If you haven’t been paying attention(we say that because several national media pundits appear to have forgotten that Sendek is still coaching at Arizona St), then Herb Sendek’s Sun Devil team fell to 1-11 Sunday night after getting thrashed on their home court by their arch rival Arizona Wildcats(sound familiar?). Well, apparently a few members of the local Arizona and Georgia media are actually taking notice of Sendek’s work in Tempe even if the national folks continue to ignore it.
This article by Greg Hansen of the Arizona Star brought up some interesting points:
TEMPE – An hour before tipoff Sunday night, I saw Amphitheater High School basketball star Tim Derksen eating his pre-game meal at a Sun Devil campus hangout. ASU had provided him and his father, Pat, with game tickets.
Until that moment, I actually suspected the Sun Devils had stopped recruiting a few years earlier.
When you are 1-11 in a seriously impaired conference, and when your head coach, Herb Sendek, is in his fifth season, piloting a roster that includes two or three useful players and not much else, you start asking questions.
Such as: How have the Sun Devils failed to prosper during a period in which Lute Olson left Arizona and Mike Montgomery exited Stanford? In the Sendek years, the Pac-10 has been a blurry mess: Oregon State, USC, Oregon and Cal dismissed their coaches.
Even UCLA went into an extended funk.
Ordinarily, it is senseless to pile on, but the story Sunday night was as much about ASU’s profound slippage, its eighth consecutive loss, as it was about Arizona’s unexpected climb back to national awareness.
Does that situation sound familiar to UNC replacing Dean Smith, Wake replacing Dave Odom, GT replacing Bobby Cremmins and the other coaching changes at places like Clemson, FSU, and Miami that happened during the Sendek era at NC State.
“Profound slippage?” Those national guys always tell us that programs like Arizona St. don’t have pressure and/or expectations like an NC State job and this article just goes to show they have no idea what they are talking about. Describing an underachieving coach like Sendek moving to Arizona St as taking a job with less pressure and realistic expectations is a recent phenomena and talking point. Unfortunately, reality is reality and we all know that all fans have expectations and all head coaching jobs have pressure.
The struggles can’t be possible with so many Pac 10 programs going through coaching changes, Sendek receiving a huge boost from landing a 1st team college all-american(James Harden) after hiring his high school coach, and actually making the NCAA tournament in his 3rd season. This is year 5 when a coach doing a rebuilding job has his players and his system in place. What happened after success in year 3 and all of the national publicity
James Harden Herb Sendek brought to the ASU program?
Here is Sendek’s reaction to the loss:
Now with eight consecutive losses overall and 10 straight Pac-10 defeats, Sendek acknowledged that panic may set in among his players and the fan base.
“It is a natural reaction when you look at our record,” Sendek said. “We all kind of get wide-eyed when we see it. It is like getting a hard kick in the gut; it takes the wind out of you. I’ve been really proud of the way the guys have responded. They are resilient and they work hard. That doesn’t take away from the fact at times it feels like you got a quick jab to the solar plexus.
“It is very challenging to have a lot of confidence when you don’t have a great deal of success. I don’t see our guys hanging our heads or going to see Miss Cleo. They are showing up and they are working. The only way you attain confidence is to keep working.”
Again, sound familiar? Didn’t Julius Hodge reference Miss Cleo?
Mark Bradley of the Atlanta Journal Constitution mentioned Sendek as a possible replacement for Paul Hewitt of Georgia Tech yesterday:
Herb Sendek, Arizona State: He’s the dullest guy in the world, and he’s not a great recruiter. He left N.C. State in a snit because Wolfpack fans weren’t satisfied with five consecutive NCAA tournament appearances. But things haven’t gone great for him in Tempe — he’s 85-70 in four-plus seasons and has reached the Big Dance only once — and his Sun Devils are 9-15 and hold last place in the Pac-10. There’s a chance Sendek could get fired this season. It’s not often a big-time program hires a coach who has just been canned at another school, but Sendek does have a history of winning in the ACC. He was 46-34 in league play his final five seasons at State.
That is the 2nd reference in the last few weeks to Sendek’s job being in jeopardy at Arizona St. If you missed it last week, then here is a link to Sendek being mentioned as 1 of 2 coaches in the Pac 10 in jeopardy of being fired. It wouldn’t surprise me in the least if Sendek tried to get involved with a GT coaching search. It is a huge step up from Arizona St and certainly would give him a platform to make the NCAA tournament again. However, that brings up the question: why is Sendek at Arizona St. right now considering the supposedly amazing run of 5 straight NCAAs at NC State?
Before anyone asks why we keep mentioning Herb Sendek’s dismal season in the desert, then that is because nobody else in the NC State Internet community will do it. There was an excellent post on Packpride’s message boards yesterday that I would like to highlight:
You can act like the media is exclusive and that their opinion doesn’t hold water with anyone but themselves, but it’s flat out wrong, the perception they’ve created about the Sendek situation is eaten up by many, many folks.. Sendek and NCSU couldn’t both look good following his departure. The media chose NCSU to throw under the bus. I knew it was over for Sendek when he blew that double digit lead in the Pac-10 tournament (a la 2003), his one win in conference this year in year five proves every single assertion NCSU fans have been screaming about for five years, every single one. There is not one good coach out there staring a 2 win conference season in the face in year 5. I’m guessing 90% of NCSU fans would have loved to see him do well at ASU, but the media wouldn’t let that happen without trashing our university. So if it has to be one or the other, we’re all going to side with our university. We all know that when ASU does give him the boot, the national media plus Gminski, Brando, Patrick will use that newspaper as a coaster and move onto something else because they’ll look 100% wrong, or Patrick will flat out lie, again.
An interesting piece about that article by the Duke guy was that Al Skinner went to 7 NCAAts in his 10 years. That’s two more than Sendek and they fired him, he didn’t walk out. Mike Patrick likely has no idea who Al Skinner is.
I couldn’t have said it better myself.
If NC State is going to be attacked by national media members claiming to be “experts” on NC State basketball and the Herb Sendek era, then we will continue to point out how they are flat out wrong and at the same time completely ignoring an additional five years of data during his tenure at Arizona St.
Please read all of the links to work done by the non-paid bloggers here at Statefansnation in the above paragraph. There is a lot of great work with mountains of evidence showing the ignorance of folks like Mike Decourcy, Jeff Goodman, Seth Davis, Greg Parrish, etc…Imagine using actual statistics and supporting evidence in supporting an argument?
But don’t worry. These “experts” have the team at Statefansnation very motivated to keep pointing out the ridiculous flaws in their commentaries. We have plenty more coming especially Parrish’s ridiculous analogy comparing Herb Sendek’s tenure at NC State to Jamie Dixon’s last 5 years at Pittsburgh. Never I have ever seen a paid professional writer refute his own analogy(Sendek to Jamie Dixon) and then still use that analogy to make his point. Brilliant work Gary!
In the upcoming coaching search, NC State fans and the basketball program will continue to be attacked, the “experts” will continue to try and tell us what we think and then why we shouldn’t expect what they tell us we expect.
Has any group of fans every been so lucky!?!?
Again, I will credit the local media for doing their jobs the last few weeks. From radio hosts like Adam Gold, Joe Ovies, and David Glenn to long-time ACC sports writers like Al Featherston and Brett Freidlander, they have shown an astute knowledge of NC State’s history, our entirely realistic expectations as a fan base, and a solid understanding of the controversy over the Herb Sendek era. Please go here if you missed any of their excellent work.