I couldn’t believe my eyes when someone posted this link on our message boards, but apparently someone in the media is actually following Herb Sendek’s results at Arizona St. With the constant shots taken at NC State by our broadcast partners at ESPN and Raycom(specifically Mike Patrick, Mike Gminski, Tim Brando, and Len Elmore), then we have to point out that some professionals covering college basketball actually do their homework and portray issues accurately. Shocker…I know.
Today, I’m going to single out two coaches from each of the Power Six conferences who are likely on their way out after the season. Before I do that, I want to congratulate the nation’s Athletic Directors for not firing anybody mid-season this year. After watching programs like DePaul and UNC-Wilmington struggle to find new leaders after firing coaches in January, perhaps the notion that it’s better to finish the season before handling your business is taking root again.
Now, on to our Power Six Pink Slip Pairings:
ACC: NC State’s Sidney Lowe (2-7 in conference) and Georgia Tech’s Paul Hewitt (3-6)
Pac-10: Oregon State’s Craig Robinson (4-7) and Arizona State’s Herb Sendek (1-10)
What? That can’t be possible. We have the constant stream of national media pundits like Mike Decourcy making appearances on local talk radio telling us that somehow Sidney Lowe’s performance at NC State proves that NC State fans were wrong about Herb Sendek. I can never understand how another coach’s results prove anything about Herb Sendek. Especially, when the media guys wouldn’t let us use the results of Everette Case, Norm Sloan and Jim Valvano as reasons we weren’t 100% satisfied with Sendek.
Maybe someone should let Arizona St and their fans know that Sidney Lowe is going to fired after this season and that means that Sendek is actually doing a great job at Arizona St. Seriously, 1-10 in your conference is a good season(more on that later).
Here is a tweet from Mike Decourcy to one of his buddies in the media Seth Davis(Duke graduate) on what appears to be 12/12/2010:
Reading through @SethDavisHoops mailbag, love that 5 yrs later so many NC State fans refuse to admit they were flat wrong on Herb Sendek.
Really Mike? Do you even follow Herb Sendek since he went to ASU? 1-10 after 5 years of rebuilding?
If anyone else hasn’t noticed, then Sendek currently sits at 9-14 and in dead last in the Pac-10 at 1-10. Sendek did have a single NCAA appearance in his 3rd year after hiring the high school coach of top 3 NBA pick James Harden, but the program has gone backwards since. Sendek will not be fired this year, but another year or two of missing the NCAA tournament will certainly make his seat very hot.
Here is a comment from Seth Davis about 2 months ago:
I am rooting like heck for Sidney Lowe to get it going at N.C. State, but with the Wolfpack off to a shaky 4-3 start — and to be fair, they’re without their best big man, Tracy Smith, right now — you have to wonder if there are a few reasonable N.C. State fans who appreciate how wrong it was to run Herb Sendek out of town. Sendek could have kept his job because the administration was backing him, but he chose to bolt four years ago for Arizona State, where he has led a revival. I always cite Sendek as a great example of a coach who fired his fans.
Seth, can you please update us on that revival going on in Tempe? Thanks in advance.
When will the national pundits like Decourcy and Seth Davis and our broadcast partners at ESPN and Raycom like the G-Man, Brando, Patrick and Elmore finally give their readers/viewers an accurate picture of the Sendek issue that they still can’t seem to let go 5 years removed from Herb choosing to leave NC State. That doesn’t seem like too much to ask considering they get paid to cover college basketball and/or partner with the ACC to promote the schools in the conference.
Why is a discussion of Sendek’s results at Arizona St avoided by these guys?
The obvious answer is because Sendek’s results prove they were all wrong about Sendek’s abilities as a program changing type of coach. They should have let the issue die a long time ago, but for whatever reason they just can’t let it go. We now have almost 5 years of additional data to form opinions in this debate, so I challenge Davis, Decourcy, Patrick, the G-Man, etc…all to put together a column on how Herb’s results at Arizona St. prove that NC State fans were wrong about Herb Sendek. No mention of Sidney Lowe’s results are allowed because Sidney’s results have absolutely no relevance to proving Sendek’s abilities as a coach.
To give two of our local radio guys credit, Joe Ovies and Adam Gold have been doing a great job sharing their perspective on the Sendek issue, the upcoming NC State coaching search, etc…Honestly, I have become a huge fan of their radio show from 3-6 pm on weekdays. Gold wrote an excellent column on this exact topic after Mike Patrick blatantly lied about this issue:
With a table under the heading “last 2 head coaches, NC State Wolfpack” the ESPN crew detailed the last five years of the Herb Sendek era vs. the current 5-year Sidney Lowe regime. I don’t have to list off all the numbers because we all know what the numbers say. In fact, the numbers scream that the program was more successful under the last five seasons of Sendek’s tenure than Lowe’s first five. We all know Sendek took the Wolfpack to five straight NCAA tournaments while Sidney Lowe has watched the last five in a row. We all know that the program is not what it needs to be today even though it appeared to be on better footing five years ago.
But, we also know that while Sendek was just south of popular in Raleigh — okay think Antarctica — he wasn’t forced out in favor of the “tremendously popular Sidney Lowe”, as ESPN’s Mike Patrick tried to tell us. That is the living, breathing definition of intellectual dishonesty. Yes, Sendek was not the apple of Wolfpack fans’ eye, yes they created an atmosphere that was uncomfortable for him and his family in spite of the recent success and yes that atmosphere pushed him to seek and accept the first halfway decent sounding coaching job in the sport. But, the choice was never, at any time, between Herb Sendek and Sidney Lowe.
Here are some questions the members of the media could ask and provide us some of their own insight:
What is going on at Arizona St. now that a great coach like Herb Sendek hasn’t continued the success he had at NC State? Why was he able to get the program going so quickly, but wasn’t able to sustain the success he achieved in his third season since he has now had 5 years to rebuild the program? What obstacles is he facing at Arizona St. that are so difficult to overcome considering he was able to escape the two biggest obstacles in the world of sports – being located near UNC-CH and Duke? What is the outlook for the ASU program over the next few years? Is it going to get better?
Here is a quote from Sendek soon after he left NC State in one of Davis’ articles(sorry Seth, I can’t find a link):
Says Sendek, “It’s a tough street corner. North Carolina won the championship two years ago, Duke was ranked No. 1 in the country for most of last season, and North Carolina will probably be No. 1 at the beginning of next season. Our fans want to do favorably well against those schools. It’s just part of the territory.”
How is that street corner in Tempe working out for you, Herb?
As I said in this column less than a month ago before Sendek lost 7 consecutive Pac-10 games:
All of this proves that location relative to other top basketball programs has very little to do with your actual success as a basketball coach. If it is a factor at all(I would argue that it isn’t), then it is at best very minor. NC State’s location in one of the fastest growing metro areas in the country and one of the highest rated places to live in the entire country is actually a huge asset to an NC State basketball coach. Essentially, NC State’s location was one of the reasons Sendek made the now famous 5 straight NCAA tournaments at NC State. He had Raleigh to sell when convincing the players that made up those teams to choose NC State. Not to mention that Raleigh is drivable from almost any area on the east coast that an NC State coach would recruit. Sendek now has those factors working against him at ASU. Not that ASU isn’t in a great area, but the distances to potential recruiting territories are great….
…However, I wonder if eventually someone in the media will finally make the point that just maybe Sendek should want his job back at NC State. Or at least at a program with the resources to win that exist at NC State. He is certainly available and there are certainly better jobs with bigger opportunities in better locations. Yet, nobody has even attempted to pluck Sendek from the desert.