Well known local sports writer, Carlton Tudor, who is now writing for WRAL says NC State is no longer living in the ‘now.’
“The immediate expectations will be modest.” Tudor writes. “Anything higher than a preseason pick for sixth in the ACC would be surprising. But remember, this season isn’t about living in the moment. It’s about the future.”
The article goes on to talk about the recently high expectations that Wolfpack fans have become accustomed to. Having NBA prospects such as CJ Leslie and Lorenzo Brown made it easy to see that NC State’s ceiling was pretty high, but remember, these were never Gottfried’s guys.
With only sophomore forward T.J. Warren, sophomore playmaker Tyler Lewis and senior center Jordan Vandenberg back, the roster is basically barren of Sidney Lowe recruits.
This is entirely Gottfried’s show now.
The construction of the program envisioned by the coach and State’s administration upon his arrival essentially will begin on Oct. 30 in Reynolds Coliseum against UNC Pembroke and carry through a new-look ACC schedule that will include games at Notre Dame (Jan. 7), Syracuse (Feb. 15) and Pittsburgh (March 3).
It’s true. Look at the roster. Jordan Vandenberg remains the only guy that Sidney Lowe brought in all on his own. Sure, Warren was recruited a little by Lowe and so was Lewis, but Gottfried is the one who sealed those deals. Usually you need to wait 4 years to be able to say a coach is coaching a team of only ‘his players.’ State fans now get to see that a couple years early.
So what does this mean? Well, I think it means that this is the year that we get to see a clearer direction of where the program is headed. This is a group of players that Gottfried has assembled. This is the type of group that he feels can win championships. Sure, they are young and they’re going to make mistakes, but I believe you’ll see a certain attitude shift on the floor. No more ‘too cool for school’ players. No more nonchalant talk. These guys he has coming in are work-horses. They are coachable, hard working, basketball players. They respect the game – all aspects of it – and they feel privileged to be here. Sure, NC State isn’t going to win the ACC in 2013-2014, but it’s going to be a more important year than most think.