The Rick Barnes Saga Continues to be Interesting

As I watched the first half of the Texas/Oklahoma State game tonight, I found myself watching intently and pondering what could have been. Who of us hasn’t over the last few years? What could have been? Or maybe would could still be!!! Many say this is a pipe dream at best, but is it really? Should we find ourselves in the market for a new coach sometime soon, is the prodigal NC son ready to return home?

Most of you know the connection between NC and Barnes. And then there’s infamous standoff with Dean at mid-court during a Clemson/UNC game which enamored Coach Barnes to most of us for eternity. Here’s a guy who is not intimidated by the Carolina “mystique”, he’s from NC and why again is he not our basketball coach?

So why might he leave Texas to come to Raleigh? Curious I just spent took a whirl over at the UT Rivals site. On the front, home page of the site there are literally NO basketball articles or major entries. Not one. It’s entirely football related (spring practice, recruiting, etc) and there’s one baseball entry. Here UT finds itself ranked in the Top 25 (although sitting at the disappointing position of 21 considering early season rankings – oh Lord may we one day have such “problems”), squarely looking at an NCAA Tournament bid in the face (again Lord, please?), and there is not a single entry on the front page of their primary fan site about basketball.

So let’s take the leap to the basketball main page. The top story is a complete slam at Barnes… a portion of which is entitled “The Blame Game” and starts something like: “the Texas meltdown can be blamed squarely on Barnes who hasn’t motivated his team… blah…blah…blah.” In the paragraph prior to that the author admits that Barnes ALWAYS has his team playing hard and rebounding well which keeps the team in almost every game. Again… why is it Lord can we not have such “problems?” You really should take a moment to read this. And they call our fans out of control…

Hell the Rivals site even has a baseball story on the BASKETBALL PAGE!!! While this, hopefully, is just an editor’s error, the irony is not lost me. The next most recent story is a blurb about Texas’ 40-point drubbing of conference foe Nebraska. This story was posted on Valentine’s Day. There’s no love in it much for Barnes, however. If you want to read some quotes from a frustrated coach after a win… read Barnes’ quotes here. He’s clearly perturbed at the heat being placed on him. There’s also an awful lot of talk about rifts within the program. You won’t be sorry for taking a moment to do so. I think if you do, you’ll see some hope for NC State sprinkled in there.

The second half of the Texas/Oklahoma State game has started. I’m going to turn my attention back to game and watch this thing unfold. Another loss could mean Meltdown City in Austin. Please share your thoughts and anything you find on this topic as it’s become very, very, very interesting with Texas admittedly under-achieving this year. Undoubtedly the Longhorn fans and Texas media has already turned on Barnes MUCH quicker than anything that’s ever happened around here.

Quite simply, the guy would be looked at as nothing short of a savior here… a golden god of sorts. There’s good reason to think given a few potential changes that are likely to occur soon along with some influence from some friends of the University, that Barnes could find his way to Raleigh some day. If it’s going to happen, I hope it’s sooner rather than later.

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72 Responses to The Rick Barnes Saga Continues to be Interesting

  1. wolfie91 02/24/2010 at 10:26 PM #

    I think Barnes is a good coach, but not sure why some have such a fascination with him. If Sidney Lowe doesn’t work out and we hire someone new, I would be glad to have Barnes, but I think saying he would be looked at as nothing short of a savior here is stretching it.

  2. LKNpackfan 02/24/2010 at 10:27 PM #

    Hasn’t he said, in no uncertain terms, that he’ll never work for Lee Fowler? If so, let that be the first step in bringing the Hired Gun from Hickory home.

  3. GAWolf 02/24/2010 at 10:31 PM #

    Wolfie: He’s at least a college basketball coach. That’s saying something, sadly.

  4. MatSci94 02/24/2010 at 10:34 PM #

    “Hasn’t he said, in no uncertain terms, that he’ll never work for Lee Fowler?”

    There’s a fairly simple solution there that I would call a “win-win”.

  5. tuckerdorm1983 02/24/2010 at 10:44 PM #

    anybody see all the empty seats over at the dean dome?


  6. Canus Lupus 02/24/2010 at 10:44 PM #

    Day in and day out, Barnes would be no better than the 4th best coach in the ACC. I would put Williams, Roy, and K ahead of him.

    Then again, 4th would be better than …

  7. blpack 02/24/2010 at 10:51 PM #

    You named 3 excellent coaches and all will be gone within 3 years. Anyway, who is scared of Roy right now? Even the ugly Nike silver unis couldn’t save them tonight. Someone with success running a men’s program would be welcomed.

  8. Wolfy__79 02/24/2010 at 11:02 PM #

    roy sucks, couldn’t win at kansas and it took someone else recruiting a winning team before he knew what to recruit. coach k is the top coach. gary williams built his own success at md. roy williams simply stepped into a good situation, he’s not all that! i would put rick barnes above roy at the very least, and he’s kept texas in the spotlight forever… that atleast deserves being side by side with gary.

  9. Wolfy__79 02/24/2010 at 11:03 PM #

    haha, unc-ch got drilled…

  10. blackdom 02/24/2010 at 11:08 PM #

    “If Sidney Lowe doesn’t work out” wolfie91, when do you figure you will come up with this verdict? Need more time?

  11. LakistaMcCuller 02/24/2010 at 11:12 PM #

    Barnes to State is like Roy to UNC – Timing the first chance was not good, second time will work great for all involved. Maybe Sid can help coach the Wizards next year??

  12. Wolfy__79 02/24/2010 at 11:18 PM #

    well while i understand the point mcculler, i don’t like the idea of comparing a NCSU coach to hole roy

  13. El Scrotcho 02/24/2010 at 11:21 PM #

    I refuse to contemplate anything good happening while Fowler is in Raleigh. Until then I will continue my exile from NC State athletics. He’s like a black hole from which nothing positive can escape.

  14. whope90 02/24/2010 at 11:46 PM #

    It could happen, that Rick Barnes to come here,but old Wendall Murphy would have to spend the bucks and do it himself. We have it all,NC ties, money,facilities,ACC status and no overshadow of a dominating football program,except for the bass fishing dynasty, i think it would be a esy sale and slam dunk if he left Texas!!

    And Barnes would be the 2nd best coach in the ACC, clearly better than Roy because he has won at three schools and built two basketball programs:Clemson and Texas, and he is better than Gary Williams because he just that much tougher:fought dean smith better than gary w has fought coach k and how about when he played four guys at UNC because he hated the calls late in that game!! just to shove it to the unc homer refs:classic and he would fight and kick k’s tail because barnes does not back down from anyone!!

    Plus with Roy and k and williams getting older, Barnes could very well be the best coach in the acc within a few years anyway!!

    And if that all happened,Texas will look really stupid, letting a winner like that go to focus on football loll!!

    But we can dream of it can’t we!!!!

  15. ncsu05mit10 02/25/2010 at 1:41 AM #

    Roy Williams is 59 years old, 2 National Titles
    Rick Barnes is 55 years old, 3 Regular Season Big 12’s
    Mike Krzyzewski is 63, 3 National Titles
    Gary Williams is 64, 1 National Title
    Sidney Lowe is 50, 1 Title as a player (best I can do)

    I don’t think you can say Barnes would immediately be the 2nd best in the ACC– he’d most likely be competing for that 3rd spot. This is Barnes 12th year at Texas, going to the NCAA’s every year. But his best is 1 Final Four with 2 Elite 8’s. Though his teams are always highly ranked and compete every year, not winning championships is very Sendek-esque.

    If Roy and K are “aging out,” so is Barnes. I doubt Lowe will look to get into any other college gig if this doesn’t work out. Barnes would be silly to leave UT to come to NCSU. He might be a recruiting class away from racking up some serious banners, but NCSU will require a little more work and patience. And at this point in his career, he just wants a championship.

    I’d love to have him, and really wanted him in 2006. But I think that time has come and gone, and to be honest, there might be better candidates out there.

  16. Wulfpack 02/25/2010 at 6:44 AM #

    We missed our opportunity with Barnes thanks to the great Lee Fowler. I honestly don’t know why he would come here now after that. Remove Lee and maybe there is a slim chance, but I don’t think Barnes is losing sleep over it. He got a pay raise from showing interest, which is probably what he wanted all along.

    He would undoubtedly be a great hire if it could come to fruition. But like other posters have mentioned, he hasn’t exactly lit the world on fire at Texas. This year’s team has been a disappointment.

  17. Rick 02/25/2010 at 7:27 AM #

    “roy sucks, couldn’t win at kansas and it took someone else recruiting a winning team before he knew what to recruit.”

    Are you nuts? He has two national championships in 5 years and I would not bet against a few more.

  18. coachkoh 02/25/2010 at 7:59 AM #

    Sid coach the wizards,please don’t we have enough trouble in DC? I would say te only squad Sid could coach are the Washington generals.

  19. TOBtime 02/25/2010 at 8:16 AM #

    ‘ol Roy underachieved for sure at KU. He had teams capable of winning a NC and they just could not get over the hump. His first NC at unx was more of a “get out of the way” team. The team caught fire at the end of the season and went on a roll. Was that coaching? Talent? CHemistry? Most likely a mix of the 3. The team last year was different. That team, to me, ranks up there with the Duke/UNLV teams of the early 90’s. They were a dominant team and played like it.

    Why would Barnes come to NCSU? One reason is he is 3rd string in Austin. Football is king followed not very closely by baseball with b-ball 3rd. I was in Austin 2 weeks ago and the apathy for a ranked basketball team is unbelievable. He would swing a much bigger stick at NCSU and be much more embraced by the fanbase. Yes, his team has not met expectations this year but there have been some key injuries (another one 3 days ago) for this team. Barnes anti-unx sentiment won’t hurt either. If it did happen he could finish out his career at NCSU by building on a foundation of good recruiting layed down by Sid. I could see lots of pluses in it for Rick.

    I don’t think any of us would blame the guy if he did NOT want to work for the pus bag currently occupying the Athletic Directors office.

  20. GAWolf 02/25/2010 at 8:18 AM #

    There’s certainly good reason to think the condition precedent that many of you have mentioned is about to happen. I agree… with him here there’s no chance. Upon information and belief there’s reason to believe we have a chance.

    I don’t know how to imbed a video… but if any of you do… this one is appropriate perhaps:

  21. Bubba 02/25/2010 at 8:35 AM #

    Can someone please link the Barnes comments about not ever working for LF. I missed those the first time around.


  22. wolfie91 02/25/2010 at 8:58 AM #

    blackdom, I hope Lowe will turn out to be successful here. I know that there isn’t much evidence to support the argument that he will be, but ultimately time will tell and I want to be as gracious as I can in my words about him. I do believe Barnes is a good coach, but I think the way some folks speak so glowingly about him seems over the top. If he got run out of Texas, could it possibly be because he has peaked and we would be getting him past his prime?

  23. GAWolf 02/25/2010 at 9:05 AM #

    Bubba: That’s just rumor and innuendo, but it’s been substantiated through multiple circles of inside connections to the extent it seems more likely than not to be true. It wasn’t a statement made to the media as far as I know. Perhaps some of the other folks here know more than me and might feel comfortable sharing in light of other recent developments.

  24. choppack1 02/25/2010 at 9:49 AM #

    I thought Barnes said something about what a passionate offer Lee Fowler made?

    Regarding Barnes – he’s a good coach.

    He’s got a real head scratching record. His teams always do seem to be tough and rebound well. And his teams have been to the NCAAs, 17 out of his 23 years as a HC.

    In those 23 years, he’s only one won conference tournament.

    In those 23 years – most of them at major conference schools – he’s only been to one final 4. His NCAA record is fairly mediocre…I’d call him HWSBN on steroids…(or you could say HWSBN is a poor man’s Rick Barnes.)

    I think he’s definitely the most successful coach I can recall never to win a national championship. He also seems to always find himself at a school where he’s the perpetual bridesmade. At Texas, he’s bridesmade to Kansas.

    He’d be a significant upgrade at NC State – and the first coach I’d call if there was opening here. You could do A LOT worse than Rick Barnes as your head coach.

  25. LKNpackfan 02/25/2010 at 10:15 AM #

    (The quality of the comments on the frontpage have really fallen off since the forums went up… anyway,)

    How does a (very subjective) ranking of hypothetical ACC coaches not reinforce support FOR Barnes? If a candidate would be better than 12th, it’s an improvement.

    I mean really, considering the pathetic predicament we’re in, who in their right mind would actually argue AGAINST Rick Barnes?

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