Mission Accomplished

When Mark Gottfried was hired he had a goal in mind and that was to protect his backyard, and now he has accomplished that goal.

During a coaching search that wasn't always kind to the North Carolina State Wolfpack, a focus was made clear, the university and the fans expect to recruit the best. Unfortunately at the time for NC State, a lot of coaches viewed that as an impossibility. However Mark Gottfried took on the challenge, and now on the recruiting trail he is passing with flying colors.

The Raleigh-Durham area in North Carolina is one of the most fertile for recruiting in the entire country. Despite not having a huge population base, the area always seems to have a boatload of talented prospects, and in 2012 that was especially the case.

Three kids, Rodney Purvis, T.J. Warren, and Torian Graham all came from the area and all had elite level talent. The problem for NC State was, it didn't seem that the old coaching staff had built any major headway with the trio.

Recruiting started well enough for Gottfried when Graham committed, but questions surrounding his academics and another impending transfer led to a de-commitment, but that still left the two biggest pieces to the NC State recruiting puzzle.

Purvis made the decision first to come on board sighting his relationship with the new staff recruiting him as well as the proximity to his home as major factors. Now Warren has done the same and the Wolfpack are completely rolling.

Landing Purvis proved a point. It made a statement that Gottfried and his staff were going to target and really focus on the best players they can get regardless of who they have to beat out for his services. Still given Purvis' relationship with his mom and the closeness he felt to the area, some pointed to his commitment and said it was just more of a onetime thing than an impending pattern.

Now with Warren that isn't the case. Though the North Carolina Tar Heels no longer were an option for him, Warren still had a standing offer from Carolina for a long time, and Georgetown had put in significant work on Warren.

Not to mention Warren had proven, given his decision to transfer to Wolfeboro (NH) Brewster Academy, that he was willing to leave the area. Still NC State pursued him, and though at times they didn't look like the favorite, was able to land his commitment.

Only a few months after being named head coach, and before he has done as much as win an exhibition game, Gottfried has done something that his predecessors couldn't. He has united the fan base and brought excitement through the landing of top local products to the school and the supporters.

For a while many in the coaching community have considered NC State a good job with unrealistic expectations from the fan base. Well now many Wolfpack fans are feeling justified. With Warren, Purvis, and four-star point guard Tyler Lewis, NC State will be able to matchup with absolutely anybody on the perimeter for years to come, and yes that includes the two schools located just down the road who both wear blue.

Time will tell if recruiting success translates into on court victories, but there is now no doubting that elite local talent can be reeled in by NC State, and that the Wolfpack will have the horses to compete with their league rivals and in-state foes.

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