Friday, February 13, 2009

Lowe, Sendek: Parallel starts

Forty-one ACC games into Sidney Lowe’s tenure, N.C. State is 12-29 in conference play under Lowe.

If this number seems oddly familiar to you, chances are you’re a fervent Wolfpack fan.

Ten years ago, N.C. State was 12-29 in its first 41 ACC games under Herb Sendek, Lowe’s predecessor. At that time, the Wolfpack was 3-6 in the ACC in Sendek’s third season.

Now N.C. State is 3-6 in the ACC in Lowe’s third season. What happened next to Sendek is a good lesson. There’s always a chance history will repeat itself.

Sendek’s third team finished 6-10 in the ACC. So did his fourth team. His fifth team was 5-11 in 2000-01. Athletics director Lee Fowler, who started working at N.C. State in September of 2000, backed Sendek even after five straight losing seasons in the ACC.

Fowler’s patience was rewarded when N.C. State bounced back for five consecutive NCAA Tournament appearances under Sendek.

As was the case with Sendek, Fowler remains firmly in Lowe’s corner even though there’s some grumbling about N.C. State’s position in the bottom half of the ACC standings.

From a financial standpoint, the need to start winning again soon might be more urgent now because the economy is abysmal and fans will be carefully weighing whether they want to spend money for season tickets next season.

But judging by how poorly N.C. State has performed early in its two most recent coaches’ tenures, Fowler has a fairly compelling argument for staying the course and trying to build with the coach he’s got. – Ken Tysiac


Anonymous said...

While no transition from coach to coach goes entirely smooth, it seems really strange that NCSU dropped down to parallel the first few years Sendek was there.....the quality of the program that was inhereted by Lowe was seemingly in MUCH better shape that what Herb took over in the late 90s.

State had been to what, 5 straight NCAAs, at the end of Sendek's tenure?

Anonymous said...

Getting rid of Sendek was the right thing to do. Glad to have Sidney and looking forward to the future of NC State basketball! Sendek didn't care about NC State as a whole and when it came down to it, couldn't win big games when it counted. Sidney gets it and has a passion for the university as a whole, which is nice to see!!

Anonymous said...

The state of the program was similarly bad when Lowe took over, just like when sendek took over. Looks can be deceiving regarding the 5 straight ncaa trips. No way there would have been a 6th under any coach. Sendek left b/c he knew the bottom was getting ready to fall out.

Go Sid, Go Pack!