And here we go.
It started over the weekend when Georgia Tech decided to part company with Paul Hewitt about three years past his expiration date. If you are not familiar with the situation in Atlanta, after Hewitt coached Georgia Tech in the national title game in 2004, his agent took the school administrators out on the town, got them drunk and took compromising photos of them. The next day he negotiated what may have been the most ridiculous contract in the history of college athletics. Basically Hewitt's contract would automatically renew every year and had a huge buyout attached to it that even now has the Yellow Jackets paying Hewitt $7.2 million over the next five years. Actually, I made the first part up though I imagine GT officials wish they had something besides their own stupidity to blame for giving Hewitt a sweetheart deal. Someone finally decided the program was never going to improve so like a gangrenous limb, they cut Hewitt off. Yes it will hurt them financially and hamstring them in hiring the next coach but that is the price to pay for putting all your eggs in one Final Four appearance. For UNC fans it is good riddance considering Roy Williams was a baffling 6-8 versus Hewitt.
Meanwhile in Raleigh NC State will hold a press conference at 6 PM to announce Sidney Lowe has resigned as head coach. The end comes after five years of lackluster basketball, poor team chemistry and generally half hearted play on the court. This move that was pretty much in the bag by the time the calendar flipped to 2011. Had the Wolfpack made some serious noise in the ACC i.e. a top four finish, then maybe Lowe survives. However the play during the pre-conference schedule was so discouraging everyone knew it would turn out pretty much like it did. Lowe was just not a good college coach. He lacked the skills to deal with effort issues as evidenced on the court. In the NBA, coaching effort is a very small part of the job, if they do it at all. In college it is all about pushing young kids and riding the turmoil involved with players who are still developing. It was also clear Lowe never got a handle or was unable to teach his teams how to execute very basic plays on the court not to mention his refusal to use fouls to extend a 2-3 possession game until it was too late. Lowe did a fine job recruiting but individual talent does not matter much if you cannot coach them into a cohesive unit on the court. Lowe's record vs UNC was 1-10 winning his first game against the Heels in 2007 before losing the next ten.
Now we will be mildly entertained watching NC State conduct another coaching search. I say mildly because Yow actually has a clue unlike Lee Fowler so there will be less in the way of major embarrassing moments. There will be plenty of rumors and we have Twitter to kick that stuff around. I have no idea who the Pack will end up with except I think Yow will make overtures to Sean Miller at Arizona, Mark Turgeon at Texas A&M and possibly Rick Barnes at Texas just to appease the fan base who wants a "name" coach. When/if that fails she will move on to some mid-major coach or possibly a long time assistant at a major program. NCSU is behind the eight ball a tad since Oklahoma, Arkansas and the aforementioned Yellow Jackets are already out there. It could be argued NCSU is the fourth best option of that group as far as coaching jobs go.