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Tudor: Pack has zero time to pout

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It was clear almost immediately Thursday in the Smith Center that N.C. State’s basketball team is not close to being ready to beat North Carolina.

Next question: Will the Wolfpack now undermine its station by beating itself?

With a game against 19th-ranked Virginia (16-3, 3-2 ACC) on Saturday night in the RBC Center, Mark Gottfried and his players are in danger of allowing one loss to result in another.

The Thursday/Saturday turnaround is always a challenge. Most coaches don’t like it, even though it’s the sort of scheduling that helps teams get ready for the NCAA Tournament format.

But when the Thursday game is against an arch-rival, the likelihood of an emotional downer spikes.

Gottfried attributed much of his team’s trouble Thursday to a lack of poise. That certainly was a big factor in the Tar Heels’ 74-55 win, which really wasn’t as close as the final score indicated.

Carolina’s defense frustrated State from the opening minute. The Pack got next to nothing inside and struggled to create open shots on the perimeter.

But from State’s perspective, the big picture hasn’t changed a great deal.

The team’s goal from the start was do enough to earn an NCAA bid, and at 15-6 (4-2 ACC) that goal is well within reach.

But beating Virginia in the RBC Center is almost imperative. The Pack’s Jan. 11 home loss to Georgia Tech is problem enough. Losing to another beatable team would only make State’s NCAA resume even more suspect.

The ACC is so weak this season that only UNC, Duke and Florida State can comfortably count on bids. Virginia and State appear to be slightly ahead of the remaining seven teams. Since the two will not play each other again in regular season after Saturday, it’s as close to a must-win for State as you’ll find this early in the season.

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VA vs NC STATE

 I  hope State will loose  to VA by one point which may keep VA tied for the ACC champion .

just curious

Exactly what sport are you referring to?

Who knows

Lol didn't even notice this post earlier.  What a joke.

Personally, I was hoping that State would play "loose" against UNC....but they choked.

Storm the court?

Hey PackMike,

You really are bitter about that beat down last night aren't you?   If I recall correctly, during the FSU game, the students were "chomping at the bit" lining up to storm over their chairs onto the FSU court for their win vs UNC.    You can't blame Roy for wanting to take care of his players.   Also, FSU's coach is the one who suggested it out of safety for the Tar Heels.

Now, with that said, I didn't see UNC in any way wanting to storm the court vs your Pack.   Trust me, your team was very safe after your beat down last night.   LOL

Go Heels!

Ha!

This guy is back spouting off more made up bull$hit.  Just like when you tried to say that Butch was safe and nothing major will happen to UNC's football program (the hammer is dropping soon).  Let me break down your unbelievably moronic post for you...

1)  Nobody, and I mean NOBODY, was waiting to jump over UNC's bench to get on the court at FSU.  Watch the damn replay.  All the fans come through the corners and baselines.  Same thing with the UNLV game.  In fact, I think Roy made up the story about a girl getting knocked to the floor.  Watch the replay...there's NO WAY any UNC person got run over, unless they ran out to celebrate with UNLV fans.  Typical Roy Williams making up excuses to defend his selfish and arrogant behavior.

2)  Also, FSU's coach did NOT suggest this move.  I know you probably watched the game and believed whatever the announcer said, but think about it...how would the announcer know 5 seconds after it happened that Hamilton suggested it?  He obviously made that up to defend his beloved Heels.  Further proof of this is that Roy Williams himself admitted in the post game presser that he in fact came up with the idea...not Hamilton.

Keep making stuff up and drinking the kool-aid though...whatever it takes to make UNC appear to be perfect.  I mean, that is the Carolina Way after all...to seem rather than to be.  Can't wait for the NCAA ruling btw.  Will be interesting to see how folks like you try to spin it and claim that you were right all along.

Pack Mike

Pack Mike is really Mark Thomas. That guy is the biggest douche in all of North Carolina. After claiming and shouting victory all day yesterday, he called in sick this morning for his radio show !! #middleschool

Pouting?

Just because Roy pouts and quits and goes home when his team is losing doesn't mean everyone else reacts the same way.

UNC did not corner the market on "whine and cheese" crowds for nothing. No other university carries that distinction.

Roy, "get out of my gym", if you don't like UNC leads the nation in quitting.

The N&O's attempt to make it look like what Roy did was normal, is dillusional.

NC State has nothing to pout about. They are not arrogant enough to feel they are "entitled" to win every game.

nail on the head

Well said Mike, "They are not arrogant enough to feel they are "entitled" to win every game." Considering what I saw last night, in terms of the State players' attitude, I am surprised that they have exuded enough confidence to win any ACC games, much less 4. I am sure they will win more though. There are plenty of crappy teams comming up and State may even surprise a few people. But they are going to have to play better than they did last night.

Of course they have Lo and CJ, who "are better players than all others in the ACC, except a few on the UNC roster" (paraphrase). Yep, A. Carter, I'm gonna ride that horse for a while, haha. (don't take it personal)

Re: pouting

Cornered the market ? The only thing I'm confident in is you have cornered the market on whine and cheese here at ACCNow. Ha!

Not "entitled" to win every game...

Hey Pack Mike,

Your comment about the Pack not feeling "entitled to win every game" is the exact reason that State College hasn't been good in basketball since, well, 1983.    With that kind of attitude, I can understand why.....

I would feel like your team, players, coaches, and fans would WANT to win every game and would rightfully feel entitled that they win every game.   That is what WINNERS do!

Winners....

I'll tell you something else winners do,

they don't celebrate fake championships just like the real thing.

Feeling capable of winning is not the same as feeling "entitled" to winning like you spineless insecure whiners in Chapel Hill.

Some of us actually want to earn our titles on the court, and not have them assigned to us by a group of historians. And that's the difference between us, (and Wake, and Duke, and every other fan base in America) and you status-whores in Chapel Hill---we care about substance, you care about appearance.

When you jackwagons wake up and develop some self-respect, and you take down that laughable Helms banner, and stop defining yourselves by how you compare to Duke (or NCSU), then you will understand what being a winner is all about.

 

  

"Some of us actually want to

"Some of us actually want to earn our titles on the court, and not have them assigned to us by a group of historians. And that's the difference between us, (and Wake, and Duke, and every other fan base in America) and you status-whores in Chapel Hill---we care about substance, you care about appearance."

Humm!!! This is easily the most laughable "ABC" comment that I have read in years. The key words of  " self respect " , " substance vs appearence " are self reflective. So tell me all about your teams most recent accomplishments re: earned championships....either National titles or even conference titles..... it shouldn't take you to long.

Gas ball

Thanks for the comedy.... laughter is great medicine.

You're too much and not to mention bitter

Every school who was awarded a Helms Championship recognizes it including Alabama and their six or seven awarded titles.

Hell, at least UNC was undefeated the year they were awarded the Helms Tilte

S.S.D.C.

It is amazing how quickly y'all go from doing some serious "Woofing" about how you are in first place and UNC is not to trying to find some other way to attack them once they exposed the pack as PRETENDERS instead of contenders!  Just accept the fact that you aren't in UNC's class yet.  I think a positive step was made when you finally got a new coach, but you are no where near ready to compete with the top tier ACC teams yet.

 

PS, the S.S.D.C. stands for SAME S**** different coach!

Here and now

State will beat Virginia on Saturday. UVA also played last night and they have to travel. The Pack doesn't.

As bad as last night was (and it was really, REALLY BAD), it does not negate the progress State has made this year. They bounced back from an ugly loss to Ga Tech. They will bounce back from this one as well.

Bouncing back...

We will see how quickly they Pack bounces back.   I guess the Pack fans will see what kind of coach they hired if he does bounce back.   If he doesn't, well, there you go....

I think State will bounce

I think State will bounce back. I think Gottfried has done a very good job. The class coming in next year is a top ten class. I hope State makes the NCAA and I think it's achievable but the season cannot be called a failure if they don't make it. Even the great Roy Williams was only 8-8 in the ACC in his first year at UNC. It will take time.

Serious question

I'm not being a smart ass.

How can Mark a gottfried be doing "a very good job" if he hasn't beaten one opponent he wasn't supposed to ? All wins have come against teams they were supposed to beat and all losses have come against teams they wee supposed to lose to except GT which they were supposed to beat but lost.

Confusing, but you get my point.

Serious answer

He took the same team (minus its best player) that was terrible and dysfunctional last year and has them within one win of last year's total with ten conference games left. Are they a championship contender? No. Do they have a legit shot at 4th place in the ACC? Yes. So, yes, Gottfried has done an excellent job this year, even though there still is plenty of room for improvement.

serious thought

Not to say MG is not doing a good job, but isn't this about what you would expect? Considering essentially the same team coming back (factoring in maturity and expected improvement) and general weakness of the conference? Of course, my assessment is slanted in that the UNC game is the only time I've watched State play. The offense looked stagnant and not impressive and the defense just ok.

He does seem to be recruiting well, and the players (from your comments) are playing with more drive and ambition. But, on the other hand that is something that can be driven by some success. State has had that by winning against some weaker opponents. No one at the wheel, or maybe even Sid himself, could have driven this boat thus far through the season? I don't know, just a thought.

Response

What Gottfried has done this year is not easy by any stretch of the imagination. I have seen almost every game the Pack has played this year and the difference in terms of effort and teamwork is notable. The UNC game was horrible, but you can't look at that game in a vacuum any more than you can judge UNC solely on the basis of the Fla State game.

To compete with UNC and Duke on a consistent basis, State has to get deeper, bigger and better. That will take a year or two, at a minimum. But, for now, State has exceeded my expectations. I think they will continue to improve as the season goes on, but there still may be stumble or two, because they are not there yet.

Upgraded thru the night

So now we've gone from "very good" to "excellent" in a matter of 12 hours ? "Excellent" IMO would be sitting in the top 10 with a win over IU, Stanford and UNC/Cuse.

My assessment would be:

it appears we're headed in the right direction, but we're just decent at the moment. We're not beating anyone we shouldn't be, but we're also not losing to lesser teams as well. If we keep up what were doing and 5 can get his act together, we may just get into the Dance this year. I will not be satisfied until we can compete with the tar holes and Dook, though. Old times here are not forgotten !!!

Your assessment

I'll buy that, but I will also stand by "excellent". Considering the state of State at the end of last year, just getting the Pack to be "decent" is a major accomplishment. Some might say that getting CJ Leslie to actually work should get Coach Gott nominated for National Coach of the Year.

Bottom line is that if State gets into the NCAA tournament this year, Gottfried has done an outstanding job. Of course, that would set the bar higher for next year with a new set of higher goals. I would also suggest that he has done a better job with what he has to work with than Roy Williams has with what he has at his disposal.

I don't know

You can't be excellent if UNC is still kicking the dog doodoo out of you and you can't beat a ranked opponent at home (twice). I don't care how far you think the team has progressed or how better of a coach you have.

Question:

What label would you place on state if they were undefeated as opposed to now since right now is "excellent" ?

Labels

Maybe this is semantics, maybe not. I don't think I ever said that State was having an excellent year. I think they have done well under the circumstances, but they are not an excellent team. However, I think the job that Gottfried has done to refocus a group that was demoralized at the end of last year has been excellent, especially if they do well enough to make the NCAA tournament this year. Nobody was predicting they would have that chance at the beginning of the year. If they tank and finish the year in Sid-like fashion, then we can talk.

This discussion reminds me of the go-around we have at work in staff evaluations. You have a marginal or average performer who does better than expected, so they get a higher rating. That's State. You have a high performer who does what they usually do, which is better than most other people. They get an expected rating. That's UNC. The age old battle is whether you rate against the persons own performance or compared to others.

Regarding what label I would apply to State if they were undefeated, I can't say because I would be too busy avoiding the pigs that would be flying out of my butt.

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About the blogger

Columnist Caulton Tudor has worked for The News & Observer or The Raleigh Times for more than 30 years. Follow him on Twitter @CaultonTudor
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