Two Coach Lowe Interviews (Updated 10pm ET): ‘Not that I can discuss at this point’

Interview with 850TheBuzz

Interview with the media

The real story of the day may come from what was not said in Coach Lowe’s time with the media:

Q: Any other personnel changes?
A: Not that I can discuss at this point.

Q: Not just the players, but any other staff changes?
A: Not that I can discuss at this point.

The following are comments related to the 850TheBuzz interview:

Let me just say…I LOVE listening to Coach Lowe. Nobody is perfect, but I really appreciate his articulation of his perspective.

A couple of quotes from Coach Lowe:

“As a competitor, the only thing I was thinking about (at the end of the year) was getting started again”

“I really want to look forward”

In a morning show interview with candid answers, NC State basketball coach Sidney Lowe addressed a number of issues from last season and looked ahead to next season. Concerning the widely discussed chemistry issues that possibly stemmed from JJ Hickson’s playing time, Lowe placed blame all around, but focused on players accepting their roles in order to win as a team. Lowe, who is entering his 3rd year coaching the Wolfpack, also talks about what he has learned from working in the college game and the influences surrounding college players that the pros don’t experience.

* Good news is that the team only got 5 days off at the end of the year before being called back for conditioning. SFN Comment – This is in contrast to what appeared to be only 5 days of conditioning for the team for all of last summer.

* Adam Gold did a good job of probing what he wanted to probe. SFN Comment: This is not a criticism, but I would like to see that kind of probing

* Coach expects Brandon Costner to have a very good year. SFN Comment: We hope Brandon Costner has a very good year. However, the ONLY way that Costner has a year that resembles his freshman year instead of his sophomore year will be if he plays like a power forward who has a decent shot as opposed to plays like a wing forward who is too big and too slow forhis position.)

* AG brought up the post players and brought up Tracy Smith’s progress. SFN Comment: At first it felt as though Sidney sidestepped Tracy Smith which scared me due to the rumors that have swirled related to potential eligibility challenges. But, Coach finished his conversation about the post players with reassuring comments about Smith (particularly his

* Good question by Ovies near the end the interview about what Coach has learned/adjusted to?

About StateFans

'StateFansNation' is the shared profile used by any/all of the dozen or so authors that contribute to the blog. You may not always agree with us, but you will have little doubt about where we stand on most issues. Please follow us on Twitter and FaceBook

08-09 Basketball General Sidney Lowe

94 Responses to Two Coach Lowe Interviews (Updated 10pm ET): ‘Not that I can discuss at this point’

  1. happypackdad 06/19/2008 at 9:52 AM #

    I missed all but the end of the interview. Could someone paraphrase questions/answers? Thx.

  2. BoKnowsNCS71 06/19/2008 at 10:00 AM #

    You can listen to the whole thing here.

  3. Afterglow 06/19/2008 at 10:34 AM #

    I forgot about Tracy Smith. I have a good feeling about him. I’m also happy to hear that they’re hitting the weights.

    Over all, it was a good interview. I sense that Brandon is hungry (not in a White Castle way) and that the Big Ben is going to be ready as well.

    It makes sense to me how these players didn’t take too kindly to having to adjust around Hickson. I mean, they went from being key components on a team to being almost role players in a lot ways and it feels like they just lost themselves. A lot of that rides on the coaches shoulders for not being able to foster that; but to an extent-I think it would be a hard adjustment regardless. Like Lowe said, if there’s a five star-one and done-player, you would be stupid not to take him. It’s the blending process that needs to be refined by the coaching staff. I know from my own experience in working with At Risk Youth that one kid can totally change the dynamic of the group and as a counselor; you have to anticipate these things and adjust. The same goes for the coaching staff.

    Intimations were made all year about the health of both Big Ben and Brandon Costner and I think light was shed on the whole Big Ben situation-in that he was more so hurt than we knew. As for Brandon, I think it was the combination of three things: being hurt, sophomore slump and getting his ego smashed. If there’s any truth to humility before happiness than perhaps Brandon Costner got his dose last year.

    Call me crazy, eternally optimistic or anything else for that matter-but I actually have a good feeling about this year.

  4. wufpup76 06/19/2008 at 10:43 AM #

    Pretty good interview … Coach Lowe doesn’t really say anything to any extreme (as you would expect) – though I’m not sure how much I liked hearing “… we should be ok at point guard as long as we don’t have injuries. The key is Farnold … ”

    Not really sure what else he can say, but I’m not very optimistic about the point … at least Javi got a lot of experience …. Farnold seems to be progressing ok – so I guess I’ll hope for the best 🙁

    I certainly hope everything he said about team conditioning is true … I hope the guys come back fit, angry, and motivated

    Would like to have heard Adam or Joe ask about our non-existent ‘D’ or rebounding and how that *should* improve this season, but whatever … (if the D or the rebounding doesn’t improve at all that would be most distressing)

    go pack

  5. El Scrotcho 06/19/2008 at 10:47 AM #

    I just never quite understood how Costner and McCauley could not feel like critical key components on the team…I just couldn’t see that that we had anywhere near enough talent on the floor for people to be upset about the role or minutes. There was plenty of room for more stars – especially when you looked at UNC with 5 stars on the floor at all times. A situation like that is where you would expect to see chemistry/minutes and all that bubble up. I guess it all goes back to coaching and getting people in the right mindset, we just flat out tanked that last year.

  6. WolftownVA81 06/19/2008 at 11:30 AM #

    Good interview. At least there was no hint of MJ playing point. Hopefully he can find his shot and settle into a part-time role in the #2 spot. This team should be playing for the respect they lost last year. They should utterly destroy the first few opponents faced. I’m pulling for you guys; but, you’ve got to show your fans you want to win. Go Pack.

  7. Afterglow 06/19/2008 at 11:35 AM #

    Agree with it comes down to coaching and getting people in the right mindset. Keep in mind that no one at UNC is new to the idea of having new five star talent coming in. I think that whole process was definitely new to BC and Ben-especially after their roles in the prior year. I simply don’t think they were ready and having JJ, disrupted them just enough. Plus, I feel like injuries played a big role as well.

    Lowe hasn’t yet cultivated the same type of system that UNC, Duke or any big time school for that matter has. Adjusting to new talent for those big time schools I think is in their “mindsets” already and each Five Star veteran player knows that they very well could lose minutes if they aren’t willing to adjust to the talent around them. Plus, if they are playing to their abilities of their Five Star status, they shouldn’t have to worry-because in a lot of cases, the rookies ease there way in as the year goes on-unless of course we are dealing with phenoms.

  8. ncsu96 06/19/2008 at 12:00 PM #

    I think some of you guys are forgetting about Engin Atstur. I think made both Ben and Brandon look a little better. He made sure they were in right place and got them the ball where they wanted it.

    No doubt Ben and Brandon should have adjusted better to playing with Hickson, but there was definately more to it than that.

  9. Afterglow 06/19/2008 at 12:12 PM #

    Good point ncsu96. I’ve never really underestimated the importance of a good point guard and that was an obvious deficit last year. That explains how they looked lost with no steadfast court guidance. However, I do think there is still something to be said about embracing roles for the betterment of the team and excepting the role you make for yourself. If you’re not playing up to your caliber, then you sit. I do think though that with a good floor general, those roles would have been exploited more but It’s my belief that BC suffered some from injury, sophmore slumpage and having his ego smashed.

  10. Pack92 06/19/2008 at 12:38 PM #

    Point guard at our current talent/depth level is absolutely critical. You have to have a floor leader who can maximize the talent he has and recognize opportunities the opposing team gives him. If not, each player tries to do it all himself and we’ve seen that just won’t cut it in the ACC.
    All that being said, I would rather take our chances with the way we were playing at the end of 07-08 than have a Hickson and look like we did this year.

  11. newt 06/19/2008 at 12:41 PM #

    I think our record last year proves that every player is a key component, whether they realize it or not.

  12. StateFans 06/19/2008 at 12:45 PM #

    It doesn’t help us to have great post players if we don’t have guards who can get them the ball.

  13. BJD95 06/19/2008 at 1:09 PM #

    PG is crucial, but we need to find a 2 guard that isn’t a complete cipher. Ferguson is limited defensively (due to athleticism), and MJ can’t shoot. So, Mays really needs to be much better than advertised.

    Fells must play the 3, and only the 3. He’s the worst passer of any starting guard that I’ve ever seen at the ACC level.

  14. tcthdi-tgsf-twhwtnc 06/19/2008 at 1:42 PM #

    Let us hope that Costner, the team and staff don’t embrace the ‘Big Lazy’ nickname anymore. What a ridiculous mindset for a ACC college basketball starter. Why not just go by ‘The Sloth”?

    Wouldn’t it make more sense for Costner to give himself the monkier ‘Grim Reaper’ or the ‘Guillotine’? That would be a little more appropriate than letting other’s basically call you fat and lazy.

  15. Ed89 06/19/2008 at 1:51 PM #

    Here’s my guess….easily the #2 spot is the most “up for grabs.”

    1. Degand — Javi/Johnson
    2. Fergie — Mays/Williams
    3. Fells — Thomas/Harris
    4. Brandon — Horner
    5. Ben — Smith

  16. StateFans 06/19/2008 at 1:57 PM #

    I wouldn’t be surprised to see Smith start and Brandon/Ben fight it out for the other post spot.

    IF Brandon could legitimately handle the 3-spot then we could mask some of our talent deficiency and lead with an adequate starting five of Degand, Fells, Costner, Smith & McCauley.

    But, I just cannot see Costner being able to handle the responsibility after what we saw last year. He cannot handle the defensive responsibilities of the wing and turns the ball over entirely too much on the perimeter.

  17. Ed89 06/19/2008 at 2:00 PM #

    I think you’re right about Smith/BC/Ben, but no way I see BC in at the 3. I think Fells will play the 3 because I believe Sid wants to speed up the tempo a bit. Just my guess….

  18. happypackdad 06/19/2008 at 2:08 PM #

    no way BC & Ben don’t start. Mayes/Javi/Fergie/Fells all will play some 2 IMO. A lot will depend on JT & DeGand’s health.

  19. graywolf 06/19/2008 at 2:28 PM #

    Nice to hear that the summer workout sessions began 5 days after the season ended. I hope the staff is involved in the training process if this is NCAA approved.
    Next year we need guards and big men that run the floor, and especially on defense.
    Our big men also need massive lessons on boxing out so that some of the rebounds go our way and not to the opposing team.
    I thought Lowe handled himself well and now the focus needs to be on improvement for next season. Nowhere to go but up.

  20. wufpup76 06/19/2008 at 2:40 PM #

    “Fells must play the 3, and only the 3. He’s the worst passer of any starting guard that I’ve ever seen at the ACC level.”

    I love Courtney, but this is so true … I have never seen more lazy passes come from an individaul player at this level of basketball … let’s hope fundamentals are being stressed a lot more over the summer months as well …

    It would be great if we could use Costner at the 3 some, but I believe like most others that he’s a 4 and only a 4 … although, if what Coach Lowe has said about his conditioning this off-season (lost about. 15 lbs) we could see a much quicker (a la freshman) version of Costner … at the very least this should help his devensive and rebounding capabilities ….

    “no way BC & Ben don’t start.” – I don’t know if I’d go that far … after last season, I would hope that all positions are wide open for who wants it the most … that said, if Ben and Brandon can start looking like an ’06-’07 version of themselves (w/ a lot of help from solid pg play) then, yeah – I think they should start … I really like Tracy though …

  21. happypackdad 06/19/2008 at 2:45 PM #

    Fells almost avgd a triple double in HS. He has the skills, he just needs to stay positive & up for an entire game.

    BJD95: No offense, but what he did in high school is no longer really relevant. He’s been consistently awful with his passing and decisionmaking as a college guard for THREE YEARS. Now, he can be a solid scorer, rebounder, and defender if he pays attention and gives consistent effort. But he can’t be a guard anymore than I can be a duck.

  22. Classof89 06/19/2008 at 3:25 PM #

    With the way last season went, if this team doesn’t show up in October with a fire and work ethic to erase the memory of last year’s debacle, then there is something seriously wrong with this program. I don’t want to hear any reports of players showing up out of shape, and I don’t want to see lack of hustle and desire, even in the preseason exhibition games…

  23. Afterglow 06/19/2008 at 3:51 PM #

    Year three is crucial for Lowe and staff. I’m an optimist but a realist too and I don’t see any justification in holding onto this staff if things don’t improve. By improvement, I mean: a well conditioned basketball team, a strong foundation of fundamentals, reacting and not thinking<<<of course you need some of the latter, a serviceable heady point guard, chemistry, heart, heart and more heart.

    That’s not to say that I don’t believe winning is important however, I do believe that winning would follow suit if said above improvements were made.

  24. Afterglow 06/19/2008 at 4:12 PM #

    I found this to be an interesting tidbit of information off of an interview at

    Interviewer: Any other personnel changes?

    Coach Lowe: Not that I can discuss at this point.

    Interviewer: Not just the players, but any other staff changes?

    Coach Lowe: Not that I can discuss at this point.

    I found this to be rather encouraging as well; especially the last four sentences.

    Interviewer: Can you talk a little about your goals for the guys coming back?

    Coach Lowe: I think the first thing is I’m going to continue to hope we stay healthy. Not having Farnold obviously had a great impact on our team. I expect our guys to come back and be ready to play. I’ve seen that in them this summer. Now, part of it is because I demanded that. Guys are down in weight. They are getting down to where I want them, not where they want to be. They are in the gym, they are working out, and I think their mindset is going to be different.

    We had postseason meetings. They understand me and where I’m coming from. It’s going to be my way and that’s it. It’s real simple. They are players and I’m the coach and they are going to do it my way. If they don’t, then they don’t want to be here.

    Sounds like he’s more the coach and less an Amato-esc buddy. Granted-it’s a freaking interview and only time will tell-but maybe change is on the immediate horizon. Heck, maybe he had a little chat with Tom O’brien.

  25. BJD95 06/19/2008 at 4:18 PM #

    The only way you could start that “big” lineup is if McCauley played PG, and you shifted Degand to the 2. Fells can’t play the 2, and BC can’t play the 3.

    Fells also has the tendency to not move very much on offense, which is more of a problem as a 2 than as a 3.

    I think Ben and BC both start (if for no other reason than to avoid pouting), but Tracy will get almost equal minutes, spelling both. Horner will have trouble finding PT as the 4th big, absent foul trouble. Fells has no real backup, so it might be Harris by default. Nothing I have heard or read indicates that Thomas will be physically ready to play significant minutes next year, if ever. I also don’t see CJ Williams landing significant PT, although he could possibly fill or share Harris’ role. Just wish everyone played as hard as Simon.

    PG – Degand (Javi as backup – hopefully just 5-7 mpg)
    SG – Mays by default (Ferguson for offense, MJ for defense as backups)
    SF – Fells (Harris)
    PF – Costner (Smith, Horner)
    C – McCauley (Smith)

Leave a Reply