NCSU ready for centennial

Staff WriterJanuary 11, 2011 

Scoring 100 points in a college basketball game today may earn a team a headline or TV highlight, but it hardly counts as a historic milestone anymore.

But when as many as 125 former players gather later this month for N.C. State's 100th anniversary basketball reunion, former guard Joe Harand will be able to swap tales about his role in the first time N.C. State reached triple digits.

Now 84, Harand was a third-stringer for N.C. State on Dec. 8, 1947, when he scored the final three points in his team's 100-35 win over the Chatham Blanketeers. It marked the first time a Southern Conference school scored 100 points.

"When I got back to the dorm after the game, all my buddies had banners up about me scoring the 100th point, ... then in The N&O the next day, I got more of a mention than some of the starters," Harand said during a phone interview from his Shelby home. "... It was an event."

The inclusion of Harand, the last living member of coach Everett Case's first N.C. State team and the oldest player who has RSVP'd so far, should help make the basketball reunion quite the event, as well.

The Jan. 23 get-together is part of a celebration of a century's worth of N.C. State basketball. Last year marked the 100th season, but this year marks the 100th anniversary of the first varsity game, when the North Carolina School for Agriculture and Mechanic Arts lost to Wake Forest 33-6 on Feb. 16, 1911.

N.C. State sent out more than 300 invitations. (Any former player, manager or coach who has not received a notice and is interested in attending should contact chris_alston@ncsu.edu.)

Among those expected to attend: Al Heartley (N.C. State's first African-American basketball player); Vic Bubas (who scored the first N.C. State basket at Reynolds Coliseum); 1959 ACC Player of the Year Lou Pucillo; and former ACC tournament MVPs Vic Molodet, Vann Williford and Tommy Burleson. The alumni will gather for brunch on Jan. 23 and then be honored at halftime of N.C. State's noon game against Miami at the RBC Center.

Coach Sidney Lowe, the point guard on N.C. State's 1983 national championship team, said he is hoping his team can learn from the ones that played before them.

"It's going to be great to see some of my old teammates and some of the guys that played before me, and some that played after me,'' he said.

Harand, who played at N.C. State after a stint in the Navy and started on the first NCSU team to reach the NCAA semifinals (now known as the Final Four) in 1950, said he looks forward to swapping stories with his fellow basketball alumni. He has many favorites, he said, although scoring that 100th point is notable.

"These days, nobody would blink twice at that,'' he said, laughing.

Irving still healing

Duke point guard Kyrie Irving continues to proceed with the hope that surgery will not be required for his injured toe and that he can return to the court this season. On Monday, coach Mike Krzyzewski declined to offer specifics about the injury, continuing to say that the freshman is out indefinitely and adding that Irving would not return this season if surgery is needed.

"It's too complicated to talk about, and actually it's not anyone's right to know that," Krzyzewski said of the details of the injury. "It's his toe. The thing we've been very straightforward about is what his status is. We still think there's a good chance he's out for the whole year, but he's progressing well."

Irving was averaging 17.4 points and 5.1 assists per game when he was injured Dec. 4 against Butler in the Blue Devils' eighth game of the season. Doctors are scheduled to re-evaluate Irving's toe in another week, Krzyzewski said.

"His is a serious injury, and it's coming along well," Krzyzewski said. "But we're prepared to play the rest of the season without him."

ACC dribbles

Virginia forward Mike Scott will undergo a second operation on his injured left ankle and will miss the remainder of the season, Cavaliers coach Tony Bennett said. The senior missed six of his team's past seven games after returning from surgery, only to have more problems with the ankle.

Scott has appeared in 10 games this season, putting him on the borderline to be granted a medical hardship - and a fifth year of eligibility - by the NCAA. Bennett said the school will file the paperwork and is hopeful it will be granted.

Starting point guard Larry Drew II is doing the better job for the Tar Heels on the defensive end of the floor, coach Roy Williams said. His freshman backup Kendall Marshall is doing the better job on the offensive end.

"I'd like to mesh both of them ... the one player that came out of them would be an unbelievable player for us," Williams said. "Kendall is making strides each and every day and is going to be extremely important to us as we go along in our program."

Staff writer Ken Tysiac contributed to this report.

robbi.pickeral@newsobserver.com or 919-829-8944 or twitter.com/bylinerp

News & Observer is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

Commenting FAQs | Terms of Service