Monday, August 24, 2009

Lowe Piecing It All Together


By: WolfpackHoops Staff

When Sidney Lowe took over as the Wolfpack head coach three years ago, he was handed the formidable task of taking the NC State Wolfpack basketball program to the next level. The memories of a University once celebrated for it’s basketball prowess were growing hazier and hazier with each passing year. The emergence of basketball powerhouses such as The University of North Carolina and Duke overshadowed the once dominant Wolfpack, and left them, and their fans wondering how and who will lead them back to glory.

Enter Sidney Lowe. Lowe was the point guard whose play, under legendary coach Jim Valvano, led the Pack to their second National Championship with one of the most memorable runs in NCAA history. With Lowe, the Wolfpack had someone who understood them, who understood the rivalries and who understood the seemingly insurmountable obstacles in his way. “My love for this area and for this university runs deep. My commitment here will be second to none.” Said Lowe in his first press conference. With a renewed sense of confidence, the Wolfpack fans were ready for the next great chapter in NC State Basketball history.

Fast forward to 2009. Sidney Lowe has an overall record of 51-46 and a less than stellar conference mark of 15-33. With three seasons under his belt, some Wolfpack fans are beginning to grow impatient. The win-now mentality that had harbored in Raleigh in years past is starting to rear its head again. However, if you look past the record, and examine the program a little closer, if you listen to the players when they speak, you find that there is something a little different going on this off-season. Players are maturing, they are starting to take it upon themselves to make sure they are prepared to go the places they want to go this season. The pieces may just be starting to come together. This will be the first season that Sidney Lowe will have a team entirely made-up of his players (with the exception of Senior forward Dennis Horner), so he will finally have his tools to work with. These players are the ones that bought in to what was pitched to them as recruits, players that are hungrier than ever to change the culture in Raleigh.

“I think people are really ready to turn this thing around. I mean, we have a lot of people in here that are just all about winning. Nobody is about themselves and everybody is about the team. None of us like losing, and we've seen, in spurts last year, how good we could be, but we let games slip away and we're just tired of that. We just really want to win games. " said Sophomore Julius Mays

Mays is just one Wolfpack player that has seen a drastic change in off-season work outs and team togetherness. Sophomore guard CJ Williams also expressed a new attitude and a new commitment to putting in the extra work to get better.

“Probably the biggest difference between this team and last years team is that you see a lot more guys working out on their own. There were guys that did that last year, but not as many. I mean, every day you see Javi, Johnny, me, Julius, Dennis, Tracy in the gym. Now we are all working out but it’s on our own. One is shooting, one is lifting, one might be relaxing and then we have a little chain going. When one person is done shooting someone else will go shoot and another person will go fill his spot in the weight room. It’s just that there are a lot more guys taking it upon themselves to get better. I really like that and I like that idea and I think because of that, things are definitely going to change.”


Since day one, Coach Sidney Lowe has preached mental toughness, and that hard work will earn court time. It seems as if that message is starting to sink in, as players are now understanding what those monikers really mean. It’s apparent to the players that a change is in order, and it’s beginning to open the eyes of the coaches, especially Sidney Lowe.

"(the goal this off-season was) to get better at everything and I feel very comfortable and confident in that. I don't know if you've seen any of our guys, but if you haven't, you'll see. They're different, they're just different. Their expressions are different, their mindsets are different, their bodies are different. Dennis Horner likes to walk around with his shirt off for the first time. It's interesting. He's proud of his work. When you see our guys you'll be able to see and it's because of the extra work they're putting in. No one is telling them to be in the gym at 6:30am. They're in there working out, that's what they are doing." Lowe said.


When a team starts to understand work ethic, you know they’ve begun to understand winning and what it takes to become a winner. Obviously, every team “wants to win”, but just how badly a team wants it can only be measured in the preparation and hard work they put in during the off-season. Sidney Lowe is still in the process of building the NC State program, but if this summer was any indication, he is on the right track and the pieces may just now be starting to fall into place.

comments

15 Responses to "Lowe Piecing It All Together"
  1. TheWolfman8321 said...
    August 24, 2009 at 6:37 PM

    Great read. This gets me excited to see the players and Lowe talk about the change they are seeing.

    Forget what anyone says...bar none the most entertaining complete NC State site on the web.

    I for one, am 100% behind you guys!

  2. Anonymous said...
    August 24, 2009 at 6:39 PM

    ^+1

  3. Earl ('96) said...
    August 24, 2009 at 7:55 PM

    I for one would give Lowe 5 more years to prove himself. There's just been way too much criticism of Lowe and I find it unwarranted. We hated Sendek but we gave him much more than 4 years so why not afford the same courtesy to Lowe. People forget that during the last coaching search, no one wanted the job. Why? Because it's a pressure filled job with no upside for most coaches. Competing against duke, unc and wake and also having to make progress each season under those circumstances? Only an alum would take a job like that. Someone who truly loved the school. A guy like that deserves a chance, hell, many chances. I like the talent coming in. Harrow is a straight-up bad-ass. Lowe will right the ship but he needs time and patience from the fans.

    BTW.. love this site. Focused on bball and very upbeat. A breath of fresh air.

  4. Anonymous said...
    August 24, 2009 at 9:45 PM

    while i wouldn't say we should "give Lowe 5 more years to prove himself", i would say we should give him a few more years.

    this season shouldn't be a make-or-break season. it's going to be a very young and relatively unexperienced group (and we lost our top 3 scorers).

    however, we've got a few guys capable of stepping-up and becoming team leaders, and plenty of new talent coming in. we should substantial progress over the next few years. if not, then it might be time to consider a change, but for now, Lowe has all my support!

  5. gmonnnaaaa said...
    August 24, 2009 at 9:53 PM

    gmonnnaaaa here.

    Gotta give it to Sid here people. Things they are a'changin'. We are getting better players, smarter players and REAL basektball players.

    Good article pointing out the work ethic that Sidney has recruited and how it's coming into fruition.

    Great article and great site boys. keep up the awesome work!

  6. Anonymous said...
    August 24, 2009 at 9:53 PM

    Shucks, if I was Lowe, I'd trade in all of the hard work and dedication that the players are currently exhibiting, and just go with the latest theory.

  7. Big Zone said...
    August 24, 2009 at 10:20 PM

    Mays,Cj,Wood,Smith,Painter

    Javi,Mays,Cj,Horner,Smith

    Mays,Wood,Davis,Smith,Vandenburg

    Javi,Cj,Horner,Howell,Smith

    Degand,Cj,Thomas,Horner,Painter

    Mays,Wood,Horner,Painter,Smith

    keep on adding the pieces Sid the possibilities are endless. Harrow ,Brown It seems its only going to get better

  8. Anonymous said...
    August 25, 2009 at 12:24 AM

    great article, well written and right on point.

    take notice lunatic fringe...things are on the upswing

  9. Logan said...
    August 25, 2009 at 12:46 AM

    First time poster, and not quite sure how to sign in, but this is a great article and fishing around the site there is so much good info, not to mention it's all positive, something THIS university has been lacking for years. And the kicker, it's all for free!?!?
    i'm not sure how I was unaware of this site being a long time nc state fan and grad but it is now bookmarked!
    how long has this site been around?

  10. Wolfpack Hoops said...
    August 25, 2009 at 12:48 AM

    Logan,
    Thanks for the kind words and we're certainly glad to have you. We've been around since late December of last year.

    We also have a football site if you're a Wolfack Football fan.
    www.WolfpackPigskin.com

  11. Wolfpack Hoops said...
    August 25, 2009 at 12:49 AM

    ^^ps. It looks like you signed in. However, to get a real account all you have to do is sign up through google. It's free.

  12. Jeremiah said...
    August 25, 2009 at 7:45 AM

    Good read. Love the optimism. I get so sick of the negative pack fans and their win now mentality. These things take time. Many don't realize that pushing Sid out the door prematurely would be more detrimental to our program than not, almost promising more L's in the long term. It's already a tough gig, and I ask, who would want to coach here if our fan base exhibits such impatience and hostility with one of our own guys?

  13. Anonymous said...
    August 25, 2009 at 9:44 AM

    ^ Agreed. The Wolfpack fans want to pride themselves on loyalty...looking and laughing when Carolina fans don't show up for football games or when they leave a basketball game early. Yet when Sidney Lowe, a historical figure that helped shape Wolfpack history isn't winning immediatly people want to throw him under the bus. I call BS and I call people that are not TRUE pack fans. It infuriates me. I graduated in 98 and I had to deal with the Herb years. I'm so happy we have a coach like Lowe who has a true vision to be the best and to one day be a champion and he's not scared to talk about. Give him some time people you'll see.

    ok I'm done ranting. Anyways, first time poster here and actually first time visitor. Name's Mike.

  14. Anonymous said...
    August 25, 2009 at 10:50 AM

    Good article and I hope things work out for Coach Lowe and this team. I'm cautiously optimistic and am looking forward to the first game and season.

    In addition to this article, I am optimistic about this year's team because of what Coach Lowe said at the end of last season. The 2nd team (Mays, Williams, Thomas, Smith, and Horner) consistently beat the first team in practice for the entire second half of the season.

    Additionally, NC State will have some of the most experienced PG's in the ACC. The loss of PG talent (Lawson, Teague, Douglas, Rice, and McClinton) in the ACC will greatly effect the conference but for the good of NC State. Overall, the conference may be down some this year.

    Lastly, Sidney has recruited players who embrace defense and will work hard at it as well as have better defensive fundamentals.

    Go Pack!

    Wiley Wolf
    Raleigh, NC

  15. redfred said...
    August 25, 2009 at 12:44 PM

    Hey, "Mike", the first time poster up there ^, I realize we don't know each other very well, but I think I'm in love.

    Seriously though, that was a great first post and I do like the way you think. Wait a minute, maybe we're too much alike afterall, no way this love affair can last.

    Regretfully,
    redfred

 

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