Expectations low for Pack Hoops
Posted July 2, 2013
Updated July 3, 2013
Since arriving at NC State, Mark Gottfried has never really been the kind of guy to "talk up" his team. Even when he had great talent returning last year he reminded the fans to keep expectations level saying it was hard to get to the Final Four. He turned out to be correct in making sure hopes didn't get too high.
As you would expect, he's doing the same thing this year.
"I think our guys understand that most people are going to consider us to be pretty bad this year," Gottfried said. "I'm realistic and I know that our expectations are not high right now."
No kidding. It's hard to see why expectations would be high for this team. All five guys who started last year's season opener are gone from campus. That includes Rodney Purvis who transferred to UConn. The roster has some incoming talent but these players will have to learn the system and learn to gel fast.
"I go to the grocery store and I have a guy say 'hang in there coach. I know it's going to be a tough year for you,'" Gottfried said. He's aware of the challenge ahead and has gotten very good at making sure the fans are aware of what could be.
Gottfried has his returning players in leadership seminars this summer. He's trying to make leaders out of guys like TJ Warren and Tyler Lewis. You can tell Gottfried would also love for Jordan Vandenberg to step up this season. He said the senior is losing weight and needs to lose more weight before the season begins.
Overall, this season will do a lot to show how good a coach Mark Gottfried is. He had a group of really talented players last year and they didn't win a game in the NCAA tournament. Now he has the opposite. No target on the back. No expectations.
"Maybe we are a team that can surprise some people," Gottfried said.
State proved to be a surprise last season and maybe they can do that again. This time it would be a pleasant surprise for Pack fans.