Reply To: N.C. State @ Virginia, 7pm

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The effort was surely there tonight. Our kids played hard but the challenge was too great. It takes a lot to go on the road and play an undefeated, top ten team and come out with a win. Virginia’s defense speaks for itself, it is tough, aggressive, well-disciplined play from all five guys. Our team is young, which by the way is not designed to be an excuse, it is a simple fact. Outside of Turner, Lacey and Lee (who I don’t think played tonight), our roster is all freshmen and sophomores. Considering the challenge, I thought our team played to its ability…and it kept us in the game. Maybe by the end of the year we can win a game like that. Ultimately the guards need to be better at running the offense and the post needs to be more productive. You can’t run the high post offense without a capable post. Part of the reason for the struggle at point is this very reason.

The refs were highly disappointing (big shocker there). They were not the reason we lost the game, but the unwarranted bias that defensive teams like Virginia get is ridiculous. We saw it in the West Virginia game earlier this year: teams that play physical and constantly push, body check, reach in, and flat out go over/through people rarely get the whistle for what is an obvious foul. I remember seeing Lacey literally get shoved after he caught the ball in the lane on an in-bounds play in the second half…no call. “Defensive” teams get rewarded for playing physical whereas “average, NC State type teams” get the whistle everytime. Ref bias is a part of today’s game and it goes beyond the Karl Hess/Ted Valentine NC State hate-fest; it has become a playing style bias. That and Duke and Carolina can’t do wrong either. Can’t wait to watch the whistles in those games.

On to the next one…

All in all I would not consider tonight’s loss a bad loss. Unfortunately it comes at a bad time as we have to play the best team in the conference next, followed by you know who.