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Joe Ovies

Talking points: NC State can't figure itself out

Posted January 23, 2013

1. Does anyone understand this NC State team? Heck, does the team fully understand what it's capable of accomplishing this season? 

As we get further away from the win over Duke, it looks more like a classic case of NC State playing up to the moment. Maintaining a proper level of focus and effort for a much-hyped rivalry game is easy, but the Wolfpack continue to repeat the mistakes of teams that came before them when it comes to dispatching opponents of lesser stature.

"Same ol' NC State," folks will say. Can't really blame them for feeling that way.

The Wolfpack should've wiped Wake Forest off the floor Wednesday night for reasons that should be obvious. But NC State provided yet another frustrating experience for themselves, their coaching staff and their fans instead.

2. Let's be blunt, shall we? College basketball officiating lacks an acceptable level of consistency, so tempo ends up being a guessing game on a nightly basis. While the focus in the Triangle is and always will be on issues related to the ACC, questionable officiating isn't isolated to this conference. There are bad calls everywhere, and fans are well within their rights to gripe endlessly about borderline calls that didn't go their way.

That being said, the amount of energy wasted on referees by NC State fans is rather comical at this point. Wolfpack fans should be more upset with their own team for what happened against Wake Forest than with a bunch of guys in stripes. It was NC State that committed dumb fouls, coughed up untimely turnovers, allowed Wake Forest to go on runs of 14-4 and 12-0 in the second half and missed crucial free throws.

3. Don't believe me? Just watch. NC State built up a 47-35 lead at the break despite having two fouls each on Calvin Leslie, Lorenzo Brown and Scott Wood. They still had opportunities to win the game despite the same trio having 4 fouls each as the game dragged on.

Leslie overcame the absent-minded third and fourth fouls (less than 30 seconds apart early in the second half) to become an integral part of the comeback, but missed chances to tie the game when he missed 3-of-4 from the line in the final 61 seconds of the game. Leslie probably deserved at least three more free throw attempts in that closing sequence, but who knows if he would have knocked those down either.

Wood also missed opportunities to get the Wolfpack over by missing a couple three-pointers in the final two minutes of the game.

4. Devin Thomas unlocked several achievements against NC State. The 6-foot-9 freshman, who hasn't garnered much discussion outside Winston-Salem, finished the night with 25 points, 14 rebounds, 4 blocks, 3 steals and threw in 4 assists for good measure. Thomas provided a microcosm of what went right for Wake Forest by generally outworking the Wolfpack.

5. NC State was the victim of another court rush. So look at it this way -- y'all have arrived.

69 Comments

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  • 1TARHEEL Jan 25, 7:25 p.m.

    luv2camp, that's funny. I hope you're joking?

  • littleriver69 Jan 25, 9:24 a.m.

    I have it figured out. Get a new coach and 8 good basketball players. Thats a good start.

  • GunnyGoesArrrgh Jan 23, 10:16 p.m.

    CJ Leslie is to blame....only plays hard when he wants to.Played horrible D last night and did... View More

    — Posted by dragline

    Agree about Howell. He brings it every game. CJ is hurting his draft stock by playing the way he does; he has a lot of talent, he needs to use it every game.

  • GunnyGoesArrrgh Jan 23, 10:13 p.m.

    I think State plays down to the level of their opponent. The things I've seen from State this year are things I've seen the Heels do in previous years. I listened to part of Gott's radio show tonight, and he handled the loss well - no panic and no frustration in his voice. State will be OK.

  • natsfan1965 Jan 23, 8:26 p.m.

    This team has a serious depth problem, especially inside. The foul shooting was pitiful. Free throw shooting in college basketball as a whole is atrocious. The Pack will go far, but the lack of depth will be their fatal flaw in the end

  • tlg0022 Jan 23, 5:57 p.m.

    Growing pains. They'll be okay. This from a Heel.

    — Posted by wjuliang

    Yep. Better to have some struggled mid season than at the end like Dook.

    — Posted by DooksucksV3

    One coach, 4 national championships.

    — Posted by mike honcho

    But still Lehigh.

    — Posted by hi_i_am_wade

    NIT?

  • jbyrd Jan 23, 4:23 p.m.

    I have watched live an TV games all season and seeing what they are capable of I would almost swear they were intentionally losing those games if I didn't know better.
    At times they almost appear to be asleep or just plain lazy.

    WAKE UP GUYS!!!!!!!!!!!!! you've got the coach and talent to take it all the way if you just want it. Don't be afraid to embarass a lesser team. BLOW THEM OFF THE COURT.

  • peyton1717 Jan 23, 3:48 p.m.

    I still support them 100%. I would rather lose a few now then in Feb or March when it really counts. They will get it together.

  • evenpar29 Jan 23, 3:34 p.m.

    I am with this coach and his staff. Give them time to bring in his type of players and lets see. We are all bashing today myself included, but all I have to do is remember back when coach K came to Duke for 4 years he struggled. Then in year 5 his players made up a majority of the team and the rest is history. Yeah no one remembers that Duke was fixing to fire the great one. But I just keep telling myself give it time.

  • Wolfpackindahizzy4shizzy Jan 23, 2:13 p.m.

    NC State was the victim of another court rush. So look at it this way -- y'all have arrived - by... View More

    — Posted by TJPC

    Lol
    Somebody's mad!!!

    Bahahahahahaaa,.. How dare a writer not now down to pastel pansy nation!!!

    Rush the court, lil fella!! Show 'em how made you really are!!

    Lol, poor thing.

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