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Tuesday, February 22, 2005

Herb on the couch, again

Has there ever been a coach in the history of the ACC that has been psychoanalyzed like Herb Sendek? In two lengthy articles, the N&O's Chip Alexander and the Charlotte Observer's Ken Tysiac take their turns as the Pack heads into yet another crucial game against Carolina.

Perhaps Sendek opens himself to such analysis with lengthy monologues on subjects such as Buddhism:

"No matter what he did, Buddha remained peaceful and nonviolent. Finally, the guy couldn't take it anymore. He said to Buddha, 'I've done everything I possibly could to hurt you, yet you've remained peaceful to me. How do you do it?'"

Alexander:

"Such talk would cause Wolfpack fans to roll their eyes. Why doesn't (Sendek) talk like other coaches? Why can't he be as entertaining as Jim Valvano or as blunt as Norm Sloan or even as folksy as les Robinson — the three NCSU coaches who preceded him?"

Sendek defends the Princeton-style offense, in spite of the fact that many believe Carolina and Wake play more "fan-friendly, up-tempo styles, pushing the ball upcourt and running."

I'll break in here and say that I believe state's offense is very fan-friendly because it's the way the game is meant to be played, with sharp back-door cuts and crisp passing. The problem has been that State hasn't been able to establish their offense all season before the Maryland game.

Finally, Sendek comments on State's weak non-conference schedule. Why not play a Louisville, a Kentucky, a Connecticut, Alexander asks.

"We very well could, I'm not dismissing that in the future. We've talked with people like Kentucky (but) it's not as easy as 'do you want to play?' We've been very aggressive in our calling."

As did Alexander, Tysiac notes that Sendek's personality compares unfavorably to the "magnetic" personalities of the late Jim Valvano and football coach Chuck Amato:

"When N.C. State is winning, his his 3.9 grade-point average from Carnegie Mellon is cited as an example of his genius. When the Wolfpack is losing, detractors question whether somebody that smart can connect with players, fans, recruits."

OK State fans: Give the guy credit for being a deep thinker or to hell with it all?