Bias, Big Ten, ACC, Cedric & Coaching

Similar to this entry last week, there are quite a few of relevant stories out there that many Wolfpackers probably have a lot of interest in discussing. We will number these items so that you can reference which nugget to which you are referring in your comments.

(1) The Big Ten Network (Link)
You read that correctly. The Big Ten is starting its own satellite-based television network

Beginning in 2007, the conference will place some of its football and basketball (as well as minor sports) content on DirecTV, the satellite service with approximately 15 million subscribers.

One key question: How much will subscribers have to pay to get games on The Big Ten Channel. Within DirecTV is a service called “Sports Pack” that features — for an added fee — 25 specialty and regional networks, including all the Fox Sports Net, MSG and the Yes Network (Yankees baseball). Sports Pack has only three million subscribers.

(2) Len Bias Tragedy
Can you believe that it was 20 years ago this week that Len Bias passed away?

It was the summer after my freshman year in high school and I will never forget sitting in the den of my (parents) house in an old blue recliner when CBS (national) had a morning newsbreak (maybe they broke into programming) to announce that Len Bias had died. Evidently, as Dave Sez in this super piece, I am not the only person to remember where I was when Bias passed. Dave Sez’s comments also link a couple of great articles from Washington newspapers.

Everyone of my generation remembers where they were when they heard the news of Bias’ death. I was home for the summer after my sophomore year of high school. I worked as a bus boy, so went to bed late. When, I woke up on the morning of June 19 at the crack of noon, I flipped on SportsCenter and very quickly heard the news. It stunned me. How could Len Bias, the biggest, baddest mother around die just like that? At that point in my life I had never been around cocaine (and to my great fortune, never since either), but sitting there watching that story unfold, I quickly determined that I would never, ever touch that stuff. If it could kill Len Bias, it could kill me. I’d never take that chance.

The Courtmaster also has a great entry about the Bias tragedy that is worth your time. Lastly, CelticsBlog has a whole host of links worth on Bias accessible here.

(3) Dodd Not an ACC Fan
Excuse me for my confusion in trying to follow Dennis Dodd’s “reasoning” in his little tirade against the ACC in this piece. Let’s see…you have to “win something” before you can really brag about how good you are…but the conference can’t boast about Carolina’s 2005 National Basketball Championship because it wasn’t delivered by Miami, VPI, or BC? Wow. I guess all those beer breaks with Greg Dickhead can’t help but ruin ones ‘thinking’. I guess that Dennis will let us know whenever the ACC is allowed to brag about its national-standard-setting balance between athletics and academics.

(4) Cedric #20 Athlete
We’ve talked about Cedric Simmons and the impact of his departure on next year’s version of the NC State basketball program. Simmons has continued to climb the draft projections and recently was ranked as the #20th best athlete in this year’s NBA Draft.

(5) Coaching Carousel
State’s search for a new head basketball coach in April got us all deeper into the evolving coaching carousel than usual (even though I love following the revolving door). Some interesting tidbits have evolved recently that is worth some commenting:

* The University of New Orleans has replaced Monte Towe with Buzz Williams, from Billy Gillispie’s staff at Texas A&M. (Link) I am obviously a huge fan of Gillispie and was a little disappointed in the middle of the NC State search that Lee Fowler wasn’t more prepared and more committed to making a real run at Billy G. Gillispie now has to replace his entire staff after Steve Forbes (really…his name is Steve Forbes) left College Station for Bruce Pearl at Tennessee.

* Steve Alford has received a contract extension and pay raise at Iowa. (Link). Iowa probably now inherits the disctinction as the nation’s most consistently stagnant basketball program after the Sendek to Sidney transition in Raleigh.

* Tom Herrion has been bought out at the College of Charleston. The College of Knowledge will probably make another run at Winthrop’s Greg Marshall. Marshall turned down the job about 4 or 5 years ago stating that he didn’t want to follow local legend, John Kresse. He doesn’t have that problem now.

* A guy with the personality of Herb Sendek…whose last game was a loss to NC State…and whom has to compete with Coach Sendek in the Pac-10 has been inked for 2 more years. (Link)

General Media NCS Basketball NCS Football

20 Responses to Bias, Big Ten, ACC, Cedric & Coaching

  1. choppack1 06/21/2006 at 7:55 AM #

    Isn’t ESPN already kind of like a Big 10 network – or are they just anti-ACC?

  2. Jeff 06/21/2006 at 8:11 AM #

    I don’t necessarily feel that^ way.

  3. choppack1 06/21/2006 at 8:44 AM #

    Jeff – I guess I just think that the Big 10 is hugely over-rated in both basketball and football. Every year, we do the ACC-Big 10 challenge – and it’s hyped to the gills. Every year the ACC wins – but by the end of the year – voila! the Big 10 has passed the ACC or they act like the challenge never existed. And don’t get me started on Big 10 football….

  4. Wulfpack 06/21/2006 at 9:17 AM #

    ESPN/ABC surely isn’t anti-ACC. Nor are they pro-Big 10.

    Top-to-bottom, the ACC gets the nod of the Big 10 in both football and basketball. But with Ohio State and Michigan, it’s hard to argue with their football prowess. I’m not saying they are “better”, it’s just those programs have such a huge following and are so strong year end and year out. Penn State certainly had a heck of a football year last year as well. These are teams with massive fan support. We have nothing like it in the ACC, save for FSU or Miami, but both of those programs have been in decline.

    Clearly, the ACC carries the torch in hoops. Had it not been for Izzo, the Big 10 might have fallen off the college basketball map.

  5. Jeremy Hyatt 06/21/2006 at 1:51 PM #

    is there any chance Evtimov, Bennerman, or Bethel will get drafted?

  6. Jeremy Hyatt 06/21/2006 at 1:54 PM #

    probably already saw this:

    The Best 10 Years from Now?: One of the harder classes in recent memory to pin down, this year’s power forwards are split along several lines: athletic vs. skilled, power vs. finesse, experienced vs. raw. But no one straddles the categories — and therefore offers the greatest potential — quite like N.C. State’s Cedric Simmons.

    A quick check of the numbers won’t scream superstar, but you must consider the grossly perimeter-oriented system he played in and the fact that he’s just begun to trust his skills. The major positives in Simmons’ game: a gargantuan wingspan, a terrific bounce in his step and the mentality to move people out of his way instead of letting the defense dictate what he does. Simmons is very unpolished at the moment — his post moves need to be tightened up and he needs to quit selling out for blocks — and his conditioning is woeful. But the killer instinct he shows on the court will drive him to perfect his craft and get his butt into shape. Remember Vin Baker in his Milwaukee heyday? That’s the kind

  7. choppack1 06/21/2006 at 2:08 PM #

    Vin Baker isn’t a real good comparison if I’m remembering his game correctly. I really see him as more of a Theo Ratliffe, Dale Davis type.

    Long arms, great hands, good shot blocker, solid rebounder. Needs to work on confidence, post moves and consistency.

  8. Jeremy Hyatt 06/21/2006 at 2:29 PM #

    its insane what the scouts are saying about him; don’t get me wrong, he was very good for us this year, but he wasn’t that good. the numbers might reflect differently, but what I remember is ONE good game against Duke, and then quite a few dropped passes in the post following that. too bad the draft isn’t as competitive as last year, otherwise he would stay and develop his game like the likes of Tim Duncan and Todd Fuller ; }

  9. RickJ 06/21/2006 at 2:43 PM #

    ^”is there any chance Evtimov, Bennerman, or Bethel will get drafted?”

    Bennerman has a chance to be drafted in the second round. No chance for Evtimov or Bethel. Evtimov will make a fine living playing in Europe. He will qualify as a National player (non US) in many leagues. His language skills will also be a big plus.

    The NBA draft is all about finding players that might someday be a real difference maker in a game. While it is certainly not a given, I think Cedric has this type of potential. I can’t name 10 players in this draft that have as much upside as Cedric.

  10. choppack1 06/21/2006 at 2:53 PM #

    “The NBA draft is all about finding players that might someday be a real difference maker in a game. While it is certainly not a given, I think Cedric has this type of potential. I can’t name 10 players in this draft that have as much upside as Cedric.”

    That’s the truth. I imagine that they are doubly impressed by Ced because he doesn’t seem like someone that they are going to have bail out of jail every two or three months either. The only thing not to like about Ced is lack of accomplishments in the college game. After seeing him early this year, I was thinking that if this kid stayed a couple more years, he had a very good shot at being the first pick in the draft. His size, frame, and hands are incredible. I also thought that it we’d be lucky to have him back next year. Simply put – there aren’t a lot of kids like him that play college long these days.

  11. redfred2 06/21/2006 at 3:48 PM #

    It’s sad about the feeble impact a player like Cedric Simmons had while playing in Wolfpack RED, and all the potential that was just dying to be called upon. To keep mentioning it kinda gets me riled and a little upset, not too much though, just maybe something akin to dumping salt in a sucking chest wound.

  12. Jeremy Hyatt 06/21/2006 at 3:57 PM #

    I’m sorry fred, I didn’t mean to salt your wound. ; ]

    I agree he has tremendous upside, but I thought we only saw it in flashes and now he is being wisked away by fast-talking agents. meh.

  13. primacyone 06/21/2006 at 4:15 PM #

    Super Mario on the front page of the sports section of USA Today.

    Annabelle Vaughan’s quote in the above linked US Today article regarding Mario Williams today.

    “He really didn’t garner a lot of national attention,” says N.C. State media director Annabelle Vaughan. “I mean, the interview requests weren’t overwhelming. Sometimes I found myself wondering, ‘Am I just a bad publicist?’ ”

    Would anyone here have an answer to her question?

  14. Dexter 06/21/2006 at 4:28 PM #


    Simmons had more then one good game. Simmons dominated Williams at Duke, Dominated Smith at BC, Dominated Powe against Cal and Had a very good game against Texas’ front line. The problem was Simmons was not used by the previous coaching staff. Ced averaged what, 8 shots per game, yet averaged about 12 points?

  15. Jeremy Hyatt 06/21/2006 at 4:44 PM #

    Not to spark another debate but:

    Larry Davis finally got what he wanted. North Carolina State coach Sidney Lowe called the former Christ the King guard and told Davis he will finally get his full release from the school today, enabling him to sign with Seton Hall.
    — New York Post

  16. primacyone 06/21/2006 at 5:04 PM #

    Quote from Tim Peelers article today at

    “Tuesday’s crowd of some 30,000 fans who gathered for a victory lap around the Carter-Finley/RBC Center complex also was reminiscent of the celebration held at Reynolds Coliseum in April, 1983, when NC State won the school’s second NCAA Men’s Basketball Championship.

    On that day, senior point guard Sidney Lowe stood out by wearing a 10-gallon cowboy hat he picked up in Albuquerque, N.M., the site of the Final Four. Tuesday, Hurricanes captain Rod Brind’Amour, as he often does, wore an NC State baseball hat as he addressed the crowd gathered on the east side of the RBC Center to honor the Hurricanes.

    “That’s my team (NC State),” Brind’Amour said often seen sporting Wolfpack gear. “They play in the same arena as I do. They are the only team I’ve gone to watch. These guys, I call them up and they get me in. And I’ve said from day one you are my team.”

    “I love it cause the people are so passionate about NC State. They are kind of nutty about it. I love college sports. I’m not against the other guys, its just NC State wears the same colors I do, and my little guy loves to see the Wolfpack play.”

    And that’s plenty reason to share in the success of the of the Hurricanes.”

  17. redfred2 06/21/2006 at 5:15 PM #

    “Davis he will finally get his full release from the school today, enabling him to sign with Seton Hall.”

    Roll over and die. I’m sure there was nothing Lowe could do anyway. Fowler had already given away the moon just cover up his idiotic blunderings.

  18. redfred2 06/21/2006 at 5:42 PM #


    “I agree he has tremendous upside, but I thought we only saw it in flashes”

    “wisked away”- I would subsitute a “p” for the w, an “s” for the “k”, and then add that it wasn’t any fast talking agent who did it.

  19. tvp 06/22/2006 at 10:17 PM #

    The Annabelle Vaughn comment was absolutely priceless.

  20. Rochester 06/23/2006 at 8:50 AM #

    According to, Ced got an invite to the NBA draft, which they say is a pretty good indication of who the top 15 potential draftees are:

    “NC State sophomore center Cedric Simmons and Bradley sophomore center Patrick O’Bryant, two players who have been climbing steadily will also be in attendance.”

    He could be our highest picked player since Todd Fuller back in 1996 (11th overall to Golden State). Actually Hodge is the only guy drafted since then. I don’t think we’ll see another drought like that, well, ever. At least I hope not.

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