Lowe: "We Saw It Coming On"

N.C. State head coach Sidney Lowe discussed his basketball team during his weekly teleconference today. Lowe talked about the upcoming game against Virginia, the development of Jordan Vandenberg, Scott Wood's emergence, and much more.

Opening Comments:
Just came off of a good win against Georgia Tech. We played well, shot the ball well, made some plays down the stretch that we needed. We're just trying to continue to improve in a couple of areas, and one is finishing ballgames.

Scott had a really good game for you. Any pattern that you've seen in his scoring?
One, people are really paying attention to him, trying to do things to him to prevent him from getting shots.

I tell you, I know he's my player, I might be a little biased, but I think the film doesn't lie. He gets held more than anybody I've ever seen. I mean, they just literally grab him, grab his jersey, hold him.

I guess I'm like some of the coaches that used to complain about their big guys getting fouled all the time. People are just aware of him.

Last ballgame, I thought he really moved well without the ball. That's one of the things that we've been trying to tell him, is just keep moving, keep moving so they can't hold or can't grab you.

What do you remember about the visit up there last year, 47 points, a low for you guys?
I know we did not play well, and I saw it. We didn't move the ball, didn't shoot it well, did not defend it well. We gave up a couple of shots that we knew were coming, gave it up. We just didn't play well. It wasn't a good game for us.

They were really hyped to play. I mean, they play hard all the time. But they came out ready to play.

Not a whole lot is going to change with them in terms of their effort level and what Tony wants to do.
It's about understanding the game itself, understanding the personnel. This is what we talked about. We talked about their personnel. We talked about how they play, both offensively and defensively. We talked about them offensively having four guys that oftentimes can make threes. Our big guys, our fours, need to be aware of that, be ready to guard those guys out there and don't sink in because they're going to stay out there for the three ball.

We told them how they execute. We told them they execute very well what they do. If we slip at all, they're going to make us pay for it.

Basically our conversations have been about mentally really being into the game and not slipping. They have guys that certainly know how to play their game and they're going to run their stuff. Don't be deceived by size, our bigs thinking that we can just turn and go rebound. We have to block them out.

We talked about their three-point shooters. We have to be patient offensively because they really rotate well. They play their defense. They have the pack-line defense. They really, really rotate well. We really have to keep our heads up and make sure we're sharp with our passes and our decision making.

Can you talk a little bit about the way Jordan Vandenberg has come on the last couple games, what he gives you when he's in there?
Yeah, Jordan has done great. The one thing is he's continued to work in practice - Wasn't playing. He never got down - Kept his head up, kept working, doing individual work. You could see it in practice starting to come around. More than anything, I think has been his confidence in himself, really realizing the impact that he can have on a game with his size.

I think Jordan is one of those young men, one of those big guys, that don't really feel that that's a huge advantage. He doesn't realize that. Now he's starting to realize that and understand that, understand where we want him. Anytime he screens or penetrations go to the rim, he's starting to understand that and accept really who he is.

He's always known how to run the offense. He can run the floor. But now he's being a little more aggressive in other areas. We saw it coming on. I'm just glad that he experienced some success individually from his work that he's put in and being patient.

You played in the ACC tournament at a time when it was a huge event. Have you detected any change, approach in the atmosphere, anything around the tournament now than when you played?
It's hard because it's different for me as a player and as a coach.

One difference, back when I played, we only had eight teams. There were, I guess, more tickets for the eight teams. We had the rivalries going obviously. You just had good teams coming in. That's the way it was.

I think now the furthest we had people coming down from Maryland, then coming up from Georgia, from Georgia Tech. For the most part it was those eight schools. Now we have more teams and people coming from Boston, Miami, Tallahassee. I think it's just different because there are more teams in it.

Then when one team loses, a couple teams lose, they're gone. You know what I mean? I don't know if that's it.

I can't really tell. I don't know. As a player, I knew that's how it was. Yeah, there was a lot of hype to it. People were out there looking for tickets. I mean, it was a madhouse.

I don't really know how it is now. I don't get to see it. I just know about when the games are being played.

Do you detect any difference in the way coaches or players seem to approach the tournament?
I don't know. It's so hard for me as a coach. As a player, you can feel it. As a player, we know when we go in there, this is the ACC tournament.

This is a big, big deal. This is a huge tournament. This isn't just another tournament. This is the ACC tournament. So it's a big deal. That's the way we approached it as a player - again, not to mention that you've already played every team twice.

So there's been something that's happened in those two games with those teams. Now you're looking forward to playing them again, going at it again.

I don't know now. As a coach, I can't see. I just can't get it. It's just different now for me. But to me, it's still the ACC tournament. It's still a big, big tournament. But I don't know if everybody looks at it that way.

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