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So You Want To Go Up-Tempo (Part XV)

When Mark Gottfried took the NC State job, he said what a lot of new coaches say at the beginning.

"We do like to run," he said Tuesday at his introductory news conference. "We would like to play up-tempo. I'm not a guy who likes to play in the 40s and 50s. I'm a guy who likes to push the ball and create opportunities."

Sidney Lowe didn't just say this sort of thing at the beginning, he made a habit of discussing this sort of stylistic change prior to every season. Of course, that change never materialized because Lowe had no idea how to accomplish that particular goal. He never properly diagnosed or attempted to fix the issues plaguing the team's ability to win, much less run.

Gottfried's history at Alabama didn't suggest a coach who liked to get up and down, and in that post back in April (the one linked at the top) I worried as usual about State's ability to get enough stops at the defensive end to push pace at the other.

But so far Gottfried has delivered what he said he would. In conference play, NC State is averaging 71.3 possessions per 40 minutes, which ranks second behind only UNC. That's up from 67.2 poss/40 last season. Overall, State ranks 46th in the nation in adjusted temp, up from 143rd in 2011 and 248th in 2010.

So... we're a running team now I guess? I don't know this is weird, man. The UNC-State game could potentially become a track meet. (Herb Sendek, sitting at his desk in Tempe, just felt a cold shiver come on for reasons he cannot explain.)