Fowler & HSSS Crew Wrong, State Not Capitalizing on Carolina’s Exodus

Last basketball season when Carolina, Duke, and Wake Forest were spending the entire season ranked in the Top 5 of the country and NC State was struggling to squeeze into the NCAA Tournament for the 3rd time in our “great” 4 straight appearances, one of the more credible members of the Pack Pride community posted a great thread about a conversation that he had with Athletics Director, Lee Fowler.

The poster’s comments about his conversation with Fowler, and the resulting thread that followed were fantastic (I just wish that Pack Pride had saved it). The crux of the conversation centered on Lee Fowler’s comments that he expected NC State to have a better 2005-2006 basketball season because most of the other teams in the conference were going to be worse.

If you are someone who has to perform in your job to meet certain goals, or someone with standards of excellence or who has generally been successful or classified as a “winner” in your life, then you immediately understand how sad and ridiculous that amazing “management philopshy” is.

If you are someone who is generally loser and always finds a way to blame things outside of your control for your lack of success, then you are scratching your head right now wondering what is so wrong with Lee Fowler’s “plan” to make State a successful basketball program.

The comments & perspective that Fowler shared with the donor – and with others at the time – served to help write one of the next chapters in the Herb Sendek Sunshine Squad Manual:

“Just continue to construct future success propositions and proclaim them as if they are fact. Continue to hold firm to the irrational predictions no matter how much historical records and performance would lead a thinking human to conclude otherwise. Then, hope that in the years that the ACC is down, just like the year State finished second in 2004, we can have a pretty good year that you can then point to as all of the other teams cycle back through to their huge seasons.”

Well, after State’s loss to Carolina today, the same poster chimed in today on Pack Pride recalling Fowler’s comments:

Last year, when I talked to Fowler, he told me we would be much better this year when the Carolina, Wake and Duke Players went pro. When you have a strategy of your improvement on competition getting worse you have exactly what happened today.

Congrats the the Tar Heel Freshman that kicked the crap out of our team. Wonder what Fowler’s strategy will be now that their freshman are better than our seniors.

Keep up the great work Fowler!! You are the best AD Carolina ever had!

General NCS Basketball

109 Responses to Fowler & HSSS Crew Wrong, State Not Capitalizing on Carolina’s Exodus

  1. Class of '74 01/09/2006 at 10:52 AM #

    If you’re Lee Fowler, as long as we are consistent then as long as he wants.

  2. Greg 01/09/2006 at 11:45 AM #

    If State hadnt wasted all that money trying to become a football “power” we could have paid for Pitino.

    I have posted this here a thousand times. Put yourself in the shoes of the NCSU recruiters. How do you convince a kid to come to NCSU in basketball? Tradition? No 16 year old kid knows who David Thompson was. They dont know Burleson. They probably dont know Corchiani or Monroe. This rebuilding process will take time if we want to do it cleanly. Valvano hurt us big time when it comes to our present position. Without all those penalties, without the NCAA bans, without being forced to hire a coach (Les) whose number one goal was to graduate players, not to win games, we wouldnt be in this spot.

    Recruiting has changed. What have you done lately is the motto now. Why do you think UNC canned Doherty so soon? Avoiding the long-term lull which will cause HS kids to become disinterested in your team.

    We are not in a great geographical state for recuiting. The other big four schools are heavily competing for in-state talent whereas other schools like Alabama get their pick of the in-state talent for the most part. To win at NCSU, you have to go above and beyond. We have two schools with hall of fame coaches, established programs, and national exposure to ensure a continued recruiting base. We are in a marathon and have a parachute attached to our backs.

    Duke got lucky with Coach K. UNC had Roy being grooming himself for years at Kansas. Thats a case of Duke getting a lightning strike, and UNC being blessed. We just havent been so lucky. Be patient. Support our teams, stop whining after every loss like its the end of the world. Good things will happen!

    We lost to a UNC team that played arguably their best game of the year, on their home floor, with our best player on the pine most of the game with foul problems. Thats not so bad.

  3. Rick 01/09/2006 at 11:55 AM #

    “We lost to a UNC team that played arguably their best game of the year, on their home floor, with our best player on the pine most of the game with foul problems. Thats not so bad.”

    Why do I read this excuse so much? Why does the other team always play their “best game” against us? Hmmm maybe because we let them. Maybe because the other coach motivates better. All I know is we should not have lost this game. But it is the first of many game we should not lose I am sure.

  4. All your base... 01/09/2006 at 12:07 PM #

    “What struck me most about that game was the clips of the coaches. Every time they showed Roy he was talking to his team. He was yelling at them. He was huddled with a player that just left the game. He was turned around explaining something to a player. Every time they showed Herb he was just looking ahead.”

    If I had a dime for every time that situation occurred on camera, I’d own my own island off the Florida Keys. The best on camera shots of Herb were during our meltdowns against Maryland and Vandy. There isn’t an acting school around that can teach that blank stare…the look of helplessness combined with utter desperation.

    The fact that freshmen were cool under pressure and our “experienced” squad folded like a cheap suit is pathetic. Sendek has no feeling…no “gut instinct”…he doesn’t have “it”. He may be an extremely smart man, but he doesn’t know how to lead in tough, stressful situations, and think and react smartly under fire, which probably explains why he’s always caught on camera staring blindly, emotionless into space. I guess we should all be thankful that he is coaching a men’s basketball team and not a squad (or God forbid a platoon) of our military troops out in harm’s way.

    What is most disturbing, however, and the primary subject of this thread to begin with, is the underlying culture that Lee Fowler is infecting our atheltic programs with. The notion that our AD openly discusses that we’ll be better because everybody else will be worse is sickening. However, after the admonishment Fowler put forth to the NC State Nation after the Clemson football loss, it should not be a surprise to anyone that our AD is an idiot and as a result, thinks like one. I’d like to see Fowler try out that “others will get worse, we’ll be better” strategy in a real business environment…oh, wait…he is.

  5. Class of '74 01/09/2006 at 12:14 PM #

    ^If you can not get a program turned around in five years you are not the right hire to begin with. Very few successful basketball coaches are allowed more than five years as most AD’s can’t survive the pressure that is associated with an unsuccessful program particularly in the ACC.

    With the exception being Everett Case, every other NCSU coach got most of their talent from this state and it shocks me why we have been out recruited by Wake Forest over the recent past in this state. That is maybe the most disturbing feature of Herb’s tenure. Also, historically Duke has never been strong in recruiting this state and that goes all the way back to Vic Bubas’ days. UNC and State have historically been able to select the DT’s, Worthy’s, Burleson’s and Jordan’s of this state.

    The penalties from the NCAA were minor! The restrictions from the UNC system selected Larry Monteith were draconian and IMHO are the root problem along with the hiring of Les.

    I’ll ask you are you satisfied with losing to a “depleted” UNC team? Just remember this will probably be Roy’s only down year as he has the best talent seen in many years coming in next year. The time for excuses has expired. It’s time for a change in expectations in west Raleigh!

  6. Jeff 01/09/2006 at 12:32 PM #

    “In college ball, it’s just known by everybody that (if you haven’t succeeded) you have your bags packed in five years�

    — Tim Floyd

    But, what does he know? He certainly doesn’t “know basketball” like Lee Fowler. But, he does know enough to be 1-0 vs Carolina this year…in his SECOND SEASON at USC.

    Most experts say less even less than five years to turn around a program:

    Vitale – Standard for coaching is three years

    (unless, of course, you ask him about a specific name and then no coach in the country should ever be criticized)

  7. Cardiac95 01/09/2006 at 1:22 PM #

    All we can really say at this point is that we’ve missed out on our best two opportunities to date to make a statement & declare that this will be that “special” season we’ve all been waiting for.

    Road wins @ Bama & N. Dame plus a pummeling of GW at home are nice for our NCAA Tournament resume. But they don’t scream, “Look out Duke!!….the Pack is Back!!!”

    Will we make the NCAA’s? Yes….Will we finish in the Top 5 of the conference? Probably…….Will we be playing on Saturday in the NCAA Tournament? Most likely…..

    Beyond that….the evidence for loftier achievements is lacking.

  8. Jeff 01/09/2006 at 2:09 PM #

    ^ You mean that you want MORE than that? 🙂

  9. Cardiac95 01/09/2006 at 6:01 PM #

    ^^ Meant Saturday of the ACC Tournament.

    ^ I can be so unreasonable at times…;)

  10. PACDADDY 01/09/2006 at 7:27 PM #

    Roy is a great coach no doubt. You guys are taking this lost way overboard and in my opinion acting irrational.

    Herb didn’t get out coached…he got beat. You take CED’s 4th foul and give 4 to Hans, which if you watched the game, that could easily been the case, we win going away…heck…you keep Ced in the game and leave Hans in the game and we win. That isn’t about coaching. The last 3 minutes we had a few things happen that Sendek, Williams and Ced had nothing to do with. I’m sure the Williams drew up the deflection by IE back to Noel, for a easy basket by Hans…I’m sure Herb told IE to make a bad pass…I’m sure Herb told Atsur to drive in the lane to draw foul, miss the shot and lose possession. All these things happen extremely fast and Herb had nothing to do with it. We were down by four and Bennerman gets called for a foul and he wasn’t even close to Hans…He ran by him! That was the end of game to me..Heck..Hans simply lost control of the ball.

    We lost to a team that has how many MC D’s…5???…in their house

    I don’t give a rip about their youth…Herb took a young team to NCAA in Hodges first year. We had a senior named Grundy and they have Noel.

    In Roys first year, I ask you to find me a coach that took over more talent outside of Fisher at Michigan…FIsher won the national title and where is he coaching now? What did the miracle genious of Roy do with that DREAM TEAM his first season??? SQUAT!…The winningest coach in America during the 90’s finally won a National title with the worst coach in UNC’s history players. Shouldn’t that tell you something about UNC’s PROGRAM!

    All I’m saying is he’s a frickin coach not a genious..He has come to UNC with a frickin boat load of talent and you make it sound like he OWNS Herb.

    Has Herb beaten him yet…no…but he’s beaten him where it counts…in the conference standings. NOBODY is going to give me the first year excuse…that’s bs…He didn’t have to show up to UNC and reinvent the wheel. DOH was his assistant at one time.

    NOW…he has a blockbuster class coming in, largely due to the NC(and the fact that he coaches for UNC) which would have never happened had DOH not provided him the talent…MORE TALENT THAN HE EVER HAD AT KANSAS.

    You see…He had it easy at Kansas. He had a program that was BY FAR the most storied program in the Big 12…a conference in which he often times played the next best team, once and sometimes not at all. Choking Roy is what many of you proclaimed him. Then he wins the NC(almost choke) with 6 NBA players and how many lottery picks and he’s God?

    I happen to have a lot of respect for the man and think he is a great coach, but you guys make it look like Herb is low rent coach compared to the GREAT ROY!

    Wait it out…Roy is how much older than poor old, emotionless, desparate Herb? What a joke.

  11. PACDADDY 01/09/2006 at 7:58 PM #

    Jeff…You’re already pushing the RPI rating records this early in the season, and you think I’m crazy? The conference is has just started.

    Everyone of those “facts” you brought up have ZERO meaning right now. 0-5 verse Roy? 0-4 against some of the most talent assembled on an ACC team. 0-1 against Roy and Hess. 1-1 in confernce finishes.

    How long did it take GW to make final 4 Jeff? JUST KIDDING 😉

    I had a client today from Cleveland…He’s 45 years old and quite knowledgable about college sports(I thought). He went to OSU and he’s a big 10 guy. He told me that he thought DT played at UNC…he said he would have bet money that DT went to UNC. He said “you mean skywalker went to NCSU”?

    I give him the standard history lesson about Case, ACC tourney…how we stacked up to UNC and Duke until 1990 and he had NO CLUE! HE had forgotten completely about the 74 team(obviously), but he remembered ’83.

    His impression of NCSU BB WAS one of renegade kids, with low grad rates. He admits he doesn’t follow college BB that closely outside of Big 10 as much as he used to, and he did say he thought Herb has done a good job at NCSU, but that was only based on NCAA games against MSU and Wisconsin. He told me after watching 48 hours years ago and seeing Duke/NCSU comparision is when he got the impression of NCSU like Lousiville or Cinci.

    No real point to that story only to say, winning is extremely important but “perception” should also be considered when comparing coaches programs.

  12. VaWolf82 01/09/2006 at 8:27 PM #

    Everyone of those “facts� you brought up have ZERO meaning right now.

    Yea, if you ignore the W/L record, it’s easy to see why you like Sendek so much. 😉

  13. Cardiac95 01/09/2006 at 9:55 PM #

    I could almost buy that we have nothing to fear from Roy were it not for the fact that we’re 0-5 against him in our 3 best* seasons under Herb.

    *Depending on how the current one ends.

  14. blpack 01/09/2006 at 10:56 PM #

    We’ll throw away our chance at an excellent ACC record in the next few games and spend the next month and half fighting to get to 10-6. We will darn grateful to get to that when in reality, as the league is down overall, we should have little problem reaching 12-4.
    We are such underachievers who seem content to being good. Maybe in two more years our one highly rated recruit will lead us to the Promised Land.

  15. DRO 01/09/2006 at 11:26 PM #

    I’m sorry to have to ask this, but PACDADDY, your rant about Roy Williams above made ZERO sense. What are you even talking about? Roy Williams is light years ahead of Herb Sendek on the coaching front.

    “We lost to a team that has how many MC D’s…5???…in their house”
    You know, PACDADDY, they call that recruiting. Don’t get mad because Roy has great recruits. Maybe Herb should take a page out of his book.

    “He has come to UNC with a frickin boat load of talent and you make it sound like he OWNS Herb.”
    Well, if beating him 5 out of 5 tries isn’t owning, then what is?

    “Has Herb beaten him yet…no…but he’s beaten him where it counts…in the conference standings.”
    Herb has beaten him one year only in the standings, and Roy beat him pretty soundly last year (ACC Regular Season Champ, National Champ, head-to-head, etc.)

    “NOW…he has a blockbuster class coming in, largely due to the NC(and the fact that he coaches for UNC)”
    Holy crap, what kind of statement is that???? He recruited well because he won a title? Well of course he did!!! You must have been a straight A student. And also because he coaches for UNC? So are you saying that Roy gets great players because he coaches for a school that wins consistently? Roy’s not the freakin’ genius, you are!

    You make it sound as if any two-bit coach who has the talent can do great things. Anyone who knows anything about basketball (and sports in general) knows this is not the case. Sure it helps, but controlling those talented egos (and there were plenty on last year’s UNC team, just ask DOH) is critical and difficult. Roy Williams had the best winning % of any active coach during those “easy” years at Kansas. He took a program that was on probation and got it back on track. Certainly, the lack of national titles was bad, but I think most folks will take top 10 finishes year after year, conference titles, NCAA victories, and Final Four visits any day. Take a look at if you want to see what it takes to be a great coach. How does Sendek look when compared to those numbers?

  16. DRO 01/09/2006 at 11:32 PM #

    Oh, and PACDADDY, sorry to be an A-Hole, but:

    “knowledgable” is spelled “knowledgeable” and “genious” is spelled “genius”. Kind of ironic, don’t you think?

  17. Greg 01/10/2006 at 12:00 AM #

    This is pathetic.

    Regardless of how you feel about the team, the coach, the school, you should either support the team or stop watching and complaining.

    I get tired of hearing “I’m done…I am not watching anymore.”

    What a slap in the face for these young men who go out and spend four hours per day six days per week trying to represent YOUR school.

    How about you get your butt off the couch, go out there and try to make the team? I dont see anyone in here with a Jersey hanging in the rafters.. Just a bunch of guys trying to live vicariously through some team and getting mad when the team doesnt give them bragging rights the next day at work. Truly pathetic.

    If you dont have something positive to say or some insight to give, dont give it! Gloom and doom is disrespectful to the guys who put it on the line every game.

  18. Class of '74 01/10/2006 at 8:00 AM #

    Pacdaddy I don’t know what you are smoking but you need to stop it. Herb is a good enough coach to be Roy’s assistant maybe but he’s not even in the same league as Roy or K. When you have experience, talent and momentum on your side as Herb did on saturday and you come away a loser, well…
    Enough said on that.

  19. Class of '74 01/10/2006 at 8:38 AM #

    Greg I nominate you as president of the HSSS.

    There is nobody on this site that does not want the best for NCSU, we just have differing opinions as to how to get there and who should lead us. These guys in athletics whether it’s coaching or admin get paid very well and if they don’t like the visibility and criticism I say get the heck out. I will praise them when I feel it is appropriate and call them out when appropriate. With a few rare exceptions most critical comments posted here are both fair and reasonable.

  20. Rick 01/10/2006 at 9:25 AM #

    I thought I had read it all but Pacdaddy’s post takes the cake. I am not even going to argue with it because it’s points are so benign my 19 month old son could out argue it.
    I see that you have to not be rounded in reality to accept Herb.
    Maybe that is why I am so ready to see him go.

  21. Class of '74 01/10/2006 at 11:02 AM #

    ^Greg as to your final comment about disrespectful. The play the finel two minutes of that game saturday were disrespectful to all who have worn the red and white before them! The final two minutes were a complete meltdown to a team comprised of mostly freshmen. And I’ll bet if you asked our players they would say the same thing!

  22. Jeff 01/10/2006 at 1:58 PM #


    Please email me so that I can sell you my remaining season basketball tickets for this year, pro-rated for my WPC contribution and Lifetime Rights contribution.

    Thanks for being so supportive!!

  23. packbackers 01/10/2006 at 4:48 PM #

    To anyone who talks about Herb “not coaching” in the TV clips shown during the game, while Roy was “firing his team up” : you obviously have no coaching experience and need to realize that comments like that wreak of ignorance. I have been a successful basketball coach on three different levels, and can tell you it is truly a luxury to have a lineup full of experienced players. Herb has that and Roy does not. What Herb was obviously doing on Saturday was seeing what they could do under pressure. Roy knew he couldn’t count on his inexperienced players to do so. Folks, when in this situation, you have to make a decision as coach of the team. You either a)let them play and show you what they are capable of on their own, which shows trust in them , or b) intervene and continue your normal plan of attack. When you let them go, you are obviously taking a risk, but it is something you need to do if you plan on having a championship team. Coach K has done it many times, and he will tell you it is a good barometer of a team’s mental toughness. Obviously State isn’t there yet. This will teach the team a valuable lesson, and Sendek will be able to use it as leverage…i.e. “your way obviously didn’t work, so we will do it my way”. If the strategy had worked, he would have realized his team was truly special, and it would have made his job easier. Anyway, this is not the end of the world, the Tarholes still have to come to Raleigh, and guess what? As meaningless as rankings may be, we are still ranked higher than them. We will find out more tonight!

  24. Class of '74 01/10/2006 at 5:04 PM #

    ^We will find out more tonight and the next three games as well. Let’s hope we get better results tonight.

  25. PACDADDY 01/10/2006 at 7:18 PM #

    Unfortunately…I can’t edit and I don’t take the time to go over my post…word for wrod…that WAS ironic and LOL funny and you weren’t being a A-Hole to point it out. I realized it after it was too late.


    Roy has had several years at Kansas where he dominated the Big 12 and didn’t do squat in the NCAA…Many times he was a top seed and went 1-1 or only sweet 16. I say ONLY Sweet 16 because starting that high in the NCAA and winning 2 games isn’t what I consider SUPERMAN.

    I understand he’s a great coach…I DOUBT he ever had a team at Kansas with 5 MC D’s that he has right now. Point is…the worst coach in UNC history provided him more talent than ever had at Kansas the past 2 seasons…That says alot about the kind of PROGRAM and foundation Dean Smith built.

    You’d think a coach with the highest winning % in the decade of the 90’s and had an AVERAGE 2.1 seeding in the NCAA , would have at least won one National title or made the final 4 more twice during the 90’s. During the 90’s he lost 6 of the his 10 NCAA games to teams seeded below him.

    This is indictment on how weak the BIG 12 really was and how Roy was able to build such an impressive record to achieve the momentum he gianed to lead him and the BIG 12 into 2000.

    Here’s how… The BIG 12 had an awesome 2 seasons in 2002-2003, but during the 90’s…they won exactly 50 games in NCAA…50!!!!! The ACC won that many in 4 and 105 games during same decade!

    Roy and the POWER HOUSE he had in Kansas was a an IMPRESSIVE 13-8 against the ACC from ’90 to 2003…WOW…then you look deeper and see he beat NCSU 5 times, UVA 2 times, and FSU…wow!!!

    He was 2-6 against UNC, DUKE And Maryland.

    He’s not SUPERMAN…but the players he puts on the court may be.

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