We don’t know anything.
We’re the fans, we just know what we want. It’s clearly a lot harder than we know to achieve the level of success that we think is possible at NC State. And fair enough, right? One team wins, the rest lose.
But what are we actually trying to accomplish here?
We’re in year however-many of justifying what a realistically successful program looks like and we’re no closer to defining it than we are to actually achieving it. It is a sad proposition to still be making these points after so many years, but here we are. And the question remains.
The troubling truth of NC State Basketball in 2024 is that the whole of it is a question mark – and has been for more than 3 decades. This isn't a fire Kevin Keatts column. Although, well, yeah. This isn’t a WTF are you doing, Boo Coorigan column. Although, …
This is a “what the hell are WE doing here?” column.
Winning comes down to a few pretty simple things. No doubt, difficult things to instill within a programmatic mission to win at the highest level, but simple things that start with a simple foundation. A foundation that has existed here before and consists primarily of commitment.
For all of the nuance and dynamics that factor in to winning at “this place”, there is no denying that this institution has been averse to the commitment necessary to win at the level its history and support make possible.
I’m writing this as State sits at 14-7 overall and 6-4 in the ACC which means we as fans, haters, sunshiners, old heads, screw-it-let’s-do-footballers, and whatever other category of “State fan” you fall into are currently agonizing as to the real question at hand. Fact is, we appear to be taking it far more seriously than any collection of real decision makers has throughout our era of disrepair.
The other fact of that 14-7 (6-4) mark? Its makeup is good for a 3-seed in the NIT save a run none of us see coming. In year 7, with 2 tourney appearances both concluding with immediate underwhelming exits, it’s not enough.
Regardless of the pom-pom you’re waving or paper bag you’re wearing, we’re at an all-too-familiar crossroads of head coach evaluation clouded by all of the handicapping that for some reason still comes with this job.
Forget the discussion on style, on recruiting misses, on neighbors, on clouds. It’s time we prioritize results. And the results do not justify a continued experiment. They don’t even justify another trial. They prove that a different course has to be taken if winning is still important here.
There are plenty of ways to skin a cat. And we’ve tried a few. But as we look in the mirror at what should be the end of our latest failed attempt, with a college sports landscape none of us can reasonably predict, the question is as important as ever. What are we trying to accomplish here?
Do we want to try?
The answer will be clear sometime in April.
Not based on which tenure ends, but on which new one starts.