Gottfried: "Their Team Is Good"

RALEIGH, N.C. -- NC State head coach Mark Gottfried met with the media to discuss Sunday's game against Maryland.

Mark Gottfried

"Yes, I think they are completely different. When you study Maryland for us and you watch their last three games it's a much different team than it was early. Early in the year [Terrell] Stoglin had to, out of necessity, look to score more. It doesn't appear that's the case now. [Pe'Shon] Howard is playing the point guard and now they are all in their natural positions. [Alex] Len is really good. He was a heck of a find for them, a guy that is that polished at this early stage. They are a very good team and much better now with those two guys back in there."

"Without [Howard], Stoglin looked to score more, he had the ball in his hands on the break. Now he's ahead of the ball, seems like the ball handling pressure isn't on him to always have it in his hands. Their team is good."

"The question 'are they getting better?' When you look at all of the guys, when you break them down and look at them now from the beginning, and you look at Lorenzo's development as a point guard, exclusively. C.J. Williams, I hear everywhere I go that people are scratching their head trying to figure out how he's playing so well. Richard is better, Calvin is better. We're getting there."

"When you look at a player you want to put them in positions to succeed. Obviously, they have to work and they have accept coaching and accept being challenged every day. It's a combination of everything which helps guys get better. It's a day by day process with each guy."

"My expectations are higher for [point guards]. When I had Mo Williams and Ronald Steele, they are the extension of the head coach. We've heard that term before, but to me, they really are. If we have a bad possession offensively or someone else takes a bad shot, I blame the point guard. We have to figure this out together, it's your role to make sure we get good shots every time down the floor. I do have a higher expectation for that guy."

"If you're going to take a step back and look at the season, I would say we have to get [to 11 wins] now. We've had that conversation, and now it's one. We have to win one Sunday. In the grand scheme of things, we have to win 11. If you take a pause at this point, we could have helped ourself a couple of nights. When you look at the strength of schedule and who we played, I think that we are going to put ourselves in great position if we're going to end up in the discussion."

"The teams that go to the tournament are going to earn their way in either through their conference play, if you get to 12 or 13 wins in the league you could have played 15 games against Broughton High School, you're probably in. Outside of that, for all the teams that end up on that board for discussion, the bubble teams, i don't think your conference record is that critical. They will look at who you chose to play in those 13 to 15 non-league games and how you did in those games when they are trying to decide between team A and team B and team C."

"It's just what you should do, doing the right thing. When you a play a better schedule, on one hand you're going to position yourself better with the selection committee. When we played Syracuse or Indiana or Stanford, you come out of those games and say 'wow, I can see clearly now with our team where our weaknesses are.' It's hard to learn those things when you beat someone by 30 points. You just don't learn as much. A great schedule, in my opinion, forces you to get better."

"You can't build an NIT schedule and be in the NCAA Tournament. Coaches do that and I think it's a mistake."

"I always tell people that's where I learned how to coach. You can coach [at Murray State]. It's a great basketball job because they want to win. Their fan support is amazing for that level, but at the same time you're not getting scrutinized like you would in the ACC, SEC or PAC-10.

"[Thomas de Thaey] needs to be ready to play, and that's one thing we've talked to him about. He's capable. We've had some games where we haven't had the foul trouble issues, our top seven are playing well but that's not always going to be the case through a 16-game league schedule. They all need to be ready, but I think Thomas would be that next guy who would need to step forward."

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