Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Mid-Week Mental Floss

- College hoop season is approaching like a runaway freight train. It'll be here before you know it, and I stumbled upon this little nugget from the desert, regarding Arizona State hoops.

It's basically the affirmation of an opinion I held when Herb Sendek was Head Coach at NC State. Give it a read. The author nails it. Herb is a class guy, runs a clean program, and wins games. He fields competitive teams. NC State was foolish to run him out of Raleigh. Sidney Lowe has been a nice replacement, but he has struggled at times (and in fairness, so did Sendek). However, I would think that had Sendek stayed, the Wolfpack would be farther along than they are. I'm not dogging Lowe. He has done a very commendable job, and is still early enough in his contract (in my view), that he deserves more time to field a top tier team. Will he? Time will tell, but the Pack might just be closer (if not there already) with Herbie at the helm. Sendek was shown the door because he didn't beat the right teams often enough. Had Herb never lost to UNC and Duke, he'd still be in the Triangle.

-Speaking of Arizona, the Panthers host the Cardinals this Sunday at the big ATM. At the start of the season, there likely weren't many people that thought this would be a fairly large game for both teams. Truth is, it is big for both. Carolina will try and go 6-2 heading into their bye week, and keep pace with (or even leave behind), Tampa Bay. We'll chat with the Panthers on Wednesday getting their thoughts on the match-up, but quick hits on it:

1-Anquan Boldin could play this weekend. He's been out since late September after a vicious hit suffered against the Jets.
2-Kurt Warner continues to sip from the Fountain of Middle Age. Warner has been very good, guiding the birds offense (and it's mostly an air attack with Boldin, and Larry Fitzgerald as his normal primary targets).
3-The Cards are coming off their bye week, and should be well rested. They went into the bye with a win over Dallas (just at the start of the Cowboys meltdown).

Much more on this for you on Sports Night at 10.

-Bobcats lost another one, his time to the LA Lakers. 0-7 are Larry Brown's kittens, and just one more fake game before they actually start to count. The Lakers again on Thursday. I repeat the mantra-"Exhibition anything is meaningless," but you have to think the losses are weighing on the players minds. Beat writer Rick Bonnell at the Observer had a good line about the Bobcats so far, trying too hard to impress the new boss. At some point, the REAL Bobcats have to show up (the ones that played hard, with reckless abandon, gave effort and didn't overthink things), and when they do, under Brown's guidance, they should be fine. You can't fault the players for over-thinking things. Brown's system demands comprehension of what hes trying to accomplish. He's thrown the playbook at them, and has been on them since day 1. It's a lot to absorb, I am sure.

-App State and East Carolina will face each other in football to start the 2009 season. That's awesome. First meeting between the schools since 1979 (maybe both will be allowed turn back the clock uniforms, huh?), but certainly both programs are in much better places. The 'Neers are 3-time national champs (perhaps 4 when they face the Bucs), ECU is enjoying a resurgence under Skip Holtz. That is a game I may actually try and scoot to Greenville to see. Props to both schools for making this happen, and no question Dowdy Ficklen will be rocking that day.

-World Series begins tonight. Scott Kazmir against Cole Hamels (Rays v. Phillies). This is a great series for baseball. It's bad for TV, but great for the game. Young, vibrant talent for both teams, Rays skipper Joe Maddon wearing the mohawk hair cut (and he's not a young guy by the way), some former Durham Bulls in the Rays lineup (Evan Longoria for one). All that good mojo in Tampa won't amount to much, I'm afraid. I love the way the Phillies have played in the post-season. They have gotten big at bats when needed, their pitching has been good, and besides, I can't stand Tampa for ending the season of the 2005 World Series Champion Chicago White Sox. No, I'm not over it.

Prediction: Phillies in 6.

Mike Solarte


CRAMELY said...

Why does the media continually misrepresent Sendek at NC State? He was not "shown the door." He resigned of his own volition - with no administrative pressure - to accept the Arizona State job. Granted, he was probably burned out by fan expectations and his failure to meet them - but had he not gone to Az. State, there's little doubt he'd still be coaching at NC State, where the AD fires nobody - with or without cause.

This misnomer, as well as the other common myths that the Wolfpack only won their national titles by "cheating" (Ooo! A pickup game with a coach! Selling extra shoes and tickets! That sure translates to success on the court!) are irritating to the extreme.

Mike Solarte said...

NC State did not remove him. You are correct about that. Sendek was never truly embraced by the fan base, and that's a shame. As for the AD not firing anyone, that's not accurate (see Chuck Amato). Still, the treatment of Sendek by the fanbase was deplorable. Herb had enough of the BS and went west.