Lowe: Pack Must Be Ready To Play

N.C. State head coach Sidney Lowe discussed his basketball team during his weekly teleconference. Lowe talked about his relationship with Ryan Harrow, Boston College, the Wolfpack's reunion, and much more.

Opening Statement:
We're coming off of a good win against Wake Forest. we're just trying to continue to improve and get better.

The ACC seems to have several quality big men this year when you see the production teams are receiving from guys like Jordan Williams, Tracy Smith, Jerai Grant, Reggie Johnson, etc.. Can you talk about that?
It's a very important part of your team, when you have the ability to establish something inside with a big man. Not only will you get scoring, but you get rebounding, fouls, which puts pressure on the defense. It's a huge asset to have a big man, and we do... we have a couple.

We have some in this league that are very talented and you have to worry about every night. It's definitely an asset to have a big guy you can go to.

You previously discussed your situation at point guard. can you talk about how they are playing right now?
I think they both are getting better. I think they both are doing well. I'm not going to say settling into their positions or roles, but they are. Where we are... there is a lot of talk about Ryan Harrow and him starting, but he never talks about it, at least not to me. He plays his role right now and he comes in and does what he has to do to help this team win.

Javi is getting better. We talk about getting off to a good start and he's done that the last couple of ball games, helping out and pushing the ball a little better.

I'm very pleased with our point guard play right now, and it's going to take both of those guys playing well for us. It's going to take both of those guys being ready to go, provide direction on the floor, and keep the push going, but I'm very pleased with both of their play right now.

Thoughts on upcoming schedule:
It's very tough, we know that, playing on the road and being in the ACC here, playing on the road is very tough.

Hopefully we got a taste of it being at Wisconsin, being at Syracuse, and being at a neutral site against Georgetown. Hopefully we'll be able to handle that and really concentrate on our jobs and what we're trying to do.

It's always new though going into a new building, especially for some freshmen who haven't seen it yet. It's an adjustment. It's a difficult thing, but hopefully we can go up to Boston College and play well... stay within our game and do what we're supposed to do. We're going to try and carry out our gameplan, and hopefully we can come out of there with a win.

With Ryan Harrow you've talked about how small he was when you first watched him play. What allowed you to get past that?
I think it was his ability and his confidence. He has great confidence in himself and his game. Just watching him do some of the things he was doing, there aren't a lot of guys that can do it. There aren't a lot of guys that can handle the ball the way he can and do the things he can do. I just thought he'd be a special player for us some day.

I know the size was an issue for some people,but I just didn't let that bother me from what he can do. I think so many times we look at players and the negative side of them and what they can't do or might be a problem, but we fail to look at the positive things they can bring to the table. I try to look at the positive things, as opposed to looking at his lack of size being a problem.

You've talked about how you two had an instant bond. Can you describe that connection you felt early with him?
I won't say it was strange, but it was just something that happened right away. His smile, when we saw him he had this big smile and that right there attracted me because he just looked like a good kid. I watched him play and how he played the game, and we just became close.

Once we started recruiting him we talked all the time, we contacted each other when we could. It was just always good. Whenever he'd call me, that was one thing good about it, when I couldn't call him he'd call me, and we just clicked right away.

I know he said when we offered him that early and no one else did he felt some loyalty there because we believed in him before he became the Ryan Harrow that people saw his junior and senior year, so we had a bond there.

When do you guys plan to leave for Boston College?
We were scheduled to leave today at three, but we're actually heading the airport right now. We're trying to get up there and hopefully beat the weather.

Which Boston College team do you expect to see? They have some good wins, but lost to some Ivy League schools.
In those losses, we're watching the tape it was a little earlier. Right now they are playing well. Right now I think they are getting to know each other a little better within the system obviously because some of the players have been together for a while but they are learning where to get their shots and how they have to play.

I think they are a very good team. I think they have great experience with [Reggie] Jackson, [Joe] Trapani, and [Corey] Raji. Those guys have been around, they've been in the wars. They are going to play with great confidence, and Jackson is playing as well as anyone in the conference right now.

We're expecting them to come out and play hard, which they always do so we have to be ready to play.

You have a big anniversary reunion coming up. Is there anyone you particularly look forward to seeing and what does it mean to you?
I look forward to seeing all those guys, and it means a great deal to me because it brings back the history and past of this program and family, guys feeling welcomed. That's important to me, that the players before feel welcomed to be back here and that we want them back here.

It's going to be great seeing some of my old teammates and some of the guys who played before me and some that played after me. It's good, it's what I'm all about. At NC state, it's a family, and we have to make sure that we support each other and show the love... that's what it is supposed to be.

What does it mean to your current players? Do you think they can learn from some of the old stories
I do. Hopefully the guys will have a chance to talk to them and listen to them. I know Monte [Towe] and myself will educate our kids on who some of these guys are because they'll have no idea, but it's important that they know. It's important they know the guys who came before them and to see these guys coming back because that will tell them what kind of family this is and how we have to be.

I think that will show them, and then they can be proud, they can be proud of being a NC State basketball player, seeing those guys come back.


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