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Tony Costner Is The New Gerald Wilkins's Andrew Skwara checked in with the Costners...

Costner's father, Tony, who played professionally overseas, doesn't believe his son got worse. He says the dramatic drop in production was due to the team building around big man J.J. Hickson, a five-star prospect and the prize of the Wolfpack's 2008 class.

"There is no way you can convince me that he digressed to that level," Tony Costner said. "The circumstances kept him from playing how he would normally play. The team went in a different direction. They wanted to establish a halfcourt game and establish a low post. I think (N.C. State) coach Sidney Lowe is a good coach, but that kept Brandon and other players from playing how they are capable of playing. It was just a case of them doing what the coaches wanted."


"I never really felt that I got into that good of a rhythm," said [Brandon] Costner, who signed with previous N.C. State coach Herb Sendek. "Because I was taking a significantly less number of shots, I really needed to be almost perfect to match what I did two years ago. That's nearly impossible."

He looked like a guy who was thinking "I have to be perfect" every time he touched the ball last season.

Later in the article:

"They have a great nucleus with three guys returning," Tony Costner said. "Brandon, Courtney and Ben all know how to play the game. You shouldn't restrict them. In my opinion they need to let those guys play. I hope that is what happens."

Costner is hopeful that without Hickson patrolling the paint, Lowe will turn to a more versatile attack.

"I feel that we are going to get up and down more and do more intricate things with the offense," [Brandon] Costner said. "It should be similar to what we did two years ago, rather than just dump the ball inside. We are also a much closer and much older team."

Too many excuses, not nearly enough introspection. You can tell from the disdainful "rather than just dump the ball inside" comment that Costner never bought into what Lowe was trying to do last season, and that was as much a reason for his poor performance as any of the other things cited by him and his father. The coaches owe neither an explanation nor an apology for making changes that allowed them to more appropriately utilize the best player on the team. Maybe they didn't make the transition as easy on Costner as they could have, but Costner didn't make it as easy on himself as could've, either.