Tuesday Topics

* First, a quick tip of the hat to Section Six who threw together a couple of quick hits that are enjoyable and alleviate our need to come up with more here. (Link)

* Q: What player will NC State’s defense miss the most this season? A: Linebacker, Stephen Tulloch. Congratulations to Tulloch for signing with the Tennessee Titans. (Link)

* This read from Technician Online regarding Josh Powell is an interesting one. It is nice to see Powell may have (publicly) softened some on his feelings toward NC State’s Herb Sendek as we highlighted in this entry.

Looking back on his final season with the Pack, a season that finished with State losing to California in the opening round, Powell said the team was full of talent. So much talent, in fact, that he said there wasn’t one player that stood out.

“We had a very talented team, all the guys were special,” Powell said. “We had a lot of versatility — one through five — everyone could do everything. I wouldn’t say there was one player that was the best while I played there.”

Being able to have a versatile player at all five positions was very important to the Princeton-type State offense, Powell said. Playing for former coach Herb Sendek was something Powell said he enjoyed.

However, after learning of his departure from the program after this past basketball season, Powell said he thinks he chose the best option.

“He made the best decision for him and his family,” Powell said. “Him being in a new situation will be a lot better for him. He’ll be able to do the same if not better at Arizona State. He will get them back on track.”

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15 Responses to Tuesday Topics

  1. Mr O 07/18/2006 at 7:37 AM #

    Sendek was Josh Powell staying three or four years from having teams legitimately capable of making the Final Four.

    Julius Hodge
    Marcus Melvin
    Josh Powell


    That would have been a really tough team.

  2. StateFans 07/18/2006 at 7:44 AM #

    ^ Couldn’t agree more. But, Powell (privately) proclaimed that he couldn’t be around Herb another minute and that he would rather take his chances with Europe or the NBDL than stick around.

    It should have been a really tough team. Who knows what injury would have cropped up to have diverted their attention and created an opportunity for them to mentally collapse with their annual built-in excuse for losing?

  3. Mr O 07/18/2006 at 8:23 AM #

    Actually, the next year we didn’t have any injuries until the very end of the year with Scooter Sherrill. Bennerman filled in nicely. That team went 11-5 without JP and was a #3 seed. That team had the best chemistry of any of Sendek’s teams.

    I understand what Powell said in private. Looking back I seriously question his maturity considering how much he was given the basketball the last 10 games of his sophmore season. It also sounded like he might have come back in the end if he didn’t jeopardize his eligibility whilie parading for the NBA.

  4. CarnifeX 07/18/2006 at 8:48 AM #

    I blame Archie Miller for Powell’s departure.

    Freshman year this little coaches son, Sendek clone, runs the show and is a bitch to everyone below him on the team.

    Finally he thinks he gets a reprieve from this tool. WHAM! He’s now calling the shots under Sendek still harassing the hell out of Powell.

    Powell could have made a substantial splash in the NBA w/ another year or two of development (which is questionable coming out of Sendek’s program) and maturity from NCSU.

  5. RickJ 07/18/2006 at 9:25 AM #

    ^Great comments regarding what the premature loss of Powell meant to our program. Also, going backwards – Damian Wilkins should have been on the team for the freshman & sophomore years of Hodge & Powell. We absolutely had the talent in place to make the big move we all so desperately wanted. It is very difficult to keep a bunch of terrific players (and their entourages) happy but this is what elite coaches do.

  6. redfred2 07/18/2006 at 9:38 AM #

    Glad to see that Powell is finally shaking the cobb webs and will hopefully get another opportunity with the Mavs next season.

    O, that list of talent is impressive for sure. I see five players who I thought would have probable NBA careers early on in their playing days at NCSU. As a freshman I would have put Marcus Melvin as the next high NBA draft selection coming out of NCSU. Didn’t pan out in Raleigh, nothing ever did.

    I have to agree with SF’s assessment. Some team chemistry was there, probably the best there ever was under Sendek, as you said. But mental toughness and confidence in themselves as players, was sorely lacking and evident back then too, as it was in all other years.

  7. choppack1 07/18/2006 at 11:50 AM #

    As a freshman?? He was a gunner and didn’t put up a lot of #s. However, but the time he was a sophomore, I’d agree w/ your assessment. I’m still surprised he hasn’t caught on yet.

  8. tcthdi-tgsf-twhwtnc 07/18/2006 at 12:09 PM #

    Former NC State coach Herb Sendek managed one team in 10 years with what people would consider strong chemistry. That one should be thrown on the resume next to the 5 consecutive NCAA appearences (3-4 record w/Hodge without Hodge 1-3).

  9. redfred2 07/18/2006 at 12:46 PM #

    chop, Very early on as a freshman Melvin showed me that he could go inside with his size, rebound and get his shots off down low in traffic for second chance points. He also showed an ability, though not consistent, to step outside from the perimeter and shoot with pretty rare touch for a freshman of his size.

    He was a man, even as a freshman, physically skilled, but green in the mental aspect of the college game. I agree that he did play smarter and use that size to his overall advantage in his later years, but the last talent that I mentioned in the paragraph above is really the only that was ever put to any use in Raleigh, the rest just kinda faded into oblivion.

  10. Mr O 07/19/2006 at 7:24 AM #

    Melvin had slow feet and he couldn’t jump. He had no position in the NBA unfortunately. He was a very good college player at times, but I never saw him as an NBA player.

  11. redfred2 07/19/2006 at 10:24 AM #

    I saw raw talent with confidence and enthusiasm just waiting to be further developed. Maybe not as complete upon arrival, but not unlike Hodge. The end results were similar though.

  12. Mr O 07/19/2006 at 10:39 AM #

    Melvin went from barely playing as a freshman to All-ACC as junior. He was barely a top 100 player coming out of HS. Clearly he developed over his career at NC State.

    If Melvin was an NBA player waiting to be developed, then why hasn’t some other coach developed him by now?

    Grundy had similar problems to Melvin. They both had slow top speeds and weren’t good leapers. The lack of athleticism creates position problems for 6’1″ guards and 6’8″ forwards. Again, both good to very good college players but neither had the NBA attributes that most guys in the league have. For “tweeners”, you either need the athleticism to defend and rebound or you have to be a great shooter to create a position.

    The guys Herb recruited that were definite NBA prospects coming out of HS were Hodge, Powell, Wilkins, Simmons. Powell probably would have been drafted had he stayed one more year. He made a stupid decision IMO. Damien’s college experience at both UGa and NC State was rather strange, but he has turned himself into a good player. But he didn’t start at UGa either.

    Hodge and Simmons were clearly NBA guys and both were drafted in the 1st round.

  13. redfred2 07/19/2006 at 11:14 AM #

    O, All of your points are easily justified in hindsight. I don’t think we really look at things in the same way. I recall former players from earlier days coming into Wolfpack program with far less talent than Melvin displayed as a freshman, or no real visible talent at all, who became players before they left. I still look at freshman talent that way, not like the others who see them as being at 90% skill capacity when they arrive, with a low ceiling limiting their development over the next three seasons. Four years of college basketball can, and is supposed to, deliver major player improvement.

    “The guys Herb recruited that were definite NBA prospects (ALREADY) coming out of HS were Hodge, Powell, Wilkins, Simmons.”

    Your statement, and your list, just verifies what I am saying.

  14. Mr O 07/19/2006 at 4:32 PM #

    Redfred: I wasn’t speaking in hindsight. In the days when all of these guys were HS players, I used to spend quite a bit of time going to see them in HS, AAU and summer league games prior to putting on an NC State uniform. All of our players have developed during their time at NC State. As do players for Hewitt, Williams, Prosser, Roy, and Coach K.

    The work ethic, talent and athleticism that the recruits of these various coaches start with aren’t all equal. Some guys are NBA players and some guys aren’t no matter what college coach they play for.

    Gary Williams “developed” three guys in the same class into NBA players – Blake, Baxter and Dixon. They weren’t highly rated recruits. Since these guys graduated, is Gary Williams all of sudden a worse developer of talent or has he simply made some misses on the recruiting trail?

    NBA players are generally recruited. They aren’t created out of thin air when kids step on campus.

  15. redfred2 07/19/2006 at 6:31 PM #

    O: I can look around the country and find players all over doing what I am talking about. Of course they all have talent or they would not be considered to play college BB in the first place. I am talking about early and noticeable skill levels. Marcus Melvin’s improvements were more evident, but still confined within that same limited range as the four you mentioned.

    It is very funny to me how a lot of people who state your same argument were absolutely all over Cedric Simmons case all season long for not playing well or improving. The coach wasn’t considered responsible for most all of the season when Simmons and the others weren’t playing well, it was all them and Simmons responsibility. It was Simmons fault for not stepping up. Now he is the greatest thing since sliced bread and a big plus for the former coach. Simmons and the others were scapegoated and abused right here on this sight. At what point did Sendek mysteriously take back over and earn the right to take credit for Simmons untapped natural abilities?

    You may try all you want but you never convince me that any of the four you named earlier were any more than just very slightly better off and suited to the professional game than the day they arrived at NCSU. That’s Hodge, Powell, Wilkins, and Simmons, I honestly can’t see it in any one of them, two I’d throw out altogether. Every high school kid is not NBA material in their freshman season, but that doesn’t mean they can’t be after four years of playing in college.

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