Reporting Chris “Mac” McClain
The NC State season ended in a very fitting fashion on Friday. At times they lacked effort. At times they played dumb. And, in the end, they underachieved.
After the game, NC State sharpshooter Scott Wood admitted they didn’t play hard enough in the first half on defense. As a result, Temple shot 53 percent and was up 16 at the half. How does that happen? This wasn’t a game in November in Peurto Rico. This was the Big Dance. It was win or go home. And, because of lack of effort, State is going home.
But, in typical State fashion, they didn’t go without showing you how good they were capable of being when they applied themselves. After falling behind 47-30 in the second half, they turned up the defensive intensity. As a result, they forced turnovers. That led to fast break hoops. Scott Wood finally got hot late too and State was back in the game.
But, in typical State fashion, they made dumb mistakes late and didn’t close the game. Twice instead of pounding it inside, the panicked and hoisted up threes that missed. Then twice late they let time run off the clock because certain players (Brown and Leslie) didn’t want to commit their fifth foul. It wasn’t just the players fault. Why would a coach have them in their when all they were doing it fouling?
After the game, coach Mark Gottfried said “it was all on him.” But that wasn’t case. In typical State fashion, there was plenty of blame to go around.