Talking Points: Pack's disappointing end
Mar 22, 2013
1. Defense and turnovers. Those might be the only talking points needed following NC State's NCAA tournament exit. The Wolfpack couldn't get a handle on either facet of the game in the first half, and they spent the second half trying to climb out of it.
It started when Temple blasted out to a 12-4 lead in the opening five minutes. The Wolfpack responded after Mark Gottfried was forced to call a timeout, if only for a fleeting moment. The Owls answered with a 9-0 run after NC State tied the game at 15 and slowly built a 16-point lead while the Wolfpack went scoreless in the final 4:05 of the half.
NC State actually shot better and corrected the careless turnovers in the second half, but they were never able to generate enough stops to overtake Temple.
Khalif Wyatt continued a nasty trend of opponents careering it against Wolfpack's inconsistent defensive effort, finishing the afternoon with 31 points on 9-of-22 shooting and 12 points at the line. Meanwhile, Jake O'Brien dropped four from beyond the arc.
2. The "Calvinometer" broke and the warranty window might have closed with Leslie's potential departure for the NBA.
As the lone bright spot in the first half, Leslie was 5-of-8 from the field. The rest of the roster was 5-of-17. His 3-pointer with 4:06 remaining sparked a late rally by the Wolfpack, which eventually fell short as Temple hit eight free throws in the final 33 seconds of the game.
3. Richard Howell ended his career at NC State in the most appropriate way possible – notching another double-double with 14 points and 15 rebounds.
Scott Wood's final game in a Wolfpack uniform was largely forgettable. The senior was a non-factor until he hit back-to-back 3-pointers in the failed rally.
4. Lack of depth, a lingering issue throughout the year, bit NC State when key players didn't have fouls to give during crunch time.
Lorenzo Brown, saddled with four fouls, was isolated during an in-bounds play and could not stop Temple with about 35 seconds left. Leslie, also dealing with four fouls, waited for help for about four seconds before eventually stopping the clock with his fifth foul.
5. Apparently, there was no switch to be flipped for NC State. If there was, they couldn't find it stumbling through the dark. Much of the issues that plagued their up-and-down season popped up throughout their game against Temple.
Ultimately, they proved that conventional wisdom holds true – teams are who they are by the time March rolls around. NC State was a talented group that toyed with their food all season and they never really developed killer mentality. It truly manifested itself on the defensive end and slow starts in some of their most important contests.
It was a season with unbelievable potential and opportunity. It ends with a label of underachievement.
Most Recent Comments
RE: Talking Points: Pack's disappointing endSorry folks, but do I need to remind you where we were just two short years ago?? We had basically the same players and we had no invitation at all for postseason play.
Gottfried has done an amazing job with the current players, he has recruited for the future, and he has gotten our team to the NCAA tournament two years in a row. Fran Dunphy, the Temple coach, took their team to the NCAAs six years in a row and only won a first round game this time. He was a good coach who was due to win this time around, and we had a shaky first half that made it nearly impossible to come back.
Before you go criticizing a bunch of 18-22 year olds, think about where you were at that age and imagine the pressure they are under. The preseason ranking and lofty expectations from expert commentators put them in an extremely difficult position. I don't think many of us could handle that kind of pressure at that age.
It is easy for a bunch of couch potato know-it-alls to criticize without knowing the whole story. The only people who know all the facts are those in the locker room, and they shouldn't say anything to outsiders. Do I wish we made it to the final four, of course. But being a good team doesn't happen overnight. It takes patience.
I'm proud of this team and what they accomplished this year. I know that good things are in the future for this program and Gottfried may be the perfect coach to succeed where others failed.
Thanks for the hard work over the years from our seniors. Thanks for the great memories from this year's team. Best of luck to seniors Scott Wood, Richard Howell and Jay Lewis.
I look forward to rooting for the Wolfpack next year as we try all over again.
RE: Talking Points: Pack's disappointing end
The entire team should take responsibility for the loss! Not one player stepped up to be the leader. The whole season was one of disappointment from beginning to end. It is no fun being a Wolfpack fan, one lousy season after another. All we get is hype and no follow-on success.- Posted by ggallagher5
I would disagree on your point. Richard Howell came to play and lead every single game. Check his stats.....even against Temple. Some teammates were simply too immature find the same resolve. Sad.