Blog Entry

N.C State: The real deal or an imposter?

Posted on: November 19, 2011 9:29 pm
Edited on: November 19, 2011 10:39 pm
By Jeff Goodman

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- It was tough to tell.

Is this N.C. State team a legitimate NCAA tournament contender with the addition of C.J. Leslie -- or was this an inaccurate evaluation of the Wolfpack since Vandy was without Festus Ezeli?

I wish I had the answer.

Leslie, in his first game back after serving a two-game NCAA-mandated suspension, was dominant -- especially in the first half. He finished with 20 points.

Richard Howell went for 16 points and nine boards. N.C. State's big men exposed Vanderbilt on the interior, a team that is missing a potential first-round pick in Ezeli.

"I don't know yet," N.C. State coach Mark Gottfried told me when asked if this team can get to the Big Dance. "We need all our guns."

The Wolfpack were without its top shooter, Scott Wood, who is nursing a sprained ankle. Gottfried also said he's hopeful that the NCAA will make a decision soon on the status of skilled 6-foot-8 Belgium native Thomas de Thaey. On paper, N.C. State nearly knocked off a Top 20 team on Saturday night.

But Vanderbilt coach Kevin Stallings will be the first to say that, without Ezeli, his Commodores don't deserve to be ranked right now.

"We've got a long way to go before we're a good team," he said.

Which brings me back to my original question -- which may be impossible to answer just yet.

Photo: AP

Since: Oct 7, 2010
Posted on: November 21, 2011 4:54 pm

N.C State: The real deal or an imposter?

Skyhawk is right.  They lose by seven points to a team without its best interior player and you wonder if they are the real deal?  Come on Goodman, what is wrong with you?  Dumb article.  No article is better than this one.

Since: Oct 13, 2007
Posted on: November 20, 2011 11:26 am

N.C State: The real deal or an imposter?

NC State has always been my favorite of the ACC teams...I hope that they beat Texas Monday...

Since: Aug 21, 2006
Posted on: November 20, 2011 4:22 am

N.C State: The real deal or an imposter?

I honestly thought N.C. State had won by 15 after reading this the first time. Losses are how you determine a contender?

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