We Have Movement!
The NC State coaching search which could be likened to 40 weeks of pregnancy has finally shown life after 10 days of virtual silence from officials and wild rumors from everyone else. According to 850 the Buzz regular interviewee Mike Decourcy of The Sporting News former UCLA coach and current ESPN analyst Steve Lavin has an offer on the table if he wants the job. After 20 days and two very public rejections this is probably not a bad choice for NC State. Just don't tell the NC State fans that however. The reaction at the Pack Pride message board has been more along the lines of "weeping and gnashing of teeth." Some State fans are obviously unhappy with the polished Lavin possibly being the head coach. And to those Wolfpackers I would simply say: BE QUIET YOU ARE GETTING ON MY NERVES!!!! Ahem. Run this through the mill. Every possible coach in the country has been linked to this job. Lee Fowler went hunting for big game and ended up facilitating raises for Rick Barnes and John Calipari. As the days have worn on the names have popped up and been shot down. According the David Glenn on his WRAL blog the candidates on this point were Lavin, John Beiline of West Virginia, and Dereck Whittenburg of Fordham. Beiline had a huge buyout and is viturally the same as Herb Sendek. Whittenburg would have been a Matt Doherty situation where he got the job because he was "in the family" without any major coaching experience. At this point you should all fall on your knees and thank the heavens it is Lavin if he actually signs the contract. He was 145-78 at UCLA which is a .708 winning percentage. That also includes a 10-19 final season so prior to that he was winning 81% of his games. And while he has not won the big one or been to a Final Four he has been to the Sweet 16 on numerous occassions. Also bear in mind he was 33 when he took the job at UCLA and undoubtedly his you and inexperience as a major head coach may have created problems for him. Three years on the outside as a observer and analyst of the game should help him come in with a proper perspective. The biggest complaint NC State fans had with Sendek was a lack of personality and a failure to get past a certain level of mediocrity. Lavin has the media gig down pat, he is a great personality and will provide an interesting contrast to the country boy Roy Williams and the business executive Coach K. His success at UCLA exceeded the level of success enjoyed by Sendek at NC State in terms of NCAA Tournament advancement. The only two questions out there are can he recruit to State and how well can he coach a game versus two of the greatest coaching minds in the country. I honestly think he will do fine and as long as Wolfpack fans do not expect a Final Four or national title in the first four years he should be able to mange expectations. Lavin is the best State is going to get and I think he will be a great fit. If they had any wits about themselves they would fall into full support and start living up to all of that "passionate and loyal fan base" malarkey they were trying to sell Barnes and Calipari when they were on the hook. This is a step up from Sendek and this satisfies the personality requirement. Only time will tell what happens on the court.