Reply To: (12) NC STATE vs (5) SAINT LOUIS Preview

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If this is a low point and the most disappointing event in your State history. You must have forgotten the last 30 years.

Sorry for the long post….woman’s prerogative. To me this is what I saw.

Last night’s game illustrated why it is so important to do well in the regular season. That’s why I get so PO’d about the ref situation. When we have games literally stolen from us, it puts our team in an awful position. If you don’t fight for our team about that injustice, I don’t want to hear crap from you in the post season.

If you start the ACCT playing on Weds, there’s only a slim chance that you will make it to Friday much less Sunday. Why? Stamina. A game is not just physical but even more so, psychological. These are kids. These players are not robots that perform at optimal level every game. That’s why teams have “let downs” after playing really great. It happens to the best of teams. A coach has to know his team. Gott did his job. His team peaked for the NCAAT on Tues. That was our BEST game of the season.

A loooooooooooooong, loooooooooooooong time ago when I played basketball (and I’m sure other folks that have played sports can attest), I attended a HS basketball prep camp near Andersonville, GA. It was one of those elite scouting, meat-market camps. I TRAINED just for this camp. (A local HS coach got me the invite) When I saw the schedule, I thought that I was going to have all this spare time. Two games a day. Bleachers lined with coaches. In between games, time was distributed with group talks from coaches about the sport an “light” interviews to gauge interest. There weren’t so many coaches in the beginning. Towards the end of the camp, the bleachers became fuller.

After about the third day, I was sore as could be. My feet felt like concrete. My mind was telling me where I needed to be (training from 5am practices when your mind really isn’t there but you are physically going through the motions- ok there is a slight robot factor) but my body just couldn’t get to all the spots on the floor where I needed to be. Tyler was taking shortcuts. Raulston too. I wasn’t thinking about team. I was thinking about positional space because of exhaustion. I was hoping my teammate would be at certain spaces to compensate for my not being where I needed to be. We were all tired and hadn’t played together so that was tough.

I really just wanted to tackle the amazing point guard from Philly really. Hated her- cocky, talented little XXXXXX. My strategy was to find the weakest 1-3 player on the other team so that my skills could be highlighted. In the end, it was just an attempt to not embarrass myself. I was looking for the path of least resistance. That’s what I saw out of State last night.

When you’re tired, you find yourself thinking about every minute details and forgetting the big picture. Taking the extra step to meet the ball. Lining up with your man on defense. Standing on the line and thinking of every shooting mechanic and then thinking, man my legs feel wobbly- that’s ok- concentrate on the front of the rim. But you fell out of rhythm, shot disjointed and miss free throw. Another example is guessing where the ball is going to be thrown on defense vs playing denial, thus taking yourself out of team defense position on man coverage. No help defense. I also saw the wrong people standing underneath the basket.

Also when your legs aren’t moving the way they are supposed to, your shot comes up short. In your mind, you know that you are spent so you overcompensate. Did you see how high Raulston got on that last shot? He was overcompensating. He gave it all he had and very nearly came through. That was good form.

I also saw Tyler dribbling to much and his teammates not cutting the way they were on Tues…they were hoping Tyler would just create the passing lanes for them (and this was early on). They were tired. At the end of the game, Tyler ran away from the ball. He didn’t want the ball. That’s not Tyler. Exhausted.

For folks that thought Beejay should have been in the game at the end…maybe, but the kid couldn’t make it up and down the court at the 10 min mark. Unless we planted him at one end of the court, the outcome wasn’t going to be super great. He was spent. Gott realized this. Usually this is not a problem for the big, fuzzy guy but 5 games in 7 days and everything that came with it….he did good.

THIS TEAM HAS HEART. That’s what got them the lead. The stamina is where they lost it. The problem was when it went bad. It went really bad. It hurts. I guarantee it hurt them more than us. It’s like a train wreck. That happens to “connected” teams. Young teams feed off of each other. TJ was a leader out there. He did the best he could motivating these guys. He had buy-in. I am SO going to miss him. He is FANTASTIC. The best player I have seen in years at State. Phenomenal.

That’s what we saw last night from TJ and Tyler. Vandy’s long skinny heart wanted that win more than anybody on the court badly. As a result, he was out of position for the plays which we needed him to make (post area). He was trying to help his little buddies on the wing and high post protecting against the 3 point shot- he was more rested than they were. He really is a “person pleaser.” That’s enduring- I will miss him too. His little buddies weren’t helping him. Exhaustion.

Again, I don’t think this is a result of conditioning but schedule. Regular season and NCAAT positioning matters. REFS MATTER. I wasn’t expecting them to make the dance. They’ve exceeded my hopes. They are not rebuilding a team but rebuilding a program. It takes time and we have already seen immediate results. Amazing.

After Low and Sendeck, Gott looks like Phil Jackson. He’s had to completely change the culture of that program and has done an awesome job so far. Change like that doesn’t happen overnight. After being last in the conference year after year (and RECENTLY), that would be my most embarrassing moment in NC State history. Losing to BC with a team full of talent under Low. How does that happen?