The Morning After

Last night, the youthful Pack falls at home to the #25 Mizzou Tigers out of the SEC.

All things considered, that sentence doesn’t sound all that terrible.   In spite of recent successes, I hadn’t (and still haven’t) built up any undue expectations of this team, as I know they are still a work in progress.  Nor did I have any expectations for last night’s contest in particular.  A win was most definitely NOT expected.

Even at home, a loss to a ranked opponent out of a BCS conference, especially by a young and still developing team like NC State, shouldn’t be one that is still sticking in my craw the following morning.

Kyle Washington vs Missouri - December 28, 2013

Kyle Washington vs Missouri – December 28, 2013

So then, why is it?

Our young Wolfpack showed flashes of brilliance last night.   The emergence of Kyle Washington was wonderful to see (10 pts, 2 blks).   TJ Warren was his normal wonderful self (24  pts, 13 rebs), aside from becoming overly enamored with his own 3pt stroke (that’s not your game TJ….please stop that).

They also showed flashes of inexperience, as Vandenberg, Barber, Freeman and Anya all but disappeared on the big stage (though one can easily argue that Vandy and Cat had some help of the striped variety for their disappearing acts).

Bottom line….

The Pack held a 53-43 advantage with 8:56  to play and then were outscored 25-11 the rest of the way.  Missouri executed down the stretch, the Pack, generally speaking, did not.


Wolfpack Falls to No. 25 Missouri 68-64 (

RALEIGH, N.C. – NC State sophomore forward T.J. Warren scored a game-high 24 points and tied his career high with 13 rebounds, but the Wolfpack could not pull off the upset, falling to No. 25 Missouri 68-64 on Saturday night at PNC Arena.

Warren notched his sixth career double-double (his fourth of the season) but the Wolfpack could not overcome a hot-shooting Missouri team that closed the game by connecting on 5-of-6 from beyond the arc and 5-of-6 from the free throw line over the final eight minutes of action.

“Missouri made some big time plays at the right points in the game,” NC State head coach Mark Gottfried said. “That was the difference in the game. They made three big three pointers that really changed the game. I thought we were in a position to win the game, but we have to do a better job. We have to rebound the ball better. Whether it’s getting defensive rebounds, not giving up a three, executing your offense to make sure you get the right shots, or not making foul shots, you put all those things together and right there at the end of the game, Missouri made a couple of big shots and that changed the outcome of the game.”

Late comeback gives No. 25 Missouri a 68-64 win at NC State (

RALEIGH — N.C. State had Missouri and another win, right up until it didn’t.

The Wolfpack controlled the game and the 25th-ranked Tigers for more than 36 minutes on Saturday night.

What the Wolfpack couldn’t do is close out Mizzou. Junior guard Jordan Clarkson wouldn’t let them.

Clarkson’s clutch scoring, 21 points in all, and junior guard Jabari Brown’s 3-pointer with 55.1 seconds left lifted Missouri to a 68-64 win over N.C. State at PNC Arena.

The loss snapped N.C. State’s seven-game winning streak. It was the first loss of the season for the Wolfpack (9-3) in a game it had controlled, and led by as many as 10 points in the second half.

Box Score




But not much time to wallow in this one as the Pack moves on to face a not too shabby UNCG squad on the road (Monday 12/30, 7pm, G’boro Coliseum, ESPN3) while hopefully learning a little something from the one that got away last night.

Then, in less than a week now, the ACC grind begins when State welcomes Pitt to Raleigh (1/4, noon) to kick off conference play, and then makes a quick turnaround for a road game to South Bend to face Notre Dame 3 days later (1/7, 9pm).

About Wufpacker

A 2nd generation alumnus and raised since birth to be irrationally dedicated to all things NC State. Class of '88 and '92.

13-14 Basketball

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    Pretty bitter about this one … I thought we were the better team (on this night).

    Everything was gravy til the last four minutes … this one really stings. Bad shots, MISSED FREE THROWS, some charges that were called as blocks.

    I disagree with you a bit, Wuf – I thought TJ only shot threes when he (we) had no other options (shot clock expiring, lack of offensive flow, etc.) – doesn’t mean they’re good shots, but if it wasn’t TJ hoisting them it would’ve been Barber, Turner, or Lee. Buckets might as well shoot those ‘no offense’ shots if someone has to (or we need to execute better against the zone).

    Anyway, it’s no secret as others have already pointed out – we’re really gonna have to murder the conference slate to make the tourny now (Nova came out of nowhere to make the field last season – maybe we can do something similar this season). I did happen to see the last five minutes of the ACC network conference preview, and Gminski and Cory Alexander both pegged Pittsburgh to finish 3rd in the conference regular season … Umm, no.

    If that’s their respective pick to finish third then I’d say there’s a fair amount of hope for everyone else outside of Duke and Syracuse b/c I have no idea where they get ‘Pitt #3!’ from.

    Lastly, I hope Barber doesn’t get down on himself for that front end of the one-and-one … I’m sure he won’t, but still no need. Sh*t happens.

    Go Pack


    Overheard from ghosts on the south smoking porch at Reynolds….

    Gentlemen, may we remind you that there are two kinds of sports fans…. those whose ‘perspective’ is based on playing/coaching and those whose ‘perspective’ is based on watching.

    Given the class systems inherent in all societies, while the former may generally be considered as superior and the later inferior, there is a high level of mobility and interaction between the classes.


    It doesn’t matter whether you’re talking basketball, football, baseball or whatever else.

    Among those who played/coached… among the cardinal sins is this one — “Don’t blame the officials when you win or lose.”

    As a player you’re taught/coached from the first practice to understand the following….

    1. Officials/Referees/Umpires are essential to the game. The game would not be “The Game” without them.
    2. Officials are never perfect and make mistakes. Some mistakes are errors of omission, some are errors of judgement, some are just plain dumbass, stupid mistakes.
    3. Officials never – ever determine the outcome of the game…. for one simple reason… as a player and as a team you didn’t play a perfect game either and those mistakes first created the position where the officials’ mistakes could effect the outcome of the game.
    4. When the game is over, win or lose… the next day you start preparing for the next game.
    5. Some nights everything goes wrong…. in which case… just push the “Ignore” button before you take your shower.

    Coach Wooten… ya’ll remember him…. when asked about his two-minute drill, reportedly said something like… “I don’t really do that… If my guys just do what I tell them to do, we’ll be so far ahead at that point in the game as to not need one”. The same answer could be applied on those nights when the whistle just ain’t blowing your way.

    To be successful on the court or the field, one of the first two things players learn is “how to properly handle the officials’ bad calls and how to handle bad officials”. (Definitely not the same thing) Otherwise, you get to play callyourownfoul/pickup ball for the rest of your career.


    While it’s quite okay to say… “Wow … that guy took five steps and the dumbass ref ten feet away saw it all and swallowed his whistle.”… And it’s okay to say ‘Their O-line is chop blocking or holding on every play”…

    But to say at the same time, “…. the dumbass ref on that play …cost us the game.”, especially for those who played, well…that’s completely against the “rules of the game”.

    When some sports fans consistently rant about officials’ bad calls or no-calls determining the outcome of games, or even worse… get together who other like-minded sports fans and manufacture conspiracy theories about how the refs are out to get us or the league office always sends us the worse refs who hate us…

    To put it politely… let’s just say … some fans might as well have turned their team cap around backwards and pulled their shirt tails out ….which invariably creates “some degree of separation” from the guys who keep their caps on straight and their shirt tails in.

    To be less than polite… one might say… some fans might be wearing t-shirts that say “I know it all but never played the game”.

    Unfortunately, what frequently happens next… given the weak vocabulary skills of sports fans in general… words or phrases like ‘not knowledgeable’ or ‘un-intelligent’ or ‘ignorant’ or ‘an idiot’ with respect to the subtleties or nuances or even the “rules” of the game might enter the conversation. And whatever the retort, it’s typically as deficit, if not more, in it’s choice of words.

    Needless to say …. vocabulary skills are even worse late at night after an especially tough loss.


    No one ever questioned the others love for their team or passion for the sport. Those would be fighting words…. and rightfully so.

    The “SFN Bar” is big enough for every one… provided everybody keeps either their caps on straight or their shirt tails in and understands why they should do.

    Otherwise… winners hang with winners and losers can leave town.

    Bartender… a round for the house and send the tab over to Dan Allen Drive please.

    #NCSU-North Carolina's #1 FOOTBALL school!

    Well said, Bill. Nothing on here agitates me more than the ref bashing. If you watch college basketball, you know wildly inconsistent officiating isn’t peculiar to Wolfpack games or ACC conference play. It’s bad all around.

    There’s plenty of criticism to go around after the Mizzou loss. But a few things stand out. 6 for 21 from 3-pt land is just plain awful. Rarely will you see Gottfried’s teams take that many 3’s. Many of those takes, and some of the makes, were terrible shot selections, occasional desperation heaves. We won’t win many when we take that many 3’s. We have to figure out a way to get the ball into the paint. The key is Barber. For the life of me, I cannot stand the de facto benching of a player in he first half because he picks up 2 fouls. The dropoff defensively and offensively is clear when Barber’s not on the court. Even when he doesn’t have a great game, he impacts the game more.

    The rebounding coming down the stretch was similarly bad. The freshmen bigs and Vandy did not produce enough.


    Not that it needs to said but I did play on on almost every level.Only one sport at college level. Basketball, soccer and baseball. I rarely blame the refs. Players make plays end of story. They didn’t lose the game because of the refs. That being said you cannot ignore the timing of the calls and the inconsistant calls. Thats all I am saying. Everyone one would agree that refereeing has changed this year year with the emphasis on creating a more flowing game. What they have done has completely tied the hands of any defense. Again some are assuming that nobody on this site has played any organized sports.


    How about we focus on the game and what happened in it and quit questioning anyone else’s knowledge, intelligence, experience, or whatever.

    If you cannot make a point or offer an opinion without questioning another’s intelligence or knoweldge or whatever you want to call it, it says a lot more about you than it does them.

    This is not the monkey boards and I am going to start deleting any of these posts as nothing good will come of it. Fair warning.


    ^^Whiteshoes, I wanted to point out / give you a hat tip that you were correct on the Barber / Lewis situation from earlier in the season.

    When the season first started, I disagreed with you to an extent in thinking that Barber and Lewis could (and perhaps should at times) play together at the same time. It became clear rather quickly though that the team is much different with Barber on the floor running the team as opposed to Lewis, and also that Lewis is (or has been) ineffective at the two due to defensive capability and lack of offensive contribution.

    This of course is not meant to be disparaging towards Lewis in any way. I thought he did an admirable job Saturday night (and frankly, we could have used a lot more (offensively speaking) out of Barber on this night). We’re very fortunate to have a player of Lewis’ caliber to be a back-up / second point guard.

    As for the game itself, even with all that went wrong over the last 10 minutes or so – if Warren doesn’t run completely out of gas we likely still manage to pull out a victory. He put every ounce of energy he had into the game for thirty minutes, and that may mean we need to start finding two to four minute stretches (at least in the first half) for Buckets to conserve some energy. I know a lot of guys play 35 min.+, but I know from experience that when you work as hard as he did on the boards (offensively and defensively) it can zap you quickly.

    Speaking of, we have to find better offense when Warren is zapped / out other than Turner forced threes. I like Turner, but someone else mentioned how infuriating it can be watching him play – and I agree. He makes some terrible decisions – mostly shot selection – for a veteran player. In fairness though, if Barber or Lee (when in the game) isn’t driving the basket we don’t have much of an offense to speak of other than someone like Turner taking a three. To his credit, he’s knocked down some big ones over the last few games.


    I think the officiating adjustment seems to have leveled out.

    I checked the number of fouls we’ve gotten so far, and in November we averaged 22 per game with a high of 31 in the Central game. In December we have averaged 17, with the curve busters being Detroit (23) and UT (20), otherwise we are averaging 15. (15, 15, 14, and 16)

    I think the teams have adjusted and the refs have settled down, and the “new rules” discussion (which aren’t really new, just newly emphasized) is behind us.

    That said, I totally agree with the poster that said you don’t blame the refs. They are a fact of life, just like the weather. There are good ones and bad ones, but none of them want to affect the outcome of a game. I like the Wooden quote … if we take care of business, we won’t be in a position to hope for ‘a lucky call’ to save us.


    Blaming refs just serves as an excuse. Good teams don’t need to make excuses. As others have stated, you have good ones and bad ones. And even the good ones screw up here and there. It is a fact of life. Better learn to deal with it or get used to making excuses. That is not the kind of team/program I care to follow. Make your own luck through good solid play for 40 minutes.


    This one hurt, no doubt about it. This game was one that would have looked good on a resume for the NCAA. The key is dont let this game cost us another.

    They hit some tough shots down the stretch and give them credit. Good players sometimes make good shots in spite of good defense. We still had our chance and missed the FT’s and our chance. Learn, grow, and move forward from the experience.


    Coaching! I like Gott but he’s gotta do better with clock management and put emphasis on areas where we are weak…esp when it costs us the tight games and come-from-behind-losses. How many times are FTs gonna kill us before it’s hours and hours of extra practice at the charity stripe. Practice = perfect, see L Byrd, T Woods, etc. Also, what’s up with the BS t/o with 35sec left in 1st half? Needed that one later in the game. Also, when we are up with a couple mins, and we know we can’t hit FTs or 3s, why is there absolutely no press AT ALL! Why didn’t we drive on them more and kick it out, draw a foul late? We can move the ball on offense, so why didn’t we in the last 1.5min i/o stand around dribbling? MOVE THE BALL! Can’t do anything about a freshman missing cringe-worthy FTs…but practice!! Forget the refs, they’ll never win a game for you. Make FTs and you won! Drive in for higher pctg shots and you won. Just a couple more key rebounds…prbly won! I didnt’ think Moo was really that good, maybe not even top 25, and we should have won this game. A lot of games won can be credited to coaching. I think this loss was coaching. Excusing mediocre play makes mediocre players (see CJL), and it is a contagious disease that affects the team (see CJL). Get pissed and bring it! I’m just saying.

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