A Strange View

For years, my mother would save articles from the Charlotte Observer’s sports section to show me how unevenly they covered State and UNC. Her “favorite” writer to shout about was Ron Green (Sr.) and his commentaries. My mom eventually reached the breaking point and cancelled her subscription. So I haven’t heard or thought much about the CO in years until Jeff mentioned that Tom Sorenson was starting a me-too blog there.

I went to their website to check out the blog and read his pre-game thoughts on the State/UNC game. Overall, his comments were very complimentary of State and Sendek. For example:

Last season, he took his team to the Sweet 16. I was with them in Worchester, Mass., when he did…Sendek was masterful…..He was cool [after falling behind Charlotte], and his team was passionate….Sendek’s work that afternoon [beating UConn] was as good as any coaching anybody did in March. I finally realized why Herb still has a job. That’s my fault, not his.

Then he includes this:

Duke and North Carolina take turns competing for the title while N.C. State wins one tournament game or, in a great season, two. [emphasis added]

Don’t get me wrong…he is completely accurate in both places. In fact, Sorenson hasn’t said anything that hasn’t been said many times on NC State websites. The big difference is that he took stuff from both sides of the Great Herb Debate and used them in the same piece. Someone needs to tell Tom that that’s not the way we do things. 😉

About VaWolf82

Engineer living in Central Va. and senior curmudgeon amongst SFN authors One wife, two kids, one dog, four vehicles on insurance, and four phones on cell plan...looking forward to empty nest status. Graduated 1982

General NCS Basketball Quotes of Note

37 Responses to A Strange View

  1. VaWolf82 01/09/2006 at 9:19 PM #

    The last two seasons, the ACC has been the top-rated conference by both the RPI and Sagarin. This year, the RPI has the ACC as third and Sagarin has it as second. Nothing to sneeze at, but the ACC is measurably weaker this year.

    By the end of the year, things will be clearer. We’ll have final numbers from the computers as well as seeing how many NCAAT bids the ACC gets.

  2. Sacco 01/09/2006 at 9:22 PM #

    Again, the problem with both Sagarin and RPI is there end of season rankings never match the pre-season rankings.

  3. Jeff 01/09/2006 at 9:26 PM #

    ^ Sacco…honestly…other than the year that State finished 2nd, can you name a time that the conference was worse?

    Seriously…if the conference is as weak as anyone can ever remember…how is it not ‘down’?

    Being strong through the 9th place spot is nothing new…especially if the relative strength of the previous 8 spots is considerably lower than in other years.

    The rank of this year’s RPI (at this time) to last year’s RPI (EDITED FOR MY PREVIOUS MISTAKE)
    First Team #1 vs #3
    Second Team #21 vs #5
    Third Team #35 vs #10
    Fourth Team #36 vs #15
    Fifth Team #45 vs #22 (ultimate NATIONAL CHAMP)
    Sixth Team #64 vs #49
    Seventh Team #74 vs #61

    I’ve heard Gminski, Vitale, Bonner, Packer, Gottlieb, Cremmins, Clark, John Kilgo, and MORE all comment that the conference is down this year. Are they all off the mark so much?

  4. Sacco 01/09/2006 at 9:41 PM #

    I don’t think all those guys are so far “off the mark” as they are taking only the current RPI ratings. It’s certainly possible that the league jumps overall to the second or even the first spot before the NCAA tournament begins. So, I think that, although Duke has the inside track for another conference regular season title, the 2nd place team maybe a 10-6 team, and that’s a tough league, regardless of what the RPI or Sagarin say. I’m just saying that we should look past the ratings ONLY insofar as their are an indicator of the real strength of this conference. Winning on the road in this conference will again be the TOUGHEST TASK for the other eleven teams.

  5. Class of '74 01/10/2006 at 6:15 AM #

    The league is weaker period! College is all about the guard position and particularly the point guard position. You can lose Felton, Paul, Gilchrist, Ewing Jack etc… and expect the same level of play. I rest my case.

  6. Class of '74 01/10/2006 at 6:19 AM #

    ^sorry but it’s early should be “You can not lose”

  7. Jeff 01/10/2006 at 7:39 AM #

    Sacco…you are confusing the concept of “tough” with the concept of “level of play”.

    The Patriot League is also very tough…that doesn’t make it as good as the ACC.

    By the same token, just because the ACC will be “tough” this year doesn’t mean that it will be as “good” this year (as defined by the number of high quality teams).

    Again, how can you say the ACC is not “down” from its historical level if you can’t come up with any other years that the ACC was worse?

  8. SaccoV 01/10/2006 at 9:02 AM #

    Being one of the those guys who doesn’t always buy into the ratings systems as indicators of strength, I find that the season so far, as only one team (Duke) has a road ACC win, that’s a pretty tough start to a season when the perception of weakness is prevalent. One of the best examples I can give for what I believe to be a strong year in conference is 2001. Although State ended up 7th, the top 6 teams of nine had winning overall records and .500 conference records. Overall, the conference had a .610 winning percentage at home (44-28). The league was balanced, although clearly Duke and UNC were the tops in the conference. By the way, in case anyone wants to know where I got those numbers check out http://www.sportsstats.com/bball/standings/index.html to verify. Also, all the years up to 2003 are available.
    As for a weaker year, I would pick 2003 as only 4 teams finish with above .500 records in conference, and the home record overall in conference was 53-19 (.736).

    I’m not going to attempt to nitpick that I think this conference is the best in the land this year. This will however be a tough year, especially for teams 2-7 in this conference. Regardless of who was lost (whether guards or anyone else), the teams are bunched together in the that second group behind Duke. So just because the ratings aren’t as high as previous years, the play will be intense, dramatic and exciting in the conference, which is what a conference like ours produces year after year regardless of the players involved.

  9. Rick 01/10/2006 at 9:21 AM #

    “We have to let the hate go- we’re a legit program, maybe not top tier, but definitely upper-mid, with a chance to be a top tier program- all it takes is a couple of upsets, which is something Sendek’s good at, so maybe once in my lifetime they’ll win it all. ”

    I have a couple of points about this post.
    1) Show me hate. Just because someone is not happy about Herb’s performance does not mean they hate. This is an ignorant and insulting statement.
    2) upper middle tier? Wow, really breaking it down small to make Herb look better. We are a solid middle tier ACC team. ACC records of 7-9, 11-5, 9-7, 9-7 assure that
    3) chance to be a top tier program – well techinically everyone has a “chance”. But to be a top tier program you have to win the games like we had Sat.
    4) all it takes is a couple of upsets, which is something Sendek’s good at – so we are hanging our hats on “upsets”. Not exactly a path to long term success but I guess its all we have. BTW, something Herb is good at? Have you see our record against top 25 RPI teams? Have you seen our record againt Duke and UNC? He is hardly good at upsets.
    5) maybe once in my lifetime they’ll win it all – this is all Sendek’s supporter’s can offer. HOPE. There is no logical reason to believe this will happen, one can only “hope it happens. Alas it is the Fowler way.

  10. VaWolf82 01/10/2006 at 1:29 PM #

    This will however be a tough year, especially for teams 2-7 in this conference.

    From what I’ve seen so far, this is a fair and accurate assessment of the conference. However, there are two different descriptions being discussed…ACC vs other conferences….and within the ACC.

    Two years ago, the ACC had six teams in the NCAAT and six teams in the RPI Top-20. Thus when State finished second in the conference, it showed that State had beaten some good teams (for a change). This improvement was also seen in their record vs the top-50….7-7 (Herb’s only year at .500 or above.)

    All I’m trying to say is that it would take less this year to come in second, than in the recent past. Passing Duke for first place would probably not be any easier…but it would be alot easier to pass everyone else.

    Which brings us back to Fowler’s remark last year that State would move up in 2006 because the top teams were going to lose alot of players to the NBA after the 2005 season. Time will tell whether he was right (this time) or not. Can anyone remember one of Lee’s predictions that have come true?

  11. Sammy Kent 01/10/2006 at 1:50 PM #

    “Different subject: is BC’s Al Skinner the first ACC coach you can remember to NOT wear a tie during games.”

    Les Robinson often skipped the tie. Of course it can be argued that Les wasn’t an ACC coach. ;>)

    Just kidding. Les done his dangdest for the Red and White.

  12. SaccoV 01/10/2006 at 2:48 PM #

    You’re right VaWolf. It should be a second place finish for State this year. Our expectations of a second place finish are warranted. As for what record that will entail, I wouldn’t be surprised if it was only 10-6 or 11-5. Although I am firmly of a mindset that a 13-3 mark in conference should occur this year, I’m certainly not going to hold my breath especially given this past weekend.

    As for Lee’s predictions, I’m always at a loss to remember the words of our “Middle” manager. Considering the football team’s very disappointing season, the volleyball debacle, and the inconsistent basketball of recent years, what predictions would you believe from this man? He’s obviously not the best judge of coaching talent at the ACC level for any sport, and only by luck did he manage to have two first-rate coaches in Geiger and Guzzo. He’s not the best prognosticator of the league’s future as he has not taken the initiative to put his school AT THE FOREFRONT of a budding conference. For now, we’ve been surpassed (again) by other schools, one of which is a brand new member. And look at us, in our 52nd year!!!!

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