2007.03.20_ Big Dose of Bytes

The last week or so has been very good for NC State. We’ve blogged a ton of items and hope that you will take some time to scroll through the blog and make sure that you haven’t missed anything that of interest. Just this weekend we had almost a dozen entries that looked forward and looked back.

Even though we have been quite busy, a lot of comments/observations have fallen through the cracks. The following are some quick bytes that haven’t been shared since the ACC Tournament:

* Much is being made about the ACC’s poor performance in the NCAA Tournament. Although I think the ACC was the most competitive and deepest conference in America (as highlighted by the RPI), the conference’s failure to advance more than one program into the sweet sixteen does not surprise me. We were very deep this season, but it was never a secret that we lacked the “star power” at the top of the league to advance a lot of teams deep into the tournament.

* Despite the league’s struggles this season, you can always turn to history boost the ego. Dave Glenn logged an entry focused on the ACC’s dominance of the modern tournament history that will make you feel better. Just a couple to wet your whistle:

The ACC’s all-time NCAA Tournament winning percentage (.674) is significantly better than any other conference. The Big East (.625) is second, the Big Ten (.621) third and the Pac-10 (.609) fourth. Nobody else is over 60 percent.

Since 1980, when the NCAA lifted its limits on the number of participants per conference, the ACC has had just one losing season in NCAA Tournament play (5-6 in 1987) and has a success rate over 66 percent. Again, nobody else is close.

Since the field expanded to 64 teams in 1985, the ACC has had 111 teams in the NCAA Tournament, about the same as the Big East (116). Yet the ACC has 221 wins in that span — 35 more than the Big East. The Big Ten has had 124 participants since 1985 yet has 42 fewer wins. The SEC, with 110 participants, has 61 fewer wins. The Pac-10 has less than half as many NCAA wins as the ACC in the modern era. Since the Big 12 formed in 1996, it trails the ACC 96-72.

The ACC has won three of the last six (50 percent) national championships, with three different teams — Duke in 2001, Maryland in 2002, and North Carolina in 2005. The league also has won six of the last 16 (37.5 percent) NCAA titles, and eight of the last 25 (32 percent).

* UNC-CH had to play ABOVE their normal game to beat us in the Atlantic Coast Conference Championship. That’s a compliment, folks.

* The selection of Brendan Wright over Brandon Costner as the ACC Tournament’s MVP was ridiculous. I realize to the victor goes the spoils, except that I remember in 1983 when NC State won the NCAA title and yet Akeem was the Final 4 MVP. I guess only NC State gets a shaft like that.

* It was interesting to hear that many, many VT fans were pulling for UNC in the ACC. Tells you that they are indeed a newcomer and don’t understand basketball in their new league. I had heard that many VT folks were ‘VT football fans but UNC basketball fans’ – guess that was true.

* If I could have chosen the (non-Big Four) team for NC State to sweep this season then it would have been Virginia Tech. As I said in a comment on February 1st:

As likable as Seth Greenburg is, his propensity to publicly comment on NC State’s coaching situation (Herb Sendek) last year really rubbed me the wrong way. He talked A LOT on Fox Sports radio, etc about the situation in Raleigh and was too critical of Wolfpackers for my liking. IMHO, he would have been better served to have kept his mouth shut. In 2005, Greenberg defeated a deep and experienced Wolfpack coached Herb Sendek in their first battle in Cassell Coliseum. In 2007, Greenberg lost a thin and inexperienced Wolfpack team coached by Sidney Lowe. I guess I don’t blame him for loving Sendek so much.

* One of the biggest winners of the last two weeks has been Dennis Horner. The kid is making some clutch shots and is learning how to create his own shot more easily in the flow of the offense. Costner is a given, but Horner will be a critical role player over the next few years.

* The other big winner is obviously Sidney Lowe. Some are comparing Sid’s run to Herb’s in 1997 in believe that this will put some additional pressure on Sidney to produce better results more quickly. That may be true, but I also think that Sidney is more prepared to elevate the program more quickly because of his recruiting philosophy differs from Sendek’s. In addition to his communication style with players and his inability to coach offense, Sendek struggled for his next 4 years because he effectively ignored North Carolina High School talent and opted to cash his ‘rising star’ chips on kids with no local ties like Adam Harrington. When something goes wrong for kids like these, their first instinct is to transfer as they have nothing binding them to the area or the school. This created significant turmoil and trouble in Sendek’s tenure. Coach Lowe has already shown that NC kids are an important cog in his philosophy (Johnny Thomas, CJ Williams, and even Tracy Smith). Te stability that these kids will create in addition to huge marketing boost fromt he last couple of weeks will serve Sidney well.

* Sidney became THE story over the last few weeks, which is much different than when Herb did this in 1997. College coaches are stars, they are mega-stars when they win big (Roy, K). Lowe has elevated himself in the national media tremendously over the past 4 days. His exposure and recognition factors have grown exponentionally – its not a Amex (K) or Coke (Roy) commercial, but the red jacket and Sid Lowe scored major points in the visibility factor.

* That will help tremendously in recruiting. We arent going to be stealing players from Roy and K, but many of those will at least look at Sid, and I think he’s already elevated himself to the #3 or #4 in the ACC in terms of visibility.

* Its funny, Gary Walters talked about the unbalanced Big 12 schedule on why Texas Tech got into the NCAA over K-State. I don’t give a shit about either team, but did the committee look at UVA’s unbalanced ACC schedule when they gave them a 4 seed despite their RPI that indicated they would be somehere around an 8 or 9 seed? They had the EASIEST schedule within the ACC. They completely folded down the stretch, losing to Miami, Wake and NC State in 3 of their last 4 games. (All 100+ RPI teams). Yet, they get a 4 seed? With an RPI if 52?

* Piece of advice – if you use a computer program (Yahoo, ESPN, etc) to track your NCAA Tournament brackets, ALWAYS re-check to make sure that your edits/changes have been saved properly. I made some changes to be bracket in SFN’s Yahoo Group that ultimately did not save. Of course, most of the changes would have been positive for me and would have put me tied for first place. Oh well.

* F- Wes Miller and Ty Lawson

* The ACC’s poor performance in the NCAA will hurt all of our checkbooks in the coming years. This is a GREAT article explaining he NCAA’s impact on ACC finances.

* Of course, what would a game day be without Section Six’s preview?

There is a certain amount of comfort that comes with playing West Virginia, comfort that is derived from this fact: the Mountaineers suck at rebounding just as much as we do. It’s like finding a familiar face in a foreign town. “Boy am I glad to see you!”

Those other teams, they’re tough. But not you, sweet, sweet West Virginia. Not you. You kindly offer opponents their missed shots while keeping none of your own for yourself.

When we played WVU back in early December, we had one of our best offensive rebounding performances of the season, grabbing 37% of our misses. Mountaineer opponents have posted an OR% over 40.0 eleven times this season (Wolfpack opponents have done it seven times). West Virginia has at least managed some improvement at the offensive end, upping its OR% from 21.3% to 30.4% this season. That’s still terrible, but it’s a step up from inept (and it’s better than our OR%).

With the two teams shooting and rebounding about the same in the first meeting, turnovers meant the difference. NC State turned the ball over 17 times (nine of those were Gavin’s) while WVU gave it away seven times

06-07 Basketball General

200 Responses to 2007.03.20_ Big Dose of Bytes

  1. Rochester 03/20/2007 at 7:15 AM #

    Regarding Herb’s overlooking NC when it came to recruiting, how would we have looked with Eric Maynor (VCU) and Stephen Curry (Davidson) in our backcourt this year? We’d probably be in the Sweet Sixteen.

  2. GoldenChain 03/20/2007 at 7:33 AM #

    I posted several times down the stretch that the ACC looked to me to fall off. In the last two weeks of the season ane the ACC tourney the bottom of the league all had big upset wins. The 1st day of the ACC featured the bottom 4 teams all upsetting their opponents.
    I belive that the ACC was overrated and that high RPI was based on teams that peaked early. Going into the NCAA’s there was one, one team ranked in the top 25 from a conference that sent 7 teams to the dance.

  3. VaWolf82 03/20/2007 at 7:46 AM #

    I was wondering about the payoffs:

    Each conference…earns one “money unit” for every game played in a given year’s tournament….Two years ago, a single money unit was worth $152,037. Last year, the number was about $164,000.

    Money down a rathole:

    the NCAA keeps much of the NCAA Tournament revenue to sustain itself.

    Things that make you go hmm:

    Last year, it distributed about $165 million in other cash to member schools according to other (unrelated to winning) formulas.

  4. joe 03/20/2007 at 7:53 AM #

    90% of the total NCAA budget for the year is funded from the NCAA tourney TV contract. That’s amazing when you think about it – 10 days of TV money funds pretty much everything else.

  5. PapaJohn 03/20/2007 at 7:57 AM #

    “…His exposure and recognition factors have grown exponentionally – its not a Amex (K) or Coke (Roy) commercial, but the red jacket and Sid Lowe scored major points in the visibility factor.”

    Wonder how long before someone realizes the opportunity to tie “Lowe” to “Lowes?” Too good to miss.

  6. BoKnowsNCS71 03/20/2007 at 8:08 AM #

    Maybe Mastercard will be interested in Sid.

    Red blazer $300
    A winning 20+ game season with wins over UNC and Duke — priceless!

  7. RickJ 03/20/2007 at 8:10 AM #

    “One of the biggest winners of the last two weeks has been Dennis Horner. The kid is making some clutch shots and is learning how to create his own shot more easily in the flow of the offense. Costner is a given, but Horner will be a critical role player over the next few years.”

    So true.

    In the last 4 games, Horner is shooting 10 – 12 on field goals (2 -3 on 3’s) and 8 – 9 in free throws. Minutes played in these 4 games:

    Marist - 15;
    Drexel - 14;
    UNC - 14; and
    VPI - 14.

    With a year of strength and conditioning, he really could be a great role player. He may well be our best outside shooter next year.

  8. redfred2 03/20/2007 at 8:14 AM #

    “We arent going to be stealing players from Roy and K,…”

    I wouldn’t be quiet so sure about that.

  9. choppack1 03/20/2007 at 8:15 AM #

    Tonight – we’ll need to defend the 3 very well. A big reason we’ve won 5 out of last 6 is that we’ve played solid D. If we defend the 3 well tonight and don’t allow ourselves to look like VaTech did this weekend on D, we should come away w/ a “W”.

    One key difference I’d like to add between Sid’s run and Sendek’s:
    1) In Sid’s run we beat 3 NCAA tourney teams to make the final, in Sendek’s just 2.
    2) Sid’s squad faced a more talented keroliner squad…and a Keroliner squad coached by Roy, who is much more aggressive than Deano was – a “taller” order than Sendek’s squad.
    3) Sid made his run w/ a very gimpy PG.

    Both were amazing accomplishments – and time showed that Sendek was an above average ACC tournament coach. It’s a shame that didn’t translate to the NCAA where he was able to only advance past the 2nd round 1 time.

    It should be noted that Sid is also advancing farther in the NIT than Sendek did this year.

    For this weekend, the player of the tournament – Hansbro – and the best center in the tournament – Hibbard – appear to be on a collision course. There may not be 2 more complete teams left in the tourney than Georgetown and UNC. I want USC to win, but I am really hoping Georgetown wins. I think they have the best shot at beating UNC.

    Is it just me or is does OSU run a crappy offense?

    What’s the over/under for PITT/UCLA – 80?

    Why doesn’t the big 10 catch any flack for having only 1 team? One of the CBS talking heads Sunday said that “the Big 10 has a solid tournament” – granted, this is before Wisconsin lost, but still. Indiana, Purdon’t, Michigan State, Wisconsin, Illinois all gone before the sweet 16 and this is a good year??? What are they – a mid major?

    Yea, imagine State w/ Curry OR Maynor…Don’t do that, it hurts too much. Heck, imagine MOD w/ us this year, he actually played decent for us when given the opportunity his freshman year.

  10. BJD95 03/20/2007 at 8:15 AM #

    Despite his tattoo, Dennis Horner should forget about trying to look like a badass. He still looks like a clean-cut high school kid. But remember our state motto – Esse quam videri. Horner epitomizes that very well. He will never look like a badass, but he’s rapidly becoming one. All he’s ever lacked is confidence, and I’ve seen a huge surge in that this post-season.

    I worry about playing WV because our perimeter defense – while better than earlier in the year – is still pretty bad. They need to have an off night shooting, or it’s very likely that they advance to MSG.

  11. joe 03/20/2007 at 8:18 AM #

    Even at his peak I don’t think Valvano took recruits away from UNC. Not sure about Duke, maybe he did take some before K started winning big.

  12. choppack1 03/20/2007 at 8:32 AM #

    bjd – Horner was playing really well until he broke his nose against Tech. That set him back for a few games and he lost some confidence. He appears to have come back now and the last couple of games has been better than ever.

  13. CaptainCraptacular 03/20/2007 at 8:32 AM #

    I caught the last 3rd of G-Town – BC and Hibbert looked scary good. He passes so well its almost like he’s a point guard in a center’s body. Double teaming him means an almost certain open shot for another Hoya. I don’t know why Oden gets all the love, it seems to me Hibbert is better in almost every area.

  14. redfred2 03/20/2007 at 8:32 AM #

    I would very much like to see us make ANOTHER statement at WVU tonight. I think our defense has to step up (or out) a little for sure, but as we all have witnessed in the past, tempo is a key against *THAT* offensive style. It would be great to see us forcing the issue and getting out and running every time the opportunity presented itself early on. If that isn’t an option, then run the offense and pound it inside.

    As always, Fells aggresiveness on O will be big again.

  15. CedarGroveWolf 03/20/2007 at 8:35 AM #

    unc & duke will get 90% of the kids they want every year.

  16. skywalkerdt 03/20/2007 at 8:37 AM #

    Do you think Case or Sloan feared recruiting against UNC??? Hell there would be no UNC were it not for NCSU (same goes for Duke and most other basketball programs in the south). Remember the ’74 team, Dean Smith went hard core for Burleson and DT- where did they end up? who ended up with a national title and all of one total loss in 2 seasons? To think that there is any arena in which state cannot compete with the homoblues is to hand the advantage over to them.

  17. RedTerror29 03/20/2007 at 8:41 AM #

    ^^That was the attitude Sendek took into recruiting, that he couldn’t compete with UNC/Duke so why even try. We’ll probably lose most of those battles, but we’ll never get our program back where we want it to be if we’re scared to go after anybody UNC/Duke wants. We have little to lose (everybody expects those kids to go to UNC/Duke), but if we steal an McD AA they really want, that would be huge for our program.

  18. ADS95 03/20/2007 at 8:41 AM #

    joe – Dean wanted Washburn BADLY. In hindsight, perhaps that’s one we could have done without, but Coach V did win some recruiting battles with Carolina in his heyday.

  19. CaptainCraptacular 03/20/2007 at 8:42 AM #

    *I would very much like to see us make ANOTHER statement at WVU tonight. I think our defense has to step up (or out) a little for sure, but as we all have witnessed in the past, tempo is a key against THAT offensive style.*

    We’ve got a couple of games of payback the past few seasons we need to lay on the inbread mountain hicks too. What better way to do it than on their home floor. I wouldn’t have been too disappointed to lose to Drexel or Marist.. as I knew the gas tank was near empty and the ACC run was enough feel good to keep me excited for next season. But this game, I really really want. We need to take at least one from those guys.

  20. CaptainCraptacular 03/20/2007 at 8:43 AM #

    ^whoops, inbred.

  21. joe 03/20/2007 at 8:45 AM #

    Burleson and Thompson were probably the last 2 recruits that Smith wanted but went to NCSU. It’s not 1972 in case you haven’t noticed. UNC is way more popular nationally than they were 30 years ago and so is Duke.

    Case only coached against Smith for a few years near the end of his career and Smith was just starting out then.

    It’s possible to recruit against UNC and Duke, it’s just very hard. Valvano did fine with players that were not recruited by those 2 schools.

  22. skywalkerdt 03/20/2007 at 8:45 AM #

    while their tenures may have lasted longer than they should les robinson and sendek did a lot to recover the image of the program. Now its Sidney’s turn to remind people where NCSU fits in the pecking order of college basketball. The fact that he has NO FEAR WHATSOEVER to the duck’s and unc’s can only help reestablish NCSU hoops. Now the fans need to get on board with that attitude. Take issue everytime espn calls unc/duke the biggest rivalry on tobacco road, cause anyone who’s ever lived in NC knows that’s a crock of shit!

  23. skywalkerdt 03/20/2007 at 8:47 AM #

    joe- don’t get in the fight if your afraid of the big dogs. NCSU is NOT second class to those “schools” but as long as that attitude is taken it sure will look that way

  24. redfred2 03/20/2007 at 8:49 AM #

    “Dean wanted Washburn BADLY.”

    There wouldn’t have been a media blitz and Chris Washburn would have been a hero, and come off looking like a model citizen if he had attended UNC.

  25. choppack1 03/20/2007 at 8:49 AM #

    redfred – WVa can put some points on the board, their last 2 games they are scoring more than we are. Last game they hung 90 on UMass. They also hung 92 in the Big East tourney on Providence.

    You really don’t know what you’re going to get from the offensively, they can win scoring lots of points and they can play the low scoring game.

    Defensively, they’ll play a 1-3-1. If we don’t turn it over and play at the pace WE WANT to play at, we’ll be fine.

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