Mark Gottfried’s two predecessors took opposite tacks in their approaches to N.C. State’s grudge match against North Carolina.
Herb Sendek downplayed the significance of the game, stressing it was only 1/16th of the ACC schedule. Sidney Lowe, meanwhile, wore a red blazer to signify how important he thought it was.
Gottfried said Monday that he doesn’t own any red blazers, but he nonetheless embraced the implications of Thursday's meeting between the Wolfpack and the Tar Heels at the Smith Center at 7 p.m. (ESPN).
RALEIGH -- N.C. State’s basketball team has been able to deal with its lack of depth most of this first season under Mark Gottfried, but that trend changed in a big, bad way Wednesday.
Against a Georgia Tech outfit that looked to be hopelessly thin when Brian Gregory opened his first Yellow Jacket camp in October, the Wolfpack got roundly outnumbered and outmanned in the RBC Center.
RALEIGH — With eight losses in its first 15 games, including the nonsensical variety to Mercer and Fordham, Georgia Tech isn't the kind of team a resurgent N.C. State was expected to lose to in ACC play.
Shouldas and couldas don't count in the standings, though, only the results. With 22 points from Glen Rice, the Yellow Jackets handed the Wolfpack a humbling 82-71 defeat on Wednesday night at the RBC Center, in one of the first setbacks of an otherwise relatively smooth first season for coach Mark Gottfried.
RALEIGH – Once again, N.C. State won a game with a collection of players fulfilling their roles, not having just one star individual who carried the rest.
That was the formula N.C. State used in a closer-than-it-looked 79-74 win over Maryland on Sunday night.
And executing this type of game plan set in by first-year coach Mark Gottfried will most likely determined whether the Wolfpack reach their ultimate goal: the NCAA Tournament.
In the ACC opener for both teams, the Wolfpack showed more maturity in the second half. They limited their turnovers. They helped each other on the defensive end. And when it was time to pull away and win the game, the Wolfpack did just that.
CHARLOTTE -- Shortly after Terrell Manning put a black "Belk Bowl Champions" hat on his head to commemorate N.C. State's 31-24 bowl win over Louisville on Tuesday night, the junior linebacker started talking about next season.
Seven starters on each side of the ball, including defensive stars in Manning and cornerback David Amerson, and quarterback Mike Glennon, are scheduled to return for a Wolfpack team that won six of its final eight games to finish 8-5 in 2011.
“We’ve got a lot of good guys coming back, and we’ve got a big opening game with Tennessee, so we’ve got a lot to look forward to,” said Manning, who had an interception and five tackles against the Cardinals.
Updated 12:17 a.m.
CHARLOTTE — There was no such thing as the easy way for N.C. State's football team in the 2011 season.
So when it took a 21-point lead in the third quarter, you got the feeling Louisville would make the Belk Bowl interesting.
The Wolfpack held on for a 31-24 win over the Cardinals in front of 58,427 fans at Bank of America Stadium on Tuesday night.
RALEIGH — N.C. State needed a drama-free game on Thursday night and Northeastern willingly played its role in a 88-59 win for the Wolfpack.
Playing for the third time in six days, and 48 hours after a dramatic last-second win over St. Bonaventure, the Wolfpack dominated the Huskies early and got a chance to stretch its legs in the second half.
Torian Graham, one of the top basketball recruits in the country, excited N.C. State fans again today when he announced his commitment to play for the Wolfpack next season. Then, within just a few hours, he decided to change his mind again and pull out of his commitment.
This wasn’t the first time Graham, a 6-foot-4 senior guard from Durham, has reopened his recruitment after initially picking N.C. State.
In August, Graham de-committed from the N.C. State after choosing the school in May, a month after new coach Mark Gottfried was hired.
“Nothing bad happened at State,” Graham said back in August, as the News & Observer has not been able to reach him today. “I felt like I made my decision too fast and didn’t give other colleges a chance to recruit me.”
Last night, a YouTube video surfaced of Graham announcing his decision to pick the Wolfpack.
“I’m going to end up at N.C. State,” Graham said in the video. “At heart, that’s where I’ve always wanted to be.”
Graham, the No. 38 prospect in the country by ESPN, also suggested he was going to N.C. State on his Twitter account this morning.
Graham’s addition would have given N.C. State one of the best recruiting classes for next season.
RALEIGH – This one wasn’t close or dramatic, but N.C. State fans will take it.
An 82-67 victory over Elon on Friday night in front of a near sellout crowd at Reynolds Coliseum was fueled by a balanced scoring attack and solid defense from the Wolfpack.