TIMELINE: Looking Back At The Past Year

A year ago today NC State announced the hiring of Mark Gottfried. A hire that was questioned by some fans and media members, Gottfried took over a program that had several question marks and hadn't been to the NCAA tournament since 2006.

A year ago today NC State announced the hiring of Mark Gottfried. A hire that was questioned by some fans and media members, Gottfried took over a program that had major concerns and hadn't been to the NCAA tournament since 2006.

Flash forward a year later and NC State is fresh off a Sweet Sixteen appearance and being touted by some early rankings as a potential top 10 team in 2012-2013.

In this timeline, Pack Pride looks back at what all happened to the Wolfpack's basketball program over the previous year.

April 2011

April 5th – Gottfried Named Head Coach
It happened quickly but not quietly. Early in the afternoon we posted on our message boards and Twitter account that we were hearing NC State would be naming Mark Gottfried new men's basketball head coach and that evening the Wolfpack held a press conference formally announcing the hire.

Gottfried, who had spent the previous two years working as an analyst for ESPN, was a name that seemed to come out of the blue, but Debbie Yow had known him for nearly 30 years and their relationship was pivotal to his hiring.

April 6th – Gottfried Hires Orlando Early
Mark Gottfried's first move as head coach was luring away long-time assistant and close friend Orlando Early from South Carolina.

A former head coach and aggressive recruiter, Early hit the ground running on the recruiting trail for the Wolfpack.

April 11th – Lutz Comes Aboard
Gottfried's next move is adding Bobby Lutz, who had a great track record as head coach at Charlotte, to his staff. Lutz had been working for Fred Hoiberg at Iowa State when the Wolfpack came calling.

April 15th – Uchebo Receives Release
Long-time signee Joseph Uchebo is granted his release from NC State by coach Gottfried. Uchebo was having academic issues and although he initially listed several high-major programs he ended up at a junior college in Florida.

April 15th – Moxley Completes Staff
Mark Gottfried finalizes his staff with the hiring of recruiting extradoinaire Rob Moxley. Moxley, who has strong ties in the state of North Carolina and the DC area, worked on the staff at Charlotte with coach Lutz.

April 18th – Raymond Firms Up Commitment
The last player in the 2011 class to commit to Sidney Lowe, Statesboro (GA) standout Jaqawn Raymond met with the new coaching staff before firming up his commitment. He stated his intentions to sign his letter of intent to attend NC State.

April 20th – Mikulic, State Part Ways
North Broward Prep center Josip Mikulic, who had committed to NC State prior to Lowe being fired, decommits from the Wolfpack.

A mutual parting of ways, Mikulic would eventually sign a letter of intent to play at Fairfield.

April 20th – Raymond Makes It Official
Jaqawn Raymond signs his letter of intent to play for NC State.

April 22nd – Gottfried's Contract Is Approved
N.C. State's Board of Trustees approved the contract of basketball coach Mark Gottfried. Gottfried is guaranteed to make $1.2 million annually for five years, and the deal includes an automatic two-year extension if he leads the Wolfpack to the NCAA Tournament in either 2012 or 2013. Financial bonuses for academic, conference, and postseason performance are also included in the deal.

April 22nd – Lewis Firm Up Commitment
Fresh off an unofficial visit to NC State, long-time 2012 verbal commitment Tyler Lewis firms up his verbal to the Wolfpack.

Lewis already had a relationship with Wolfpack assistants Bobby Lutz and Rob Moxley, who were the first to offer him a scholarship when they were at Charlotte, and that made the decision even easier for Lewis, who also clicked with Gottfried.

April 24th – Harris Stays Solid
Unlike Joseph Uchebo, Tyler Harris didn't ask out of his letter of intent from NC State, choosing to remain a Wolfpacker following an unofficial visit he took with his parents to meet the new coaching staff.

April 25th – Leslie Returning To State
NC State and freshman forward C.J. Leslie confirms that he did not put his name in the NBA Draft and will be returning for his sophomore season.

April 26th – Harrow Receives Release, Will Transfer
On the surface, NC State suffers a huge blow when talented freshman point guard Ryan Harrow announces that he will be transferring out of the program. Harrow eventually ends up at Kentucky, and the move leaves the Wolfpack with just one returning point guard on the roster in Lorenzo Brown.

While Brown spent most of his freshman year playing at shooting guard, when he was running the point he did so very effectively. In the three games where Harrow missed significant time, Brown averaged 14 points, 5.6 rebounds and over five assists.

Instantly, Mark Gottfried announces that he will be handing the keys to the offense over to Brown.

April 29th – Dunlap Named Director Of Basketball Operations
A former assistant at Alabama under Mark Gottfried, Jeff Dunlap resigns from his assistant coaching position at Western Michigan to accept the Director of Basketball Operations at NC State.

Prior to being hired at WMU he worked for Big Shots, an organization that puts on exposure camps for high school basketball players across the country. Dunlap was tournament director at camps held in Georgia and Alabama.

May 2011

May 2nd – Purvis Decommits From Louisville
Five-star Raleigh guard Rodney Purvis announces that he is no longer committed to Louisville. NC State and several others are linked right away with the elite prospect. Orlando Early is heading up the Purvis recruitment for the Wolfpack.

May 3rd – Alejo Takes Over Strength And Conditioning Program
NC State Athletics names Bob Alejo Assistant AD for Strength and Conditioning. Alejo, who has approximately 30 years of experience working with a variety of sports on the professional and collegiate levels, will oversee the strength and conditioning unit for all 23 Wolfpack varsity teams, and will manage personally the day-to-day strength program for the men's basketball team.

Since 2009, Alejo had served as the director of strength and conditioning for the Oakland A's Major League baseball team, a position he also held from 1993-2001. In that role, he was responsible for all aspects of the organization's year-round physical preparation at both the major league and minor league levels.

May 16th – Graham Makes It Official
NC State lands a huge commitment from five-star wing Torian Graham, one of the top scorers in the 2012 class. Graham is also the first prospect to publicly commit to Gottfried and his staff.

May 18th – De Thaey Signs Letter Of Intent
NC State signs 6-foot-8 forward Thomas De Thaey, who will be a member of the class. De Thaey, who hails from Belgium, was recruited by the Wolfpack out of Spain's Canarias Basketball Academy.

May 22nd – Johnson Picks State
In what turns out to be a huge move for the program, NC State landed a commitment from transfer point guard Alex Johnson, who will have one year to play, but can do so right away, after graduating from Cal State Bakersfield.

Johnson, who picked NC State over Florida State, selects the Wolfpack knowing that he will be counted on to play major minutes in Raleigh.

June 2011

June 6th – Warren Confirms Offer
Raleigh (NC) Word of God wing T.J. Warren confirms that NC State has offered him a scholarship. A top 40 recruit in the 2012 class, Warren's father, Tony, played small forward for the Wolfpack.

June 7th – Pack Makes Move With Jefferson
Elite combo forward Amile Jefferson confirms that he is seriously considering a scholarship offer from NC State.

June 27th – Charles Passes Away
Lorenzo Charles, a member of the 1983 championship team, is killed in a bus crash on I-40.

The Wolfpack will honor Charles during the -2012 season by wearing a black stripe on their jerseys with the initials "LC" embroidered.

July 2011

July 18th – Lewis Headed To Oak Hill
NC State verbal commitment Tyler Lewis announces that he is transferring from Forsyth Country Day and will play his senior season at Oak Hill Academy in Mouth of Wilson, Virginia.

July 20th – Gottfried Named To NABC Board Of Directors
The National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC) adds four coaches to its board of directors. Jim Boeheim of Syracuse and North Carolina State's Mark Gottfried return to the board while Pittsburgh's Jamie Dixon and Butler's Brad Stevens join the group for the first time.

August 2011

August 2nd – Warren's Unofficial Visit
T.J. Warren heads over to NC State for an unofficial visit where he spends time talking with the Wolfpack coaches. Some believe the Wolfpack really start to make their move at this point on Warren, who blew up over the summer on the AAU circuit.

August 7th – Graham Decommits
NC State pledge Torian Graham calls the Wolfpack coaches and backs off his verbal commitment.

"I just feel like I made a decision too fast. I don't feel like I gave everyone a chance to recruit me. I'm still listing them. They are still at the top."

August 14th – Jefferson Takes Unofficial
NC State is able to get Amile Jefferson and his father on campus for an unofficial visit, cementing their status with him as a favorite.

August 24th – Pack's Schedule Is Released
NC State releases the schedule for the 2011-2012 season and announce that games with low-major teams were replaced to make the schedule stronger.

Road games at St. Bonaventure and Stanford, plus matchups with Syracuse, Indiana, Texas, and Vanderbilt gives the Pack a tough non-conference slate.

September 2011

September 4th – Huge Recruiting Weekend
NC State has on campus T.J. Warren, Rodney Purvis, and Brice Johnson for visits. Warren announces he has narrowed his list to five schools, Kentucky, Florida, Georgetown, UNC, and NC State. Purvis is focused on NC State, UCONN, Ohio State, and Memphis while Johnson is down to NC State, North Carolina, and Florida.

September 12th – Gottfried's Gonna Jump
Mark Gottfried announces that he will sky dive out of a plane into Carter-Finley stadium as part of the Pack's military appreciation day against South Alabama.

"The No. 1 reason is to bring attention to our military, since it's military appreciation week," Gottfried said. "I want to say thank you to them. But we're also trying to get attention for NC State basketball."

The jump was cancelled due to inclement weather and never rescheduled.

September 23rd – Lewis Takes Official
Tyler Lewis is on campus for his official visit to NC State.

September 28th – Purvis Sets Decision Date
According to the News & Observer, Raleigh (NC) Upper Room star guard Rodney Purvis states that he will be announcing his verbal commitment later in the week.

September 30th – Purvis Picks Pack
NC State lands a huge commitment from five-star standout Rodney Purvis.

A 6-foot-4 combo guard, Purvis considered scholarship offers from NC State, UCONN, Memphis, Ohio State, Louisville, VCU, and NC Central among others before selecting the Wolfpack.

"There's no place like home," Purvis said.

October 2011

October 2nd – Warren Recaps Official
Brewster Academy (NH) small forward T.J. Warren was back in Raleigh this weekend for his official visit to NC State.

"It was fun," said Warren. "Everything about it was nice. The football atmosphere was crazy. To hear them chant my name at the game, that felt real good."

Joining Warren in Raleigh was Wolfpack commitments Tyler Lewis and Rodney Purvis.

October 12th – Media Day
NC State holds its annual media day on campus. "This my last year and I've looked at it like this is my last rodeo. I want to go out with a bang," CJ Williams told the media that day.

October 19th – Pack Picked Eight
As part of ACC Operation Basketball, the media votes on preseason All-ACC and standings. The Pack is picked to finish 8th in the conference.

October 26th – Warren Ready To Decide
T.J. Warren announces he will make his college choice in a week.

October 26th – Johnson Picks UNC
Edisto (SC) power forward Brice Johnson commits to North Carolina over NC State and Florida.

October 28th – Williams Injured
CJ Williams fractures his thumb in practice, putting his status for the first few games of the season in doubt.

November 2011

November 2nd – Warren Makes His Choice
T.J. Warren commits to NC State after considering offers from North Carolina, Florida, Kentucky, and Georgetown.

November 5th – Red-White Game
The Pack plays in its annual Red-White scrimmage game. Graduate transfer Alex Johnson led all scorers during the three-period scrimmage with 23 points.

"There were good things but there were also some things that I wasn't very impressed with," Gottfried said. "We have to get better defensively."

November 7th – Williams Starts in Exhibition Win
The Pack wins its only exhibition game of the season over Flagler. Williams plays 26 minutes and starts despite fracturing his thumb less than two weeks prior.

November 9th – Signing Day
Tyler Lewis, Rodney Purvis and T.J. Warren all sign to with the Pack during the fall signing period. All highly-ranked, the class is ranked in the top three nationally by ESPN, Scout and Rivals at that point.

Top target Amile Jefferson holds off on making a decision, choosing to instead sign in the spring.

November 11th – Leslie Suspended
Minutes before the Pack is scheduled to open the season against UNC Asheville, the school announces that CJ Leslie has been suspended for the first three games for accepting $410 in improper benefits. The Pack wins its opener as Jordan Vandenberg makes his only start of the season in place of Leslie.

November 16th – Painter Hits Game-Winner
The Pack survives a scare against Princeton thanks to a DeShawn Painter jumper in the final seconds. Painter scored in double figures in all three games while Leslie sat out his suspension. Scott Wood sprains his ankle in the game and misses the loss to Vanderbilt.

November 21st – Pack Upsets Texas, de Thaey Cleared
Thomas de Thaey is cleared to play after an investigation into his eligibility. The power forward plays two minutes for the Pack that night, with the team using a 28-2 run to upset Texas and salvage a win in the TicketCity Legends Classic. Leslie comes off the bench to score 17 points to give the Pack its best win of the non-conference season.

December 2011

December 4th – Pack Blows Another Late Lead
The Pack drops its second-straight game despite owning a lead in the final minutes as it falls on the road against Stanford. Both losses seemed costly late in the year as the Pack struggled to fight its way onto the NCAA tournament bubble.

December 17th – Pack Hosts Top-Ranked Syracuse
Vandenberg plays in his final game of the season, as No. 1 Syracuse defeats the Pack 88-72 in the RBC Center. The Orange would remain No. 1 in the country until the end of January while Vandenberg would miss the remainder of the season battling a shoulder injury.

December 20th – Leslie Beats the Buzzer Against the Bonnies
Leslie hits a buzzer-beater to lift the Pack over St. Bonaventure, 67-65. With 3.1 seconds left, Leslie cleanly caught a full court pass for Williams and scored on an off-balance jumper to win the game. "We've tried it in practice, and it's only worked twice," Gottfried told the Associated Press. "The odds were definitely against us."

January 2012

January 8th – Gottfried Wins ACC Opener
The Pack defeats Maryland in its ACC season opener, 79-74. Gottfried becomes the first NC State coach since Les Robinson in 1991 to win his first ACC game.

January 11th – Pack Falls To Lowly Jackets
Georgia Tech hands the Pack by far its worse loss of the season with an 82-71 win at the RBC Center. The Yellow Jackets would finish the season 4-12 in league play and NC State would be its only conference road win of the season.

January 26th – Pack Blown Out In Chapel Hill
After a 4-1 start to the ACC season, the best since 2004, the Pack suffers a humbling loss in Chapel Hill as it loses by 19 points. The Pack trailed by more than 30 in portions of the second half, "We did not play nearly as well as I think we have this year," Gottfried told reporters after the game.

January 28th – Cavs Escape Raleigh With A Win
Lorenzo Brown misses a buzzer beater at home and the Pack falls to No. 21 ranked Virginia 61-60. The Pack overcame a 10-point second-half deficit but couldn't execute on the final play of the game, settling for a long 3-pointer as the horn sounded.

February 2012

February 9th – Signees Make History, Pack gets Revenge
All three Pack signees – Lewis, Warren and Purvis – are announced as part of the McDonald's All-American team. It's the first time in NC State's history that it had three players from the same class on the team. Later that night the Pack gets some level of revenge by dispatching Georgia Tech 61-52 in Atlanta. The win moves the Pack to 7-3 in conference play.

February 16th – The Duke Game
With a week off to prepare, the Pack jumps all over Duke in Cameron Indoor Stadium. But 30 dominating minutes quickly unravel, and the Devils erase a 20-point deficit over the final 11:30 to win 78-73. "We're a good team. We've got to find a way to become a little bit better," Gottfried said.

February 18th – Corchiani, Gugliotti ejected
During a loss to Florida State, referee Karl Hess ejects former NC State legends Chris Corchiani and Tom Gugliotta.

"To me, I think we got under his skin, and he had enough of it, but that doesn't change the fact that there was no profanity or offensive remarks." Corchiani said.

Hess is later reprimanded by the ACC and does not work another Pack game the rest of the season.

February 25th – Pack Loses Fourth Straight
The Pack drops its fourth-straight game with an overtime loss to Clemson, a downward spiral that started with the loss to Duke. The Pack's NCAA tournament hopes seem to be fading quickly, as it would need to win out and make noise in the ACC tournament to even have a chance at receiving an at-large berth.

March 2012

March 4th – Tied for Fourth
NC State caps its best conference season in six years with a road win at Virginia Tech. The win gives the Pack a 9-7 record and a share of fourth place, but it will have to play on Thursday at the ACC tournament as the tiebreaker gives Virginia the No. 4 seed.

March 9th – Pack Gets Back At Cavaliers
After taking care of business in the opening round against Boston College, the Pack picks up a desperately needed win over Virginia. With other teams falling apart around the country, the win seems to put the Pack in a solid position for an at-large spot but it will need a win against North Carolina in the semi-final to avoid sweating out Selection Sunday.

March 10th – Controversy Abounds as Pack falls to UNC
State, which is on fire, faces North Carolina in the ACC semifinals but lose in the final secnods on a controversial basket by Tar Heel point guard Kendall Marshall.

March 11th – Pack Sweats Out Selection Sunday
Still squarely on the NCAA bubble, the Pack watches the selection show together in hopes of hearing its name called. The team waits and waits as each bracket is announced but the words ‘NC State' are not shown. Finally in the very last bracket announced, the Pack hears its named call and the room erupts in joy. The Pack is a No. 11 seed and will dance for the first time since 2006.

March 16th – Pack Advances
Opening NCAA tournament play in Columbus, Ohio against San Diego State on a Friday afternoon, the Pack looks like the better team for all 40 minutes. The Aztecs rally in the second half but the Pack uses its superior size to pull away in the last few minutes and advance to the next round.

March 18th – Sweet Victory
Lorenzo Brown dominates the final two minutes of play as the Pack fight and claw its way to victory over No. 3 seed Georgetown. The win puts the Pack into the Sweet 16, just its second appearance in over 20 years. The Pack is greeted in Raleigh by several thousand fans. Williams tells the crowd on hand that the struggles of his first three seasons were ‘all worth it' to get to experience that moment.

March 23rd – Pack's Magical Run Ends
The Pack fights for 40 minutes, coming back from a large deficit late to cut the game to a single point in the final 30 seconds. But three straight failed offensive sets prevent the Pack from winning, as Howell's last-second heave falls well short. Kansas goes on to the national championship game where it loses to Kentucky.

March 28th – Signees Play Together In All-American Game
All three Pack signees play in the McDonald's All-American game for the East squad. Warren and Lewis both start, while Purvis comes off the bench and scores 15 and Warren adds 10. Lewis finishes with three assists and no turnovers.

April 2012

April 3rd – Pack Ends Season Ranked 20th... Great Expectations
NC State ends No. 20 in the final coaches' poll, the only time it was ranked by any poll all season. Several media outlets release pre-season predictions for next year that have the Pack ranked in the top 10, including ESPN which ranks them at No. 6.

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