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Making the Case for Bill Cowher’s Hall of Fame Induction

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Three former NC State players were among the 102 Modern-Era Nominees for the 2019 Pro Football Hall of Fame Class released Friday.

Wide Receiver Torry Holt
Safety Adrian Wilson
Head Coach Bill Cowher

I’ve already made a case for the Holt and Wilson belonging in the Hall of Fame, and in this piece I will make the case for Bill Cowher landing in Canton, Ohio with the rest of the greats.

The former NC State linebacker was the head coach for the Pittsburgh Steelers for 15 seasons, compiling a record 161-91-1. His 161 career wins ranks 19th in NFL history. Cowher led the Steelers to a 149-90 record in regular season play, and his 149 wins are the 10th most regular season wins by a head coach in NFL history.

His career winning percentage of 61.9% ranks 18th all-time.

Cowher is one of only 23 coaches in NFL history to lead teams to more than one Super Bowl. In 1996, Cowher, at the age of 38, became the youngest coach to lead their team to a Super Bowl. The Steelers lost to the Cowboys 27-17 in Super Bowl XXX. Ten years later, Cowher once again made it to the Super Bowl, and this time he walked away with the Lombardi trophy. The Steelers defeated the Seahawks 21-10 in Super Bowl XL. The fact that the Steelers were the #6 seed makes Cowher’s Super Bowl victory that much more impressive. Only two #6 seeds in this history of the NFL have gone on to win the Super Bowl.

In 15 seasons as the head coach of the Steelers, Cowher led them to 8 divisional titles (1 of only 6 coaches to claim 7+ divisional titles) and 10 playoff appearances.

Conclusion

This marks the 5th time that Cowher has been nominated, but he has yet to be a semi-finalist. Cowher’s detractor’s point to his 2-4 record in the AFC Championship game, and point to what could have been. I understand that, but he is one of only 23 coaches in NFL history to win 2 Conference Championships. I expect Mike Shanahan and Tom Coughlin to make it in before Cowher. They both have have more career wins, and won 2 Super Bowls (Coughlin won’t be eligible until 2020). I could also see Mike Holmgren going in before Cowher. He also won one Super bowl, but went to 3, and has more career wins. It’s worth noting that Cowher’s career winning percentage is better than all three of the above mentioned coaches. It might not be this year, but I believe Cowher deserves to be in the Hall of Fame one day.

Pack in the Pros

A Look at the 22 NC State Players who have Played in the NBA Playoffs

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We are about half way through the first round of the 2019 playoffs, and while no former NC State players are currently in the postseason, 22 former Wolfpackers have played in the playoffs in the past.

Basketball Reference

Former NC State Point Guard, and current Indiana Pacers Head Coach Nate McMillan, played 98 playoff games, marking the most by a former Wolfpack player.

McMillan has the most career assists (505) and steals (131) by a former NC State player, and Thurl Bailey has the most points (929), rebounds (382) and blocks (82).

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Pack in the Pros

Best NBA Playoff Performers & Performances by NC State Players

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With the 1st round of the 2019 NBA Playoffs up and running, it’s a good time to take a look at the best NBA Playoff Performers and Performances by former NC State players.

Points per Game in Playoffs

  1. David Thompson – 22.9 (27 games)
  2. Tommy Burleson – 20.7 (15 games)
  3. Thurl Bailey – 13.5 (69 games)
  4. Kenny Carr – 10.5 (35 games)

Rebounds per Game in Playoffs

  1. Tommy Burleson – 10.2 (15 games)
  2. Kenny Carr – 6.6 (35 games)
  3. Thurl Bailey – 5.5 (69 games)

Assists per Game in the Playoffs

  1. Nate McMillan – 5.5 (98 games)
  2. Spud Webb – 5.1 (39 games)

Points Scored in a Single Playoff Game

  1. David Thompson – 42
  2. DavidThompson – 40 (2x)
  3. Thurl Bailey – 39
  4. David Thompson 37
  5. Tommy Burleson – 33
  6. 31 Points – David Thompson & Thurl Bailey
  7. Thurl Bailey – 30
  8. 29 points – Vinny Del Negro/David Thompson/

Rebounds in a Single Playoff Game

  1. Tommy Burleson – 20
  2. Kenny Carr – 18
  3. Kenny Carr – 15
  4. Thurl Bailey – 14 (2x)
  5. Thurl Bailey – 13

Assists in a Single Playoff Game

  1. Spud Webb – 18
  2. Nate McMillan – 16
  3. Nae McMillana – 15
  4. Spud Webb – 14
  5. Spud Webb – 13
  6. 12 – Nate McMillan (2x)/Spud Webb

Photo Credit

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TJ Warren’s Hot Hand From Deep was Cut Short in 2018-19: YEAR 5 RECAP

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Former NC State ACC Player of the Year TJ Warren just wrapped up his 5th season in the NBA, all played with the Phoenix Suns, who drafted him 14th overall in the 2014 NBA Draft.

It was a frustrating ending for Warren, missing the final 33 games of the season due to an ankle injury, which ultimately was determined to be a severe bruise.

In 43 games (36 starts), Warren averaged 18.0 points and 4.0 rebounds, while shooting 48.6% from the field, and a super impressive 42.8% three-point percentage.

To put it in perspective, he shot 22.2% from beyond the arch last year.

Warren picked up a $250,000 bonus for shooting over 37% from three, and missed another $250,000 bonus by 5 three-point attempts. He needed 185 attempts for the bonus, and shot 180.

Tony Bucket’s highest scoring performance of the year came on December 13th, when he dropped 30 points on the Mavs.

Warren just finished the 2nd season on his 4-year contract extension worth $50 million. He is due $10.8 million next season, $11.7 million in 2020-21 and $12.69 million in 2021-22.

There is speculation on whether or not Warren will be a member of the Suns, because he is an enticing player for the Suns to package in a deal.

With that being said, Warren is optimistic about Phoenix taking a step forward next year.

“We’ve got the talent,” Warren said. “We’ve got the players. All it’s about is coming together. Building together. Growing together. Josh (Jackson), Kelly (Oubre Jr.) Book (Devin Booker), Tyler (Johnson) D.A. (Deandre Ayton). We have the nucleus to really make some things happen. It’s going to be a big offseason for everybody. Hopefully everybody is going to work, which I know they are.”

AZCentral

Through 5 seasons, Warren’s career scoring average of 14.4 is the third highest by a former Wolfpack player.

Sports Reference
Sports Reference

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Seahawks Make Russell Wilson the Highest Paid Player in the NFL

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There was a time when he was a 2-star prospect coming out of high school. There was a time that all the pundits said that his game wouldn’t translate to the NFL.

Shortly after the clock struck Midnight, former NC State Quarterback Russell Wilson signed a 4-year $140 million contract extension with the Seahawks, including a $65 million signing bonus, making him the highest paid player in the NFL.

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SEATTLE. Let’s get it. @Seahawks #GoHawks

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“Hey Seattle, we got a deal. Go Hawks. But I’ma see ya’ll in the morning. Time for ya’ll to go to bed.”

Russell Wilson

2 weeks ago, Wilson gave the Seahawks a April 15th deadline for his contract to be signed. He wasn’t going to allow contract negotiations carry on once the Seahawks were back on the field. There weren’t going to be any distractions.

I guess it’s ok to allow a deadline to be broken by 45 minutes when someone makes you the highest paid player in the league.

Wilson will be the highest paid player per year at $35 million, and his $65 million signing bonus is record breaking as well.

Last season, Wilson threw 35 touchdowns, and boasted a QB Rating of 110.9, which were both career highs, and ranked 3rd in the league.


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