National Media’s Guide to NC State

Here’s our podcast on the topic

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It’s only day 2 of the NC State basketball “coaching search even though we still have a coach through the end of the season” and I’m already at wits end. I’m sure I’m not the only one either. It’s just that time of year again when the national media tells the world how crazy we are to want to be better than the status quo. It’s exhausting. It’s also a lazy narrative that guys like Gary Parish, Jeff Goodman, et al will beat down our throats no matter what but I’ll get back to them.  It was Jay Bilas who I didn’t expect to come at us like he did this morning.

The Indiana University podcast gets its.

But back to Bilas….here’s one of his tweets at us.

Well, all those things are true but as news goes these days you can consider them ‘alternative facts.’ Mark Gottfried was not fired for his past performance, he was fired for the direction the program was headed.  For those that struggle to understand this, we put a little chart together.  This is Mark Gottfried’s ACC win percentage (including current year 3-11).

I’m not sure I need to put anymore numbers together but I will to drive this point home.

The Mark Gottfried made 5 NCAA Tournaments Narrative

Here’s another one the national media loves and Bilas fell in line with this morning…

We’ve said it about 100 times on the podcast. It’s all about what you use to define your metric for success. In life and in business, you wouldn’t go through your day-to-day routine if you didn’t have a metric for success.  Whether it be more sales or in the media’s case, more clicks, you have define your target and how you measure success.

For a program that has two national titles, multiple-ACC Championships, NCAA tournaments appearances is not the metric that defines success for the fan base. We are steeped with ACC history and folks on Tobacco road, sans Roy, hold the ACC Tournament and ACC Championships in the highest regard. Folks on the outside don’t get that. We, Dustin and I, believe that metric for success is competing in the ACC. That doesn’t mean that you should be winning the ACC every year, no one has that expectation despite what the fake news would lead you to believe. Competing means fighting to be in the top-5 of the ACC on a regular basis. If you’re doing that then you’re doing enough to be a top 25 program and every once in a while the stars will align and you’ll be fighting for the ACC Championship. **Side note, I wish someone with access would ask Debbie Yow what her metric for success is for basketball.**

Gary Parish’s article (which we will not link to because of the excessive ads and autoplay videos) used, Jim Larranaga as a comparison for Mark Gottfried as they were hired at similar time.

Mark Gottfried and Jim Larranaga got hired 17 days apart at NC State and Miami back in 2011. When this season is over, Gottfried will have made four NCAA Tournaments and two Sweet 16s. And he got fired two days after Valentine’s Day. Meantime, even if Larranaga makes the NCAA Tournament this season, his first six years at Miami will amount to three NCAA Tournament appearances and, more than likely, two Sweet 16s. And Larranaga has a contract through 2022 that nobody has even thought of buying out. He couldn’t be more comfortable in Coral Gables.

Two men.

Two ACC jobs.

So what is wrong with this statement? In theory, nothing as it makes sense but Gary fails to mention that Larranaga has won an ACC Title, their first in school history, of course he’s safe from persecution. In addition, one of those two men did not go 5-13 last year with a similar result on the horizon this year. It is short sighted and lazy.

NC State Can’t Compete with its Neighbors

More from ESPN – ‘You’re not going to compete with the likes of Duke and UNC talent-wise’

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Ahh this is the other one that gets thrown anytime basketball gets mentioned. Alec Lower at BackingthePack said this

Over the last five years State’s recruiting classes have had an average finish (according to of 20.8. This is actually higher than UNC’s average finish of 22.8 and reasonably close to Duke’s 9.8 over the same time period. Gottfried has proven talent acquisition is a total non-issue in Raleigh

For those of you who need pretty visuals…..

As you can see, Gottman could recruit, on par with the top programs in the area and even a bit better than UNC over the same period….

The problem then appears with the output from those recruiting classes. An average of 7.6 wins why the Heels and Devils were 12 and 12.4 respectively.

And I’ll leave you with this one from @JamesCurle




2017 Ep 17 – Our listeners want to fight us, Beating Duke, Football schedule

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nc state football schedule 2017

s3 Episode 16 – New Year Championship Edition & Free Biscuits!

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Referenced spreadsheet regarding team youth from Anonymous Spreadsheet Ninja

Referenced spreadsheet and post – Was the defense really that good!?

Post: Was our Defense Really the 4 th Best Against Rushing In 2016?

Post: Was our Defense Really the 4 th Best Against Rushing In 2016?

Watching our team dominate Vanderbilt in the Independence Bowl, I loved seeing our front 6 dominate the line of scrimmage against an ACC opponent. With the news that Josh Jones is going pro, and Bradley Chubb may soon follow, I wanted to look reflect on this year’s biggest success as a jumping off point for next year’s team. NC State’s defense was ranked number 4 nationally against the run in 2016, which is quite a feat, and it provides a great talking point for the coaching staff during final recruiting push.

But was our defense elite against the run in 2016, or is there more to the story when you sift through the numbers? According to NC State played the 32 nd hardest overall schedule in 2016, and our out of conference strength of schedule was ranked 51 st . It should be noted that those rankings include our bowl game against Vanderbilt. Given how weak our out of conference schedule turned out to be this year, I decided to look at our 8 conference games this season and compare NC State’s defense to its peers. In my opinion, this was the best way to do an apples to apples comparison because these statistics were generated playing against the teams we are comparing NC State to.

In conference play, NC State was not the number one ranked rushing defense based on average rushing yards/game. Louisville was number one with 103.9 yards/game and NC State was second with 108.8yards per game in their 8 conference games. To NC State’s credit, they did hold teams to a 3.4 yards/carry average over those 8 conference games, which was the second best only behind Louisville.

It should be noted though, that NC State may have had the second lowest rushing yards per game because the NC State defense faced the fewest number of rushing attempts (258) in the ACC during conference play.

In terms of total defense in conference play, NC State was quite average, finishing at number seven with 403.1 yards per game. NC State had the second worst ACC pass defense at 294.4 yards/game, finishing only ahead of Pitt who gave up 360.8 yards/game in the air. NC State faced the second most pass attempts in ACC play (309), again only finishing ahead of Pitt (368). So, it is fair to say that ACC Offensive Coordinators chose to abandon the run game in favor of the passing game, picking on NC State’s passing defense that was ranked 9 th in ACC pass defense efficiency.

At the end of the day, the goal of the defense is to prevent the other team from scoring and in ACC play NC State gave up 25.9 points per game, good for 7 th in the conference, the same ranking we achieved in total defense based on yards/game. This mediocrity is even more amazing when you dig deeper into our red zone defense. Our red zone defensive efficiency was ranked 11 th in the ACC allowing opponents to score 87.9% of the time they entered the red zone. NC State actually gave up 135 points in the red zone, ranked tenth, only finishing ahead of Pitt, BC, UNC-Ch, and Syracuse. Only UNC-CH, Syracuse, and Pitt allowed more trips to the red zone in conference games than NC State. The one bright spot is that NC State had the lowest touchdown percentage of all of the ACC teams, at 48.5%, but opposing kicker were 13-14 in FG attempts, which leads us to a different discussion about kicking.

After reviewing the statistics, it is reasonable to conclude that the overall NC State defense was just average in conference play; the result of an above average run defense and a below average pass defense. If Dave Doeren wants to improve his 9-23 career ACC record or his 1-22*record against Power 5 Schools with a winning record, his coaching staff will need to improve the defense against the pass.

This may be a tall order given the loss of Josh Jones and potential loss of Bradley Chubb, who accounted for approximately 1/3 of NC State’s sacks in conference play.

*Possibly 2-22 if Wake wins their bowl game today.

Here is the referenced spreadsheet

2016 Ep 15. – Dustin Hacks Dabo, Football & Basketball

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2016 – Football in Review – Backing of the Ledge

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Dave Doeren has a chance to save his job

Mark Gottfriend still doesnt coach defense.

Evan explains the great opossum jihad of 2016

2016 – Raw Reaction – Did Dave Save His Job?

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The Case for Keeping Dave Doeren

It’s no doubt that Dave Doeren’s job status is a polarizing topic among NC State fans. Even after whipping UNC early and almost letting another game slip away the fan base is 75% ready for a change and 25% willing to give him another year. We found a few fans who believe DD should get another year and asked them to write up their thoughts.

James Curle, @JamesCurle

Every time I try to assert definitively why we should keep Dave Doeren, I can’t shake the reasons why we shouldn’t. That’s the problem with this debate: it’s as close to a 50/50 decision as I can recall in some time.

Why should we keep him? Well, we’ve been close in some big games this year. Real close. The missed field goal against Clemson was as devastating a play to a season (and perhaps a coach’s career) as you can imagine. A dropped interception in the end zone at the end of the FSU game was similarly devastating to our chances of winning that game. Some missed field goals against ECU probably cost us that game. The line between 5-6 and 8-3 is so razor thin for this team. Some years you have all those plays break your way; it seems this year they’ve all broke against us. I would much rather be close and in a position to receive those breaks than to be noncompetitive or starting over.

Why shouldn’t we keep him? Two big reasons that make a ton of sense for me are the favorable hiring market for head coaches and that waiting one more year pushes you closer to Debbie’s retirement time-frame of 2019. If you make a move now versus after 2017 (if warranted), you stand a better-than-average chance to upgrade your coaching staff and give him a little time to get settled in with Debbie before she hands the reigns off to a new AD. Waiting another year might mean your pool of coaches at your disposal might be more “shallow” and the hiring time-frame only gets more complicated as it relates to Debbie transitioning power to a new AD.

Since I’m on the fence but have to chose a side, I ultimately side with keeping him one more year. Yes, the track record is abysmal, but I do truly believe this team is close to breaking through. The roster should be Doeren’s best. Doeren is still a new head coach, experience-wise, and his two years at NIU weren’t nearly as difficult as his four at State have been, so I think he’s still catching up to the Power 5 learning curve. I’m not saying he needs another five to catch up to said learning curve, but I think he has learned a great deal from this season. And since I’ve always believed in giving football coaches five years as a bare minimum to eliminate any and all excuses for judging a coach, I’m sticking with that if for no other reason than the .

That said, if a change is made, I won’t be sad or surprised. The fanbase–particularly the ones who pay the bills in the way of Wolfpack Club dues, lifetime rights, tickets, parking passes and concessions–are reaching a point where apathy could be more financially costly than making a change a year ahead of my personal beliefs of how long a coach should have to prove himself.

Stephen Shepard, @sshep28

When Coach D took over our program it was at the lowest point it’s been in a while. TOB left the cupboard bare. We didn’t even have a QB. So you can’t really count the 1st year of Coach D’s tenure. He also couldn’t really get the recruits he wanted till the second year. So we are really only talking about 2 years now. If you look at talent level it has gotten tremendously better. We lined up against Clemson and Florida State and whipped them man for man and the recruiting is continuing.

If a couple plays go different, which Coach couldn’t control, everyone would be talking totally different. People say he should of switched kickers earlier…I’ve watched Bambard pre-game and between halves drill every kick and I’m sure that’s what the coaches see everyday. Remember your dealing with 18-22 year old kids that people want to berate and our fans are some of the worst for doing that. Coaches are here to not just win but build kids into men.

I agree the offense is not good. This is Drinks first year and hopefully things will open up a little next year. If D has his thumb to much on offense and that’s the problem then something needs to be done but another year is warranted.
You also have to look at who can we get that’s better. Coaches don’t want to go to a place where the fan base is whining after 2 years of bowl games and having a few bad breaks from being 3 and still could be.

Our fans need to relax…support the kids and staff and see what happens. I think he’s building something and we will see if he can push it over the top and if he cant..then you make the move and hope and pray that the grass is greener on the other side. Usually it’s not.

In the meantime show the players and hopeful recruits that we are a positive fan base and not the negative one that everyone talks about.
Just my two cents.

Feel free to let us know what you think in the comments or on the Twitter.