The joyous roar of the crowd upon the introduction of NC State senior guard Terry Henderson was followed up with resounding boos to the next name announced over the loud speakers: Mark Gottfried.

The Wolfpack coach has had a rough go of it this week. After reports surfaced that Gottfried’s days appear to be numbered as coach at NC State, the Wolfpack fans let loose on the coach after playing back-to-back road games. Then there was still a game against No. 10 North Carolina, and Gottfried’s night didn’t get any better.

Against the Heels, the Pack were blown out for the third straight game. It was in part due to a lackluster defensive performance from NC State, which allowed 60 points in the paint from second-chance opportunities and easy rebounds in the lane. Straight-line drives to the rim came too easy for the Tar Heels. Worst of all, it was a result of a poor defensive effort. 

“We’ve struggled at times this year, most of the time, to guard people off the dribble,” Gottfried said. “It’s just been a real struggle for our group. Keeping somebody in front of us was an issue.”

For NC State, this is the sixth straight loss since pulling off a huge road win over Duke on Jan. 23. For Pack fans, things aren’t likely to get better. With four games left, two coming on the road, KenPom projects the Pack to be underdogs in all four, making a chance to finish last in the league a very real possibility.

When your home crowd is greeting you with boos, that adds a level of difficulty. The way things are going for NC State, Gottfried may only have to deal with that type of reception two more times.