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Sidney Lowe Talks Plus/Minus, Plus Other Items

-- Sid talked a bit about +/- during his press conference on Tuesday:

Thoughts on a +/- system in evaluating players:

We've been doing it for years. You certainly can get something from it but you can't base your decisions on it. It does tell you about certain combinations that play well together, and you certainly try to put those guys together in the ballgame. If it's something that consistently works for you then you try to do it.

We've been doing it for years, looking at the productivity with certain guys playing together and different combinations that go well.


Who is your +/- leader this year?
Our plus/minus leader this year has been Richard Howell

So that's interesting.  I can't figure out how the staff has Howell as their +/- leader this year, though--he's been good for the team when he's played, but he hasn't played nearly enough to best the numbers from guys like Brown and Wood.  Prior to the Duke game I had Howell sixth on the team at +53.  I went over to StatSheet and glanced at the figures they have just to make sure I'm not crazy, but they don't have Howell as the team leader either.

I guess Lowe could be referring to +/- per 40 minutes, but I have Howell 3rd by that measure.  It is a mystery.

--Andy Katz writes that time is running out for an NCAA push.

But I came across something unexpected in speaking with NC State players as well as Lowe after the game: unbridled optimism.

No one was down, not one player or coach. Sure, they were upset they blew a chance to beat Duke and were well aware that this was a signature chance at home for a marquee win. But you couldn't find one player sulking about a lost season or a member of the coaching staff worried one bit about job security.

Lowe is no fool. He knows. He's been tossed aside as a head coach in the NBA and has seen the strain losing has on a head coach as an assistant. He knows the deal.

Fans want results. But after conversations with Lowe, I don't get the sense it's eating at him like it might someone who is under siege as I've seen, for instance, when Steve Lavin was being forced out at UCLA.

I'm all for sunshine and rainbows and such--the players have to stay positive--but is it possible to be too upbeat in these situations?  Are they so far into denial that it's costing them the urgency they need?  See, this is what happens when a season goes poorly.  I start looking for faults everywhere.

-- Brett Friedlander also sees time running out for the Pack.

-- Caulton Tudor writes about another slow start.

-- Lenox Rawlings saw the same old story on Wednesday.

-- Ditto Dan Wiederer.

-- Ed Hardin finds a silver lining.

-- Debbie Yow is not going to evaluate Sidney Lowe or the program until after the season.