State Now: Three Points from N.C. State's 76-56 loss to Oklahoma State

November 19, 2012 

Three Points from N.C. State's 76-56 loss to Oklahoma State: NEWLINE 1) Hello, Indifferent N.C. State NEWLINE One of the smartest moves Mark Gottfried made in his first season was he rarely, if ever, talked about the 2010-11 season. NEWLINE There was no reason to beat a dead horse and the players, while mostly the same cast that suffered through the misery of 15-16 record in Sidney Lowe's final season, never really looked the same under Gottfried. NEWLINE That is until Sunday's loss in the championship game of the Puerto Rico Tip-Off. The veteran players, save for senior Richard Howell, were never really engaged in Sunday's game. NEWLINE As Oklahoma State built a double-digit lead in the first half, there were familiar vacant stares, circa the 2010-11 season when the program was hopeless, on the faces of C.J. Leslie, Lorenzo Brown and Scott Wood. NEWLINE The home loss to Georgia Tech last season was unexpected and the effort level in the loss at North Carolina was poor, but there was never a game during Gottfried's first quite like Sunday's. NEWLINE "That was as poor of a performance that we've had in a long time," Gottfried said. NEWLINE It's one game and it's not even Thanksgiving, so there's no reason to throw the baby out with the bath water, but how N.C. State responds from this setback will determine what type of season it will ultimately have. NEWLINE "We have to learn from tonight," Gottfried said. "This one stings and it should hurt. We've got to respond in the right way." NEWLINE 2) The freshmen played hard NEWLINE Freshmen Rodney Purvis and T.J. Warren led the Wolfpack in scoring and aggressiveness. While the veterans were mostly timid, Purvis and Warren were strong with the ball and tried to make plays. NEWLINE Oklahoma State challenged N.C. State, right from the opening tip, and Purvis and Warren were the only ones to respond to the challenge. NEWLINE Purvis led the team with 16 points and he had two steals. Warren finished with 15 points, on 7 of 12 shooting. NEWLINE The only complaint with Warren for the three-game tournament was his free-throw shooting. Warren was 1 of 5 on Sunday and 7 of 15 for the tournament. NEWLINE While the effort of Purvis and Warren was a good sign, it also illustrated the indifference of the veteran players. NEWLINE "We have to be better start from now on but that won't happen anymore," Purvis said. NEWLINE 3) In need of assistance NEWLINE N.C. State couldn't shoot (22 of 62), which doesn't lend itself to a high assist total, but there was little ball movement and a lot of quick shots in Sunday's loss. NEWLINE The Wolfpack finished with seven assists on 22 field goals. The previous low under Gottfried was 10, in the Sweet 16 loss to Kansas, another Big 12 team. NEWLINE Part of the problem was the absence of Leslie. The offense, since the aforementioned loss at UNC, has been moving through Leslie in the high post. His passing, especially in the first three games this season, has been really good. NEWLINE There was no flow on Sunday, in part because Leslie was never in the flow of the game. NEWLINE Leslie had his first shot blocked, on a baby fadeaway from the foul line, and then he had a putback attempt swatted on his third shot. NEWLINE Leslie finished the first half with three fouls and then started the second half on the bench. With 17:06 left in the game he picked up his fourth foul and technical. His game was over with two points to show for it. NEWLINE With Leslie struggling, N.C. State needed Brown to play bigger. Brown struggled with seven turnovers and he was beaten routinely in the first half on defense against Marcus Smart. NEWLINE Leslie (two), Brown (six), Wood (six) and Howell (six) finished the game with 20 points. They averaged 49.4 points between them in the first three games of the season. NEWLINE

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