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Friday Items

-- The Shelby Star caught up with Sidney Lowe at the Coaches Caravan stop in Gastonia:

Q: What was the biggest surprise for you switching from coaching in the NBA to coaching in college?

A: "What surprised me more than anything is the extras that coaches have to deal with on this level. When I say the extras, I mean the extra people. When I played and came to school, it was me. That was it. My high school coach sent me off to school. My mom and dad sent me off to school. So the only person coach (Norm) Sloan and Coach V (Jim Valvano) had to deal with was me. Today, you've got to deal with a lot of people. Parents are much more involved now with their kids' careers than they were before. Our parents were excited about us going to college and playing basketball. It was a privilege to play, not something somebody owed us. Now, because of the coverage of the NBA, the parents and a lot of AAU coaches - not all, but some - are looking at these players as someone that's going to help them get to the next level. So there's a lot of pressure on these young men, who are trying to come in here to go to school in addition to having a coach outside of your college coach trying to tell you what to do and what's best for you. And in some cases, you get the heat from the parents as well. So that's the biggest difference for me."

Those could be veiled references to the Wall saga, Costner's old man, or neither.

-- The latest from Tim Peeler regarding the NCSU athletics history project.

-- This hit my email inbox yesterday:

Just for me. I'm big on the internet like that. Yes, I think I will feel the thunder.

*plays video*

Ooh, a Russell Wilson touchdown pass!

Thun! Der! duhnuhnuhnuhnuhnuhnuhnuh Thun! Der!

Wait a second.

Thun! Der! duhnuhnuhnuhnuhnuhnuhnuh Thun! Der!

No no no no. This is all wrong.

Thun! Der! duhnuhnuhnuhnuhnuhnuhnuh Thun! Der!

This is a cruel joke. A cruel, cruel--wow, sweet kick return.

Enter some bogus info here and see the brief highlight video yourself.

-- Steve Hauschka is battling Graham Gano--among other things--for the kicking job in Baltimore.

-- Reading this post from Dr. Saturday, I couldn't help but recall the two-point conversion for the win at Syracuse, still one of my favorite Wolfpack football games of all-time. The image of Paul Pasqualoni jumping around, desperately hoping one of the Orangemen on the field would see he wants a timeout, is one I'll never forget. To this day, I wonder what the Syracuse special teams guys were thinking during that play. What the hell kind of extra point formation is this? Oh crap.

"There was no question in my mind about going for two at the end," said O'Cain, whose job was said to be in jeopardy. "In that kind of situation, you need to choose your opportunity. Their defense was reeling and had lost its confidence."

That NC State team finished the season 6-5 on the strength of a three-game winning streak, but O'Cain was reduced to pleading/begging for a bowl berth, because bowl games hadn't yet proliferated to the point of absurdity. Had circumstances been different, had they managed a bowl appearance that year, O'Cain would have been coming off of two consecutive bowl seasons rather than one in '99, the year of his dismissal. I wonder if that would've changed things. State's 6-6 record in '99 would've been good enough for a bowl game today, too. I don't regret the way it went's just something terrifying to think about.

-- Billie Gillispie struggles with unemployment:

Billy Gillispie is back in his hometown of Graford, Texas, looking to buy a home in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, closing a sale on his Lexington abode, dealing with a lawsuit against his former employer Kentucky, mapping out his summer and fall plans and figuring out how to handle idle time that he hasn't had in his adult life.

"I've gone strong for a long time," Gillispie said. "I was a head coach in high school to a Division I coach, to a head Division I coach, and I got lucky, real lucky. It's amazing how quickly things happen. I never took a vacation. I'm not sure what to do with the down time."

As someone who has also recently earned some unrequested vacation time, Billy, let me help you out.

11:30 -- Wake up.
12:03 -- Pour first gin and tonic.
12:10 -- Should I put pants on?
12:12-7:15 -- It's whatever.
7:30 -- Decide to go out because it's Wednesday night but at the same time it's also Saturday night.
7:33 -- I should put pants on.

And so on and so forth.