Tag:N.C. State
Posted on: April 27, 2011 12:58 pm

Could Ole Miss guard help out at N.C. State?

trevor gaskins crosses himself overPosted by Eric Angevine

Gary Parrish reported today that starting point guard Ryan Harrow will leave N.C. State after one season rather than play for new coach Mark Gottfried. The news was not unexpected, but it's a little bit surprising that Harrow waited so long to announce that he'd transfer, and never threw his name into the NBA hat, to at least gauge his options on that front.

Regardless of the mechanics of it all, the Wolfpack now look to 2011-12 with rising sophomore Lorenzo Brown as the main option at lead guard. Brett Friedlander of the Wilmington Star-News points out that Brown - who is not afraid to drive to the hoop and make plays - is actually very effective with the ball in his hands, but won't be able to handle the load alone.

With Brown and top forward C.J. Williams still, as of this writing, scheduled to stay in Raleigh, Gottfried has talented players to work with. Finding enough backcourt players to keep the offense running smoothly becomes a real priority of the rebuilding process the former Alabama coach has undertaken at N.C. State.

The long-term future of the point guard position seemed locked up a couple of weeks ago, when Iowa transfer Cully Payne seemed to hint that he'd join Gottfried. The Midwest native opted instead to stay near home and attend Loyola, and he still would have had to sit out a year had he chosen the Pack, so the short-term problem (which Gottfried must have seen coming) persists.

Gottfried can look to the junior college ranks, which might be a perfect option for the short-term backup position. However, an intriguing option exists in the form of two Ole Miss grads who still have some time remaining on their collegiate odometers. Trevor Gaskins and Will Bogan have both completed their undergraduate careers at Mississippi, and are looking to transfer and play a final season elsewhere. As we saw with Justin Knox at UNC and John Fields at Tennessee, graduating players with eligibility left can transfer and play immediately, as long as lip service is paid to the notion of finding a graduate course of study that is technically not available at the player's original school. Dress it up as an academic decision, and mum's the word.

Honestly, neither player is a star. That's why they're leaving Ole Miss. They would, however, provide experienced backcourt depth, and that's something the Pack desperately needs right now. Of the two, Gaskins is the better option. He averaged 20 minutes, six points and two assists per game as a junior in Oxford, and hit a solid 37 percent of his deep shots during that time. Bogan played in just 13 games and racked up plenty of DNPs late in the season, and seems more likely to end up at a lower-profile program.

One-year rentals like Knox and Fields don't usually end up being big additions to their new teams. They do, however, provide solid additions to the depth chart without forcing inexperienced players to do too much too soon. It might behoove Gottfried to at least bring Gaskins in for a look and see if he'd be a nice fit. There's nothing to lose and plenty to gain.

Photo: US Presswire
Posted on: April 11, 2011 1:50 pm
Edited on: April 11, 2011 2:09 pm

NC State's coaching hire could lead to Payne

Will Cully Payne make N.C. State his new home?

Posted by Eric Angevine

There's always a very public sense of relief (if not always joy) when a coachless program makes that big hire. At the very least, at this point, fans know that they won't be the team that's desperately pursuing an eighth choice in late June as the recruits slip away. But that hire is only the first that must be made. It doesn't really stop the carousel for the school that takes that big step.

Look at N.C. State for an example. former Alabama coach Mark Gottfried (certainly not the first choice) was hired on April 5. He still has a lot of work to do, and part of that work was predicated on finding a recruiter who knew the area and could join the staff right away. Gottfried found his man in Orlando Early, former head coach of Louisiana-Monroe and an assistant of Gottfried's for four years at Alabama. Early is considered to be a good man to have in the Carolinas, and State is going to need that, with the likes of Duke and UNC to compete with.

Next comes the speculation about all of Sidney Lowe's players. Will they stay and tough it out? Will they transfer? Will those with the chops go pro sooner rather than later? Right now, the picture looks gloomy, according to the Wilmington Star-News.

Us staying together would be good,” said freshman point guard Ryan Harrow, by far the most apprehensive sounding member of the Wolfpack. “But at the end of the day you’ve got to think about what’s best for you and what’s the best option in the long run.”
Harrow has enough talent to seriously consider a pro future, though he's hardly a lock at this point. The words quoted above don't make him sound too thrilled about sticking around. Nobody involved is going to be dumb enough to say what they're really thinking.

On that note, one of the more positive signs that the program may be OK was couched in similar unrevealing rhetoric. Iowa point guard Cully Payne, fleeing a recent Big Ten coaching change, may buy into the rebuilding effort at N.C. State if this quote, originally reported by the Daily Iowan, says what it seems to say:

“The guy I’d love to play for just got a job (Tuesday),” Payne said, alluding to Gottfried. “I can’t really say too much about that, but that would definitely be [a] place I’d look at.”

It's obviously not as easy as Harrow-out, Payne-in, but it would look that way to fans of the program. Even as Payne sat out a transfer season, he'd be something hopeful to point to for the future. A sign that this Gottfried cat may actually know what he's doing.

Gottfried does know what he's doing, but his name isn't as sexy as some of the others Pack fans heard in recent weeks. They wanted a Shaka Smart or Brad Stevens. Hey, so did everybody else. But Gottfried has been to the NCAA tournament seven times combined with Murray State and Alabama. He even took the Tide to the Elite Eight in 2004. That makes him an improvement over Sidney Lowe, and if he can keep at least a couple of Lowe's players around, he has a good base to work with in Raleigh.

If Gottfried can land Payne, so much the better. Payne once wanted to play for Gottfried at 'Bama, and now the two get a second shot at making the deal. The Hawkeye had a nice average of 8.7 ppg as a freshman, but it is his handle and decision-making abilities that will mean the most to the Wolfpack should he make the move official. Payne only played five games at Iowa last season due to injury, and should have three seasons of eligibility remaining.

Photo: US Presswire

Category: NCAAB
Posted on: March 15, 2011 10:37 am

Coach Speak: targets for Oklahoma and NC State

Will Doc Sadler stay in the Big 12?

Posted by Eric Angevine

Two more expected firings have come down the pipe as we prepare for tournament coverage. Oklahoma let Jeff Capel go, and N.C. State finally ended the Sidney Lowe era.

One of the first things we like to do in these situations is look to see which coaches are on fan wish lists and try to sort out which are fantasies and which might actually happen.

Oklahoma: It's hard to believe that the man who brought us Blake Griffin is gone, but everything for Jeff Capel went downhill when the electrifying dunker left school early to go to the NBA. Strange names come up in the local newspapers for this one. Doc Sadler is mentioned, which isn't all that odd except that he's already struggled mightily to build a winning program at a football-oriented Big 12 school. It speaks well to the respect he has in the coaching community that both Texas Tech and Oklahoma have kept an eye on him. Right up there with Sadler is Marquette's Buzz Williams, who has also been mentioned for the Tech job. Billy Gillispie is on everyone's radar, so throw him in there, too.

The strange names are these: the Norman Transcript tosses out Miami's Frank Haith and UConn women's coach Geno Auriemma. Haith seems to be on the hot seat in Miami, but his history as an assistant at Texas (from whence he got the Miami job) may make him a popular choice. Auriemma is at the pinnacle of his sport, and has shown no willingness to toss that away in favor of the challenge of rebuilding a men's program just to show he can do it. Until Jim Calhoun retires, I wouldn't expect Auriemma to ever look at making that move.

N.C. State: Sidney Lowe's firing is so fresh that the local columnists haven't really weighed in with their wish lists yet. The website Sports by Brooks has a fanciful list (which they shoot down as well) of Rick Barnes, Tubby Smith, Sean Miller and Mark Fox. Three of those coaches are in the NCAA tournament. Barnes is slotted in at the school that figures to own and operate the Big 12 from here on out. Miller and Fox are seeing their rebuilding efforts start to pay off at Arizona and Georgia, respectively, so why start over after just two years? Tubby Smith doesn't really seem like he wants to leave Minnesota.

The guys at Backing the Pack have some candidates on their list that seems sensible. Xavier coach Chris Mack would be a great get. Some other mid-major geniuses on the list are Cuonzo Martin (Missouri State), Chris Mooney (Richmond) and Blaine Taylor (ODU). Any of those gentlemen would be a fine choice as well.

State allegedly has $3 million a year set aside to lure a top coach, so it'll be interesting to see who jumps at the bait of repairing this once-proud program.

We'll do this again when the next round of coaches gets the axe, and we will, of course, keep you apprised when hirings happen. They're so much nicer than firings.

Photo: US Presswire

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