Notebook: Degand Sidelined

RALEIGH, N.C. -- NC State head coach Sidney Lowe held his weekly press conference today at the Dail Center and here are some comments from Lowe on tomorrow's game, his team's injuries, and much more.

Farnold Degand played just 13 minutes in the season opener at New Orleans when he suffered tendinitis in his knee.

According to coach Sidney Lowe, that will keep Degand, who tore his ACL after the tenth game of last year, out for "at least a few weeks."

"We're expecting him to be out, maybe a couple of weeks. I would say that's maximum, hoping maybe a week he'll be back," Lowe said. "But being on the conservative side, doc said two weeks."

Unfortunately, said knee is the left one, the same one that Degand blew out last year. "I think it's something that's a result of the surgery. Either the way he's running on it or something," Lowe said. "I think it's something he's had before honestly, but it's never been this severe. Apparently this has something to do with that knee and the surgery."

Lowe also said Degand's primary backup, Javi Gonzalez, played the last four minutes of the New Orleans game with a sore knee, but he is OK now. Gonzalez wears a protective sleeve over that left knee.

"Fortunately or unfortunately, Javi has been in this situation before and I think he's well prepared for it this time" Lowe said. "Julius, obviously his minutes are going to go up with playing time and he's been doing a nice, solid job for us."

There was some speculation that Trevor Ferguson's 28 minutes off the bench was an indication that the redshirt junior would get the call over freshman C.J. Williams. Not so, according to Lowe.

Brandon Costner shot 60 percent from the field and five-of-six from the line to give him 19 points in addition to a team-high seven rebounds in the New Orleans game. Lowe said he was pleased with how Costner took charge, and at least for a game, looked like the Brandon of old.

"We know it's there, we've seen it before. He recognized the situation, the game itself and he knew that we needed him, Ben and Courtney to all step up in some areas and he did that," Lowe said. "That was encouraging to see him take the initiative and take that leadership and more than anything just coming out of that locker room and communicating with other players."

The basketball schedule took on a form more suited for Tom O'Brien's team, with a full week off between Saturday games.

Saturday's match-up with High Point will be one of two regular season games held at Reynolds Coliseum this year. Lowe was asked if there were any future plans to allot a certain amount of games in the stadium he called home in the early 80's or if there might be plans to play a more marquee program.

"There has been no conversation about getting a set number of games in there. I think the time of the game certainly would dictate that. The teams that we play might dictate that, there's a lot that goes into that," Lowe said. "I don't make that decision on my own, there's a lot to be talked about and thought about just to make sure it makes sense for everyone."

One of the main issues acknowledged by Lowe is revenue that each building can bring in.

"There is a big picture."

This Saturday's opponent High Point comes in with a 1-1 record (0-1 against Division I teams). Despite losing Arizona Reid (and his 2,000-plus career points and 1,000-plus career rebounds), Lowe said the Panthers still have some weapons.

"They're strong in their guard play. They have a very good player in Eugene Harris, who can score the ball and really plays well," Lowe said. "They're strong in their guards, not that their bigs aren't solid but most of their scoring comes from those guards. They can really put the ball on the floor, they can shoot it, they can pass it."

Just because there's a game to be played later that night does not mean Lowe is going to miss out on the season's biggest football game. Lowe said it was a no-brainer whether or not he'd be watching UNC and State do battle on the gridiron.

"Of course," Lowe said with a laugh when asked if he would catch the game. The friendly laugh came when asked (with sarcasm involved) which team he'd be pulling for.

"You do have your routine, but that would be impossible for me to not watch that game," Lowe said.

In all seriousness, Lowe said nothing was changed in preparation due to the game and that players would be freed up by kickoff if they want to watch. But these players have some guidelines, like avoiding a Gramatica-esque moment.

"Don't jump up and down, don't get some kind of crazy injury because we won or something and you jumped up and down," Lowe said.

Pack Pride Top Stories