Worst Loss of the Sendek Era?

I think so. It was disgusting to watch this overachieving Carolina team come in and outwork us like that. They wanted each loose ball, each rebound 1000 times worse than we did. To his credit, Sendek didn’t try putting any lipstick on the pig, admitting that we were outcoached, outplayed, out-everything. And that pretty much sums it up. It was humiliating, and it will take more than a 12-win ACC season to make up for it. And I really don’t want to see the “0 for Roy” streak extended in the ACC semis.

What will make up for it? An Elite Eight or an ACCT title. Anything less, and this season will leave a very bitter taste in my mouth.

More thoughts in the morning. I need some freaking sleep.

TWO LAST THOUGHTS: The game got so out of hand that Quinton Thomas got significant minutes. Quinton f’ing Thomas! And they extended the lead with him in the game. Also, my last fuse was lit when we refused to speed up the offense or press on defense down 18 points with 5 minutes to play. But when Roy sent in the blue team in the last minute, we pressed ’em with our regulars! Way to show some real stones there, Coach!

About BJD95

1995 NC State graduate, sufferer of Les and MOC during my entire student tenure. An equal-opportunity objective critic and analyst of Wolfpack sports.

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161 Responses to Worst Loss of the Sendek Era?

  1. TVP 02/22/2006 at 11:57 PM #

    After Noel hit the wide open three to make it, I think, 41-28, I turned it off.

    What would you call someone who got pissed every morning when the sun rose in the East? Insane, right?

    So why should we get pissed at losing to UNC? Every bit as inevitable.

    Not that any particular coaching move was dispositive, but I’m wondering why exactly Herb thought the UNC game was a good time to get Fells and McCauley substantial minutes.

  2. SaccoV 02/23/2006 at 12:04 AM #

    It might very well be the worst conference loss in his tenure, even worse than blowing the ACCT semifinal against Maryland. My anger and resentment is unfortunately boiling over right now, and as I seethe, I try not to lose perspective. But I can’t. Ten years is too long to have the record against Duke and Carolina that he has. Despite all the support I’ve given, I’m not sure if there’s anything left in the well. I’m tired of being 3rd place. I’m sick of having home conference games late in the year and having the team either not show up or get thoroughly out-played. I’m disgusted that a team with such poise in certain games will look so scared and timid in others. A 23-6 record looks nice on paper but you’ve had three chances to beat the national powers around you and you didn’t get it done. You haven’t gotten it done. Defensive breakdowns, inability to convert on opportunities, complete and utter lack of rebounding skill–I’m trying to think of something positive to take from this game and there is nothing. Sorry fellows, I think that ONLY an ACC Title AND an NCAA title will wash away this lemon peel.

  3. GTG 02/23/2006 at 12:04 AM #

    Well another game has come and gone and once again Herb was outcoached. Carolina is clealy in his head and if he thought he could run with Carolina he was again dead wrong. The key to this game was Herb did not hit the reins and systematically whittle the heels down with the systematic offense we run. You heard Roys press comments, he felt he could run us into submission and he was right. This game needed to be in the 60s for State to win. Each Carolina possession needed to be at the end of a lengthly State possession that resulted in a score. It is fact, Roy has Herbs number. He is smarter, more savy, more calculating than Herb ever will be and so life goes on

  4. BJD95 02/23/2006 at 12:07 AM #

    I actually liked that 9 guys got minutes. I don’t think Fells and McCauley played any worse than anyone else.

  5. william 02/23/2006 at 12:08 AM #

    State is having a very good year, without any really superior talent. There are no Hansbroughs or Redicks on NCSU. Sendek is doing very well with the talent he has.

    If you fire Sendek, who would you hire that will be as good as K or Roy Williams? No one. Face it. NCSU is stuck in a conference with the two best coaches, by a long shot, in college basketball. There simply is no one to hire that is better than those two guys, except maybe Larry Brown.

    Hmm, maybe State could get Brown to leave the Knicks sinking ship and come to Raleigh to face his alma mater? Probably not. Bob Knight is getting pretty old and is not exactly buring it up in Texas. Otherwise, there are no coaching talents to be hired better than what NCSU already has.

  6. BJD95 02/23/2006 at 12:12 AM #

    ^ Nobody is saying we should fire Sendek. But we sure as hell aren’t satisfied with his level of success. And we won’t politely comply when told to head for the kiddie table. Shut us up, Coach. ACC title or Elite Eight. Nothing less.

  7. TVP 02/23/2006 at 12:14 AM #

    ^Parody, UNC fan, or legit? You make the call.

    I guess my question was why Brack didn’t get some of those minutes. Like I said, didn’t watch the second half, but I noticed he scored 16 in only 19 minutes of play and was for once not in foul trouble.

    And I agree that going 9 deep isn’t a bad idea, just wondering why we waited till now. They probably had “really good weeks of practice”.

  8. SaccoV 02/23/2006 at 12:15 AM #

    I said in the entry regarding the previous State-Carolina matchup that Herb was not outcoached in that game. And I still think that. But for this matchup, it wasn’t even close. Once Noel and Hansbrough got three fouls, there was NO ATTEMPT TO GET THE FOURTH!!! Simmons had success against Sanders when Hansbrough was out and we couldn’t get him the damn ball. Secondly, I’m tired of Herb being outcoached or outsmarted by Roy Williams. You’d think that a graduate of Carnegie Mellon would live up to it and be able to adapt his system and style to the flow of a game. I have not seen that type of adaptibility yet. We’re a one-trick pony, and if you take away that one-trick, we become a side-show clown. It’s one thing to get a team to buy into a concept but it’s another to have the same defensive lapses get exploited over and over and over again before you simply put someone else in to at least give the appearance of doing better. None of that happened. There is no way that this team will make a Sweet 16 or an Elite Eight or even win the ACC Title if they (or the coach) cannot adapt to an in-game situation better than tonight’s performance.

  9. DRO 02/23/2006 at 12:18 AM #

    I wouldn’t say that State doesn’t have the talent. They have got some very good players who have experience. Cedric Simmons is certainly going to be a premier player in the ACC, and it’s not his fault that Sendek doesn’t have enough sense to go to him more often. Even Billy (Fudge)Packer saw that State should have been putting the ball in Simmons’ hands each time down the court, and that’s saying something.

    UNC is a lot better than most people expected and they kept their turnovers down (for once). State needs to forget this and look ahead to BC. A loss to BC would be disastrous at this point, so they had better keep their heads on straight.

  10. MurphNCSU 02/23/2006 at 12:26 AM #


    Im watching SC right now and Bruce Webber is on the “Bud Hot Seat” right now. His tenure at Illinois before getting to a NCAA Championship game – 2 years(in 2005). The privious NCAA title game featured a coach in his 4th season, Paul Hewitt. Where were these guys before they were playing on the best Monday night in April?????

    I am tired of the argument that there isn’t posibly a better coach out there in the wide wolrd of college bball. Its the same kind of defeatist attitude which is so pervasive at NCState today.

  11. JeremyHyatt 02/23/2006 at 12:29 AM #

    I think we all went through the same pain tonite. Many of our threes that usually fall, weren’t. And the UNC guards and just everyone just simply shreaded our defense, as if there wasn’t any. They were able to exploit every single weakness we have. Outcoached and outplayed? That sounds about right– They dominated us tonite. A game you want to forget and quickly.

  12. BJD95 02/23/2006 at 12:30 AM #

    William is right about one thing – Hansbrough was the most talented player on the court tonight. But #2 through #7 were all wearing the red and white. There’s not a coach in the nation (except maybe Roy) who would rather have UNC’s roster for THIS SEASON than NC State’s.

    I hope that Coach K loses one of his last two ACC games, so that Roy or Leitao can winn COY. What they’ve done with the talent on hand is incredible.

  13. SaccoV 02/23/2006 at 12:33 AM #

    Murph is 100% correct. Our collective attitude at the athletics department is that we couldn’t find or hire someone better at any sport, which completely ludicrous. Bruce Pearl is at Tennessee, Billy Gillespie at A&M, hell, even Bart Lundy at High Point has done a darn fine job in three seasons. Even if the department believed that no one else better could be found, wouldn’t you at least look at some others to let both the fans, and the coach know that being third isn’t acceptable? Sendek has brought us to a point where we can really be competitive, but being competitive isn’t losing a home game by 24 points late in the season. Still looking for a positive out of this season and despite a 21-6 record, I can’t find it.

  14. scott 02/23/2006 at 12:42 AM #

    I’ve never been a Herb fan but you know, it’s really not his fault..I think he does the best HE can. The problem is there are too many influential State boosters who have been perfectly satisfied w/mediocre for too long. After a decade, this is Herb’s best product- that really is all that needs to be said. Maybe you can’t fire Herb, but you sure can make him feel awfully unappreciated if not downright unwelcome here (like maybe no talk of any contract extension after the season). Yes, I know he’s got some good recruits coming in, but nothing I’ve seen leads me to believe he’ll ever be able to win an ACC reg. season, the ACCT, or reach the Final 4 with it. And is there somebody we should aim to get? Try Rick Barnes..a guy who KNOWS a thing or two about going head to head against Roy.

  15. MurphNCSU 02/23/2006 at 12:52 AM #

    I guess all I really think there is to say in terms of the coaching position at NCSU is that Herb has the 3rd longest tenure of ACC coaches with atleast on full season in the conference. The two coaches with longer tenures (again minus BC) have each won NCAA titles, as have Roy and Hewitt made the final game. To see the length of Herb’s stay at NCSU, I think a reasonable person would have expected to see better results. It’s about time Herb EARN the stature which he derives in the greatest Bball conference in the universe.

  16. JohnPack 02/23/2006 at 1:08 AM #

    It was truly an ugly loss but if any solace can be taken, it was clearly the worst we have played all season and even Roy Williams admits it was UNC’s best performance so far.

    Think of it this way…think of Herb as being a scratch handicap in golf…the problem is, he is in a league with Tiger and Phil. Most everyone would kill to be a scratch handicap but when you consistently get your brains beat in by Tiger and Phil, you arent so happy.

    So what do you do?

    Rick Barnes? No..he wants a raise to come back to the ACC and he already makes a TON and since we have decided we want to be a football school, I am not sure we can ante up for that. Especially considering how long it has taken Barnes to win anything in Texas with as much talent as anyone in the country outside Durham/CH.

    Izzo? No chance.

    Webber? He took someone else’s talent and did well. Lets see how he does over the long haul.

    Hewitt? I hope that was a joke…unless you want to live and die everyyear with one or two star players. Hewitt is starting to look a lot like Cremens. Does well when he has a superstar but very mediocre when he doesnt.

    Billy Donovan? Why would he leave Florida? Nice job where the pressure is nil.

    Mark Few? Does anyone really think Gonzaga would be this good if they played in a real conference year in and year out?

    Any answers?

  17. Josh 02/23/2006 at 1:09 AM #

    Let’s think about this…who does state traditionally struggle against….teams with pure athletic ability and teams that run up and down the court (i.e. carolina). Herb has done nothing wrong, and like someone has said before he is doing the best with his talent. State does not match up well against UNC, but they do against BC. However, UNC does not match up welll against BC. Let’s just think about this, there has been numerous coaches who have extremely long tenures, and have not won the BIG ONE (Eddie Sutton, Jim Boehiem not until a few years ago, etc.) So lets get off of Herbs back and enjoy the 21-6 season we are having.

  18. blpack 02/23/2006 at 1:21 AM #

    The author read my mind. Terrible loss and an ACCT title or Elite 8 are the only things to make up for it. Yeah, we are having a good season, but does anyone think we can achieve greatness this season? It’s not looking likely.

  19. MurphNCSU 02/23/2006 at 1:24 AM #


    I don’t have any. But I am recent college grad looking for work, not the AD of a Div 1 school. All I was tying to point out is that there seem to be several coaches who seem to move from mid-majors each year to major programs who seem to have instant sucess. Who are the genuises locating these coaches in the great fog of mediocre coaching ranks? I was simply suggesting that the premise that there arent talented coaches out there is a false hood.

    As for the – we don’t match up well with the “athletic Tarheels” premise.
    We didn’t have any trouble beating a more athletic (and future champion0 UNC team three years ago. Wonder what the difference is? COACHING!!!

    As for the long tenure no BIG one theory. Those coaches atleast had great success in their own conference. The fact that their talent wasn’t enough to outmatch the better teams from the rest of the county doesn’t downgrade thier records. Herb is now 13-44 against the other NC ACC teams and under .500 in the ACC as a whole. These are not the stats of a Successful 10 year coach.

  20. MurphNCSU 02/23/2006 at 1:38 AM #


    Sorry I can’t help but take off on your analogy. If K and Roy are Tige and Lefty, than the NCAAT is a Major and the ACC tourney/regular season title is a respectable PGA tour event. In keeping with the analogy, Herb is lacking a single win on tour, a tour card, and middling somewhere on the Nationwide tour. I think we all wish that Herb was our very own Jason Gore(2005 US Open), on the verge of something special and maybe even miraculous. But I hate to say it, THE GLASS SLIPPER JUST DONT FIT.

  21. topOtheorder 02/23/2006 at 1:38 AM #


    I hate this loss as much as the next guy, but reeling off Bruce Webber or Paul Hewitt and what they did in year whatever is ridiculous. I will bet Bruce Webber never smells another final without Bill Self’s recruits, and Paul Hewitt is coaching a losing season in this, his 6th season. There’s no reason to throw any upstarts or golden boys in other conferences who have never competed night in and night out in the ACC-Duke-UNC conference into the conversation—that’s apples and oranges. And using someone who just lost his 12th game in 13 tries against Coach K is pathetic…

    This problem with UNC and Duke runs deeper than just Herb Sendek, although, after tonight, I would be willing to try just about anybody at the helm. It is so !@#$%^&* frustrating. Only a win over BC and a revenge win over UNC in the ACCT alleviates the pain I feel tonight. But, that’s just the pain of this ONE game.

    The problem is much bigger. Just think back in the ACC…Bobby Cremins had some nice success in the ACC, but he never moved K or Dean from top dog status, and the winningest coach GT has ever had was removed after a great fall to the NIT and worse losing. The “great” Rick Barnes that all State fans love (including myself) NEVER won an ACC Title and chose not to come back and try and compete against K and Roy when UVA came calling (scared?? no balls??). Dave Odom lucked out and got Childress and Duncan and the success those guys brought, but that was it for him—he never could out recruit UNC or Duke, and he ended up just like Bobby Cremins. Prosser looked like the man, lucking out and getting Chris Paul thanks to Matt Doherty, but he didn’t do much with that talent, and now he’s in the toilet—another guy who busted his head against the rocks that are Duke and UNC. Paul Hewitt still has a chance to do well, but do you excuse his record vs Duke, lack of titles, and LOSSES in championship games when Herbie doesn’t get an excuse for 3 ACCT Final losses and paltry records vs K and Roy?? Dave Leito may be the man of the future, but didn’t a lot of people say the same thing about Pete Gillen?? Will Dave Leito really supplant UVA at the top of the heap with Duke and UNC or will his big success be winning a few non-rivalry games against our rivals when they are sleeping in Charlottesville??

    I have no idea…What I do know is that I appreciate V more and more as time passes…I’m not sure anything short of the Second Coming is going to change the dynamic with Duke and UNC…

  22. lumberpack 02/23/2006 at 2:01 AM #

    I really think that NCSU fan’s are the stupidest, most gullable collection of people to currently walk the Earth. The least talented basketball coach NCSU has ever had has clipped the fans for millions of dollars and delivered nothing but embarassment for years and years and years. Keeping drinking that herbie koolaide fools.

  23. itravel 02/23/2006 at 2:07 AM #

    i agree with TopOtheOrder – it’s going to be hard to beat UNC/Duke unless you’ve got top-notch players. the NCSU-UNC is a big rivalry, so they get up for every game. We are supposed to also, but somehow that doesn’t happen yet. Herb’s getting better every year. He didn’t know how to coach in the ACC his first few years (he got lucky in his first ACC tournament). But, he learned… now he has to modify his offense and defense to handle teams that are quicker than we are (because it doesn’t look like he’ll get players that are better than carolina or duke… remember that Quinten @W%# Thomas is a 3-star recruit – just like cameron, brackman, grant… the only player we have above 3 stars is Simmons – 4-Star). building a program takes time. herb is still young and he’ll continue to improve! i’ve followed college basketball for 15 years and one thing that stands out is how important 5-star players are. you have duds, but in general, you need a few to win big. i don’t know about the senior trio of wittenburg, lowe, and bailey (that was right before my time) – but i thought they were highly recruited. look at hodge – he wasn’t even that good of a 5-star, and he helped turn our program. i believe that herb is also getting better at choosing recruits. we haven’t had a dud in a while! i’d like to see a story about how important 4 and 5 star recruits predict a college basketball team’s success. check out the rivals.com recruiting database… it’s quite interesting seeing how well carolina and duke have recruited – it seems that those two teams have more 4 and 5 star players than the rest of the ACC combined!

    remember, one loss doesn’t make a season – and it only really matters in the tournament!

  24. JeremyHyatt 02/23/2006 at 2:28 AM #

    i agree with itravel — recruiting is a huge part of this. even though they lost 7 lottery picks, the next recruiting class picks up where they left off, and Carolina (and Duke) will continue to get the most talented kids, just look at scout.com…. not because of the coaching, not because of the facilities, but because the girl:guy ratio at UNC-CH is sooo much better than at NC State, and I’m sure all the chicken-heads come out to play when a recruit visits, you just can’t compete with all their hotties! Or at least that’s my theory….

  25. WufObx 02/23/2006 at 6:03 AM #

    Y’know, I think I could box out and rebound better than the boys did last night… c’mon, fellas….

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