Basketball season is upon us. The Pack is 2-0 and is averaging 87.5 points per game. This brings us to State’s next opponent, the Princeton Tigers. But this isn’t so much about Princeton, as it is about the horrific memories their offense brings Wolfpack Nation. The memories are starting to come back to you. You are starting to get that sick feeling in the pit of your stomach. You’re starting to get sweaty palms, nervous tendencies, and the urge to throw your remote control through your TV.
That’s right, we’re talking about Mr. Herb Sendek (ahhhhhhhhhhh!). We know, we know. We’re not supposed to talk about him. The media loves too, but all they do is sit on the surface and see he took State to 5 straight NCAA tourney’s. What they don’t see is the horror he brought to Pack basketball for 10 seasons. They don’t see the fact that each Selection Sunday (except for one), State fans were on the edge of their seats waiting to find out IF we were in. They don’t see that State was only higher than a 7 seed ONCE in those 5 seasons. We could keep going, but we choose not too. Those memories are finally starting to fade.
The “Princeton” offense is well known around Raleigh. As stated, Mr. Sendek ran it for 10 seasons. There were some highs, like beating #1 Duke, beating #2 Seeded UConn to advance to the Sweet 16 in 2005 (thanks Julius Hodge), and when Sendek left Raleigh to go to Arizona State in 2006. Bt for the most part, there were ton of frustrations with the offense. Best known around the RBC as the ‘weave and heave’, Sendek brought the style with him from his Miami of Ohio, and has taken it with him to Arizona State, where he is in his fifth season.The offense is a slow, methodical offense, built around heavy motion, skilled passing, back-door cuts, and under Sendek, three point shooting.
We can promise as soon as the ball is tipped and Princeton get’s their first possession, we, as well as the majority of NC State fans, will instantly get a flashback to those painful years. The good news is that current NC State coach Mark Gottfried has brought a offense based on the UCLA high post, and the Pack is playing a much more exciting brand of basketball. The bad news? That UCLA high post offense was beat by Princeton in 1995. Let’s hope it doesn’t repeat, or else it won’t just be the name of their offense that brings us bad memories.
Brief Tidbits on Princeton:
Location: Princeton, New Jersey
Conference: Ivy League
School Colors: Black, Orange
TV: 7:00, ESPNU
History: Princeton leads all time series 5-1