State can overcome disappointing ACC start
Posted February 8, 2013
If you would've told me at the beginning of the year that NC State would be 5-5 through 10 games of the ACC schedule, I would've said,'Well something is up.'
To be quite frank, I wasn't exactly sure they were the top team in the ACC, even when most media members picked them. I felt like Duke had the best shot of winning the ACC regular season, and I had State picked second.
So for them to be in the middle of the pack of the ACC, it's definitely not what many – including me – perceived them to be. But looking at this State team, they are a lot better then their record.
After the 98-85 loss last night to Duke, I was reminded of the Bill Parcells line, "you are what your record says you are."
State is a .500 team.
Many people don't know the second part of that statement. Tom Coughlin, a Parcells disciple, uses it all the time: "However, it doesn't define what you can become."
With the return of Lorenzo Brown, State is on the verge of a strong second half ACC run.
Mark Gottfried's squad has had to figure out how to play without their best player, but in doing so they may have found one.
In three consecutive losses, NC State has found improved play by their backup point guard Tyler Lewis. Against the best three defenders of the point guard position, Lewis has only one turnover.
And with Brown returning to the lineup, Gottfried now has options. Last season, Brown was asked to move from a shooting guard to a point guard. He adjusted quite nicely.
And while in NC State is at its best when Brown is running the point, having Lewis and Brown in the game now seems like a stronger weapon than it was a week and a half ago.
There is a big difference between expectations and optimism. While NC State may not have lived up to expectations to this point, they can be optimistic about what is about to happen.