Tough Week in the Media for Sendek

When it rains, it pours.

As NC State’s “great season” was being exposed as a farce built on the back of another embarassingly poor schedule, Coach Herb Sendek was simultaneously taking quite a few body-blows in the press over the last couple of weeks. In addition to this insightful piece from the Fayetteville Observer, the following are some of the to hightlight a few:

Fundamentally Weak
Ken Tysiac of the Charlotte Observer is still relatively new to these parts. His lack of historical knowledge of Tobacco Road skews his perspective a little less than the average newbie, but he has been pretty consistent in lending a sympathetic ear to Herb Sendek in the past. (We’ve chronicled some of his articles here)

After the Wake Forest debacle this weekend, Tysiac was open-minded enough to share the following:

“N.C. State coach Herb Sendek needs to drill his post players on fundamentals during the offseason. Cedric Simmons needs to learn the art of establishing position in the post, and the entire front line should be taught how to box out and explode toward the ball on the defensive glass. Come to think of it, Sendek should have drilled them on these skills long before now.”

Perhaps Ken is starting to understand why the only post player that Herb Sendek has coached in a decade to make the NBA left the program under unhappy conditions after only two years? (More on Josh Powell here). Just think if Ken had TEN YEARS of living this? Maybe he would have put some of this together before now.

Sports Illustrated Slap
Sports Illustrated conducted an unscientific poll of annonymous players currently on ACC rosters. The results were quite interesting on many fronts. They were downright bad news for Herb Sendek.

Duke …. 73%
“Everybody in the country respects [Mike Krzyzewski]. His players definitely listen to him. When we played them, they were always looking to the bench for instructions.” … “There’s not a possession where they don’t get after it.”

Roy Williams, UNC …. 36%
“He’s a winner, and he seems like a player’s coach — he gets along with the guys and knows how to have some fun.”

Herb Sendek, N.C. STATE 36%
“It’s hard to play against, but I hate his offense.” … “That backdoor stuff just isn’t for me.”

One ‘insightful’ poster on Pack Pride indicated that he didn’t care what other players thought of our coach. He cared what OUR players thought of our coach. I couldn’t help but wonder what this poster thought of “OUR PLAYERS ” that have thought so much of Sendek that they have defected from his program at a higher rate than any program/coach in the ACC over the last decade? But, I quickly forgot about our transfers and defections when I started realizing that EVERY high school player in the country is a potential State player and has the opportunity to see this poll.

N&O Letters to the Editor
The Sunday edition of the letters to the editor in the News & Observer included a succinct and accurate portrayal of how the majority of average NC State fans – those not in the Top 10 of the Wolfpack Club rankings – feel. It has been getting a lot of conversation in internet land…so, I thought that I would share.

State fan resigned, accepts ‘mediocrity’
First, I am a N.C. State fan. But I have also resolved myself to accept mediocrity. I no longer believe that State will ever win an ACC men’s basketball championship, let alone a national one. In fact, I don’t see State beating UNC or Duke in the near or distant future.

Let’s face it, the program is mediocre at best and it has been crammed down my throat. The goals are to get to the NCAA Tournament with a padded out-of-conference schedule, hopefully win a conference game or two, and call it a “successful” season. Oh, joy!

Coach Herb Sendek is an engineer, a mathematician. He thinks in black and white. He is rigid. Everything must be exactly as he sees it. Coaches Mike Krzyzewski and Roy Williams think in gray. They adjust, they adapt to the next team they play.

Sendek does not recruit any top players. I think the last first-team All-America was David Thompson. There are no State players in the pros. Yet “K” and Williams reload every season with “blue chip” talent.

Yes, State has had another “successful” season. I am happy because I have been force-fed mediocrity. What else can I expect?

One thing is for sure, I still have my memories of the Thompson years, and neither UNC nor Duke can take those from me. I just know now those times are gone forever.

Gary Evans

General Media NCS Basketball Quotes of Note

13 Responses to Tough Week in the Media for Sendek

  1. Mike 03/06/2006 at 4:29 PM #

    HS recruits read this stuff too, and they do not want to play here. Not the blue chippers anyway. They want to play for Roy and K, where they have a chance to get to the next level. We keep getting guys that “fit the program” when we read the synopses of the recruits. Give Herb some credit for finding guys who fit the program. In other words, this guy could not play for Duck or Orange County Community College because they dont have the talent, but they fit Herb’s system well and will make a nice contribution.

    I read something interesting the other day, I think on about how Redick will become the next Duck player to flop in the pros. Interesting article stating how K gets the best of these so-so players and turns them into great college players, but then they cannot transition into pros. Anyway, I found it interesting that all of K’s Burger AA’s are marginal talents. The only players for Herb in the pros are the ones who left early, Powell, Wilkins (yes Damien is holding his own and got a contract extension). Where is Hodge today? He was the HS player of the year in some outlets and could not make the Denver roster. Development?

    Ced has a long way to go, and many threads earlier this year on the SFN were talking about him going too. I stated in a couple he has no business leaving early, and I think his play the 2nd half of the season has backed my point. However, thinking about it some more, the earlier Ced leaves the better off his pro career will be.

    The end of the season has brought out the truth. We won several close games that we should have won by more, but W’s are W’s, inflating the record and saying what a great year we are having. This has not been a great year, we won some lucky games. The 3 L’s in a row are indicative of the team we have – it just took some time to expose the fraud we are.

  2. ncsslim 03/06/2006 at 4:32 PM #

    It’s gotten to the point with me that my blood boils everytime I see the man’s face on the screen. I’m not proud of that situation, but it’s a fact. In my eyes, he stands for everything that’s wrong with NC State athletics, whether it’s fair or not (and it’s not). He certainly doesn’t deserve that level of disdain, I’m sure he is a highly decent man, but please, put us out of this misery. I was thinking during the VTech game a couple of weeks ago (when we totally stunk up the joint blowing a big lead, but still backing into yet another win over a hapless team) that who possibly could be
    “enjoying” this crap, win or lose? I now (after three straight miserable losses) recognize that winning is the better choice, but exciting, competitive basketball is a lost art at NCSU and I’m old enough to remember when that was the norm, not just a distant memory that so many of this generation can only imagine.

  3. Washington Wolf 03/06/2006 at 4:49 PM #

    Too bad none of it will make a difference. Our AD, Chancellor and big time donors are satisfied with mediocrity.

  4. ncsumatman 03/06/2006 at 4:53 PM #

    I agree whole-heartedly on Herb’s lack of development, and to me that is the most concerning part of this past decade. Looking at players like Evtimov and Atsur, and to some extent even J Hodge, they were as good when they walked onto the campus as they were when they walked off. There is no greater tell tale sign of a coach, and Herb obviously is doing these men a disservice by failing to prepare them for the future. NCSU is an academic institution, is Herb fulfilling his role as an educator?

  5. Andy 03/06/2006 at 4:55 PM #

    For what its worth I still enjoy watching them.

    Also I don’t think the 3 game losing streak is “indicative of the team we have” nor was the lofty rankings earlier in the season. They are a top 20-30 team that can play with top teams but also lose to bad teams.

    Also Damien didn’t exactly tear it up at Georgia so maybe put that one on the player not on Herb.

    Again I’m the naive optimist, but I can say that as a kid I’ve seen them lose to Campbell and 3-23 Florida Atlantic in Reynolds so “mediocrity” looks pretty good in comparison.

  6. Andy 03/06/2006 at 4:57 PM #

    I disagree that he hasn’t developed players. Julius made huge leaps from freshman to sophmore, and sophmore to junior years. Also other players have improved greatly, Grundy and Bennerman are two that come to mind.

  7. Jeff 03/06/2006 at 5:06 PM #

    ^ So Julius would not have made those improvements if anyone else would have coached him? Just because a gym rat’s game got a little better doesn’t mean that Herb was responsible for it.

    “I learned a lot of stuff – more stuff in this training camp than in four years of college, and it’s helped me.â€?

    — Julius Hodge after his first week of NBA practice

    They are a top 20-30 team that can play with top teams but also lose to bad teams.

    At what point do you think it is necessary to start beating “top 20-30 teams” to actually justify a presumption that we are a top 20-30 team?

    Seriously. we are 1-5 vs the Top 25 RPI this year. Herb Sendek is 12-56 (reg season) vs the Top 25 before this season.

    He was 13-18 vs just #25 – #50 before this season.

    How can people proclaim that we are so good when we don’t compete with teams whom we say we are better?

  8. Fish 03/06/2006 at 5:18 PM #

    Some supporters obviously were never followers of the program in the modern era of basketball (post 1970s through 1991).

    Why is that some followers assume in order for State to be better than average we will be a renegade program? We will not. We are just one good coach and a few new assistants from being the type of team that all State fans can be proud of. We are not asking to be 35-0 every year but we are deserving of more than Sendeck.

  9. WTNY 03/06/2006 at 5:36 PM #

    From the DBR ( :

    *”State managed to lose to Wake Forest today, 76-63, to add to their late season swoon. Wake just had it all over State for most of the game. It was embarrassing.”*

  10. Cardiff Giant 03/06/2006 at 6:36 PM #

    It’s not embarassing when it’s the norm. It’s unacceptable to everyone but Jethro Fowler.

  11. Jordan 03/06/2006 at 7:15 PM #

    Your comments are very similar to “Syd” who posted a week or so ago. I can’t find it right now but it’s worth a look.

  12. VaWolf82 03/06/2006 at 7:44 PM #

    How can people proclaim that we are so good when we don’t compete with teams whom we say we are better?

    Now you are just being silly. Everyone knows that you don’t have to actually win to be competitive. I’m almost sure that I’ve had people explain to me how State is competitive with UNC, even though Herb is 0-6 against Roy. 😉

  13. MurphNCSU 03/06/2006 at 9:47 PM #

    On the subject of responsible jounalism, Tim Peeler’s post-Wake GoPack article stated that despite the loss State, “still finishes in a tie for third place in the final regular-season standings”. I emailed him as soon as I saw the article on GoPack and asked for a correction. The article remains on the site unchanged(although atleast no longer on the front page) despite the email I recieved from Mr. Peeler stating the error had been corrected. It might seem like a small error, but since many State fans only know of GoPack and believe it to be a “reputable” outlet, a liitle bit of mis-information goes a long way.

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