To NC State fans, that history will never become irrelevant. Whether or not it's a realistic hope for State to compete on an even level with Duke and UNC, the Wolfpack fans have the legitimate pride that their program was the foundation of Tobacco Road basketball. Yes, they've been long surpassed by Duke and UNC. Doesn't matter. Their fans aren't going to settle on a coach that makes them a somewhat more respectable third best program in the Triangle, they aren't going to settle for middle of the pack ACC finishes while Duke and UNC take turns winning ACC championships, and they aren't going to settle for occassional sweet 16s when we're making the final four.
And they shouldn't. They do have a great, rich basketball history, they have great facilities, they play in an elite basketball conference, and, as we've seen right here at Duke, a college program like that is one great hire away from being a national power.
I had hoped Sidney would get the job done at State, and I still hope he will (though I doubt it at this point), but if he doesn't, why shouldn't the State fans hope to hire some fresh faced Polish guy from a sorry program like Army and enjoy a return to basketball glory?
Brian Zoubek on what was going through his mind walking to the free throw line with 3.6 seconds remaining in the 2010 National Championship game and Duke up by 1: "Fifty percent [of me is] thinking, This is what I've been dreaming of doing my entire life. Fifty percent I'm crapping my pants."
This quote says my thoughts very well. (Also, it's a good article to read.)
http://www.wralsportsfan.com/voices/blogpost/8802958/Maybe the Wolfpack wouldn't be 6-4 with no quality wins if it didn't have an unfortunate injury to Tracy Smith. It's an obvious blow to their team. But it's been made out like State is incapable of doing anything without Smith in the lineup. He's an important player, but if not having Smith for a few games meant the Wolfpack wouldn't win a single quality game without him, then they weren't that good to begin with.
I'm not so pessimistic.
Sure, State hasn't looked very good so far, and it's true that it's NCAA hopes are dwindling, but they also don't have any bad losses and have been close in every game except the Wisconsin debacle.
Without Tracy Smith and with one of the youngest teams in nation based on playing time.
They've definitely disappointed, but to me its nothing that can't possibly be fixed, and State IMO will turn into a NCAA tourney caliber team by the end of the season, even if they don't make it because of the disappointing start.
To me, this is one of the scariest teams in the ACC outside of Duke. Sure, they'll probably bungle a few games, but they'll beat a few teams they weren't supposed to (like last year, but even moreso).
I think another factor is going to be the Amato clause... If State gets swept by UNC again, that may go just as far as an NIT berth in Lowe's dismissal (unofficially, of course).
Getting swept by Unc would mean State is likely a sub-.500 team in conference which would be the actual problem. Also, I'm not sure anyone can definitely say what Tracy Smith brings to the table when he returns though.
Also worth noting that State may get a bit of a pass from the committee on some of their recent struggles if Smith comes back strong and they appear to be a different team once he is back on the floor. In some ways, December could be a mulligan for State.
-Jason "I do agree, they will need to go 9-7 or 10-6 in the ACC to get a bid" Evans
RE: Lowe's job security.
Keep in mind that State has a new AD. New ADs are the last thing a struggling coach wants to see. The AD who hired you has an investment in you. An AD who did not hire you does not have that investment.
Sidney Lowe is simply a bad coach. His teams rarely play with a lot of energy; especially defensively and he may be the worst situational coach in the ACC. The last person I want drawing up a play with two seconds to go and the game on the line is Sydney.
Also, have you guys noticed that when a player gets hot from the field Syndey pulls them? It happens like CLOCKWORK and has for the last three years. I think any time a player deviates from the set play they get pulled regardless of the game situation.
I, literally, think that he is the worst coach in the ACC.
Hmmm, maybe this goes in another thread with a poll attached.
--Jason "opinions?" Evans
I hope he gets a bit more time. This is only his fifth season, and it's not like his teams have been terrible every year. They just seem stuck on 20 wins and an occasional trip to the NIT. But let's not forget that he beat Duke last year and Duke, UNC and Wake four years ago (when beating Wake meant something).
As with Indiana, I think it's good for CBB for NC State to have a good program. It's been a while, admittedly. But they've got a good 7-footer coming next year (from Word of God IIRC) and a really good point guard committed for 2012.
I don't know about Lowe as an Xs and Os coach or motivator. But I hope he's given a fair chance to succeed or fail -- 6 or 7 years, not 4 or 5.
Wake this season has lost to Stetson, Winthrop, and now Presbyterian, the latter a team 2 years fresh from Division II. And I thought Buzz wasn't that bad a hire, either -- but the man is imploding from the pressure. His press conference tonight showed a man pretty much giving up on the season.
As for Lowe, his teams have been amazingly disjointed and undisciplined on the floor. Yes, he's without Tracy Smith, but there's only so much Smith can do; he alone isn't going to stop the horrible ball handling, horrendous defensive fundamentals, or overall lack of intensity.
If we were to hold a poll, I'd be inclined to give the "prize" to Buzz, with a close second fought between Lowe and Hewitt.
Ping "boy oh boy is the ACC down this year" Lin
(I agree with your general sentiment, of course; Wake had a very bare cupboard to welcome Bzzzz with but losing to Presbyterian still shouldn't be acceptable. They're on pace to challenge Doh's 8-20 year.)
~tieguy (must be a decade since I responded to a post by Ping?)
I never was a fan of the Lowe hire. I know State got turned down by all of their top targets, but the AD then panicked and pulled the trigger on Lowe, rather than patiently pursuing a more worthy candidate. At the time there were some good young coaches at local mid-majors, that would have been better choices.
If you can't hit the homerun hire of an established winner, my view is, you go the route of young coach who has performed well at a smaller school. That is how Valvano, K, and Cremins came to be. It is a gamble, but far less of a gamble than Lowe was.
One problem I have noticed in Lowe's style, in addition to his teams not playing hard, is he tries the NBA method of different rotations game by game based on match-ups. Two seasons ago I watched 4 or 5 State games over about a 2 week period. He had a different starting line up in just about every game, and a kid would start and play 25 minutes in one game, then not start and get 4 minutes the next game. Professionals are mature enough to handle that. College "kids' are not.That style simply will not work in the college game.
I hate seeing State struggle as I feel the ACC needs all of the Big Four to be Top 25 Caliber programs. It just makes the ACC better imo. I believe though, that Lowe has had enough time to get a solid foundation laid and show a path to success, and he has failed. Losing Smith has hurt them this year, but losing by 40 at Wisconsin was a troubling sign.
The clock is ticking. Given the current state of the ACC, if the Pack cannot go 10-6 or better, I think they have no shot at the NCAA's and that will be the final nail in the coffin for Lowe.
"[T]he tarnished Tar Heels that bear little resemblance to the revered program built by Dean Smith."- Ashville Times
"UNC and the NCAA are trying to conceal that the fraud was specifically designed to pad the transcripts of varsity athletes" - Bloomberg
This may be premature. State hasn't started its ACC season yet, its best player has been out with an injury and the ACC's performance so far suggests that there are first-division niches just begging to be filled. So, maybe State goes 10-6, goes to the NCAAs, Lowe gets an extension and everything is hunky-dory. Stranger things have happened.
But, as I stated earlier in the thread, I'm quite certain that State has to go to the Big Dance for him to keep his job. Maybe that's not fair, maybe five years isn't long enough. But Sendek didn't leave a bare cupboard and the job was by no means considered a rebuilding job when Lowe took it. The State fan base is restless and Lowe has a big two months ahead of him.
Andy Katz agrees with me that it's wayyyy premature to count out the Wolfpack, and that they haven't been as bad as people seem to believe so far.....after all, their losses are all to teams that would probably be #2 in the ACC this year.
There is no one who gets less out of more than Paul Hewitt. Abysmal.
Lowe needs to show this year, agree with all of those above.
Bz, too early to tell. They were not very good last year and are learning a new system. So I think the jury is out. No doubt, though, they are really really bad this year.