Credit the Seminoles for ending their disappointing season with a solid home victory over the Wolfpack, however, this was a game N.C. State couldn’t afford to lose.
From a talent perspective, N.C. State has Florida State beat at nearly every position despite wherever Michael Snaer is choosing to play when he’s on the floor. However, even in Snaer’s case his talent doesn’t exceed C.J. Leslie’s or Lorenzo Brown’s and the argument could be made it doesn’t even exceed freshman T.J. Warren’s. If this was a pick-up game, where players are getting chosen like a school-yard recess contest, Snaer likely gets picked third or fourth.
Unfortunately, this has been the story all year long for the Wolfpack, playing down to inferior opponents and ultimately losing the contest despite having far superior talent on their roster. Immaturity and a severe lack of team chemistry has plagued the school all season despite entering the year as pre-season conference favorites.
The pre-season predictions by many experts didn’t come out of their behinds either, as N.C. State is capable of putting six players on the floor who could finish with double-figure scoring numbers. They have the conference’s best point guard in Brown, two of its best post-players in Leslie and Richard Howell, two quality freshmen Warren and Rodney Purvis, along with one of the best shooters in the entire nation in Scott Wood.
The Wolfpack haven’t been able to figure out a way to play together despite having such an impressive cast on their roster. The result has turned them into one of the nation’s biggest disappointments and will likely see their season come to an end on a note similar to the Seminoles game, losing to a team they should have easily handled in the early rounds of a post-season tournament.
At times this N.C. State team has looked as good as anyone, as the combination of Brown and Leslie on top of their game is as scary as any one-two punch an NCAA school can produce. Surrounded by heart and hustle guys like Howell and Wood and talented scorers Warren and Purvis, it’s easy to understand why so many people were high on this Wolfpack team to begin the year.
Due to inconsistency and the previously mentioned immaturity and chemistry issues, N.C. State likely won’t last long in either post-season tournament. They have the talent to run the table in the ACC Tournament, but wouldn’t surprise anyone at this point if they went home after their first game.
They’ve done enough to earn themselves an NCAA Tournament bid, and despite possessing the talent to advance a few rounds, they will more than likely make the selection committee regret placing them in the field.
When it comes time to filling out brackets, don’t place N.C. State too far, if you even choose to advance them at all. The media will certainly remind the nation of their talent filled roster, and explain their potential for knocking off opponents on a unlikely tournament run. However, make no mistake, this team isn’t going to finally have the light switch turn on and figure themselves out.
This is exactly why the Wolfpack can’t be trusted when it comes to the fast approaching post-season tournaments.