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Another Close Call. This Time From Delaware St.

December 22, 2010
NCAA Basketball Stats
http://statsheet.com/charts/chartlets/2010/12/23/mcb_games_2010_12_22_delaware_state_70_nc_state_72_794085.js
College Basketball
http://statsheet.com/charts/chartlets/2010/12/23/mcb_games_2010_12_22_delaware_state_70_nc_state_72_189258.js

If Sidney Lowe and his team see the writing on the wall, they certainly aren’t responding as if they do.

The Pack needed a last-second putback from Scott Word with just over two seconds remaining to go up 72-70, and narrowly avoided a Chandler Parsons-esque bomb at the buzzer to hang on for the win.

It was the second non-conference win in a row that was far more dramatic than it should’ve been. Last week the Pack needed to rally from a halftime deficit to put away Youngstown St. The Hornets of DSU entered the game with an RPI of 157 and a KenPom rating of 249 but on the court, they looked like a much better squad than their rankings indicate.

While the turnover, field goal percentage and rebounding numbers were pretty even, Delaware St. nearly won the game from behind the arc.
The Hornets hit 43% of their 21 three-point attempts (9-21), whereas the Pack only hit one of their 12 (9%).

A close win like this, while technically a win like any other, only continues to undermine the fragile support base remaining underneath Lowe. Yes, Tracy Smith is out, but this team struggles with so many facets of the game unrelated to Smith’s game, such as three-point defense, it’s fair to question just how much his return will correct such glaring deficiencies.

These games are supposed to be the tune ups for the “main course” of ACC play. If the Pack can’t navigate these waters easily, what reason do fans have to believe the conference season will go well enough to get the Pack into the tournament?

What seemed like such an absurd possibility two months ago now suddenly seems plausible: after I declared State a lock to make the NCAA tournament before the season, could a disastrous first half of the ACC slate with a healthy Tracy Smith result in a mid-season replacement if the right candidate presents himself?

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3 Comments leave one →
  1. Scott permalink
    December 23, 2010 8:39 am

    It appears that Coach Lowe is gunning for your “Fail miserably” choice.

  2. sbas2 permalink
    December 23, 2010 12:15 pm

    the games against Youngstown and Delaware look eerily like those against similar competition in Lowe’s second year with freshman Hickson. Tracy Smith is not going to solve the problems the team has right now-players not mentally ready to play and freshman making freshman mistakes. Howell, Painter and Leslie played well and gave the team scoring when combined which would match anything Smith would have given. i question whether Lowe has lost the team. it will not take much longer to tell.

  3. sbas2 permalink
    December 23, 2010 4:40 pm

    “What seemed like such an absurd possibility two months ago now suddenly seems plausible: after I declared State a lock to make the NCAA tournament before the season, could a disastrous first half of the ACC slate with a healthy Tracy Smith result in a mid-season replacement if the right candidate presents himself?”

    we can only hope.

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