Friday Farrago

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Joe Giglio (N&O)
N.C. State working against UNC, history

Mark Gottfried provided the current N.C. State players with a history lesson Thursday.

Gottfried informed his team, with a message on the white dry-erase board at the team’s practice facility, that the Wolfpack hasn’t swept North Carolina since the 2002-03 season.

The Wolfpack has only won both regular-season games against the Tar Heels three times since David Thompson dominated the rivalry nearly 40 years ago.

Junior guard Lorenzo Brown, who was instrumental in the Wolfpack’s 91-83 win against UNC in Raleigh on Jan. 26, still wasn’t sure about all the particulars but he got the gist of Gottfried’s message.

“It was a long time ago,” said Brown, who had 20 points and 11 assists in the first meeting. “Hopefully we can do it again on Saturday.”

It was 10 years ago when Wolfpack coach Herb Sendek’s teams swept UNC, then under coach Matt Doherty, in both 2001-02 and 2002-03.

Roy Williams succeeded Doherty the following season and the Tar Heels haven’t lost to the Wolfpack in Chapel Hill since.

Even with the late January loss, Williams is 19-2 against N.C. State and 9-0 at the Smith Center. UNC had won 13 in a row before the eight-point loss at PNC Arena.

History has been on UNC’s side since the start of ACC play in 1953-54. In the 59 ACC seasons, N.C. State has swept the season series (tournament games included) six times (compared to 27 times for the Tar Heels).

Joe Giglio (N&O)
Pack will test UNC with new emphasis on rebounding

While North Carolina has switched to a smaller, four-guard lineup, N.C. State is in the midst of going the other way.

In the hopes of getting more rebounding, N.C. State coach Mark Gottfried started three forwards against Florida State on Tuesday night.

Gottfried used freshman T.J. Warren, who’s 6-foot-8, together with forwards Richard Howell (6-8) and C.J. Leslie (6-9) in the starting lineup.

The Wolfpack (19-7, 8-5 ACC) finished the FSU game with a season-best 45 rebounds, including 21 on the offensive glass. The Wolfpack also turned in its most complete ACC win thus far, an 84-66 decision.

Warren grabbed a season-best 13 rebounds and eight on the offensive end. He hadn’t had more than seven total rebounds in an ACC game before Tuesday’s outburst.

Thanks to Warren, N.C. State outscored FSU 29-6 in second-chance points.


N.C. State’s issues have primarily been on the defensive glass. The Wolfpack has given up at least 13 offensive rebounds in 16 games, including five times in ACC play.

N.C. State guards Lorenzo Brown, Scott Wood and Rodney Purvis have been anxious to get out in transition and have routinely let Howell handle the rebounding.

The problems happen when the ball bounces away from Howell and there’s no one on the other side of the basket to help.

“I do think at times our team relies on Richard to go get them all,” Gottfried said. “A lot of times we have perimeter guys leaking out, ready to go run the fast break before we have the ball.

“We have to be a team where everybody gets involved in the rebounding part of the game.”

Akula Wolf (
Defensive Rebounds Or Death

Defensive rebounding could make a huge difference to this team’s postseason prospects, and this is where we need T.J. Warren. Warren’s efforts against FSU moved him ahead of Tyler Lewis by a hair in the defensive rebounding percentage category, but he still trails Scott Wood and Lorenzo Brown. You see the problem. Jordan Vandenberg moves in molasses, so his DR% isn’t much better than Warren’s. This puts a ton of pressure on C.J. Leslie and Richard Howell to snag rebounds, because they’re the only ones doing it at a respectable rate.

Seriously, Warren is grabbing fewer defensive boards–on a percentage basis–than Scott Wood. If Warren can show some commitment at the defensive end, State can cut into a major weakness. We need that to make a run come tournament time.

Nolan Evans & Luke Nadkarni (
The Baby Blue Battlefront: Wolfpack travels to heart of enemy territory for encore clash with Tar Heels

Winning at the Smith Center is no easy task. The Tar Heels have a record of 12-1 at home this season, the only blemish being a loss to No. 2 Miami, who coincidentally is the only team to win in Raleigh this season as well. If the Pack wants to come out with a win, it will need someone other than the usual suspects of Brown, Howell and Leslie to step up, much like Warren did against FSU.

“Whenever we have all our guys on the same page, we’re so much better,” Leslie said.

The Heels employ an up-tempo style of play that State is also comfortable with. The Pack ranks eighth in the nation in points per game, while Carolina is right behind them at 10th. Still, dictating the pace of the game will be an essential ingredient to victory.
“We know how quick they want to play,” Howell said. “But we want to keep it at our tempo and not their tempo.”

State and Carolina are part of a three-way tie for third place in the ACC with Virginia, which hosts Georgia Tech on Sunday. The Cavaliers, who defeated State 58-55 on Jan. 28th, currently hold the tiebreaker over both teams. Should the Pack win and secure a season sweep of the Heels, they would own any tiebreaker with UNC down the road. That would add to the sweetness of sweeping their biggest rival for the first time in ten years.

“It would mean a lot,” Warren said. “It would be great for the program and great for the fans. We just want to go out there, play as hard as we can, and just try to come off the road with a win.”


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Bret Strelow (
ACC Layup Lines: “Harlem Shake” still on the rise, with UNC and N.C. State looking to follow suit

Crank up (begrudgingly) the “Harlem Shake” for:

N.C. State (19-7, 8-5) at North Carolina (18-8, 8-5)

N.C. State, UNC and Virginia are currently tied for third place in the ACC, so the winner of Saturday’s game in Chapel Hill increases its chances of earning a first-round bye for the conference tournament.

The Wolfpack finished the first half of the previous meeting against the Tar Heels with a 20-0 advantage in fastbreak points, and an up-tempo style still favors N.C. State, especially if you factor in the 40-yard dash of Wolfpack alum Mark Thomas.

If N.C. State builds another big lead, expect fans of the rams to voice their displeasure.


Warren: Everybody is amped up

N.C. State freshman T.J. Warren has never played on the road at Chapel Hill, but he is excited for his first opportunity.
Howell: It’s just another game

Richard Howell talks preparing for the Tar Heels like any other team, but he still recognizes that sweeping Carolina would be big.
Brown: I’m getting back to where I need to be

N.C. State’s Lorenzo Brown talks on his rehab process and difficulties presented by the Tar Heels.
Wood: A win would be big

Scott Wood talks about the challenges of playing in Chapel Hill, and says a win against the Tar Heels Saturday would be big for the program.

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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22 Responses to Friday Farrago

  1. Wufpacker 02/22/2013 at 8:08 AM #

    Hopefully Warren won’t get lost on the road again. Definitely agree with the overall trend of opinions that we need his size for rebounding, but not at the cost of scoring or increased turnovers. He doesn’t have to tally 31 again, but a nice cool 15ish wouldn’t suck.

    And I must say, I knew Carolina had dominated in recent times, but I had no clue that they’d swept the season series 27 of 59 years since the ACC came into being. That number gave me a sick feeling.

    Hope we pound those baby blue pu**ies.

    Thanks for the rundown and nice work as usual Jigs.

  2. graywolf 02/22/2013 at 8:13 AM #

    We need Purvis to show back up and play defense against Hairston. In the second half of the first game Hairston ate our lunch from the 3 pt line.

  3. TLeo 02/22/2013 at 8:22 AM #

    Everone on the team needs to be focused and come out with a strong effort from the start. If they don’t, it will be a long game.

  4. wilmwolf80 02/22/2013 at 9:10 AM #

    The keys to winning the game are:

    1. Playing smart, tough perimeter defense, which we have shown that we can do.

    2. Not getting handcuffed early by the zebras, which is obviously out of our control.

    If those things happen, I’m confident in our ability to put up points against them.

  5. Pack78 02/22/2013 at 9:20 AM #

    The following article in the print version of the CO is headlined: ‘Former Tar Heels stars take ‘Carolina Way’ across pond’.
    So we can look for upticks in lying, corruption, false credentialing, etc. in France soon…

  6. PoppaJohn 02/22/2013 at 9:44 AM #

    We need this one badly. As bad as I want to beat the Heels, I want to win on the road just as much. And with the short, easy trip to Orange County, there’s no excuses at all for not playing our best.
    Five to go, every other one on the road starting Saturday. We need this one to give us confidence going to Tech and FSU.
    Unfortunately, having only won road games at #10 BC (by 5) and #8 Clemson (by 1) – and couple that with losing to #11 WF (By 2), I’m not feeling very confident.

    UNC is playing well with the new lineup, feeling confident after consecutive 12 point wins, only lost to the U at home … scary.

  7. 61Packer 02/22/2013 at 11:25 AM #

    I really believe State has the better team this season, but I have an uneasy feeling about this one. Foul trouble and turnovers haven’t been around in awhile and have a way of appearing when you least need them. Free throw shooting has been a little better but we still miss way too many.

    Something else I’ve noticed lately at our home games is a tendency for our players to walk downcourt at times instead of run hard. If we get out-hustled, we won’t win this basketball game.

  8. errobine 02/22/2013 at 11:38 AM #

    What is the spread? Are we predicted to win?

  9. PoppaJohn 02/22/2013 at 11:39 AM #

    ^^ Agreed. I can hear Roy telling their 3 guard lineup, “Just keep driving to the basket, you’ll either score, they’ll foul out, or eventually both.”

  10. PackFanInLA 02/22/2013 at 11:44 AM #

    We are going to kick their ass!

  11. BJD95 02/22/2013 at 12:02 PM #

    This is not a “need to” game, but it would give us a huge payoff if we do win it. Plus…it’s Carolina. And f-ck Carolina.

  12. Pack85EE 02/22/2013 at 12:22 PM #

    Let’s just throw out the history between Valvano and Gottfried. I bet that 27 of 59 gets a lot closer to our 6 of 59. I’ve always been too much of an optimist, wanting to keep a coach too long. When you look at that long gaping cesspool in the period between those two coaches , you realize what a mistake it was. Here’s to putting those days behind us. Start by getting a sweep of our own. GO PACK.

  13. NCSU84 02/22/2013 at 12:58 PM #

    I hope the team has matured and can find a way to win on the road. But the recent trend of ACC road losses gives me a reason to pause:

    MD Away – loss
    WF Away – loss
    VA Away – loss
    Duke Away – loss
    Clemson Away – won (barely)

  14. PackisRolling 02/22/2013 at 2:17 PM #

    Other than the rivalry…this is not a must-win game in my opinion. I think UNC has much more pressure on them than we do. We held serve at home…let’s come out loose and tough and win it. If we lose…no biggie.

  15. PoppaJohn 02/22/2013 at 2:54 PM #

    ^ “If we lose … no biggie”

    1) Always a biggee if we lose
    2) Need wins
    3) Need road wins
    4) It is THEM

  16. 61Packer 02/22/2013 at 4:26 PM #

    I think this game IS a must-win game for us. Regardless of who wins tomorrow, I don’t see Carolina playing on Sunday in Greensboro, much less playing in the Sweet 16.

    We can do better and go farther, but it has to start tomorrow in Chapel Hill. The loser of tomorrow’s game is all but guaranteed a spot in Thursday’s ACCT. I seriously doubt that anyone playing on Thursday in the ACCT will be around on Sunday, let alone cut down the nets. Even if the Pack ran the table, they’d be gassed come NCAAT time, given our lack of depth.

    The Wolfpack now has post-season potential that it won’t have for the next 2 or 3 seasons. We have much experience, but 4 of our starters probably won’t return next season. We face a team tomorrow that is in almost everyone’s opinion not as good as we are this season. If the players show no urgency to go all-out to win this one, then they might as well transfer to Arizona State.

  17. JeremyH 02/22/2013 at 6:30 PM #

    Their RPI is very close to ours and this is a road game. This is going to be a tough game. I hope that we can beat them, and hope that we can see them again in the ACC and NCAA tournaments. Oh and go to hell Carolina.

  18. Blackfish 02/22/2013 at 7:08 PM #

    Whenever I post we win so here, I’m posting this you do not sweep entirely and consistently as UNX hash without outside assistance, I doubt seriously, but this year and the escape of Maryland may have brought a balance or at least a recognition that they at least have to earn it,

    We must realize that our bigs cannot touch them or they will call fouls so we must use our bench for defense on their outside game and then allow ZO TO PENETRATE FOR MOST OF OUR POINTS, PURVIS WILL BE CRUCIAIL AS HIS SPEED IS A COUNTER BALANCE , last Got needs to get a technical right out the gate so that the media will pay attention. We win by 13

  19. mak4dpak 02/22/2013 at 7:26 PM #

    Maybe I am crazy, but I managed to get tix to the game in Chapel Hell. I hope the guys show up, and play to win. A victory in the D Dome would be awesome. Go Pack!

  20. ADVENTUROO 02/22/2013 at 7:40 PM #

    Most of the stuff that I Googled this morning that had all the categories and stats had MORE up arrows on the UNC side. They did NOT have any odds or points spread.

    Tonight, there is a LOT out there. I don’t fully understand the numbers and the nomenclature….but one side had Miami in the “OFF” position and WF at a PLUS 9 points. So I think that means Miami is a 9 pt favorite. On that site, we are in the OFF position and UNC is MINUS 5 – 5.5 points….so UNC is favored.

    I DID find another summary of the Vegas odds and it had a “Favored” team row…..UNC is the Favored team and the spread there was exactly the same.

    SO it appears we will have out work cut out for us. Now remember that we were a 14 point favorite over VT. Howed THAT turn out? Did not look at the FSU spread….FSU and look how that turned out. Do NOT remember about the odds then.

  21. Gene 02/22/2013 at 8:29 PM #

    Pack85EE, Les went 5-7 against Dean-o, in six seasons.

    That’s a better winning percentage against UNC-Ch than Valvano or Sloan.

    The salve in losing to UNC-Cheats more than we won was when we did win, it was often in big games like the ACC tournament and our program overall kept pace with them in ACC titles and National Championships.

    After Valvano, we didn’t have that salve.

    Every loss hurt that much more.

    I hope we win tomorrow. I hope the freshman don’t get a case of the jitters. I’m really worried about them knocking down shots like Duke did in their place.

    We really have to come out and play strong on defense and smart on offense.

    Keeping fingers crossed for the best.

    GO PACK!

  22. mak4dpak 02/22/2013 at 10:45 PM #

    Any fans looking for tix, check out stub hub, get all the red we can in the Dean Dome. Some tix down to $65.

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