Thursday, January 6, 2011

Pack basketball living dangerously with slow starts

This is the year of living dangerously for the N.C. State men's basketball team. The Wolfpack beat Elon 87-72 Wednesday night at the Greensboro Coliseum, but it was another game in which State was behind and in trouble.

We take plays off," freshman guard Ryan Harrow told Pack Pride. "That's what we have to get better at."

Harrow made a great point. If you look at the Pack's performance so far, what you see is a good record but one built on uneven performances:

* State beat Tennessee Tech in the opener 82-69 but led just 37-34 at halftime.
* State trailed ECU 23-22 but won,85-65
* State was down 56-55 to George Mason before winning, 78-65
* State led Fairleigh Dickinson by just four points in the second half before winning, 77-67
* State had a slow start against USC Upstate before winning 79-60
* State trailed Youngstown State 31-13 before winning, 67-50
* State needed a last-second shot to beat Delaware State 72-70
* State trailed Elon by 10 in the first half before winning, 87-72

Now, is any single game there indicative of disaster? Of course not. But slow starts are going to hard to overcome in places like Clemson and Virginia, let alone Duke and UNC. State has an easy ACC opener Saturday against Wake Forest - of course, the Pack could turn that into a cliff-hanger - and the schedule gets tougher after that.

This is a young team, and one that will grow. But, whew, you just wonder what ACC play holds if the Wolfpack continues to start so slowly. The larger question that looms over the program is whether this coaching staff has the team ready to play. A few slow starts is one thing - a pattern of behavior is another.

No comments:

Post a Comment