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Five Good Minutes: N.C. State Preview With Backing The Pack

To preview tomorrow's regular season finale between the Eagles and the Wolfpack, we welcome Akula Wolf from Backing the Pack to the blog for Five Good Minutes.

In exchange, we answered some questions on the Eagles over at Backing the Pack.


BC Interruption: Since Skinner inserted Reggie Jackson into BC’s starting PG role, the Eagles are 3-1. Skinner believes that since Jackson is a bigger guard and a scoring threat, he creates a problem for opposing players that have to guard him. NC State’s answer to Jackson on Sunday will be ...?

Backing The Pack: Jackson hasn't proven to be a good outside shooter to this point in his career, and I don't think he's a great penetrator either, which at least makes it possible for NC State to keep him out of the lane. I'm not sure that Javier Gonzalez is capable of staying in front of Jackson and forcing him to shoot from outside all day, but that's what we need to do.


BCI: A lot of Eagles are familiar with big man Tracy Smith (17.0 points, 7.8 rebounds per game). Who else should we be concerned with stopping on offense?

BTP: Javier Gonzalez and Dennis Horner, most likely. They're usually more involved in the scoring than the rest of the supporting cast. But they're both prone to disappearing for long stretches, which has been our problem this year. We know what we're getting from Tracy every night, but those guys, and the rest? Never can tell.


BCI: It will be senior night for NC State’s guard Farnold Degand. He’s originally from Boston. Extra motivation for Degand? Can we expect a career night out of him?

BTP: You were laughing the whole time you were writing this question, weren't you. Anyway, no, I wouldn't expect that facing his hometown school would serve as any additional spark, and regardless, he's neither talented nor involved enough to make him much of a worry. If he hits double-digits, he's had a good day. I'd be far more concerned about the other senior, Dennis Horner.


BCI: Before BC’s recent string of wins in the last few games, a lot of Eagles faithful were questioning just how hot Al Skinner’s seat was. Having not finished higher than 10th in the ACC in his first four seasons, similarly, how hot is Sidney Lowe’s seat? If Lowe isn’t on the way out after this year, what will it take 1 ... 2 years out for Lowe to remain in the good graces of the AD and the Wolfpack faithful?

BTP: Frustration is building within the fan base, and I think most folks have come to a determination one way or the other on Sid. There are a couple of unique factors in play that make his seat a lot cooler than you'd expect it to be. We have an athletics director that is either lazy/indifferent or extremely patient, depending on one's perspective. He didn't fire Herb Sendek after we missed the NCAAs for five consecutive years. It took him ten years to fire a women's soccer coach that never made the NCAA tournament. Seriously. I've also heard that he didn't want to fire Chuck Amato, on whom the window had obviously closed.

The other factor is next year's recruiting class. It's very, very good. Ryan Harrow and Lorenzo Brown are by all accounts instant-impact guards. Harrow might be the big time weapon we've lacked at the point guard spot for ages. And the class has the potential to get better, depending on what CJ Leslie decides to do. If Lowe is gone, so are those kids.

It's an awkward situation. Lowe has completely lost me and I think we should part ways. I don't think he's ever going to cut it in this league. But at the same time ... I really don't want to lose those kids. The discussion is moot, though--Lowe will be here next year. If he's going to douse the flames, he needs to get this team into the NCAAs. That's probably a minimum requirement for the return of any sort of good will.


BCI: Quick hits. Your pick for ACC Tournament champ?

BTP: I have no idea; I could see just about any team in the league putting a long run together. Duke and Maryland have clearly separated themselves from the pack, though, and I wouldn't bet against Duke in Greensboro.


BCI: ACC Player of the Year?

BTP: Greivis Vasquez. In the past, Vasquez has been overrated, a guy who puts up big counting stats because he shoots a lot, not because he shoots well. But that's not true this season. He's had a career year despite assuming an enormous workload, and I really don't think anybody else compares. Delaney is also a huge chunk of his team's offense but hasn't been nearly as effective. Scheyer has been more efficient but isn't asked to do nearly as much as Vasquez.


BCI: ACC Coach of the Year?

BTP: Gary Williams.


BCI: Last one, prediction time. Who ya got? What’s the final score?

BTP: Flip a coin. Boston College by, let's say, five. 74-69.

BCI: Sounds good to us. Thanks for joining us!


For more information on the N.C. State Wolfpack, be sure to check out Backing The Pack.