Some quick bytes of current news:
* Last night was good to the Wolfpack basketball team. South Carolina squeaked out a victory over Providence and Villanova mounted an awesome comeback to beat LSU. I watched some of the Nova-LSU game and was fascinated on the impact that good officiating had on LSU’s ability to build a big lead. I’m more convinced that our game with Nova would have produced a margin of victory of ten or more points if we had decent officials.
* In fact, last night’s college basketball action was enough to move NC State’s strength of schedule rank from 33 (yesterday) to 29 (today). OF COURSE the RPI is grossly early and means nothing right now, but it is interesting to note that the Wolfpack has SIX games remaning against teams currently ranked in the RPI’s Top 20. In short, SOS will not be a detriment to our bid for an NCAA Tournament bid this year.
* The Sporting News is making some comments about Michigan’s interest in NC State Head Coach, Tom O’Brien. As scary as a thought that may be, I don’t find any supposition of a mututal interest between the entities as very credible at this point.
Two other interesting names recently were dropped in my lap: N.C. State’s Tom O’Brien and Missouri’s Gary Pinkel. O’Brien has been at N.C. State just one season, but he is a perfect fit in Ann Arbor. He’s a Navy grad who has coached at high-minded academic schools such as Virginia (as an assistant) and Boston College (as head coach). Plus, O’Brien is one of the nation’s best coaches.
* This morning it appears that Michigan and Rutgers’ Greg Schiano are hammering out a deal. I think Schiano is an awesome choice. You can read a nice biography of him by clicking here.
* The N&O reminds us that the couple of dozen Arizona State Basketball fans in the world are ‘eating up’ their still new head coach, Herb Sendek. I am not going to harp on the article very much because, frankly, a coach that went 7-22 against Division One opponents last year and didn’t win a conference game until the last couple of weeks of the season (2-16) typically doesn’t warrant a lot of commentary. But, I did find it very strange the author of the article was a guy named Edward G. Robinson, III whom none of us have ever heard of. (With a name Edward G. Robinson, III is, but with a name like that he just feels like he just finished a stint with the Daily Tar Heel.
* You may remember that the N&O tacitly criticized Sendek last year for a lack of class after Herb refused to give any comments/interviews to the local media who had treated him extremely well and with too much protetction during his ten years in Raleigh. (Even Tom O’Brien gave a ‘departure’ interview to the Boston Globe and TOB’s experience in Boston was more tenuous and strained than Herb’s in Raleigh). You have to wonder how this impacted the use of Edward G Robinson, III in this story.
* I hate to ruin “Trey’s” comments with a dose of reality but I just can’t help myself on a couple of things:
If Sendek, 44, builds an ASU basketball program with half the consistency he found at N.C. State — five consecutive NCAA Tournament berths from 2001 to 2006 — they will crown him a hero and draw his face on T-shirts for years to come.
* Dear Ed, If Sendek builds an ASU basketball program with half the consistency he found at N.C. State — five NCAA Tournament berths in ten years — then ASU will achieve five NCAA Tournaments over the next twenty years. How do you conclude they will crown him a hero for that?
* I am not even going to bother spending time discussing the comments about ASU’s ‘exciting offense’ that was mentioned in the article. I just think back to this little entry from last year for a laugh. Wait…I don’t have to think back to last year. I watched this year’s opening game between ASU and Illinois and saw the Sun Devils score their first basket of the season after Illinois scored 20 consecutive points to take a 20-0 lead. Talk about exciting!
* ASU lost to Illinois by like 23 or 24 points. The next night Illinoise lost to Duke by 13. I’m sure that secrectly Sendek appreciated the opportunity to not ‘improve’ on his 3-21 record vs Coach K. In the ASU-Illinois game ESPN couldn’t praise Herb more for the amazing job that he did at NC State. I would have loved to have seen how they reconciled this with a 3-21 record vs Duke on the next night.
* To be fair, Sendek does deserve some credit for exorcising some demons already from his time at ASU. Take for example the Sun Devils huge win over Princeton this year. Sendek couldn’t beat the Ivy League’s scholarship-less Princeton Tigers in two separate attempts while at NC State, including a home loss in including a loss in Reynolds Coliseum. So, this year’s win had to be a big one.
* Funny. Does this sounds familiar? After explainig that ASU just couldn’t find a quality opponent to open with – remember how ‘scared’ everyone was to play NC State for years? – ESPN press play on the repeat button:
Arizona State is on the right track, but the players need some time to get to know each other and the system.
* Ah yes. Just give him some time! Right, national media?
* Lastly, “Hard Luck Herb” got some good news when it was announced that Arizona’s Lute Olson will not coach this year. This can’t be good news for the UA program, but definitely will provide a window of opportunity for Sendek’s ASU program. Hopefully he can take better advantage of that transition than he did when UNC employed four difference basketball coaches in a a six/seven year period while Sendek was at NC State.