Quoting Wednesday

The N&O’s ACC Blog continues to impress me.

I thought that I would just hit some quotable highlights from what’s over there right now for the archive:

===> Dave Braine is retiring as Athletics Director at Georgia Tech.
I’ve always respected what Braine was able to do in Atlanta. Consider this…just in the 2004-2005 Athletics Season, Georgia Tech…

…fielded teams in 17 varsity sports

…14 of 17 programs made postseason play

…had 8 programs ranked in the final Top 25 of their sports

…had 4 programs achieve Top 10 finishes

…had 2 programs (golf & baseball) reached a #1 ranking in their sport

…had 4 programs reach a Top 5 ranking in their sport

…won 3 ACC Tournament Titles

…won 4 ACC Regular season Titles

===> Wolfpack’s Win Last Night
Fewer, more accurate words have ever been spoken:

The bottom line for the Wolfs in any sport, is they win games you don’t think they will and they lose ones you don’t think they will. That doesn’t always please their fans, but they should be used to it by now.

===> Duke’s Number

Since March 14, 2004, when Maryland earned a 95-87 overtime victory against Duke in the ACC tournament final, the Terps have won just six of 17 games against ACC teams other than the Blue Devils. Conversely, since that ACC tournament loss, Duke is 16-3 against ACC teams other than Maryland but winless against the Terps.

So much for the myth that Duke is invincible. Did you know that the Blue Devils had lost three straight games in Winston-Salem until this year’s victory. Wow. Three wins in Skip Prosser’s tenure, already? Heck…it takes some coaches a decade to achieve that kind of performance against Coach K.

===> Old Roy Can Coach

There’s a lot of hockey left, but Roy Williams sure looks like the coach of the year, and not just because of the old “they’re better than the stupid media thought they’d be” reasoning.

Williams has become Dean Smith. With less than 5 minutes left, in a tight game last night, Williams had Wes Miller, Quentin Thomas and Byron Sanders on the floor. That’s not quite the old “Blue” team but pretty close.

You might argue, “What choice does he have?” Well, compare that to what Coach K did last year with a similiarly short-handed roster. Duke ran its best four players into the ground. Sure they won the ACC title but they were gassed by the NCAA Tournament.

And Williams isn’t just throwing these backups out there. He got 22 minutes out of Sanders, and relative production with six rebounds.

…Every rational reason pointed to UNC losing last night — experience, location, letdown, mismatches — and still the Heels found a way to win.

…and you fell for the bullshit that coaching is only about recruiting and gathering talent?

General NCS Basketball Quotes of Note

44 Responses to Quoting Wednesday

  1. db321 01/11/2006 at 4:57 PM #

    Lee Fowler is a huge underachiever in my opinion. Across the board, State’s athletic department is average and very few programs have sustained success. Until State employs some high profile, well respected coaches, State will continue looking for the next up and comer.

    As far as Roy, he’s a great coach. Hiring great coaches requires money. If Herb or Chuck were ever to leave or be replaced, I hope State will spend the money, versus trying to find a diamond in the rough coach. Established, well respected coaches bring instant credibility and I think success would be achieved much more quickly taking that route.

  2. Class of '74 01/11/2006 at 5:08 PM #

    ^Agree on Lee.

    Sadly we never have both seriously and agressively gone after that kind of coach. Willis Casey set the standard long ago and it hasn’t changed much at all. Hopefully Herb will do something this year but the Chuck situation I’m less optimistic with each passing day.
    But look at Kentucky with Tubby. He makes a mint and they are ready to lynch him right now and the talk is he may leave at the end of this season. So there are no guarantees.

  3. choppack 01/11/2006 at 5:23 PM #

    “As far as Roy, he’s a great coach. Hiring great coaches requires money. ”

    Well, your half-right. Money certainly helps, but money ain’t why Roy went to Chapel Hill. However, Roy returned to Chapel Hill because he was groomed to coach there, he loved the school and the program.

    If there is one thing I wish I could change about Sloan and V – it’s developing that coach who can move in and restore your program to greatness nor did they have consistency of Smith or Coach K.

    Regarding the statement that “it takes money to hire great coaches.” I think that is simply false. I don’t think Coach K or Dean made more than their counterparts at the time. Now, if you’re talking about keeping a coach, that’s another story.

    I will say that unless you have a coach w/ ties to the school or area, money is the only way you can hope to get these coaches. And yes, I agree that Fowler is a substandard AD.

    Regarding Tubbs – that wasn’t an “aggressive” hire. He had ties to UK and hadn’t won championships before he arrived. An aggressive hire would have been Larry Brown or going after Coach K. Louisville and Memphis made aggressive hires, but then again, timing is everything…

  4. cfpack03 01/11/2006 at 5:31 PM #

    The N&O’s blog has some good info but its starting to annoy me how J.Giglio keeps calling us the Wolfs, and not b/c of the spelling error. We’re the PACK dammit

  5. Mr. O 01/11/2006 at 5:38 PM #

    Who expected UNC to lose at Va Tech last night??? There wasn’t a single rational reason to expect Va Tech to beat UNC. What the hell is that writer talking about? Roy is a great coach and I have no problem with people saying why, but it is a huge exaggeration to make a big deal out of a win against Va Tech. UNC is 19th in the Sagarin and Va Tech is 109th afterall.

    Skip Prosser has won at home versus Duke for 3 years with highly ranked teams. Is his program built to always win against Duke or was his success just a temporary deal? Personally, I think it is more of an anomaly as opposed to a long term trend. It will be very interesting to see how Wake’s program does the next 3-4 years.

  6. BJD95 01/11/2006 at 7:15 PM #

    Lots of people expected UNC to lose last night. The most level-headed UNC fan I know expected losses to State and VT.

    Several teams found the Blacksburg trip frought with landmines, including NC State and eventual league champion Duke. And VT was low in Sagarin entering ACC play last year, too. Probably lower.

  7. HeelsFan 01/11/2006 at 7:27 PM #


    I really did expect to lose last night. I would have been pleased with good effort. I think “realistic” Tar Heel fans are praying for 8-8 in the league. And that’s without a devastating injury.

    The wufpak did a great job last night! Congrats on your victory!

  8. Sammy Kent 01/11/2006 at 10:07 PM #

    The word during the recruitment of Justin Burke was that the folks in the Bluegrass state really like Herb Sendek and have become pseudoPackfans. I actually laughed out loud when I wondered to myself if they liked him enough to hire him. No way in a bazillion years, said I. But hey, if Tubby’s team really tanks it this season, who knows? There’s hope, I say.

  9. Winners123 01/12/2006 at 1:10 AM #

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  10. class of '74 01/12/2006 at 6:50 AM #

    In all fairness you can not compare today’s money or the way schools approach this business to 25 years ago or in Dean’s case almost 50 years ago. Dean was elevated from the assistant’s chair to replace Frank McGuire at UNC after the cheating scandals so that was just completely different in every way possible. As to Duke and K. He received a healthy raise to come to Duke but no he was getting Dean’s money at that time. But when Dawkins replaces K he will get the top tier money because that’s the way this business is today.
    And don’t ever fool yourself because this is big business today unlike it was 30 to 50 years ago just look at all the advertising today in all of these arenas and look back at the arena pictures from E. Case’s time. That alone says it all.

  11. Mr. O 01/12/2006 at 7:56 AM #

    What did Vegas think of who was going to win the UNC/Va Tech game? I have a hard time believing Va Tech was favored over the 18th ranked team in the country.

    I have loads of UNC fans as friends. They always pull the “we are going to lose card” also.

    The writer of this article makes it sound like that Va Tech was a heavy favorite. I doubt they were even favored and even if they were slightly, then beating Va Tech isn’t the type of upset to make a big deal over.

    Prosser’s loss at Clemson last night illustrates my point about his program. They have at Maryland, GT at home and at NC State coming up. They need to win 2 of those games. Hope one isn’t against us.

  12. Rick Jernigan 01/12/2006 at 8:43 AM #

    Great stuff – Braine’s record is really impressive. He was also at VPI when they made their big leap in football. I may be wrong about this but based on the few GT diehards I know, his retirement will be met with great celebration. The 5 year extension he gave Gailey and the “GT can’t win 9 or 10 football games a year consistently� before this year’s bowl game were not popular. Paul Hewitt absolutely adores Dave Braine. In fact, I think I have read that he even has an “out� in his contract if Braine leaves. I don’t expect Hewitt to leave but this will be an interesting situation to monitor.

    Mr. O – UNC Chapel Hill was a one point favorite at VPI. I agree, however that it was a very dangerous game for them and a great win.

    The Prosser – Wake Forest deal is getting more interesting by the day. This is another example of the word “upset� being misused. Clemson was a surprising 4 point favorite over Wake. This was more than a tough loss for Wake. Wake was up 66 – 61 with less than a minute to go in regulation.

    The price of tie-dye is plummeting! Wake’s top three players (Williams, Gray & Strickland) are seniors. I believe Prosser will be able to right this ship in the second half of the year – there are more than enough pieces in place but this is the first time in his five years at Wake that he is having to “play from behindâ€?.

  13. Carl NCSU '73 01/12/2006 at 9:09 AM #

    Ol’ Roy is indeed that good regardless of his “aw shucks” modesty (which I believe is genuine). It was I who said it on the Buzz this past Sunday morning: “Roy Williams could be on the back nine with a cell phone and still outcoach Herb in any game at any venue”. I think the same is true for K also. Unless Herb hires a Duke staffer or starts going to Roy or K’s clinics they will have his number forever. That means we’ll have to rely on pure talent to beat them. How good do you feel about that?

  14. Rick 01/12/2006 at 9:23 AM #

    “Personally, I think it is more of an anomaly as opposed to a long term trend.”
    So you are ready to discount three years of positive results by Prosser as an anomaly, but you will look at the same period for Herb (which is less impressive) and predict good things? I am not sure that makes sense.

  15. JeremyHyatt 01/12/2006 at 10:22 AM #

    just because Roy has the “aw shucks” modesty, doesn’t mean he’s not an excellent coach. look at Redskins coach Joe Gibbs.

    …if i discounted folks that do the “aw shucks” i wouldn’t be giving anyone in NC credibility…

    Herb Sendek has always been given credit as a quality recruiter, one of his strengths, and we see it is paying off. one of the things he is criticized for, is his game-time coaching. might these critical folks agree he was outcoached Saturday, but did the outcoaching on Tuesday? I don’t agree with any of this. tell you what, the players performance is directly tied to their talent, and practicing held by the coach. And the coach’s performance is directly tied to the players talent, and practicing which he has much influence upon it. It starts with the recruits, continues with the practicing, and ends with gametime playing and coaching.

    I wouldn’t say that Sendek has been a great coach, I can’t say that with his record in the 10 seasons. But I can say his recruiting is solid, and now is going through the roof, and …it seems.. has now made NC State a fixture in the top 25. I would say the future is bright. It has taken him some time, but I think he should be afforded a major handicap considering the State of the program when he received it, and the state of UNC-CH and Duke’s program–that was built up while ours was falling.

    Rome wasn’t built in a day, but the Wolfpack is here to stay. Hey Hey!

  16. cfpack03 01/12/2006 at 11:22 AM #

    Herb has had a tough time recruiting b/c we directly compete with UNC-CH, Duke, and Wake. I agree, he’s done a stand-up job in the past few years, but he mostly resorts to europe, new york, and anywhere outside 500 miles of Raleigh. As far as in-state recruiting, we get the leftovers. I’m not saying this is good nor bad, just an added element to the process.

  17. class of '74 01/12/2006 at 11:47 AM #

    ^I totally agree with one exception that would be Ced. Some would say Scooter Sherrell too but he had mixed reviews with several coaches in the ACC.

  18. Mr. O 01/12/2006 at 12:53 PM #

    I am not questioning Roy’s greatness. He is one of the best of all-time, even if he also has had the benefit of coaching at two of the top college basketball factories of all-time.

    My only point is that the writer was overdoing it for a win over Va Tech.

  19. Mr. O 01/12/2006 at 1:21 PM #

    “So you are ready to discount three years of positive results by Prosser as an anomaly, but you will look at the same period for Herb (which is less impressive) and predict good things? I am not sure that makes sense.”

    He walked into a program with multiple NBA players(Howard and Songalia) and several other quality upper-classman, his two in-state peers about to be fired(Herb and Doherty), and an NBA lottery pick in his backyard.

    Herb’s status gave him a great advantage in finishing off the recruiting job that Odom had started on J. Gray and E. Williams. Then Chris Paul falls in his lap. Now Paul is gone, Odom’s recruits are gone, Williams and Gray are about to graduate, and they have dropped out of the top 25 for the first time since he arrived in WS when he still has two all-ACC players.

    Now he faces a revitalized NC State program, UNC back on top, and Duke as good as ever.

    Prosser’s timing in coming to Wake was perfect. All I am saying is that he hasn’t been there long enough with his OWN recruits to show that he can have sustained success at Wake.

    Everyone talked about Prosser’s exciting style of play. Well, where are all the points now that C. Paul is gone?

    Herb’s is going on his 5th season of success with his best team he has had in the 5th season. This year’s team was put together despite Roy coming back to UNC, Coach K dominating in Durham, Maryland winning a national title and ACC title, and Wake having a glory period with a new coach.

    Herb has us in the best position an NC State team has been at this point in January since Valvano was our coach. Wake’s team has a key stretch of games to keep its NCAA tournament hopes alive (with two all-ACC players I might add). Herb has out-recruited Prosser the last two years. He has a class this year that when the final rankings come out will be similar to Wake’s. Herb also has a top 25 pg signed for the next class.

    Overall, it is my opinion that our program is in much better shape than Prosser’s to have success over the next several years. In fact, our outlook compares favorably to everyone in the ACC except for Duke and UNC. I am not that up to speed with what is going on with Maryland’s recruiting, but Gary Williams hasn’t exactly capitalized the way some thought he would after the national title. He got an ACC title, but they missed the NCAA tournament last year.

    As far as in-state recruiting, NC hasn’t had that many top players of late. We missed on Shavlik(Duke), Gray and Williams to Wake and R. Terry to UNC. However, we have landed Cedric Simmons and Cameron Bennerman from NC.

    Except for Shavlik, Gray and Williams which we missed on when it appeared Herb was going to be fired, what recruits in NC should we have signed? There might be some NC guys, but I can’t think of any that are better than who Herb has signed like Atsur, Bethel, Grant, Brackman based on their play and then Fells, McCauley and Costner based on their reputation.

  20. class of '74 01/12/2006 at 1:30 PM #

    ^Chris Paul! Winston-Salem, NC.

  21. Mr. O 01/12/2006 at 1:36 PM #

    This came from a neutral party(accfan21 who isn’t a Wake or State fan) at Pack Pride. It gives some additional info. that I did not include:

    “It’s nice that Demondeac is so optimistic, but the truth is, the Wake program depends on a contribution of a recruiting class that is good, but hardly great.

    What Deac holdovers do you like? Kyle Visser? Harvey Hale? Michael Drum? Kevin Swinton?

    No, if Wake is going to be competitive in the ACC next season, that freshman class has better be a lot better than it looks on paper — go to RSCI and see that Prosser has signed three top 100 players (none in the top 50) — No. 51 Jamie Skeen (a 6-8 PF), No. 54 Anthony Gurley (a 6-2 WG) and No. 86 LD Williams (a 6-4 WF). He also has two non-top 100 recruits — 5-11 PG Ismael Smith and 7-0, 200-pound center Chas McFarland.

    Now it’s possible that some of these guys are better than they are rated — Prosser’s success over the previous few years was largely based on a combo of two McDonald’s A-As (Paul and Eric Williams) who turned out to be legit big-time players and two top 100 guys (Josh Howard, Justin Gray) who turned out to be studs.

    Next year’s team will have no McDonald’s A-A players and the top 50-100 guys he’s signed over the last few years (Cameron Stanley, Kevin Swinton) haven’t shown much.

    I also wanted to respond to Demondeac’s somewhat skewed remarks about how often Wake has finished ahead of State over the last 15 or so years … It’s true that Dave Odom’s teams finished ahead of Les Robinson’s teams and Herb’s early teams.

    But since 2001-02 — the year Skip arrived and the year Herb got his program on track, it’s been a little more balanced:

    2002 — Wake 9-7; State 9-7
    2003 — Wake 13-3; State 9-7
    2004 — State 11-5; Wake 9-7
    2005 — Wake 13-3; State 7-9

    True, Wake has finished ahead of State in two of four years, but I’m willing to bet State finishes ahead of Wake this year. When (and if that happens), that means the two programs will be 2-2-1 head-to-head over the five years that Prosser has been there.

    Still, you’ve got to give Prosser the edge in regular season play. Unfortunately, he doesn’t rate the same edge in postseason. His first four teams are 2-4 in the ACC Tournament and 5-4 in NCAA play. Over the same five years, Herb is 7-4 in ACC Tournament play and 4-4 in NCAA play. Both coach has had one Sweet 16 appearance.

    And if I look at the immediate future, I’ve got to like State’s prospects not only this year but in 2006-07 with a veteran core of Atsur, Bennerman, Simmons, Brackman and Grant more than Wake’s prospects after losing Gray, Eric Williams, Trent Strickland and Chris Ellis … and maybe Prosser.

    I think the original question is well posed — I think Wake’s program is very much on the verge of slipping into the ACC also-ran category. “

  22. VaWolf82 01/12/2006 at 1:51 PM #

    I’ve got to like State’s prospects not only this year but in 2006-07 with a veteran core of Atsur, Bennerman, Simmons, Brackman and Grant more than Wake’s prospects after losing Gray, Eric Williams, Trent Strickland and Chris Ellis … and maybe Prosser.

    It’s too early to tell about Simmons and Brackman, but I’m sure that Cam won’t be back next year. If Fells can start to contribute this year and both Simmons and Brackman return, then next year doesn’t look too bad at all.

  23. Mr. O 01/12/2006 at 1:56 PM #

    I don’t think people should get down on Fells at all. He is playing behind 3 veteran guards and another forward he has much more experience in the offense and defense.

    I noticed that comment about Cameron. It would be nice if he wasn’t a senior. Simmons is probably a 1st rounder, but he is very raw. If Brackman gives up on basketball, then that will hurt us. If they both come back, then we should be in good shape.

    I am very interested in seeing who fills up the rest of the class with Chris Wright.

  24. Sammy Kent 01/12/2006 at 2:28 PM #

    Mr. O, I would agree with you on the rosy picture of the future you paint if it wasn’t for one small detail: Herb Sendek is still the head coach. I’ve seen him coach. I’ve seen his basketball philosophy. I’ve seen his recruiting philosophy. I don’t think he’s improving as a coach, I don’t see his basketball philosophy significantly changing, and Chris Wright notwithstanding, he continues to recruit and collect wing players like other people collect butterflies. He has amassed enough talent to hide his deficiencies, and yet still doesn’t know how and where and when to use it. I was ready to give Herb a rollover on the spot after the GW game, but I now see that he is nowhere near ready to abandon his positionless offense theory for real basketball. Until that happens I remain overwhelmingly skeptical about NC State being anything but a consistent bubble program.

  25. Mr. O 01/12/2006 at 3:02 PM #

    Sammy Kent: The statistics of the last 4.5 year don’t support your opinion that he isn’t improving as a coach. The statistics of the last 4.5 years don’t support that he must abandon his positionless philosophy for “real basketball” whatever that might be.

    As far as recruiting wing players, I don’t see a problem in recruiting guys who can play fill multiple roles in the offense and guard multiple players at the other end of the floor. In some ways, it makes your lineup better prepared to handle early defections, injuries, foul trouble, etc….

    Your offense should be based on your personnel. When we had Josh Powell as a sophmore, we went inside to JP. Now that we have Cedric Simmons and Brackman, we go inside as much as possible. You have to make due with what you have and unfortunately Herb hasn’t been in position to pick and choose all-americans to build a team around like Coach K(who also uses a system of 4 perimeter players around 1 post player and has done so for years). Herb had to find a way to win with the players he could convince to come to NC State. He did that (though not until year 6 which is why I believe the people who question still have problems with him). The more you win, then the better chance you have to get in a position to win the key recruiting battles like with Chris Wright. The better players you sign, then the more options you have in terms of picking and choosing the system that best fits your talent. It seems like a natural process.

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