Mediocrity Takes Center Stage Tonight!

Yes, it’s time for everyone’s favorite event – the NIT final, the culmination of the chase to be #66. And does it really surprise anyone that the last 2 standing are the living, breathing embodiments of basketball mediocrity? Yes, I’m talking about Tommy Amaker of Michigan and Dave Odom of South Carolina!

Unless I’m mistaken, neither man has won an NCAAT game in his current coaching job (and this streak goes back to Odom’s last 4-5 years at Wake). Very rarely do their teams make the “Big Dance”, but when they do, it’s one and done. But Odom in particular is the master of the NIT, having already won it at both Wake and South Carolina. If there was an NIT Hall of Fame, he’d be in it. Maybe he can have a small display in the main college basketball Hall of Fame men’s room.

As you likely have noticed by now, the last teams left out of the dance rarely go far in the NIT. Because it’s not a tournament in the true sense – it’s a battle of attrition. Who doesn’t want to win the least? Under this scenario, it’s rarely teams or programs with bigger dreams. It’s the program that closed its season on a huge losing streak (like Michigan), or one that barely stayed above .500 entering its conference tourney (like SC).

As much as I hate NC State being stuck in “B-minus limbo,” I certainly wouldn’t rather be a “solid C” possibly looking to hang an NIT championship banner. And no, this post is not to excuse Sendek’s performance or caution against making a change because it “could always be worse.” It’s just to make fun of the NIT, which never gets old (at least to me).

I wonder if Stan, the NIT Goodwill Ambassador will drop by SFN?

About BJD95

1995 NC State graduate, sufferer of Les and MOC during my entire student tenure. An equal-opportunity objective critic and analyst of Wolfpack sports.

General NCS Basketball

18 Responses to Mediocrity Takes Center Stage Tonight!

  1. Cardiff Giant 03/30/2006 at 10:26 AM #

    As you know, Stan, Online Goodwill Ambassador for the NIT, “supplements” his income by working at a McDonalds in Queens. I am sure he will put in an appearance, though.

  2. Trout 03/30/2006 at 10:31 AM #

    McDonalds, or McDowells?

  3. Cardiff Giant 03/30/2006 at 10:36 AM #

    ^ Ha! Good point. Stan is originally from CAHM-AIR-ROON.

  4. NIT Stan 03/30/2006 at 10:38 AM #


    It is I, NIT Stan, from CAMEROON!

    I will send a message of peace and love to all you Wolfpacker fans quite soon!

  5. Mr O 03/30/2006 at 10:48 AM #

    It is pretty interesting if you look at where Odom stands relative to other ACC coaches. He is probably in the top 25% of coaches all time in the conference. I remember having this discussion and he wasn’t to far out of the top 10 in overall accomplishments.

  6. Clarksa 03/30/2006 at 10:55 AM #

    Wait, I thought making the NCAA tournament, but not getting past the Sweet 16 was mediocre? Now your saying the NIT is mediocre? I’m confused…

  7. scott 03/30/2006 at 10:57 AM #

    If they put a display in the HOF men’s room for Odom, couldn’t they at least put a small plaque in one of the urinals or in a toilet bowl honoring Herb for being the first coach to take NCSU to the NCAA 5 years in a row? If I ever go there, I could pay homage one way or the other.

  8. BJD95 03/30/2006 at 11:15 AM #

    I’ve always said that Sendek has made us consistently “pretty good” – which simply isn’t enough, given the time he’s been here. To me, its Amaker and Odom who define mediocre. To me, it’s the difference between B- and C performance. In no way is either acceptable, long-term.

    Other people call Sendek’s performance mediocre, and I would suppose they would have to rate Odom and Amaker even worse than that.

  9. class of '74 03/30/2006 at 11:23 AM #

    I’ve known Odom since the days when he coached Durham High School and he was a decent coach but he did not recruit well enough to cut it at the ACC level. I’d rate Odom ahead of Sendek as a game coach and recruiting well that’s probably a draw.

  10. RickJ 03/30/2006 at 12:15 PM #

    There are 5 coaches in the history of the ACC that have more ACC titles than Dave Odom.

  11. Trout 03/30/2006 at 12:24 PM #

    ^I count 6. Dean, K, Case, Sloan, Bubas and Cremins….with V, Bones and McGuire tied with Odom?

  12. Trout 03/30/2006 at 12:25 PM #

    ^ Bill Foster (Duke) also has 2.

  13. RickJ 03/30/2006 at 12:29 PM #

    Trout – If Cremins has 3, I stand corrected.

  14. highstick 03/30/2006 at 9:01 PM #

    I’ve met Odom several times and he’s a class act. He’s done more with his team and talent at SC than Herb has been able to accomplish. At least he’s winning something and trying rather than bending over and letting Roy and K “take advantage” of him.

  15. Mr O 03/31/2006 at 7:47 AM #

    Odom has done more at SC than Herb at NC State?

    That is pretty unreasonable and there isn’t any statistical evidence to support that opinion.

  16. choppack 03/31/2006 at 8:16 AM #

    Coaches like Odom really represent a challenge to fans and ADs. He obviously can coach -but he hasn’t turned SC into a power either. Winning the NIT would be nice for 1 year – especially if your team was supposed to stink. However, he won it last year – and to go back to the NIT w/ an experienced team is much more than a letdown. It’s like having back to back home run titles in Single A baseball. Yea, it’s an accomplishment but why aren’t you in at least Double A?

  17. class of '74 03/31/2006 at 8:54 AM #

    ^^USC 58 NCSU 55 YEAR 2003. The last time I believe we played them.

  18. BJD95 03/31/2006 at 9:28 AM #

    I agree with O on this one. What Sendek has done at NC State is far superior to what Dave Odom has done at South Carolina.

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