Sources: Pistons' Lowe agrees to coach NC State

Updated: May 5, 2006, 2:49 AM ET
By Andy Katz | ESPN.com

Pistons assistant coach Sidney Lowe has agreed in principle to take the head coaching job at North Carolina State, replacing Herb Sendek.

Sidney Lowe
Joe Murphy/NBAE via Getty ImagesLowe hasn't been a head coach in college basketball, but has been the head man in the NBA.

Multiple sources told ESPN.com that Lowe informed Pistons GM Joe Dumars and coach Flip Saunders of his decision Thursday morning.

A contract still hasn't been agreed to yet.

So, there is still a chance that there could be a hurdle to clear before Lowe is named the head coach. But that would seem unlikely after NC State announced it was having a 5:30 p.m. ET news conference Saturday to announce its new men's basketball coach.

North Carolina State offered Lowe, a point guard on NC State's 1983 national championship team under the late Jim Valvano, the job after the Pistons eliminated the Milwaukee Bucks 4-1 on Wednesday night in the first round of the NBA playoffs.

NC State athletic director Lee Fowler spent the last month traversing the country trying to hire a big-name coach. He offered the job to Texas' Rick Barnes and Memphis' John Calipari before being rebuffed by both. Calipari went as far as to take his staff to the Raleigh campus to tour the facilities while trying to be incognito and under the cover of darkness. ESPN analyst and former UCLA coach Steve Lavin was also reportedly offered the job, as well, but turned it down.

Throughout the past week, multiple sources told ESPN.com that Fowler wanted someone with N.C. State ties. Fowler didn't use a search committee but leaned on Fred Barakat, an associate commissioner in the ACC.

Lowe told the Pistons he would stay with them until the end of the NBA playoffs. He would have to hire a staff that would run the program while he finishes his duties with the Pistons.

Lowe is also still finalizing his degree. The Charlotte Observer and Raleigh News and Observer reported that Lowe will finish the last nine hours of his business administration degree at Saint Paul's College in Lawrenceville, Va., (through online) 23 years after leaving NC State.

Lowe was the head coach of the Minnesota Timberwolves and Memphis Grizzlies. He was 13-30 as head coach of the Wolves from the middle of the 1992-93 season to the end. He coached the Vancouver/Memphis Grizzlies for two full seasons finishing 23-59 in each of the 2000-01 and '01-02 seasons. He was replaced by Hubie Brown at the beginning of the 2002-03 season after an 0-8 start.

Andy Katz is a senior writer for ESPN.com

Andy Katz | email

Senior Writer, ESPN.com