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Monday, March 17, 2008

Sour grapes? Ehhh...maybe.

The NCAA Tournament field was set yesterday evening, and one of the first teams left on the outside looking in was Arizona State. Herb Sendek's Arizona State.

It may be sour grapes on my part, but frankly I'm glad they didn't get in.

Had they gotten a bid, it would've been just another feather in the cap of Carolina, Duke and college basketball fans in general who said we ran off a great coach in Sendek. I had this very debate with some coworkers yesterday while watching the selection show. I can only imagine what kind of nonsense I would've heard had Arizona State made it in.

I wish Herb no ill-will. He did a fantastic job rebuilding this program out of the depths it had fallen during the Les Robinson years. He brought in one of the best players in the program's history in Julius Hodge and he took us to five straight NCAA Tournaments. I hope he has all the success in the world out in Tempe.

But not right now.

Not while State tries to find itself as a basketball program. Because while we fight amongst ourselves--both the team and the fans--as to how to attack the problems of returning to where Herb left off as a tournament-caliber team and then exceeding that level of success, local fans of the blues and even members of the media will continue to snipe at us for being unreasonable, unrealistic and irrational.

One of my coworkers said something to the effect of, "Who could you bring in better than Herb? Who would want to have to compete with Duke and Carolina right up the road?" My response was, "Was Rick Pitino afraid to go to Louisville with Kentucky up the road?" I suppose I could've made a case for Bob Huggins going to Kansas St. with Kansas right in their backyard for one season before leaving for his alma mater at West Virginia, but the Lousiville comparison is very appropriate to our situation--a team with multiple national titles but whose recent success had faded (prior to Pitino's arrival).

I guess Carolina and Duke fans just don't GET it. I don't know if it's their own success that clouds their perspective, or our lack of any tangible success over the last 20 years, a combination of the two or none of the above. But they really, TRULY believe we had the best coach we could ever expect to have in Herb, and that the level of success we were experiencing with him (1 win over a non-Doherty-coached Carolina team in 10 years, 1 Sweet Sixteen appearance) was the best we should hope for.

Nevermind the fact that when one of their programs experienced a brief blip of ineptitude, they kicked his hindquarters to the curb just as fast as you please. And when you ask them about their lack of patience as a fanbase for ousting one of their own, they'll simply reply, "But, we're Carolina."


I still think Sidney can get us where we want to be as a program. It will take time, and these knuckleheads asking to fire Sidney after two freaking years are idiots for doing so. I can't see throwing any coach out until he's coached a full squad of his players--especially given the grumblings of separate factions within the team forming of Herb's players versus Sid's. If, after year four or five, the same lack of effort and execution are there or our young talent hasn't developed any from year one to year four, then we can re-examine the argument.

But for right now, I'm 100% behind Sidney to get it done, and I'm 110% sure we're better off in the long run without Herb here in Raleigh.


  1. no one outside the program has any say in who our coach should be. they can have all the opinions they want, but i won't put an ounce of stock in any of them. wolfpack fans decide and that's how it should be. based on where we were when Herb Sendek took over, we were glad to get back to the NCAA. but that doesn't mean we should be satisfied. and those that say we should be satisfied? kiss my grits.

  2. Doesn't it just make you CRAZY that Carolina will be playing on STATE's home floor, in STATE's house as a # 1 seed in a tournament that STATE didn't even get a whiff of?

    If UNC wins a couple games at RBC, do they get to hang a banner?


  3. Don't get me wrong, I hope Sidney can do it, but I def. don't think he was the right hire at the time.

    as for the Herb argument. He would have gotten us to 20 wins each year, probably not have lost to ECU and New Orleans but would have been blown out by UNC among others...oh wait....

    I agree with your points though, Herb is a consistently Good coach but I dont think he could bring us to the next level. I just hope it doesnt take another Les Robinson type era to get to where we state fans want to be.

  4. 1 second place finish and 1 sweet sixteen in 10 YEARS. On the bubble for 4 out of those 5 five straight tournament appearances. Excuse us poor ol state fans for wanting something more.