I rarely post about rival schools but since things on the Tar Heel side are fairly quiet I thought I would highlight the week NC State is having.
It all started with four NCSU football players being popped for marijuana possession. Click on the link to get my take over at TSB.
Then things turned brighter for Pack fans(a rare moment to be sure) with five star recruit C.J. Leslie ending what may have been the most pointless de-commitment in history by re-committing to NC State. That gives Sidney Lowe his most talented class to date.
And today, the word is much maligned...wait wrong description...much hated and despised AD Lee Fowler might be on his way out the door.
The AD thing has been a long time coming and it is tough to argue with the general disdain NCSU fans have had for Fowler. That being said, even now, seven years removed from Matt Doherty's departure and in the fourth year of the Butch Davis era, Dick Baddour still gets very little respect from UNC fans. And that, despite all Tar Heel teams performing at a fairly high level. Seeing that Fowler had much the same issues with the football and basketball hires while also being a bit of a media hog and having NCSU performing at a below average level in everything else, the hatred he gets is somewhat understandable. It obviously bears watching for the entertainment value alone.
The more important issue for our purposes here is the C.J. Leslie de-re-commitment which completes a potential top five class for Lowe. Leslie joins SG Lorenzo Brown and PG Ryan Harrow to give NCSU it's first elite class since I have no idea when. Adding these three to a team with Tracy Smith, Scott Wood, Javi Gonzalez, Richard Howell, C.J. Williams and others means NCSU will have depth and talent at every position. The Wolfpack will have a physical center, experience at PG, shooters and a pair of versatile scorers. It should allow them to play up-tempo which will make the UNC-NCSU games far more enjoyable to watch. The question will be one of coaching. Having talent is not enough. UNC had talent in 2010 but when there are injuries, possibly chemistry issues, players not listening, players in the wrong position and too much PT being given less effective personnel, the season will go badly regardless of the talent. So the pressure will really be on Lowe to prove he can manage the talent and get a cohesive unit on the floor that can produce. Fitting new parts with old parts on the fly is tough. Roy Williams did it with great success in 2006 but in 2010 fell flat on his face. It should be noted, Lowe's teams have had chemistry issues before. The one season of J.J. Hickson was a disaster because players did not get along. All of that has been blamed on Herb Sendek's players. Everyone left now are Lowe recruits so let's see if he can pull it together.
In the end I expect NCSU to be in the upper half of the ACC which is where I see UNC being along with Duke. That basically means the Triangle will once again run Bartertown. So let's party like its 1989!