketball Editor's Picks Mark Gottfried

33 Responses to What does the loss against Ok St tell us?

  1. JVM4PACK 11/19/2012 at 10:43 AM #

    That little number in front of your team name matter’s not in national rankings, if there is a lack of focus, lack of intensity, poor poor shooting, and not one standout leader to pull the struggling troops together, you will always be ripe for the taking…hopefully Gott has been given an early gift this year, a STRONG wake up call now all caught on video to show what CAN and obviously WILL happen without corrections…come on State, this can be a special year, let’s use this growing pain to get MUCH more focused and UNITED

  2. JasonP 11/19/2012 at 10:47 AM #

    It tells me the team has work to do, and that they haven’t come close to peaking yet – well, at least in reality. In their mind, they’d already won the NCAA.

    Loved watching Purvis and Warren though. Lewis is not yet ready for primetime, but he’s taking his licks and will be better for it. Warren may be a defensive liability, but his offensive awareness and knowledge is uncanny. Enjoy his game this season.

  3. Khan 11/19/2012 at 11:26 AM #

    It tells us that we were/are overrated, as usual, and that the prudent thing to do, as usual, is to watch things play out for a few weeks before buying into all the hype, and that, as usual, we need to take our “experienced” players to the woodshed in order to remind them how to play well.

    That said, team chemistry will improve as the season goes on, as will the attitude/effort issues. I fully expected those things to be issues early on, and they are. We will be fine.

  4. rtpack24 11/19/2012 at 12:01 PM #

    Brown is way to careless with the ball which equals turnovers. His play has been below par with the exception of the UMass game. He is not doing the things that he has to do for us to win. Run when it is there, set up the offense, play defense( last night was pathetic) and show some leadership. Calvin needs to get back to being Calvin instead of CJ. Howell has got to learn not to reach for the ball when he is out of position, this is where 60% of his fouls come from. Hopefully this will humble them and get them back to playing hard and together. If last night was a preview this could be a very disappointing season.

  5. WolftownVA81 11/19/2012 at 12:03 PM #

    This game told me the starters were beginning to buy into the hype, or they spent all day Saturday laying in the sun drinking mohitos. It’s been a long time since we’ve come out that flat. As pointed out, this was a needed wake-up call. The positives:
    1. The freshman are very good. Once Lewis acclimates, he will deliver. The three of them played very composed.
    2. Every player off the bench played with great intensity and even started closing the gap until some of the starters were re-inserted.
    3. Getting our bench playing time will be key as the season progresses because as we saw, even good players can have an off night. Hopefully, three of them won’t choose the same night again.
    4. We need to stick with the game plan of pounding the ball inside regularly instead of Jacking up 3s ala the Lowe years as soon as we get behind.
    5. Free Throws! Make um! Every player should be spending every second of spare time in the gym until we finally fix this – no excuse.

  6. MP 11/19/2012 at 12:03 PM #

    I’m glad to hear some positive vibes. The only things I could think of last night were: (1) I hate when we play on Sundays, particularly Sunday nights – Seems like 90% of the time Sunday nights are losses; (2) Last night felt like 2008.

  7. surfingwolf 11/19/2012 at 12:11 PM #

    I had three thoughts during the game.

    1) I wondered if the coaches “allowed” this loss. Some feel that coaches never lose a game on purpose, but the body language from the bench was strange.

    “another way to put it is I am concerned about the lack of effort by our leadership”

    That’s what I saw as well.

    It didn’t seem like the coaches were coaching against OK State, but rather just coaching our team… or NOT coaching our team. Couldn’t put my finger on it…

    2) I think OK State is a very good basketball team. They may have a great season.

    3) I pin this loss on the “expletivedeleted” sweat mop boy that wore the faggy unc shorts. Seriously… the kid should have been punched in the face for that. I’m kinda pissed.

  8. Clarksa 11/19/2012 at 12:21 PM #

    OK State just gave everyone the blue print for beating NC State. Be physical. Each one of their players looked bigger/stronger. Even their little sharp shooting guard had more muscle than Wood. We’re a finesse team and if someone will body up and take it at us, we won’t respond well. It happened last year, and it will happen this year.

  9. surfingwolf 11/19/2012 at 12:37 PM #

    As far as being physical…

    1) I thought Wood played out of his mind physically… very different player from last year. If he was hot last night… we win that game.

    2) Purvis/DeThaey…. if the starters aren’t playing physically enough… give their minutes to these guys. They have heart and don’t back down. Dakich may be wrong sometimes, but I pretty much agreed with him last night. He commented on how Purvis played harder, and how DeThaey came in and played aggressively and with confidence. I was very impressed with DeThaey.

  10. JohnGalt78 11/19/2012 at 12:56 PM #

    Time will tell, but I really like this loss for the long term. It was obvious who had a case of the big heads out there last night. The film should be hard for them to watch in front to those players (Rodney and TJ) who worked their asses off. Observation…..Gott’s recruits outplaying Lowe’s so far.

  11. coach13 11/19/2012 at 1:30 PM #

    Thing that gets me is we either made OkSt look like a bunch of super athletes or OkSt is underated. They were faster, jumped higher, just the atletecism they showed was more than what we brought.

    I am not worried. We have a long season get better. This aint football where one loss F’s the whole season. Hopefully our mindset changes and we WORK harder to get better.

  12. tjfoose1 11/19/2012 at 1:42 PM #

    Alex Johnson may be more missed than we realized.

  13. WV Wolf 11/19/2012 at 1:43 PM #

    A loss like this in game #4 doesn’t concern me as much as if this game had happened in late Jan or Feb.

    The beginning of this game reminded me of the 1st half against Kansas where their size was really giving Calvin problems. Against Kansas in the 2nd half he figured it out, this game he didn’t.

    Wood didn’t shoot well but I was glad to see him slam the chair on the bench and get mad, showed he cared as opposed to the body language of some of his teammates.

  14. Rick 11/19/2012 at 2:05 PM #

    “Wood didn’t shoot well but I was glad to see him slam the chair on the bench and get mad, showed he cared as opposed to the body language of some of his teammates.”

    Just because a player does not slam a chair does not mean he did not care but I get your point.

  15. WV Wolf 11/19/2012 at 3:03 PM #

    That’s a good point Rick. Guys can show it in various ways, I guess Wood’s was just more visible.

  16. Rick 11/19/2012 at 3:10 PM #

    “That’s a good point too Rick. Guys can show it in various ways, I guess Wood’s was just more visible.”

    Yes it was. I hope it lights a fire under him. The same for Calvin and Zo. They did not look happy either.

  17. NOT A FAN OF BLUE 11/19/2012 at 3:23 PM #

    Plain and simple, LED by Smart (Fresh) and Nash (Soph), OSU came out and kicked our asses up one end of the court and down the other. They led their team; they led by hustle and determination; they led by example.
    One of the drawbacks to recruiting hot-shot, one-and-done-type players is that, far too often, they play within themselves, for themselves. The tendency is to “get yours”. And if you don’t – get yours – you quit playing hard and fundamentally sound ball; you quit rebounding; you complain about officiating; you commit ridiculous fouls; you start pointing fingers; etc. And when your teammates need you most, you are missing in action. Sulking alone on the bench is for prima donnas, not for true team leaders.
    When we are 18, 19, and 20 years old, we all tend to believe we are the second coming of David Thompson. All it takes is a couple of ESPN highlights and – boom – just like that we become a star in our own minds. Sometimes this can cause us to think we have arrived and we no longer need to work – I mean really work – you know, the kind of work we do when no one is around, the kind of work we do when deep down we know we need to do MORE to make it.
    After the debacle last night I think Jules sums it up best,
    “Hopefully now TJ Warren won’t be in the gym alone shooting at 11:30pm. I’m sure guys will be in there NOW!”
    I sure hope so, Jules. I hope this team hears the wake-up call, renews their focus and determines to work harder – kind of like OSU’s Smart and Nash. Because if this TEAM doesn’t get it in gear – and fast – real teams like Michigan, Duke and UNC are going to blow us the h*ll off the court.

  18. NCSU84 11/19/2012 at 3:38 PM #

    Khan stated, “It tells us that we were/are overrated, as usual”

    I guess we are admitting that Dexter Strickland was right after all.

  19. Alpha Wolf 11/19/2012 at 4:02 PM #

    I think it is way too early to throw in the towel, just like I thought it was way to early to go looking for scissors to cut down the nets next March too.

    Bottom line: this is going to be a year of ups and downs, and it’s where you finish, not where you start.

  20. Whiteshoes67 11/19/2012 at 4:13 PM #

    No big surprise. Based on last year, the eye test and KenPom, or any metric available, told us coming into the year we were an average defensive team. Improved down the stretch last year, but we graduated our best two perimeter defenders (Johnson and Williams), and lost an interior player to transfer. Offensively, we’ll score more this year, but we’ve got a lot of work to do on the other end if we want to be elite and consistent against top tier teams. OSU was well coached, disciplined, played hard, and shot the ball well. We did none of the above. You’re not going to put up 80 every night against good teams, especially a team like OSU. I agree with the poster who said Gottfried and Co. threw in the towel last night hoping a lesson would be learned.

    Or maybe they didn’t. Some of the pre-season naysayers who questioned our rankings all pointed to defense and depth as question marks. This article, written prior to the 2011 season, raises the same question. See http://espn.go.com/blog/collegebasketballnation/post/_/id/31890/can-gottfried-fix-nc-states-defense

    “In the seven years of data Pomeroy has about Gottfried’s time at Alabama, the Crimson Tide never had a defense ranked inside the top 50 in adjusted efficiency. Rather, Gottfried seems to be a distinctly gifted offensive coach: Only one of those seven teams — the one that immediately preceded his departure from Bama — ranked outside the top 50 in adjusted offensive efficiency.”

    For this team, defense is so important because they excel in transition. Judging by last year’s results against NCAA teams, we’re okay in the halfcourt, but not elite.

  21. JeremyH 11/19/2012 at 4:24 PM #

    This game felt like Syracuse a couple of years ago. We felt dominated in multiple aspects of the game (e.g., getting blocked on multiple fast breaks, close looks not falling), lost composure, and departed from our gameplan. There was one play where Leslie tried to take on two guys instead of pass it to Howell for the easy two (not sure if it was on purpose). Aside, I actually didn’t like that Leslie was kept in with 2 fouls with 3 minutes left in the first half, at least try to hide him on defense. When Leslie fouled out we were down but not out, but obviously that really put a damper on our chances. I made a comment last night about their physical maturity, and that played a key role, along with readiness/sense of urgency in the effort.

  22. JeremyH 11/19/2012 at 4:28 PM #

    By the way, can we start to target some sharpshooters in our upcoming recruiting? Wood is leaving after this year, and surprisingly Lewis needs some work before he becomes the 2nd coming of Archie Miller..

  23. Wulfpack 11/19/2012 at 4:57 PM #

    It means we fell from 6th to 16th. Probably more like it.

  24. surfingwolf 11/19/2012 at 5:43 PM #

    Did no one take SERIOUS offense to the jerk that wore UNC shorts to the game!?!

    Who allowed that to happen?

    I’m a huge fan of Puerto Rico, but I’m seriously pissed about this.

  25. wilmwolf80 11/19/2012 at 6:07 PM #

    It tells us that we are who we thought we were.

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