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N.C. State Preview From ACC Sports Journal

November 10, 2009
Jim Young, Editor of the ACC Sports Journal, shot me an email to let me know their N.C. State basketball preview was up. It’s good stuff and you should check it out here.

An interesting note in the email he sent: “Man, Julius Mays didn’t pull any punches, did he?”

Referring to this quote:

“I won’t mention names, but we’ve had players who have been more about themselves, would rather score 30 points than N.C. State win the game,” Mays said. “We also had players trying to get other players to turn against the coach and get them on their page instead of Coach’s page. When you’ve got individuals like that, you can’t win.

“Now, with the young guys and the veterans that we have, we’re all on the same page with each other, and I feel like we can be a lot different.”

LOL, no, no he didn’t.

But his quote gives credence to what we heard intimations of and saw glimpses of on the court last season: The players left over from the previous regime had a major beef with the new coaching staff and Sidney Lowe in particular, and went so far as to actively lobby the other players on the team to rebel against the leadership structure.

That’s about as caustic a coaching/playing environment as one can imagine. It’s no wonder this team seemed to have no direction or multiple personalities at times…there was a war being waged behind the scenes. And a team divided against itself cannot win, to borrow from some historical oratory.

Mays’ comments give me optimism for this season, however, as I think we’ll finally see a team all pulling in the same direction for once. We may not have the horses now to make a push for the conference title or even land in the top half of the conference, but I do think a .500 conference record is possible. If State can break even in the league and perhaps steal a nice out-of-conference win somewhere (and get some breaks along the way), an at-large NCAA berth is not out of the question in my mind.

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