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Profile of a Possible Savior REDUX: Gregg Marshall

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Spring 2011, after years in the wilderness, NC State parted ways with Sidney Lowe and were in the business of finding someone to save us. The media portrayed us as being rejected numerous times, so eventually Mark Gottfried ended up answering the call and has experienced positive-to-mixed results over his 5 year tenure. This series will take a hop in the TARDIS and theorize whether or not we would have been better (or worse) with another candidate from Backing the Pack's famed, award-winning* Profile Of A Possible Savior series or POAPS for short.

*validity of statement under question

(All stats & figures from Wikipedia, KenPom, & Scout.com)

Mark Gottfried's tenure at NC State:

Layman Stats

Overall Record

108-69 (.610)

Conference Record

44-44 (.5)

NCAA Appearances

4 (2 Sweet Sixteens)

Conference Titles

0

4/5 Stars Signed

11

Geek Stats (KenPom)

Average National Rank Overall

48

Average Adj O / Avg National Rank

112.6 / 24

Average Adj D / Avg National Rank

100.1 / 115

Next Up

Wichita State Head Coach Gregg Marshall

In The Beginning

Marshall, Marshall, Marshall...for years Gregg Marshall was a coach on our radar. During his 9 years at Winthrop Marshall had just enough success to merit consideration for our position...twice. There were those who advocated Gregg Marshall to State before the hiring of Sid Lowe and the calls were much more defining during our last coaching search. Whether or not Marshall was interviewed or ever really considered the job, there were plenty of those in our community who wanted him and for good reason. POAPS figured he'd be better than Herb or Sid because of his solid defensive numbers, the proof that he could build a successful program and connections to the area. Marshall's lack of recruiting history, zero high major experience and (at the time) not much fortune in the NCAAs were his most prominent negatives. Ultimately, POAPS felt that Marshall would unquestionably take the job and that the fanbase would grow to accept him as the new head coach.

5 Years Later...

Layman Stats

Overall Record

148-30 (.83)

Conference Record

75-15 (.83)

NCAA Appearances

5 (1 Final Four, 1 Sweet Sixteen)

Conference Titles

5 (4 Reg Season & 1 Tourny)

4/5 Stars Signed

1

Geek Stats (KenPom)

Average Rank

9

Average Adj O / National Rank

112.6/ 32

Average Adj D / National Rank

92 / 17

What can you say? By raw numbers, Gregg Marshall has stewarded one of the more successful programs in the country. Most interesting is that Marshall's massive success at WSU began the same year we hired Mark Gottfried. During that time he produced multiple conference titles, gone to the Final Four and has won over 80% of his games. This doesn't even acknowledge him producing a one loss team in 2013-14. That kind of success, even in a mid-major, is proof of how good a coach Marshall is. Even looking past the layman stats, the fact that WSU averages in the top ten overall by KenPom standards is a testament to how good his teams are in game as well.

Would He Have Recruited Better Than Gottfried?

Going to go out on a limb here and say no. Granted, all the normal "recruiting to Wichita State" caveats apply but the state of Kansas is not devoid of talent in that region. The ability to dip into Texas and the fact the state itself is married to the sport should equal more recruiting success. Wichita State has also become a nationally recognized brand due to their winning ways over the past few years. A coach with that much around him should be able to pull in more than one 4 star over the course of 5 years. Add this to the whispers that Marshall isn't the most personable guy, and I have to say Gott's got the edge here.

Advantage: Gottfried

Would He Have a Better Offense Than Gottfried?

FINALLY a coach whose offenses compare favorably to Mark Gottfried's. Averaging the 32nd best offense in the country these past 5 years shows that Marshall can compete with the best of them. WSU has had a top 30 offense in the country 4 years prior to this past year where (much like ours) their O took a nosedive and fell to 94th in the nation. Still despite that setback, Marshall's ability to consistently have top offenses with lesser talent makes him the victor here.

Advantage: Marshall

Would He Have a Better Defense Than Gottfried?

Marshall > Gottfried on defense. I know, shocker. We will keep this simple because, quite frankly, it's painful to look at. WSU has averaged a top 20 defense over the past 5 years and consistently kept their AdJ D in the low 90s. Most notably, Wichita had the #1 defense in the country last year according to KenPom. Absolute domination in this category.

Advantage: Marshall

Conclusion

Gregg Marshall is an excellent basketball coach no matter how you slice it. His levels of accomplishments at Witchita State are one thing, but his multiple conference titles at Winthrop also prove he's been that darn good for a long time. Our first analysis in this series took a look at Chris Mooney and led to the clear cut conclusion that Gottfried was a much better hire. This analysis goes in the opposite direction. While these are obviously subjective, Gregg Marshall would've absolutely been a home run hire for NC State. We can discuss the rumors about his personality, we can argue that his recruiting would have to be much better in the current ACC, we can bring up the legit questions that go with zero high-major experience but, flat out, the man has been one of the best in the country over the past 5 years. Maybe Marshall comes to State and flames out, we'll never know. I mean it is curious that Texas had him right in their backyard but didn't hire him for whatever reason. Still, Gregg Marshall would've been fantastic for State more so than any other coach in this series...save for maybe one...

Next Time

From Knoxville to Berkley its California Head Coach Cuonzo Martin