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This NC State basketball season in context: Shoot, who knows

Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports

As human beings, we tend to rate things based on some ratio of immediacy and the surreal nature of whatever it is we just saw. That's fine, but it's also misleading a lot of the time. What I'm trying to address here is the sheer strangeness of talking about this NC State basketball team, which is nearly endless in contradiction.

This NC State basketball season has been awful. There have been brief moments of good times, and a couple upsets, but mostly it has been awful. State has no chance of reaching the NCAAs without winning the conference tournament.

That's a weird truth, because while we're used to living on the edge, the Gottfried era has also conditioned us not only to squeaking into the NCAA tournament but having success after the fact. This is not at all one of those years. (Barring that miracle conference-tournament-run part.)

Still I don't think this reality has been properly adjusted for context. We can turn so quickly. I think it's necessary to look at the last 15 years and scale accordingly.

NCSU Pomeroy Rating Off_Eff Def_Eff
2016 67 47 134
2015 31 22 87
2014 55 25 125
2013 34 9 112
2012 44 33 78
2011 97 71 170
2010 70 135 35
2009 81 27 198
2008 111 90 153
2007 69 47 114
2006 41 40 82
2005 23 21 41
2004 8 2 46
2003 50 25 107
2002 17 26 28

(bold breaks up the coaching eras--Gott, then Sid, then Herb.)

I feel like the depth of the disappointment we feel about this season says something. Funny thing about Gottfried is that for all his faults, we've been able to assume not only his ability to construct a decent offense but also build a team that can make a March run. This team can score it, but it's ceiling is really low. That's the bummer of this season, which ended waaaaaay before we knew it ended.

It isn't always going to be this way. Next year can be another great time. But since the turn of the century, you never really know about Wolfpack basketball, and don't you forget that.