Joe Ovies

Heels rather unimpressed with Wolfpack press

Posted October 19, 2012

Here's a mental exercise: When was the last time Duke, North Carolina and North Carolina State were all expected to battle for the ACC basketball crown?

Fans would need to hop in the DeLorean and set the flux capacitor to some point in 1988. While the Blue Devils were always the constant in the equation (Pete Gaudet never happened), the Tar Heels and Wolfpack went through varying degrees of down cycles. Those Matt Doherty years? Disavowed. Les Robinson minded the store while NC State dealt with NCAA sanctions, Herb Sendek just couldn't get over, and Sidney Lowe didn't get results despite bringing in talent.

So it makes sense the upcoming basketball season is a hotly anticipated affair. The Wolfpack's late arrival to the Triangle basketball party is easily the biggest reason why. Most observers believe NC State has the best parts to put together a great season, so they were ranked ahead of Duke and North Carolina in most Operation Basketball ballots and the USA Today Top 25.

That's not to say the Tar Heels and Blue Devils aren't in prime position to keep the status quo in the conference. Al Featherston makes a strong case that Duke is actually entering the season underrated. North Carolina simply suffered a massive talent drain, but their current roster has an incredibly high ceiling. 

At the very least, UNC players are confident nothing has changed. James Michael McAdoo didn't seem all that concerned about the hype thrown NC State's way during the ACC's media day in Charlotte. 

"We never really looked at them before, so we're not looking at them now. We just look at ourselves," McAdoo said. "We're just worried about UNC basketball and when the time comes for us to play them, we'll go over the scouting report. We're going to play them no matter if they're ranked No. 1 in the nation or not even ranked in the Top 25. We're still going to treat them as the same basketball team."

Dexter Strickland was slightly more pointed with his take on the Wolfpack, telling Jeff Goodman of CBS Sports, "They talk those guys up every single far, and we beat them every single year."

Strickland added, "Beat us one year and then they can talk smack...until then, you can't put them in the mix."

Overconfidence? Probably, but it's not like Strickland doesn't have a point, and it wouldn't be surprising if Wolfpack fans actually agreed. The preseason press is a great indicator of where the program is headed, but most fans will wait and see if NC State can finally get over. 

142 Comments

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  • StunGunn Oct 20, 2012

    View quoted thread


    Very, very well said. When Duke, Carolina, and State play each other this season, the games will be very competitive.

  • jeff727 Oct 20, 2012

    Dexter Strickland..Leslie McDonald.. possibly the two most over-rated players ever recruites by UNC...talk about unnimpressed.

  • douggie64 Oct 19, 2012

    View quoted thread


    And Dex has already tweeted about how the media twisted his words in to "smack talk" when it couldn't have been further from what he said. And the wolfpups swallowed it all, hook line and sinker....just like their Nat Champ Bass Fishing team would love!

  • TsKaMF Oct 19, 2012

    feeling himself...talking to himself.

  • Dr. Feelgood Oct 19, 2012

    View quoted thread


    So you have your nose crammed up where the sun doesn't shine, or you have scuba gear on and you are residing in the pipes under the Smith Center so you can be there for the flusing experience. Either way, how would you know?

  • Dr. Feelgood Oct 19, 2012

    View quoted thread


    ...and the cart just keeps rolling along while the horse takes a nap.

  • Dr. Feelgood Oct 19, 2012

    View quoted thread


    This coming from the Trustee and Matriarch on Cell Block E at Central Prison...you go thuuggggirl.

  • Jewelry-EricLeak Oct 19, 2012

    View quoted thread


    Self righteous hypocrites........ "It was only tickets and shoes"..... the world's worst fans start getting their own, tomorrow against the Terps. In b-ball, State is horrible,unless cheating with Sloan in 74 and the worst cheater, V in 83

  • rherring23 Oct 19, 2012

    View quoted thread


    Either way it is going to be a great season and all the teams will probably split. But either team could also sweep either of the other teams. But at this point I do like State's chances. It has nothing to do with the media hype, it has to do with the way they progressed last year, the talent they have coming back, the talent they have coming in, and the coaching staff.

  • rherring23 Oct 19, 2012

    Sure we have expectations for this season, we should. It does seem like anytime State does have high expectations, which is not very often, some UNC fans show up just to talk smack. State fans aren't the one doing all the talking, very few of them are, the media is the ones boasting up State. I'll agree with McAdoo 100%, Strickland on the other hand is just not too smart, kind of reminds me of a certain football coach. Making the S16 is something any team should be proud of. If State had lost half of their team last year then they would be no talk of them being in the mix, but to make it that far last year, only lose 1 starter and add the talent they have added keeps them in the mix. It also all comes down to coaching and State does have a coach that can get it done. He took a team full of players recruited by Lowe and got the results that Lowe could not get. That tells you a lot about what kind of coach he is. Remember, Roy won his first championship with a team full of players recruited by Doherty, who could not win with them, so the coach makes all the difference. That being said, it should be a great season and all 3 teams should be very good. As far as the season goes it will probably come down to injuries. And that is where State has the advantage, if a player goes down at a key position like Marshall did last year, UNC or Duke do not have the talent to replace them, where for the first time in many, many years State does. Look at UNC last year, there is no doubt if Marshall had not gone down they would have made it to the championship game and I think they would have probably won it all. Right now State has the strongest starting line up and they have the best bench, so yes, expectations should be high. Gotts personal decisions have been the only reason he has not been considered one of the best coaches in the country, not his coaching ability. He has always gotten results even before Bama and his personal life affected just how good he could have done at Bam

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