In the aftermath of their 98-85 loss at No. 4 Duke on Thursday night N.C. State fans and players were none too pleased, which is to be expected when your team loses a game.
But for some the anger stemmed from a chant alleged to be directed at N.C. State freshman point guard Tyler Lewis during the second half. While Duke fans in attendance (as well as some members of the media) say that the chant was “past your bedtime,” there were those on the N.C. State side who claim to have heard “how’s your grandma?”
Lewis’ grandmother passed away last Friday, one day before N.C. State lost 79-78 to No. 8 Miami in Raleigh, and according to his father in a post by Joe Giglio of the Raleigh News & Observer there was a small segment of fans who took up the derisive chant (the video of the alleged incident is in the post for you to judge for yourselves).
“It was mostly ‘Past your bedtime,’ but there was an instant when a brief number of students chanted about Tyler’s grandmother,” Rick Lewis said Friday. “It wasn’t the entire student section, I think a few tried to outdo themselves.”
If this indeed took place that’s a horrible thing to chant, but it’s important to note that this is a case of a few bad apples spoiling things for the entire group.
Just as bad, and this was also noted by the elder Lewis, is the fact that this situation has taken focus away from Lewis’ solid play with Lorenzo Brown out after suffering a sprained ankle in a loss at Virginia.
Averaging 3.2 points and 1.6 assists per game on the season, Lewis accounted for 14.5 points and 5.5 assists per game in the losses to Miami and Duke with just one turnover. While it’s obvious that Brown will be the starter when he returns, Lewis has taken full advantage of his opportunity and made a case for more minutes when that time comes.
“It’s kind of always in his mind that he has to beat the odds – size and his frame. And he has kind of that mentality right now,” said N.C. State head coach Mark Gottfried of his freshman point guard.
“He played against good pressure defense all night long, gets 13 points, six assists without a turnover. We’re learning there. The tough thing for us is that we’re not winning, but we’re learning that he can help us a lot. He’s done well.”
And for a team that essentially had one reserve (freshman T.J. Warren) seeing consistent playing time before Brown’s injury, this is a positive development for N.C. State.