Wednesday, March 21, 2007

I don't want it to be over.

Box Score

NC State
Four Factors
Turnover Rate18.9
Off Reb Rate36.8
West Virginia
Four Factors
Turnover Rate15.7
Off Reb Rate16.7

        Pts   Poss   Off_Eff   Def_Eff
NCSU 66 64 103.1 110.9
WVU 71 64 110.9 103.1
-- The story of the game: our surprising inability to make our twos. As a team, the Pack hit only 32.4% of its 2FGAs; individually, only Brandon Costner managed to hit at least half of his two point attempts. Grant hit 3-of-10, McCauley hit 2-of-8, and Horner hit 2-of-6. McCauley's ineffectiveness, which resulted in his benching during the second half, really hurt.

-- A round of applause to the guys for keeping the turnover rate under 20%. The Mountaineers were +2 in the turnover category this time, so they didn't have much of an advantage.

-- A round of applause also goes to the Predict-O-Meter, which predicted that the game would have 63.8 possessions. It ended up having 63.6.

-- The Wolfpack significantly outrebounded West Virginia. It was our best defensive rebounding performance against a power conference school this season (and second best overall). Leading the way were Costner and McCauley, who both posted high defensive rebounding percentages. At the other end, Dennis Horner had as many offensive rebounds (5) as the entire West Virginia team.

I mean, we actually out-shot-attempted a team, dudes. Fifty-six FGAs to their 54, and this even though we shot twice as many free throws.

-- With a four point edge late, I thought we were going to win the game, and then Frank Young banked in that three. I had an immediate flashback to John Gilchrist doing the same against us in the ACC tourney a few years back, and I think I blacked out for a second. Thank goodness Young's hot streak didn't conjure up memories of Matt Freije (damn you to hell, Freije!) else I'd have probably died right there.

-- This is from the recap:

"I just told those kids that this was one the most gratifying teams that I’ve been affiliated with in 16 years," Lowe said in the locker room afterwards. "Just the way they handled themselves, the way they approached the game, never complaining. They worked their tails off and probably exceeded all expectations that a lot of people had of them."

Amen to all of that. As difficult as the year was, it hasn't left a sour taste in my mouth. It isn't the rough spots that I associate with this team when I think back; it's the triumphs. Yeah, the standings say we were 20-16, but it doesn't feel like it.

-- Great game, Engin, and thanks for four enjoyable seasons. We'll miss you.