Thursday, March 13, 2008

Season Mercifully Ends for the Wolfpack

What has to be the most difficult season in recent memory has finally come to an end for the Wolfpack. A season that started with so much promise ended with hardly a whimper as the Wolfpack lost their ninth straight game… this one at the hands of the Miami Hurricanes by a score of 63-50. The nine straight losses marks the most consecutive defeats since the 1991-92 season which according to my records is the most consecutive losses in NC State history. Needless to say, it is also most consecutive losses to end a season. The pervious record was eight in a row to end the 1983-84 season.

There was lots of bad karma for the Pack even before the season started. There were the distractions of assistant coach Larry Harris’ off-season arrest for DWI and the legal issues that Sidney Lowe, Jr. still faces. There was also Costner’s knee injury in the Pan-Am tryouts. There is no telling what that cost us in lost development time and apparently player confidence. Remember how stoked everyone was when JJ had 31 points against William and Mary? Turns out that was a bad omen as well. The last 2 freshmen to “go off” in a season opener were Ishua Benjamin in 1994-95 and Ivan Wagner in 1995-96 when each scored 29 points to start the season. The Pack played in the Les Robinson invitational both years. Coincidently, the 95-96 Wolfpack finished 15-16 and finished last in the ACC regular season.

Not having a point guard really hurt this season. We will never know for sure how good this team could have been, but let’s face it if you can’t defend or score points, you’re not going to win many games. This team was painfully un-athletic. As a result, they could not force turnovers that convert into easy baskets. Scoring from a half-court set is difficult even with a point guard. Given that the vast majority of the players were recruited by “you know who,” there is the built-in excuse that Sid doesn’t have his own players yet. It is a valid point, but another disaster like this season, and Sid is going to have a difficult time sticking around to see a team full of his players.

It’s real easy to be down on the Pack athletic program as a whole right now. NC State has top-notch athletic facilities which has not always been the case. This investment in facilities has the Wolfpack Club members, who have been asked to dig deep into their packets, expecting results If the on-field performance in all sports does not soon match the quality of the facilities, App State Athletic Director Charlie Cobb won’t be worrying about who to schedule for football games in Boone

Sid asks a Referee for advice on which way the guards
need to cut in the Pack's offensive sets.