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Joe Ovies

Talking Points: Pack's disappointing end

Posted March 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. Hoops Headquarters -- black 2014 NCAA men's interactive bracket

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.

26 Comments

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  • wncstate1990 Mar 24, 12:22 a.m.

    Sorry 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.

  • A take Mar 23, 7:52 p.m.

    The entire team should take responsibility for the loss! Not one player stepped up to be the... View More

    — 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.

  • briandukepeds Mar 23, 3:07 p.m.

    It's so...cute... that State fans still get disappointed each year. Isn't the definition of insanity doing the same thing over and over again (rooting for the Pack) and expecting a different result. Anybody who says coaching doesn't matter in sports is full of it.

  • ggallagher5 Mar 23, 1:17 p.m.

    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.

  • droberts95 Mar 23, 7:07 a.m.

    "Inconsistent." Best quote of the night by every one on the panel before the game. Every one of them said State had an offense above most in the country. Gottfried has changed this program for the best. Just concerned that State lost a big chance this year to do something special. Keep your heads up Pack. Big things are coming. Having only been at State two years, Gottfried has made State fans very optimistic. A great thing to see after years of struggle.

  • jam3 Mar 23, 12:10 a.m.

    Deacon is right. Gott has to take responsbility for this underachieving season.

    — Posted by Luv2Camp

    Gott is the Man!! He was the only one willing to come in here and attenpt to coach this bunch of egos and mind-cases. Well he did it and did better than most could have with these babies. Two years of this group would sour most from ever coaching again. If the two other problems leave and I hope they do, this team will improve rapidly in the next couple of years. The freshmen need to decide right now wether they are all in or need to leave. Either way Gott is the Man!!!

  • jam3 Mar 22, 11:56 p.m.

    There was more potential for failure with this team than there ever was for success. This was the same individuals that never could get over themselves enough to become a ball team. Howell was the only one that ever showed enough HEART to win, but he still can't play defense!!! The rest of the group was too busy highlight reeling and being lazy to help the team win. For this group to ever be good, ther had to be a leader on the team. NO ONE EVER STEPPED UP!! BOTTOM LINE< END OF STORY!!!

  • ACC22 Mar 22, 11:51 p.m.

    What a season. We heard it all. Preseason #6 in the AP poll. Picked to win the ACC. The best State team in the last 20 years. The team that never got any respect. Finally getting recognized and what did you do with it. A fifth place finish in the ACC. An 8th seed in the NCAA and out after the first game. If this is what your going to do with the respect that you begged for then you just don't deserve it.

  • Yankee AirPirate Mar 22, 7:59 p.m.

    typical state team. overrated and underachieving. football, basketball, and baseball is next up.

  • evadbbat Mar 22, 6:53 p.m.

    The pressure of having Debbie Yow as your boss.He finally cracked under the pressure.

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