Who Now Frau Yow?

March18/ 2011

That last column on Duke & Carolina program images is the perfect segue to discuss Who Now Frau Yow?  The Quest:   A seat for NC State at the big boy table of Triangle basketball. …. NOTE:  Jalen Rose has “Charlie Sheened us” with his Duke bash”.  Effectively hyping viewership for his ESPN documentary.

AD Debbie (Kay’s sister) Yow  launches Now Who ‘11? Lets discuss this situation from the point of view of a reasonably mature and historically aware semi-modestly-partisan smart aleck.

Two separate “real worlds” are in play.

1.    The Real Real World:  composed of coaches and players and actual game results.  Cock-eyed conspiracies involving Claude Sitton, or Karl Hess, as The AntiChrist are not included.

2.    The Real Fan-tasy World:  composed of fans and rival fans and, to some degree, the sports media.  Their highly caffeinated perspective is a reality to be dealt with.  At day’s end, “Perception is Reality” even if it is not.

Frau has formed “a search committee” (Taa Daa!) composed of four anonymous guys – Larry, Darryl, Darryl …. and Darryl.  So anonymous they might have started for Wake Forest this past season.  Her committee is significant for who is NOT on it – no one named Smedes, Wendell, McQueen, Peaches, “Fire” or “The Glide”.  Personally I would have put Mr. Cowher on it just to create “buzz”, but that’s me.

One of Debbie’s Darryls is “an esteemed Poultry Professor”.  I’m not going near that one. Waaaay too easy.

Debbie is employing the search firm that brokered her own recruitment to West Raleigh.  That’s ballsy allowing me a gynecological non sequetar.  “The search team” gives Brickyard Board Monkeys a catnip toy to bat around for 72 hours.

NC State coach searches are more fun than The State Fair without a Tilt-A-Whirl.  The fun all takes place in Real Fan-tasy World.  What Debbie, Darryl, Darryl, Darryl and Larry but not Bill are actually doing is irrelevant.  What vivid imaginations “think” (a poor choice of a word) they are doing or should do is where the cole slaw meets the hush puppy.

NC State’s Fan Payday Bar takes a backseat to no one in its number of nuts.  Joining forces with Fan Payday Bars from Chapel Hill and other surrounding rivals and you get  Comedy Central Goes Coach Searching.    Local fan forums and sports talk shows will offer 24/7 no-holds-barred off-the-wall speculating out the wazzoo.

Participation in this goof-arama is not for the certifiably normal.   Any coach candidate with a snowball’s chance in hell gets eliminated in the play-in round.   Thursday I was with a roomful of Chapel Hillians.  The first two names called out were Bucky Waters and Bob Knight ….. then it got kinda silly.

The fun is gleaning the Real State fan-nuts from the Real Carolina fan-nuts pretending to be Real State fan-nuts.  Even I get fooled on occasion.  If the caller / poster mentions “a lot in Governors Club”, that is a tip-off.   Real Carolina fan-nuts HAVE to include that line in coach-search babble regardless..  The phrase “best job in America” can ONLY come from a State fan-nut.

  Ready – Set – Speculate!   
…. as the caissons go rolling along!

General Thoughts for BLSays readers with opposable thumbs:

Can a new coach come into NC State and win consistently.  Absolutely.

Is there any singular factor in place preventing a third national championship for NC State in the foreseeable future?  No.  Win six games over three weeks in late March.  BINGO!

 Will past NCSU successes or failures impact the performance of a new coach and his teams?   No.  Dudley Bradley will not reappear and steal the ball.  No.  Derek Whittenberg will not reappear and heave a Hail Lorenzo pass to make Cinderella’s slipper fit?

Can State “win” so long as The News & Observer exists?  Both entities are going thru difficult times.   State basketball has an easier turn-around to deal with than does The N&O.  Whining about “the damn N&O” is a real part of the Real Fan-tasy World but has no known effect on any scoreboard.

Can State “win” so long as UNC has a Journalism School?  Maybe not.  The UNC J-school, with 1,000s of acolytes dominating global sports media (aka Stuart Scott), has only one “mission” – to subjugate NC State athletics to eternal mediocrity.  This message is carved on the wall at Amedeo’s next to a picture of Eddie Biedenbach eating garlic bread.

Should the new State coach have a historical perspective on the local competitive landscape? 

8 hours w/ Bob Kennel and Frank Weedon !!

Absolutely.   Butch Davis still doesn’t.  Frau can lock the new coach in a closet with Bob Kennel and Frank Weedon for eight hours.  That should be sufficient.  Schedule another two hours to unlearn key historical inaccuracies.

Does a new coach HAVE to be quippy?  An engaging personality is an asset in any endeavor.  Does his name have to end in a vowel?   No.  If it does that will be OK too.

Will a whopper salary guarantee the desired results?  “A fistfull of dollars” will get a sailor laid on Saturday night; but it takes more than that to build a winning program.

 Can State recruit today with the same national presence of UNC or Duke?  State’s “glory days” were 25 years ago.   Recruits are 17 years old.  Do the math.

Can State recruit and win with “high character kids”?   You mean like Todd Fuller and Russell Wilson and numerous others?  Of course State can recruit high character kids.  Hopefully the new coach will.  Not all coaches do.  Matt Doherty wanted Mandingo warriors.   Thankfully that got nipped in the bud.  ANY coach can recruit streetballers from storefront GED diploma mills.

It’s 2011.  Kids are attracted to #1 – A COACH ….  #2 – A Program (including a facility) ….. #3 – Peripheral crap like coeds, pizza and weather. …. #4 – #25 blah blah  ….. #26  – Dusty memories from old grads stuck in a time warp …. #27 – Anything containing the word “academics”.

How important is “academics”?  Huh?  For any recruit who sincerely cares, any school can make a case for itself.  State has both outstanding academics as well as sandboxes where the less academically inclined can “play student” for 2-6 semesters.  Academics are a non-factor.

What sort of personality should State look for?   Everyone interviewing for a new job has two personalities – 1 – the one he interviews in (and recruits in) ….. 2 – the one he reveals after three months on the job.  Hopefully Debbie & The Darryls will make sufficient due diligence calls on any candidate before hiring him.  Keep calling until  someone tells you the downside risks.  EVERYONE brings a downside risk.  ….. in coach search-speak this is called “The Blake Mistake”.   Ouch!

 Can a young coach with some HC experience be successful?   Sure, but it takes a sharp eye to gauge where he is on the learning curve.  If he has peaked, you lose.

Is a veteran coach with a big name the best bet?   Keyboard Kowboys with goofy names like PackAPlenty always screech “get a big name”.   There’s a reason PackAPlenty is not on Frau’s committee.  Opinions without consequence are also without merit.

Are UNC and Duke permanent & insurmountable hurdles for any State coach?   Hurdles yes.  Permanent & Insurmountable not so much.  Both of’em will see major changes as soon as 3-5 years …. definitely within 6-8 years.  Roy and Mike’s success did not bring about Sidney’s downfall.  Sidney’s lack of success was his downfall.

 Is Debbie Yow a better bet to find “the right guy” than Lee Fowler was?  Public perception is on Frau’s side.  Is Frau a better bet to do as well as BOTBob and his cronies did with Butch?  Begging with a blank check is “Risky Bizness”.

The current job market is a coach’s market?  There are three major college jobs open – Arkansas and Oklahoma and GaTech – and two more likely to open – Tennessee and Louisville.  The bidding for top coach talent will be fierce.

College Basketball is an ethical wasteland !   Fan and financial pressures are causing many institutions to hide behind very thin veils of situational ethics rather than stay the high road.  Will NC State go for a coach with character (i.e. Tom O’Brien) or one with selective memory ???  Time will tell.

Does anyone have the tail # on Wendell’s plane?

Yo Debbie, I have Bucky Waters’ email address if you need it …. I don’t have Bob Knight’s.


Duke & UNC played 1st round games soon after this column was posted.  Win & Advance …. Lose & Blame The Refs …..

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