It's not every day you see a college basketball player tweet about his former coach, even if the player no longer has ties to the program. Quite often, the college hoops version of Omertà rules the day. If you go tweeting negative things about your former coach, who else is going to want to have you around?
So when former NC State forward Thomas De Thaey, who left the program in November, tweeted the following after NC State's 86-84 loss to Wake Forest on Tuesday night, it was noteworthy, if only barely.
That's what happens when you're a great recruiter, but a terrible coach!
— Thomas De Thaey (@de_thaeyGOPACK) January 23, 2013
Whatever, right? Right. Nothing to really see there, and so long as none of the current Wolfpack responds or retweets or … oh.
Uh oh. Well, this is awkward.
Yes, that is a screenshot (via the yeoman's Shift-Command-3 work of CBS's Jeff Borzello) of De Thaey's tweet having been retweeted by current NC State freshman T.J. Warren, who, unlike De Thaey, remains very much with the Wolfpack program. In fact, Warren is NC State's best offensive player. He has since undone his retweet — it's a quick as clicking a button; we've all been there — and if I was in a similar position, I would be sure to remind everyone that retweets do not equal endorsements. For whatever reason, I doubt that excuse would work for Warren. In this case, endorsement of something he thinks, but can't actually say himself, was the entire point.
The cause of NC State's woes is no mystery. It's defense. The Wolfpack, as exciting as they are on the offensive end, don't defend consistently. Sometimes they just don't defend period, full stop. They've allowed just over a point per possession to opposing offenses this season, which is good for 192nd in the country. They've been no better in ACC play. They don't force steals or turnovers, they give up too many offensive rebounds, and they don't defend the interior. Warren, who is a hyper-efficient scorer in an almost old-school, hybrid/tweener body, is no different from the rest of his team. He can put up points in bunches, but he isn't doing the other things required to win.
Maybe some of that is coaching. Maybe Mark Gottfried has to get guys to buy in on the defensive end, and that's what Warren likewise wants to see. Or maybe some of that was just frustration, borne of a tough loss and the no-doubt-unfriendly postgame discussion that ensued.
Either way, just 11 days out from a win against Duke, NC State might have just arrived at the most crucial turning point of its season. Is it any wonder some coaches ban Twitter?