Apparently there was a press conference yesterday, here is some coverage from WRAL:
This offseason, coaches like Tom Izzo and Tubby Smith told Lowe this was his season to put his own stamp on the Pack program. “No question about it,” said Lowe, who has yet to make the NCAA tournament as a coach. “They said, ‘This is where you can make your mark and change things.’ One of them said ‘change the culture.
With only one Sendek recruited player on next year’s roster (D. Horner who is now a senior and will have played all four years under Coach Lowe), Coach Lowe has completely rebuilt the roster. The roster has depth at every position, but it lacks experience and has very few, if any, proven ACC players. Only Tracy Smith showed all-ACC potential last year, so the Pack needs improvement at every single position in addition to needing several freshman ready to be major contributors off the bench. There is hope as Javier Gonzalez, Dennis Horner, and CJ Williams showed flashes of strong play last year. However, they still disappeared at times and none of the three have shown the ability to play consistently well at this level. Still, I like what they bring to the table in toughness and grit, so hopefully they will be able to fill their expanded roles with McCauley, Costner, and Fells all gone.
In terms of the freshman, Lowe compiled a top 15~ recruiting class that will bring talent, athleticism, size, and depth. Lorenzo Brown ( guard, top 40~), Richard Howell (forward, top 75~), G/F Scott Wood (guard/small forward, top 100~) and Deshawn Painter (forward/center, top 75~) were the most heralded players of the class and could all see major minutes this year. Lowe also added a seven footer in Jordan Vandenberg from Australia and a local small forward from Athens Drive Josh Davis. It was essential that Lowe land a strong, deep recruiting class and he delivered.
While next season will certainly be a challenge, the youth and talent on this year’s roster along with a commitment from Ryan Harrow for 2010 does give me hope. Being somewhat of an “old school” guy as far as basketball recruiting who hates “star rankings” and trusts Brick Oettinger more than anyone else, I was pleased to see Brick have Harrow at #47 overall with a comment that the ranking was too low in a recent ACC Sports Journal. Harrow has had a great summer on the AAU circuit and I was able to catch one of his games over Memorial Day in Reynolds Coliseum. He was bigger, faster and more athletic than I expected. Not to mention, he exceeded my already high expectations in terms of ball handling, shooting, scoring, etc…He is everything you want in a point guard and more.
Having only seen Harrow once, this may be a bit of a stretch to say at this point. But he reminded me a lot of how I felt about Julius Hodge in high school. Hodge was the perfect recruit for Herb Sendek at the time. He was going to make an immediate impact, could dominate the basketball, produce points to end one of our dreaded scoring droughts, and most importantly he wasn’t going to go pro after 1-2 years because of his naturally skinny frame. Hodge was an immediate program changer. Well, Harrow made the same impression the day I saw him in Reynolds. Different size obviously and different positions (though Hodge did handle the ball a lot), but Harrow can produce points in a variety of ways, he will make an immediate impact (J. Gonzalez will be a senior when Harrow is a freshman), and he has the same skinny frame that means he isn’t likely “one and done”.
Here is a link to Joe Giglio of the N&O with some information about the incoming recruiting class and some quotes from Coach Lowe:
Painter, a 6-9 power forward, orginally signed with Florida but was released from his LOI and chose the Wolfpack in May. Lowe called Painter’s decision a “great break.”
“It’s a great opportunity to get in on a player like that so late,” Lowe said.
As for the difference between Painter and Richard Howell, a fellow incoming freshman forward, Lowe said Painter was “longer and bouncier.”
“Richard can face up and shoot it a little better,” Lowe added.
He (Lowe) and Fowler are on the same page.
“The expectation is always to win, but you have to be realistic,” Lowe said. “You also have to have the right people in place and the right pieces. Sometimes time is a factor.”
Fowler said he hasn’t put any kind of timeline on Lowe, whose contract runs through the 2012-13 season. Fowler said both sides understand the expectations at a school that has won two national titles and shares a backyard with national powers North Carolina and Duke.
“We should finish in the top half of the league, at the minimum, and get to the tournament every year,” Fowler said. “I think with the great class he’s bringing in, we’re going to have a great chance to do that, if not this year, then in the near future.”