Saturday, March 11, 2006

Wolfpack Crashes And Burns

After playing well above expectations for most of this season, NC State's men's basketball season started crashing three weeks ago. Sure, the Wolfpack will still get in the NCAA tournament as about an eight seed, but they have converted from a team executing a ball control system very effectively to one that can neither score nor defend.

I have never been a big fan of coach Herb Sendek. For me, he peaked at the press conference where he was named the new head coach. When asked how he felt about being State's second choice, he replied "Hell, I was my wife's third choice." That was a decade ago, and it might have been the last funny or charming thing he said.

Sendek is smart and a nice enough guy, but his players leave Raleigh no better than when they arrived. That makes me believe that Sendek is so stuck on his system that the players are not being taught individual skills. I am convinced that his system will only produced pretty good teams at its best. That's not good enough for a school that sat near the top of the college basketball world not that long ago.

NC State Athletic Director Lee Fowler has proven he is a puskit prone to protecting the status quo, so I doubt Sendek's job is in jeopardy. But Wolfpack fans remember better times, and they want to beat Carolina and Duke every now and then. Sendek's job may be safe, but he might want to consider jumping ship before he is forced to walk the plank a year from now.

*** UPDATE ***

I hate to pile on, but I just read a poll of ACC players in last week's Sports Illustrated. The player they least want to play for? Herb Sendek.


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