The Wolfpacker

November 2015 Issue

The Wolfpacker: An Independent Magazine Covering NC State Sports

Issue link:

Contents of this Issue


Page 17 of 155

16 ■ THE WOLFPACKER TRACKING THE PACK Let's stipulate that in the 1940s and '50s, schools didn't differentiate guards. NC State's first true passing point guard was John Magglio, followed up by one of the guys mentioned here. Through the years, there have been plenty others who were kind of point guards, kind of scorers, like Anthony Grundy, Julius Hodge, Lorenzo Brown and even Nate McMillan, who played kind of a point center at times during his two-year Wolfpack career. The players below are pure point guards and they are the best in school history. 1. Sidney Lowe (1980-83): The Ever- ett Case Award winner of the 1983 ACC Tournament and the guy who saved his team in the second half of the NCAA title game against Houston was, indeed, a coach on the court for Jim Valvano, who never minded putting his team's fate in the hands of a trusted point guard. Lowe was a near-perfect passer, a solid shooter and a sure-handed ball handler. He played all 80 minutes of the 1983 Final Four with just one turnover. He passed Phil Ford as the ACC's all-time assist leader in the NCAA regional final win over Virginia and completed his career with 762. But his excellence wasn't always in his numbers; it was the trust that Valvano put in Lowe from the very beginning. 2. Monte Towe (1973-75): He was a great high school quarterback and shortstop, and an even better collegiate point guard. The diminutive devil from Commerce, Ind., was the perfect complement to the superstars around him. Everyone assumed that a 5-7 point guard would be a defensive liability in the ACC, even back in the 1970s. But Towe had 7-2 Tommy Burleson behind him, along with David Thompson on the wing, so it was hardly ever an issue. Towe was tougher than nails on the court. He played much of his sophomore year, when the Wolfpack was a perfect 27-0, in a cast to protect his broken left wrist and in a mask after suffering a broken nose. When the Wolfpack completed its de- molition of Marquette in the 1974 NCAA championship game, Al McGuire said the reason Norm Sloan's team won was Towe, not Thompson or Burleson. 3. Chris Corchiani (1988-91): He'll for- ever be linked to backcourt mate Rodney Monroe because of the nickname "Fire and Ice," and no one will ever be able to an- swer whether Monroe was good because of Corchiani or Corchiani was good because of Monroe. The real answer is that they were both outstanding independent of each other. Corchiani became the first NCAA player to collect more than 1,000 assists in a ca- reer and is also NC State's all-time steals leader with 328, almost 90 more than any other Wolfpack player. He would've done just fine on his own, but nothing was more fun than watching the pair's parallel careers as passer and scorer. 4. Lou Pucillo (1957-59): Everett Case never recruited a smaller, more unlikely player. Pucillo never started for his high school team and was signed after one suc- cessful year at a Philadelphia prep school. He was a hot dog who liked to dribble between his legs and pass behind his back, but he ran Case's motion system flawlessly. Pucillo was not only the ACC Player of the Year in 1959, when he led the Wolfpack to the 11th conference title of Case's 16- year career, he was also the ACC Athlete of the Year. Little Lou was something to behold. 5. Spud Webb (1984-85): Yes, he could dunk, which always shocked opposing players and fans, and thrilled the crowds at Reynolds Coliseum. But the high-fly- ing 5-7 junior college transfer also knew how to run the offense, which he did for two seasons after Lowe's departure. Webb handed out 363 assists in those two sea- sons, a total which ranks seventh in NC State basketball history. — Tim Peeler NC STATE'S BEST: TOP FIVE POINT GUARDS Chris Corchiani, who starred for the Wolfpack from 1988-91, became the first NCAA player to notch more than 1,000 career assists. PHOTO COURTESY NC STATE MEDIA RELATIONS

Articles in this issue

Archives of this issue

view archives of The Wolfpacker - November 2015 Issue