Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Wolfpack still searching

Let the debacle that has become the coaching search to replace the departed Herb Sendek at NC State be an abject lesson to Maryland fans who think their program is being held back by the current coaching staff. The Wolfpack fans never warmed to Sendek even though he resurrected a program that had flatlined. Still living in the glory days of David Thompson most State fans felt they deserved a coach like Rick Barnes, Tubby Smith or John Calipari. The cold truth is that not one of those coaches would be going to a better program if he left for NC State. The fans in Raleigh are even more delusional than the Kentucky fans so Smith wouldn't find an easier time there. Rick Barnes has built a great foundation in Austin and with super freshman Kevin Durant on the way has a bright future. John Calipari has never proven he can win in a big time conference and with Shawne Williams likely to return he could have a Final Four caliber team next season.

Oklahoma with more recent success than NC State had to settle for Jeff Capel, who has never won anything of note at VCU, as their successor to Kelvin Sampson. Why would Wolfpack fans think they should get someone better?

Truth is that Maryland is probably only slightly more attractive than State. The only two coaches who have been very successful at Maryland are Hall of Fame caliber coaches who won at every school they ever worked at and have about 1,000 career victories between them. With rumors that Cedric Simmons will be testing the NBA draft waters, former Sendek recruits looking elsewhere, and no high profile coach looking interested in their program NC State fans may wish they had not gotten what they wished for.


P-man said...

Indeed. I've long thought Maryland and State to be pretty comparable. Yet since the early 90s or so Maryland has had much better results. For every fan who laments that the Terps haven't matched Duke or UNC success, remember there's no fundamental thing seperating us from the mediocrity of State and Georgia Tech.

dolphinfan said...

The Sooners went with Capel because they refused to get into a bidding war with any other institution. Instead they went for a coach who really wanted to be there to coach and not just to get paid.

Esquire said...

I suppose that could be an explanation. Still, the facts are that they hired a coach that hardly had an impressive record at VCU and made the NCAAs only once in four years. Maybe he is a "rising star" and maybe he isn't. My guess is he'll be more Tommy Amaker than Mike Krzyzewski. I also think that the unresolved NCAA issues surrounding the violations under former coach Kelvin Sampson had something to do with them settling on Capel. The NCAA is pushing for the dreaded "lack of institutional control" determination on the over 500 impermissible phone calls made to recruits by Sampson and his staff. Maybe nothing much will happen to Oklahoma but it is a risk for any coach. Another reason the AD at Oklahoma can make this decision is that Oklahoma is a football school, no matter what the basketball team does.