Gottfried: Pack Focused On Boston College

NC State head coach Mark Gottfried fielded questions from the media on his weekly teleconference.

Opening Statement:
We're coming off a tough loss, but we did a lot of good things in the game against Virginia. We have to shift gears and get ready to play a team that I think is very dangerous in Boston College. The way they shoot the three, the number of threes they shoot.

They're young, but they're very capable. We had a lot of respect for them the first time around and I think that's going to be the key for us the second time.

Can you talk a little bit about Richard Howell's situation. He gave you some terrific work the other day on the boards. In the last two games he's had some foul trouble that limited his minutes. Is that a function of how aggressively he plays or is he doing some things that you can correct to keep him on the court a little longer?
He's had some foul issues in a lot of games this year. It's something we talk to Richard about continually. He's got to stay aggressive but at the same time eliminate the fouls that are inconsequential. Sometimes he'll get one or two that maybe he's reaching for a ball. Those are the ones that catch up to him.

He's going to get some fouls just because of how hard he's playing. Where he's got to improve is to eliminate some of the other ones.

Coach, you said you did a lot of good things. I'm guessing your defense in the second half was one of them. Do you think that's the best you've played on defense this year?
I'm not sure if it's the best, but it was pretty good. They only made four baskets. Actually a number of the fouls were fouls that were actually on our offensive end. A couple putback fouls, those kind of things.

We did defend them well. I thought we executed our offense much better than we have. We had open looks at the end of that and they couldn't make them. I do think we did a number of things pretty good in this game. We just came out of there a point short.

Does the schedule feel a little disjointed to you? You have three games here that a lot of us from the outside will say are certainly not Virginia or Carolina or Florida State or Duke.
I read your article. You have to understand, every game you play, especially when you're not a dominant team, every game is huge. I don't think we're in any position to look down a schedule and start counting wins prior to the game. I don't care who it's against. We're not that team, nor have we been all year long.

We have to take the schedule and treat each individual game with the absolute utmost importance. That's what we're trying to do.

Mark, looked like C.J. Leslie may have had a recurring problem with cramps the other night. Do you think that issue was in the past or has that popped up the last few weeks?
It popped up a little bit in the game but he recovered from it. It's been an ongoing issue, trying to figure out why and how, what we can do to help that.

For the most part I think our doctors have done a great job. Really they have all the time. But it's just a constant thing to check his hydration levels, see if he's been drinking enough, eating well, those type of things.

It's one of those tricky things I've not dealt with before, to be quite frank. We're trying to do the best we can with it.

You always have to be on alert you may have to deal with that issue.
Anytime. Hopefully we don't.

One other thing about your last possession the other night, what was your take on that?
Well, everybody has an opinion. I thought there was a lot of contact on Lorenzo in the dribble. They did a very nice job defending the play prior to that.

Richard was out of the game at that point, had fouled out. We wanted to involve Lorenzo and Scott Wood. So they did a nice job defending it. But I was of the opinion that we also could have found ourselves at the foul line, as well.

You've got in Alex Johnson a player who's played at another school, is coming in for the one year. Has he given you what you wanted from him as the other point guard? What's your evaluation of the way he's handled things?
Well, he's doing very well. You have to remember that when he took the job, Ryan Harrow transferred, Lorenzo Brown had not been an exclusive point guard. So we had a need, a desperate need quite frankly, to have somebody come in and be able to play.

We also knew at that time we already had a commitment from Tyler Lewis who was a point guard in the next class, recruiting Rodney Purvis. What made sense was to find a guy like Alex.

So I think it's been a perfect fit. He's accepted a role here. He's played a role very well.

So I think it's been good.

Is it at all unusual to know that you're just going to have the guy for that one year? Do you think it's difficult on him at all from that aspect? I just wondered how that all sort of works out.
Well, I'm sure it's strange in college athletics, and it's happened a number of times recently because of this rule. What's different about this one is, for me, I wasn't here last year either. He's on the roster.

It was like he had already been here because I wasn't here. It fit for all those purposes. If there was a situation like that in the future where you found yourself in a hole, as long as the rule stays the same, it's certainly a viable option if you could find the right guy, which we felt Alex was and he is.

I wanted to ask you about Scott Wood's three-point shooting. In the preconference season he was shooting in the high 40s. He's about 37 now in conference. Is that the defenses knowing him better or is it just normal fluctuation a shooter goes through over the course of the season?
I think with Scott Wood, I don't know if I'd call it a shooting slump. I think maybe he just hasn't shot it as well lately. But I don't know that teams have defended him better. Some have, some haven't.

He's a great shooter. Obviously teams will key on him. Teams guard him differently every game. Again, I just think he's had some games where he's been a little off.


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