Monday, November 26, 2007

Offensive Rebounding costs Pack game against Villanova

Offensive Rebounding costs Pack game against Villanova...

Or at least that is what the headline was about to read. The Wolfpack, offensive chemistry still not solved, but less obvious played a good game against #19 Villanova yesterday in the Old Spice Classic in Orlando. But, State's consistent lack of defensive rebounding continued as NC State gave up 18 offensive rebounds, including the apparent game winner with 2.4 seconds left, giving Nova a 1 pt lead.

Then, a strange thing happened on the way to that 1 pt. loss. A few references from the past come to mind as you watch those last 2.4 seconds. Costner makes a 3/4 court baseball pass almost as good as Grant Hill's against Kentucky. Gavin Grant jumps high to pull it down just outside the 3 point circle. Then, as Grant goes up to launch the 3, he's hit on the non-shooting arm. The shot misses badly, which may have helped contribute to the ref calling the foul. 0.4 seconds left and they call a foul. It almost never happens. In fact, I can only remember one other time that a foul on a 3 point shooter has been called at the end of the game like this. State fans will remember it well, because that time it was NC State's Julius Hodge fouling, and it knocked NC State out of the NCAA Tournament against UConn.

I guess what goes around, comes around. Grant hits 2 of 3 to give NC State a 1 point lead. Nova makes a final attempt with a length of the floor pass and an all too scary tip, but State wins the Old Spice Classic.

I'm not sure what these wins mean to NC State at this point in the season. Everyone is still talking about chemistry and seems to be focusing on playing time as possibly a concern for the players. The good news is McCaulley, who previously was singled out as being unhappy, played a great first half and really contributed to this win. Hickson, who has given up his starting spot, made some crucial mistakes early, but made some vital plays late. And Gavin Grant, who helped out as an assistant coach on the bench for crunch time in the South Carolina game, was on the floor for the end of this one, hitting a big 3, then the game winning play. Everyone is involved. While no player is showing consistently great numbers, someone steps up it seems. And, there's no quicker cure for unhappy players than winning. Just look at Randy Moss to prove that one.


Ken White said...

Didn't want to put this in the main story, but wanted to mention it. With 0.4 seconds left, Nova tried my favorite play in basketball that NEVER works. They have one guy inbounding the ball. Costner guards the inbounder. As the inbounder runs the baseline, another Nova player steps in, in an attempt to draw a charge on Costner as he runs the baseline in defense.

The first time I ever saw this attempted, it was by Carl Tacy at Wake Forest back in the early 80s. Over the years I've seen it attempted maybe a dozen times when there just isn't enough time left for a legit length of the floor effort. I even tried it in an intramural game once. Funny thing is, it NEVER, NEVER, NEVER works.

In this case, Costner saw it coming and pull away from the defender.

Anonymous said...

I thought about that too when they ran the play... I think the Deacs tried that in the late 70's... Did you notice that the Nova player fell down anyway?

Big win for the Pack

Ken White said...

I'm sure you are right on the timing. I had to actually lookup and see when the Tacy era was and just took a guess.

Yeah, funny how he fell down.
You remember trying that in intramural ball? I can't remember if you were there or not, I think I was coaching because it was the lower level team. We actually managed to get the foul called on us because our guy pulled the defender down on him. I remember the ref, really good ref that I didn't like much, called it an "Intentional Technical Foul" and I went off on him, because there was no such thing. He later apologized for the terminology, saying it was a proper call in high-school but not under our "college" rules.

Anonymous said...

I vaguely remember the situation coming up and both of us knowing to call the play since we had no chance of making a length of the court pass. Our player must have seen Terry Gannon's method of drawing a charge...