I joined Backing the Pack in November of 2009. I do not remember when the title of the site was changed from Section Six to Backing the Pack, so I might have joined when the title of the site was Section Six. In 2010, because I was a fan of State's women's basketball team, for the comments section of articles on mens basketball, I started giving some information on how the women's team was doing. Akula during that period suggested that I might use the fan posts section to write about the women's basketball team which I have been doing since.
Admittedly there is not much interest in the women's basketball program and many if not most of my fan posts do not receive comments, and I do not know if those articles receiving no comments are read. Having a successful women's team would increase interest as in 2010 when the team advanced to the NCAA tournament there was more interest. Three years ago hardly anyone who commented at this site cared about baseball. With improvement of the baseball team more interest is shown.
Would it not be nice if State had a player on their women's team as good as Alyssa Thomas? Thomas is the two time ACC player of the year in women's basketball. While I get amused when she states that she models her game after Lebron James because she cannot jump, I do see some similarities. Thomas is six-two, very strong and very fast. Like James, while she is not the point guard of the team, she directs the offense most of the time. State could not stop her when they played Maryland. Thomas due to her size, strength and speed gets a number of defensive rebounds and against State drives it down their throats going from basket to basket mostly scoring but sometimes setting up a team mate. Thomas also does this against other teams. In a close game, she almost scores at will, and she did so against Wake Forest last night. Maryland was down by five late in the game and Thomas took it upon herself to score or set up teammates to give Maryland the lead. Marissa Kastanek was the State player closest to Thomas, but she lacked the size and strength to compete with her.
I understand why many do not care for the women's game due to the fact that as a whole women cannot jump, look many times like they are running in quicksand, fall down often and fumble passes. However, yesterday in the ACC tournament the games between State and Duke and between Maryland and Wake Forest were played at a high level. Normally, I only watch the women's game if State is involved, but I started watching the Wake and Maryland game and could not turn away.
If State had played all year anywhere near the way they played yesterday, the team would be in the NCAA's. State finally got really good point guard play from Brown, and six-five Gatling played the way her stats from high school where she shot 74% as a senior, and junior college where she shot about 60%, showed that she could. She was said to have great hands; however, prior to yesterday, she appeared to fumble more passes than she caught. State yesterday at times ran the ball down Duke's throat with State's point guards on at least three occasions throwing the ball more than half court to either Gatling, Burke or Kastanek for scores. Gatling in her instance caught the overhead pass with her left hand and banked it in with her right.
Why did State lose after leading by four late in the game? When a team loses quite a bit, the tendency is to press at the end of the game when things go bad. State was up by two when Liston of Duke hit a big three to give Duke a one point lead that they never lost. State just collapsed.
Could be a good year next year for State. At this point because Harper has built the team to the point that it could move into the top four teams in the conference, she should get another year. However, its not my call.
By the way, while my heart was with Wake in the women's game yesterday, I wanted Maryland to win because I knew that with a Wake win, we would be looking at a UNC/Duke final. That is something I am always against because ESPN and the conference want it so.