Lowe is “Ready for this”

“The support and the passion we have for basketball here at N.C. State is special,‿ Lowe said. “I’m here to continue and restore those glory days that we once shared. I’m ready for this. I can’t wait.‿

During the barrage of Sidney Lowe news in the month of May, we chose to hold off linking some of the articles that the media was running in an attempt to “pace ourselves” throughout the summer. (The summer is passing mighty quickly and we are yet to experience a real dearth of topics to blog like we expected.

On Sunday, May 28th, The Fayetteville Observer ran a great piece on Coach Lowe that we thought deserved its on entry, especially on the day that recruiting begins in earnest for the summer. (Link)

Now that Coach Lowe has passed the NCAA’s compliance test and is truly ready to run with the Pack, the FOB’s feature on Lowe, “I’m ready for this” takes on a renewed relevance.

Sidney Lowe always had a way about him, a glow in his eyes and a winning smile. Even as a teenage point guard at DeMatha High School in the late 1970s, Lowe had a way of making those around him feel secure. Friends, teammates, former coaches. They all felt he would become a coach. There was just something in the enthusiasm he brought to practice, something in the way he saw the floor.

Since the FOBS article discusses NC State’s 1983 run to a National Championship under the pretext that the Wolfpack only generated a “mediocre” 16-10 regular season record, SFN would like to turn your attention to one of our best entries of all-time – April 4, 1983 NOT an Upset.

That’s why Lowe is dusting off the photo albums and trophy cases. That’s why it was no coincidence that at his introductory news conference in Raleigh three weeks ago, he welcomed back some former teammates, including Cozell McQueen, Ernie Myers, Max Perry and Alvin Battle.

Barely an hour after he had tightened his new crimson N.C. State tie for the first time, it was as if Lowe had taken a time capsule of the Wolfpack’s past glory and cracked it open like a ballpark peanut. “I want those guys to come back,‿ he said. “I want them to be around.‿

It sounds simple. But it’s a concept Lowe’s predecessor, Herb Sendek, never encouraged. Players such as Myers longed to be a bigger part of the program, to share their stories and triumphs, to build a glorious bridge between the past and the future. “Yet I’ve never been more distant than when Herb had the team for the last 10 seasons,‿ Myers said. “I didn’t really know him and it was tough trying to get to know him.‿

Lowe won’t have that problem. To him, those jersey numbers and national championship banners hanging from the RBC Center rafters sway with a nostalgic magnitude. To him, those days and nights he and his teammates spent whizzing around the floor at Reynolds Coliseum should be remembered.

“I want these young men to know the history of our school,‿ he said. “I want them to know our former players, the guys that were out there sweating and laying it out on the line to keep this university where we wanted it to be.‿

I love the talk and the sound of so many of the old players being re-connected with the program. I remember when Herb Sendek first got to Raleigh that he paid lip service to the need of the program to have a family atmosphere, he program and how important the tradition of the old players were to the future. There is no reason to beat a dead horse, so we will not harp on how Sendeks comments were actually executed – or note executed – in reality. The FOBS article and the comments from the past players spells it out for you. Ultimately, “family” to Sendek mean “people that he wanted around” and giving tickets to some local ex-players. Much involvement beyond that from past Wolfpackers did not exist.

Wolfpack fans need to realize that simply having the old guys around the program and having our future players understand the heritage of our program will not automatically create a winner in Raleigh. But, the visible presence of these past Wolfpackers will create more of an emotional investment and therefore tangible and intangible support of the program from a much wider network of stakeholders.

I fully expect that the future Wolfpack basketball players’ enhanced connection to NC State history will ultimately create a mental strength and innate pride on the team that did not exist before. Perhaps of the collossal collapses that occurred under Sendek’s timid inferiority-complex-laden tenure will not be so commonplace on a team full of players that believe more innately that they are supposed to win because most of the people before them found a way to win.

General NCS Basketball Sidney Lowe Tradition

15 Responses to Lowe is “Ready for this”

  1. graywolf 07/06/2006 at 1:54 PM #

    If Sidney Lowe brings an ounce of “Valvano Magic” with him he will be able to recruit, motivate and teach good basketball skills. Bring it on!

  2. tcthdi-tgsf-twhwtnc 07/06/2006 at 2:13 PM #

    I assume the team will have a new uniforms with the coaching change.

    I would expext this time the university is willing to spend the money to put the player’s name on the back so the kids don’t have to tat their names on their arms in order to be identified when on tv.

  3. redfred2 07/06/2006 at 3:03 PM #

    “I would expext this time the university is willing to spend the money to put the player’s name on the back”

    Not due to any fault of their own, but the nameless players of the past decade were thrown under the bus for the sake of the coach, and will not be well remembered in time. Fortunately for the future, the need to pick apart young basketball players to cover other inadequacies is through.

    This whole thing is turning around and there won’t be any necessity for Wolfpack fans to sit around trying to find a single bright spot to make NC State basketball worth watching. Cold, hard X’s and O’s have been replaced with spirit and exprience from achieving at the highest level this sport has to offer. Familiar old faces will be once again welcomed in the crowd, and the RBC will come alive like never before.

  4. BladenWolf 07/06/2006 at 3:45 PM #


    that last paragraph is a mighty motivating post there buddy…
    I too feel that we are moving away from the sterile and lifeless recent past to take back the life, passion, and vitality of the Valvano era.

    With Coach Lowe, each time he speaks I am reminded of my time at State when I stood in Reynolds and watched Dereck, Ernie, Lorenzo, Cozell, Thurl, Terry, and Alvin, running the floor and of course Sidney conducting the offense… and yes he did it with a smile… It’s been twenty three years since then…I can’t wait to see it again.

    Thanks redfred2 for reminding me.

  5. jncope 07/06/2006 at 4:01 PM #

    My favorite line:

    “Here’s Sidney, he gets pressed baseline-to-baseline the whole game and five overtimes,� Wootten says, “and he had one turnover. One turnover? That’s astounding.�

  6. jncope 07/06/2006 at 4:03 PM #

    FYI – The line was from the most excellent FOBS article that is linked to the original post.

  7. Pack92 07/06/2006 at 4:41 PM #

    I agree the last paragraph from redfred2 was awesome. Almost as awesome as the article. You just have to feel the excitement, like just before a game in Reynolds got started, you just know something is going to happen. I got all teary-eyed watching Coach Lowe and his wife walk across the track on the video that SFN posted and I felt the same way after reading the FOBS article. I really love the “lure them into a dark room and pounce” way of looking at the future. Thank God someone who understands what it means to play and BEAT UNX is at the helm.

  8. redfred2 07/06/2006 at 5:03 PM #

    Thanks for the compliments. It will be bumpy to begin with, but I know the style of basketball will be fun, and when the enthusiam is broadcast across the nation, I truly believe real success will be headed our way, once again.

    Another of my favorite lines is when Valvano said something like, “Who me? I don’t run the team, Sydney does all that. I’m just here to scream at the officials.”

  9. tractor57 07/06/2006 at 6:39 PM #

    The link posted earlier with Valvano making the speech in Reynolds stands in stark contrast to Herb – I hope (and I think) that Lowe can once bring some of the passion back to State’s basketball program. Sendeck’s personality was so differenct from any coach we had going back to Case, all those others were so able to inspire on an emotional level (yes, even Robinson did that). I am glad to see a chance of some of that emotion returning.
    Say what you want about Valvano but there was never any question about the fire within him – I trust Lowe has some of the same.

  10. TomA 07/06/2006 at 8:30 PM #

    If we are really going back to the days of the State teams that were contenders almost all of the time then let’s do it right. I think a great step would be if we are going to put the player’s names back on the jerseys let’s bring back the uniforms that I grea up with. Basic red and white with “STATE” across the front. Those are the jerseys I remember from the great years of NCSU basketball. We don’t need NC State on them…we are THE STATE in basketball with a winning history surpased by only a few progams until recently. If we are going back to those roots under Coach Lowe let’s do it all the way and re-embrace the program like all Pack fans should!

  11. wolfman89 07/06/2006 at 9:28 PM #

    TomA, thats a great idea. I have thought of that as well. When the red and white game comes, we all need to ask Sid if he can bring back the classic STATE jerseys for at least one year or longer.

  12. RAWFS 07/07/2006 at 12:02 PM #

    The really important thing to do is for our team to develop the attitude that victory over our rivals and the ACC is all that is acceptable. Honoring processes, bujilding relationships and chopping wood are all fine and good, but the NC State way is to battle hard and never say die.

    Until our younger alumni and students realize that Carolina and Duke do not have the right to defeat us because they are who they are, the “old NC State” won’t fully be back.

    I cannot wait to see Sid go toe to toe with Roy and K. I doubt he is going to be intimidated, and in my mind our last coach absolutely was.

  13. 4NCSU 07/08/2006 at 9:06 AM #

    I fail to understand why Sendek failed to reach out to certain Wolfpack greats like Ernie Myers and others. I understand Herb’s personality fairly well after hearing him for 10 years. But I don’t get the lack of relationships with certain ex-players. Anyone want to shed light on this? I like some of the things that Sid is going to try to do. Some of this is long overdue.

  14. redfred2 07/08/2006 at 11:16 AM #


    “I understand Herb’s personality fairly well after hearing him for 10 years. But I don’t get the lack of relationships with certain ex-players. Anyone want to shed light on this?”

    I could get really deep and go on and on about my feelings on that subject. But as briefly as I can, in my opinion and for what it’s worth, Herb Sendek has no concept of university as family or team spirit as a whole. He lives in the moment and doesn’t think that past success has any relevancy on shaping a basketball program. He also never bothered to try to figure it out. I think that he was so controlling and uncertain of his talent in the ACC that he considered any outside infuences as a threat to his authority. Therefore, he could never quite figure out where the fans were coming from and probably really thought, as his boss had already assured him, that we were all just a bunch whining lunatics who should have been more than happy with his results.

  15. redfred2 07/08/2006 at 2:40 PM #

    I hate to admit it, but I didn’t have time to read it all when I first posted and I just finished reading the entire article linked to this thread. That was an awesome piece of work!!! (WHO WROTE THAT?!!!) That article touches on many aspects but it really puts a true perspective on exactly how capable and how great the NC State basketball program was and should always be. The gears have been slipping ever since those times but the most important incredient is being replaced. All that has been missing for the past fifteen years is just simple the belief that it is possible, and will all happen again. THAT FEELING IS BACK!

Leave a Reply