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Virginia Recap

February 4, 2010
Stat Game
North-carolina-state Virginia
Points 47 59
FG Att 48 54
FG Made 18 22
FG Pct 37.5 40.7
FT Att 16 13
FT Made 9 9
FT Pct 56.3 69.2
3pt FG Att 11 16
3pt FG Made 2 6
3pt FG Pct 18.2 37.5
Rebounds 30 40
Off Rebs 9 13
Def Rebs 21 27
Team Rebs 4 6
Assists 6 14
Steals 4 5
Blocks 4 1
Turnovers 7 8
Fouls 17 19

It pains me to say the following, but right now it’s how I see it. I’ve been one of the last hold outs to say so, and I may be someday proven wrong along with everyone else. Still…

Sidney Lowe is losing me as a believer.

It happened tonight in the second half. It’s not THAT we lost, but HOW we lost. Disjointed offensive possessions, which led to poor shot selection, which eventually led to a complete offensive breakdown in a game that was entirely within reach. The team looked like a bunch of guys playing ball at the Y. There was ZERO leadership on the court.

Now I’m starting to believe that there’s a leadership vacuum on the bench, as well. The team just did not respond to any presumed coaching the staff tried. Then again, State got back on the bus with two more timeouts left, so perhaps Sidney plans to burn those coaching in practice this week when there’s not as much distracting activity going on around them. Like, you know, screaming opposing fans or meddling officials.

Worst of all, though: this team QUIT tonight. Without about 6:00 minutes to go, in the midst of another scoring drought that’s become a pattern of late, this team rolled over and started playing street ball.

Scott Wood has no confidence in his shot. Javier Gonzalez plays hard about 40% of the time he’s on the court. The offense is simply pass it around the perimeter and try to get it into Tracy. There’s little motion through the paint, and most of the times the perimeter folks seem unwilling to shoot when the ball gets kicked back out to them. I didn’t see anything on the court tonight that made me think, “When Ryan Harrow and Lorenzo Brown get here next year, all these issues will be fixed.” I instead thought, “Damn, these five-star guards are going to hate playing in THIS mess.”

After two years of using the team chemistry excuse to explain away ineffectiveness, now I have to wonder what’s the last refuge Sidney has before all the fingers start pointing his way? After such an inspiring win at home against Duke, this team has completely fallen apart. What should have turned into a bump for a team that was winning good games and losing close ones, the Duke game is a mere memory now of what this team is capable of and a reminder that this team is currently falling far short of that.

There are still eight conference games left. There’s time for this team to regain its footing. But this stretch of games (Maryland, UNC and Virginia) may be the one we look back at when we ask ourselves, “Where was the crossroads where it went south for good?”

As it is now, Sidney–for the first time in his tenure–has to win me back into his corner if I’m to believe he can be the answer for State long-term.

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