Coach K came out swinging today in support of Herb Sendek.
“He’s really one of the terrific coaches in our country,” Krzyzewski said. “He’s a proven winner. It makes me appreciate what we have at Duke with the support we’ve had.”
“There are still some (Iron Dukes) I would never talk to,” Krzyzewski said. ” … But I’ll always talk to my president and my administrators, because they didn’t flinch. Hopefully (N.C. State’s) people won’t flinch, either.”
“For those people, go write a letter and complain about me, then,” Krzyzewski said. “Because I am going to say something good about a good guy and a really good coach.”
“We had, I think, four outstanding teams in our conference, and I think that’s State included,” Krzyzewski said. “State had some problems at the end of the year when they were hurt and injured and whatever. I mean, they beat (George Washington) by (21). They were really good.”
I love these!! Talk about signs of the death-spiral. Am I the only who remembers that Matt Doherty came to Sendek’s public defense in 2001? At that time Doherty was 2-0 against Sendek. Of course that doesn’t compare to K’s 21-3 record vs Sendek in the last decade…but you get the point. (Just out of curiosity, how many times do you think Dean Smith came running to Coach K’s defense when things weren’t going well?)
Sendek never had, or chose to take the opportunity to return Doherty’s support. Chalk up another example of how other program’s are run compared to the one at NC State; you have to give Carolina credit for making their decisions decisively and without lingering in purgatory to create confrontations with their own fans.
Coack K also commented about how difficult his 2nd and 3rd years were at Duke. Allow me to repeat that – 2nd and 3rd years. For all you homegamers out there, Coach Sendek is now in his tenth season at the helm of the NC State program and has compiled:
* The second worst record of performance in the history of the NC State program
* A performance that clearly ranks him ahead of a ONE of the 17 coaches in ACC history that have been provided the honor to coach for a decade or longer in the ACC.
Unwillingly, K’s comments served to praise the NC State fan base while simultaneously highlighting the difference between he and Sendek – both currently and historically.
Evidently, K feels that Duke fans are far worse than State fans. You see, the Dookies were on K’s case in year two and three. NC State fans didn’t start getting on Herb’s case until his 5th (horrible) season that came on the heels of four previous seasons with no NCAA Tournament appearance. And, K was coaching at a time when the NCAA Tournament had less bids than they do today. WOW!! Talk about a stark difference in fans’ support!
You’d think that NC State fans didn’t help finance a $166 million 20,000 seat arena that State built before financing one of the most plush basketball practice facilities in the country. Poor Herb Sendek. The fans just don’t do anything but shell out their time and money to watch other coaches call seasons like the last two “terrific”. Herb Sendek may be a “terrific” coach. Unfortunately for him, coaches (at most places) get paid to deliver “terrific” results. I won’t argue that Herb isn’t a terrific coach since I know that nobody in the world that can spell their name will argue that he has produced terrific results.
In the mid-1980s, K ultimately succeeded as most coaches do — he succeeded by his 4th and 5th year or he would have gotten canned. Past performance is the #1 indicator of future behavior. Is it any wonder why Herb Sendek hasn’t broken through yet? He never has, and history, of which K is a major component, indicates that if he hasn’t by now then he never will.
No wonder K wants to support Sendek. Just like Matt Doherty did. Next up…Roy Williams and Skip Prosser.
Post-Mortems from the News & Observer:
February 7, 1996
“WOLFPACK ADVISORY: North Carolina State fans wanting to dump coach Les Robinson should remember that no coach in the league has a better record against the Tar Heels. Robinson is 4-2 against the Heels in Raleigh and 5-7 overall for a .417 winning percentage. Duke, under Mike Krzyzewski, is 13-24 (.351) against the Heels, and no other ACC coach is over 30 percent against them.
Even before the Wolfpack’s win over Carolina on Saturday, Robinson received strong support on the editorial page of the Raleigh News and Observer. “He (Robinson) represents the very best of college athletics and N.C. State is blessed to have him,” the editorial concluded.”
March 6, 1996
AMEN CORNER: Every coach in the league has offered support for North Carolina State’s embattled Les Robinson, but none has done it more eloquently in a few short words than Virginia’s Jeff Jones. To critics who suggest Robinson is too nice to be a good coach, Jones replies, “There is nothing wrong with being a nice guy. There’s too many jerks in this profession, anyway.”