If Mark Gottfried isn’t fired this week, how long can it be?
Carolina has now beaten N.C. State twice this season by a combined 75 points. That means an almost certain end for Wolfpack Coach Mark Gottfried, whose program lacks talent and togetherness and must be an embarrassment to the school’s alumni and fans, who have seen Roy Williams beat their team 27 out of 30 over 14 seasons.
Most Carolina fans don’t want State to change coaches; they like the rivalry right where it is. Can you blame them? But, after watching Gottfried’s team play, you know it’s inevitable that this is the end for him at State. While freshman Dennis Smith Jr. may be an NBA lottery pick, truly great players make their teammates better and, sorry, Smith does not do that. He plays like the season is all about getting himself to the NBA as soon as possible. Period.
I am embarrassed by who Gottfried puts on the court, and I am hardly a State fan. The Wolfpack ended last season with two big men potentially among the best in the ACC. Junior Abdul-Malik Abu plays hard and is averaging 12 points and 7 rebounds, but BeeJay Anya returned for his senior season 59 pounds over his playing weight.
That Gottfried plays Anya, as opposed to suspending him for his selfish lack of conditioning, shows how little control the coach has over his program. Anya comes off the bench busting out of what looks like a triple-X Spanx uniform, and his listed 344 pounds is no help to the Wolfpack. What other coach would allow such an out-of-shape member of the team to be on the active roster?
State beating Duke at Cameron Indoor Stadium was much more about how bad the Blue Devils were playing at the time; the team that defeated Virginia in Charlottesville an hour after the State-Carolina game would relish another shot at the Wolfpack in the ACC Tournament. With Mike Krzyzewski back and riding a current six-game winning streak, that rematch would be as ugly as State’s two losses to the Tar Heels.
Gottfried lamented the strength of the ACC after the 97-73 flogging, but clearly that is covering his own keister for putting the most pathetic team in the conference on the court.