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Temple sends N.C. State packing

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DAYTON, Ohio — This is where it ends for N.C. State, on the corner of disappointment and despair in Dayton.

A season that started with so much hope lasted only one NCAA tournament game. Temple, with 31 points from Khalif Wyatt, turned out the lights on N.C. State's season with a 76-72 win in the round of 64 on Friday afternoon.

There was no ACC title, as was predicted before the season started, nor was there another NCAA run for the Wolfpack (24-11), only season of missed opportunities.

The Sweet 16 finish from last March never seemed so far away on Friday while Temple was creating turnovers, burying shots and building a 16-point halftime lead.

N.C. State got 20 points from junior forward C.J. Leslie, in perhaps his last college game, but not enough help from its other veterans.

Senior Scott Wood came alive at the end of the game, hitting consecutive 3-pointers, to get as close as three points in the final minute, but Temple made just enough free throws to advance to the next round.

The first half was a mixed bag of problems for N.C. State — indifference on defense, careless ballhandling and poor free-throw shooting.

The Owls (24-9) did just about everything right with Wyatt and forward Jake O'Brien (18 points) turning the Wolfpack mistakes into points.

Temple led by as many as 18 points in the second half. N.C. State cut the Owls' margin to three points, but could not complete the comeback.


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a few points

Watched the first half listened to most of the second. In the first half, once Temple went ahead, you could see some urgency by the Pack based on the pace that they came down the floor on offense. They probably should have picked up the pace on defense, as well.
JPG mentioned a possible Purvis transfer? Would not be surprised. Would TJ leave? IDK, anything is possible.
Bottom line, the expectations for this team preseason, were way too high. Talented, yes, sort of, but a lot seemed lacking between the ears.
Listening to Gary Hahn and what's his name in the second half.... the reason State lost was clearly because of the officiating. "Wow, that really saved Temple's bacon", I wish I could have seen what they were talking about, but clearly, State would have won had the referees not been calling the game in Temple's favor. Really?


Not saying officiating was the reason NCSU lost. If you read my other posts you'd see that. However, there were only 6 total free throws in the first half and there were over 25 in the 2nd. Just like in baseball were an ump needs to call balls and strikes the same inning-to-inning, refs need to stay consistent from one half to the next. It was an all-out hackfest the 1st half and then everything was called in the 2nd. Again, that's not the reason the Wolfpack lost. But there was some disparity.

Two fouls late

One wasn't called and one was.

I thought TJ Warren's foul on the lay-up was a foul with the body, but the block was clean.

I thought after Temple inbounded the ball with like a minute or so to go when the ball handler got double teamed he leaned in and charged, but the ref called a block in Temple's favor.

Both calls brought down the BDub's in Garner.

The wife and I sat quietly and enjoyed our Friday afternoon until the movie started at the theatre.


I wasn't very well received when I said to the predominant Wolfpack crowd that calls like that wouldn't matter so much had the team actually came out and played in the first half, ie not gone down by 18.

Oh well. On to next year.

Surfer, Purvis isn't transferring. He hasn't mentioned it and there's no "buzz" going around on the internet about it except the empty conjecture here.

empty conjecture

Perhaps so, but hey, I didn't fabricate it, JPG brought it up.


After watching the disappointing loss two things were clearly evident....the lack of coaching and need for player self preservation

Temple had 2 key players that scored the majority of their points yet there were no adjustments during the course of the first half despite two timeouts.

You are down double digits...wake these players up!
It was clear their big man was floating to the perimeter and had no desire to go down low.

Wyatt was hell bent on slashing to the rim yet how often did we go to a box and one.

CJ there is no doubt you have supreme athleticism and you did a better job in the 2nd half defending but if you have to think about playing D or fouling in the waning seconds of the game not to foul out then best of luck to you as its evident your game is set for the professional level.

I bleed red and love the PACK...I wish the best to Wood and Howell and thank them for all their effort and dedication. However the reality is that next year will be tough due to the loss of talent. I urge Gott to not be afraid to fail. Anyone can be ordinary but as our coach we are looking for the extraordinary leadership despite the outcome.

You have to know how to manage all your players

Richard Howell and Scott Wood ought to be as hot as anyone. These guys need no guidance, they do not need a coach telling them what to do or where to go. They, 99.9% of the time, bring it every night. The only major knock is they can't take over a game like states pre madonnas - CJL, Lo Brown, TJ Warren.

Gott can recruit these guys or at least has shown he can recruit, but he has absolutely no idea how to manage them. Or, at the very least, get them to buy in to what he is selling AFTER they arrive on campus.

This Calvin/CJ thing was a complete joke. It was clear it wasn't working a long time ago yet he continued down that path for two years. state fans, including the local radio show from 3-7p, ate it up like they were at a pancake supper. But what good did it do? Zero good. Nothing came out of it

TJ Warren had no respect for his coach and showed the world on twitter when he took the side of a comrade who left the team over Gott. I've mentioned it before, but DO NOT be surprised if he doesn't come back.

Lo Brown is just as big an anomaly as CJL was. You guys gave him a pass all year, I guess, bc CJL got the majority of the headlines? I actually saw more fight out of CJl at times than I ever saw out of Lo. He wasn't much of a floor general. And I dare anyone to tell me I'm wrong about this. He's not demonstrative. He doesn't talk at all on the court. Doesn't get excited nor does he get his teammates excited.

Rodney Purvis I'm not to sure about yet. Not enough data on him (at least for me) and I'm not really sure why considering there was no depth at all on this team. I'm neutral on him.

Again, SW and RH, are living a nightmare. They're seniors and they'll never play again. This team could have and should have done way more this season and didn't. These two guys will NEVER lace them up again for state. The other three guys will, or at least can, and it is a travesty bc they don't show anyone that they truly care.

And the "caring" part is the equivalent of the DMZ line b/tn college baskets and NBA baskets. Most of us don't dare cross over into the NBA around here other than checking stats of past players bc those guys don't bring it every night. We don't like that around these parts no matter what school you represent or root for.


NBA? What is that?


Staying true to form - stats wise - it is where Psycho T has been dominating the last few weeks! #HIS

Something rare indeed

I have to agree with pretty much everything you said.


I mean, I know no one likes hearing these sort of write-ups from a non-fan, but that's what I believe. About the only thing I could take back is whether TJ Warren comes back or not. There's no question he SHOULD come back. I question whether he WANTS to come back.


If I were his dad, I would have sat him down a long time ago and told him to shut up and play ball. Not sure what kind of guidance he is getting at home, but I sure hope we don't have another Damien Wilkins on our hands.

I came in late

to this discussion, but want agree with some and disagree with others.

Jpg, what were u watching? CJ didn't get enough help?
Richard gets 14 pts and 15 rbds. What are you expecting? By the way, nobody mentioned that he did not shoot a single free throw!?!
Brown had too many turnovers, but he scored 22 on 9 of 15 shooting and dished out 9 assists.
Scott had one of those invisible games he suffered from all season.
The freshmen really stunk up the place. Poor Rodney could not do anything right. He must had 4 turnovers while Temple built its lead.

It was not just poor defensive effort. Poor execution and mental lapses were also apparent all game. That being said, Temple hit everything they threw toward the basket in the first half. NCSU never really had an outside game this season. Every 4th or 5th game Scott would get hot, but other than that, we really struggled. When we settled for jump shots in the first half, we set the stage to lose this game. Bottom line, we made more field goals than Temple, they made more three's.

This team is at least two recruiting classes from being a top tier ACC team, much less a top 25 team. Next year will be rough, losing the top four players. I just hope Richard get drafted. He deserves it. Team players win games, while "talent" gets headlines.


Richard, Scott and next year

I'll second your comment on Richard. And I want to thank Richard and Scott for leaving it all on the floor this year. They both deserved better and I hope they both have productive futures in the game, if they so choose.

Regarding next year, I think you are right. Next year will be a time to rebuild and get everyone on the same page. I'd like to think that the freshmen will mature and choose to pull together as a team. They may not realize what a terrific opportunity they have. The Pack is going to be a little thin up top, so I hope that Gott finds a way to reward Jordan Vandenberg for his loyalty. The kid's never going to be an All-American, but I think he can be a productive player. In any case, State's going to need him.

And, finally, Gott needs to stop playing favorites. I am not sure he had any choice with Leslie, but there are no excuses now. I think Rodney and Tyler are fine, but I have to wonder about TJ's attitude. Gott should get these guys in line right now. State will be young, yet talented, and should be a lot of fun to watch. Not necessarily a title contender, but certainly a team with a future.

.....I had posted

a couple of times on this blog that it appeared to me that there might be some jealously or dissension on this team---some readers criticized me for that. It is now revealed in Gottfried's own post-game statements that this was exactly the case; there apparently WAS a lack of team unity; some of the players were not totally invested in the system---they were playing for themselves--- and the resultant lack of chemistry and effort showed on the court many times.

.....yes, State had a decent season, but this team, with the personnel it has, had an opportunity to accomplish something really special this season and it failed; it's not all on the players either; they play the game, but the coaching staff has to accept some of the blame; how much, I cannot judge; a coach can teach basketball fundamentals and execute in-game strategic plays; he may be able to provide some motivation, but how do you teach desire, determination, devotion, team spirit, etc.?; I'm not sure you can., thanks for a good season Pack, but, in my humble opinion, you could have accomplished so much more had you really expended the effort to do so.

..........Take care all!

team unity

I am not sure it can be coached, but you can recruit guys that have the character that you are looking for.
What a coach can do is establish an atmosphere of accountability. This is where I believe Gott failed, although to be fair, the CJ Leslie situation had him between a rock and a hard place.

As I have said many times before, including last night, you can't cater to one player and expect everyone else to just accept it. CJ is gone for sure. Good riddance.

Just a PS: to my previous post. this may be my last post for awhile, I wanted to issue this statement to my fellow Wolfpack fans:

I have been following NC State for 30 years---since 1983; I love the Wolfpack as much as any of you. Many times in my posts I have been critical of the way the team has played---I am not a "homer"; I will state my feelings and simply "call it the way I see it".

Although I have tried to be realistic, some of these posts may have seemed pessimistic to some and maybe my criticism has not always been seen as "constructive". So, if my opinions have offended anyone or seemed inappropriate or condescending to the team, I sincerely apologize.

I wish everyone the best and take care.

Not a problem, ever

I concur with Steve. You are one of the most respectful posters on this site. Hope you keep them coming as time goes on.

I enjoyed

Your comments all year. I've been following the pack since '69. I too have been critical because we all expected more from this much talent. That doesn't mean we won't defend our guys against malignant comments from gatorbait.

Before we dial it back, I'd like to say that the lack of chemistry reminded me of the Kenny Carr days. I watched him and Phil Spence literally fight in practice. So, maybe next year we won't have a CJ TJ issue. I just hope TJ grows up.



I had them advancing to the Round of 32, but it was more of the circling of wagons "ACC, ACC, ACC" kind of thing. I'm not surprised at all. Collectively, they were a terrible talent headed by a not so very good coach.

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Ughh!!! What an amazingly

What an amazingly disappointing season for this team. What gives? Personally I have always felt that CJ was the real problem. This truly was an incredibly talented team. Richard Howell has been one of my favorite players to play at State. There was no chemistry on this team from the "get go". Good parts, bad design.
I predict that Gott will get his folks in the mix and State will be much more successful in the future.
I truly hate to see any of the ACC teams losing in the first round.


What a bizarre game. The box score is truly misleading, because it would appear that Brown and Leslie had pretty good game. They didn't. The freshmen looked overwhelmed, Scott couldn't get free to save his life, and Richard just didn't seem to have the drive that he normally has.

These guys were beat before they hit the floor. I would assume that CJ and Lorenzo are gone, because neither looked like they cared what the outcome of this game was. As far as I am concerned, CJ can "roll with the criticism" at the next level, and there will be plenty.

For the rest, I will defer to YAR8Pack, who nailed in in his post.

Two Last Things

Lots of people want to talk about the 1983 Championship team and how V was the core of what made that team so special. After watching the 30 for 30 Survive and Advance special last weekend, I beg to differ. While V certainly played a huge part in it, there was a moment in the special that discussed a players only meeting where Whittenburg got "fightin mad" and physically and emotionally challenged his fellow teammates to "man up" or he'd fight them. That told me right then and there where the "will to win" came from that year. After seeing that, I began to wonder if anyone on the current roster had the heart and cohones to do the same. I wanted to say yes, but I knew the answer was no. Ultimately, that lacking key element is what hindered this team all year. No heart. No hustle.

Allow me to refer back to my post at the beginning of the season that said this team was ripe for disappointment. I talked about how a Gott team has never finished in the top-50 defensively. While stats are most certainly for losers, Gott said in his postgame press conference 4 of the top-5 teams in defense for the ACC weren't in the NCAA tourney. While that's true, what's even truer is the cliche statement "defense wins championships." Bobby Lutz may be a good recruiter, but it's time to let someone else coach the D. In fact, that whole coaching staff underperformed this year. Plainly stated, the honeymoon period is over for Gott and Co.

Wrapping this one up

Totally agree with your first point. Coaches can only do so much. You need a player (or players) to demand the best out of each other. State didn't have that. Bottom line is this: when your "best player" has to be pushed to give 100%, you've got a problem. I am tired of hearing his teammates, his coaches and the occasional sportswriter make excuses for him. CJ has to lead by example and he clearly didn't. Do not underestimate the negative impact one player (especially the "star") can have on team cohesiveness and morale.

I don't entirely agree with your second point. The issue on defense wasn't strategic or tactical, it was effort. Where I would criticize Gott is in player management. There seemed to be a sense of entitlement for those guys who got all the minutes. Why play hard, especially on defense when you know your playing time won't be affected? Tyler Lewis, Rodney and, yes, Jordan Vandenberg should have gotten much more PT, especially on those days when the defensive intensity was horrible. Gott needs to develop the courage to sit guys who don't work.

My hope is that, with Leslie certainly gone, the end of favoritism is over and the Pack can move on. Despite their troubles lately, the returning freshmen have tons of talent. They just need to pull together and grow up. The future is bright for State if the players choose to put the team first.


More playing time? If I was a Pack fan, that would be scary. Then again, perhaps more time would have yielded more proficiency? Or at least his ability to know where he was and what he was supposed to do? Height can be beneficial, I guess.


More playing time? If I was a Pack fan, that would be scary. Then again, perhaps more time would have yielded more proficiency? Or at least his ability to know where he was and what he was supposed to do? Height can be beneficial, I guess.

How do we know?

Unless he gets more than 2 minutes.


Doing nothing other than setting screens around the top of the key and elbows would get old if he played for more than a couple of minutes at a time. Maybe we will see next year?


Doing nothing other than setting screens around the top of the key and elbows would get old if he played for more than a couple of minutes at a time. Maybe we will see next year?


State will be so thin up front that, if he can't deliver, you may see the 4 guard lineup that UNC featured this year.


"How does he get so wide open?" --Clark Kellog

We Pack fans have been asking that all year.

No heart. No hustle. Disinterested. Done.

What a waste of one of the most talented rosters NC State has had in years.

Oh well. See ya in November.

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About the blogger

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