Thursday, November 29, 2007

ACC 8, Big Ten 3

No surprise after the first 6 games, but the ACC won the ACC/Big Ten Challenge for the 9th straight time. Carolina, Maryland, and BC all took care of business. Virgina Tech lost a close one at Penn State.

As bad as Duke made Wisconsin look on Tueday, Michigan State did worse to NC State. MSU is a very good team, it is a bad matchup for the Wolfpack, and nobody should be surprised that Lowe's team would lose this one. But NC State was a complete flop. The offense was absolutely terrible, but the worse thing is after a few minutes of every shot rolling in for MSU and nothing going in for NC State, the players just gave up. They were beat down the floor repeatedly, and for the most part they didn't give anything close to the effort required to play at that level.

I'm a bit of a New Orleans Saints fan. The Saints have tons of talent, but have under-achieved big-time this year, including a 0-4 start. My theory has been that last year, a team that wasn't expected to do much, suddenly had big success, then had a long off-season of everyone telling them they were great, and how great they were going to be next season. The net result was they all expected success rather than working hard to be ready to earn it. They came in with the mindset "We Are Good", rather than "If we work we can be good". Then, when pushed, they hadn't put in enough work to be mentally tough and ready to respond to adversity.

I'm wondering if the same thing applies to NC State. Despite a mediocre season, the post season success of NC State left an after-glow in the team and the fan base. That success, the hot young coach, the top 10 recruit, all led the fans and media to tell these kids how good they were going to be. And I suspect some players began to expect that success, rather that work to get it.

The challenge now for Sidney Lowe is to get back to the drawing board. It is time to build some mental toughness in this team. It is time to teach these kids how to play some decent man-to-man defense. It is time to either teach them how to execute the offense, or possibly rework the offensive scheme a bit so they aren't having to look back to the bench each time down the court for a play call.

Enough of that rant. Congratulations to the ACC once a gain.

Some random blog posts:
We Own the Big 10... how about a new challenge?
ACC-Big Ten Enough of this ACC-Big Ten Challenge. The ACC needs to move up a notch. I think maybe a ACC-Ohio Valley Conference Challenge next year would be more exciting?
ACC Beats Big Ten Again In Challenge
Challenge this
Mich. State wins Big Ten/ACC Challenge (AP) t’s like being the best player on a bad team. Game after game, you do your job but the rest of the team just doesn’t contribute enough to get a win.
Around ACC Nation
NC State Falls Hard To Michigan State, 81-58


Anonymous said...

In addition to N.C. State being flat and becoming totally deflated, they are proof that without solid guard play, a team will always have trouble beating a solid team not to mention a very good team.

Ken White said...

The potential reaplacement at point is

Anonymous said...

didn't their 9-0 run late in the second half show some potential?

Anonymous said...

Any word on how Johnson is looking in practice?

Ken White said...

I haven't heard anything. I wonder if Lowe ever has open practice.

Anonymous said...

I doubt it since they practice in the Dail Center now... Back in the old days, it was sort of hard for V to close practice when they had it in the gym...