College Basketball

'Old guy' Wood praises the vets

Sophomore notes that Wolfpack returns three of its top four scorers

Staff WriterJuly 25, 2010 

Sophomore Scott Wood has read, heard and shared the hype about N.C. State's incoming freshman class.

But he has a reminder for Wolfpack fans: "Don't forget about the old guys."

While incoming recruits C.J. Leslie, Lorenzo Brown and Ryan Harrow have been getting the lion's share of the spotlight this summer, Wood - one of those "old guys," now that he's a sophomore - has been working to gain the attention of opposing defenses once the season begins.

After averaging 7.8 points and making a team-high 37.3 percent of his 3-pointers in a sharpshooter role last season, the 6-foot-7 wing from Marion, Ind., has been putting in extra time in the weight room - steadily building muscle "so that people can't move me as easy."

He's also been working on creating his own shot more consistently.

Wood said he knows he'll probably always be known as an outside shooter, but he also wants to become more of a multifaceted offensive threat by driving more often to the basket.

"I think there are definitely some areas of my game, as I get older and stronger, that will grow and show in the college game," said Wood, who played some minutes at point guard in high school.

And he wants to show that growth sooner rather than later, with such a talented group of freshmen joining the fold to claim playing time.

Wood, who has been playing in the S.J.G. Greater NC Pro-Am summer league this month, was the only Pack player to start all 36 games last season.

No doubt, the 6-8 Leslie, 6-4 Brown, and 5-11 Harrow will be vying for slots in the opening lineup, but Woods said he's not really worried about being pushed out.

"I think it's a good thing, because the competition's going to make you play that much harder to keep your job," he said.

"And even if I come off the bench next year - it could happen - we've got some good recruits coming in, some people are going to get bumped, some people may not like it - you've just got to stay positive and keep working hard. And when everybody else sees you working hard, that's going to make you that much better.

"Because not everybody is going to start, that's the bottom line. And my dad has always told me it's not who starts, but who finishes the game. That's the bottom line. So hopefully I can put myself in situations to be in at the end of the game, and if somebody comes and takes my spot, I've got to look at myself; it's nobody else. Because that will mean I didn't work hard enough."

Most important, Wood said, is for the "old guys" and freshmen to mesh quickly - something he was sure would happen, because they all want to win.

"The recruits are going to be great - they're going to come in and give us a huge boost," Wood said.

"... Just like we gave a boost [last season], they're going to give a lot more. The fans are kind of looking at the recruits more than maybe, 'Hey, we've got a bunch of people coming back. We've got three of the top four scorers coming back, and we've got a lot of experience.' ... But as long as we win, that's what matters."

Another Plumlee combination

Duke forward Mason Plumlee grabbed a defensive rebound Tuesday and rushed up the floor during an NC Pro-Am league game in Durham.

His 7-foot teammate hustled ahead of the play, caught a bounce pass from Plumlee and slammed home two points.

The teammate? Mason's brother Marshall, who committed to Duke earlier this month.

A rising senior at Arden's Christ School, Marshall Plumlee is spending time this summer in Durham, staying with the eldest of the three Plumlee brothers, Duke junior center Miles Plumlee.

"It's just a blessing to be with my brothers," Marshall Plumlee said. "... Miles and Mason work out with me. It's just great that they let me visit them and enjoy the summer with them."

Marshall didn't expect to play much in his first game Tuesday but ended up scoring 12 points in extended time on the court. His ability to run the floor, as demonstrated by the fast-break dunk, immediately stood out as one of his best attributes.

"The big men that can separate themselves are the ones that can really be the first ones to the other end," Marshall Plumlee said. "We tried to make it a focal point growing up to run on their toes and not be flat-footed."

Another induction for UNC's Williams

When North Carolina's Roy Williams left his first head coaching job, at Owen High in Swannanoa, he never imagined he would be inducted into the school's Hall of Fame. Not after a 2-19 record his first year in 1973 - and a 45-66 mark over five seasons.

But after earning two NCAA titles and more than 600 victories as a college coach, he will be inducted, on Aug. 27.

"I'm flattered of course," said Williams, already a Naismith Hall of Famer, in a prepared statement. "They certainly must be honoring me for what I have done since my days as Owen's coach, because the only Hall of Fame thing I did in my time there was to care for the kids. But I am proud of helping improve basketball in the valley and deeply appreciative of this honor."

Staff writer Ken Tysiac contributed to this report.

robbi.pickeral@newsobserver.com or 919-829-8944. Follow on Twitter at bylinerp

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