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"I don't know."


Marques Johnson said North Carolina State coach Sidney Lowe delivered a passionate pep talk just before Wednesday night’s game, imploring the Wolfpack to reverse its negative momentum by protecting its home court.

What followed was fractured and largely listless from the opening tip.

And as N.C. State splintered and perhaps hit rock bottom in a 72-62 defeat administered by Florida State at the RBC Center, it ended with everybody associated with the Wolfpack declaring the performance unforgivable.

"I don’t know what it was," N.C. State reserve guard Trevor Ferguson said. "The season’s almost over and we’re not coming out ready to play. There’s no excuse for that."

More from Ferguson:

"That should be motivation enough," Ferguson said of the losing streak. "But I don't know. It seems like we come out dead every time, and it's killing us. We just dig ourselves in a hole."

Marques Johnson:

"All we can do is apologize to the fans," guard Marques Johnson said. "I don’t know what it is, but we’re not playing hard or something. There is no explanation for this. A five-game losing steak, we’re finally back at home - you would think we would excited to play. But we came out slow and sluggish, for some reason, obviously."

Sidney Lowe:

"I can’t explain it. Actually, we had pretty good practices, had energy. We missed a couple of wide-open shots early and it was like we just kind of put our heads down because we were wide open, and didn’t get back and didn’t get the stop the way we needed it. I don’t know why missing a shot would do it, either, because I never cry about missing a shot. But I think that affected us maybe, and they just didn’t play well. The starters didn’t play well."

What a mess. The games stopped affecting my emotions and my schedule weeks ago, but the issue of motivation continues to gnaw. I wish I could make just the tiniest, smallest bit of sense out of this season.