2. N.C. State’s rebounding declined in spite of wide-body new edition freshman J.J. Hickson. Their total rebounds fell almost 15% from 1,157 last season to 1,007 this season. We don’t know why, we’re just pointing out the numbers.
3. Brandon Costner's also got hurt. He buggered it up in the Pan Am tryouts, sat out six weeks and never recaptured his 2006-2007form. At times last year, especially late in the season he was a tremendous force. The math simplified: Last year Costner played 1,239 minutes scoring 605 points (16.8 per game) while this year he only played 731 minutes and scored 256 points (8.8 points per game).
4. Sidney Lowe had some off court issues. Of course, he says they haven’t affected him. We surmise he has done everything he can to shut out these issues, but sometimes such things (especially when they have family ties) have an subtle impact in spite of one’s best efforts.
All of the conjecture aside, the Wolfpack is one ACC tournament away from getting near where they were last year. Remember, Lowe’s boys made it into the NCAA tournament in 2007 coming off a 5-11 regular season mark. Then they beat two so-so teams in Marist and Drexel before being tossed from the party by West Virginia (who had already beaten them at home early in the season.)
Simply put, the two teams aren’t that different and WolfPack Nation shouldn’t panic. Right now, they aren’t as good as they were last year and they probably won’t make a run to the ACC finals.
Just the same don’t lose faith in Father Sid. Don’t lose your basketball religion. It’s Lowe’s mission to lead the Pack back to the promise land he knows so well.
They’re will be better days in Raleigh, and these days might not be as bad as they are being made out to be.
Simply put: The space between this squad and last year’s group is smaller than one might think.
Keep the faith.