Thursday Notes: Won't anyone think of the Block Rate?
-- Isiah Thomas must have been really, really impressed by this Ken Pomeroy post. Zeke would be my hero if he used Balkman's Block Rate to defend the selection.
I recommend reading Bill Simmons's draft diary even if you don't like the NBA that much. The Sports Guy wrote some hilarious stuff last night.
-- Yesterday, SI.com's Stewart Mandel wrote that Chuck Amato was one of the five worst coaches in the country. Mandel emphasized the results of the last 3-5 years in making the list. He also ranked the ten best coaches in the country and included George O'Leary (this George O'Leary) in that group, so we can immediately dismiss the rankings as garbage. Chuck Amato isn't one of the five worst coaches in the country right now, he's just an easy target. That's made obvious enough by the nickname Mandel sarcastically gives to Amato.
Today brings this article from Mike Farrell: Can Amato recruit in his own backyard?
Can Chuck get it done this year? It's possible now that he's discovered where his bread is buttered, but it won't be easy. A big season on the field is needed and some serious in-state ground must be made up for N.C. State to rebound and take advantage of the depth of talent in North Carolina this year. If Chuck is successful in both areas, N.C. State could re-emerge as a contender in the ACC. If not, Amato might be leaving the state he didn't show enough love to when he arrived.
Farrell says Amato has neglected in-state recruiting and that the neglect has hurt NC State. This isn't a new theory, and it's not one that I buy. Farrell points to all of the big name recruits who were poached by out-of-state schools, but would things have been different had NC State been completely focused on North Carolina? I am not so sure.
The inherent assumption is that Amato could have recruited those big names harder. That's a pretty big assumption. It's also an offensive notion to the Wolfpack coaches who worked to land the guys who eventually got away. The bottom line is it's not easy to beat Virginia Tech or Florida State or Georgia for players, even in your own backyard. The fact that those players were lost doesn't necessarily have anything to do with NCSU's recruiting philosophy.
-- NC State finished 34th in the final Directors' Cup standings, and that's despite down years from the stalwart cross country teams (the men's squad will be back with a vengeance next year, though).
-- Cameron Bennerman made the Dime Magazine All-Undrafted team.