Wednesday Woolgathering

Laura Keeley (N&O)
Duke, N.C. State have traded places since first encounter

Momentum is certainly great and advantageous, but it can all vanish in a second.

Or, in N.C. State’s case, in 0.8 seconds.

The Wolfpack (16-6, 5-4 ACC) had a one-point lead against Miami on Saturday until Reggie Johnson tipped in a rebound with 0.8 seconds remaining to give the Hurricanes the victory. And, instead overcoming point guard Lorenzo Brown’s left ankle injury and beating first-place Miami, N.C. State left the floor with a two-game losing streak and four ACC losses by a combined seven points.

“It’s interesting, sometimes, with just a tip with 1 second left, how the feeling of everything can change,” N.C. State coach Mark Gottfried said. “Obviously if they don’t get the tip in, we’re walking around here with our chests poked out, we’re excited, and we see things differently.”


The Blue Devils are preparing for Brown to play – when asked what impact Brown’s uncertain status had on Duke’s preparation, point guard Quinn Cook said, “none.”

As Duke knows all too well, it takes time to adjust to the loss of a key player. It took the Blue Devils four games, capped by the embarrassing Miami loss. Now that they have, though, they’re clearly better than they were when Kelly was first injured.

“They’ve learned some things,” Gottfried said of Duke. “Obviously we’re going to look at some film and see some things that we going to continue to do, but, at the same time, they’re still a different team, and we’ve got to go in with the mindset that they’re going to be better.”

Instead of scrambling for answers, Duke enters this Thursday’s game with the confidence that a three-game winning streak brings. But, as the Wolfpack can attest, all of that positive momentum can vanish in less than a second.

Omega Wolf (
It’s What’s Inside that Counts: ACC Big Men Enjoying Career Games Against Pack

Over the past couple of days I have harped ad nauseum on N. C. State’s second half woes in ACC play. (Relive the horror here and here.) My conjecture has been that a thin bench and the grind of a long regular season is the culprit for second half shortcomings, but not all thin benches are created equally. The Wolfpack’s biggest depth issue is in the post, where Calvin Leslie and Richard Howell are the only consistently reliable options. T. J. Warren is more of a wing pressed into eating a few minutes inside, and Jordan Vandenberg has not developed into the shot bothering rebounder one might have expected from a seven footer.

I do not contend that Leslie and Howell are poor or unwilling defenders, but rather that they have been coached not to foul because of the team is better off with a timid interior defense than with no offensive post presence. The result, unfortunately, is that opponents are eating the Pack alive inside.

Akula Wolf (
NC State Is Now America’s Team

NC State basketball’s combination of good offense and bad defense can make for some exciting games, as we have recently witnessed (unfortunately, in this case). State’s ability to get up and down the floor in transition is all sorts of fun. We all know this. Now America knows this, thanks to this scientific list of the country’s most watchable basketball teams:

3. North Carolina State: Richard Howell isn’t built like a bruiser, but the forward’s core strength allows him to clear out a significant chunk of interior space. He has superior footwork, and he can outjump would-be defensive rebounders, all of which make him a box-out nightmare for opposing bigs (not to mention a vital part of the Wolfpack’s 1987-never-happened offense). Only four other high-major programs attempt fewer threes than the Wolfpack. When he isn’t converting those rebounds-Howell’s 1.28 points per put-back is fourth among D1 bigs-his team benefits from the additional possessions.

David Scott (N&O)
Signing talk gets to become set in stone

Welcome to National Signing Day, also a national holiday for those fervent followers of college football recruiting.

Wednesday is the first day high school football players can sign binding national letters of intent with the schools of their choice. Many have committed to their schools; today they can make it official.

4. Clemson, Florida State and Virginia Tech lead the way in the ACC. Clemson landed two of South Carolina’s best players in linebacker Ben Boulware of T.L. Hanna and receiver Mike Williams of Lake Marion. Florida State’s class is led by five-star defensive back Jalen Ramsey of Nashville, Tenn. The Hokies’ top recruit is Kendall Fuller, a five-star defensive back from Olney, Md.

5. It’s another year in which many of North Carolina’s top recruits are heading elsewhere, including Charlotte Mallard Creek receiver Marquez North (Tennessee), Matthews Butler linebacker Peter Kalambayi (Stanford), Hope Mills South View defensive tackle Greg Gilmore (Louisiana State) and Charlotte Vance linebacker Larenz Bryant (South Carolina).

6. The Charlotte 49ers shifted their recruiting strategy because of their 2015 move to Conference USA and the Football Bowl Subdivision. So coach Brad Lambert had to go with quality and quantity. Instead of signing six or seven FCS-quality players, Lambert will sign 17 players today who are closer to FBS caliber.

10. North Carolina missed out on North of Charlotte Mallard Creek but will sign Northern Guilford’s T.J. Logan, the state’s top running back. It still is edging N.C. State and new coach Dave Doeren, who did land four-star cornerback Sean Paul of Vero Beach, Fla.

Jim Young (
National Signing Day Updates

We’ve already posted – and will continue to post – a ton of football recruiting content on the site in the past few days. You can check it all out at Recruiting Central.

We’ll be using this blog to keep you updated with recruiting news as it happens on National Signing Day. And we’ll be using Storify to collect some of the most intriguing tweets of the day.

Jim Young ( Recruiting Central

The clock is ticking toward National Signing Day, so is here with the football recruiting fix you need!

We’ll be posting: signing day snapshots for each ACC school; state-by-state reports from the main six states in the ACC footprint; updated commitment lists; recruiting story links compilations; and National Signing Day wire stories.

We’ll be adding articles multiple times a day. Below is what we’ve posted on the site so far. Remember – keep checking back for updates.
2013 Signing Day Coverage

NC State head coach Dave Doeren will be announcing his first signing class on Wednesday, Feb. 6, and will be inside the Murphy Center providing coverage as the faxes roll in.

Live coverage will begin at 7 a.m. and lead up to Coach Doeren’s press conference at 3:30 p.m. will feature exclusive content on the newest members of the Wolfpack throughout the day.

This year’s class will also be announced via twitter (@PackFootball) as well as on NC State’s official Facebook page (, with updates posted throughout the day.

Fans can then watch Coach Doeren’s breakdown of the 2013 class when he holds his press conference at 3:30 p.m., which will be streamed on at this link.
NC State Football Signing Day Central