At N.C. State every search for a basketball coach feels like a journey. Call a leading coach and you expect to hear, "Hi, this is X and I can't come to the phone right now because I'm turning down N.C. State."
But turn-downs real and imagined won't matter if the Wolfpack hires the right man.
Sidney Lowe was the wrong man. If he had succeeded, we wouldn't be talking about the coaches that rejected the job before it became his.
I don't know how many have said no since Lowe went away. There are still outstanding candidates available, among them Shaka Smart of Virginia Commonwealth and Gregg Marshall of Wichita State.
Some N.C. State supporters might want bigger names. Many fans are hung up on big names. If he ain't famous, he ain't for us.
But Smart has his team in the Final Four and Marshall's team just won the NIT.
I don't know Smart. I spent time with Marshall, who is from Greenwood, S.C., when he coached at Winthrop. Went to his house. Intense guy. His dream job then was Charlotte.
Marshall can recruit and coach and has long had major college hair.
He also has the quality all leaders must -- his players believe that if they do what he asks, they'll win.
And they do.