So yeah, we know. The season isn’t over and Gottfried is still the coach (update: He’s been fired), but we watched another 2nd half of poor basketball last night and with all the rumors swirling, I think this thing has a pretty clear ending. We know you don’t want to read ‘what went wrong against UNC.’ Shoot, it’s the same stuff that went wrong in their first loss against Creighton or the loss against Miami. So instead, we want to write what you are likely here to read. A first glance as some potential hires for the POSSIBLE upcoming coaching search. Here we go.
Archie Miller (Dayton)
This is a no brainer. To be honest, I believe if Archie was having a bad year then the ‘fire Gottfried’ call would not have been quite as loud. However, Miller is having a great year, is tied for first in the A-10 and most likely making a move after the season. State donors and fans all realize that the time is now or never on Miller, which is likely what started the ball rolling on moving away from Gottfried despite a track record that may have at least bought him another year.
Either way, Miller would be a homerun hire for State. Would he be the best hire? I don’t know. He would certainly unite the fan base and he certainly would bring more of a structured atmosphere around the program. He is an up and comer who is on everyone’s radar. Which brings us to…
Would he come? Good question. He is an alumnus. His wife’s family lives about 1.5 hours outside Raleigh. Those are the plusses. We know his dream job is OSU and Thad Matta is having a bad season, but will they fire him? I doubt it. If that job were to open then Archie would take it. That’s pretty much the bottom line. Now, aside from that scenario, would he think about coming to NC State. We’ll have to wait and see, but it’s certainly not off the table if the Wolfpack open up their pocketbook and pay him out (offer the guy $3.5 mil and make him turn you down.)
Will Wade (VCU)
If Archie is your 1A then Wade is your 1B. Honestly, Wade might be the better get of the two, but with Archie being from NC State and having connections I think fans know that he’d understand the situation of NC State better than Wade. Honestly though, does that matter? Wade is a hard-ass, no-nonsense, tell is like it is kind of guy and he’s only 34 years old. He’s the one tied with Archie for 1st place in the A-10. This is only his second year at VCU and he’s having a ton of success, but would he jump to the ACC? I’m not so sure. This is a very confident coach who likes where he is at and seems self-assured that there will be big time jobs waiting for him when he’s ready to make the jump. Is NC State that jump? I don’t think a guy like Wade is necessarily looking at NC State and hoping they offer him something, but a move to the ACC would be a step up and again, if NC State makes Wade a HUGE offer he can’t refuse, they just might be able to pry him away from VCU. Take a look at some of Wade’s greatest hits.
— Matt Estreich (@MattNBC12) January 23, 2017
— Coach Chuck Nelson (@Coach_CNelson) December 20, 2016
Marshall has always been on the Wolfpack fan’s radar. He won at Winthrop and then took the Wichita State job where he has been for the past 9 years. He has taken them to 5 straight NCAA tournaments and is well on his way to another as he sits at 14-1 (1st place) in the MVC conference. Marshall is a key candidate for the Pack because he’s likely ready to try his hand against the big dogs in the ACC. Marshall is a competitor. He’s a very fiery, very passionate coach who would fit well with the NC State fanbase. The guy has a chip on his shoulder, he has been overlooked and all he does is keep on winning (oh and he hate’s Jeff Goodman so that’s a plus)
So what’s the catch? Money. Marshall is making over $ 3million. That is a ton for the head coach of Wichita State. But what does that show you? Wichita State has no business paying their coach $3.3 million, but they did and they are now a powerhouse in their conference. If NC State would just stop trying to find a bargain and open their wallet up, then they might get the right guy here. If you want to compete with the top teams in the nation, then you need to offer a top-line salary to your next coach. Show Marshall the money and there’s a good chance you could pry him.
As you can see in this clip, Marshall isn’t necessarily interested in much else than the business of basketball. He isn’t interested in Jeff Goodman’s take that people don’t like his personality. He’s an outsider that nobody gets. Well, guess what. NC State is also an outsider that nobody gets and if you want a guy who isn’t scared one bit of standing up to Roy and K, then Marshall is your man. Marshall has won and won big everywhere he’s been. You want a winner? Offer Gregg.
Chris Holtmann (Butler)
Lots of talk around Holtman right now. He stepped in for head coach Brandon Miller a few years ago when he was forced to take a medical leave. Holtmann was the top assistant and moved to the HC slot. Now, he’s done a pretty good job there and he’d be a nice hire, however. I think Hottmann is probably your 4th or 5th best option at this point. Sure, he’s taken a Butler program to two consecutive tournaments in his first two years, but NC State is a different animal. Coaching at NC State means much tougher competition, attracting a different type of player, etc. Could Hotlmann do it, I think so. Would he be a major upgrade to our program. Probably. Would he come to NC State? I think that is big thing with Holtmann. I think he would. With his name seemingly floating around out of nowhere, I wonder if his agent or his people aren’t the ones floating it. Maybe I’m wrong and he plays it safe and stays at Butler. I mean, he is a top 25 team and 2nd in the Big East, but maybe he wants to get paid. He’s only making about $1 mil, so a offer for $2.5 might get him if Butler doesn’t re-up.
In part 2 we’ll look at another group including: Chris Mack (Xavier), Greg Mcdermott (Creighton), Kevin Keatts (UNCW) and Tom Crean (Indiana)
NC State’s NET Ranking After Defeating Maryland Eastern Shore
NC State defeated Maryland Eastern Shore 93-61 last night, improving to 6-2 on the season. Ironically, they fell one spot in the NET Rankings, from 51st to 52nd.
NC State’s two losses were against #1 BYU (!) and Ole Miss (#89). BYU was a Quad 1 loss, and Ole Miss was a Quad 2 loss.
The Wolfpack currently rank 7th in the ACC.
ACC Teams in NET Rankings
52) NC State
71) Virginia Tech
91) Boston College
105) Wake Forest
107) Florida St.
159) Georgia Tech
212) Notre Dame
For a refresher on how the NET Rankings are calculated:
Using the quadrant system, which was in its fourth season in 2020-21, the quality of wins and losses will be organized based on game location and the opponent’s NET ranking.
Quadrant 1: Home 1-30, Neutral 1-50, Away 1-75
Quadrant 2: Home 31-75, Neutral 51-100, Away 76-135
Quadrant 3: Home 76-160, Neutral 101-200, Away 135-240
Quadrant 4: Home 161-353, Neutral 201-353, Away 241-353
The number of Quadrant 1 wins and Quadrant 3/4 losses will be incredibly important when it comes time for NCAA tournament selection and seeding. (NCAA)
Kansas Transfer MJ Rice Makes Quite the Impression in his NC State Debut
We’ve seen a lot of new faces on the NC State Men’s Basketball team this season, but one face we haven’t seen yet is Kansas Transfer Guard/Forward M.J. Rice (6’5″/215)…until tonight.
Rice stepped away from the program for personal reasons earlier this Fall, and when he returned, he had a little catching up to do. It wasn’t until today during shoot around that Rice and Keatts both knew that tonight would be his debut.
“He’d been practicing for the last couple of weeks, and you know, I was just trying to figure out when he was ready. He and I, we talked a little bit after shoot around today and I said ‘MJ you ready to go tonight?'” said Kevin Keatts. “and he had this big huge smile on his face. He’s like ‘You sure you ready?’ He’s like ‘Ask me some plays.’ So he and I sit over there on the scores table at the Dale and we went over plays and I was like ‘You know what, you are ready to play.'”
Out of all the transfers Keatts brought in this offseason, Rice might have the highest ceiling. Rice was a 5-Star prospect in the 2022 recruiting class, and ON3 ranked him as the #24 overall prospect nationally. He committed to Kansas, where he played in 23 games for the Jayhawks as a Freshman in 2022, averaging 2.2 points in 7.6 minutes per game. Rice was a huge pickup in the Transfer Portal, ranked as the #2 player in the Portal, with three years of eligibility remaining.
Rice also isn’t new to the area either, playing high school ball at Durham Academy, before heading off to Oak Hill Academy and Prolific Prep.
In a short sample size, Rice gave us a glimpse of what the hype is all about tonight. He scored 11 points in 11 minutes of play, also grabbing 6 boards. Rice was 5-6 from the field, and hit the only three he took. In the most electrifying play of the night, Rice took it coast-to-coast, finishing with a soaring dunk.
“He gives us another dimension. We’ve been playing with six of our new dudes. Now we added the seventh and I’m happy for him. He’s going to help us. He’s going to be really good for us.” said Keatts. “I said this on the radio just now…we’ve got some older guys, but two really good young players in Dennis Parker Jr. and also MJ Rice. It was good for MJ to see the ball going in. I think he played 10 minutes had 11 points. He made a three. He had a big time dunk, so I was excited for him.”
“He gives us the ability to play a little bit more small ball. If we have to, we can play him and Dennis Parker both at the three and four. Really good defender at that position and can rebound the basketball,” said Keatts. “It’s going to take time. I’m trying to figure out how to kind of put him into the rotation, and now we’ve added another really good exciting piece to it, but it was good to have him back out there.”
Welcome to the Pack MJ! We’re glad you’ve arrived!
NC State 93 UMES 61: BOX SCORE
Pack Insider’s Highlight Reel of NC State’s Win Over BC
Ready to watch NC State’s Men’s Basketball team play in the ‘old barn’ tonight against Maryland Eastern-Shore? Well, until 7pm, go ahead and get yourself hype by watching Pack Insider’s Highlight Reel of the Wolfpack’s ACC opening win over BC this past Saturday. Check it out above.