Men’s basketball coach Mark Gottfried is working to strengthen NC State’s schedule for next year by adding a couple of tough road games and getting the Wolfpack into a tournament with the likes of Texas, Vanderbilt and Oregon State.
Gottfried, speaking to the board of directors of the Alumni Association today, said the schedule that was in place for next season “was way too easy.”
“We want to make it more challenging, more high profile,” Gottfried said.
To that end, Gottfried said that he and Athletics Director Debbie Yow are working on getting NC State into the Legends Classic with Texas, Vanderbilt and Oregon State. He said he is working on scheduling new road games for next year, possibly with Stanford, Texas A&M or Oklahoma State. He is working on getting the Wolfpack out of a Las Vegas tournament with opponents from smaller conferences.
Gottfried made it clear that he is looking at the strength of the schedule with an eye toward improving NC State’s rankings to put the team in a better position to return to the NCAA tournament.
“We’re trying to make sure we strategically schedule our team,” he said. “You’ve got to make it attractive. Not kill your players, but help them get ready for the league.”
Gottfried said his goal is to win at the highest level in college basketball, but he also cautioned that a lot of work must be done to get there.
“We’ve got a ways to go, a long way to go,” he said.
Yow also spoke to board members, telling them that she is trying to raise the bar for all of NC State’s athletic teams. She said it is troubling that NC State has not won an ACC or national championship this year.
“This will be the last time we don’t have an ACC champion or a national champion,” she said. “We are going to win championships here.”
Yow acknowledged that her search for a new basketball coach was “messier than I wanted it to be.”
“But the great news,” she said, “is we ended up where we wanted to be.”