A couple of weeks ago my new favorite reporter, John Brasier, wrote a fantastic article that made a lot of great points related to NC State Basketball under the leadership of Lee Fowler and Herb Sendek. Among Brasier’s points was a perspective on the inexplicable support that NC State’s administration has thrown behind Sendek through the years despite poor annual performance as well as a poor overall record.
* For example, Sendek’s nine year record is atrocious…but that record hasn’t come at the expense of just one or two really bad years. Sendek has only 3 winning ACC seasons in what will be 9 years after this season, compiling an overall record that is more than 20 games under .500. Only once in nine years has he finished better than one game over .500 in the ACC. That is bad both annually, as well as “overall.”
Brasier used statistics and historical information to take many pokes at Lee Fowler’s leadership and decision to have a blind commitment to Sendek at the expense of success. At the end of his piece, Brasier also made a point that integrated the long term failures of the program with the short-term, ridiculously-repetitive cycles of Sendek’s annual performance when he asked:
“How much more mediocrity is State willing to endure under Sendek? Expect me to ask again next year.”
Today, another local writer comments on the exhausting, and too familiar cycle that is the Herb Sendek-led Basketball program at NC State.
In today’s column, “Sendek: talking the talk”, Ed Hardin notes that this kind of performance is an annual rite of passage for Wolfpackers who wait while the best that Sendek ever musters is a “dubious” appearance in the NCAA Tournament. Hardin’s final sentence succeeds in stating what Wolfpackers learned when Lee Fowler prematurely opened the original can of worms in 2001 with a month remaining in the season – Fowler MUST consider the NC State job a birthright for Herb Sendek since the same performance, creating the same results, creating the same results every season
Heck…you don’t need me to explain it to you; you live it on an annual basis…
“Stop him if you’ve heard this before, but Herb Sendek believes he has his team about where he wants it.
Granted, it’s getting late and we seem to be having this conversation every year about this time, but Sendek’s basketball team fell to 13-10 Thursday night, the 10th day of February in the ninth year of State’s salvation.
…Sendek is now 7-13 in his 20 games against Wake, 5-14 against UNC and 3-19 against Duke. In this state, that gets you fired.
…Most people in the world have no idea what he’s talking about, but people in Raleigh do. They’ve heard it before. Sendek has once again taken his team to the verge of something, good or poor, and no one really has any idea where it will go now.
…So once again, Sendek has his team poised for another charge into darkness, another blind run into March with all sorts of things swirling around. He finally has his team back close to original strength, which means he’ll probably get it together just in time to ruin somebody’s March and extend State’s dubious run of postseason bids.
If we’re having this conversation next year, we can assume that Sendek will be the State coach forever.”
Both Brasier’s and Hardin’s observations on (1) the 9-year, repetitive cycle and (2) Lee Fowler’s settling for mediocrity have recently been supported by media throughout the State of North Carolina. While some of us are wondering, “What took them so long?”…it is better than the alternative of them ignoring common sense.
Let’s hope that it is the media scrutiny and not the annual failures of Sendek’s performance that is what continues…and continues…and continues…