Monday, October 22, 2007

Pack Basketball and Expectations

Despite what you hear about the high demands wolfpack fans place on their basketball coaches, truth be told, NC State fans have very low expectations. It wasn't always that way, but after the Les Robinson era and the first half of Sendek's tenure, we became really good at looking for moral victories. You know, those games that you lose, but one bright spot or another pops up.

During the latter years of Herb's stay, even when we were favored, we fully expected to lose. We got some great surprises along the way, and it was fun, but our expectations were often met as well, like the heartbreaking collapse against Vandie in the NCAA's.

Even last year, when it was obvious we had a big game won, I just kept looking for how we would blow it. But, it is a new era. That comes with a whole new set of challenges. Not only do NC State fans expect to win this year, but apparently everyone else expects State to be pretty damn good.

Out of Operation Basketball comes word that NC State is picked to finish 3rd, behind UNC and Duke this year. Brandon Costner is pre-season All ACC, and JJ Hickson finished 2nd in Rockie of the Year voting.

ESPN Fans pick NC State 17th nationally, and Yahoo Sports/ have Brandon Costner picked as the best small forward in the game.

So the big question becomes, can NC State handle these expectations? It is a new situation for both the fans and the team. If the team can live up to this optimism, it is going to be a fun time to be a basketball fan in the triangle.