Some perspective on the NC State job

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For me, the question shouldn’t revolve around whether the Wolfpack can climb over both Duke and North Carolina in the race for neighborhood supremacy. Because let’s face it, if you have even an ounce of rationality, you know that ain’t happening while Mike Krzyzewski and Roy Williams are still around. But once you get past that intimidating dynamic, ask yourself this: Is it insane to think that N.C. State could legitimately emerge as the third or fourth or even fifth best program in the league very quickly?

Consider this: Since March 2009, seven of the ACC’s 12 programs have undergone coaching changes. If that doesn’t scream that the league’s wide open, I don’t know what does. Of the five coaches in the conference who have been around for more than two seasons – and yes, there are only five now! – tell me which ones you don’t think State could better regularly. Leonard Hamilton? Seth Greenberg? Gary Williams?

Good column and information from Dan Wiederer today. He highlights a point that so many people outside the NC State community can’t seem to understand. That point was cemented even further in this season’s Final Four that ended last night with #3 seed UConn cheating beating #6 seed Butler for the national title.

If people don’t remember, then UConn actually finished 9-9 in the Big East and in 9th place overall. Did having Syracuse, Georgetown, Pitt, Louisville, etc… in front of them in the standings keep them from winning the national title?

The run made by VCU was amazing in the post-season. But this was a team who only finished 4th in the Colonial Athletic Association! 4th!!!! If a school like VCU can make the Final Four having finished 4th in their conference with essentially only 1 player on the team recruited by an ACC school, then coaches can certainly make that type or run in March at a school like NC State that has top 15 talent since 1998.

This perception that somehow NC State’s job is so difficult and that our expectations are out of line couldn’t be further from reality. Very few people expect the next NC State coach to come in and win regular season titles in the ACC. You don’t have to. How about just finishing 3rd to 7th, getting a top 10 seed in the NCAAs, and making a run every few years to the Sweet 16, Elite 8 or Final 4? Build the program over time and be ready to take advantage of the opportunities that will be presented to NC State when both Coach K and Roy Williams retire.

As Dan notes in his column, the ACC is wide open. A school that recruits top 15 talent, has a 20,000 seat arena, a new practice facility, the right amount of academics, and access to talent throughout the East is a prime opportunity. That is the reality of the NC State job no matter what anyone in the national media says about NC State.

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61 Responses to Some perspective on the NC State job

  1. Howler 04/05/2011 at 11:49 AM #

    So it is just fact that we can’t compete with the Blues? I don’t accept that. I remember a different time, and I think it is an insult to the memories of Case, Sloan and Valvano to shrug our shoulders and say we can only shoot so high. How did UCONN become a national power? After all, in 1985, they were nothing. I guess I don’t have “an ounce of rationality” because I see that article as 100% pure crap.

  2. Lock 04/05/2011 at 11:55 AM #

    Didn’t we run off a guy because of this? Isn’t this contrary to everything this site’s been saying?

    Look, we’re all disappointed with how the coaching search is going, but now’s not the time to turn around and say ‘no, really guys, we didn’t REALLY mean we had to be better than Duke or UNC.’ We probably won’t be, but we CAN be as good as…and at the very least, almost as good as.

    I don’t expect us to consistently top Duke and UNC as long as their respective coaches are still there, but I do want us to consistently be competitive. Top half of the ACC, every few years threaten (and even take on occasion) the top spot, and more than once earn a protected seed in the NCAAs.

    The point you make regarding the status of the job is very good. All I’m saying is the most hated name on these forums was meeting the criteria you’re outlining in your analysis of this article, if I remember correctly.

  3. packalum08 04/05/2011 at 11:57 AM #

    As far as competing with the blues goes, I think that Duke and UNC are now better programs than they were when we had Case, Sloan, and V. If Roy (and maybe boosters for the conspiracy theorists) can keep their talent around, we’re looking at a Nat. Champ. for UNC every 4 years. EVERY 4 YEARS. Nobody’s done anything close to that since Wooden. And Duke is much better now than they were in the 80s.

    For the conspiracy theorists, you could also add in that the league (Read: Swofford) is not interested in having any other programs threaten the blues and hurt the ACC brand/image.

    Even without the conspiracy theories, I think the ACC is significantly different than 30 years ago with UNC and Duke being much stronger than any two programs were back then.

  4. Sam92 04/05/2011 at 12:01 PM #

    i want to put it out there that i do not find fault with debbie yow for failing to net a top coach.

    the task was essentially impossible, and we have lee fowler’s disastrous hiring of sidney lowe to thank for that.

    it is now that we are going to find out how good debbie yow really is – because she’s got to pick unproven talent; pick an eager, hungry, young coach who doesn’t have a track record yet

    call me crazy, but i’m still optimistic. i just hope that now she takes her time. what’s the rush, really, the whole world now knows that all our top picks said no, what have we got to lose by taking our time now?

  5. baxter 04/05/2011 at 12:03 PM #

    Howler et al., it is a fact that we can’t compete with them as of right now. State’s program needs to take baby steps, the goals should be to become a top 5 ACC team by year 4/5 of whoever we get to step in here. This team is a rebuild, it has raw athletic talent, but each component on this team has flaws and it will take some time to work that out.

    And secondly, people need to wake up and realize its 2011. The memories of Case, Sloan, and V are just that. Memories. Get a grip, we are a basement dweller in the ACC, and its not even a good ACC. That should tell you where the program is and the realistic goals the next coach needs to have in order to bring this team back to regional prominence, followed by national prominence. To think we can just wake up next season and beat up two of the best teams in the nation that ARE SOLID as far as programs go is insane. Its been 20+ years, and people still think the exact same thing will happen though the parts haven’t changed.

    Every State fan wants to be great again. There are generations of fans that have no clue how awesome we were. They just want to be good. They need to see a good team, so they will choose to invest in the future by LTRs. Oldtimer’s and well informed young fans like myself need to understand this program has GIANT steps that it needs to take one at a time. First step is to get a solid coach, preferably young, that is hungry and has fundamental knowledge of the college game. Then he needs to keep the current players here, and develop them. Recruit well, build up a core of hungry, 4 year guys that build a nucleus of veteran, fundamental talent. At that point, we can expect to play good ball, and be in the upper half of the league. After that, we need to step up to the next level and earn our stripes in the top 3rd of the conference.

    But its going to take time and effort, drive, passion, luck, money, and faith to get there. Take a breath, realize where we are today, where Yow and Woodson want to take us, and buckle up your seat belts, because its going to be a bitch of a ride to get there.

  6. MrPlywood 04/05/2011 at 12:03 PM #

    I was thinking the same thing this morning – the Big East got 11 teams in the tourney. 11. so State hasn’t been in 5 years, and all of a sudden it’s impossible? Though the naysayers will point out that Herb did exactly that – 3rd through 7th, got to the tourney, etc. And he was “run out of town”.

    I think it’s absolutely possible to compete with the blues – because I know they can both be had. AZ made Dook look stupid, and for whatever reason I always think State has a chance when playing Duke and I usually see the result as the Pack beating themselves.

    I also think you have to have goals above and beyond “3rd to 7th” – your goals SHOULD include winning the championship.

  7. Master 04/05/2011 at 12:08 PM #

    Duke and UNC are almost on autopilot now. It would take a series of bad coaching hires (like ours) to diminish their accumulated prestige. I believe when K and Roy retire, either school could hire a mediocre coach and continue to pull in the 5-Star McD AA’s and win on talent alone. That’s where they are and that’s a fact. It will take us decades to reach that level even with a Donovan, Shaka or Stevens in place.

    That said, I pull for the Wolfpack and anyone playing UNC or Duke. Until those teams fall good and hard, our road will always be uphill.

  8. BladenWolf 04/05/2011 at 12:08 PM #

    “Nobody expects the next NC State coach to come in and win regular season titles in the ACC.”

    Really? I certainly do. I fully expect to consistently compete and occasionally win the regular season title as well as the ACC Tourney title.

    Call me crazy, but I was a freshman in 1983 and I KNOW we can do it.

  9. ironmonger_captain 04/05/2011 at 12:16 PM #

    As a fan with memories of the Valvano years, I would like to see us be able to compete with our Tobacco Road neighbors. Does that mean we will beat them each time we meet? No, however, I’d hope that we could go toe to toe with them and not be blown out. Top five finish each year in the conference? That’s where I’d hope to be. Boys and girls, it’s time for us to take a deep breath, compose ourselves and pray that she can find that hungry, competitive coach that will be needed to restore us to the level we aspire. While I must admit I have been fighting a pessimistic mood this morning, I am focusing on the words of a wise man…”Be a dreamer. If you don’t know how to dream, you’re dead”.

  10. fullmoon1 04/05/2011 at 12:16 PM #

    I do not think Daily Update is suggesting we can’t and shouldn’t strive to be competitive with the blues. That is different from landing a coach that puts us at #1 in the acc right away. We could be in the top 5 in the ACC and be very competitive with the blues. A solid coach is the first step.

  11. tcthdi-tgsf-twhwtnc 04/05/2011 at 12:23 PM #

    Please stop with blaming Bush… I mean Fowler and Lowe for this coaching search going bad. I’m am confident that neither of those two have anything to do with the reason Yow has yet to find a coach in about a month.

  12. ironmonger_captain 04/05/2011 at 12:24 PM #

    Agreed fullmoon1, agreed.

  13. Hungwolf 04/05/2011 at 12:24 PM #

    I think V had a similar opinion. He knew at first he was not going to best Dean on a regular basis plus Va, and Ga tech were lots better then than they are now. Maryland was to me consistently better then than now, Wake was up and down, and Clemson was about the same. V was about making the tournament, that built the national exposure that could propel the program to a consitently higher level and did. Plus V took the job cause NCSU much like Conn and Maryland is a place you can win a title. The fans, the recruiting, the money, fan base, conference, and facilties are still all in place now just like then for someone to come in and no what V and Sloan did.

  14. hellfishtat 04/05/2011 at 12:28 PM #
  15. BeVeryAfraid 04/05/2011 at 12:30 PM #

    My goal for a new coach:
    Year 1 -look well coached
    Year 2 -be well coached
    Year 3 -qualify for NCAA
    Year 4-6–NCAA tourney and at least one win against the blues (which could leave us tied for 2nd in ACC)

    By year 7 Roy and/or K may be retired and Wojo and Phil Ford are trying to catch up with the Pack!

  16. tractor57 04/05/2011 at 12:31 PM #

    In my opinion DU has hit upon reality – there is a long way to go to make the Pack program dominate, heck even to being competitive.
    That is not being negative just realizing the task at hand. Can the Pack once again be in a dominate position? Yes but it sure won’t be next year even if BD were to take the coaching job.

    In the end I want a coach is able to coach and improve the program from where it is. To me the particular name doesn’t matter other than there are some I would rather not deal with – Pearl being one.

  17. highstick 04/05/2011 at 12:31 PM #

    As, with most things, the truth lies somewhere between the above posts.

    We can compete with anyone in the ACC if we hire a competent coach, whose staff can coach and recruit, and we give them the necessary tools to work with and compete.

    I do believe that Duke and Carolina are somewhat on “autopilot”, but only as relates to recruiting. Both K and Roy know how to coach, but we have not had that in a number of years. Can we come out of the box next year and compete with them? Absolutely, if we get the players and coaching and they keep losing players to the NBA(which can level the playing field very quickly).

    We have a strong athletic tradition, not great, but it is strong and we’ve got a couple of NCAA titles in basketball. Does that guarantee success, NO! Does it benefit us? Absolutely. We can’t rest on history, but you can use it to our advantage.

    I’ll be perfectly honest with you guys. There was only two coaches that struck my interest at all and it was Sean Miller and Brad Stevens. Primarily because of youth, apparent coaching ability and a gut feeling that they won’t be intimidated by anyone. But, the timing was way out of whack on both..I’m not surprised we are where we are and frankly we might be in worse shape if we’d gotten a quick hire from some of the names being thrown around.

    Another bump in the road, but the test is going to be what the next few moves are. It’s up to the folks in charge and the money bags now.

  18. Deucepeters 04/05/2011 at 12:34 PM #

    SFN’s voice and mission seem to have an identity crisis and the reporting is speculative if not purely opinionated.

    It was enough that this site perpetuated the chip-on-our-shoulder confidence issues that create so many ABCers and cause NC State fans to focus more on Carolina than our own programs.

    Who gives a s#!t what Carolina is doing or where they are. If we concentrate on building the best programs possible it won’t matter who’s 15 miles down the road in any direction.

    Every State fan should sack-up and show some effing pride and self-respect.

    That leads me to DY. She gave me nothing but confidence until last night’s letter. In that missive she took the CYA route by labeling the job as tough to fill. Not to mention that she highlighed negatives with the program rather than the ovewhelming positives. The fact that she supposedly “understands basketball” took a huge hit by her repeating that the program is too far removed from NCAA appearances and that it is in a rebuilding stage. The examples from other programs proving that to be an absolute fallacy are too long to list.

    If she doesn’t get her stuff together we should be looking for a new AD as well.

  19. Bubba 04/05/2011 at 12:37 PM #


    Those first 2 paragraphs sound like we should still be watching Herbie pacing our sidelines.

  20. highstick 04/05/2011 at 12:38 PM #

    Forgot one thought last night as I was going to bed was “Don’t Ever Give Up”!

  21. highstick 04/05/2011 at 12:39 PM #

    Forgot one thought last night as I was going to bed was “Don’t Ever Give Up”! V was really prophetic! He must have known………..

  22. Statefan1998 04/05/2011 at 12:42 PM #

    That piece about Yow and Maryland is the exact reason I did not cream my pants like most of you when she was hired. I don’t share this feeling that she will hire a fine coach. She has never hired one at this level.

  23. Daily Update 04/05/2011 at 12:42 PM #

    College basketball is about winning in the NCAA tournament. That is what counts. Wasn’t it Jimmy V that said to give him .500 in the conference every year?

    We can build towards being winning regular season titles. But that isn’t the expectation for a coach right off the bat. And as long as you succeeding in March, then you don’t have to win them to begin with.

  24. Daily Update 04/05/2011 at 12:44 PM #

    Herb Sendek didn’t have deep runs in March. That was his problem.

  25. philliepacker 04/05/2011 at 12:46 PM #

    Another hire I do not think would have happened if she was not Kay’s sister.
    One other thing is being overlooked in all of this is our talent or lack there off. I know how much this freshman class was touted but honestly it appears overhyped now. What coach who stresses defense,fundamentals,discipline would be salivating waiting to get a hold of this group?

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