Women's Hoops Blog

Inane commentary on a game that deserves far better

Monday, March 08, 2010

Congrats to Duke, who won earned their first ACC title since 2004.

But, to me, the real story is North Carolina State and the job that coach Harper has done in her first season with the Wolfpack.

In the best of circumstances, stepping into a new job is not easy. In this case, with the passing of coach Yow and the emotions surrounding the decision not to go with Yow's hand-picked successor, the season could have turned into an awkward, painful soap opera.

Instead, after a win-loss record that tracks like the Dow Jones over the last year, the team and their new coach have finished strong. Dealt a 10-pt loss by the Blue Devils (in their last meeting, they lost by 31), they were one win shy of becoming the first team to win four games in four days -- this after beating Clemson, upsetting Virginia and then stopping a hot Boston College.

And now, the 'pack is on the verge of going to the NCAA tournament.
"I'm extremely proud of our team for so many reasons," first-year coach Kellie Harper said. "But in that locker room ... I was proud of them for wanting more. They're hurt that they didn't win this game, and I am so proud of that."

"Winning is a big part of how we've been acting lately," Nikitta Gartrell said. "Our confidence and everything has been sky high. We can't drop our heads and let our confidence go away because we have NCAAs to worry about now."