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Cowboys drum Wolfpack, 76-56 in Puerto Rico Tip-Off title game

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BAYAMON, Puerto Rico — The confidence that had become N.C. State's trademark was missing Sunday night in the championship game of the Puerto Rico Tip-Off. The dominant performances by junior stars C.J. Leslie and Lorenzo Brown, those were gone, too.

All that was left for the sixth-ranked Wolfpack was a humbling 76-56 loss to hungry, aggressive Oklahoma State team.

Instead of joy ride back to Raleigh on Sunday night, with a tournament championship in hand, the Wolfpack (3-1) took a long charter flight with plenty of time to ponder what went wrong against the Cowboys.

Leslie fouled out less than 3 minutes in the second half, with just two points, but the damage was done long before that. Oklahoma State guard Marcus Smart (20 points) scored 18 points in the first half, most at the expense of Brown.

Smart, a freshman, played with confidence and a killer attitude to help the Cowboys build a 38-28 halftime lead. In short, Smart did everything N.C. State couldn't or wasn't willing to do.

The vacant stares that marked the lost season at the end of Sidney Lowe's tenure returned after a listless first half by the N.C. State veterans who lived through that misery.

If not for freshmen T.J. Warren (15 points) and Rodney Purivs (16 points), the final margin would have been even worse.

The scoring balance and defensive intensity from the first three games of the season was a cruel joke on Sunday night. With Leslie in foul trouble and Brown struggling to handle the ball and Smart, N.C. State's supporting cast couldn't keep the Wolfpack in the game.

Leslie had two of his shots blocked in the first half and picked up three fouls. When he checked into the game after the second half started, he picked up a quick, fourth foul. When Leslie protested the call to referee Kipp Kissinger, he got a technical foul. Leslie went to the bench with 17:06 left with two points.

Oklahoma State made all four of its free throws from the two fouls to take a 46-31 lead after the sequence. N.C. State got as close as 11, after back-to-back baskets by Warren, but Le'Bryan Nash (23 points) picked up where Smart left off in the first half and the Cowboys cruised to a relatively easy win.

Brown finished the game with six points and seven turnovers. Scott Wood was 1 of 11 from the floor and Richard Howell fouled out with only six points.

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TAR-HOLES!!!!!

what an academic SHAME !!! i would be ashamed to even have a degree from that low life outfit, the sports program should be disbannned, for plagiarism, unable to know what a paragraph is, but atheletes stayed eligible, not to mention theAFRICAN AMERICAN STUDIES PROGRAM  a no show class!!go duke!!!

coach gottfired!!!!

there was a reason alabama fired gottfired, he was not a good coach, he came into a starving program like the cow college and got u guys excited, it will only be a matter of time untill you fire him,ok, go duke!!

Dukey boy

Are eleven year olds allowed on this thread?

BUTLER!!!!

butler made the tar-holes look like a high school team, if it was not for macadoodoo the holes would be in deep shit. behind by 30 pts to a mid major school, i guess the holes have been spending too much time studying for that AFRICAN-AMERICAN STUDIES class, wink-wink!! doDUKE!!!!!

HUh?

Didn't see this one, but really shocked to see the score. Must have been a great game for OSU and not so much for NCSU. Like JPD said, this could be good for this team, as long as they don't repeat too often any bad habits. This will probably not be the only game they lose this year either.

Any good coach or player

.... Will tell ya there's no such thing as a good loss. That's an excuse for losing the game you just lost. Nothing more.

No excuses

Nowhere did I make an excuse for this loss or call it a "good loss". That being said, a talented team like the Pack has a lot to learn about sustaining success. It can't afford too get to cocky or comfortable. That's when a good pasting potentially gets attitudes back in alignment with reality. Better to get that message early than late. State's not good enough to win unless they play hard and smart all the time. Very few teams are.

General

I didn't say you said it was an excuse. I did.

Scott Wood

A coincidence he doesn't show up in a loss? Nope. Seriously, the guy is as big a front runner as I have ever seen. He handles adversity about as well as a fat person does at a buffet on a diet. Nobody mopes around more than this guy does when you lose.

You can't just be a deadeye dick when Mickey Mouses come to town. You gotta do it most every night if not all of them.

He is a detriment to the team and as good as he can be from three, I bet Gott can't wait to see him go.

NOT SURPRISINGLY

I don't agree. Scott had an awful day yesterday, but I don't think JP was correct putting him in the same category (attitude-wise) as Lorenzo and CJ. He worked harder than either of those guys, but not as much as TJ, Rodney and Richard. He was somewhere in between.

Scott has his faults, but he does a lot of things right that go unnoticed. Even when he is not hitting his shots, the opposition has to keep a defender on him, which opens up opportunities for others on the floor. He is not good at creating his own shot. He needs others to be effective so that he can get more open shots. The Pack overall was so bad on offense that he seldom had an open look and the results reflected it.

If Gott can't wait to see him go, then Scott wouldn't be averaging 30+ minutes per game. He will continue to play his role on this team and others will play their's. And we will probably be debating this issue all year (or at least until pay-per-view in installed by the N&O).

Disagree

Scott Wood is a detriment on the court when he isn't hitting his three. That's all he can do. Meh can't do anything else. He's a whiner and a pouter. He's a front runner. The guy is as deadly as anyone when his team is winning. He's not worth two bits when his team is losing. I'm glad he's not a Tar Heel. He belongs on a mid major team.

duke!!

can u imagine what a "BEAT DOWN" duke will put on the cow-college team, it will be ugly, GO DUKE!!!!!!

Dukey boy

So, I guess eleven year olds are allowed on this thread.

Nice to be able to agree

you are just figuring this out/

toweturdman!!

THE TRUTH REALLY HURTS, DOSENT IT?????? GO DUKE!!!!

Wake up call

As painful as it was to watch, the Pack needed this beatdown. The lesson here is that you have to show up for every game. If you don't and you're playing a good team, you're going to get your butt handed to you. That's what happened today.

Let's be clear. The Cowboys are a very good team and Marcus Smart can play for anyone. Lo Brown and C.J. Leslie faced guys who came to play and matched up very well with them. This was the second game in this tourney that Brown looked uninterested. That simply is unacceptable. And C.J. reverted to freshman year C.J. This too is unacceptable. Both of those guys need to look in the mirror, accept that they let their team down and commit to hard work and positive leadership, every day.

On the plus side, Warren and Purvis played like they cared and did well. Both Howell and Wood had tough days on offense, but worked hard throughout. And De'Thaey made the most of his opportunity. This is a good team that will have a chance for redeem themselves at Michigan very soon. I have no doubt that Gott will use this debacle as a teaching moment and the Pack will be better for it.

Puerto Rico Game

People need to calm down and stop the negativity. Yes, it was a bad game and I wish it wouldn't have happened. However, that doesn't mean we don't have a great team and we don't deserve to be ranked. We fans need to get it together. We are NOT the "same old Wolfpack". We have a GREAT coach who took a team with no NCAA appearances in five years to the SWEET 16 in ONE season. We have a top 10 recruiting class 2 years in a row! So what we as TRUE Wolfpack fans need to do is say, yes, tonight's game sucked but Coach Gottfried and the team are going to take care of business and make adjustments and we will be going in the right direction again.

A TRUE Wolfpack Fan

A TRULY optimistic Wolfpack

A TRULY optimistic Wolfpack fan...I like it. Let's not freak out, YET!

COW COLLEGE!!

you good old boys are in for a BIG letdown!!  go duke!!!

Thank you but I believe I'm

Thank you but I believe I'm a realist not an optimist!

Both

I am both.

Where's the leadership?

It's easy to be supportive when you're winning and Leslie's attitude on the bench was definitely not indicative of a good leader which the team needs when getting beat. When Howell came off the floor w/ 4 fouls neither Leslie or Brown on the bench showed any appreciation for his effort. Moreover, Lorenzo's effort level was 75% at best looked to me. Maybe the Gottfather should try out a third point guard...Purvis. Start Warren and let Lorenzo come off the bench next game. At least Howell, Purvis and Warren played hard. Wood, Lewis....hard to tell when it's not falling. De Thaey not bad. We could be #6 if some leaders step up. Boy, I hope someone does!

Caught

Sloppy. Out of control. Heaving up dumb shots. NC State got away with playing that way against more inferior opponents earlier in the tournament. Caught up to them. 

The Wolves need to learn from it. The lesson's not hard to comprehend. Play aggressive but with sense and control. Don't do what they did in this game. 

pathetic

Mark Gottfried, this was as patheitic a performance by a basketball team, if you want to call it that, especially to be ranked 6th in the nation.  Pesonally, you should bench C J for a minimum of one to two games because of his childish and kiddy attitude.  He got outplayed in every aspect of the game and could not handle it like a man.  Are you man enough as coach to bench him in street clothes for one to two games?

Ranking

Well we all know that these preseason rankings don't really mean much at all, except what the anticipated talent level is on a particular team and how they may be expected to blend together as a unit and perform. State's little run in the tournament last year, combined with both the return of key players and the influx of "talent laden" freshmen have certainly elevated the expectations of this team. Of course any team may stumble at any time, but it is really hard to gauge just how good a team is, until they play some equal, or better, talent.

Agreed

#6 may have been too high to start the season, given that so much was riding on unproven freshmen stepping up to play key roles. Gott himself said that what State really had was a good finish to last season as opposed to a good season. He was right. The Pack finished so well that many forgot that they hadn't beaten anyone that good until the ACC tourney. 

I do believe this team has the potential to be a Final 4 team this year, but it has to address some issues. Two that were apparent before OSU were consistency on defense and really bad free throw shooting. A third popped up against OSU-lack of intensity displayed by the supposed leaders, particularly Brown and Leslie. I suspect that all of those points were emphatically addressed when the team got home.

The surprising thing is that Purvis and Warren have been the two most consistent players so far this season. That bodes well for the Pack, because we know what Leslie, Brown, Howell and Wood can do. If those four show up every game to lead by example and if the Pack can get servicable minutes from Lewis, DeThaey and Vandenburg, it will be a good year in Raleigh.

Final Four

Yes, a final four team, possibly, if they kinda luck out and get an easy draw, just sayin ;-)

You never know

There is no dominant team this year, so I am expecting at least one team in the Final Four that no one is picking. It could be the Pack and it could be a dozen other teams. After VCU and Butler (who lost to a mediocre YSU team in one of their Final Four years), anything is possible.

Happy Thanksgiving Surfer.

Thanks

Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours, as well.

ditty!

COW COLLEGE A FINAL FOUR TEAM??????? WHAT ARE U SMOKING?? THERE GOES YOUR CREDITABILITY,  GO DUKE!!!!

Tellit?

Get over it Tellitlikeitaint.

You work with a man in practice and in your office. You don't publicly humiliate sombody just to make some asshole fan happy.

About being in the top 10

Didn't somebody tell the Pack than the "best" teams in the ACC are supposed to beat unranked teams?

Same old Wolfpack.

Broughton High could have

Broughton High could have beat the Pack the way they played tonight. Although I saw some really ugly officiating and calls going the Cowboys way all night, there was no rebounding, no shooting, and sloppy passing. Just all out ugly by the Pack.

State

Getting blown out by and unranked team!!

/SP

AN unranked team. Less exclamtion marks and more spelling.

self correction

exclamation not exclamtion

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About the blogger

Joe Giglio covers the ACC for the News & Observer, where he has worked since 1997.
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