Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Harrow to Kentucky: A very smart decision

I'll admit it....Ryan Harrow was in my doghouse for most of his freshman year at NC State.  I questioned his work ethic, his motivation, his abilities.  And when he decided to leave the Wolfpack and "reopen his recruitment", I wished him well.  It was the right thing for both parties, and would give him and NC State a fresh start.

His selection to go to Kentucky is a smart decision, and really speaks to Calipari's smarts and savviness in recruiting.  Signing Harrow to be the practice team point guard will no doubt benefit both Ryan and UK.  He will be a great player to practice against for the next four years for the starting Wildcat guards.  He will get to have the opportunity to learn a lot of different systems while running the opposition's sets.

I have never seen a coach recruit a player strictly for the practice team like Cal did here, but it is brilliant.  Also, it's a good decision for Ryan because he won't have the pressure of playing on gamedays, and wont have to deal with the fickle UK fans, or getting dressed out.  He will be able to focus on what shoes he will be wearing the next day, what he is going to tweet about, and other ways to garner internet attention.

And, who knows, dreams can come true.  He could be the UK version of "Rudy", a small, undersized practice player who always dreams of putting on the blue and white on gameday.  With Cal playing the part of Dan Devine, I can just hear the chants of "Ryan" echoing through Rupp Arena.

He really doesn't think he is going to actually play?  Does he?  Really?  In the immortal words of Carl Lewis, "uh oh!".

Monday, May 23, 2011

Is Alex Johnson Gottfried's Biggest Accomplishment Yet?

"Ladies and Gentlemen, welcome to the RBC Center.  Tonight, the Wolfpack is pleased to have as its guest, the basketball team from the University of North Carolina.  Now for the starting lineups....At Point Guard for NC State, Melbourne, Australia,...ummm...holy crap... Jordan Vandenberg!"

So, after waking up from my CA Dillon induced nightmare, I got to wondering what the Pack would do if Lorenzo Brown was lost to injury, now that Ryan Harrow didn't let the door hit him where the good Lord split him.  After vomiting exactly 7 times, I remembered that Coach Gottfried had just signed Alex Johnson, a graduate student out of Cal State- Bakersfield.  Put simply, this may be the most important thing Coach Gott has done since setting foot in Raleigh (Well, other than negotiating one meal a day at Case Dining Hall--savvy move Gott!).

Johnson is a solid player with valuable division one experience who has just one year to play.  This is important because we probably would have just wasted that scholarship on a walk-on, and it won't scare Rodney Purvis away from running with the Pack.  A Juco player would have done as well, but would not have had the experience coming in that Johnson does.

Johnson has averaged 13.3 points per game on 31 minutes, versus Harrow's 9.3 PPG on 23 minutes.  Harrow's 1.6 A/T ratio is comparable to Johnson's 1.16.  Combine that with the fact that he can actually shoot the three, and he is a viable threat.  In fact, he made 79 shots from the bonusphere (take that Gary Hahn!) to Harrow's 12.  Now, he did take quite a few more shots than Harrow, but he also made them 34.6% of the time, versus Ryan's 22.2%.

If Johnson can even come close to those kind of stats coming off the bench for the Pack, most fans will have forgotten about the day that Steve Urkel came to town.  And if a dreaded injury does occur (they always do for the Pack) then Gottfried will have an experienced floor general to call on to lead the Pack down the stretch.

Now, go bring Rodney Purvis home to Raleigh, and Julius Hodge will finally get a chance to eat!

Rapture Thwarted! A new NC State blog is born!

So, what else is new.  Some yahoo thinks he is so much better than everyone else, that he needs to start a sports blog about NC State.  Well, maybe not better than everyone else, but at least better than some of these blogs out there! (I kid, I kid!).

I wanted to start by saying: This blog will be new, it will be different, it will be exciting, it will help you lose 25 lbs  in 6 days and cure erectile dysfunction.  However, since lying would get this blog off on the wrong foot, I cannot make any of these claims.

If you are still reading after that disappointment, you are either really, really, bored...a big State fan hungry for any information, or a very bored State fan hungry for information.  If thats you, then this is for you!

Where we will be different is that we will take a common sense approach to NC State sports, and try to put issues in perspective.  Where most blogs seem to want to earn the "Lunatic Fringe" seal of approval, we want to be the common sense voice of the Fan.  You may agree or disagree with the views expressed here, but they will be well reasoned and fair.

We also will give coverage to non-revenue sports as well, as they are very important to the University and rarely get any mention at all (BassPack-- we are coming your way!!)

Thanks for coming on this ride with us.  Whether we are talking to one person or a thousand, me and my staff thank you for stopping by.