N.C. State and the terrible, horrible, no good, very bad week


Forget what you may have heard, this week was a pretty bad week for the N.C. State men’s basketball program.

Even as Tar Heel supporters, we all must admit the Wolfpack’s freshman trio of C.J. Leslie, Ryan Harrow and Lorenzo Brown delivered on their hype, all throwing in 17 points in Tuesday’s exhibition, albeit against Pfeiffer. And surely the same story will be told Saturday morning after State beats Tennesse Tech in its opener tonight. But oh, the terrible and horrible were on full display off the court this week.

Readers of Sunday’s News and Observer were treated to this headline with their morning coffee: Police seek former Wolfpack basketball player Grant. I will admit, when I first read this I thought maybe Mr. Gavin Grant was about to be deported again, as he was threatened to be before his sophomore season. No, this was even better.

Grant is being sought by police for his part in a home invasion robbery stemming from an incident two months ago in West Raleigh. At first I was saddened. Another former athlete who, after leaving the university and college sports, was forgotten after not making the cut professionally. Then, I didn’t feel bad.

Think about it. This is a 6’8″ former standout. I use this term very loosely seeing as how bad the State teams were during his tenure, but someone had to be notable on the team — especially notable in Raleigh. Now if Grant had gone back to his native Jamaica or even across the country, I could see him thinking he could get away with some caper of this sort. But being such a large man and only about a year removed from his playing days, how does he think he’s going to not be identified? That was just dumb. It would be like Jackie Manuel trying to hold up the Key Food Mart or Ken’s in Chapel Hill.

State’s other midweek folly came via the popular website Groupon. For those who subscribe to the Groupon service for the Raleigh area, Tuesday offered deals to two different NC State men’s basketball games. For only $15, the deal included two tickets to the November 27 showdown versus Fairleigh Dickinson. Or for the same deal, two tickets to the January 1 battle between State and San Diego. Yes, $7.50 per ticket.

State cannott give away tickets.

These sort of schedule padders are usually the only tickets average UNC fans can imagine getting a hold of, and usually are bought fairly quickly. Even with a talented crop of recruits, State is doing everything it can to rally a fan base. The readers in the RDU area may have already known this because Sydney Lowe also has a commercial airing on local radio basically pleading for fans to come out to games.

But really, have you no self respect State? I understand having to win back a dejected corp of supporters after the last few atrocious seasons, but now you’re schilling your tickets to a deal-a-day website for your match-up with Fairleigh Dickinson? And for way less money than the guys hocking outside the Dean Dome do for the cupcake games.

Realistically though, I guess I understand. It would take a major deal for me to mount up and drive out to the RBC Center to watch my team lose.