Playing the “what-if” game can sometimes be dangerous, but we’re a blog…so, why not play what-if sometimes?
SFN ran across a story today that made us ask “what-if?” in regards to Herb Sendek and his tenure at NC State. Nebraska’s Head Basketball Coach, Barry Collier, has accepted the Athletics Directorship position at his alma mater, Butler. (For a great related SFN entry, please click here.)
This is interesting because there was a lot of speculation that Coach Sendek was a top candidate for the Nebraska job 6 years ago when Collier was hired and when the pressure was (justifiably) mounting on Sendek after four consecutive seasons of failing to make an NCAA appearance at NC State. In fact, a friend of Sendek once shared with a member of SFN that when the pressure was frustrating Herb a couple of years ago (after a few NCAA Tourney appearances), Sendek had quipped, “I should have taken the Nebraska job”. So, legimitate reason exists for us to think that Sendek would have entertained thoughts of Lincoln, Nebraska again.
“What-if” Herb had not taken the Arizona State job? Would he have bitten at the Nebraska job this time around? Would it have been too close to the start of the 2006-2007 academic year? Certainly Nebraska would have had MORE interest in Herb in 2006, after 5 consecutive NCAA appearances, than they did in 2000 after 4 consecutive NIT appearances. Nebraska, from a basketball sense, is in no worse shape than Arizona State, and can at least boast about being the only game in town in the state of Nebraska.
How would Cedric Simmons’ departure and the likelihood that Andrew Brackman may give up basketball have impacted Sendek? NC State’s 06-07 roster would look exactly the same except for two freshmen (Dan Werner and Larry Davis), and Sendek was never one to rely on freshman for playing time.
How would this “what-if” have impacted Werner and Davis? Herb leaving in August would have not given those two much time to look for other programs. The scholarships they took at Florida and Seton Hall in May would surely not have been available in August.
And more importantly, how would Lee Fowler have conducted a coaching search in August? Would he just have promoted an assistant on an interim basis, or conducted a full blown search for a permanent replacment, knowing the start of the season is a mere 2 1/2 months away? Similarly, it will be interesting to see how Nebraska AD, Steve Peterson handles finding a replacement. Andy Katz has blogged about the situation at Nebraska for ESPN Premium members.
Nevada’s Mark Fox could have a major dilemma if a phone call comes from Nebraska about the Cornhuskers’ now-open men’s basketball job.
This isn’t a new dilemma for coaches like Fox. Do you go to a school that is one of the tougher jobs in the Big 12 that probably pays significantly more money in a conference that can put upwards of six teams in the NCAA Tournament in a given year? Or do you stay put where you know you have a great shot to make a run in the NCAAs?
If Herb had not taken the ASU job, it is SFN’s opinion that he would have seriously gone after this Big 12 position, even with the August timeframe. What do you think?