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Point Guard Woes

It's worth remembering in light of Wednesday's game that UNC isn't the only Triangle suffering from injuries at a key position. The Wolfpack ball-handlers aren't showing Quentin Thomas's improvement at the position, and the situation is rankling the folks at State Fans Nation:

As if NC State fans needed any further salt in our wounds, the play of Wake’s freshman point guard, Jeff Teague, continues to dazzle the league and underscore the importance of having a stud at the key position.

The play of Teague also underscores the price that NC State is paying for very poor talent evaluation at the position. The Wolfpack’s coaching staff obviously ‘out thought’ themselves over the last couple of years as they amassed three commitments for the position - Farnold Degand, Marques Johnson, Javier Gonzalez - while choosing to pass on names like Jai Lucas (Florida) and Chris Warren (Ole Miss).

Warren has been so spectacular that he has a whole list of articles in USA Today that are ‘tagged’ with his name. Last week Warren earned his third SEC Freshman of the Week honors.

As an aside, here's the only other mention of Chris Warren on the blog:

Chris Warren, a 5-11, 165-pound point guard in the class of 2007 visited NC State recently. Warren was an option that the staff was considering for future point guard needs and ultimately chose to pass. (With Mays commitment, that becomes more clear). Warren is one of those situations where so many people on the internet prove that they simply don’t listen. We say posts on some message boards asking why State had ‘rescinded’ Warren’s offer… and proclamations that State should jump all over the short point guard with a valuable scholarship. Not that it will make one ounce of difference, but people who don’t know what they are talking about should not speak.

Jai Lucas never came up in their recruiting coverage.

I'm not dredging this up to pick on State fans, but more to make a point about fans following recruiting. Evaluating high school talent is hard. I think it's tougher than evaluating college player for the NBA, and every NBA fan has a host of horror stories about bad draft picks. All those high school player rankings, all those analysis reports you can buy on the web, and all of the creepy middle-aged me in track suits lurking around the fringes of high school gyms - it all doesn't matter. Sometimes talent pans out, sometimes it doesn't, and more than a few McDonald's All-Americans have ended up buried at the end of a bench. Look, I'm thrilled that everyone seems to like the talent Roy Williams is bringing in, but Williams and company get paid a lot of money to wade through that stuff and decide who to bring to campus. Those guys could still turn out to be busts - I'm not going to worry about until they're wearing Carolina Blue and playing on the Dean Dome floor.

Oh, and as a postscript, here's StateFas Nation proposed solution to the point guard problem:

But, allow me to add a little more to that while noting the obvious - if State lands wall and Trevor Ferguson does not graduate out (forget his ‘playing status’), then the Wolfpack will literally have SIX of THIRTEEN scholarships tied up in players who can play point guard if needed - Wall, Degand, Johnson, Ferguson, Gonzalez and Julius Mays. That is absurd. So, in addition to what State needs to sign in November, the program also desperately needs to do some ‘restructuring’ of scholarships allocation and spacing.

I'm not sure what the difference between the euphemistic "restructuring" and the "rescinding of Warren's offer" rumor that had them so hot under the collar back in October of 2006, but restructuring seems like a shitty thing to do to a college kid.