Friday, March 22, 2013

NC State goes down with trademark inconsistency

DAYTON, Ohio -- On the 30-year anniversary of N.C. State’s dreamy run to the national championship, the current version of the Wolfpack had a first-half nightmare on Friday.

N.C. State’s first NCAA game of the 2013 season was also its last, as the Wolfpack lost to Temple, 76-72, on Friday afternoon.

The Wolfpack sealed its own doom with a terrible start, trailing 38-22 at halftime. By then, coach Mark Gottfried – who has never won an NCAA tournament game in consecutive years -- had called two early timeouts. Glares, befuddled looks and strong words had been exchanged in the team huddles. Temple’s players -- led by Khalif Wyatt, who ultimately had 31 points and was the best player on the floor -- had gained immense confidence.

N.C. State then came storming back in the second half as Scott Wood finally got hot, making two three-pointers to get the Wolfpack within three. Lorenzo Brown had a three-point shot with 90 seconds that would have tied it. But that missed, and Wood missed another three, and Temple made a few free throws and soon enough it was over.

It seems strange to say a team dramatically underachieved after it won 24 games, but that’s what this N.C. State team ultimately did. It was No.6 in the country in The Associated Press preseason poll, ahead of both Duke and North Carolina.

But the Wolfpack ended up only finishing No.5 in its own conference by seeding for the ACC tournament, then only got to the ACC semis. Gottfried admitted after the game that the team had struggled with immaturity at times this year and with "sustained" and "maintained" defensive effort.

So a Wolfpack team that had made a run to the NCAA Sweet 16 a year ago, had just about everyone back and added three McDonald’s All-American recruits lost in the round of 64 this time. And the loss came to a No.9 seed, a Temple team that has been mostly known in recent years for its own “one-and-done” NCAA tournament exits.

N.C. State played the second half like it should have played the first, and if it had we would be talking about what a State-Indiana matchup would look like on Sunday. But this N.C. State team was consistent only in its inconsistency, which made Friday’s effort – one good half, one bad one – a fitting epitaph for an unfulfilling season.


Anonymous said...

Summary of the 2013 Wolfpack basketball season:
1) Had talent on hand
2) Lost no players to academic, NCAA, or legal problems
3) Won games they should have lost
4) Lost games they should have won
5) Played short of expectations, just well enough to make it to the post-season

I guess under the same criteria the football program was judged by, Debbie Yow will fire Gottfried next.

Anonymous said...

Had alot of talent, got some good talent coming in. Just need to think Like UNC and Duke, they truly believe they are going to win, not sure State has that in them..

Anonymous said...

As a loyal NC State alumnus and fan of Wolfpack sports....

it is a SAD ending to a promising season filled with expectations.
I believe that many supporters had hopes that someone (we will call him Mr. Leslie) would eventually step up & "be the Man", push the team to excel...much like Witt did for the '83 Championship team.

We will never know HOW good they could have been because C.J. never grew up. Hope he enjoys living in Europe next year, if he is lucky.

Anonymous said...

No coaching on the bench. Seen this before. That's why this team is loaded with talent and yet can't get the guys to buy in.

Anonymous said...

If the rest of the team had played with the consistency and intensity of Richard Howell all season, they would have an ACC championship and still be playing.

Anonymous said...

They needed just one more good player on the team.

I think they were worn out throughout the year.

Too few players.....played too many minutes per game.

Anonymous said...

Ha ha... Picked to win the ACC and thought they'd be a NCAA contender. At least you beat UNC once, lol. That'll do for this decade! Couldn't even finish ahead of a young Heels team in the ACC. Now I see your fans turning on your best players, lol.classic NCSuck!

Deane said...

Poor logic, Mr. Fowler. To say that NC State dramatically underachieved because they were ranked 6th in the preseason poll is ridiculous. They never should have been ranked that high to begin with. And to say that State only finished 5th in the ACC by seeding is also misleading. They finished tied for 4th and frankly should have gotten the 4th seed based on strength of schedule. And I say that as a UVa grad/fan. (By the way, the ACC really needs to figure out a way to factor SOS into the seeding.)

I'm not saying that State didn't have a disappointing season, but it gets old having the media exaggerate the outcome. Any team that relies on freshmen, even if they're McDonald's All-Americans, is going to have their struggles. Last year's Kentucky team was a complete aberration. Just look at this year's Kentucky team.

Anonymous said...

I went to one Pack game. At time outs there were 10 suits
surrounding the players and that is not counting
the head and assistant coach. That reminds me of
the first Sendek years. I had to wonder what heck are
they all doing?, except maybe confusing each other .
I do not see that crowd on courts at winning programs.
What do you all think? Pack it in.

Anonymous said...

State underperformed and the clash of egos will led to more departures than expected.

Gott spend a lot of time enjoying himself around town. It won't be such a fun offseason.

Even if Calvin leaves, another ego issue is coming aka The Cat Burglar.