Monday, December 21, 2009

N.C. State's Smith suspended for Arizona game

N.C. State suspended forward Tracy Smith for one game for criticizing the officiating after the Wolfpack's loss at Wake Forest on Sunday night.

Smith, who fouled out after a playing a season-low 23 minutes, said the officiating crew of Karl Hess, Sean Hull and Joe Lindsay "favored" Wake Forest and called too many "touch" fouls.

Smith, who will miss State's nonconference game at Arizona on Wednesday, apologized on Monday for his comments.

"I was caught up in the heat of the moment, but should not have made the comments I did," Smith said in a statement released by the school. "I want to apologize to my coaches, my teammates, and last night’s officials for this situation."

Foul trouble limited Smith, State's leading scorer and rebounder, to 9 minutes in the first half. He picked up his second foul with 8:27 left and sat the remainder of the half. He then fouled out with 5:28 left in the game, which State lost 67-59.

Smith finished with 11 points and a team-best 10 rebounds but wasn't happy with the way the game was called.

"The refs, I don't think they did a good job tonight," Smith said after the game. "I think they favored Wake Forest all the way but that's ACC basketball. You've got to play through that."

State was called for 25 fouls, compared to 17 for Wake, and the Deacs had a 23-19 advantage at the free-throw line.

"I felt like there was too many touch fouls," Smith said on Sunday. "It's a man's game, I mean there's going to be touching and hitting, you can't call every little touch foul."

The ACC confirmed Monday that it was N.C. State's decision to suspend Smith, not a league-imposed penalty. Wolfpack coach Sidney Lowe declined to comment on Monday.

Smith leads the Wolfpack (8-2, 0-1 ACC) with 17.6 points per game and 9.5 rebounds per game. The junior ranks third in the ACC in both categories.

Freshman forward Jordan Vandenberg played 11 minutes on Sunday with Smith mired in foul trouble. Vandenberg was 0-for-3 from the floor and finished with two rebounds and two blocks.

Fellow freshmen Richard Howell (6 minutes) and DeShawn Painter (5 minutes) also figure to get more time against the Wildcats (4-5) on Wednesday. None of the three freshmen forwards have made a start yet this season.


Anonymous said...

It's time to see what the freshmen can do. Hopefully somebody will step up help the team.

Anonymous said...

I applaud Coach Lowe for doing this. Unfortunately this kid will pay for his words through the future actions of the Referee's. They will remember. The ACC's record on consistent officiating is not too good and this crew is not too good.

Anonymous said...

Lowe had to suspend him, otherwise the officials wouldn't let up all season.