Pack needs buzzer beater to best High Point

Cat Barber saved the day and maybe the Wolfpack’s hopes for an NIT bid in March last night as he drained a step-back three pointer as time expired as part of his game-high 26 points against High Point in PNC Arena last night. Barber played all 40 minutes and dished out 6 assists while committing ZERO turnovers and grabbing 5 rebounds in State’s 76-73 win over High Point University.

NC State is now 7-3 with an RPI somewhere between #150 and #200 (not that it matters). The Wolfpack has a CRUCIAL game AT Missouri (5-4) on Saturday night. The Tigers’ four losses are at least against respectable teams…but, they lost by 36 points to Sean Miller and Arizona over the weekend.

Guess what — State played awful perimeter defense and didn’t take strategic advantage of our size advantage at almost every position on the court. Ever heard that one before?

In addition to Barber, Maverick Rowan and Malik Abdul Abu also provided some bright spots for Mark Gottfried’s Wolfpack. Rowan had a big second half including some clutch play in crunch time nailing an important 3-pointer and hitting two free throws as State was going down the path of a classic #WolfpackCollapse. After being sick and not expecting to play, Abu looked more like his old self scoring 13 points and grabbing 9 rebounds.

The following is a little more recap:

There were times in this one where it looked like NC State was going to run away with this one, but sharp shooting from the High Point guards and some feisty play down low from John Brown kept them in it. They actually had the ball with less than 25 seconds to play and the game tied at 73. They called a timeout, but the inbounds was stolen by Cody Martin…and that is where the fun began….

Martin was fouled going in for the winning layup, but turned his ankle as he was fouled. He wasn’t able to walk on it, so High Point was able to choose a shooter for the Wolfpack. They, of course, chose Anya (who is shooting an abysmal 34%). He missed both, but Rowan swooped in to grab the tipped rebound. After a timeout, State was doing their best to get it back to Mav. He was heavily guarded, so Cat was on his own. He went off a screen, collided with it, regained balance, and stepped back for a fade away 3 that hit nothing net. Game…NC State.








From the same URL provided above, the following is some macro-commentary I thought worth sharing:

While the offense could use some work, the defense is what is really holding this team back. Maybe it’s because it’s early season and the team isn’t as focused as they will be for ACC games, but that honestly should not be an excuse. This team has a defense problem. Now, before you go off and say I’m being a bit rough on this team, hear me out. This team should be absolutely shut-down on defense. They have the size, the length and the athleticism to absolutely stifle teams. So when we see a team like High Point shoot 43% and 50% from beyond the arc, it’s hard to not be disappointed. Recovery and communication on ball screens need major improvement. Closing out on shooters and staying on grounded on shot fakes need’s serious work. A ball screen and a pump fake should not be able to throw this defense into complete chaos, but all too often it happens to them. If they shoot over your contest, then fine, but the entire defensive system collapses when a guy comes off his feet on a pump fake, or is too slow to recover from a ball screen. They were able to out athlete High Point in this one and escape with a win, but with quality opponents coming down the pipeline, State needs to get their focus and discipline on the defensive end in check pretty fast.

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Home Forums Pack needs buzzer beater to best High Point

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    Cat Barber saved the day and maybe the Wolfpack’s hopes for an NIT bid in March last night as he drained a step-back three pointer as time expired as
    [See the full post at: Pack needs buzzer beater to best High Point]


    I know everyone is upset about the defensive play for these first two months of the season, and they are right. I think the real frustration with this game is that offensive movement is abyssmal. Cat went ahead and won this game for us on offense single-handedly (the offensive rebounding was good but expected considering the size advantage). For me, the more troubling aspect of the game is that there is no consideration for how offensive basketball works for this team. Rowan and Twin A want to jack up threes Adam Harrington-style, none of our post players have developed enough of an offensive arsenal to score on middle schoolers, and Cat has to shoot a considerable number of jumpshots in order for us to win. Last night, he hit consistently. Criticize the coaching of defense all you want (and it’s deserved), what about the supposed strength of the head coach?


    That is a good point. The high post apparently is gone and we have no identity on offense. That was covered up last year by Lacey’s ability to create his own shot but we do not have that luxury this year.


    This team was built to play zone defense — they’re long and have a cleaner in the middle to anchor it. They also lack depth and can’t afford to foul. Yet, we’ve only played it in brief stints during the games I’ve watched.

    I’ve not given up on this team, but I’ve not watched for several games now. What I’ve watched hasn’t been pretty and the hits keep on coming.

    We’ve got one superstar in Cat, one emerging scorer in Rowan (who needs to learn shot selection). Everyone else is effectively a role player. Talent wise, this team reminds me a lot of Lowe’s teams.

    Must win game against Mizzou……………




    Anybody know the TWC channel in Raleigh for the game Saturday???


    Well, It seems that there has been a LOT of consumption of various mind altering substances….and that some of the logic here makes the Administration and it’s policies seem totally sane and sensible.

    The Forum has morphed into a character assassination of AD Yow and also a critique of the coach.

    To set things straight….as I have asked this question and gotten answers from those involved….

    We are playing with only a partial deck this year. That is a fact.

    The reason….no one in the Athletic Department (which is the ADMIN and the Coaches) every thought that Turner would go pro….and he was advised, as strongly as you can do it….NOT TO….but that was his call.

    Washington was a loss….but NOT to the magnitude of Turner. The entire recruiting year was NOT based around filling spots for Turner and Washington. NOW why did they leave….you make the call. We recruited GOOD and TALENTED players and Washington saw his PT going down. Turner could make upwards of $300 – $400K overseas… he did a Jerry McGuire.

    I guess the coaching staff should have known that Kirk would have injuries and that Henderson would go out in the first game. Sidney Lowe can tell you about the emails that he got when we lost Evtimov. He can also tell you that some folks told him that he should have more talent on the bench so cover for such.

    Bottom line, we came into this year shorthanded….and there was, IMHO, nothing that Coach Gottfried could have done different to rectify or prevent the situation. He KNOWS what a player in the draft is worth….and he had advised them when and when not to go….and his advice has been correct. However, they had to find that out….and some did regret it.

    We DO NOT have enough players….and our players are NOT of the Multi-Star talent that Duke and a few others have. So, when we lose a player….it hurts.

    As to last night….it was a typical game of runs. Coach Cherry will NOT be at High Point long. He is savvy. He managed the game well last night. He called a critical time-out just before the break….so slow down our momentum and prevent HP from being down double digits. Many folks commented on the wisdom of that call.

    The officiating was erratic….as it always is. If you watch the foul totals and the clock, it was like a slot machine….we racked up fouls like you would not believe.

    Having said that, if you looked at the box score, it was really not a game that was decided by any strategy or sparks of coaching brilliance. We left a good victory on the floor by not hitting the FT’s. NOW, many of them were shot by folks that we know are going to miss. HP hit 13 X 14. We had a lot of positives in the rest of the stats….and HP was shooting the lights out in the 3’s and we did eventually cool them down.

    I have copied (via PDF) the opening statement about keeping us in the NIT….I guess that we will have to wait until March to see how prophetic that is.

    What I did see last night was some pretty good shooting at times. I saw Cat actually carry the team…..when he realized that shots were not falling for some of his teammates. We have criticized him (me included) in the past for doing this. BUT, when he did it last night and we won….he was a hero.

    Cody Martin is my concern. He was the “Sub of the Game”. His D and his steals is really what saved our fanny…when we were leaving points on the FT line.

    League play has not even begun, but the coaching search has.

    SHEESH…..step back from the ledge. If things are this bleak in March, then I guess that I will be the one to walk the plank and all those that are naysayers now can prod my backside with the points of the swords (or perhaps light sabers since they seem to have a vision of the FUTURE and the FORCE is with them…)


    Did you mean Lacy? Turner was in his final year.


    We DO NOT have enough players….and our players are NOT of the Multi-Star talent that Duke and a few others have. So, when we lose a player….it hurts.

    That’s part of the big problem. Gott cannot keep players. He averages 2 players a year leaving before their eligibility is up. It is an indictment of is inability to keep players happy not an excuse for poor performance. In fact it is the exception when a scholarship player stays until their senior season with Gott. Off the top of my head Wood, Vandy, Johnson, Howell, Dez, Turner and CJ Williams have stayed through their senior season.
    Leaving before Leslie, Brown, Purvis, deThaey, Lewis, Washington, Lacey, Tyler Harris, Jaqawn Raymond, Painter.


    ‘We are playing with only a partial deck this year. That is a fact.’ Got it. Since its not the Coach’s or the AD’s fault it must be the fans…if they only supported this team more, we would have a full compliment of players. Or maybe its the blue shirts that the coach wears. Yeah, that’s it…


    Speaking of early departures……this team COULD consist of Cat, Trevor and TJ on the wing. Think about that! Just the way of the day.


    It does not look good for the upcoming ACC schedule, but players can change, and here is to hoping that this change will take place, and change our pessimistic attitude toward the upcoming season. More playing time together will hopefully improve chemistry with this team, and players will step up to the challenge and potential that is within them. Should also help with the return of
    Terry Henderson. Go Pack!


    It’s not about a season. It’s about a pattern. And the pattern is very easy to see.


    Cat, Trevor and TJ

    yeah… that would have been worth the price of admission, every night…



    those that GOTT to flame…
    will burn out before March…

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

    Patterns? We talkin’ patterns? Yes! Patterns indeed…Like a book, or a scratch on an old LP.


    Again depth is an issue, with unexpected early departures, which can’t be anticipated. As previously mentioned, imagine the team with Lacey/Warren/Washington, etc. What could have been. This is what set us up for what are dealing with now. Georgia had close losses to Seton Hall, Kansas State, yet only beat High Point by 4, and Winthrop by 10. So it may not be as bad as it appears, though there is clearly room for improvement.


    Damn Roo! I’m fighting the same battle as you in the other ridiculous game thread. Glad someone else gets it.


    ^+1 AT. Just keeping tabs going forward.


    Getting mad at Gottfried for a game like this is like getting mad at a baby for crying.

    We’d all like a coach who steamrolls through a decent schedule with just 1 or 2 losses, who wins 2/3rds of his games in conference and who has a top 4 seed in the NCAA tournament.

    We don’t have that. What we do have is a coach who has gone to 4 tournaments in 4 years, who hasn’t had a losing record in acc play.

    Gott has earned at least this year and next, he’s done a solid job here. We’re it not for his history at bama he’d have more support.

    As for me, I am casually watching, trying to enjoy the gott-coaster. I do think we have challenges in depth in talent and depth – something that he hasn’t faced thus far (which isn’t encouragin in year 5.)


    If you put a stack of dimes on the arm over the needle, you can get past the skip. 🙂 Hopefully, we have some dimes coming next year.


    My biggest gripe is not building a deep roster. Rowan and Kirk should be playing fill in the gap minutes. Glue guys that really contribute in year 3 & 4, not be expected to contribute the number of minutes required of Rowan right now.

    What do we have, 9 scholarship players eligible to play minutes (and actually make tangible contributions)? And one of those is out until February? Has Gottfried ever had a roster with more than 10 eligible scholarship players? And I’m not talking about a walk on who was awarded his scholarship because we couldn’t sign anyone else. Why do people continue to accept that Gottfried is only utilizing 75% of their scholarships (the program’s most valuable assets)? I understand you want to maintain good scholarship spacing and keeping an ace up your sleeve for that big 5* recruit you might sign, but Godamighty at some point you gotta make sure you have enough bodies to run an effective practice!

    As others have said, Gottfried’s rosters have no margin for injuries/illness/suspension. To me that is a correctable flaw (even though the staff has shown no evidence they realize it’s a flaw). And with a deeper roster, the coaches would be able to encourage more aggressive defensive activity. You just can’t play aggressive defense when you only have 7 guys that can give you quality minutes.

    Maybe it’s the holidays, but I think the reduced activity around here shows a hint of apathy toward the basketball program.


    Last year we had 10 solid scholarship players. Two were expected to leave (Turner and Lee), and two were expected to come on board (Henderson and Kirk). I don’t know of many coaches who carry more than that at any one time. You could kind of see Kyle leaving when his playing time dried up, but Lacey was a complete shock. I can guarantee his decision blind-sided the entire coaching staff. This reminds me a bit of how it went with Skip Prosser. Skip was clearly a very good coach, and was consistently at the top of the ACC standings in his 1st four years. Then Chris Paul unexpectedly declared for the NBA after his freshman year, leaving Skip without a PG. He ended up at the bottom of the ACC the following year. I know Gott tried to get some help at the guard position after Trevor’s decision, but it was just too late.

    Another point I want to make is regarding the team’s defense. I will preface this by saying this isn’t an excuse, but I firmly believe is a significant contributing factor. The team is struggling mightily with the new rules enforcement. Maybe they could be coached up better in how to deal with it, but with so few players, everyone is being extremely cautious in how they play defense. We simply do not have a lot of fouls to give. Even Cat, who is an acknowledged excellent on-ball defender is playing off his guy a lot more than last year. Throw in Mav’s unexpected surge in minutes played and you have a recipe for defensive disaster.

    Like I say, not an excuse, but I think a key contributing factor. Gott’s teams have historically not played good defense, and this is exacerbating the problem


    That is a good point about the defense.


    redisgood: The officiating changes are another reason to play zone. If you can’t move your feet to help properly and thus reach, then at least zone puts you in a decent starting position, with the basket guarded and the ball in front of you. If you cannot properly teach man to man or don’t have the players to run it properly, then zone is the answer. It’s almost a no brainer for a team this tall, with this little depth, and with a cleaner under the basket.

    I have to go with those that are concerned about the same trends year over year. The ones I see are roster management / recruiting strategy, fundamentals and defense (mentioned above).

    The roster was mismanaged coming into this season. Sorry, but it was. It was obvious to anyone with a pulse that Washington was gone. I wasn’t as “shocked” by Lacey as others, and that’s the one spot where we actually were able to recruit and try and plug someone in (Rowan). Getting no bigs when you knew at least around January last year that Washington was gone? Not even a grad transfer? Come on. Kirk was a late signee admittedly, but is really raw and his frame is that of a wing player. I can’t see how anyone thought he’d be a significant contributor in year one, particularly not in the post.

    It’s the lack of fundamentals and early season results that result in the 4-5 fewer wins per year that result in the lower tournament seed which makes the path tougher. The lack of focus early in the season and in fundamentals cause us to need the late push just to get in.

    Then there’s the recruiting angle. ESPN owns college basketball at this point. Go watch on any night and you’ll almost always see the ranked teams play. Heck, UNC vs Tulane was on the other night. How many games have we played on ESPN this year? One? It’s much easier to recruit to a program whose games are on every night, not one that you have to fire up the internet and use ESPN3 and only if you’ve paid the license. It’s much easier to recruit to a program that is in the Top 25 all year. The media recruits for you by keeping you in the discussion, your scores running across the bottom of the screen, etc.. You get advertising all year, not just a couple of weeks in March.

    For this program to take the next step, we need to be a fixture in the top 25. For us to do that, we need to fix some of these glaring holes that happen year over year — and many of them relate to fundamentals and defense.

    If we don’t correct this stuff, then we’ll effectively plateau. Then the big boosters, AD, school, etc. have to make a tough decision of whether squeaking in and maybe winning a couple in the ACC tournament or NCAA tournament is enough?

    The last time we were there, we were very divided as a fan base. You can see it returning now as well.


    Ryebread, I definitely would like to see us play more zone for the reasons you mentioned. Cat might not be feeling it now, but he is going burn out before we get halfway through the ACC schedule. In terms of Lacey, the shock part came from assurances he was giving to the coaching staff, and Rowan is more of a replacement for Turner than Lacey. Rowan can take it to the basket, but he’s not a ball handler.

    Getting DSJ, Bam, and possibly Alkins was going to be a program changer, and would have given us the ESPN exposure you mentioned. That is obviously not going to happen now, so I agree, the coaching staff is at a real crossroads. It will be interesting to see how 2016 recruiting plays out. Gott has performed some magic tricks in the past, and he may have to do his best Houdini impersonation to sort this one out.

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