Jeff Goodman finally covers the situation in Raleigh with a short article today on ESPN:
NC State coach Mark Gottfried’s tenure in Raleigh is likely coming to an end following the season, unless the Wolfpack go on a run over the next few weeks and in the ACC tournament, sources told ESPN.
“He could be gone this week, if they get pounded by North Carolina tomorrow night,” one source close to the situation told ESPN on Tuesday night.
So it seems only a late surge can save Mark Gottfried at this point. While late surges have been somewhat of a trademark of his tenure at State, one seems especially unlikely with this team as they are approaching historical lows in terms of lowest ACC winning(currently .231), most lopsided losses in a season, largest loss at Wake ever, etc…Do I have to mention the 51 pt drubbing in Chapel Hill earlier this year? Gottfried has saved previous seasons with strong finishes. But even if that happens this year, then is continually relying on late runs to salvage seasons the sign of a well run program?
The only comments Goodman has made this season publically about State on Twitter have been about our team’s lack of effort and surprisingly pity for NC State fans. In today’s article, an ACC coach commented about our team:
Yow, according to several sources, has been unhappy with the lack of effort with the current team.
“They have more than enough talent to get to the NCAA tourney,” one ACC coach told ESPN. “They just don’t play hard at all.”
Additionally, Goodman checked with at least one of his sources in regards to Archie Miller’s potential interest in taking the NC State job:
If NC State does make a coaching move, it’s likely that Dayton coach and NC State alum Archie Miller would be high atop the list, although sources told ESPN that Miller is unlikely to take the job.
So there you have it. According to Goodman’s source, Miller will not be the next head coach at NC State.
During his 6 seasons at Dayton, Archie has become college basketball’s top, young coaching candidate at a mid-major program. While the timing of our job coming open works well in that Archie is still at Dayton, it doesn’t work so well that Archie has had so much time and success at Dayton. He has positioned himself as a target for programs that are “easier” than NC State. For example, Ohio St and Indiana could come open this season as well. They are in the easier BIG and both are higher up the pecking order in their own conference. While a coach at State has to battle UNC, Duke, Louisville, Syracuse, UVA, etc….there is simply more depth and more top programs in the ACC. Archie’s salary has increased to the $2 million dollar range. He has the top program in his conference. So he can afford to wait as long as he wants.
Does that make the NC State job impossible? No. There has been plenty of talent to come through Raleigh under Herb Sendek, Sidney Lowe, and Mark Gottfried to compete in the upper half of the conference and become a top 25 program(I will try to quantify just how much talent those coaches have signed relative to the ACC and other programs nationally at a later point). If Archie did that at NC State, then he would essentially have a lifetime contract and a statue outside the PNC. Also with coaching changes about to occur at UNC, Duke, Syracuse, and Louisville(Archie at Louisville?) there is a window of opportunity here for our next coach.
Back to timing, hiring Archie Miller would have been more certain earlier in his tenure or while he was still an assistant at Arizona. People would have complained that he didn’t have the experience he needed. But if there is anything the people doing the hiring at NC State should have learned is that you have to indentify top coaches prior to them becoming unhireable. You can’t drag out coaching tenures based on hope of turning it around while guys like Sean Miller(Sidney Lowe search), Shaka Smart(Gottfried search), and now Archie Miller establish themselves at mid-major programs to the point that they are targets of top programs. Sean is now at Arizona and of course Shaka Smart is now at Texas. Miller is essentially on the same track. In other words, without him and his wife having graduated from NC State he likely wouldn’t consider our job at all. Now, don’t panic. There are other good candidates out there, but don’t be surprised if Archie Miller decides not to get involved with our search. We may have to indentify the next Sean/Shaka/Archie at a stage early in his career with a lot less experience. Fortunately, the data on our recruiting since the hiring of Herb Sendek suggests that whoever takes the NC State job should have enough talent to consistently compete in the top half of the ACC.
Locally, Joe Giglio penned an article largely focused on NC State’s lack of effort and defense.
The numbers paint a bleak enough of a picture without any historical context. The Wolfpack ranks No. 324, out of 351 teams, in points allowed per game (79.9) and No. 246 in 3-point FG defense (opponents make 36.1 percent of their 3s).
N.C. State has allowed 10 of its 13 ACC opponents score at least 80 points – and have lost nine of those games. The 1990-91 team is only other in school history to allow that many 80-point games in league play.
Luke Decock has an article today focused onthe program’s lack of continuity under Gottfried:
Of Gottfried’s first 12 signees at N.C. State, five transferred and two turned pro, leaving two seniors and one junior on this team, one of whom is redshirting. Last year’s recruiting class contained only two players, Maverick Rowan and Shaun Kirk. Next year’s class has only one player signed, Garner’s Thomas Allen.
There was nothing Gottfried could do about Trevor Lacey turning pro unexpectedly early, and more players transfer these days than ever before, but these departures have become endemic at N.C. State.
Plugging holes with transfers and late signees can become a sort of basketball Ponzi scheme, and eventually, as with every pyramid scheme, the bill comes due.
This season, it has.
Essentially, Goodman, Giglio, and Decock together nail the three primary reasons Gottfried has failed at NC State(lack of effort, lack of defense, and lack of continuity). Enjoy tonight’s game!