Updated with a photo slideshow from the Wolfpack’s trip to Durham and 70-39 loss to Duke.
The NC State women’s basketball team travels to Durham tonight to meet No. 6 Duke at 7 p.m. in Cameron Indoor Stadium. It’ll be the first time that first-year Wolfpack coach Kellie Harper will face the Blue Devils as a coach. The significance? When she went to play for Pat Summitt at the University of Tennessee in 1995, Harper had one overriding goal: to win an unprecedented four straight national titles. Freshman year? Check. Sophomore year? Check. Junior year? Check. Senior year? The Lady Vols entered the NCAA tournament a favorite as a No. 1 seed. But in the 1999 East Regional Final, in Greensboro, No. 3-seeded Duke (then coached by Gail Goestenkors) upset the Lady Vols, 69-63.
After the Wolfpack picked up a 70-57 win over Virginia Tech Sunday night to improve to 13-10 overall and 3-5 in the ACC, NC State magazine asked Coach Harper about the team that ended her collegiate playing career and left her just one national title shy of her goal. See her thoughts after the jump. In the latest installment of The Kellie Harper Show, she talks about what NC State needs to do to beat Duke and looks ahead to the Sunday Hoops for Hope event, when the Pack will meet Miami at 5:30 p.m. and pay tribute to former NC State coach Kay Yow.
A couple weeks ago, NC State magazine also talked to Al Brown, who was an assistant coach at Tennessee when Coach Harper played there and who is now an assistant coach at Duke. Read what he has to say about Coach Harper after the jump.
Alumnus Chris Monteleon ’68 was interviewed on Frontline last night (in the fifth segment, about two minutes in). The PBS program investigated safety issues associated with major airlines outsourcing flights to regional partners. Monteleon, who has worked as a Federal Aviation Administration inspector, raised questions about the operations of a regional airline he provided oversight of and charged that the FAA ignored his concerns. One of that airline’s planes crashed near Buffalo, N.Y., in February 2009, killing 50. You can learn more about Monteleon in The New York Times and in this NPR story.
Update: Go to the bottom of the post for a wrap-up of the Wolfpack’s win over Virginia Tech. On their bus trip to Clemson for their Jan. 31 game against the Tigers, NC State women’s basketball coach Kellie Harper showed her team a vintage commercial for Weeble Wobbles, a toy popular in the 1970s and 1980s. The tagline: “Weebles wobble but they don’t fall down.” Then, she passed a bag filled with the toys around and asked each player to pick out one. Harper’s message? Sophomore forward Bonae Holston, the Pack’s leading scorer, says:
She said that we have been playing so good in the first half, but whenever the other team makes their run in the second half, we fall. But the Weeble Wobble, if it falls over, it gets right back. And that’s what she was trying to get us to see that we need to do. When we fall down, we need to get right back. It was cute, and I appreciate Coach Kellie’s effort to try to get us to see that when we get knocked over, we have to get up.
The Pack lost to Clemson 69-56 Sunday after leading at halftime, giving them their third lost in a row and five losses in their past six games, but Harper’s message is sticking, says Holston, who has carried her Weeble Wobble — a blue chicken — in her book bag throughout the week. They’ll get another chance to bounce back Sunday when they host Virginia Tech at 4 p.m. in Reynolds.
Last Thursday, Jeffery Braden, dean of the College of Humanities and Social Sciences, switched places with Margaux Novak, a junior English major at NC State. He did everything she would do on a typical Thursday, and she took his schedule. Both wrote about the experience for Technician.
A couple of my favorite notes from Dean Braden’s day:
6:56 a.m. - I get dropped off at the IHOP on Park and Hillsborough, where I go in, order a cup of coffee, fire up my laptop and prepare to open the envelope titled “Detailed Schedule” Margaux handed to me on Monday. The first line of my instructions for this morning says: “Think about going to IHOP for a well-rounded breakfast — and then remind yourself it is not in your price range and that the rent is due in three days.” I close the menu with a mixture of disappointment and relief — disappointment that I won’t get a hot breakfast and relief that I won’t have to “out” myself by ordering from the senior menu.
And at Carmichael…
1:25 p.m. - I am prepared — I have a bathing cap, mask, snorkels, water wings, inflatable Snoopy ring and diving fins on and in place. Kimberly, the photographer from the Technician, is there to capture the spectacle. The instructor comes by and vows that I’ll actually have to wear all that in the pool. Happily, she doesn’t follow through on her threat. We stretch, and then jump in the pool for more stretching and eventually for our workout. During the stretching, I introduce myself to a guy standing in the pool next to me. He asks me to repeat my last name, and then says, “Yeah, I thought so.” I ask, “What do you mean?” He smiles and tells me that he took Psychology 200 (Intro) from me a couple of years ago. We both laugh at the probability that we’d end up in the pool together for class. Since I know a lot of people will ask, let me say I was neither the best nor the worst student in the class — but I was definitely the best AARP member in the pool!
Look for an interview with Dean Braden in the spring issue of NC State magazine.