View Full Version : NC State random thoughts

05-23-2007, 01:03 PM
With the off-season upon us I thought we would look at each ACC team and throw out some random thoughts about each school. I thought we would start at the top of the ACC and go from there. Keep it flame free and maybe even get some of the fans from the other schools to weigh in. It doesn't have to be all Bball related but that should be focus.

FSU (http://www.dukebasketballreport.com/forums/showthread.php?t=1994), CL (http://www.dukebasketballreport.com/forums/showthread.php?t=1925), GT (http://www.dukebasketballreport.com/forums/showthread.php?t=1832), VT (http://www.dukebasketballreport.com/forums/showthread.php?t=1718), BC (http://www.dukebasketballreport.com/forums/showthread.php?t=1608), MD (http://www.dukebasketballreport.com/forums/showthread.php?t=1483), UVA (http://www.dukebasketballreport.com/forums/showthread.php?t=1331), and UNC (http://www.dukebasketballreport.com/forums/showthread.php?t=1252) were previously looked at.

Lets take a look at NCS:

Ben McCauley was honorable mention All-ACC, while Brandon Costner was on the All-freshman team.

Engin Astur (6-3) was the only senior but was an instrumental part of the team (11.3 PPG, 4.2 APG).

NCS had 8 players play 10 or more MPG last season but relied on their top 5 (Costner, Grant, McCauley, Fells, and Astur) more than any other team in the ACC.

As a freshman, Brandon Costner (6-8) led the team in scoring (16.8 PPG) and rebounding (7.3 RPG), while making 61 3-pointers (38%).

Courtney Fells (6-5, JR) led the team in blocks (28) and steals (40), which is a combination that you don't see often and tells us that he is quite the athlete.

NCS finished last season at 20-16 overall and 5-11 in the ACC.

NCS had more TOs than assists (535-523) and were outrebounded by their opponents (1209-1157), leading to a positve scoring differential of 0.2 points per game over their opponenets.

Recruits JJ Hickson (#16, 6-8) and Tracy Smith (#38, 6-7) were in the RSCI recruiting rankings with Tracy Smith moving up 47 spots since their last rankings (85).

JJ Hickson looked good in the MCDonalds All-star game and appears to have great athletiscm, length, and motor.

The Wolfpack also signed Javier Gonzalez (6-0) and Johnny Thomas (6-5) for next season.

Lowe and his red jacket recieved a one year contract extension for taking a depleted Wolfpack team farther than anyone thought they would go.

In football, Tom O'brien left Boston College for NCS in a lateral move? BC was happy to see him go and NCS was happy to see Amato go? Talk about addition by subtraction.

Patrick Yates
05-23-2007, 01:22 PM
State's entire hoops season will be determined by one position, PG.

With McCauley, Costner, and Hickson, the post is rock solid. It is as good as any outside of UNC. Their post will be approximately as good as any other team in the league.

As far as WG and SF, they should be fine. A not-particularly-bright monkey could find servicable wings. It is the most over populated position in the sport. NCSU has had a history of being at least solid here, and that will hold true next year.

So, it all boils down to pg. If State can get servicable PG play, they will be competitive next year. Unfortunately, I personally do not believe they will get servicable play at the position. This should keep them firmly in the middle of the pack next year. As good as the rest of the team is, they are not overwhelming at the other positions. They are good, not great, at the rest of the positions, and certainly not good enough to overcome mediocre to poor PG play.

As I said, if they get the mediocre to poor PG play that I expect next year, due to not highly ranked Transfers and Frosh, NCSU will be in the middle of the pack (ha ha) next season. Unfortunately, in a mediocre year for the ACC, this could well mean that they miss the NCAAs. But they should return enough talent, that if NCSU can secure its PG issues in 08-09, NCSU could be a real darkhorse for the FF.

Patrick Yates

Olympic Fan
05-23-2007, 03:14 PM
I agree that it all comes down to the point -- just as it did this past season. When State had Atsur, healthy and playing well, they were an upper echelon ACC team. When he was out -- as he was much of the season -- they were near the bottom of the ACC pack.

So who is the one guy they lose? Atsur, naturally.

Okay, who is in line to replace him? They have a number of candidates:

-- Farnold Degand -- a 6-3 Boston native who transferred from Iowa State (although he never played there) and practiced with the State team last year. Degand was not a heralded recruit and the feedback I've gotten is that he was so disappointing in practice that Lowe and his staff were out scrambling for another point guard candidate.

-- Marques Johnson -- a 6-5 transfer from Tennessee who came in at midseason and will not be eligible until the end of first semester. Johnson played center in high school at Fort Wayne, Ind., but always liked to pretend that he was a point guard. I saw him play about a dozen AAU games two summers ago as the point guard for Blessed AAU (which had four division 1 frontline players and still lost almost every game) and he was god-awful -- helpess as a point guard. He's not a bad 6-5 wing player, except he can't shoot, but if he has to play the point, I think the Pack is in trouble.

-- Javi Gonzales -- a late recruit, a 6-1 point guard from Miami. I've never seen him and I don't know a lot about him, except that he's a late-developer who doesn't make many top 100 lists, but he did beat out Miami-bound Edwin Rios as the Miami area player of the year. Rios was at one point rated a top 20 talent, although his stock has dropped drastically in the last year. It's possible there's an academic hurdle for Gonzales still to clear, just as State is still waiting on 6-8 Tracy Smith to qualify before announcing his signing.

Any of the three could fill the team's PG need ... but none's a lock. Lowe could have to revert to Gavin Grant and Courtney Fells sharing the job. They're both nice wings, but neither could handle the PG job last year.

05-24-2007, 10:25 AM
When State had Atsur, healthy and playing well, they were an upper echelon ACC team. When he was out -- as he was much of the season -- they were near the bottom of the ACC pack.

I completely agree that Atsur's injury was devastating for last year's team, but they weren't exactly upper-echelon with him in the lineup. State went 20-16,5-11 (8-12 if you count the ACCT) last year. With Atsur out of the lineup (counting the Michigan game, where he played only 6 minutes before getting hurt), State was 7-6,1-3. So with Atsur, they were 13-10,4-8 (7-9 counting the ACCT). They had a fantastic run at the end of the season, and were playing some very good offensive basketball. Had Atsur been fully healthy all year, maybe they would have been an NCAA team. But to say they were upper-echelon with him in the lineup is a bit of an overstatement.

Everything else in your post I agree with. They should be improved inside (certainly the most versatile set of post players in the league) and on the wings, and their key will be getting steady point guard play. If their freshmen can do for them what Hayes/Vasquez did for Maryland, NCSU has a chance to be top 3-4 in the ACC.

05-24-2007, 01:51 PM
Courtney Fells 6-5, JR
Gavin Grant 6-7, SR
Brandon Costner 6-8, SO
Ben McCauley 6-9, JR
JJ Hickson 6-9, FR

BENCH (over 10 MPG)
Javier Gonzalez 6-1 FR
Tracy Smith 6-7, FR

Thats the kind of team that looks great on paper but has issues on the court. If Gonzalez can be consistent in his PG duties then he will start but who do you sit, talent wise the starting 5 is ACC level. I don't think they will be able to keep Hickson out of the starting lineup as he is just so long and active. They are really a good PG away from challenging for the top spots in the league.

That lineup seems frontcourt heavy but that is where the talent lies. It will be interesting to see what Lowe does with it, I gotta think an ex-NBA guy puts his 5 best out on the floor as he did last year.

05-25-2007, 12:18 PM
These predictions are with Young returning but not Crittenton.

WF - W
Clemson - L
Duke - L
GT - W
Miami - W
VT - W

WF - W
Clemson - L
Duke - L
BC - W
MD - L

Thats puts NCS at 9-7 for next season. I think they struggle against teams that have strong backcourts and can pressure the passing lanes. I could see the MD game going the other way but MD is tough at home.