Mark Gottfried was expected to be fired at the end of the season but that timetable has been moved up: he was sacked Thursday.

"Mark Gottfried remains our head coach, and we are all focused on our next opponent". State is 122-82 during his tenure and 47-55 in ACC play. After a 97-73 home loss to North Carolina on Tuesday, the Wolfpack are 14-13 (3-11 ACC) and have lost six straight.

But this season, State is 14-13 and 3-11 in conference play even with potential National Basketball Association draft lottery pick Dennis Smith Jr. Gottfried, 53, was hired by athletic director Debbie Yow in 2011 and proceeded to go to the NCAA tournament in each of his first four seasons, including a pair of Sweet 16 appearances.

Expectations were high for NC State after Gottfried signed a star-studded recruiting class, led by point guard Dennis Smith Jr. "I haven't had any discussions with anyone at NC State about that".

"It has been a privilege to serve as head coach of NC State, and I'm proud of what we have accomplished during my time here", Gottfried said in a statement. He had three years - worth an estimated $2.3 million - on his deal. Since then, the Wolfpack have sprinkled in three wins, including a one-off against Duke before it made a decision to actually play basketball again.

Coming off a 16-17 finish last season, the Wolfpack entered its 2016-17 campaign picked by the media to finish sixth in the ACC. The Wolfpack are among the worst units in all of college basketball, ranking 328th in points allowed per game at 80.5, per SportsReference.

As for a potential replacement, Armstrong reported N.C. State has put out "preliminary feelers" gauging Dayton head coach Archie Miller's interest in the job.