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WBB:Can State Compete

In viewing the recent recruiting of Duke and UNC as compared to that of State, one has to wonder if State can compete with these rivals. For 2013, HoopGurlz has UNC with the number one class followed by number two Duke. For 2014 Duke has commitments from HoopGurlz number 10 Sierra Calhoun, HoopGurlz number 20 Lynee'Belton and HoopGurlz number 28 Azura Stevens. UNC has a 2014 commitment from HoopGurlz number 36 Jamie Cherry. Not only does State not have a top 60 HoopGurlz 2014 recruit, a search for commitments for State for 2014 comes up empty. With six seniors on the team for 2013-2014, State appears to need a number of 2014 recruits.

Despite the fact that State has not had much success against Duke or UNC for a number of years, State still holds a 51-44 record against UNC and a 40-33 record against Duke. State in the late seventies, all of the eighties, and most of the nineties was dominant in the ACC along with Maryland and Virginia. Despite UNC winning the ACC tournament in 1984, UNC did not have much success until the mid to late nineties with UNC winning the ACC tournament in 1994, 1995, 1997 and 1998, and the national championship in 1994. Duke did not win their first ACC tournament until 2000. State won the ACC tournament in 1980, 1985, 1987 and 1991. State finished first in the regular season in 1978, 1980, 1983, 1985 and 1990. State also finished second in the ACC tournament in 1978, 1979, 1981, 1984, 1989, 1990, 2001, 2007 and 2010. In NCAA and AIAW competition, State has been to one final four in 1998, two elite eights in 1978 (AIAW) and 1998, fourteen sweet sixteens, seventeen second rounds and 24 tournaments (21 NCAA tournaments). Fans during the first two and one half decades of Coach Kay Yow's tenure never worried about beating UNC or Duke. It was almost a given. As seen from the preceeding data, State has not won the ACC tournament or finished first in the conference since 1991; however, a trip to the final four in 1998 shows that State teams were still strong.

Kay Yow's illness during the later part of her period of coaching the State women's team had to hurt recruiting although she did take a team to the sweet sixteen in 2007. That year State upset an undefeated Duke team in the ACC tournament, but lost to UNC in the championship game. Hope came in the hiring of Kellie Harper for the 2009-2010 season, and she did deliver early coaching her team to the championship game of the ACC tournament in 2010 and an NCAA bid. State lost in the first round to UCLA in 2010. Under Harper and in her first two years, state went 2-2 against UNC, winning one home and one away game. However, Harper did not beat Duke until the second round of the 2012 ACC tournament. Wes Moore has replaced Harper and it is hoped that he can bring State back to a point where State can at least break even with Duke and UNC. Returning senior Kody Burke does have some positives things to say about Coach Moore; however, at this time recruiting is lacking for 2014, and its late in the recruiting year. While Coach Moore has time to build the team, signing four or five players none of which are in HoopGurlz top 60 list for 2014 will not bode well for competing with UNC and Duke in the near future.

Editor's Notes: The records against UNC and Duke were taken from GoPack game notes prior to the last regular season game of the 2012-2013 season. The writer became aware of the 2014 commitments discussed in the comments section after the first publication of this post. Every effort was undertaken to find all 2014 commitments up to and during the writing of this article. The author apologizes for any misleading information given within the article itself.

sbas humor, or not.
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