Is Jordan Vandenberg The Wolfpack’s “X-Factor” This Season?

Jordan Vandenberg in 2012 (NC State photo)

Jordan Vandenberg in 2012 (NC State photo)

One of the most pleasant surprises from last night’s Primetime With The Pack “Midnight Madness”-style practice had to be…Jordan Vandenberg.  The Redshirt senior has lost around forty pounds, is in the best shape he’s ever been since coming to NC State from Australia, and was a definite contributor in the White Team’s 39-38 victory over the Red squad: he scored 12 points and grabbed 7 rebounds in the scrimmage, something far exceeded expectations for the player who averaged 0.7 points and 0.7 rebounds in his 123 minutes in 2012-13.

Granted, that was only a short scrimmage, but Wolfpack head coach Mark Gottfried was impressed.

“I like the fact that Jordan has put himself in a position to have a good year,” Gottfried told after the contest. “He’s in the best shape of his life, he’s got good stamina and conditioning and it shows. He’s running up and down the floor and not getting tired and he can affect the game because he won’t tire so much.”

That would be good news for a Wolfpack team that wouldn’t have a true center without Vandenberg.  At 7’1″, he could be a formidable presence on defense and if he can exercise some will in the paint, he could be a scoring option that opposition defenses would have to take into account.  That in turn would help prevent defenses from focusing completely on forwards like T.J. Warren, the player who will likely be the Wolfpack’s most consistent scoring threat whenever he is on the floor.  In short, Vandenberg’s play could help his entire team be more effective.

That’s a lot of expectations, sure, and like all players he’s sure to have his ups and downs throughout the year, but if Jordan Vandenberg has more ups than downs in the upcoming hoops campaign, Wolfpack basketball will certainly benefit and will definitely surprise everyone who has low expectations for a team in transition.

13-14 Basketball

37 Responses to Is Jordan Vandenberg The Wolfpack’s “X-Factor” This Season?

  1. JohnGalt78 10/19/2013 at 2:15 AM #

    Oh My….

  2. redisgood 10/19/2013 at 4:31 AM #

    The slimmed down JV did look pretty good out there, but hard to say how much was JV, and how much was the freshmen competition.

    Clearly TL and TJ were the leaders tonight, in every sense of the word. Dez and Turner showed flashes, but were inconsistent. Cat had his moments, but I think is still getting back from his concussion.

    Freeman should get some minutes this year. Pure hustle, and goes after every rebound.

    Beejay, Beejay, Beejay. What a waste. I would redshirt him and have him come back next year in an athlete’s body.

  3. wolfbuff 10/19/2013 at 8:26 AM #

    We ask this every year. The answer is No. He’ll disappear when we start playing big boy basketball against real men. Oh he’ll play, but only because BeeJay McFattie won’t be able to for very long.

  4. Wulfpack 10/19/2013 at 8:46 AM #

    Is V-berg the X factor? I sure hope not…

  5. vtpackfan 10/19/2013 at 8:58 AM #

    I would say wait and see. He has limitations at this level for sure. He’s not a scorer in the half court and even at 7 foot he won’t protect the rim all that well.

    Just run the court, we are a high tempo offense, secure some boards on defense and keep some offensive possessions alive by tipping or gathering some loose balls.

    The biggest X factor is that he knows the UCLA high post really well. TL will score more often with floaters and pull up jumpers in the lane because the Center knows where the ball needs to go and how not to get in the way.

    Wooden still won a few games w/o Alcinder and Walton-that’s why I think this system is solid with or without fantastic bigs.

  6. PoppaJohn 10/19/2013 at 9:09 AM #

    Same old song and dance. Only this time JV has lost some weight so “dances” a little better. His problem may be partially weight, but the real problem is physical ability and basketball skills. He’s just not an ACC caliber player. Wish he were, and I look forward to him getting more minutes this year – but unless they give him 10 fouls, I can’t see him getting more than 6-8 minutes a game – if that much.

    I remember many years ago a bench player scored 40 points in this game and we all went crazy. The coach said he’d been working on his shooting on the off season and was excited about his ability to contribute. The guy ended up playing maybe five minutes a game, and his career high may have been 10 points once during the pre-season.

    In the end, talent does the talking and I just don’t think JV has the defensive quickness or offensive skills to help us. But I wish he did, and would love to be proven wrong.

    Vandenberg for POY!!

    (“BeeJay McFattie” made me laugh, and then made me sad) Now HE might have been a difference maker.

  7. Rick 10/19/2013 at 9:51 AM #

    I went to Primetime with the Pack. IMO Vandy dominated because the freshmen are just not very good.
    Tyler Lewis rose up over Anya and took the rebound from him. Anya looks completely useless out there.
    It is very early but this is going to be a very down year unless we see a ton of improvement.

  8. choppack1 10/19/2013 at 10:48 AM #

    Good gosh guys… why do feel its necessary to criticizes the players?

    Part of vandy’s problem has been injuries. I’m thrilled he’s taken his conditioning to another level.

    He can definitely be a positive force for us and if he’s a positive factor that totally changes the outlook for this team. We’d be more experienced, taller and better defensively

  9. wufpup76 10/19/2013 at 11:01 AM #

    Thanks for the comments everyone.

    Disappointing to hear about Beejay’s apparent lack of conditioning.

  10. Greywolf 10/19/2013 at 11:21 AM #

    “Good gosh guys… why do feel its necessary to criticizes the players?”

    Same reason I put coaches down. It’s an ego thing. Tearing people down is how I feel I’m better than they are. I don’t feel alone, either.

    Thanks for asking.

  11. choppack1 10/19/2013 at 11:43 AM #

    Grey – coaches are fair game. They are highly paid professionals and not kids.

  12. bill.onthebeach 10/19/2013 at 1:08 PM #

    There is no way that a leaner, meaner Vanderburg can do anything BUT help the Pack this season…. during practice and during the game.

    Now… I GOTT a dollar that says… the new look JV will be the difference in 2 or 3 victories this season… games that otherwise would have been losses.

    Any takers ???

  13. Greywolf 10/19/2013 at 1:12 PM #

    Chop — both of us can tell when coaches are being criticized for the job they do and when they are being demeaned as people. I don’t excuse myself for the latter and I have little tolerance for that in others.

  14. BJD95 10/19/2013 at 1:15 PM #

    I recall Sid’s second team. I went to the Red/White game, and came away super impressed with Farnold Degand, who was maybe the best (or at least second best) player on the court. Looked like a real difference maker.

    I looked past the ho hum performances from more “proven” quantities.

    As we all know, that was bad analysis and wishcasting on my part. The dumpster fire season ensued.

    I am NOT saying we will suck. Not at all. I like the makeup of this team, though Anya being out of shape is a huge (pun semi-intended) problem. But I caution against ever taking too much positive from an intrasquad contest.

    Do remember that Cat is nowhere near 100%, I think he is the key to the season. The best way I see for us to create mismatches is the dual PG look with Cat and WBS, who I also expect will have a big year.

  15. Wufpacker 10/19/2013 at 1:17 PM #

    Good for JV for trying to maximize himself with the conditioning. And while I’d love to see the Thunder from Down Under emerge and become a force, I’ll not be counting on it necessarily.

    Aussies…ya can’t trust any of ’em.

  16. Wulfpack 10/19/2013 at 3:11 PM #

    I don’t see anyone criticizing a player. We’ve seen it/heard it before. And if he is the supposed X factor, we are thoroughly screwed this season. Just calling it as I see it.

  17. redcanine 10/19/2013 at 3:28 PM #

    I don’t expect anything more from Vandy than I did from Jordan Collins or Corn Williamson. Neither were X-factors. I do expect a few serviceable moments.

  18. Texpack 10/19/2013 at 3:55 PM #

    Here’s hoping JV is this year’s Chuck Nevitt. We can always hope.

  19. Fastback68 10/19/2013 at 6:08 PM #

    I remember Gavin grant signing the X factor in the first half of the duke game. I groaned at the time as I knew it was the kiss of certain defeat. Just play the damn game with your best effort when you are on the floor. We don’t need X factor heros.

  20. Tuffy2 10/19/2013 at 7:18 PM #

    Is Jordan Vandenburg the Wolfpack’s “X-factor” This season?

    Am I suppose to comment on this? I hope I am damn wrong but some of you guys are reaching here. Here I am looking forward to BB season and I am reading this.

    We’ll now it’s back to football and here is hoping Mitchell can turn this season around.

    Here is the formula we must know inside out; Recruiting + Recruiting= A winning program no matter what the sport.

  21. travelwolf 10/19/2013 at 7:59 PM #

    Vandenburg being the “x-Factor”… you’ve GOT to be kidding… unless the x-factor means that there are 23 other factors that are important (a-factor, etc).

  22. MrPlywood 10/19/2013 at 8:50 PM #

    It seems like some think that “x-factor” means that Vandy will dominate on all fronts – scoring, rebounding, defense… I would be happy if he could just come in and alter some shots and be on the plus side of his +/- stat. That alone could be the “x-factor”.

    No need to disparage the guy. Props to him for getting in shape and putting himself in a position to contribute. Evidently that’s more than at least one highly touted recruit has done.

  23. PoppaJohn 10/19/2013 at 9:27 PM #

    “Why do feel it necessary to criticize the players?”

    Had to laugh at that comment, especially from a frequent poster on SFN.

    So we go through an entire basketball season without criticizing a player? That doesn’t sound like this blog.

    Does that apply to football players too? Maybe Pete Thomas isn’t a player? (Maybe that’s the problem???) SORRY, just kidding, no criticism intended.

  24. choppack1 10/19/2013 at 9:53 PM #

    Popla john – you certainly haven’t seen me criticizing Thomas.

  25. wilmwolf80 10/20/2013 at 12:56 AM #

    Guys, I seem to remember a blue team down the road riding a very marginally talented big man to a championship recently. Now, I am in no way saying that is possible here, because it isn’t. I’m just saying that if you have an athletic guy that is 7’1″, he doesn’t have to be the second coming of Kareem to help the team. I’ve said for his whole career that all we needed out of JV was for him to be serviceable. He’s not going to lead the team in statical categories, unless twitter posts becomes a measured stat. We are, however, going to need him to provide minutes this year, so you may as well get behind him, or take the year off from following basketball.

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