Friday, January 9, 2009

McCauley dissects Pack's season

N.C. State center Ben McCauley and forward Brandon Costner are combining to average 28.8 points and 15.1 rebounds while shooting 53.7 percent from the field.

As the Wolfpack (10-3) heads into its ACC opener at noon Saturday at No. 12 Clemson (15-0, 1-0 ACC), here’s what McCauley had to say about the season so far.

- On losing three games by a total of 10 points: “It’s a little frustrating because each and every one of those games we didn’t win, we had a chance to win. Realistically, we should have won at least two of them. But that’s the way it goes, and unfortunately we didn’t get one or two of those games like we should have. But we beat all the teams we should have beaten. We’re still set up pretty well confidence wise. Everyone is kind of getting the feeling that we’re going to win one of those games. We feel like going down to Clemson against a ranked team, undefeated team, it’s the best chance of anything.”

- On what N.C. State needs to do better: “Guys are really concentrating on taking care of the ball. That’s what hurt us, was turnovers. And I think that’s one thing we’ve focused on these past couple days in practice. If we take care of the ball and get in our offensive set we’re going to win some games.”

- On whether his work with Costner has been a good development after 2007-08 leading scorer J.J. Hickson left for the NBA following his freshman season: “I think it has. Especially because I’ve been playing with Brandon for three, four years now. He and I have great chemistry together, and for us to be back out there four and five men, we work well together. That’s kind of getting back to two years ago. And we haven’t lost any steps. If anything, we took some steps forward. So I think with Tracy and Dennis coming off the bench, that gives us even more firepower.

“Tracy’s a horse for us. He’s really working hard and has come up big for us in some games. As far as post play, I think we’re as solid as we ever have been since I’ve been here. If we continue to work hard down low, I think it carries over to our guards. And they’re going to see that our big men are working hard underneath. We need to step it up, too. And I really think they will. They’re going to be ready. It’s good to have Javi (Gonzalez) at point guard because he went through ACC play last year. Farnold (Degand) was on the team, but he was injured. And Julius (Mays) was a freshman, so to have an experienced point guard to teach these guys and push them through the ACC play, that’s going to help us out a lot, because point guard play in the ACC is crucial. It really is. There are some great guards, and you have to be ready to match them and surpass their energy.”

– Ken Tysiac


Anonymous said...

Good to see the Team still positive after the chemistry problems that caused the team to not reach it optimum last year. As long as the pack keeps its turnovers to a minimum and coster gets hot should have a good chance at winning tomorrow.

Looking forward to the game tomorrow and hopefully getting a big win at clemson to start conference play! and seeing carolina lose to wake would be nice too!

but most importantly GO PACK!

Anonymous said...

I agree. Although JJ Hickson was good and it was nice to have him there at times, it caused us to lose practically an entire season's worth of working together, as a team, for the common good of the team as a whole, instead of a stepping stone to Hickson's NBA career. I wish him the best, but can't wait to watch the wolfpack continue to get better by being able to work together. GO PACK!