Lowe's Time?

Is it time for NC State AD Lee Fowler to pursue one of the Wolfpack's own? If so, Sidney Lowe just might be the best man for the job.

Currently in his first season as an assistant with the Detroit Pistons, Lowe is considered one of the NBA's top assistants. The previous two years he spent serving on Flip Saunders' coaching staff in Minnesota, and he accompanied Saunders to Detroit prior to the 2005-06 season.
"It's something I would hope would happen. It is my alma mater."

Lowe is a name familiar to Wolfpack fans, as he was the starting point guard on the Wolfpack's 1983 NCAA Championship team. Under the late Jim Valvano, Lowe earned Final Four All-Tournament team honors in leading the "Cardiac Pack" to NC State's second national title.

His playing career began in the Continental Basketball Association, where he helped lead the Albany Patroons and Tampa Bay Thrillers to CBA Championships. His stellar play in the CBA led to a four-year career in the NBA that included stints with Indiana, Detroit, Atlanta, Charlotte, and Minnesota. In 193 career games, he averaged 2.9 points, 3.9 assists, and 1.7 rebounds.

He began his coaching career in Minnesota, where he started as an assistant in 1991-92 after working as Minnesota's television analyst the season before.

He took over the head coaching duties midway through the 1992-93 season,compiling a 13-30 record to finish out the year. Following a 20-62 campaign in 1993-94, he moved on to an assistant coaching position with Mike Fratello in Cleveland during the 1994-95 season and helped the team compile a 248-212 record during four NBA seasons in which the Cavaliers made the playoffs each year.

Lowe rejoined the Timberwolves as an assistant coach for the 1999-2000 season before being hired as the Vancouver Grizzlies head coach on June 1, 2000. In two-plus seasons with the Vancouver/Memphis Grizzlies, Lowe led the team to back-to-back franchise-best records of 23-59 in both 2000-01 and 2001-02.

Now back as an assistant with the Pistons, Lowe has a wealth of experience and is helping coach Detroit back to the NBA Finals.

Is Sid Lowe the right guy for the NC State coaching job? Recently he admitted that he has his eye on the position.

"I'd definitely have interest in it one day," Lowe told The News & Observer. "It's something I would hope would happen. It is my alma mater."

What Makes Him a Viable Candidate: Some fans would LOVE it if Sidney Lowe is the next head basketball coach at NC State. Why? Because he just might be able to unify a divided fanbase. Lowe was the engine behind NC State's 1983 national title team, a true leader in every sense of the word. He bleeds Wolfpack Red, and he has that passion to beat rivals North Carolina and Duke just like fans have today. If NC State fans can get behind anyone at this stage of the coaching search, it would likely be Sidney Lowe.

Lowe has quality experience on all levels. He has won a national title in college, and did it at NC State. He spent four seasons in the NBA as a player, so he knows what it takes to play on that level. With 10 years as an NBA assistant and five seasons as a NBA head coach, Lowe obviously knows how to coach the game of basketball.

At 46, Lowe is still relatively young and would have a ton of upside as the potential coach at NC State. Should he succeed, don't expect Lowe to move on because it is his alma mater. He has plenty of time left to build a major power, and because of his age he has more upside than other potential candidates.

Lowe has been described as a gentleman off the court, but a fiery competitor on the sidelines. He coaches the game with the same passion that he played with, and is considered a "players coach." With an engaging personality and the coaching demeanor that Wolfpack fans seem to be yearning for, Sidney Lowe would be an outstanding representative of NC State as the head basketball coach.

What Makes Him a Longshot: There are definitely concerns with Lowe.

Lowe coached five seasons, totaling a 79-228 mark (25.7%) as the head man for the Timberwolves and Grizzlies.

First of all, he has no college coaching experience. None. He hasn't coached as an assistant or head coach, and he has no experience dealing with the day-to-day duties of coaching and mentoring 18-22 year-old men. It is a rarity that a coach in this position would be hired as a head coach of a high-major program.

Although Lowe has head coaching experience in the NBA, he didn't succeed. Lowe coached five seasons, totaling a 79-228 mark (25.7%) as the head man for the Timberwolves and Grizzlies. Granted, neither team had the talent needed to win a lot of ballgames in the NBA, but it still has to be a concern that Lowe failed to record a single winning season as a head coach.

Another potential problem could be Lowe's lack of recruiting experience. Because he hasn't coached in college, Lowe has never recruited on any level. Granted, he may be a natural at it because of his personality, enthusiasm, and salesmanship, but it is still an unknown at this point. Would he enjoy the rigors of college recruiting?

Lowe currently doesn't have his college degree. Because his player career began directly after the '83 season, and Lowe became a coach following his career, he never had the time to go back and complete his coursework. However, recent reports state he should finish up his degree this month, and that would be a positive for Lowe. He will need to have his degree to ever be the head coach at NC State. That is a must.

Pack Pride's Take: This would certainly be a hire that raised eyebrows, but perhaps it is time that NC State takes that sort of risk. Lowe would be the ideal high-risk/high-reward candidate as he has his positives and negatives and could be either a tremendous or dreadful hire by Lee Fowler. Should Fowler go this route, expect the Wolfpack fans to give Lowe a chance to succeed, and that might be more than other candidates would get at this point.


Pack Pride Top Stories