Monday, December 24, 2007
This victory did not come without a cost. Farnold Degand, NC State's starting point guard this season tore his ACL and will require surgery. Farnold started every game for the Wolfpack this year and started to put in some strong performances as of late. This injury probably means we might finally get to see Tennessee transfer Marques Johnson.
My Take- As if we didn't have enough problems at the point guard position already! I hope Farnold is able to come back 100% next year. Having already red shirted last season it must be unbearable having to sit out the majority of this season as well. Hopefully all will go well with his surgery and he won't have any problems in the future and will be able to finish out his career at NC State on a high note. Overall I was glad Costner finally broke out of his shell and dominated a game. It will be nice to have him back to his regular form. Now comes the big question, is Javier ready to lead this team, will Johnson have a significant impact, or will State's point guard problems be their downfall this season?
Friday, December 21, 2007
Gavin Grant, cool as the other side of the pillow, hit both, and with 3.9 second remaining. A last second attempt from Stephan Curry fell short. State won.
I can't emphasize this enough this enough to other state fans. This was a good win. Davidson is a good team. This is a team that should have beaten UNC. This is a team that pushed Duke to the brinks.
In all honesty, I thought State would lose this game. Davidson is a tough team that plays all 40 minutes. Stephen Curry is only a sophomore but has proven to be an excellent player who is deadly from beyond the arc. In this game alone he hit 7 three point attempts. He finished with 29 points overall and a steal.
Remember though, State did lead for the majority of the game. Our ability to finish out a game was the only factor that kept Davidson in it. Grant finished with 15 points and McCauley finished with 11 points in 21 minutes. State out rebounded Davidson 34-22 and hit 44% their shots.
Bottom line- State is a better team than Davidson. We hit only 28% of out outside shots (i expect this to get better throughout the season) and still managed to prevail over a team that hit 40% from beyond the arc. Costner looked better shooting wise in this game but his 4 turnovers means he still has a lot of room for improvement. Grant is the heart beat of this team. As he goes, the rest of the team goes. He is a senior who is taking advantage of every opportunity he is given. His hard work has lead him to become the leader of this team. Hickson had a good game but still needs fine tuning. McCauley where have you been all this season! McCauley seems to be filling into his roll of coming off the bench. I know he isn't happy with his roll but I appreciate with how he has gradually accepted his roll and made the most of his opportunities. I would have no problem with him starting instead of Hickson if he continues to work hard and prove how good he can be.
This game can be interpreted two ways. One- Duke and UNC didn't have as difficult a time with Davidson as we did. Sure they were close and needed closing minute heroics to pull out wins but we needed a last second foul to give us the win. Two- We're close to UNC and Duke. They beat them, we beat them. This is the only team all three triangle teams have played up to this point and all three have beaten them. We have the talent, we just need to start playing together and buy into the team concept Coach Lowe is trying to convey.
Wednesday, December 19, 2007
First of all a big thanks goes out to my roommate, Jason Lee, for designing the hew header at the top of the page. Jason is an experienced web designer who has designed web sites for multiple clients. His work can be found at http://jasonldesigns.com/services.cfm.
The NC State basketball team is preparing to play the Davidson Wildcats on Friday. Davidson comes into this game with a record of 4-5 (2-0). Two of the Wildcats' losses have come to the Tar Heels and the Blue Devils. Davidson played Carolina tight losing 72-68 while shooting 38.8% from the field. Duke beat the Wildcats by 6 in a 79-73 loss relying on Gerarld Henderson's 21 points. Davidson is known for their aggressive play and hard work. Their main play maker is sophomore Stephen Curry who averages 24.1 points and 3.2 assists per game. Curry is shooting an astonishing 41.9% from three point range. Despite playing UNC and Duke so well Davidson has lost to UNC Charlotte and Western Michigan this year. Despite these disappointing losses I still feel NC State is going to need to finally put together a 40 minute complete game and get better results from their outside shooters to put Davidson away. This is a scary game for the Wolfpack. With their up and down play early in this season I have a feeling were going to need our best performance of the season to win this game.
This Friday's game against Davidson will also mark the first game Sophomore Marques Johnson will be eligible to play. Johnson is a transfer from Tennessee who sat out last year due to NCAA regulations. Coach Lowe has not ruled out the possibility of playing Johnson against the Wildcats but I don't think we'll get to see much of NC States newest addition unless we start to pull away.
Finally, I had the privilege of meeting Mr. Dewey Corn this weekend. Most of you might not be aware of who Mr. Corn is but I'll fill you in on a little of what I found out about him. Mr. Corn is a friendly gentleman who graduated from NC State and is a member of the Wolfpack Club. What separates Mr. Corn from other Wolfpack fans I have met in the past is the fact that he has not missed a single NC State football game, home or away, in 32 years. This kind man drives to home and away games every Saturday during the fall in order to watch the Wolfpack. I hope to interview Mr. Corn in the future and post my conversation with him for all Wolfpack fans to read.
Saturday, December 15, 2007
Overall I felt the Wolfpack played well. Except for about a five minute stretch midway through the second half NC State controlled the tempo had an easy time getting the ball down low. The Pack is still making too many lazy passes and mental errors to be a serious contender for the ACC regular season title but they did play with much more intensity than they have shown in their past two games.
Star of the Game- Gavin Grant. 23 points, 7 rebounds and two assists. When Grant was on the floor State seemed to want the game more. He pushed the game's tempo and had a lot of success driving the ball in the lane. He missed some free throws down the stretch but his Kobe-esque 360 up and under lay up made up for any bad plays he might have had tonight.
NC State's defense was outstanding tonight. The Wolfpack's towering height allowed them to contest or block almost all of SC States shots. Farnold and Gavin played tight defense and Hickson grabbed 8 rebounds as NC State held the Bulldogs to 29.7% from the field.
NC State still needs to improve its outside shooting. Only going 2-14 from the field is pretty disappointing and if we wanna compete against the likes of Duke and Carolina we need to have options outside of Hickson and McCauley inside. Finally, Costner needs to improve. He did grab 7 rebounds but he's a shadow of that spectacular player we saw in the ACC tournament last year. We know what he's capable of and I'm sure Coach Lowe will have hem back to normal soon.
Tuesday, December 11, 2007
In his final year at Louisville, Petrino's Cardinals had the second best offense in the nation averaging over 475 yards a game and 35 points. He lead the Cardinals to a Big East Championship and an Orange Bowl victory over Wake Forest.
My take. Arkansas is getting a very good coach. Petrino has shown himself to be a great recruiter who can get the most out of his prospects. Expect Arkansas to finish higher in the SEC West next year especially if McFadden and Felix Jones stick around. Watch out though. Petrino has proven to be a man who will skip town if he sees a better opportunity.
Sunday, December 9, 2007
Saturday, December 8, 2007
Friday, December 7, 2007
"Paul is fixated on what Paul wants to do and that's the next step and new challenges at Georgia Tech," Gladchuck said. "We appreciate what Paul has done and we'll always remember him as one of the great coaches in Navy history. But we're very respectful of his wishes for new challenges at Georgia Tech."
During his time at Navy Johnson amassed a 45-29 record and turned a struggling program that into one of the top offences in the land. One main factor that might have taken Johnson to Georgia is that he started his coaching career at Georgia Southern collecting two national championships during his tenure there.
My take: Watch out. Johnson is a top rate coach who uses what he has to work with to create dangerous offensive threats. I'm happy a coach of his caliber has come to the ACC but nervous he might be able to pull together a top rate team.
Thursday, December 6, 2007
"A University of Arkansas private fundraising arm approved a salary supplement Wednesday for Wake Forest coach Jim Grobe, a strong indication that Grobe will replace Houston Nutt as the Razorbacks' coach."
Neither party would confirm if Grobe has taken the deal and with the way Arkansas handled the hiring of their basketball coach last year who could blame them. According to ESPN it is likely that Grobe will be announced Thursday as the new head coach of the Razorbacks.
Personally I'm sad to see Grobe leave the Deacons. As much as I have hated losing to Wake Forest the past three seasons I also hate it when a good coach leaves the ACC. It was nice to see the level of overall play in the ACC rise the past couple of seasons. But now its time to start speculating who will take over a talented Wake Forest team that has been red shirting most of their prospects.
Wednesday, December 5, 2007
Some interesting facts I noted from this source:
- Butch Davis has the 4th highest base salary in the NCAA. This is before he signed his new extension that takes his salary over 2 million annually.
- Tom O'Brien has to opportunity to make 850,000 in bonuses; the fourth highest amount in the NCAA
- Butch Davis is the second highest paid coach in the ACC and 13th highest paid in the NCAA
- Pete Carroll is paid all his salary up front. No bonuses or other sources of income.
After quickly going through Tom O'Brien's contract here are some quick points
- For every six year period when the football team's graduation rate is above 55% O'Brien receives $50,000.
- Every time NC State goes to a non BCS bowl O'Brien receives $50,000.
- Every time NC State goes to the ACC championship game O'Brien receives $100,000 dollars.
- Every time NC State wins the ACC championship or goes to a BCS bowl game O'Brien receives an additional $200,000 dollars
- TOB gets $50,000 dollars for winning 5 ACC games. Then he gets another $50,000 dollars for winning 6 games and again for 7 ACC wins. The bonuses for ACC wins cannot exceed $200,000.
- When NC State finishes the season ranked in the polls, TOB receives a bonus based on where in those polls they stand.
- TOB's buy out is equal to $360,000 X the number of years left on his contract. If TOB left today to accept another job he would have to pay State $2,160,000.
Personally I love TOB's contract. He gets paid a great annual salary but has the added incentive to make a ton of extra money if he graduates his players and gets the results on the field. Knowing how TOB cared before at BC about his players graduating and how he built a program that preformed as well as it did this year how can you help but not be excited.
Tuesday, December 4, 2007
"He was gone this morning," a source told ESPN.com's Mark Schlabach. "He was just looking for more stability. He's excited about the team he's got coming back and the recruiting class coming in. They have good momentum and he and his family are happy there."
With one ACC coach secure another might be getting a call soon. Jim Grobe, head coach at Wake Forest, seems to be on everyone's list as a possible candidate for the Michigan Wolverines head coaching position. In a recent interview Grobe commented that,
"I'm happy here, I think our fans understand that. I don't know that there's not another move for me, but I'm not out chasing that move around. I'm not going after it. I'm not opposed to talking to people if they're interested in what we've done here at Wake Forest, but we've got a good situation at Wake Forest."
Now it seems as though Michigan is eyeing Ball St. head coach Brady Hoke.
The Blue Devils position is still open and they really want Paul Johnson to fill it. Johnson is the head coach at Navy and has done a great job getting the most out of his recruits. Johnson's Midshipmen lead the nation in rushing at over 350 yards per game and have made a habit of going to bowl games. Duke has held meetings with Johnson and are willing to pay their coach next around 1 million annually but Johnson is keeping his options open.
Georgia Tech is looking to the next level to find their coach. The front runner for the GT job is Rich Neuheisel, currently the offensive coordinator at the Baltimore Ravens. Georgia Tech might have some competion now that Neuheisel's alma matter UCLA has a vacancy at their head football coaching position.
Monday, December 3, 2007
"Two other interesting names recently were dropped in my lap: N.C. State's Tom O'Brien and Missouri's Gary Pinkel.
O'Brien has been at N.C. State just one season, but he is a perfect fit in Ann Arbor. He's a Navy grad who has coached at high-minded academic schools such as Virginia (as an assistant) and Boston College (as head coach). Plus, O'Brien is one of the nation's best coaches."
Thankfully people at Michigan don't seem to excited by this prospect. Scott Bell at the Michigan Daily (UM's student newspaper) reports that,
"To be completely honest, none of the potential candidates inspire too much excitement. Tom O'Brien? Jim Grobe? Greg Schiano? Even Jeff Tedford doesn't sound like a sexy hire after California's embarrassing second-half collapse."
Let's hope Michigan's AD shares this sentiment and doesn't become to interested in TOB's services.
Sunday, December 2, 2007
- How did LSU jump ahead of VT. I am not forgetting the beating LSU gave VT back in September but look what has happened in the last two days. VT was ranked 6th with a BCS rating of .7811 going into this weekend while LSU was right behind them at #7 with a rating of .7744. VT then beat #11 ranked Boston College by 14 while LSU beat #14 ranked Tennessee by 7. This week, LSU comes in at #2 with an average rating of .9394 with VT finished at #3 with a rating of .8703. LSU jumped 5 positions and gained .165 points in the ratings while VT jumped 3 spots and gained .0959 points in the ratings. LSU gained .0691 more points that VT while beating a lower ranked team by less points. How in the world is this possible.
-So sorry MIZZOU. Missouri was the number one team going into the weekend coming off a great game aganist the then #1 Kansas Jayhawks. But Missouri fell short in the Big XII championship game against #9 Oklahoma for the second time this season. Missouri lost the conference title and had to hope to receive an at large bid to get into a BCS game. The invite never came. Instead, Kansas got a bid. That's not the worst of it. Illinois, a three loss team who lost to Missouri earlier in the season also got a bid. Are you telling me a team ranked #6 in this weeks BCS poll, ranked 2 spots higher than Kansas, ranked 7 spots higher than Illinois, doesn't get a bid. When you factor in the fact that Kansas has the 106th toughest schedule (out of 119), and they don't even have a win against anyone who even received a vote to be placed in the top 25, tells me that something is not quite right with the system in place.
- The Ohio State Luckeyes. I realize Ohio State has a pretty good team. They won 11 games in a major conference and beat the likes of Wisconsin, Michigan and Penn State. But they also played the 75th toughest schedule in the nation. Perhaps my biggest problem with OSU being given a spot in the title game is the fact that they did not play. For the past two weeks they have been sitting on their butts back in Columbus hoping and praying for a scenario just like this. They don't have a tough title game added on to the end of their schedule so why are they rewarded for doing nothing. I think a playoff would be a perfect end of season test to tell how good these buckeyes really are. Also it will be interesting to see if they get this special treatment again if they get blown out like they did last year.
So those are my major problems with how the current BCS system has played out. Now for the real question. What system could be put in place that would reveal who the best team in college football is. Here is my solution
-An 8 team playoff. The first round would put the #1 team playing the #8 team, the #2 team versus the #7 team, the #3 team versus the #6 team, and the #4 versus the #5. These bowls would retain the names of the current BCS bowls. In round 2 the highest ranked team remaining would face the lowest ranked team remaining with the two teams left facing off in the other round two game. Finally, the winners of these two games would face off in the National Championship.
-The conference champion from the 6 major conferences (ACC, SEC, PAC 10, Big XII, Big 10, and the Big East) automatically get a bid to play in the tournament. The final two spots would be filled by at large teams.
-The problems a system like this solves
1) You're no longer arguing about who the #1 and #2 teams are which is far more controversial than arguing about who the #8 and #9 teams are.
2) The regular season still matters. The added bonus to win the conference championship would push teams excite fans.
3) Money. Those lousy corporate heads that are sucking all the fun out of college football would be able to make even more money now because there are three more huge games to sell out.
4) Its a college football playoff!!! Whats not exciting about that!!! Each week the best teams in the nation face off to determine who gets to go on to another exciting game against another of the nations best!!!