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Mark Thomas

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.

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  • danbalcome48 Feb 11, 5:23 p.m.

    CJ Leslie has to have the love and chants of the Home Wolfpack crowd to play well it seems. Against Clemson he had how many turnovers? 9 I think. He had shots blocked by shorter Clemson freshmen....and he is planning on going to the NBA? Really? He needs to be committed to the team...not show up late for a game and get benched. He needs to play up to his capability and get the chip off his shoulder, drugs out of his system or whatever his problem is. He has fantastic talent but he isn't showing it right now. The NBA scouts are watching Calvin. If you aren't playing anywhere near your ability because of a grudge against a coach or teamate...you will pay for that big time. You won't make it in the NBA. Come on Calvin....show some interest.

  • TVs_Deceit Feb 9, 5:24 p.m.

    I'm not sure what rotation would do it, but I'd like to see State pick it up to being more of a three point shot threat. Wood opens it up on the inside some, but if there was at least one more reliable 3-point shooter on the floor [2 at a time] then the inside would REALLY open up.

    Wood seems to be the only one opposing teams are super concerned with lighting it up beyond the arc, and things would be a lot different on the floor if that changed.

  • MQ22 Feb 9, 10:50 a.m.

    The back tracking begins. Everyone is now trying to act like this was expected. State was... View More

    — Posted by FilPhord

    Scoreboard, Fil. Have a drink.

  • StunGunn Feb 9, 7:53 a.m.

    State did not pick itself as the pre-season favorite -- the media did. I heard announcer Dan... View More

    — Posted by raleigh-cary

    Carolina and Duke have to live up to high media expectations most years. It may not be fair, but it is what it is. A lot of State fans bought into the hype on these boards, and I have no problem with that. The season isn't over, and I agree with the premise of this article: State can overcome its "disappointing" ACC start.

  • StunGunn Feb 9, 7:48 a.m.

    For all you monday morning quarterbacks, that know so much about everyting. When the ACCT is... View More

    — Posted by swray001

    Miami and Duke may have something to say about that.

    State has played the toughest part of its schedule, and I expect them to finish the regular season strong and make a good run in the ACCT, like they've been known to do. I still think Duke or Miami have the best shot at winning the ACCT.

  • raleigh-cary Feb 9, 1:58 a.m.

    State did not pick itself as the pre-season favorite -- the media did. I heard announcer Dan Bonner saying on the David Glenn show Friday that the media picking State actually put undue pressure on them. I still think State will finish strong, but anybody who picked them as the number one team in the league didn't factor in the fact that State's freshmen would have find their places in the mix, and the team would have to gel. With Plumlee, Curry and Kelly to lead Duke, the Blue Devils were the obvious choice. So please stop criticizing State because they didn't live up to their preseason ranking; they had nothing to do with it. And except for Oklahoma State, they've been in every game they've played -- it's tough on any team to lose 4 such close games, and it's a testament to State that they didn't quit at Duke and almost beat Miami, especially without Brown in both of them.

  • ugottabkiddinme Feb 8, 8:08 p.m.

    For all you monday morning quarterbacks, that know so much about everyting. When the ACCT is... View More

    — Posted by swray001

    I don't know if I agree with your assessment, But I admire u standing by your team.!

    — Posted by randrmomanddad

    lol...yes this is the delusional fan base of the pack, who really truly believes every year they will when the National championship in football and bball....i mean this is basically the same team as last year that probably shouldn't have been in the tourny anyway based on their body of work last year and somehow they were SUPPOSE to win the ACC and ranked 6th..LMAO...Different year, SAME pack. oh by the way i wasnt fooled by the hype....i will say though i have seen some improvement with the little white point gaurd, they should stick with him and slow the tempo down, state is really not a great running team

  • baldchip Feb 8, 3:56 p.m.

    Until last night-State had lost 4 games by a total of 7 points. That's really close to big success. That's 1 or 2 shots per game-a free throw here and a 3 there and they could have been undefeated going to Duke. The ball bounces funny sometimes.

    State will gel as Lo gets back to form. With Lewis' progress, more rest can be afforded the starters. Fresh legs helps in the stretch run.

    GO PACK!! Kick Clemson all the way to Atlanta Sunday!!

  • tarheelgrad1998 Feb 8, 3:40 p.m.

    Why are so many UNC and Duke fans even commenting? Read articles about your own team and stop... View More

    — Posted by abdavis4

    I can't speak for everybody else, but I'm here because before the start of the season, NCSU fans were on the UNC stories proclaiming that they were now elite and UNC was not. On the other hand, I was saying how UNC would have a down year, while NCSU was merely back to relevant, but far from elite. Out came the pitchforks and torches. Well guess what State fans...

  • randrmomanddad Feb 8, 3:34 p.m.

    For all you monday morning quarterbacks, that know so much about everyting. When the ACCT is... View More

    — Posted by swray001

    I don't know if I agree with your assessment, But I admire u standing by your team.!

More...

 

 

  • Sun Bowl: Duke vs. Arizona State

    Saturday at 2:00 pm on WRAL-TV

  • CBB: Louisiana Tech at NC State

    Tuesday at 7:00 pm on WRAL-FM

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