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Friday, March 23, 2012

’Pack mentality: N.C. State has KU’s full attention

Kansas head coach Bill Self paces the court as the Jayhawks warm up with passing drills during the beginning of practice the Edward Jones Dome in St. Louis.

Kansas head coach Bill Self paces the court as the Jayhawks warm up with passing drills during the beginning of practice the Edward Jones Dome in St. Louis.

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— Kansas University center Jeff Withey worked up quite a sweat during a pair of practices Thursday: the first at St. John Vianney High School and the second a 50-minute shootaround at Edward Jones Dome, site of today’s 9:17 p.m. Sweet 16 game against North Carolina State.

“I’m trying to get back in shape,” the 7-footer said with a smile. “It’s weird to say that, but sitting out a game you kind of lose your breath a lot. I’m trying to get back into it.”

The San Diego junior might have been exaggerating just a tad about his physical condition this late in the season. The point is, he’s a bit rusty coming off Sunday’s game against Purdue in which he played just 15 largely ineffective minutes.

“I am a lot more comfortable than the first weekend,” Withey said.

He scored four points and grabbed two rebounds in KU’s 63-60 second-round victory over the Boilermakers. He had seven points and nine boards while playing 29 minutes in a first-round victory over Detroit, also in Omaha.

“It was a tough weekend for me,” Withey said. “I feel I had a little bit of jitters. It’s the first time I played in this tournament, really (after not playing much as a sophomore). To get that monkey off my back feels really good. I’m excited we got past that round. I feel now we can really get comfortable and start playing.”

Withey said it’s only natural a No. 2 seed such as KU (29-6) would feel jitters going against a No. 15 seed in Detroit and No. 10 in Purdue.

“You don’t want to be the team that gets upset,” Withey said. “This weekend, everybody can play. We will have fun with it and kind of let loose.

“After the game last weekend, coach (Bill) Self mentioned that every great team has to have a win like that,” he added of the narrow, come-from-behind win over Purdue. “The last couple years, we fell short. To get a win like that this year takes a lot of pressure off.”

North Carolina State (24-12) enters tonight’s late game as a No. 11 seed, which in theory could again add to the pressure.

Withey doesn’t see it that way.

“They’re a great team. We know at this point of the season they are all great teams,” Withey said. “They are a more traditional team (than guard-oriented Purdue). It should be a little easier for me and T-Rob (Thomas Robinson) playing against them. They have two big guys, not just a bunch of guards. It’s a perfect chance for me to get back into it. I’ll be able to make a bigger impact, I feel.”

N.C. State has a pair of 6-foot-8 starting forwards in C.J. Leslie (14.6 ppg, 7.4 rpg) and Richard Howell (11.0 ppg, 9.1 rpg). DeShawn Painter, who is 6-9, comes off the bench for 6.3 points and 4.3 rebounds per contest.

“They remind you of Baylor,” Withey said, “because they are so athletic. They can jump out of the gym and are really fast.”

Of the challenge of going against 209-pound sophomore Leslie, the 6-10, 237-pound Robinson said: “I need to be aggressive from the jump ball. He’s athletic so I’ve definitely got to use that to my advantage, the fact that he is an athlete, probably one of the best I’m going to face the whole year.”

Self is wary of junior Howell and Leslie.

“It’s more traditional because they will play two bigs,” Self said. “Their bigs are really quick. They can catch the ball at 17-feet and put it down and drive it, or they can make shots. They are not traditional bigs, but at least they are bigs. We can play more traditional than we had to against Purdue when we had Thomas guarding their two guards for the majority of the game.”

N.C. State has scoring balance. Point guard Lorenzo Brown averages 12.8 ppg (231 assists, 116 turnovers), three-point bomber Scott Wood 12.4 ppg (93 of 223 threes for 41.7 percent) and senior guard C.J. Williams 10.6 ppg.

When a reporter suggested N.C. State had “nothing to lose,” Withey said: “We have that mind-set all year, too. We have nothing to lose, either. It’ll be a fun game, a battle. There will be a lot of scoring.”

Withey also was asked what the odds were of KU shooting just 33.9 percent as it did Sunday versus Purdue.

“The odds are ... it’s not going to happen again,” he said. “Purdue put a lot of pressure on us. I feel N.C. State is more a team like ourselves, that likes to run. I think it’ll be a high-scoring game, a lot of layups and quicker game.”

The winner advances to a Sunday game against either North Carolina or Ohio. KU officials indicated that game time would either be 1:10 p.m. or 3:55 p.m.

“I feel we’re excited and ready,” Withey said. “I feel the last two years we let ourselves down. There is a chip on our shoulders because we were favored two years in a row. To lose last year in the Elite Eight, and the year before we didn’t make it past the first week ... we definitely want to win. A lot of people didn’t pick us to be here this year. It helps us being under the radar. We all love each other on this team and enjoy playing together. I think when we come out with energy we are tough to beat, and that will be the case (against N.C. State).”

Comments

Alohahawk 2 years ago

The last 2 minutes of this game against N. C. State took what must have been a record number of minutes to play. I didn't time it, but I'd bet money it took 20+ minutes. Every 20 second time out took 3 minutes or more.

KU hit one of about 15 - 3's. And while TT came up big in the rebound department, he couldn't hit anything the entire game.

The Jayhawks tried everything imaginable to let NCSU win this one!!!

I hope the Jayhawks got the "bad" out of their systems. If Marshall plays for N. Carolina next game, that could be a long game.

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Mike Bratisax 2 years ago

Another slow start and KU goes home

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Mike Bratisax 2 years ago

Another slow start and KU goes home

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RJ King 2 years ago

With less than an hour to kill here's a read on Tony Parker that gives a ton of insight to the thought process of a prize recruit, and an update on where we might stand

http://espn.go.com/high-school/boys-basketball/story/_/id/7717492/tony-parker-recruiting-roundtable

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Ben Kliewer 2 years ago

Rock Chalk guys. The ESPN pickers have NCSU as the most likely upset for tonight, so there's a little bit of bulletin board material for you. Go out and prove them wrong!

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Alohahawk 2 years ago

Interesting statistic: With 12 teams left in the Big Dance there are 2 teams left from each BCS conference, except the Pac 12, which has zero. > ACC - N.Carolina & N C State > Big 12 - KU & Baylor > SEC - UK and Florida (Florida in E. 8) > Big East - Syracuse & Louisville (Both in E. 8) > Big Ten - Ohio State & Indiana (Ohio State in E. 8) > Atlantic 10 - Xavier > Other - Ohio (can't remember, are they Mid American?) > I predict that KU & Baylor will advance to E. 8, along with UK & N. Carolina. Which gives 3 conferences 2 each, and 1 each to ACC & Big Ten. > I further predict that KU, Louisville, UK and Ohio State will advance to the Final Four. Therefore, there would be one team from 4 different BCS conferences in the Final Four. The ACC and Pac 12 will have been knocked out. Seeds left = one #1, two #2, One # 4. > KU would play Ohio State, and pull out a squeaker. And UK beats Louisville in a much closer game than anticipated. > KU would have to play an almost perfect game, which they are capable of, to beat UK for the championship.

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Hawktacular 2 years ago

Keep your heads, listen to Coach Self, and lose yourselves in the game tonight, fellas. No way they will lose if they have some fun. Rock Chalk!

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budsitz 2 years ago

NC State is the best 11 Seed in tournament history! First, they have fixed their chemistry issues and have bought into Gottifrieds system. Second, they are not only huge, the starting five are all athletes. I live in Clayton,NC and have made several games. This team has the size of Baylor and the defensive intensity of Wisconsin. Wood and Brown are the only consistent 3 point shooters (.417 & .342). They are both very good FT shooters (90.1% and 82.6%). They both get to the line alot! So, KU really needs to avoid fouling these two. The rest of the team is dreadful from the line, Leslie is is 108 of 180 (59%), for example. Painter, Howell and Leslie crash the Offensive boards. Their better than 50% FG percentages reflects their putback opportunities. They have had games with more than 12 turnovers, but, not since Florida State. And their back court, unlike KU, are very good passers. They have a very high assists to turn-over ratio.

The key will be Withey's play.  Production from Young and Wesley.  And getting some 3 pointers from Johnson and Taylor -and, Teahan not shooting.
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sayers48 2 years ago

Anyone know how I might find a DVD of the MU game at AFH? Any guidance on this would be greatly appreciated.

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Tony Bandle 2 years ago

Please forgive me..maybe because it's Lent and I'm Catholic.... but the photo above, for some strange reason, reminds me of Leonardo da Vinci's famous "The Last Supper" fresco in the Santa Maria delle Grazie Monastery in Milan, Italy.

Something tells me that this photo's composition as shot by the very talented Nick Krug was not an accident!!

As always, all comments and criticisms are welcome.

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rockchalkinit 2 years ago

Let's get it done tonight fellas! Rock Chalk Jayhawk KU!!!!

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WyoJayHawk 2 years ago

Comments from NCSU newspaper. “We have to convincingly beat them”…"If we are good offensively, that can also help us defensively," Gottfried said. "If we can get their bigs in foul trouble, they are a different team when they go to the bench just like we are. We have to be aggressive on how to attack them inside."

http://www.technicianonline.com/sports/st-louis-sweetness-1.2719057

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jaybate 2 years ago

Conversely, I maintained that Gottfried would probably approach the KU game as the game to pull out all of the stops on and then find a way to labor past UNC.

This situation makes Gottfried and NCSU especially dangerous for Self and KU.

And Gottfried coming up with some really surprising wrinkles could make it very difficult for Self to play his starters only 30 minutes.

Anyway, I look for a very interesting tactical battle among two coaches that appear to play somewhat different ways, but arrive at offensive statistics that are virtually identical.

Gottfried seems more offensive minded.

Self more defensive minded.

Both basketball have roots that run way back Iba. Self rather directly. Gottfried via Harrick, Wooden to Iba.

Both have basketball roots that run to KU, also. Self directly from coaching here under Brown to Smith to Allen and then as the head coach at KU. Gottfried's connection is much less direct, but its there: Gottfried to Sanderson to Newton to Rupp to Allen.

I know many say heritage and legacy are inconsequential factors in any given competition in the present. Many say that having the ghosts of great coaches in the back ground of one or both coaches means nothing in the heat of a battle for who survives and advances, and who perishes and goes home. But I think outcomes in the present are always convergence of path dependence springing from legacy philosophies, strategies and tactics winding down through history into the present, and the skills and inventivenesses of the coaches prowling the sidelines in the present.

Legacy may play only a small and hard to determine part, but it is a part worth noticing...and savoring sometimes.

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jaybate 2 years ago

Conversely, I maintained that Gottfried would probably approach the KU game as the game to pull out all of the stops on and then find a way to labor past UNC.

This situation makes Gottfried and NCSU especially dangerous for Self and KU.

And Gottfried coming up with some really surprising wrinkles could make it very difficult for Self to play his starters only 30 minutes.

Anyway, I look for a very interesting tactical battle among two coaches that appear to play somewhat different ways, but arrive at offensive statistics that are virtually identical.

Gottfried seems more offensive minded.

Self more defensive minded.

Both basketball have roots that run way back Iba. Self rather directly. Gottfried via Harrick, Wooden to Iba.

Both have basketball roots that run to KU, also. Self directly from coaching here under Brown to Smith to Allen and then as the head coach at KU. Gottfried's connection is much less direct, but its there: Gottfried to Sanderson to Newton to Rupp to Allen.

I know many say heritage and legacy are inconsequential factors in any given competition in the present. Many say that having the ghosts of great coaches in the back ground of one or both coaches means nothing in the heat of a battle for who survives and advances, and who perishes and goes home. But I think outcomes in the present are always convergence of path dependence springing from legacy philosophies, strategies and tactics winding down through history into the present, and the skills and inventivenesses of the coaches prowling the sidelines in the present.

Legacy may play only a small and hard to determine part, but it is a part worth noticing...and savoring sometimes.

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jaybate 2 years ago

Alas, Sanderson, who coached Mark Gottfried, got in a scrape over a 15 year affair with a secretary, and wound up being forced out in some disgrace at Alabama. Sanderson's former player, Mark Gottfried, went and coached under Jim Harrick at UCLA, then came back a half decade later and became Alabama's head coach for ten years, starting well, before struggling a couple season, enduring some controversies about a player dismissal, and then resigning during mid season.

Gottfried returned to coaching a year ago and turned North Carolina State around.

Thus Gottfried carries within him an interesting and unusual mixture of Sanderson's hybridization of indigenous southern basketball crossed with Rupp's version of Kansas basketball on the one hand, and Jim Harrick's version of Wooden's UCLA way filtered through his assisting Wooden disciple Gary Cunningham two seasons at UCLA, before moving to Pepperdine. And we know that one of the significant origins of Wooden's UCLA way, related to the defensive philosophies of Henry Iba.

Gottfried has long been considered a fast rising, skillful coach that got himself sideways at his alma mater. He is a member of Bill Self's coaching generation at one point was significantly ahead of the curve in comparison with Self.

So: Gottried is a very estimable adversary for Self and one he will most definitely take seriously.

We are apt to see a very cunning battle of wits between Gottfried and Self.

Gottfried is fighting here for a second chance at a coaching career and at regaining is stature as an important coach in the profession.

I maintained yesterday that that KU is probably a slightly better team than UNC and UNC is probably a better team than NC State.

As a result, Self and Gottfried would face different agendas.

Self would probably try to limit his starters to 30mpg, if possible, and hope to leave enough in the tank to beat Roy and UNC on Sunday with KU's A-Game.

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FLJHK 2 years ago

I like our chances tonight. When Self has several days to dissect an opponent and create a game plan, he is tough to beat. Too, NC State doesn't pose particular match-up problems nor do they play an unconventioal style that can nullify some of KU's defensive prowess and athleticism like a Mizzery or Purdue. Barring anomolies like ridiculously hot or cold shooting by one team or the other, I think KU wins a tough battle by 6-12 points.

Historically, it's in the second game of tourney weekends with less prep time that we have struggled. It's certainly premature to speculate about Sunday before getting through tonight, but I will say that of all the Elite 8 prospective match-ups, I'd rather be playing Carolina (or Ohio) than who we would face in any other regional final.

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jaybate 2 years ago

"Gottfried Maybe the Key Variable"

Mark Gottfried may be the key to this game, even though how KU handles Lorenzo Brown and controls the glass will decide things in the end.

If Gottfried pulls out all the stops against KU, rather than saving their A-game for UNC, KU could be in for a nail biter for reasons I will explain later.

First, let's understand Gottfried a bit.

Gottfried played a year for ORU, when Self was playing at Okie State.

Gottfried then jumped back to his native Alabama and played for Wimp Sanderson, head coach of the Crimson Tide.

To understand Wimp Sanderson, you have to know he assisted for 20 years at Alabama--first under Hayden Riley, then C.M. Newton.

Hayden Riley was a Bear Bryant football assistant in the then independent republic of Bryant. Bryant made Riley an assistant athletic director and head basketball coach. Bryant understood early on that you had to take up the budgetary and political oxygen within an athletic department if you wanted to stay in control of your own football program. I discovered little about Riley, except that he was a successful high school basketball coach.

The plot thickens for Kansas basketball fans, however, when we realize that Wimp Sanderson assisted for quite a while under C.M. Newton. Newton was a sub on Adolph Rupp's 1951 national champion basketball team.

To cut to the begets, Allen begat Rupp. Rupp begat Newton. Newton began Sanderson. Sanderson begat Gottfried.

Back to Newton and Sanderson for a moment of digression. These two men are largely responsible for executing the integration of Alabama basketball. Late though it may have occurred, they had to have been men of some courage and character to get that accomplished, even when it did finally happen.

Sanderson was a beloved and a widely respected coach that coached an interesting hybrid of basketball not unlike what Rupp disciple Joe B. Hall (who also claimed some influence by Iba) contemporaneously coached at Kentucky.

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William Blake 2 years ago

Since we are playing NC State I decided to pull out an old quote I believe came from Jimmie V:

"There is a reason this is called the 'Big Dance.' The teams that advance in this tournament do so by dancing their way into the Final Four. How do you dance? You move your feet. So get out there and move your feet!"

If we only take this one piece of advise moving forward, we will be in excellent shape to make it to the Final Four, and then shock the nation by taking home the hardware!

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JD Roth 2 years ago

Kevin Young bringing energy every time he's in there!!

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KansasComet 2 years ago

Glad to see Withey admit jitters. Hopefully he can shake those and have a good game. Looking forward to tonight. If we control the boards and get good play from our guards, we should have a good outcome. I am sure that I am like most posters at this point. It doesn't matter who does it, let's just get it done! Survive and advance!

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katman52 2 years ago

No way KU overlooks them...This NC State team is no joke...If you look at their schedule, all but 1 of their losses is bad....Their losses are: Vandy, Indiana, @Stanford, Syracuse, Georgia Tech (horrible loss), UNC (3 times), UVA, @Duke, FSU, @Clemson...I'm looking forward to a great game!!

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AznSnSaTioN 2 years ago

We need Withey to go into beast mode again.

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William Blake 2 years ago

"“I am a lot more comfortable than the first weekend,” Withey said."

We don't want you to be comfortable... we want you to be mad!

Get mad, Mr. W, and go out there and score a triple-double tonight!

Pop quiz: Has there ever been a triple-double performance in March Madness?

Rock Chalk!

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Tony Bandle 2 years ago

CRAP!!!! Vianney High School is within walking distance of my office!! Why wasn't I given a heads up so I could hoof it over there and give Bill some valuable coaching tips???!!! :)

Phog Allen once said, you learn much, much more from a loss than you do a victory.

1] Kentucky - showed us how far we were from being an elite team. 2] Duke - showed us that you have to maintain poise for a full game. 3] Davidson - showed us never, never, never underestimate your opponent. 4] Iowa State - showed us that no matter how hostile the environment, find a way to win 5] Missouri - showed us that no lead is safe until the last buzzer 6] Baylor - showed us the past means nothing, each game stands alone.

Jayhawks, the lessons are over....apply 1 through 6 and we won't need lesson 7!!!!

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Keith Hummel 2 years ago

A fantastic video on Tyshawn was just released:

Check it out!

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Ron Franklin 2 years ago

Anybody see Hudy shove that assistant when Tyshawn dunked it @ 3.5 seconds in the Purdue game? Maybe it's just my quirky sense of humor, but I thought that was hilarious.

Little ol blondie shoved this guy about 6 feet across the baseline when Ty threw it down.

Wouldn't mess with her; glad she's on our team.

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vd 2 years ago

I understand why BS doesn't play Withey, because of defense. But when we have the ball, IMO he should have him in there. At the end of the at MU game, he didn't play him. His size gives you an advantage on the offensive end, since Mu couldn't match up with him. BS doesn't seem to make the O-D switches that most coaches make at the end of games.

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REHawk 2 years ago

It would appear that a heady offensive strategy would be to go for the bucket from the getgo, strive to get the Wolfpack in foul trouble. I'd love to see us draw a foul on our opening series, set the stage for dropping them back on their heels.

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planojayhawk 2 years ago

Let's hope that the refs do not make this game about themselves. Let the players on both teams play and decide the game!

I am so geek up for this game. This is going to be a great game. Hope we can get the W and play at least another game.

Win or lose, I am so proud of this year's team. I want to keep watching them play until the NC game!

Go get them boys. Rock Chalk Jayhawks!

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KGphoto 2 years ago

I doubt Withey thinks it wasn't fair. I doubt even more that he's publicly, politely, backhanding Self's decision to limit his minutes. To me his comments demonstrated that he understands perfectly well why he was sitting for much of the Purdue game. Because coach told him to, and coach knows what he's doing.

Withey was just as glad to get a win as anyone else. He's a team player, c'mon.

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bbeckum 2 years ago

i don't know if i've mentioned this before but I LOVE THE FREAKING JAYHAWKS!

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yates33333 2 years ago

Self replaced Withey against Purdue to get what he considered the proper defensive match against P.U. He sacrificed offense to get defense, which isn't a surprise but not fair to Withey. Good thing KU won. I have yet to understand why Withey is always the scapegoat. I guess he looks to awkward and slow for a former small guard. Withey's comments are a polite way of saying he wasn't thrilled by Self's opinion.

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Displayhawk 2 years ago

Kansas is ballin', while Missouri is bawlin'!

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2 years ago

Can't 9:17pm CT get here any faster?? :^)

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always_a_jayhawk 2 years ago

“They are a more traditional team. It should be a little easier for me and T-Rob playing against them. They have two big guys, not just a bunch of guards. It’s a perfect chance for me to get back into it. I’ll be able to make a bigger impact, I feel.”

No, Jeff, no! Don't give them any bulletin board material! facepalm

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Jonathan Unruh 2 years ago

Drive it to the hole. We took way to many 3's last game.

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phogphan2000 2 years ago

It's nice to have Withey so stoked to get going in this next game, he's got to play well on both ends. TRob just needs to get back to finishing around the rim and TT needs to hit some FG's again and the offense is going to be just peachy. Not getting called for a bunch of cheap fouls is going to be key, pressure on every guy to guard his man fairly tight without getting caught with his hand in the cookie jar. If KU can stay out of foul trouble while playing tough defense, the offense will most likely take care of itself in this one. If EJ or TT get into foul trouble along with Withey or TRob, it's going to be a tough game. Let's win this one with sound defense and working the offense through the post. Rock Chalk!

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Kye Clark 2 years ago

Glad to be playing a more traditional team; sick of these 4 guard teams that give us such trouble. Despite their seeding I think NC State is a better team than Purdue, yet at the same time I think the match-up favors us more in this game. I think for this game our stars - TRob & Tyshawn - get back on track. Not that they were horrible against Purdue, but definitely sub-par games by the standards they have set all year. Let's keep this "down" year going guys!

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Doug Cramer 2 years ago

Would like to see us attack NC State's weaknesses...instead of them attacking our weaknesses...and having to play their game.

Both the Missouri games and the Purdue game...it felt as though we let them play their game...and did not play to our strengths.

Let's play our game and capitalize on their lack of physical play in the post...and not let Scott shoot from the perimeter. Play Bill Self defense...and crash the boards HARD !!!

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