No post season of any kind for Wolfpack

Despite all the frustration that many State fans are currently expressing — it is weird to think that had the Wolfpack just hit a couple of missed free throws in the last minute of games against Marquette, Florida and Virginia Tech that we would have been guaranteed an NIT bid and would have entered the ACC Tournament on the NCAA Bubble. Think about that.

It’s the ‘little things’ that make all the difference – and items like free throws, defense, general fundamentals and organizational professionalism are the ‘little things’ that this basketball program needs to improve upon with no time to spare.

Lee Fowler may still believe that he ‘knows basketball’, but he evidently doesn’t know anyone that can get his basketball program into any of the three secondary basketball tournaments being played this year.

Link to ACCNow

It wasn’t a surprise that the Wolfpack wasn’t invited to the NIT. There are actually some pretty good matchups in the NIT.

The College Basketball Invitational (CBI) – which saw Tulsa defeat Bradley to win year’s inaugural tournament – felt as though it would be natural fit for State’s season to extend. (Link) But, the Wolfpack failed to make the CBI field that included, Stanford, Richmond, Charleston, Troy, St. John’s, Oregon State, Houston, Green Bay, Vermont, Wyoming, UTEP, Northeastern, Nevada, Wichita State, Boise State & Buffalo.

If only those Athletics Directors ‘knew basketball’!

The new Tournament will not include the Wolfpack. The website for this tournament discusses the event and includes the following that would explain how nothing but mid-majors comprise the field.

Eligible Teams:
Participating teams must finish the regular season with a winning record against division I opponents. Teams whose conferences have less than fifty-percent (50%) of their teams participating in the NCAA and NIT tournaments will be given higher priority for selection into the Postseason Tournament.

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08-09 Basketball General

102 Responses to No post season of any kind for Wolfpack

  1. #44 17 24 03/15/2009 at 10:14 PM #

    If David Thompson was right in saying, “The NIT is for losers”, than what does it mean when you don’t even get invited to it? I hate Lee Fowler.

  2. Ed89 03/15/2009 at 10:21 PM #

    The CIT is evidently for Mid-majors. Not a single major conference participant. Who cares….

  3. beowolf 03/15/2009 at 10:37 PM #

    This season can’t have ended soon enough for these guys. For the departing players, thanks for the memories the memory nothing!

  4. inhoc... 03/15/2009 at 10:46 PM #

    OK, basketball season is over. can we please move on to Air Rifle season, or better yet baseball? no more talk of our (lack of) basketball program. the only constructive discussions that we can have about this basketball/athletic program as a whole is getting Fowler out, and Sid behind him. that is the brutal reality. i unfortunately don’t contribute large amounts of money into the program, maybe those that do need to pool together and see if their money can talk.

  5. JeremyH 03/15/2009 at 10:47 PM #

    Wow, we got rejected from the reject of the reject tournament. At least I don’t have any UNC friends that I have lunch with everyday, like in the Les Robinson years. We are so very baaaaaad!

  6. Greywolf 03/15/2009 at 11:26 PM #

    If we had made those free throws and won in the first round of the ACCT, would we be making the same assessments of Lowe? I loved Coach Case, didn’t like Maravich for hauling ass after one full year, liked Norm Sloan, think Les Robinson is a quality kind of guy and was relieved when he replaced himself or was replaced, Jimmy V was da bomb, and I was very excited about getting HS but felt hopeless after 5 seasons of mediocrity. HS was a typical state employee — did well enough to keep his job and that was about it.

    I’m thoroughly confused about Sidney Lowe. Obviously he or his assistants can do something right, Javi was a miracle. But WTF was he thinking with his starters and freshmen? In my heart I could go with Ben, Courtney and Brandon — they were seniors, if that matters. But Farnold? Rest his knee. And what’s with some of the other mysteries? Fuck it. Football starts soon.

  7. codebrown 03/15/2009 at 11:31 PM #

    Doesn’t somebody have to lose their job(s) for this? Say what you want about Sid, but it takes more than a coach and winning a tournament game to change this current mentality of the Wolfpack nation. We need to clean house and that starts at the top.

  8. wolfpack95 03/16/2009 at 12:04 AM #

    It will get worse next season.

  9. wufpup76 03/16/2009 at 1:57 AM #

    Ok – so the season is officially over. Thank you Ben, Courtney, and Simon for your efforts.

    Season Grade: C- (graded on a curve from the previous season – please see explanation at bottom of grade)

    – It wasn’t a repeat of 2007-2008 (not saying much)
    – Game planning and preparation was better (in the majority of games)
    – Effort / energy usually appeared to be there; no quitting.
    – Team was “in” majority/all of games
    – Defense and rebounding improved (see the negatives before you howl)
    – Point guard play improved (if not entirely settled)
    – Team chemistry was undeniably better
    – A few players improved dramatically throughout the season (Smith, Gonzalez, Horner)
    – The head coach was in charge of the team; not the other way around
    – The head coach credits the players for winning games, not himself

    – No “go to” leader emerged – this cost a few ballgames
    – Several big leads blown in games that resulted in some devastating losses
    – Defense and rebounding were still subpar relative to ACC competition (esp. defense)
    – Turnovers – from all positions
    – Lack of poise and confidence to close out opponents
    – Sub patterns and rotation were never clearly defined
    – Game management was poor / confusing at times (benching hot players for 10+ minutes)
    – A few players appeared to regress throughout the season (Costner, Degand)
    – The head coach is still winless against both Maryland and Clemson after this season
    – The head coach continues to assign blame to players and not himself after losses

    Overview: There were improvements – necessary improvements that occurred from last season to this season. Otherwise, discussion over whether a change should be made or not would’ve been rendered moot. Team chemistry, effort and energy level were all noticeably better. The team competed in most games and were not ever really blown off the floor. There were a couple of nice wins. There were only two games (both against the same team) that everyone would like to forget from a performance standpoint(Maryland – maybe we should give Gary and co. more credit).

    That said, results have to count for something and the improvement made in overall win/loss total both in and out of conference was better, but only marginally so. There were still many puzzling occurrences throughout games and in the season. And the blown leads … oh my, the blown leads. There are too many question marks and losses, and no postseason play.

    Overall, it was an improvement from the previous season, but how much so really? Many have said this team is not talented, and that our point guards couldn’t cut it. If that’s the case, then the coach and team deserve credit for getting as much as they did out of the season. Others have said that the team has underperformed and not gotten as much out of itself as it could. If that’s the case, then the team and coach should be taken to task for it. I think the answer lies somewhere in the middle and it’s a little of both … hence, C-.

    Grade explanation:

    “But wufpup you idiot, would this season usually equate into anything other than an F?”


    “Why then should the team and staff be “rewarded” with a grading curve from last season?”

    To be honest, there are some mitigating factors. Last year happened. It was a complete “F” on the grading scale. That said, the overwhelming majority of State fans did not call for a regime change. They demanded improvement. That same majority went into the season fully expecting an NIT berth at best so long as there was improvement. If those were your expectations, then do the usual standards apply? The factors brought up last year for NOT executing a change (you know them all) still applied going into this season with the expectation that there would be obvious changes and improvement … and that is how I graded this season.

    For me personally, those factors are now over and kaput. There are now no more excuses about how Jed f’d up the search and cost a recruiting cycle, brought in a coach with no college experience etc, etc, so on, so forth. This will be year 4 coming up. It’s results or else time.

    “But wufpup, what are results – aren’t there other factors you moron???”

    Results are things that are tangible and can be measured or quantified – and no, there are no other factors. It’s no excuses time.

    Results include: Overall win/loss total, Conference win/loss total, Tournament participation and win/loss total within said tournament. Easy. Definable. Simple. And ultimately what matters most.

    Results do not include: Who is on the roster. Who isn’t on the roster. Who will be on the roster. Who may be on the roster. Injuries. Potential. Excuses.

    If one has done their job sufficiently in four seasons, then all the roster, injury, and potential talk takes care of itself.


    State of the Program Grade: D

    Some have declared the program dead with little hope of resuscitation. I don’t feel it is dead, but I do think it is on life support and quickly headed toward the abyss. The program is more or less viewed both regionally and nationally as a joke, like it or not, fair on unfair. The current leadership at N.C. State has allowed a stigma to be attached to the program over the years and has done well to foster said stigma.

    It is now at a fever pitch after a botched coaching search and hiring process. To compound this, the leadership saw fit to place a completely inexperienced college level coach directly in the path of the train and told him to stop it from hitting anything. This, only after being publicly rejected and ridiculed – a process that continues still today. This same coach who is trying to “take one for the team” has had a team quit on him in one of his three seasons and is struggling to gain credibility. The de-commitment of a high profile recruit may not mean much in the short run, but it is an extremely bad sign of how things are going.

    In short, it will take a strong result next season – such as an ACC title or a non-bubble NCAAT invite – to help change the perception of N.C. State basketball under it’s current coach to the people that matter the most: it’s own fans. Short of that, a complete overhaul from the top of the athletics department on down may (will) be necessary.

    One things for certain, if certain changes aren’t made in key leadership positions when and if the time comes for a change then all of this is moot. Unless there is a change in the leadership and/or the culture at N.C. State, this program will be lost without any hope of real, positive change for some time. An erred decision such as the one made with Herb after year 5 will be the death nail.

    Please forgive the length of the post.

  10. Avid109 03/16/2009 at 4:46 AM #

    In short, we need to shed Jed and find a competent AD. The new AD would have to take the job with the understanding that some very tough decisions may have to be made in the first year.

  11. BJD95 03/16/2009 at 6:15 AM #

    I don’t buy the “just a few plays away” argument. Never have, never will (for reference, this was the last refuge of the handful of people who supported Les Robinson). If you look at the season as a whole, almost every one of our wins was close, too – and a handful of plays would have turned those into losses. Thus, we came out about even, making the final result is a fair reflection of the true status of our program.

    Of course Fowler should be accountable for this. His myriad failures have led us up to this point, of either being stone dead or extreme life support.

    And it’s sad when the most optimistic viewpoint is that we are on extreme life support.

  12. Wulfpack 03/16/2009 at 6:18 AM #

    Spot on wufpup. Thanks for your insights. Very thorough and I think what the majority of Wolfpack fans are thinking, though some have already checked out.

  13. shelbypackfan 03/16/2009 at 6:43 AM #

    I read SFN everyday but never write…but here’s my two cents….Yes this season sucked (and so did last season), but I do feel like a less talented team improved over last year. And over all I think the class coming in, top to bottom is Sid’s best, if not the best State has had in a while. If you go by Scout or Rivals thoughts. But for everyone ready to put Sid’s head on the chopping block….did you forget we got turned down by every coach short of a high school coach during Jed’s last coaching search. You have got to give a coach 5 years if for no other reason to show any prospective coaches that he’ll get time to build HIS team. And with Sid having no, none, zero, nada recruiting experience (I know his staff has plenty), it we’ll take atleast 5. I do like the fact that we were at least on the short list for 3 of the top players in the country during one or the worst era’s of NC State basketball, And to finish…..if CJ Leslie is afraid to play in the ACC and wants to go run to Memphis and Conference USA….let him go….we don’t need any half-hearted players anymore. We got to witness enough of that lately.

  14. Rochester 03/16/2009 at 6:51 AM #

    Please bury the “we got turned down by every coach” argument. “We,” as in Lee Fowler, f’d up the search. There were tons of good coaches out there we didn’t ask. Okay to shoot for the moon with Barnes, and even the scumbag Calipari, but don’t go into a coaching search with no Plan B.

    I did see marginal improvement this year, enough that I seem to have slightly more hope about next year than most people on this site. But the bottom line is last year we won 15 games and this year we won 16. At this pace we’re not going to get anywhere any time soon.

    By this time next year we’ll either be back on solid footing or we’ll know it’s time for a change. There won’t be any gray area left. If we miss the tournament for a 4th straight year, that’s grounds for starting over.

  15. LRM 03/16/2009 at 6:51 AM #

    This is the best thing that could have happened. The last thing we needed after this abortion of a season was some sort of pseudo-validation for Lee Fowler & Co. that this is a program “on the rise.”

  16. graywolf 03/16/2009 at 7:13 AM #

    And, baseball loses 2 of 3 to Maryland…..Not a good weekend for the pack.

  17. Bubba 03/16/2009 at 7:18 AM #

    Folks are acting like they didnt see this coming before the year started. This teams ceiling was 16-17 wins.

    As for the CBI, we didnt submit paperwork necessary to be in the pool of teams for the CBI (I applaud LF for that move). So technically we didnt decline an invite,whether one would have been offered, who knows.

    This season needed to be over and now it finally is done

  18. Alpha Wolf 03/16/2009 at 7:19 AM #

    For those of you who are fond of the “we were a a few free throws from the NCAA” argument, well, the counter is that the opposition was a few free throws away from State winning exactly one ACC game all season. That road runs both ways, fellows.

    The long and short of this season is that you have to do the little things right to give good luck a chance to happen. We aren’t, it didn’t, and here we are.

  19. whitefang 03/16/2009 at 7:21 AM #

    I agree that it is best that we did not prolong this season by some half-assed losers tourney. Sure as heck didn’t need to give Fowler, Lowe, and any of the Kool-Aid drinkers an excuse to call this past season a building block success.
    It is ridiculous to say we were turned down by everybody on the last search. That is definitely not true, and I think Fowler took the easy and stupid way out after he screwed the pooch early in the search. I think we took the worst possible option in retrospect.
    I personally couldn’t grade this season any higher than an D- which is the same thing as an F in my book. Another season under the current coaching staff is just prolonging the agony. I see no evidence that this team could in any way be called well-coached. I am sure we give ’em another year, but the powers that be better be prepared to see attendance plummet further in my opinion. Being 30 years away from a State student may cloud my perception, but I couldn’t see me making it all the way out to the RBC center to watch this under-performing program if I was still there. Walking over to Reynolds is one thing, but the several miles out there is another. Too many other things to do.
    And drive across the state to watch a game? Can’t see it especially in the current economy.
    It is not gonna happen, but the best thing we could do is cut our losses. Buy out and thank Lowe for the effort. The experiment failed.
    The optimist in me says Fowler has been exposed for the incompetent buffoon that he is and his days are numbered. That is my hope.

  20. sautz 03/16/2009 at 7:24 AM #

    “Please bury the “we got turned down by every coach” argument. “We,” as in Lee Fowler, f’d up the search. There were tons of good coaches out there we didn’t ask. Okay to shoot for the moon with Barnes, and even the scumbag Calipari, but don’t go into a coaching search with no Plan B.”

    Thank you. There were plenty of coaches who would have some here. Their numbers did dwindle after Fowler made a national laughing stock out of us, but they were there. Frank Haith jumps to mind as well of any number of mid majors Jeddy boy never considered.

    Lowe was a very high risk hire. He had never accomplished anything as a head coach in the NBA and never even assisted in college. I’m guessing that Fowler was thinking big names get big time players, but outside NC State Lowe isn’t that big a name. See Matt Doherty and to a more extreme and slighty different way, Clyde Drexler.

  21. packalum44 03/16/2009 at 7:27 AM #

    Just curious if anyone knows what Lowe’s and Fowler’s buyouts are at?

  22. sautz 03/16/2009 at 7:35 AM #

    Since it’s the end of year 3 and we can talk about coaching a little more, I’ve been curious what Jeff’s feeling on all of this are? I remember him wanting Sendek to be gone after year 3, yet here we are and Lowe has a worse ACC record?
    Here is what Jeff had to say in 2006:

    “I guarantee that NC State’s next basketball coach (as long as he is not named John Brady) will have a more successful tenure than that of Herb Sendek. Guaranteed.”
    “Want some other guarantees? Easy. The next NC State Basketball Coach will also:

    * average better than #45 in the RPI when you selectively choose his best five seasons.

    * finish in the AP’s Top 25 more than a single time in a decade.

    * have a better average NCAA Tournament seed when you selectively choose his best five seasons.

    * have a better average ACC Tournament seed when you selectively choose his best five seasons.

    * win more than five NCAA Tournament games in the next decade. In fact, if Cedric Simmons stays in Raleigh for another year I will go on record that the Pack will win more than five NCAA Tournament games in the next five seasons (a time period that Sendek played in zero NCAA Tournament games)”

    Any updates to that?

  23. GoldenChain 03/16/2009 at 7:57 AM #

    Fowler isn’t going anywhere. The admin. doesn’t care or have the nads to actually do something. In fact I’m not so sure they have the nads to improve our standing in the academic community either (been looking at our rankings over there lately? And I can promise that the Phds are a LOT more worried about that).
    While Sid did better this year than last, there were still some puzzling things. Nevertheless, Sid is not going anywhere before the end of next year anyway.
    The one thing I believe I can say for Sid is that hopefully he loves the school enough that if he goes another season with no post season play he’ll step down for teh sake of the school.

  24. statered 03/16/2009 at 8:35 AM #

    To be honest with you I think we should can the negative comments on Sid until Lee Foulup is gone. We would be doing ourselves no favors letting Lee run another search. As hard as it is to beleive it could always get worse.

  25. charger17 03/16/2009 at 8:40 AM #

    I’ll be honest, a few weeks ago I was very willing to give Lowe even another two years. I also felt that the stretch following the WF game was the “all in” bet for this program under Lowe and (now hopefully) the AD. I wasn’t asking anyone to climb Mt. Everest. It was a simple, but very weighty, four games: Maryland, BC, @Miami, and Maryland at a nuetral site. Plain and simple result: 1-3.

    This is where I have the right to completely change my opinion. Almost everyone would agree that this four game stretch isn’t the only thing the fan base is looking at. It was simply the final verdict after many peices of evidence were revealed. Therefore, it is my opinion that giving Lowe another year is a waste of time. Of course, to make this happen we need a new AD. So, WHAT DO WE NEED TO DO TO GET A NEW AD and consequently, A NEW HEAD MEN’S BASKETBALL COACH?

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