Sunday’s Sidney Wrap-up

The NC State point guard that wore #35 in route to winning the 1983 National Basketball Championship was formally announced as NC State’s 7th Head Coach in the post World War II era yesterday after a 35 day search.

Pack Pride did a super job covering yesterday’s Sidney Lowe events with both a comprehensive webrun of articles and multimedia coverage of yesterday’s events. (video of Sidney at track / audio of players reaction)

Pictures from Saturday’s Press Conference

I thought that Lowe/Fowler did a very good job of laying out the search timeline in a manner than helped insulate Fowler/State from further crticism. During Saturday’s press conference, Coach Sidney Lowe talked about how he had stayed in contact with Lee Fowler throughout the process of the Wolfpack’s search but didn’t really become a candidate until the last couple of weeks. He mentioned he kept telling Fowler that:

“We needed someone who understands NC State, the tradition and the history. . . we needed someone who understands the ACC . . . we needed someone who understood that when you walk out of your house, your neighbor might be wearing blue . . . I realized that was me.�

If you were at Saturday’s events, then please feel free to share thoughts in our comments section. I also welcome you to share any particular quotes from any of the days articles that you like.

Lowe, 46, couldn’t stop smiling Saturday. At his introductory news conference at the Dail Basketball Complex, he looked out into an audience that had so many old friends and familiar faces, that included his new players and some of his teammates from ’83 — Ernie Myers, Cozell McQueen and Alvin Battle among them…

…After flashing the wolf sign with his right hand, Lowe used a bullhorn to address the crowd. “I can’t explain how touching this is,” he said. “I know how passionate our fans are and I look forward to being home and playing Wolfpack basketball. We’re going to restore this thing to where it should be. We’re headed in the right direction,” Lowe said. “We just want to continue to grow and go a little further in the tournament and do a little better.”

Having Fun
Coach Lowe has come back to Raleigh stressing few rules and the importance of family and fun. The Winston-Salem Journal‘s piece this morning focuses on the “fun” angle or yesterday’s events.

I was definitely impressed with the way he talked to the team,” guard Gavin Grant said. “He told us he wanted us to be free and have fun. Herb was more of a – I don’t really want to talk about Herb, but he wasn’t focused on having fun. He was more focused on, ‘We gotta win’ and it was his way or no way at all.

“I think Coach Lowe is going to let guys express themselves and play like they want to play. The Princeton offense, I don’t think that offense fit me and a couple other guys on the team. I think now that we have a coach who understands where we’re coming from that played like some of us here, things should be better.”

The Fayetteville Observer also touched on the topic with some additional quotes.

(Courtney) Fells and his teammates were also refreshed by Lowe’s emphasis on having fun, something that may not have been stressed enough under former coach Herb Sendek.

Lowe let his players know what he is about, exciting them with his talk of playing up-tempo and his vision of winning it all.

“The way he stressed having fun, that really brought smiles to our faces,� Fells said. “And I’ll be truthful, we really haven’t been smiling the last couple of months. Now we’ve got a new energy.�

General NCS Basketball Sidney Lowe

46 Responses to Sunday’s Sidney Wrap-up

  1. BJD95 05/07/2006 at 10:06 AM #

    You can’t help but be excited by hearing those remarks by Sid, Grant, and Fells. I was at the 7:00 “bullhorn” event, and learned from another spectator that Costner is now around 6’11”. If Ced and Brack come back, Sid is going to have one hell of a front line at his disposal. Sans Princeton, you certainly won’t see this group outrebounded on a nightly basis.

    Jeff – I’m not buying that Costner growth spurt until I see it. That sounds very much like urban legend run amuck. He’s a 3F / 4F. No 5C.

    We need to go recruit some big guys. Period. We have roster spots available. I would LOVE to see us go get a JUCO post man to have another body inside.

    I also wouldn’t be against making a run at Scottie Reynolds, who has listed us as an option in the past. Who WOULDN’T want a McDonald’s A-A point guard who is projected to play a combo guard at college? How would that be for Sidney’s first get? That would be quite a splash and quite and immediate impact.

  2. tvp 05/07/2006 at 10:13 AM #

    From the Herald-Sun:

    “Me getting a lot of shots?” Simmons quipped Saturday. “It’d be a step up from last year.”

    “It could be kind of like a head start,” Simmons said. “He knows what it takes to get to the league. He can look at my game and tell me what I need to work on to make myself better, to put myself in a better situation.”

    Still think Ced probably goes given the projections, but if he comes back…

    Also, Gavin didn’t exactly pull any punches:

    “Guys have been worrying about who was going to be the coach. When it was (West Virginia coach John) Beilein, it was like ‘Oh no, it’s Herb all over again’,” Grant said. “I am a New York City kid, I need the up-tempo … getting to the basket and taking shots we weren’t able to take last year.”

    I love how Coach Harris is coming back as well. You could tell that was big for the players. Basically to a man they talked about how he was the one who recruited them…but, but, I though the fans made things so miserable for the staff that they couldn’t wait to get out!!!

  3. Kingfish76 05/07/2006 at 10:34 AM #

    From the remarks by Ced and Gavin, it sounds like the players are not entirely sorry that Herb is gone.

    With Harris’ return and Towe on board, I can’t help but feel optimistic about our future. And it’s been a while!!!

  4. forst8 05/07/2006 at 11:00 AM #

    Can you feel the fresh air???

  5. TNPackFan 05/07/2006 at 11:02 AM #

    I loved how Lowe not only spoke to the current players (especially his not-so-subtle speech to Ced about getting the ball to the big man), but also to future recruits. He talked about the responsibilities of taking care of young men and not just making them good basketball players, but also good people. He also said that if any of the players have a problem, basketball related or not, they should come directly to him. I can’t imagne Herb saying something like that. When you combine that father-figure mentality along with his NBA experience and his “have fun” spproach, he should be able to land some big-time recruits.

  6. James 05/07/2006 at 11:28 AM #

    I liked how Lowe played up the need to “restore” our basketball tradition. It was commentary that lended more than subtle credence to the long-held position of the “lunatic fringe” that the program under Sendek was not matching up to our historical profile.

    Regarding his commitment to the team “having fun,” I can’t imagine how much relief I would garner from that if I was a player on a team going from a micromanager like Sendek to a more relaxed atmosphere under Lowe. I strongly suspect that our teams won’t play as tight under Lowe as they did under Sendek.

  7. chilly water 05/07/2006 at 11:29 AM #

    Im ready for the up-tempo, the fresh air, the ability to create, thats what basketballs all about. The princton off. had to many restrictiion, and didnt allow the “fun” we will be having. As brown pelican would have said, “Its on now Bubba!”.

  8. Cardiff Giant 05/07/2006 at 11:52 AM #

    This pretty much puts the nail in the coffin for those thinking that the players bought into Herb’s offense. The remarks in question are a validation of the contrary.

    As someone said, a huge breath of fresh air. You could feel it at the welcome ceremony, even if Anabel Vaughan was too dumb to provide Sid a functional bullhorn.

  9. Cardiff Giant 05/07/2006 at 11:53 AM #

    Interestingly, I can see Ms. Cardiff-to-be and me in the photo on the front page of the N&O sports section this AM, though you really can’t see my “TUCK THE FARHEELS” letters on my red shirt.

  10. Pakkfan 05/07/2006 at 11:59 AM #

    I’m still worried this is all a dream too good to be true.

    Sidney Lowe – 8 assists 0 turnovers in a full 40 minutes of play in the National Championship game.

  11. hoop 05/07/2006 at 12:19 PM #

    Wow, even the players were tired of Herb and his offense. I’m sure they’r excited to have someone they can relate to as their head coach.

    Almost as surprising was one of Cedric’s quotes saying “I don’t think my family’s situation is real bad or real terrible. It’s not like we’re hurting for money or anything. The decision is based on me, not my family or my parents.”

    So it’s clear his family situation is not an overriding factor in his decision. It looks like with Coach Harris returning (“I’m very proud to see coach Harris back”) and Coach Lowe promising on having fun and getting Ced the ball, there’s at least a decent chance he will stay!

  12. SF79PACK 05/07/2006 at 12:27 PM #

    CG…now I know who you are. Noticed your shirt as you walked up and had to read again to make sure what it said. Yesterday was a great day for the Wolfpack! Coach said all the right things and it sounds like all the players are excited again. I know I am! It was great to shake hands with the man and speak with him. He was also nice enough to sign my sons jersey. All my son could say was “cool”. Other than adding a few pounds he looked just like he did back when we were in school. I know some of the younger fans can’t relate to what we had and the excitement we felt back in the days of ’83 watching them win the title, burning couches on Hillsborough, partying on the brickyard, etc, etc, etc. But this hire really brings those memories back and I hope will bring those days back also. I would like to re-live days like that again with my kids and show them how exciting Wolfpack Basketball was and can be again. I believe Coach Lowe, along with the staff he’s putting together can show us those days again. Can’t you just see it now….Grant flying down the court, between the legs pass to Simmons, Simmons dunking on Hansbrough just like Lowe to Bailey over Perkins! OK…I’m calm now. Again, Great day for the Pack.

  13. redfred2 05/07/2006 at 12:30 PM #

    Not only are the players finally being honest and letting go of their true feelings.

  14. Cardiff Giant 05/07/2006 at 12:32 PM #

    ^ Yeah, I’ve worn that shirt precisely once since I bought it three years ago, but yesterday seemed like the day.

    On another note, did anyone notice this additional, and VERY interesting, Gavin Grant quote that did not make the N&O?

    “It’s relief and excitement in the same sense,” said forward Gavin Grant, a rising junior. “I don’t think we could’ve held out much longer without a coach. Schools were calling players trying to get them to transfer.”

    Looks like Fowler salvaged the situation in the nick of time. What a maroon.

  15. redfred2 05/07/2006 at 12:37 PM #

    Lowe has expriences that will earn the immediate respect from his players and potential recruits. He also has a personality that will engender him and make them play their hearts for him at practices, and in games.

    It would be nice, and it’s not out of the question, but I don’t expect anything involving an immediate turn around, this is going to be an uphill struggle with some low points along the way. What I do expect to see is some no holds barred, very exciting college basketball once again, with players leaving everything they have on the court, night after night.

    I hope Sidney Lowe isn’t shy about watching his own game films, along with those of the Thompson era, in front of his players and potential recruits. That’s whats been missing with the new group, an ability to believe that we were the greatest basketball program in the ACC, and the college basketball nation, at one time, and in reality, not so long ago. There has to be a bridge that will instill that unbelievable feeling back into the younger generation of players, and fans.

    Lee Fowler may have blindly stumbled onto to the proverbial golden goose.

  16. wayofthemaster 05/07/2006 at 12:52 PM #

    All the articles I read (and even some of the posts) keep talking about next year’s team struggling. I understand that sentiment if Ced leaves…
    but… if he comes back, where is the drop-off?

    Bennerman – replaced by Fells – advantage: push
    Evtimov – replaced by Costner – advantage: push
    Bethel – replaced by Davis – advantage: push

    Again, where is the drop-off?

    SFN – Fells has ZERO experience thanks to Herb’s decision not to play him. You honestly think a Senior (Cam) being replaced by an inexperienced sophomore is a “push”? Same goes for Bethel/Davis.

    Additionally, any normal offense needs a true point guard. Herb’s system was frustrating…but it was built to ompensate for his inability to land a point guard. Look at what happened to an otherswise talented Wake Forest program this year without a point guard. I expect most people’s conclusion of a “drop off” next year innately incorporates the point guard situation into their thoughts.

    ^ This is why it would be very nice if State could make a run at Scotty Reynolds who has been released from his LOI at Oklahoma.

  17. redfred2 05/07/2006 at 1:01 PM #


    I agree. The upside is nothing but positive. I just think that there needs to be a little leeway given for all the adjustments involved with a whole new staff, and a new beginning for everyone involved. Immediate expectations, without some patience, will hurt everything.

  18. packfan80 05/07/2006 at 1:18 PM #

    speaking of micro managing…..”Dont look at me when you make a mistake, just fix it”…those are words i like to hear from Sid….the players were afraid to make a mistake under the old regime…, they are free to take chances….the greater the chances the greater the rewards…”have fun”

  19. Dan 05/07/2006 at 1:21 PM #

    Bennerman – replaced by Fells – advantage: push
    Evtimov – replaced by Costner – advantage: push
    Bethel – replaced by Davis – advantage: push

    I think it goes more like this:

    Evtimov – replaced by Costner – advantage: Costner
    Bennerman – replaced by Grant- advantage: push
    Bethel – replaced by “insert spot up shooter of which we have a ton”- advantage: push

  20. class of 74 05/07/2006 at 1:38 PM #

    What we saw yesterday was the equivalent of a family homecoming. You saw pure joy in the present and former players eyes. This is VERY important. We have NEVER really properly utilized the family members (former players) as we could have or should have.

    I can forsee where we will have many more of these days ahead, where Coach Lowe will gather the family to celebrate and promote our basketball program. I see this as the start of a long period of high achievements for this program. As flawed as the process was in arriving at this conclusion, I must say it seems to be working to our advantage and in a big way!

    There are two former coaches, who have passed on, that must be awfully
    proud right now. I can hardly wait for the 2006- 2007 season to begin.

  21. Hawkeye Whitney 05/07/2006 at 1:39 PM #

    I am so excited about seeing Sid’s offense that I can barely contain myself. Sid’s “fun” philosophy will mean more fun for us, the fans, as well. I am even planning to watch the Detroit game at 3:30 today, just to see if they talk about Sid and so that I can dream a little bit.

  22. redfred2 05/07/2006 at 1:45 PM #


    Costner over Etimov? In this new day, maybe. Two different styles, both with skills, but in totally different areas. I won’t bring up any points on Etimov, that is water under the bridge now.

  23. 1roofgod 05/07/2006 at 1:48 PM #

    Has Engin decided to leave? I misse that, because I haven’t seen a mention of him or his status or “opinions” anywhere recently. I think he may be the key to the next team “adhering” to Sidney’s plans…he will most certainly play harder and he too may even have “fun”…So? Any word?

  24. kevirose 05/07/2006 at 1:59 PM #

    roofgod – this doesn’t sound like a quote from a player ready to leave:

    “The fact he was a part of the State family, that he was a big-time player and won a national championship … you respect him big time,” said guard Engin Atsur, a rising senior. “He knows what it takes to win.”

    Sounds like Engin’s happy.

  25. Joepack 05/07/2006 at 2:03 PM #

    This was in Andrew Jones’ article from the Wilmington Star…

    “Atsur confirmed he will return for his senior season and not play professionally in his native Turkey. He has just 20 credit hours left to earn his degree, and he looks forward to his final year.”

    Sounds like he is happy indeed.

    SFN – Thanks so much for sharing this. Having Atsur return is going to be huge for us next year. We can’t play up tempo with him at the point…but, he is dependable, a helluva defensive player, and will keep defenses honest with his 3-point shooting to create spacing and passing lanes to the post.

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