We will leave the comments to Tudor, as he continues to hit home runs related to the Herb Sendek situation at NC State. Today’s beauty is akin to Tom Sorenesen’s piece last week that was discussed here. If you haven’t seen Tudor’s previous gem from a couple of weeks ago, click here.
The prevailing question about N.C. State basketball, both for the short and long term, is how successful can the program be with Herb Sendek as coach?
My thinking on that issue hasn’t changed a great deal over the years.
The Wolfpack can be good, but not great, with Sendek
After 10 seasons, Sendek has coached enough games in Raleigh to demonstrate a general pattern. He is 72-88 in ACC regular-season games and 13-10 in the ACC Tournament. His NCAA Tournament record is 5-5. Those numbers aren’t dog slobber all over your term paper, of course.
Lots of schools would love to have a coach with those kinds of credentials. Sendek has built a top-30 program and reached the NCAA Tournament five straight years. Sendek recruits quality players, and State puts great stock in such factors.
It’s clear the school’s leaders are convinced there isn’t a better coaching alternative. Barring radical changes in the administration’s thinking, Sendek will have job security into the foreseeable future.
So Sendek has done a good job. Good, not great.
Sendek has substantially more supporters in high places than among the masses.
And progressively, those people in the middle of the spectrum will become more difficult to silence. Those folks want more than Sendek has delivered. They want league titles and Final Four runs, the sorts of achievements the Pack has produced in the past.
The dissent isn’t hurting State’s basketball economy, so far. Most of the seats in the RBC Center are sold. The basketball program’s revenue stream flows in a profitable direction, win or lose. The bottom line is there, but the enthusiasm isn’t. In fact, it’s in decline.
That is Sendek’s biggest problem. He has won over the administration, the faculty and the hearts of his players. But he hasn’t earned the confidence of State’s rank-and-file supporters.
So what can Sendek do to overcome that problem?
Sendek is doing enough to keep his job. But he isn’t doing enough to create genuine excitement among the fans about the future.
Sooner or later, that has to change.