DeLong: Sendek’s Historical Inconsistency

John DeLong of the Winston-Salem Journal had a great column previewing the State-Carolina game today. Lots of quotes in it need to be shared and saved:

So, today we get to find out how good N.C. State’s basketball team really is. N.C. State will face rival North Carolina at the Smith Center this afternoon, in a setting that should provide its best early season barometer yet.

To be a really special State team, you need to win in Chapel Hill, especially given the circumstances this season.

That’s the nature of college basketball, where you’re only as good as your next game – but it’s especially true for programs with histories of schizophrenia. This State team probably has a greater burden of proof than it deserves, because of the inconsistency of some of Coach Herb Sendek’s previous teams.

The thing to like most about State so far is the way it carries itself. There are good vibes around this team. It’s more than the standard early-season optimism that many teams have before adversity starts to mount, or at least it appears to be.

Sendek’s term is keeping things in “day-tight compartments.”

“That’s something we’ve made part of our program,” Sendek said. “People make fun of me for ‘day-tight compartments,’ but that’s what we talk about. It is a marathon. I was thinking what an important game the George Washington game was, and it was. And then my next thought kinda raced ahead, and I started counting. You know, we’re two months and change away from the ACC Tournament.