Jeff: You have to like a double digit conference win any time you can get one. NC State is a team that the Eagles have had tremendous success against over the last few years even dating back to a few matchups while we were still in the Big East. You also have to like that there are several players on the floor that are capable of making some big plays for us whether if be a Corey Raji offensive rebound putback, a Rakim Sanders three-point basket, a Trapani jumper, a bucket from Southern down low, or any number of things from Rice and Jackson. The Eagles appear as though the sky is the limit when they are playing well.
Unfortunately though, the Eagles don't always play well and our lack of depth at center and forward or just lack of a center entirely is frequently exposed. But the most concerning thing from Saturday's game was the blown 20 point lead early in the second half. The Eagles extended their lead to 20 at the start of the 2nd half only to let the Wolfpack go on a run and cut the deficit to 3 in the blink of an eye. I don't know what happened or why the team fell apart or if NC State just got that hot while we went cold but against better competition, this game could've been lost.
Brian: You have to like the results on the boards Saturday, with the Eagles outrebounding the 'Pack by 21. Raji led the way with 12 rebounds, Trapani had 10, Southern 7 and Rice and Sanders each pitched in 4. If the Eagles can remain aggressive on the boards to compensate for their height disadvantage or lack of a big man (when Southern gets in foul trouble), they can run with anyone in conference.
Next up for the Eagles is a road trip to the Comcast Center to face a 13-6 (2-3 ACC) Maryland squad. The Terrapins are equally undersized and should come out hungry, as last Saturday they suffered the worst loss during the tenure of Gary Williams, a 85-44 beat down courtesy of Coach K and the Blue Devils.
Quickly ... The NC State blog StateFan Nation tiers the ACC men's basketball programs ... Monday's game between the women's NC State team and Wake Forest has been postponed until February 10 due to the passing of women's basketball coach Kay Yow; as a result NC State will next play the Eagles on Thursday ... The men's hockey team got back on track with a pair of wins against Maine ... The College Hockey blog recaps the weekend around college hockey ... women's hockey extends their Hockey East lead over the weekend, topping Vermont 5-0 and 5-0 ... ex-Eagle commit TE Arthur Lynch staying loyal to Georgia ... BC gets a kicker ($) ... Gary Tranquill, really?? ... HD weighs in on the hire (meh) ... Miami close to hiring once BC HC bridesmaid Mark Whipple as their offensive coordinator