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Old 01-28-2007, 02:22 PM   #151
aztarheel
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Join Date: Sep 2006
Thanks for the comments ... I've had a lot of fun with this one... Not sure I can ever top it story-wise...

Not sure if you can find Tournament Dreams any more. It had its down sides but it is certainly playable. I definitely got my money's worth out of it (and still am to some degree) ... Check out WolverineStudios.com (or something like that) -- they are selling Total College Basketball...

AZ
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Old 01-28-2007, 02:50 PM   #152
aztarheel
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Posted by: yanksare

Perspectives from the Posse


I’m back. I had to take care of a little business in the northeast but the Sheriff is definitely back baby. Faithful Fred writes “Isn’t it about time we get rid of this mediocrity? I hate every 4 years having a chance to get LUCKY to get to the sweet 16.”

Patience my friend, one cannot expect a team to dominate every year. It is not as though Coach Victory is commanding Rutgers or other such powerhouses. However, having said that, I would be remiss if I did not mention that with our last disappointing season it appears that Victory may be up to his old ways again.

What could it be this time? Let’s just say that I have it on good authority that Steve”Wait till next year and I’ll get a” Victory will be leaving for greener pastures this offseason. Don’t be surprised to find Charles Barkley rolling into town to take over the Tide and Victory signing up to lead the Tigers of Clemson in his beloved South Carolina.

Until next time, the Sheriff says a Barkley in the hand is worth two Victorys in the bush.
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Old 01-28-2007, 02:51 PM   #153
aztarheel
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Steve Victory JOURNAL – Decision 2020

While the Charles Barkley-to-Alabama rumors sparked some life into the usual drab summer sports scene of Tuscaloosa, coach Steve Victory opts not to jump to the ACC after all.

He did go through informal talks with Clemson officials — “just to hear what they had to say” – but opted to stay put after realizing just how poor the Tigers’ hoops program had fallen. Clemson’s talent level for freshmen and the team as a whole is listed as “awful” by the fine folks at .400 Sports.

Victory has been down that road before (when he took over at ‘Bama) and rebuilding a crappy program in a tough conference like the ACC is not his cup of tea at this point. Now if a contender from college basketball’s greatest hoops conference ever came calling, that could be a different story...

Georgia Tech looked a little better than Clemson on paper, but Victory’s not too keen on the Rambling Wreck for whatever reason. Plus, things were just getting good for Alabama at the end of last season. Time to see what he can do now that these boys have some experience! Bring on Alabama in 2020-21!! (Sorry Sheriff and Frank the Faithless—another year of putting up with Coach V in Tuscaloosa)…
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Old 01-28-2007, 02:51 PM   #154
aztarheel
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QUOTE

Originally posted by yanksare

Those should have been my shoes and that was my mile to walk. That should have been me Monday night cutting down the nets. Steve, I will never forgive you for what happened.




An open letter to The Sheriff:

Huh?

Sincerely,
Steve Victory
Alabama head coach
NCT Champs 2019

Last edited by aztarheel : 01-28-2007 at 02:52 PM.
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Old 01-28-2007, 02:55 PM   #155
aztarheel
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Steve Victory JOURNAL – Early Season 2020-21

You don’t need to buy a new program to know who’s playing for Alabama this season. All 13 players from last year’s squad that went 20-17 are back. They, of course, are in a different class this year. Two players, SF Gregg Barnes and PF John Capel, enjoyed a redshirt year and are still considered freshmen. PG Javon Forbes and C Sam Steele, who didn’t play much last year as freshmen but have decent potential, will redshirt this season. All part of Victory’s plan to better balance out the classes so that 7 or 8 don’t leave the program in one season again (and to placate Faithless Frank – picture a guy with bitter beer face – who is back to his badgering ways in Tuscaloosa…

Here’s the rest of the lineup:
Starters: PG Cliff Williams, SG Earl Dixon, SF Ely Wilson (ready for big senior year?), PF Lincoln Dearman and C Jabari Wolff (really a PF but Victory needs him on the floor as much as possible).
Bench: PG David Smith (may push Williams for starting job – both considered “elite” playmakers), C Leroy Harriman, PF Capel, PF Marcus Davey, SG Nate Nolan, SF Barnes.

A few more vitals:
Prestige: Climbs to 57 (goes up 1 point after NCT title but goes up 2 after ACT runner-up finish? Huh ?!?)
Freshman Talent: Awful (because there are no true freshmen)
Overall Talent: Solid
Game Challenge: Normal
Expectations: Wouldn’t you know it, the ‘Bama chieftains just want a .500 conference record


Alabama’s first game of the season is a loss. But at least the 79-69 defeat is to defending national champion Louisville, who looks primed for a repeat effort.

The Tide gets hot from this point, winning the next four games and 11 of the next 12! UMass is the only team to get the best of Victory’s boys during this stretch, and they barely slide by 75-72. PG Cliff Williams gets injured in this contest (lost for 1-2 months!!), and Alabama struggles without him the rest of the game. PG David Smith fills in nicely though in his stead over the next few weeks.

The early-season schedule is a mixed bag of crappy teams and good ones. Some of the “good” wins come over NC State 88-61 in Raleigh, at North Carolina 83-72, Temple 93-59, Rutgers (not so good in my world) 84-63 and Dartmouth (CRI 73) 81-57. Alabama gets ready for the grueling SEC slate carrying an 11-2 record and a #13 ranking nationally. Not a bad rebound after last year’s 3-8 start.

Ely Wilson, Lincoln Dearman and Earl Dixon are leading he way, each averaging 14-15 ppg… Victory can’t figure out a way to get Wolff to score more at center but he is averaging better than 10 rebounds per game thus far…
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Old 01-28-2007, 02:56 PM   #156
aztarheel
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Steve Victory JOURNAL – SEC campaign 2020-21

Like the weather in Tuscaloosa in January and February, Alabama cools once the SEC schedule hits. The ‘Tide loses to Arkansas in the opener, beats a solid LSU team (ranked #6) and then falls to #3 Mississippi State. A win over South Carolina is followed by a defeat to a much-improved Auburn squad.

Alabama plays some of its best basketball of the season midway through the SEC slate. Victory’s bunch reels off five straight wins by impressive scores – at Kentucky 70-55, Florida 73-56, at Mississippi 78-60, Arkansas 99-57 (nice revenge for earlier defeat!) and at #7 Vanderbilt 86-77. At this point, even Frank is cracking a smile or two as the Tide moves back up to #13 in the national rankings and joins Auburn and Mississippi State as the front-runners in the SEC South.

But someone stashed some “bitter beer” in Alabama’s remaining season, and by the time the SEC tournament rolls around even Steve Victory is wearing the contorted face of an anguished coach. ‘Bama drops four of its last six games, including the last three against Georgia (75-74), #2 Mississippi State (81-67) and #19 Auburn (79-66)… The final regular season record looks more tame: 20-9, 9-7 in the SEC (hey, at least Victory met program expectations ). Mississippi State and Auburn ran away with the SEC South with 14-2 records. Vandy led the North with a 13-3 mark.

‘Bama will make the NCT this season for sure. But the team hurt its chances for a nice #2, 3 or 4 seed with the late-season collapse. Now, it will likely be a #6 or #7, even a #8…

On a more positive front, Victory nabbed a pair of hot-shot (at least on paper) recruits for next year. Tyler Tate is a five-star PF who averaged 30.7 ppg and 15 rpg as a high school senior. The South Boston, Va. native could challenge Brett Fischer’s FT records, making 92 percent of his shots. Roland Ward is a 5-star SG, who pumped in 34.5 ppg for his Connecticut high school as well as pulled down 7.1 rpg and dished out 6.7 apg. Victory likes that this guard can rebound too!!

This could be Victory’s best recruiting grab since landing Michael Bliss and Brett Fischer, who both went on to the NBA after three years in Tuscaloosa. Tate is ranked #25 nationally and Ward is #13… Too bad they can’t come for the post-season this year…
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Old 01-28-2007, 02:58 PM   #157
aztarheel
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Posted by: yanksare

Tuscaloosa News March 2021

Sheriff’s Roundup

Was it Plato, Twain, or MCA who spoke the words of life when he said “The Sheriff’s Posse’s on my tail because I’m in demand”? Steve you are in demand. And of course by demand, I mean we faithful citizens of Alabama demand consistency from you. And of course by consistency I do not mean consistent mediocrity. And of course by mediocrity I mean you have overwhelmed us with your lack of coaching ability. And of course by coaching ability I mean what you try to do on the sidelines as your team runs aimlessly without true leadership to and fro. And of course by fro I mean your hair style.

Loyal readers recently we have received a open letter from Coach “V is for” Victory “and one would be good enough for me.” It is obvious that rather than trying to figure out why his team is losing that he is exerting all his mental energy into this both telling and lucid question. I quote “Huh?” Well spoken. It seems your verbal prowess is as Herculean as your coaching ability.

Steve, if I can be perfectly Frank(or Fred) with you. You know why it should have been me and not you cutting down the nets in 2019. It is as if you have purposefully unbuckled your size 48 trousers, squatted and taken a huge, smelly Wofford all over our past together. You may not be willing to admit what you have done, but the truth is out there and it will be heard soon my friend. Until next time, the Sheriff says trust no one.
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Old 01-28-2007, 02:59 PM   #158
aztarheel
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Steve Victory JOURNAL Post-season 2021

Alabama’s post-season performance does little to dispel the notion that Steve Victory’s truly a mediocre coach at the big-time college level (even though he has an NCT title to his credit). The Crimson Tide, seeded fourth in the SEC tournament, wins its opener over #5 Arkansas 70-61 but then falls in the semifinals to #1 Mississippi State 84-72.

Actually, that’s right were ‘Bama should have lost according to the seedings, but Victory knows his team was capable of beating the Bulldogs and advancing back to the SEC title game. Something just seems to be missing these days. The players have lost their edge – they seemed satisfied at just getting 20 wins. It’s not injuries – everyone’s back in the lineup. It’s chemistry and heart.

Of course the recent national championship at ‘Bama has only fueled fans’ (and sports columnists’) desire for more titles rather than satiate it. The bar has been raised since 2019 and Victory has yet to clear the next height, much to his chagrin.

Auburn goes on to upset Mississippi State in the SEC championship game, something else that adds fuel to the fires in Tuscaloosa. Mississippi State still gets a #1 seed for the NCT.

Alabama’s name gets called as expected on Selection Sunday, going as a #6 seed in the East. The opponent: a school Victory has barely heard of – Sacred Heart. Victory will get to know the Pioneers out of the NEC all too well in the days to come…
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Old 01-28-2007, 03:01 PM   #159
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Steve Victory JOURNAL - NCT 2021

Yep, that’s right. Little ol’ Sacred Heart knocks Alabama out of the NCT in the first round. It’s actually a great game if you’re just a casual fan of basketball tuning in. The teams play run-and-gun for 40 minutes, then go to overtime. The Pioneers get hot, outscore the Tide 16-4 and pull the 95-83 upset.

Of course if you’re an Alabama fan, trying to relive the magic of 2019, it’s a heartbreaking day. The Tide had high hopes, even after some late stumbles in this season. The one-and-done finish just confirmed that this was somewhat of an underachieving bunch. Is it the coach? The players? Expectations that are too high? A combination of all three? Dissension over persisting rumors that Charles Barkley wants to coach the team? Karma? Negative press? Bad pizza the night before games?

Whatever the case, Victory’s team reaches official program expectations by getting a .500 conference record. But the 21-11 overall mark still doesn’t sit too well with him or others surrounding the program (especially Frank-Fred)…

Mississippi State goes on to the Final Four (again!) but loses to Illinois in the finals. Arkansas reaches the ACT finals but falls to Indiana. It’s the third year in a row SEC teams have played in both the NCT and ACT championship games. Alabama has been a part of two title games (one in each tournament) but is nowhere to be found this season…

Alabama has no award winners other than a few players of the week. Earl Dixon (13.9 points per game), Lincoln Dearman (13.7) and Ely Wilson (13.4) lead a balanced scoring attack for ‘Bama. Wilson, Dearman and Jabari Wolff all grab more than 8 boards per game. Cliff Williams is the assists leader (6.2 per game). Dearman and Wolff both block two shots a game on average.

Dixon and Wilson get their degrees and are off to the real world. No NBA draftees this season… On to season #19 for Coach V...
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Old 01-28-2007, 03:06 PM   #160
aztarheel
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Steve Victory JOURNAL - NCT 2021

Victory’s pretty upbeat at the Final Four festivities in Atlanta despite his team’s disappointing finish. He still gets plenty of pats on the back from his peers for the Tide’s 2019 championship run. “That was one fine tournament your boys had – one of the best on record,” the conversations typically go. “With those two hot-shot recruits you’re bringing in next year, you should be right back in contention to get here again.”

That helps this season’s tough finish go down easier. Folks are grumbling back home, but on the national scene, his overall work is well-regarded.

One athletic director that seems to pay extra attention to Victory during the typical coach and administrator hobnobbing is Derrick Whittenburg, once the famed guard who threw the pass that led to the dunk that gave NC State its miracle NCT victory over Houston in ’83. Whittenburg is now the Wolfpack’s athletic director in charge of basketball operations.

“Mr. Victory, I want to level with you. We’d like to talk to you about being our next basketball coach at NC State,” Whittenburg says over drinks in the hotel a few hours before the NCT championship game.

Victory nearly spits his wine all over the carpet. He literally can’t speak for at least a minute, turning as red as a Wolfpack road jersey. “Are you serious?” he finally manages to blurt out.

“You bet. I know you’ve got your detractors in Alabama and you’ve had some up-and-down times, but we think you’ll be a great fit with the Wolfpack. We kind of like having a Coach V around in Raleigh.”

Victory is floored (and glad he didn’t sign on with Clemson or Georgia Tech the year before). N.C. State! The school that gave the hoops world David Thompson, Thurl Bailey, Tommy Burleson, the dethroning of UCLA in 1974, the Cardiac Pack of 1983, Jim Valvano’s frantic search for someone to hug, Everett Case, Reynolds Coliseum, parties on Hillsborough Street. Amazing – a pillar of the ACC, the greatest hoops conference ever, wants him.

How can he say no? Yes, his ‘Bama team is bound to be an NCT contender next season, but an opportunity like this only comes around once in a lifetime!! He signs an agreement with Whittenburg – ironically enough on a napkin right there in the bar – and goes on to watch Illinois topple Mississippi State in the NCT title game. Victory winks at The Sheriff as he passes him in the lobby, and the famed tabloid journalist immediately knows something is up…

The news hits Tuscaloosa by late Tuesday afternoon. Victory is introduced in Raleigh as the next coach of the Wolfpack around lunchtime on Wednesday. By Friday night, Charles Barkley is being ushered in as the next coach of the Alabama Crimson Tide (thanks for the idea Astros – I downloaded his picture from the Web and put him in the game!!!)

What a whirlwind of a week! A new chapter in the life and times of Steve Victory is set to begin… Season number 19 overall. Season number one in the ACC…
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Old 01-28-2007, 08:47 PM   #161
aztarheel
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Posted by: Astros02

It’s easy to leave a team in mediocrity, isn’t it Steve? Well at least we may be consistent with the round mound of rebound leading our kids. He may not be a role model, he may not even want to be a role model, but if he was he would be a much better one than you!

Jumping ship at the first job offer that will give you a free ride to success, how am I NOT surprised? Steve “My former team will finally get a” Victory, you are a dirty man, and if NC State becomes horrible, you got what you deserve.

Well, onward to a new era in Alabama basketball. I may let Frank Jr. go there now that this jerk isn’t around anymore.

Frank
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Old 01-28-2007, 08:48 PM   #162
aztarheel
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Posted by: Astros02

Ted here. Welcome to North Carolina State Steve “always leading to” Victory! We’re gonna be rocking! Hey Steve, want me to get you some groupies? I know some great girls in this town, and some good alleyways.

On to basketball. Your stellar recruiting classes will be a welcome addition to this program. I heard we got a new reporter in town to cover you and the team, can’t wait until his column starts.

Ted
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Old 01-28-2007, 08:51 PM   #163
aztarheel
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Posted by: yanksare

May 2021

Inside a Miami Subs
Tuscaloosa, Alabama

You want anything Frank?

Nah, I’m going to get Mexican in awhile. You go ahead though.

Mexican, whew. Last time I had a burrito I had the Woffords all night. Anyway, I talked to Tudor today. He said I could have the job if I wanted it.

Do you really want it? Wouldn’t it be nice to cover Chuck and watch the Tide grow into their potential?

Part of me thinks so. But I gotta tell you Fred, even though I hate Victory more than I can put into words, we are connected in some strange astrological way. It’s almost like a yin/yang deal.

Where do you come up with this junk? Don’t you ever just speak like a normal person?

Sorry. You’re right. I just get so worked up when I think about him.

What did happen?

You mean I haven’t told you. Well it goes way back to Charleston. He was coming over to coach from Central Florida and I had just come back into the States from coaching in a semi-pro league in Italy. Anyway, ...

Wait a minute. You really did coach. I thought that was just bs in your column. Ya know, like a writer taking dramatic license or something.

No, I really did. Played in that same league for a few years after graduating from a small division II school in Florida. Anyway, so this is what happened...


Dude, aren’t you that dude that writes? The Sheik?

Uh, no. Actually I do write, but I go by the Sheriff.

Right. The Sheriff. Yeah, you suck. All you did was bitch and complain about the one coach who got us a NCT championship and now look what happened.

Look, I’m sorry you feel that way but I’m sorta in the middle of lunch with my friend. So if you wouldn’t mind, please excuse us as we were just leaving.

Don’t worry kid. The Sheriff is leaving town and the Round Mound of Rebound is going lead Bama all the way again.

Round mound of rebound. WTF? Did you make that up? That’s cool.

Uhh, yeah. I just thought of that. Pretty good huh? See ya kid.


Ok, I gotta go home and pack. I’ll email my columns from Raleigh. Thanks for listening Frank.

But you didn’t finish telling me about you and Victory. What caused all the hostility?

Oh yeah, I’ll email ya. It’s quite a story.
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Old 01-29-2007, 08:55 AM   #164
aztarheel
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Steve Victory Career File

After 18 Seasons

Year School Overall Conference
2003-04 Central Florida 10-20 5-12
2004-05 Central Florida 7-22 6-11
2005-06 College of Charleston 15-16 7-11
2006-07 College of Charleston 21-9 13-4
2007-08 College of Charleston 25-7 14-4
2008-09 College of Charleston 20-13 14-6
2009-10 Alabama 10-20 5-12
2010-11 Alabama 3-27 2-15
2011-12 Alabama 3-26 1-16
2012-13 Alabama 12-18 4-12
2013-14 Alabama 23-11 9-8
2014-15 Alabama 29-7 15-4
2015-16 Alabama 20-12 12-5
2016-17 Alabama 16-16 11-8
2017-18 Alabama 23-12 13-6
2018-19 Alabama 30-11 12-7
2019-20 Alabama 20-17 12-7
2020-21 Alabama 21-11 10-8

Totals 308-275 ... 165-156


Victory's Teams in the Post-Season
2007 College of Charleston 0-1 in ACT
2008 College of Charleston 0-1 in NCT
2009 College of Charleston 0-1 in NCT
2014 Alabama 4-1 in ACT (runners up to Arkansas)
2015 Alabama 1-1 in NCT
2016 Alabama 1-1 in ACT
2018 Alabama 1-1 in NCT
2019 Alabama 6-0 in NCT (national champs!)
2020 Alabama 4-1 in ACT (runners up to Florida State)
2021 Alabama 0-1 in NCT

Totals NCT 8-5 ... ACT 9-4

Victory's All-Conference Players
2007 PG Augustinas Dmitrovic (College of Charleston)
2015 PF Michael Bliss (Alabama)
2019 PG Mark Bell (Alabama)
2020 PG David Smith (Alabama)

Victory's NBA Draft Picks
2015 Michael Bliss (Alabama) — taken 12th overall by Indiana Pacers
2018 Alex Henry (Alabama) — first round & Michael Slater (Alabama) — second round
2019 Loren Tracy (Alabama) — No. 16 to Dallas & Darrell Wynn (Alabama) — No. 50 to the LA Lakers

National Champions By Year
2004 Marquette
2005 Notre Dame
2006 Oklahoma
2007 ??
2008 Kentucky
2009 St. Joseph's
2010 Oregon
2011 Missouri
2012 Arizona
2013 Mississippi State
2014 Georgetown
2015 Arizona
2016 Pittsburgh
2017 Kansas
2018 Oklahoma State
2019 Alabama
2020 Louisville
2021 Illinois

ACT Champions By Year (i.e. NIT)
2004 Nebraska
2005 Ohio State
2006 TCU
2007 ??
2008 Fordham
2009 Maryland
2010 Notre Dame
2011 Western Illinois
2012 Siena
2013 UConn
2014 Arkansas
2015 North Carolina
2016 Kentucky
2017 Nebraska
2018 Oklahoma
2019 Washington State
2020 Florida State
2021 Indiana
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Old 01-29-2007, 08:58 AM   #165
aztarheel
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[Author's Note: It was at this point that the servers were down for awhile at .400 Softball Studios, thus no chance to post on the dynasty forums for more than a week. I played several seasons ahead in the story, and thus was able to jump right back in when the dynasty forums returned. In a way, this break marked a real turning point in Victory's career.]


Steve Victory JOURNAL – Season #19 (at NCSU!!) 2021-22

There are no parties on Hillsborough Street for Coach Steve Victory in his first season at N.C. State. But the Wolfpack does prove pretty competitive under the new head man. And Victory quickly feels at home in Raleigh, N.C.

Outgoing coach Shammell Arenas left things in pretty interesting shape. The Pack hadn’t been to the post-season in three seasons and had a NCT drought of five years. Arenas had brought seven – count them seven – small forwards aboard. State only had one true SG, one true PF and one true C (plus three point guards). That would make filling out the lineups pretty interesting. The incoming freshmen class is considered awful. The overall talent level is average and the challenge level is considered difficult. But State fans for the most part seem patient for now.

“It will take us a couple of years to adjust to my style and get a solid foundation built under us, especially in the post,” Victory says. “But I think we can give any team a good run, even now.”

State’s first game is promising. The Pack takes on #17 Illinois, leads by 4 at the half and then falls by a deuce. Victory gets his first win as the NCSU coach a couple of nights later when the Pack tramples Holy Cross 86-61. State plays .500 ball pretty much the rest of the way and finishes the regular season 14-15. The Pack guts through the ACC slate pretty well for an underdog team, pulling out a 9-7 record – good enough for an upper division finish (fourth place). [One more note: this is the "old" ACC, without Virginia Tech, Miami and Boston College... Still a nine-team league with UNC, NCSU, Wake, Duke, Maryland, Georgia Tech, Clemson, Florida State and Virginia.]

A couple main storylines develop:

1) Rogers Gravitt: Victory recruited this silky smooth point guard when at Alabama. But Gravitt chose State, and now Victory is glad he did. Gravitt is Victory’s most prolific scorer, averaging close to 19 ppg. He scores 38 on Victory’s alma mater Miami and breaks 30 on a couple of other occasions. He reminds the coach of players he watched in his younger days like Carmello Anthony or Joseph Forte. He just seems to glide around the court. For his efforts this season, Gravitt is name the ACC Player of the Year!! Victory has never coached a POY before.

2) Upsets: State is one of those teams that no one in the conference wants to play. On paper, they don’t look like much, but they can prove dangerous and play at another level at times. The Wolfpack guns down #18 Clemson in Victory’s ACC debut 78-73. They stun #13 Maryland 92-79. They knock off #24 Virginia 87-81 on the road and 88-74 at home. Wake Forest won the first meeting, but State got revenge against the #19 Deacs in the rematch 82-79. Victory is going to like the ACC life…

State’s season, however, comes to an end in the first round of the ACC tournament. The Pack falls to #5 Clemson 79-68. The Tigers got hot for the weekend, rolling over UNC and Wake for the ACC championship. NCSU finishes 14-16. Victory isn’t too upset. The future looks bright in Raleigh, especially considering the recruits he’s brought in… It may be one of his best classes ever…
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Old 01-29-2007, 09:00 AM   #166
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Steve Victory JOURNAL – 2021-22 Wrapup

Xavier goes on to win the 2022 NCT over Notre Dame 77-69. Florida and Miami (!) were the other Final Four teams. Maryland makes the Sweet 16 but that was about it for the ACC. Regular season champ UNC beat College of Charleston (!!) in the first round before losing to Memphis in round two…

Miami of Ohio beats USC in the ACT final. Mount St. Mary’s and Cincinnati were the other ACT Final Four teams.

How about Charles Barkley’s first season at Alabama? Well, it was a roller coaster ride for sure. Barkley wins his debut over Binghamton, then the Tide loses the next four games – to Oklahoma State, Nebraska, East Carolina (82-57 – ouch!) and *gulp* Oral Roberts. Other early losses come to Bucknell and SW Missouri State. Frank-Fred is absolutely pounding his head against a wall, as are most folks in Tuscaloosa. Steve Victory suddenly looks like an angel to ‘Bama hoops fans, even though many led the charge to ride him out of town a few months earlier.

Barkley finally straightens some things out, and the Tide rolls to a 12-4 record in the SEC. But a first-round exit from the SEC tournament keeps ‘Bama out of the NCT. Then The Citadel knocks Alabama out of the first round of the ACT. So it wasn’t just Victory after all.

Barkley loses his cool demeanor and reams out the press after the ACT loss, which left the Tide with a final mark of 18-15. “Don’t even start with me, Sheriff,” Barkley says to the visiting tabloid journalist, in town for a special series on ex-NBA players-turned-coaches. “And keep this Fred-Frank guy out of here. He’s a maniac. He keeps pounding his noggin on our locker room door.” Victory recruit Jabari Wolff does make the all SEC team, which Victory appreciates.

The final line on ACC Player of the Year Rogers Gravitt: 18.4 ppg, 4.3 apg, 4.7 rpg, 43 percent from the 3-point line. And the best part – he has one year of eligibility remaining…
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Old 01-29-2007, 09:04 AM   #167
aztarheel
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Steve Victory JOURNAL – 2021-22 Recruiting

Even Coach Victory is surprised to see his first recruiting class at N.C. State deemed the fourth best in the nation by the folks at .400 Sports. Wow!

Here’s the lowdown on the Pack’s Fab Four:

Andre Baker: The 6-4 SG out of Silver Spring, Maryland was listed as the 13th best player in the nation. He swished about 30 ppg as a high school senior

Jon Henry: the 6-6 PF from Galesburg, Ill., had great numbers for his size: 28 ppg, 9 rpg, 85 percent FT shooter.

Jeff Bailey: the 6-11 C out of Canton, Mass., should finally provide some size to a team with very few guys over 6-7. He’s more of a project, and given his excellent potential, likely will redshirt a season.

Brandon Collins: a 6-10 C from Arlington, Mass, will probably play some as a frosh. He averaged 18 ppg, 11.5 rpg in his final high school season. The good news about all four: each will probably stay all four years… Baker may jump to the NBA if he has early success, but the other three guys seem like solid college players…

OK, off to 2022-23 – Steve Victory’s 20th season as a head coach!! And Charles Barkley’s second at Alabama...
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Old 01-29-2007, 10:49 PM   #168
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Originally Posted by aztarheel View Post
Steve Victory JOURNAL Season #4 (2006-07)
The Cougars brim with confidence three nights later as they visit Raleigh, N.C. for a showdown with N.C. State. Both teams are 4-1. State is ranked #25 in the nation. Charleston is supposed to be an easy victim on "Throwback Night" – the one game of the year the Pack plays in the old Reynolds Coliseum (they now have their own 21,000-seat arena).

Victory’s bunch dreams of playing spoiler on the court where folks like David Thompson, Thurl Bailey and Jim Valvano once roamed but loses a hard-fought contest 73-62. Victory doesn’t feel so bad. He finds himself dreaming of coaching in the ACC one day as his players board the bus for home. "Though I grew up a Tar Heel fan, if this job ever comes open I’m going for it," Victory tells an assistant…

How about that?

It does remind me of a question, though: Miami is referred to as Victory's alma mater, yet the intro to the story says he went to a Division II school. Not that Victory's loyalty has never been questioned before, but what's the story there?

Also, you list 2007 as having unknown champions, but according to your writeup of the season, Mississippi State won the championship and Ole Miss won the "ACT" (though not with a score of 36).

I look forward to the rest of the story. It's amazing that Victory spent a whole 12 years at Alabama; maybe he'll actually stick around N.C. State for a while. But I guess you already know the answer to that.
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Old 01-30-2007, 10:22 AM   #169
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Nice catch on the inconsistency with where Victory went to school... The game makes you enter an alma mater for your coach, and it has to be one of the teams in the game. Since there are no D-II schools in the game, I picked Miami -- and promptly forgot to go back and fix that part in my story ...

Also, thanks for the heads up on the NCT and ACT winners for the one year I was missing ...
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Old 01-30-2007, 10:39 AM   #170
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posted by yanksare

Outside a large Victorian style house in Raleigh, NC

"Victory. Victory. Victory. It's time Victory. It's time. No longer will they cheer you. No longer Victory. I can't take it anymore Victory. It should have been me Victory. I was supposed to be the one. Not you. Me. I was going to win the NCT. I was going to coach. Not you. Me."

A car door opens and slams shut. An obviously inebriated man stumbles towards the house.

"Victory." KNOCK, KNOCK, KNOCK. "Victory, get your a** out here. It's over Stevie. It's all over. Get out here now or I'm coming in. Where are you? I'm waiting Stevie."

The front door of the Victorian style house opens slowly and a middle aged obviously just awakened man steps forward...

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Old 01-30-2007, 10:44 AM   #171
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Posted by: yanksare
...

What do you want Jeff? It’s the middle of the night.

What do I want? What do I want? I want my life back Stevie. You took it from me.

Your life. Drinking a little tonight huh? Why don’t you come inside and we can talk. I’ll make some coffee for us.

I don’t want to come inside. I don’t want some coffee. I want my life back Stevie. I was going to coach at Charleston. You stole it away from me. I will never forgive you Stevie.

Jeff, that’s not fair. We were both up for the job. We had an equal chance. You remember our deal back in college. Whoever got the head job was going to hire the other as an assistant. You turned me down Jeff. It was your decision.

Bull****, I shoulda been coach. It was my job. I woulda taken Charleston all the way. I wouldn’t have left for greener pastures. I coulda been a legend. Instead, I’m writing about the man who took my life. I hate you. I hate you Stevie.

Come on. Let’s go in...

Steve, who are you talking to?

It’s Jeff honey. We’re about to come in. Could you put a pot of coffee on for us?

Oh, ok but come inside it’s 4 in the morning and you guys are pretty loud out there.

I can’t believe she married you after the whole Grand Canyon thing. I never thought she get back together with you.

I’m a lucky man Jeff. So are you. You’ve got a great career as a journalist and whether people agree with you or not they always read what you have to say.

But I didn’t want to be a writer. I wanted to be written about. I wanted to win NCT championships. Like you...

It’s ok Jeff. You’re not thinking straight right now. Everything will look better in the morning.

Everything will look better in the morning. Everything will look better in the morning. F*** you. Tomorrow morning you are still the coach of N.C. freaking State. You’re “Stevie V”. Tomorrow morning I’m still a sports journalist. I’m still just the Sheriff. What a stupid name. “Hey, stick em up. I’m the Sheriff.” Pathetic. I gotta go.

Jeff, wait. Come back. Come to State with me.

You mean. Work for you at State. No way....
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Old 01-30-2007, 10:58 AM   #172
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Steve Victory JOURNAL – Final Four 2025

FLASH FORWARD TO LATE MARCH 2025 -- Victory's FOURTH year at NC State

Coach Steve Victory and his trusted assistant Jeff “The Sheriff” Wilt walk out onto the floor at America West Arena in their Sunday best – Armani suits and fire-red silk ties. It’s Final Four time, and N.C. State is here in Phoenix, playing for its first national championship since the late great Jim Valvano led the Cardiac Pack to the 1983 crown!

“Isn’t this amazing?” Victory asks The Sheriff as the two stare up at the sea of red and white in the stands. “I’ll bet most of the people in this building are Wolfpackers – and they’re loud.”

It’s only Victory’s fourth year as coach at NCSU, and already he has his “new” team poised to cut down the nets. While it took him a decade at Alabama – and even then people grumbled about this and that – his group at State has clicked pretty quickly. The Wolfpack crew, wearing road red jerseys, look sharp in pre-game warmups.

“Glad you’re here, buddy,” Victory says to Wilt, who unexpectedly joined his staff a couple of seasons ago after another assistant jumped ship to coach Fordham. “Two more wins, and we’ll set off the party of all parties on Hillsborough Street. And we’ll both be doing our best Cozell McQueens on the top of the backboards.”

Indeed it has been a crazy couple of seasons for Victory and company. He just wanted to make the tournament after going 14-16 in his first year in Raleigh and 12-19 the following season. It’s seems almost unbelievable the Pack is playing for the national title now, needing only to get past Colorado and the winner of the Oklahoma-Wake Forest contest to capture the 2025 NCT trophy. And it seems improbable the Sheriff is along with Victory as a coach rather than as the neighborhood tabloid journalist looking for dirt in every corner of the locker room…

The Sheriff spots Charles Barkley in one of the luxury boxes high above the arena. “He looks lonely up there,” the Sheriff says with a smile. “The fans at ‘Bama have been tough on him since he missed out on the NCT this season, especially with the football team winning the Sugar Bowl again.”

“Don’t even get me started on Alabama fans,” Victory says. “They’re brutal…”
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Old 01-30-2007, 02:14 PM   #173
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Steve Victory JOURNAL – Back to 2023-24 Season

Actually those brutal Alabama fans may have played a part in kickstarting N.C. State’s Final Four drive.

The previous season (2023-24), Victory's third in Raleigh, the Wolfpack visited Tuscaloosa for a mid-November showdown (that Victory himself arranged). State was ranked 25th in the nation. Expectations ran high in Raleigh, with the administration “strongly admonishing” a visit to the NCT this year after two sub-.500 campaigns.

‘Bama had been to the Big Dance the year before in Barkley’s second season and the Tide, too, had big dreams for the season ahead.

The whole night belonged to Alabama. A packed house howled with delight as the Tide rolled over the Pack 68-57. Fans taunted Victory. Fans taunted The Sheriff, the new lead assistant coach at NC State. “Stick this up,” they shouted with one certain finger extended high into the air. It wasn’t pretty. Frank-Fred was in heaven.

In the post-game locker room session Victory went off – as fiery as he’s ever been in his career. “Listen, two years in a row I’ve recruited what the experts called a top five recruiting class. It’s time you guys start playing like you’re the best guys in the nation. It’s time you seniors lead the way as we try to pull N.C. State out of the pit of mediocrity. We’re better than these guys, but we certainly didn’t show it.”

The players responded, both young and old. State beat five-straight patsies, then followed up a close loss to Notre Dame (CRI 35) with another five-game winning streak. Among the victims, #12 Georgetown, TCU (CRI 37) and Victory’s other former team, College of Charleston (not so good this season).

State ripped through the ACC campaign, earning a 13-3 record and the regular-season championship! The only teams to befuddle them – Wake Forest twice (The Deacs were top 10 most of the year) and Virginia on the road. During one stretch, NCSU won seven consecutive ACC contests, including an 88-51 pounding of Maryland and satisfying back-to-back wins at Duke and at UNC-Chapel Hill.

The Pack finished the regular season 24-5 and was ranked ninth in the nation in both polls. Senior PG Andre Anderson, one of the holdovers from the old regime, earned All-ACC honors. Freshman PF Toni Zupic made the All-ACC Frosh team.

Senior Jerry Williams, a squatty 6-5 power forward playing center because of the lack of experience at that position, turned into the unsung team leader. Despite giving up lots of size each night, he finished the season averaging about 10 ppg and 6 rpg. Not bad for a “short” guy.

Other key players: Sophomore SG Andre Baker (10 ppg) and senior SF Geoff Burns (14.2 ppg, 9.1 rpg – why not all-conference as well??). Zupic had scored close to 10 ppg in his debut season, starting most games. Anderson scored better than 13 ppg and dished out 6 apg...
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Old 01-30-2007, 02:17 PM   #174
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Steve Victory JOURNAL – ACC Tournament 2023-24

A ruptured disc ended Jerry Williams’ senior season in the ACC tournament opener against North Carolina. The Wolfpack still wins 87-80 (with Baker and Burns scoring 16 points each), but Victory and the Sheriff remain concerned about the impact of losing their short but strong starting center/team leader.

Sophomore Jon Henry gets the start in the ACC semifinals against Georgia Tech. He pumps in 15 points (whew!) and the Pack prevails 80-70. All five starters reach double figures, with Anderson getting 17 points, Baker 10, Geoff Burns 10 and Toni Zupic 15. That puts State into the ACC championship against this season’s nemesis, Wake Forest.

Victory and Wilt wondered all weekend how Wake didn’t win the conference outright. They creamed State in both meetings (74-53 and 82-58) but lost five other league games during the year. Unfortunately, the Wolfpack can’t muster past the Deacs in the ACC title game, losing 81-71. Wake leads by 15 at the half and never looks back…

“Hey, we’re in the NCT, and we should be seeded pretty well,” Victory says afterward.

State draws a #3 seed in the East. Wake gets a #2 seed in the South. Duke is #7 in the East, and Florida State is a #6 in the West. Maryland gets relegated to the ACT.

Barkley’s ‘Bama boys rode a roller coaster after destroying NCSU at home, finishing the regular season 19-10, 8-8 in the SEC. At least they made the tournament… Like State’s, though, their visit to the NCT would be short...
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Old 01-30-2007, 02:18 PM   #175
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Steve Victory JOURNAL – NCT Tournament 2023-24

State fans were ready to party on Hillsborough Street in March of 2024, but alas they only got one night of revelry. NCSU beats 14th-seeded St. Francis in its tournament opener but loses in the second round to upstart sixth seed SW Missouri State.

Victory and the Sheriff aren’t really sure what happened. The centers played well (folks like Jon Henry), but the rest of the lineup just went bust. After the humbling, Victory has plenty of words for the guys coming back next season:

“Why? Why? You play your butts off all season to get to this point, then you hit cruise control and lay down. Well guess what, I’m not satisfied with just getting here, and neither are our fans. I want to win it all. Not just a regular season title but the whole can of marbles. I want to cut down the nets on the last night of college basketball, climb on the backboards and party into the night. Boys, I’ve been there, and there are few greater feelings in the world.”

The message seems to sink in, but who can tell until next season? Duke, Wake and Florida State manage to do what State can’t and reach the Sweet 16. Alabama also falls in the second round of the Big Dance, dropping a double-digit game to Pittsburgh. Barkley draws some boos from Tide fans afterward…

Amazingly, Duke carries the ACC banner all the way to the Final Four. The Dookies lose, however, to UConn in the semis 73-62. Colorado beats Illinois in the other semi, then drubs UConn 78-66 for the 2024 national championship.

Ah, Colorado. They’ll play a big role in the Steve Victory saga next season… Stay tuned...
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Old 01-30-2007, 02:22 PM   #176
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Steve Victory JOURNAL - Record-Keeping

Just for the record, a few notes on Victory’s second season at State (2022-23). Pretty uneventful overall, therefore I skipped over it for the most part during the “flashbacks.” The Pack went 12-19 and of course didn’t make the post-season. They were ranked as high as #15 early on but tanked during the ACC campaign (5-11). Injuries played somewhat of a role — Jerry Williams got hurt this season as well (missing 4-5 months). Rogers Gravitt, the reigning ACC player of the year, missed some time with ailments...

Victory did get the fourth-best recruiting class in the nation: players like PF Toni Zupic, SG Michael Stokes and SF Jalen Hemphill (#13 in the nation!).

State beat Virginia on the first night of the ACC tournament (play in game) but then got drilled by Maryland 97-46 in the quarterfinals. Uggg...

Kansas knocked off Colorado (!!) and Providence in the Final Four to win the 2023 NCT. Texas A&M claimed the ACT title over Victory’s former SoCon rival Citadel. Nice year for the Big 12...

OK, just wanted to get that info on the record for folks keeping track (anyone other than me?)... Now, catching back up to 2024-25 — a memorable year for Mr. Victory and company...
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Old 01-30-2007, 02:25 PM   #177
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Steve Victory JOURNAL – Preseason 2024-25

OK, so the cat’s out of the bag on the 2024-25 season, Victory's fourth at the helm at NC State. Steve Victory and the Wolfpack make it to the Final Four in Phoenix (as noted in an earlier post). They play Colorado in one national semifinal, with the winner taking on either Oklahoma or Wake Forest in the championship game.

How amazing it would be if State and Wake – schools about 85 miles from each other in North Carolina – made it to the NCT final in Arizona. Fans would have to travel 2,000 miles from their home state just to catch the game live… Couldn’t they just move it to Greensboro or Charlotte or something?

But first, a recap on the roller coaster path State takes to reach the Final Four… Some striking similarities to the magical ’83 final with Jim Valvano… Remember Derrick Whittenburg’s broken foot, then his magical return late in the season?

The Pack enters 2024-25 campaign with very high expectations. Pundits call the freshman class “superior” and the overall talent level “superior.” The NCSU administration goes from wanting a .500 conference record the previous few years to “encouraging” Victory to make the NCT this time around. Secretly, the bigwigs want several wins in the NCT but don’t go so far as to put that in writing…

So who are these so-called “Superior” players? A few introductions, please:

THE STARTERS:
PG Michael Stokes (sophomore, actually a true SG)
SG Andre Baker (junior)
SF John Henry (junior, actually a true PF)
PF Toni Zupic (sophomore)
C Deon Brown (freshman, actually a true PF)

Notice that none of these players are seniors. Provided they avoid the NBA trap, next season could be a banner one as well… Wait – no jumping ahead…

THE BENCH:
SF Ricardo Merton (redshirt senior)
SF Jalen Hemphill (sophomore)
SG Marcus Hill (freshman)
C Jeff Bailey (junior)
SF Brett Montgomery (redshirt junior)
C Brandon Collins (redshirt sophomore)

THE REDSHIRTS
PG Ian Demory (frosh, good potential, OK ratings)
C Jean Sykes (frosh, same as Ian)

The bench will become vitally important as the season plays out… The preseason rankings have the Pack at 17th and 13th respectively… The prestige ranking for NCSU is 63 out of 100 (above average!!)…

Last edited by aztarheel : 01-30-2007 at 04:05 PM.
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Old 01-30-2007, 02:28 PM   #178
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Steve Victory JOURNAL – Regular season 2024-25

State’s run to the Final Four begins on a rather interesting note. They have to work hard to get past Norfolk State in the opening round of the Preseason ACT. Final score: 79-75. Whew! The Pack pummels TCU in the second round 89-52 but then loses to #13 Providence in the championship game 71-70. Once again, Victory falls agonizingly short in a preseason ACT final (part of his legacy as a coach?).

The loss makes State players mad, and the Wolfpack goes on a pleasing 13-game winning streak! They win at Arizona 79-68. They win at Notre Dame 71-65. They roll at Washington 82-55. They cruise at Ohio State 87-65. And they beat the teams they are supposed to like Stony Brook, St. Peters, LaSalle, Charlotte, etc. Various players step up at different times. Michael Stokes stones Stony Brook with 28 points. Toni Zupic rejects UNC-Charlotte nine times. John Henry, Deon Brown, Andre Baker all get double figures in scoring multiple times. The Pack enters ACC play holding a #7 ranking in the nation.

The makings of the perfect championship season, right? Ha! This is Steve Victory remember? Something’s got to crack somewhere.

That something is a bone in Jon Henry’s foot (ala Derrick Whittenburg in ‘83). One of Victory’s leading scorers falls funny in an early ACC game against Duke, and the unraveling begins. The Devils crush the Pack 83-59. And this is after State lost to Georgia Tech a few nights earlier 79-78. Unfortunately, it gets worse before it gets better.

After ripping up North Carolina in Chapel Hill 90-61 (breaking from character—it pains me to write that), State loses another player to injury against Clemson. Deon Brown dislocates his knee (I’ve done that, it’s no fun) and is out for a month. (I was out a lot longer). And we’re still not done with injuries.

A couple nights after Clemson, SG Michael Stokes falls victim. He’s out two months with his ailment (can’t remember what it is). Counting the two redshirt guys, State is down to eight players dressing out. Victory is doggedly determined not to break up either of the redshirts, so he puts a patchwork lineup on the floor to end the ACC season. It isn’t pretty but it could be a whole lot worse.

The record the rest of the way: 5-7, with a four-game losing streak in the middle. College of Charleston even sneaks in and beats the Pack in a late-season meeting. Argg. That didn’t sit well with Mr. Victory. Andre Baker tried to carry the team, leading the scoring many nights but he could only do so much.

Thankfully, the injuries starting healing up by late February, and players started trickling back in. Deon Brown comes back by game 28 and helps the Pack beat Maryland. Jon Henry is back on the roster as NCSU gets ready for the ACC tournament… The final regular season tally: 22-10, 8-8 in the ACC. A final ranking of 25 in both polls. A bittersweet taste overall considering the 13-1 start and the ever-increasing expectations.

The Wolfpack will get an NCT berth but to where and which seed?

Last edited by aztarheel : 01-30-2007 at 04:04 PM.
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Old 01-30-2007, 02:31 PM   #179
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Steve Victory JOURNAL – ACC tournament 2025

Jon Henry’s return helps State big time. He scores 18 points in the opener against Maryland, and the Pack wins 65-60. Nice!

Henry scores 20 and rips down 14 rebounds in the semifinals, but that isn’t enough to beat Duke. The dumb Devils slip past 68-64. Then, the Dookies beat Wake for the ACC crown. Uggg! (I hate Duke, in case you can't tell)...

The ACC gets two #1 seeds for the NCT tournament. State isn’t one of them obviously. Duke is #1 in the South. Wake is #1 in the West. The Pack will go as a #7 in the East Region.

Alabama, the year they won the NCT under Victory, started its tournament run in a similar spot. This year, Bama is a #7 seed as well – in the ACT. Barkley’s Crimson Tide finished the regular season and SEC tournament with a 15-15 overall record. The folks in Tuscaloosa are not happy to say the least…

Other NCT teams from the ACC: Maryland as a #12 in the Midwest. Georgia Tech as a #6 in the South…
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Old 01-30-2007, 02:40 PM   #180
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Steve Victory JOURNAL – NCT Tournament 2025

Alabama loses its first game in the 2025 ACT tournament to Louisville, prompting more outcries against Charles Barkley in Tuscaloosa. Fortunately, Victory is safe at State after the Pack rolls past Kansas State in its opener 81-61. (Of course, you knew they would win!)

The Pack then takes out the top three seeds in the East Region to make it to the Final Four!! The first victim is #2 St. Joe’s, which sports a 24-5 record. The game is an up-and-down affair before the Wolfpack finally seals it 98-89. A fun one to reach the Sweet 16!!

Victory and company then guns down a familiar foe – #3 Mississippi State, one of the schools Victory sparred with often at Alabama. This one isn’t much of a game as State wins 81-62. Toni Zupic scores 22 points, and Deon Brown adds 16. Michael Stokes – back from his injury at last!! – scores 13 and dishes out 7 assists. State makes 22-of-23 free throws. (The SEC does get a revenge in another game as LSU knocks Duke from the tournament – oh well…). With the full lineup back, can anyone stop the Pack?

State’s Elite Eight win comes over the East’s top seed, Syracuse (29-8). The Orangemen have the edge at all five spots according to prognosticators but the Wolfpack has the edge on the scoreboard. State leads 39-29 at half and wins 69-68. Oh baby! Brandon Collins misses the game with the flu, but he’s not much of a loss since he’s down on the depth chart… Andre Baker leads State with 17 points. Ten players score in all, with Henry adding 10…

The parties in Raleigh get better and better after each NCT win. Hillsborough Street closes down all night after the Syracuse victory (hey, why is my couch in the middle of that bonfire? becomes a frequent question by students around campus). Coach Victory and the Sheriff watch on TV and marvel at what State has done. In four years, Victory has this longtime, mid-level ACC team poised for its first national championship in almost 40 years. If only Jim Valvano could see it now (TV stations do search out his family members however, and that makes for fun historical pieces on ESPN3, CNN-SI, the NC Sports Network, etc.)…

Thousands of State fans, clad in red, line the streets as the State bus pulls away from campus to head to the airport for its Final Four trip. Victory and players wave wildly from open windows. The coach almost cries from joy. The Sheriff, more stoic and wearing round John Lennon sunglasses, just smiles and waves coolly at the passing masses…

“We’re going to win,” Victory tells everyone on the bus. “I can just feel it. This is our destiny…” He can’t sit still the entire bus ride to the airport or the charter flight to Phoenix.

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Old 01-30-2007, 04:00 PM   #181
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Steve Victory JOURNAL – The Final Four 2025

Victory and lead assistant Jeff “The Sheriff” Wilt walk onto the floor at America West Arena donning their Sunday best – Armani suits and fire red ties. They scan the crowd and take it all in. They’re coaching N.C. State in the 2025 Final Four!!

Thousands of fans, most in red, wave flags, do the wave, show off their painted chests and generally go wild. This is going to be fun.

“Glad you’re here, buddy,” Victory says to his assistant coach. “And glad you’ve still got time to write occasionally. You’re hilarious. I secretly enjoyed your columns when I was at Alabama, although I had to act peeved every time one of them about me and my program ran. You turn a phrase well, my friend. Is it true you were also called ‘The Sarge’ earlier in your career, and that you wrote about Army basketball?”

“Hey, isn’t that Lianne Perry up there in the stands?” The Sheriff asks, changing the subject. “It’s amazing how much she looks like that old Quinnipiac coach Daniel Rand-Stevenson.”

OK enough chit-chat. On to the game!

State only has the edge at the guard positions against Colorado, according to prognosticators. The Buffs sport a 28-8 record, and apparently a great post game.

Alas, the Pack’s guards run circles around the boys in black and gold! State grabs a 48-27 halftime lead and coasts into the national finals 78-56. Shooting guard Andre Baker scores 19 points. Point guard Michael Stokes adds 18. Jon Henry, Deon Brown and Ricardo Merton all add 10 points.

More couches go up in flames on Hillsborough Street in Raleigh. Pack fans are burning down everything in sight – and no one cares! Their beloved Wolfpack will play for a national championship on Monday night – against Oklahoma. The Sooners bombed Wake Forest 78-69. State will need to get past its third Big 12 team to cut down the nets…
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Old 01-30-2007, 04:03 PM   #182
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Steve Victory JOURNAL – NCT Championship 2025

Here’s the tale of the tape for the NCT title game.

• NCSU (28-11) vs. Oklahoma (30-6)
• The Sooners started the season on a 19-game winning streak; State had a 13-game winning streak early on.
• Oklahoma is ranked 5th in the nation, State 19th
• Oklahoma has an edge at the 4 and 5 spots. State’s guards are first-rate, according to the match-ups screen going into the game.

Replays of NC State’s 1983 championship game air several times on ESPN Classic on Sunday night and Monday morning. Will Michael Stokes or Andre Baker finish the 2025 championship game throwing up a desperation shot/pass to Toni Zupic for the game-winning dunk? Will Steve Victory run around looking for someone to hug like his hero Jim Valvano? Will State win its third NCT title in school history?

The answers: No. No. Yes!

Victory has plenty of time to plan his post-game celebrations. State gets up by double figures early and cruises to the NCT title 79-59! Andre Baker scores 24 points and earns tournament MVP honors. The junior is an animal at the free-throw line, making 14 attempts. He also had eight boards from his SG spot. He had a great three weeks!

Toni Zupic rips down a game-leading 15 rebounds, has seven blocks and swipes two steals. Stokes and Jon Henry score 12 points each. Stokes also has nine assists. Victory and Sheriff Wilt, as predicted, take one backboard each, crawl up on top and celebrate like a couple of college kids. The party might not end for several days on Hillsborough Street, TV stations in Raleigh report.

Wow, in Victory’s 22nd season as a head coach, he is again the chief of a national championship team. It’s his second NCT title in six years. He stock is surely going to rise… But no need to worry about that now… It’s time to cut down the nets and celebrate well into the night.

“How does it feel?” Victory asks the Sheriff, putting a finger in his assitant coach’s back like a gun.

“Better than an all-you-can-eat night at Miami Subs," Wilt quips.

Charles Barkley meets the NCSU coaches outside the locker room. “Not bad for a couple of white boys,” he says with a cheesy grin. “Not bad at all… Hey, if I get fired from Alabama, can I join your staff?”

Barkley gets an invite into State’s post-game festivities, and the players mug him with Gatorade and ice water. Many remember hearing stories about his playing against Michael Jordan “way back when.” Barkley’s a good sport despite his ‘Bama team’s underachieving.

“Congratulations boys,” Victory tells his players. “You have reached the pinnacle of the game. You’re part of a rare club. You are national champions.”

Nothing could be finer…
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Old 01-30-2007, 04:08 PM   #183
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Congrats man! Way to go.
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Old 01-30-2007, 07:05 PM   #184
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Heh, just saw a pretty amusing lurker in this thread
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Old 01-30-2007, 10:56 PM   #185
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Heh, just saw a pretty amusing lurker in this thread

Who?
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Old 01-30-2007, 10:57 PM   #186
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Congrats man! Way to go.

Just trying to keep up with Bear
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Old 01-31-2007, 02:39 AM   #187
devynd
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Originally Posted by aztarheel View Post
Nice catch on the inconsistency with where Victory went to school...

I don't find it at all out of character. I suspect that Victory took a course at Miami one summer and then proclaimed UM to be his alma mater, rather than some low-prestige D-II school. I think I've reached the point of cheering for Steve more than not, but he is certainly a man of questionable integrity. Which, of course, makes his character all the more interesting. And since I've been to almost as many schools as he has, I guess I have no place to criticize him for it!

Another "NCT" title! Almost too easy...
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Old 01-31-2007, 07:42 AM   #188
hoopsguy
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Originally Posted by aztarheel View Post
Who?

A certain assistant coach with one post to his name (that I had not noticed in the thread on the last page).
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Old 01-31-2007, 10:16 AM   #189
aztarheel
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Steve Victory JOURNAL - NCT Champs 2025!!!!

A few notes as the celebrations on Hillsborough Street start to wind down:

• State’s run through the tournament proved amazing. The Pack beat foes by an average of 15.2 points per game. Only Syracuse kept it close, losing by 1. Three foes, including both in the Final Four, lost to NCSU by 20 or more.

• SG Andre Baker, the Final Four MVP, turns out to be the team MVP as well. He led State in scoring with 16 ppg. He also was a great rebounder, nabbing 6.3 a game (third best). He was second in assists with 3.4 pg. and first in steals with 2.2 pg. Nice junior year. What will he be like as a senior?

• SF/PF Jon Henry opted to go pro early. But he finished on a great note, scoring 14.9 ppg. He also snagged 7 rpg and blocked 2.5 shots per game.

• With only two recruiting spots to fill, Victory gets another fine class. He’s prized pick is SF Calvin Carstensen from Arkansas. He’s the #17 player in all the land, according to a 5-star service. He’s big in scoring (20 ppg) and rebounding (13 rpg). Look out in a year or two... The other player is more of a project: PG Roy Wrenn is the #76 prospect in the land, scoring 11 ppg and averaging 10 apg for his San Antonio high school. He may redshirt, since he has several stars ahead of him and has excellent potential.

• Baker put his name on a couple of State records. Most free throw attempts in a season: 249. Most steals in a season: 90.

• SG Marcus Hill and PF/C Deon Brown make the all-ACC freshman honors list. Baker should have been all-ACC but was left off...

• Nebraska beat Rhode Island 75-61 for the ACT title. Louisville, the team that knocked Alabama out of the ACT, made it to the Final Four, as did Stanford.

• College of Charleston went 15-15 and didn’t make the post-season...

• Alabama chose to retain Charles Barkley as coach...

As the first few weeks pass after the title, the rumor mill starts heating up again. Only this time, it’s not about Steve Victory. His trusty assistant the past few seasons, Jeff “The Sheriff” Wilt, is being courted by some Division 1 schools to take over his own program... Stay tuned... The Sheriff could be busting loose... (Victory does get several intriguing job offers, including one to take over at UNC-Chapel Hill, but turns them down...)
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Old 01-31-2007, 10:31 AM   #190
aztarheel
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Steve Victory JOURNAL – Assistant Leaving 2025!

Inside a plush basketball office in the Chuck Amato Athletic Building at N.C. State University over a catered lunch by Miami Subs

Victory: George Mason? I thought they were Division II or something.

Sheriff: Nope, they’re D-1. They play in the Colonial Athletic Association with other regal schools like William & Mary, James Madison and Old Dominion. The perfect place for The Sheriff.

Victory: Perfect? Are you crazy? You’d leave the national champions to be the head coach of a no-name college basketball team like George Mason? We should be favored to win the NCT again next year – maybe for the next five years. I don’t even know GMU’s nickname. The Giraffes?

Sheriff: It’s Patriots, and hey they are giving me a chance to build my own career from the ground up. A certain someone I know once took over the worst college basketball program in the nation just to get his own gig. Remember that Mr. Victory? Unlike you back then, I’m not 30 years old. I’m over 50. The time’s ticking on my own 15-year quest to win an NCT title… Hand me a napkin, will ya?

Victory: Ummm. What can I say?

Sheriff: Besides, a lot of folks think I was the brains behind our operation here at State the past few years anyway. No offense, but we took off from sub-.500 to NCT contenders as soon as I got here. I know I can do this. You stopped me from taking over my own program once. You’re not going to stop me again.

Victory: Ummm. Yeah, I guess it wouldn’t be fair to make you a Bill Guthridge and only hand you the scraps of my program when you’re like 70 years old after I retire. Well, my friend. It was fun while it lasted. Let’s say State and George Mason meet in the Final Four sometime in the next few years.

Sheriff: George Mason will win.

Victory: Umph…
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Old 01-31-2007, 10:34 AM   #191
aztarheel
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Steve Victory JOURNAL – Assistant Leaving 2025!

For Immediate Release
From: Julius Hodge, Sports Information Director
Re: Assistant basketball coach leaving

Jeff Wilt, assistant men’s basketball coach, has resigned his position with N.C. State University effective immediately. He has been hired as the new men’s basketball coach for George Mason University. A press conference is planned for later in the week at GMU to announce the hiring. He signed a four-year deal.

Wilt served as Steve Victory’s lead assistant coach for the past two seasons. He played a big role in guiding the Wolfpack to the 2025 national championship in Phoenix. Before coming to N.C. State Wilt was a noted columnist in the Tuscaloosa News (Alabama), The Raleigh News & Observer and other publications in the Northeast.

“We will miss him here in Raleigh, but I’m glad he’ll get the chance to build his own program,” Victory said. “He’s a fine coach, a good man and a stellar recruiter. Other schools in the Colonial Athletic Association had better look out. Wilt will have the Giraffes in position to challenge for CAA titles and NCT berths in no time.”

A replacement for Wilt on the N.C. State staff has not yet been named.

For the record, George Mason University goes by the nickname “Patroits” and not “Giraffes.”

-30-

Last edited by aztarheel : 01-31-2007 at 10:34 AM.
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Old 01-31-2007, 10:36 AM   #192
aztarheel
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posted by yanksare

April 15, 2025

Inside a small office on the campus of North Carolina State University

“Hey Jonathan, Where’s my Double Wofford with cheese?”

Right here sir. Anything else before I leave for the night?

“No. Thanks for everything. You’ve been great. I’ll miss you guys up in Virginia.”

The Sheriff stands alone surveying his almost cleared out basketball office

He picks up a picture which appears to be of head coach Steve Victory and him from their teenage years and a smile comes to his face.....



Jeff, where do you think we should go to play ball?

I dunno Stevie. What about the Gators or the Hurricanes?

How’s this sound? Steve and Jeff Wilt lead the Miami Hurricanes to the NCT championship.

Good, cept you always have to be first doncha?

Duh... First in everything little brother.






Jeff’s smile slowly fades and an intense look fills his eyes.

“First in everything little brother.”
“How’s it feel?”.......little brother
“Aren’t they Division two or something?”.......little brother

“I hate you Stevie. I’ll show you who the better coach is. Just you wait.”

A somewhat touching scene deterioated into a violent burst of energy as the man formally know as the Sheriff tears up papers, pictures, and files and storms out determinedly.

Last edited by aztarheel : 01-31-2007 at 10:38 AM.
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Old 01-31-2007, 10:37 AM   #193
aztarheel
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Posted by: jksander

I’m starting to think perhaps the Sheriff is manic depressive...anyone thought about providing him with some zoloft?
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Old 01-31-2007, 11:26 AM   #194
Jeff Wilt
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Lurker no more. Man, I had forgotten about a lot of this. Thanks to aztarheel for allowing me to ride on his coat tails during his diary. I had a ton of fun coming up with the Sheriff character and adding to the Victory story. I can't wait to see what you have planned as a possible sequel.
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Old 01-31-2007, 02:39 PM   #195
beargrowlz
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I find "The Sheriff" to be an intriguing character. You almost wonder if he'll ever be happy, even if he won a national title by 50 over Steve Victory.

I applaud you for not going the route of the Hollywood happy ending and making Victory and The Sheriff all buddy-buddy at the end. It's a nice twist to see The Sheriff still bitter and angry.

Good stuff.
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Old 01-31-2007, 09:30 PM   #196
aztarheel
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The Sheriff is back! The Sheriff is back!! Wa-hoo, the Sheriff is back ...

:o
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Old 02-01-2007, 10:50 AM   #197
aztarheel
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Steve Victory JOURNAL - OffSeason 2025-26

For Immediate Release
From: Julius Hodge, Sports Information Director
Re: New basketball coaches

N.C. State has hired two new assistant basketball coaches.

Jerell Amaya, 35, a graduate of Auburn University, will be Steve Victory’s new lead assistant coach. Amaya takes over for Jeff Wilt, who resigned after two seasons to take over at George Mason University.

Diego Cross will replace Bill Young, whose contract was not renewed with the University, as the third assistant. Cross, 55, is a graduate of Arkansas-Little Rock.

“Both coaches bring with them a great knowledge of the game,” NCSU head coach Steve Victory said. “I remember coaching against Jerell when I was at Alabama, and he was one heck of a defensive player. Cross is a solid recruiter and great evaluator of talent. We look forward to what they can add to the program.

“Oh yeah, and sorry to George Mason fans about calling them the Giraffes. Good luck to the Generals, and their new coach Jeff Wilt.”
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Old 02-01-2007, 11:49 AM   #198
aztarheel
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Steve Victory JOURNAL – Preseason 2025-26

After Coach Victory’s NCT title season at State, programs from all over the country started knocking on his door and offering jobs. North Carolina wanted him. South Carolina wanted him. West Virginia, Ohio State, Tennessee, UMass – even Wofford (for real) – wanted Mr. Victory.

But the coach said no to them all. You’d have to be an utter fool to walk away from a national championship team that returns 11 players, including four of five starters. By late summer 2025, State fans started talking about the ultimate experience in 2025-26 – the magical undefeated season.

“I’ll settle for another NCT title,” Victory quipped when asked about the subject. “We’d have to be mighty fortunate to run the table without stumbling a few times.”

Victory saw another player of his get picked on NBA draft day. PF Jon Henry went 47th to Detroit.

Who will fill his spot in the starting lineup? It looks like SF Jalen Hemphill, who had an incredible summer and could be this year’s team MVP. Of course last year’s, SG Andre Baker, is back for his senior year and may have something to say about it.

Here’s the rest of the lineups for 2025-26:

STARTERS
PG Michael Stokes (junior)
SG Baker (senior)
SF Hemphill (junior)
PF Toni Zupic (junior)
C Jeff Bailey (senior)

BENCH
C Brandon Collins (redshirt junior)
PF Deon Brown (sophomore, lost his starting job at center to improved Bailey)
PG Roy Wrenn (frosh, the heir apparent to Stokes?)
SF Brett Montgomery (redshirt senior, kind of a disappointment)
SF Calvin Carstensen (frosh, looks strong – he’ll be the man in a year or two)
PG Ian Demory (redshirt frosh – year of sitting out didn’t seem to do too much for him)
C Jean Sykes (redshirt frosh – looks OK, wait a few years)

REDSHIRT
SG Marcus Hill (sophomore – glut of frontcourt players this year, but he could be the man next year)

RECRUITING
Victory needs to fill three holes officially. Stokes and Zupic are likely to go pro — and maybe even Hemphill — so the coach will prepare to say goodbye to five or six players after this season…

OUTLOOK
Prestige: 66 (Above average)
Expectations: Make NCT
Freshmen talent: Superior (3rd in nation behind Xavier and Georgetown)
Overall talent: Superior
Challenge: Easy
Preseason rankings: 12th in one poll and 6th in another (Wake is 13th. Duke is 15th. Alabama isn’t ranked – again)

SEASON OPENER
Aloha – The Pack is going to the Hawaii Classic. If all goes according to recent trends, State will finish 2-1… Victory’s team is the #1 seed and opens with Lamar...
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Old 02-01-2007, 11:52 AM   #199
aztarheel
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Steve Victory JOURNAL – Early season 2025-26

As predicted, the Wolfpack does go 2-1 in Hawaii. The Pack beats unranked Lamar 79-66 and fifth-ranked LSU 79-70 before falling to second-ranked Memphis 67-58. At least Memphis is a decent team (note – the Tigers go on to win 31 games…)

State players take the loss in stride even though that ends their quest for an undefeated season. “That’s a pretty outrageous proposition anyway,” Victory says of the perfect season. “We’ll get back to my first goal, which is to try and win another NCT title.”

The Pack does look ready to do that, winning the next TWENTY ONE (21) games in a row – Victory’s best winning streak ever. From Nov. 20 to Jan. 30, State is untouchable. Here is the list of victims. Some pretty impressive scores in here:

THE STREAK:
1) @Texas Southern W (90-56)
2) Marshall W (91-51)
3) At #19 Alabama W (73-69) – a great game!
4) Oregon W (82-74)
5) @ Cal W (68-66) – whew!
6) #7 LSU W (79-68) – rematch from Hawaii
7) St. Peters W (82-63)
8) Nicholls State W (104-40) – Stokes, Zupic announce they are going pro early after this massacre…
9) @ Wisconsin-Green Bay W (82-57)
10) @ Ohio State W (82-70)
11) @ Oklahoma State W (91-55)
12) CS Sacramento W (88-56)
13) Florida State W (96-61) – nice start to ACC season
14) #6 Wake Forest W (98-64) – wow!!!
15) Georgia Tech W (76-43)
16) @ North Carolina W (81-57) – Tar Heels have gone way down
17) @ Clemson W (87-53) – so have Tigers; Stokes scores 30
18) #1 Duke W (78-41) – holy cow!! The Devils are unmasked
19) @ Virginia W (91-63) – Andre Baker 29 points
20) @ Maryland W (77-67) – Zupic is player of the week
21) Virginia W (79-68)

Some notables during the streak:
• Freshman reserve PG Roy Wrenn steps in nicely when 2025 Final Four MVP Andre Baker tweaks his knee early in the season (out 1 month). Wrenn scores 24 as NCSU beats Barkley’s ‘Bama boys.

• State rallies from a 44-27 deficit to win at Cal by 2!

Jalen Hemphill leads in scoring many nights, averaging about 15 ppg

Toni Zupic scores 26 and has 15 rebounds in rout of Wake Forest. Baker, back from injury, adds 25. Hemphill and Bailey get 14 points each.

• State moves into the top 5 in the rankings as the wins mount. By the time the ACC season starts, Duke is #1, Mississippi State #2 and the Pack #3. State takes over at #1 with the drubbing of Duke. Even Coach Victory was in shock over that one. The day after Christmas. A 40-20 halftime lead. A 13-for-63 performance by Duke’s shooters. An impromptu party by State fans on Hillsborough Street afterward....
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Old 02-01-2007, 11:57 AM   #200
aztarheel
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EDIT: Forgot to include one key segment. Inserting here:

Steve Victory JOURNAL – End of Regular Season 2025-26

Of course, the Dookies end State’s streak when the teams collide again in Durham. The Cameron Crazies get their own party started on this night (Jan. 31) as the Devils prevail 69-58. State players may have been a little too confident, and of course Duke had a lot to prove after getting killed in the first meeting.

Still, the pollsters like the Wolfpack, and NCSU stays on top of the rankings with Utah and Duke coming in at #2 and #3. Weird.

The loss to the Blue Devils is the last one of the regular season for State. Victory’s crew goes on to beat Maryland, Clemson, Florida State, Georgia Tech, Wake Forest, North Carolina and UNC-Asheville to lock up another regular season ACC title.

The final tally on the regular season: 30-2, 15-1 in the conference, #1 ranking. Duke isn’t that far behind at 29-3, 14-2 in the league. Georgia Tech and Wake Forest both finish way back at 8-8.

Surprisingly, State gets no end-of-season awards. Not even freshman PG Roy Wrenn, who played so well when Baker went down. Sad. 

Over in Tuscaloosa, Alabama is struggling to break .500 again. Barkley’s boys do manage to squeak out a 16-13 regular season record, though only 5-11 in the SEC. Another year without an NCT berth certainly won’t help his relationship with the Crimson Tide fans. The Tide needs to win the SEC tourney…


Steve Victory JOURNAL – ACC Tournament 2026

All week leading up to the ACC tournament, sports reporters and columnists have hyped up the State-Duke rubber match. Both schools will likely get #1 seeds for the NCT no matter what, but who will get the ACC trophy and bragging rights to go with it?

Unfortunately for Victory, Duke is the last team standing on Sunday afternoon. State actually never made it past Friday. Virginia, the #9 seed, upset the Pack 74-70 in the ACC quarterfinals. Talk about embarrassing!!

At least UVa wasn’t one-and-done. The Cavs made it all the way to Sunday before falling to the Devils in the championship game (by quite a lot)… No ACC title for Victory and the Pack, but at least they’ll have a few extra days to rest for the all-important NCT tournament.

Anything less than the Final Four – and maybe even a national championship – is strictly underachieving with this bunch. But how well will they respond after the early bounce in Greensboro?

Last edited by aztarheel : 02-05-2007 at 10:57 AM.
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