Same Old, Same Old from Sendek

Members of “the family” will be quite pleased with Herb Sendek’s coaching announcement today.

Having been given a super opportunity to change some of the complexion and direction of his basketball program while quickly correcting some major shortcomings in his own resume, Herb Sendek did exactly what you might expect of old “Mr Excitement” — he did the easy thing; the path of significantly least resistance.

No reason to let anyone else into the circle and provide any kind of outside perspective, was there?

Today, Herb Sendek announced that Archie Miller would be promoted from Director of Basketball Operations to an Assistant Coaching position to fill the void left by Larry Hunter. Miller was one of Sendek’s first recruits in Raleigh, and is the brother of former Wolfpack assistant coach, Sean Miller. He has either played or coached for Herb Sendek in 7 of the last 8 years.

One thing major item is unclear to me in this announcement.

The announcement states that “Mark Phelps, who has spent the last five years as an assistant coach for the Wolfpack, has been named Director of Scouting and Recruiting Coordinator. Phelps also came to NC State with Sendek in 1996, serving as the Director of Basketball Operations for four seasons before moving into the coaching position. A 1996 graduate of Old Dominion, Phelps was a successful high school coach in Virginia before joining Sendek. ”

So, I have to ask a question — does this move to Director of Scouting and Recruiting Coordinator mean that Phelps has been relieved of his Assistant Coaching position and therefore State still has an open coaching position available?

Does anyone know? This statement is fuzzy and open to a lot of interpretation.

Analysis(assumes that no open assistant position currently exists)
There is not much to really analyze here. The only analyzing that can be done is on the failure to capitalize on the opportunity to do something different and greater with the program. Other than that, nothing has really changed here for us — Archie Miller was already on staff. He was here before…and he is here now (just with a different title).

Basically, State just lost an assistant coach with 25 years of head coaching experience and chose to replace him with a guy named Greg Morland who has spent the last three years as a camera man. (as the Video Coordinator for the Wolfpack program. A 1987 graduate of Muskingum College, Morland has served on the coaching staffs at his alma mater, as well as at Ohio Dominican University, Tiffin University and Cory-Rawson High School.)

IMHO, Sendek has failed miserably to fix many of the shortcomings of our program as discussed in my entry suggesting Sidney Lowe & Stormin’s entry from last week discussing the opening.

Archie Miller is inexperienced (he wasn’t even alive when Larry Hunter took his first Head Coaching job) and the weakness in his resume is compounded with the fact that he has basically played and worked for only one point of view over the greater part of the last decade – the point of view of Herb Sendek.

What is Miller supposed to bring to the table that wasn’t already on the staff before? Since Miller was on staff before…obviously nothing. I guess this Greg Morland guy can really edit some video that makes Jeff Gravely jealous…because we just replaced Larry Hunter with Greg Morland. Pure genius. (Oh…I’m probably not allowed to say that since I didn’t go to Carnegie Mellon?)

Are we supposed to think that this staff – which is the same as before except without Larry Hunter – can supposedly recruit in the ACC against:
* 3 coaches that have won national championships in the last 5 years,
* another coach that has made the National Title game and already coached 3 or 4 NBA players in the last 5 years
* and Skip Prosser who has beaten the pants off of the staff on the recruiting trail?

It will be interesting to see what the new impetus will be for NBA-type talent to suddenly start signing with State who will be recruiting them with the exact same staff that has failed to land this talent for the last decade.

General NCS Basketball

8 Responses to Same Old, Same Old from Sendek

  1. BJD95 05/04/2005 at 1:55 PM #

    Jeff, I hate to say I told you so – but I am as surprised by this as I was when the sun came up this morning.

  2. Trout 05/04/2005 at 2:38 PM #

    Greg Morland, from my understanding, really knows the offense that we run. He was/is much more than just a video guy. Morland knows this offense better than anybody on the staff, including Hunter. He is the one that sits with Herb and breaks down film. And he does not man the camera. He sits on the bench.

    As far as Archie. It seems Coach K has done okay hiring and then promoting young assistants who were former players – Wojo, Chris Collins, David Henderson come readily to mind. Johnny Dawkins didnt have any coaching experience when he was hired by K. Roy Williams and Eddie Folger didnt have much experience either when Dean hired them. Roy was hired from the high school ranks to coach the UNC JV, and then promoted up.

    Larry Hunter did not recruit for NC State, at least not off campus. This gives Archie the ability to recruit, and puts a guy who really knows our offense into a position with more responsibility.

    But like most things, time will tell.

  3. JB34 05/04/2005 at 6:16 PM #


    (1) I’m glad that it works for Coach K. Unfortunately, Herb has done a super job of proving that he is NOT Coach K (for a decade now).

    (2) I am encouraged by your positive words for Morland.

    (3) But, I agree with Tudor’s perspective that to elevate our program that we need to elevate our talent. Again..Morland is nothing new for our program. As mentioned…he has been in the program in the past few years. It doesn’t take away from his impact…but his presence adds absolutely nothing new to our mix. Being able to break down film to teach more slow white boys how to set a high pick only goes so far.

  4. Sammy Kent 05/04/2005 at 10:02 PM #

    As you’ve noted on the PackPride board, assistant coaches are not as critical to the mission in basketball as in football. This is still Herb Sendek’s team. I don’t care if he had John Wooden and Pete Carrill as assistants. The head coach may delegate duties, but he alone sets the vision and direction and he alone is the motivation and inspiration, such as it is. Which is why this whole debate strikes me as much ado about nothing. The coaching shortfall is in the man at the top, and until that fellow either moves on or becomes a much better coach, this program is locked into mid-level status.

  5. Trout 05/05/2005 at 7:55 AM #


    Didnt mean to imply that Herb was Coach K. Obviously he is not. Just making the case that elevating and promoting young assistants/former players is something that is done by other coaches.

    I do think this move can elevate our talent. Archie Miller is now allowed, in this new position, to recruit just like a full time assistant. Perhaps Archie is a great recruiter. We do know that Coach Hunter was not doing any off campus recruiting. Now we have a 26-27 year old hitting the pavement, looking for talent. I would think 18 year old high schoolers could easily connect with a former ACC player, who is still only 3-4 years removed from his playing days.

    As far as adding “nothing new to the mix” I could argue that anytime one promotes from within, nothing new is added. That doesnt mean the move is not positive.

    Again, time will tell. In my mind, we have upgraded our staff’s recruiting ability (maintain main recruiters Harris and Phelps, add Archie as a key recruiter), but lost coaching experience and game strategy (Hunter).

  6. Cardiac95 05/05/2005 at 9:45 AM #

    PUR·GA·TO·RY ( P ) Pronunciation Key (pûr-geh-tôr-ee)
    n. pl. pur·ga·to·ries
    1. A state in which the souls of those who have died in grace must expiate their sins.
    2. A place between heaven and hell.
    3. The State of Wolfpack Basketball, circa 2005.

  7. Clark 05/06/2005 at 12:21 PM #

    Had Coach Sendek not promoted Archie, there would be plenty of people lined up to sign a petition to “Fire Herb!!!”

  8. pharmacy 06/28/2005 at 6:26 AM #

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