If you listened to Triangle talk radio Tuesday, one thing was clear: Mark Gottfried's honeymoon at State is over.
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David Glenn said, essentially, they are what they are and doesn't expect, say, a startling improvement on defense. Adam Gold said that if they choose not to live up to their potential, that's on them.
We didn't write the quotes down so we could be a bit off, but the sentiment was unmistakable: State's not where they should be and they might never get there.
Good thing they won Tuesday, and better for State, won easily.
Early in the year, TJ Warren was putting up some superb numbers, but against FSU he racked up 31 points and 13 boards. He was 12-15 from the floor and 5-5 from the line - a surprise for a guy who has really struggled from teh line.
CJ Leslie added 19 with 10 boards.
State clobbered FSU on the boards, 39-18 to 18-5.
Virginia took Miami down to the wire before losing 54-50. With the scored tied at 50 and six seconds left, Reggie Johnson hit a layup, then Durand Scott stole the ball and made a couple of free throws to seal it.
Miami is getting some games now but the thing is, they're finding ways to win.
Joe Harris led UVa with 16; Shane Larkin was high man for Miami with 11.
Carolina used their small lineup for the third game in a row and at times against Georgia Tech they were sensational. Roy Williams has essentially decided to not rely on a second big man which goes against nearly 50 years of UNC tradition.
But it's working. Against Tech, it worked beautifully. The court was well spaced and the Heels got back to their fast-break offense.
They still have issues - Marcus Paige is a weak(physically) point guard, Dexter Strickland is limited offensively, at times PJ Hairston struggles with his confidence, and the big men other than James Michael McAdoo are not impressive, although any of them could emerge later.
McAdoo and Leslie McDonald led the way with 22 points and 11 boards for the big man and 15 points with four three pointers for McDonald.
Tech shot just 39.7% and just 36.4% from the foul line.
Brian Gregory has Tech back over .500 at 14-11. Somehow 15-10 would have just sounded nicer.
Maryland's loss to BC was almost predictable. Mark Turgeon has regularly called his team immature and has handed out some suspensions for similar reasons.
He wasn't much happier in Beantown: âI just don't get it.â We're right here, it's a big game. It's not a hostile environment. You've just got to want it.â
Might be a more hostile environment next time.
Before the Duke game, Turgeon challenged Alex Len to play up to Mason Plumlee's level; he exceeded it. But BC shut him down, collapsing on the big man every time he got near the ball.
He finished with four points and eight boards, fouling out in 27 minutes of action.
The focus on Len left people open and Logan Aronhalt took full advantage, racking up 26, including seven threes.
The loss is typical of this particular Maryland team but also of the program in general: the Terps are always ready to rumble with Duke or UNC, but susceptible to weaker teams and also bouts of insecurity. Think back to Lefty "ah kin coach" Driesell and how obsessed he was with State and UNC.
The 73-74 losses to State? It just fed into it. Nobody did fragility better than Gary Williams, who was always emotionally vulnerable.
So it's really a decades-long pattern reinforced by coaches and fans in a never-ending cycle.
Maryland is a brittle program
Their schedule is reasonably favorable, with Clemson an UNC at home and road trips to Tech, Wake Forest and UVa, but if doubt and uncertainty set in, you can almost predict the results.