Hook Em!


It is Rick Barnes vs John Calipari. A match-up of two premier coaches that NC State could have hired multiple times since 1995. A match-up designed to highligh Lee Fowler’s incompetence as the two primary coaches on which Fowler should have been able close the deal two years ago match-up for the right to head to San Antonio next week for the Final Four.

Personally, I’m pulling for Barnes in this match-up because of (1) his ties to North Carolina; (2) his ties to Clemson and the ACC; (3) the fact that I lived in Houston for four years; and (4) the dignified manner in which he behaved (relative to Calipari) during his conversations with NC State two years ago. But, I think this game sets up very well for Memphis and would take the Tigers if I were betting the money line in Las Vegas (even though I advanced Texas on my bracket at the beginning of the tournament).

This is probably the perfect spot for us to spill some more beans on the 2005 coaching search, but (un)fortunately our time is limited. For your own fun, we suggest that you play in our archives for items that may be of interest to you…and, maybe later in the week we will find some time for some insight into what happened behind the scenes two years ago.

This Final Four is already shaping up as a nightmare for Lee Fowler as it represents countless lessons on how to be proactive and successfully manage your program with UNC-CH and UCLA, both of whom fired their previous coaches who had compiled records and momentum that Fowler would have killed for during the Sendek era (Doherty & Lavin), already punching their tickets.

We’ll open this entry for today’s NCAA Tournament games…and we will direct your attention to two great related entries – Saturday’s Basketball Bytes and Friday’s Basketball Bytes.

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07-08 Basketball

93 Responses to Hook Em!

  1. sautz 03/30/2008 at 1:27 PM #

    But but but the free boards on pack pride are full of people saying Lee Fowler is awesome and did the best job anyone could with the coaching search. Its just a coincidence that many top coaches expressed interest in us but Fowler didn’t land any of them. Cheeky coaches.

  2. sautz 03/30/2008 at 1:28 PM #

    ^ sarcasm btw

  3. wufpup76 03/30/2008 at 1:54 PM #

    I like Rick Barnes just fine, but I must admit that I am very disappointed in his game plan and the way he is handling his team today …

    If he doesn’t calm them down and get some semblance of offensive flow rather than just wild, quick, terrible shots then Texas is going to get absolutely destroyed … Which is too bad, b/c I HATE Memphis

    This looks bad so far though …

    Great pic, btw ! … God Blessed Texas 🙂

  4. Stoner 03/30/2008 at 2:03 PM #

    I don’t know why people are praising Barnes for his work at UT. Texas (as a state) has three professional basketball teams and the people down there are just crazy about hoops. Barnes walked into a great situation in Texas. The people in Texas just love high school basketball more than any other sport and produce more talented basketball players than anyother state. Plus the basketball facilities at Texas must be better than anyother school in the Southwest, except UCLA’s, and light years better than our own, in Raleigh.

    SFN: LOL! You obviously DON’T KNOW what Barnes walked into at UT. You may want to do a little research about the facts of the situation so that you don’t make yourself look so much like a “Stoner”. In 10 years Barnes has become the most successful coach in Texas history after inheriting a program that had 6 scholarship players that was ripped apart by Tom Penders and NCAA problems.

  5. Wulfpack 03/30/2008 at 2:04 PM #

    Even though I dislike Calipari & Memphis, Dorsey is a freaking beast. Looks like the Tigers are making a major statement. Hell they should crush UcLA if they keep this up.

  6. tulsapack 03/30/2008 at 2:04 PM #

    As exciting as Davidson’s run has been, I think it’s far more desirable to see Kansas win today, and comfortably. UNC is only going to be knocked out by a team with a comparable level of athleticism, and that ain’t the Wildcats.

    Lot of folks on here have seemed ready to hand Carolina the title straight out, but I think any of the other #1 seeds, and especially Kansas or UCLA (I have doubts about Memphis against the very top teams, see Tennessee game), are more than capable of knocking out the Heels.

    I’m hoping to see Davidson make it a game through the first half, and Kansas pull away in the second; a Jayhawk win in the Final Four would then allow us all to relax and enjoy what would be on paper one of the best championship games in years.

  7. StateFans 03/30/2008 at 2:07 PM #

    I have Kansas winning the whole thing. But, Carolina currently looks really good.

  8. Stoner 03/30/2008 at 2:09 PM #

    I’m kind of glad an ACC school made it to the Final Four, even if it’s Carolina. Now I just want them to lose. They represented the conference, hooray, but I don’t want another local school to pile on more National Titles, since that’d take the solace out of our two, long-ago titles, being even remotely meaningful.

  9. wufpup76 03/30/2008 at 2:15 PM #

    Have to give Memphis credit – that said, I haven’t seen Texas look this bad all year

    They are literally running the NC State offense from this year … Augustin (or another) dribbles around out top for 20-25 seconds, try to penetrate – throw up wild shot OR throw wild pass which if not turned over will result in wild shot from wing … other than that they haven’t run any offense at all and have taken some terrible 3-pt. attempts

    And Billy P. is right, Texas does not look comfortable at all playing zone … I hope RB has some answers in the locker room b/c Texas is really forunate to be only down 11 pts.

    Please Horns, for the love of all that is Holy – beat Memphis!

  10. StateFans 03/30/2008 at 2:16 PM #

    These games are being played in Reliant…which is a huge football venue. I believe that these venues always help the team that relies the least on the outside shot and prefers to attack the basket &/or use the post. This works even further against UT in this match-up.

  11. LRM 03/30/2008 at 2:23 PM #

    How about some pictures of the UCLA cheerleaders as well?

  12. ThirdLeg 03/30/2008 at 2:26 PM #

    Rick Barnes needs to get his team playing better in the second half or they are done. With the lack of respect I have for Calipari and his slimy morals, I hope Texas can give em hell in the second half.
    Watching Calipari makes me want to take a shower. He is just a dirtbag. I personally think him not coming to NCSU was a good thing. There is just a dirty feeling about that guy and his program.

  13. packof81 03/30/2008 at 2:28 PM #

    “This Final Four is already shaping up as a nightmare for Lee Fowler …”

    It ought to be a nightmare for LF but I doubt he’s lost any sleep over it. Heck, he just got an award from the chancellor at a banquet. He doesn’t care about NC State. He’s just using the AD position as his own personal welfare system.

  14. ThirdLeg 03/30/2008 at 2:39 PM #

    Is it me or are Memphis chearleaders not much to look at either?

  15. transylvania 03/30/2008 at 2:50 PM #

    It’s just tough to watch this game and think about what might have been.

  16. BJD95 03/30/2008 at 3:04 PM #

    I would have been a happy dirtbag with Calipari sticking it to Roy and K on a regular basis.

    Roy, Howland, and Calipari are the 3 best coaches in college hoops, in that order (IMHO). All 3 have immensively talented teams that have been coached to play great defense and max effort every minute.

    Holes and Memphis on a collision course. That would be one hell of a final.

  17. wufpup76 03/30/2008 at 3:05 PM #

    “How about some pictures of the UCLA cheerleaders as well?”

    I second this motion!

  18. BJD95 03/30/2008 at 3:12 PM #

    And screw it, I’m still pulling for Davidson. I don’t think anybody can beat UNC except Memphis, the way the Holes are currently playing.

    I drew some laughs from Duke people and skepticism that I was setting an unrealistically high bar from the UNC folks, but I predicted at lunch on Friday that Roy would have a total of 5 or 6 NCAA titles before he retires, and probably win about 3 out of 4 ACCTs. He’ll be remembered as the best coach in ACC history.

    Boy, that makes me sick. But I firmly believe it to be true.

  19. turfpack 03/30/2008 at 3:16 PM #


  20. sautz 03/30/2008 at 3:16 PM #

    Just a correction to someone saying this:

    “The people in Texas just love high school basketball more than any other sport and produce more talented basketball players than anyother state.”

    They certainly do love high school sports but football is king. Also, from this data California and Illinois produce many more NBA players than Texas as well as several other states (this is NBA players per capita but you can do whatever math with the numbers you want):
    and on a map:

  21. Wolfpack_1995 03/30/2008 at 3:22 PM #

    pulling for Calipari…

  22. BJD95 03/30/2008 at 3:25 PM #

    Roy is a much, much better coach than Dean because he deals with the changing times better. I think that probably applies to Coach K as well.

    If you can recruit better talent than almost everybody else, AND can motivate them to give max effort and play lockdown defense…it’s pretty hard not to win championships by the handful, isn’t it?

  23. wufpup76 03/30/2008 at 3:28 PM #

    Ok … Let’s Go Wildcats!!!

  24. Rick 03/30/2008 at 3:31 PM #

    Texas just got whopped.

    BTW was it just me or did Packer get on any else’s nerves? If he said “the fould line is open in that zone” one more time I think I would have shot my TV.

  25. turfpack 03/30/2008 at 3:32 PM #


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