Mark Gottfried wasted little time overhauling the 2012-13 basketball schedule after taking over at N.C. State, and he has big plans for the future, including potential trips to Puerto Rico and Hawaii.
Gottfried said Wednesday about 80 percent of the schedule was set when he walked in the door, and only about 20 percent of that remains.
One of the immediate changes, yet to be finalized, involves pulling out of a holiday tournament in Las Vegas to play in the Legends Classic, which concludes in Newark. Possible opponents in that tournament include Texas, Vanderbilt and Oregon State.
It's all part of Gottfried's scheduling philosophy, which is to schedule every game with the RPI in mind. Having lost out on a tournament bid once because of his nonconference schedule, at Alabama in 2001, he doesn't intend to let it happen again -- and immediately made changes at N.C. State.
“It was fast when I got here,” Gottfried said. “Real quick. I understand what goes into this conversation with the selection committee. I understand that clearly: crystal clear. Hopefully you can do the things where if you end up in that situation, you’ve helped yourself.”
Down the road, Gottfried said N.C. State is in talks to play in three of ESPN's holiday tournaments, with a trip to Hawaii mixed in as well. If all goes as planned, N.C. State will play in the Puerto Rico Tip-Off in 2012-13, the Old Spice Classic in Orlando in 2013-14, the EA Sports Maui Invitational in 2014-15 and the 76 Classic in Anaheim, Calif. in 2015-16.
"We would just run through the gamut of them," said Gottfried, who came to N.C. State from ESPN.
N.C. State's return game against Syracuse at the RBC Center remains on the schedule, and the Wolfpack expects to host its game in the ACC-Big Ten Challenge.