Revisiting Last February’s Analysis

We will come back to this once the 2008-09 season is completely over. But I think it’s a good time to look back at this entry from last February, after a particularly brutal loss to Boston College. Many of our current commenters posted thoughts on that thread. Now that a little over a year has passed – how do you feel?

On the positive side, I think Lowe at least partway met the three criteria I laid out at the end of the post. We are better than last year, and the effort has at least improved. But not completely – we are not even in the NCAAT bubble discussion (NIT-ology has us on the wrong side of the NIT bubble this week). Our defensive effort is inconsistent at best. The 2009 recruiting class is good, but not Top Ten without Wall or Cousins – and we have very little chance of landing either.

Perhaps the most disturbing part of the re-read was the discussion of adjustments/moves/lessons happening in mid-February that needed to happen in mid-December. That seems to have repeated itself, and is a giant red flag, at least to me.

About BJD95

1995 NC State graduate, sufferer of Les and MOC during my entire student tenure. An equal-opportunity objective critic and analyst of Wolfpack sports.

07-08 Basketball 08-09 Basketball Flashback General NCS Basketball Sidney Lowe

72 Responses to Revisiting Last February’s Analysis

  1. Rochester 03/04/2009 at 8:02 AM #

    If any of the big 3 can’t get jazzed about Senior Night tonight, I’m fine with them sitting the bench the rest of the way, including in the ACCT.

    As for the Maryland game killing our hopes of going to the NCAAT, that’s not what did it. Our only shot is winning the ACCT. The Maryland game made it tougher for us to go to the NIT, which is pretty sad.

  2. Rick 03/04/2009 at 8:13 AM #

    “The reasons it took so long for Tracy Smith to log major minutes this year are that he is a poor defensive player”

    How much worse could he be than Brandon “El Matador” Costner? BC is a human pylon.

    I keep hearing how we will miss the big three. Maybe.
    But whoever replaces them will certainly give more consistent effort.
    Fells and BC have been the most frustrating and irritating players I have ever seen where a Pack uniform. Both should have been so much better than they are.

  3. Rick 03/04/2009 at 8:16 AM #

    “The bailout fouls have started for Duke with over 6 minutes left … They’ll win by 10+”

    Not only that but Williams was allowed to grab, clutch, hold and shove Douglas. It was the worst I have ever seen. I do not understand how, down low, any time a defensive player touches an offensive player, it is a foul. But out top Duke players are allowed to shove, poke and prod. No wonder Duke wins so much.

  4. Wolfpack_1995 03/04/2009 at 8:23 AM #

    What is sad about the big 3 was pointed out to me on another site.

    The recruiting class of (Ben, BC, and Fells) was proclaimed as the 11th ranked recruiting class in 2005 nation by rivals.

    BC was a 5 star McD all-American, Fells was a four star, and Ben was a 3 star.

    Yet with the talent these guys potentially had/have they have done nothing to justify their ranking.

    Maybe they cannot adjust to Sid’s system and maybe Sid cannot adjust to them but I think it is pathetic that neither the players nor the coach could not maximize their talents.

    Oh well, the big 3 get one more chance to show how good they are on Senior night vs. BC today.

    Should the big 3 be considered overrated recruits or recruits that were not used properly by Sid?

    Chicken or egg type question.

  5. Alpha Wolf 03/04/2009 at 9:07 AM #

    ^ I’m quite sure that Lowe never coaches certain players to loaf and pout. They do that all on their own.

  6. wpackman33 03/04/2009 at 9:35 AM #

    Amen Alpha! Its just about intensity and passion. if they just showed some hustle game in and game out, they would get their points and rebound and hence, make us a lot better team. It kills me to think that Fells can suck it up like he did against Maryland, and a few weeks prior he can go off against Miami. Why can’t we have that same effort night in and night out. It seems like his and especially Costner’s nights can be predicted in the first couple of minutes in the game. If they come out and hit a few big shots, their thinking “alright, i’m feeling it tonight. i’ll play hard.” and if they don’t it seems like their just “well, this isn’t my night so i’ll just go through the motions.” At least when McCauley has an off night he still seems to hustle and stay intense.
    Frustrating, so frustrating!!

  7. ktoh 03/04/2009 at 9:36 AM #

    It may be a combo of the big 3,the remainder and the Big 1 in the red jacket as well

  8. BJD95 03/04/2009 at 10:00 AM #

    No matter whose FAULT it is, Sidney Lowe is RESPONSIBLE for the product he puts on the floor every night.

  9. ktoh 03/04/2009 at 10:11 AM #

    ^ Amen just because you question Sid’s coaching does not mean you do not root for him. But he must be one of the few coach’s in the country that is never accountable or responsible for what he puts out on the floor. With all the joy around here about “progress” we are looking at another bottom of the league finish. A 7-10 game in front of a few thousand in the dome against Va tech or Maryland both who will be playing for something.

  10. packof81 03/04/2009 at 10:15 AM #

    Ever since the Death Spiral chain things have turned around a little, and Sid has shown me that he’s at least learning and improving.

    You mean the stretch when we beat Wake Farce and squeaked out a couple other wins? Yeah, things were starting to look hopeful but then we lose several in a row, dashing those hopes.

  11. burnbarn 03/04/2009 at 10:34 AM #

    I think Ben has had a 3 star type career… he has played up to his potential… He didn’t overachieve but he has been a fine player for us.

  12. Ed89 03/04/2009 at 10:50 AM #

    For the record, Ben was a 4-star and the 24th ranked PF in the 2005 recruiting class on Scout. Rivals had him as a 4-star and the 22nd ranked PF. He’s been a quality player (& student). I think he’s been Academic All-ACC for 3 or 4 years.

  13. Rochester 03/04/2009 at 10:58 AM #

    Knowing that nothing drastic is going to change this offseason and knowing that we have zero shot at the NCAAT without winning the ACCT, it makes no sense to get worked up afresh after each ball game. We generally played pretty well in February, and Sid looked like he was making some improvements.

    We played like crap on Sunday and I was almost wishing Sid would go back to his line-change strategy just to get someone on the floor who looked like they cared. As far as total sh*t performances, that was the first one in a while. Tonight it either becomes a trend or we bounce back to playing with pride. A five-game slide to end the year would leave nearly as bad a taste as last year’s nine-game skid.

  14. wufpup76 03/04/2009 at 11:10 AM #

    “Tonight it either becomes a trend or we bounce back to playing with pride. A five-game slide to end the year would leave nearly as bad a taste as last year’s nine-game skid.”

    ^Exactly. This season has been far different than last season in terms of not quitting and showing a little resiliency. But a rolling over stretch to close out the season and we’re right back to the feeling of last season.

    As much as it pains me, I can’t wait to go tonight and see how we look. I love N.C. State and college basketball …

    Fool me a thousand times I suppose …

  15. Rick 03/04/2009 at 11:19 AM #

    “Amen just because you question Sid’s coaching does not mean you do not root for him. But he must be one of the few coach’s in the country that is never accountable or responsible for what he puts out on the floo”

    Are you for real? He has gotten tons of criticism. Tons.
    You move into my “posters to ignore” category.

  16. primacyone 03/04/2009 at 11:32 AM #

    Nice interview with Mays and Woods high school coach:

  17. wufpup76 03/04/2009 at 11:56 AM #

    Ok – this is pretty much must see and we can always use some humor:

    As much as I can’t stand Maryland and their fans, I have to give them credit on this one because they really pulled this one off …

  18. redfred2 03/04/2009 at 12:35 PM #

    If you look back over that thread from last season, you’ll see that I did something that is so out of the ordinary, that it is almost beyond belief.

    A entire thread about BB, and I didn’t even comment one time!!!!

    I must have been sick, work must have been really busy, maybe the car was in the shop, we must have had company, something was definitely wrong. Sorry to have let you guys down back then, I’ll try to pick up the slack from here on out. 😉

  19. Rochester 03/04/2009 at 1:39 PM #


    I wasn’t on it either. I think by that point I was trying to tune out because I was so pissed off.

  20. redfred2 03/04/2009 at 6:08 PM #

    I don’t know really what to say at this point. My only theory as to why things haven’t improved more rapidly than they have, involves intangibles and going back in time, and it’s also not very kind to certain individuals who are still around the program right now.

    Depending on how much Sidney Lowe has learned about THE ABSOLUTE NECESSITY of taking FULL advantage of the off season, I think there is a very good possibility that we may come out early next season looking worse than anything we’ve seen yet over his first three seasons. We will be very young so I’m kind of expecting that scenario already, and I THINK(?) I will be able to wait it out until they have had proper to get comfortable at playing together. What will send me over the edge will be seeing players out on the court who act as if they aren’t clued in or as if they aren’t interested in making a difference while they are granted the privilege of PT ONCE AGAIN, and while they are suited up to represent NC State University.

    I think(?)/hope that we are very close to seeing an end to the times when young athletes coast through their brief careers as NC State BB players. We shall see.

  21. Greywolf 03/04/2009 at 7:02 PM #

    We better start praying that Sidney Lowe turns out to be a great coach. There was no line to interview for the job when Jimmy V was hired, nor Les Robingson, nor H. Sendek, nor was there a great line when Sidney Lowe was hired. We or any school could go into 22nd century and not hire, try and fire the next Jimmy V. Don’t forget a lot of the appeal that Valvano had was he was relatively cheap to hire, not that he was a sure NCAA Championship winning coach.

    TOB is a great coach for NCSU, but I’m not counting on National Championships in my or his lifetime. We can and will conference championships, but NC’s, I don’t think so. Sid is the horse we are riding and if he is a slow starter, our best shot is to nuture and urge him on to win in the stretch. The trouble most of the younger members here have is expecting Sid to win out of the chute and if not win then certainly steadily gain without falling back at all.

    We are going to find out if Sid can coach and recruit sooner rather than later. Had he inherited a good, deep squad, it may have taken us much longer to find out what kind of coach he is. We would have been like Jags at BC, Sid would have bee winning with HS recruited and trained players. Maybe Jags was a good coach only we will never know. We will know for certain about Sid towards the end of year 5. How ever our AD is will likely be instructed to give him the benefit of the doubt and give him a 6th or 7th year. The degree that he is failing will hasten his departure ala Chuck Amato.

    Those of you who keep thinking that coaching and winning championships is like running a business, take a look at some of the businesses we thought were chanpions a few months ago. Some really big boys have have been at the gas pipe.

  22. Pack1998 03/04/2009 at 9:31 PM #

    So if Sid achieves an NCAA bid in his 4th year does that make him a better coach than the great Herb Sendek, since Sendek didn’t achieve that until his 6th year.

    This team is fine, it was picked to finish bad. 7 wins in the ACC would be wonderful.

    And we are 4 free throws away from being on the bubble (Horner’s 2 a Marq and at VT). Not picking on Horner, but just using it as an analysis for how close the team is to being a NCAA bubble team. My only disappointment is that we are not 2-3 wins better and in the bubble discussions. I think that delta is due to Sid’s learning curve.

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