Mark Gottfried's name was never linked to the N.C. State job because nobody considered him a candidate. He was a good but not great basketball coach at Murray State and Alabama who washed out and beached up at ESPN.
After getting turned down by the big names, I thought the Wolfpack would identify the assistant or small-college coach in whom they saw qualities nobody else did. I thought they would go after the man they considered the next great coach. I thought they'd make a daring and gutsy hire.
I was wrong.
If N.C. State needs a motto for its basketball program, I have one: Good help is hard to find.