QUOTES: Mark Gottfried Radio Show

RALEIGH, N.C. -- NC State head coach Mark Gottfried held his weekly radio show last night and the obvious hot topic was Thursday night's matchup with Georgia Tech. Here are some of the quotes from the show.

I'm sure folks were watching the Super Bowl on Sunday.
A lot of people watched it, but it was interesting, our staff was on top of this Georgia Tech game pretty quick. That's where our concentration was.

You're 6-3 in the ACC right now. It seems each game is now a bigger magnitude and gets bigger as you move through the season.
It does every year and for every team. When you still have something to play for, and we have a lot to play for, they all become big.

The only way the magnitude isn't so great is when you're so far out of the picture... what's the difference between three wins, four wins, five wins?

We've got a lot to play for, so every time we take the floor I think it is magnified right now.

None of these guys have played in the NCAAs. How has it been keeping them focused?
Well, we're a long way away from that, but what is important for us is to remain focused. Today's practice was really a great practice. Concentrating on just today, it's got to be the best hour and a half we've got. That's how you get better. We've got to do it each day.

You have to have more commitment than you had in November and December in every facet you're doing. Let's concentrate on everything we can control.

In the old days you would play one team and not see them for another month. Now it is different... teams can change in that short time.
Teams really can and that is the power of television. Television can dictate the order of your games, and they want them on TV.

Teams can change. You look at Miami. Since we went to Miami and beat them, they've played extremely well since that day. They made some adjustments on how they were going to play and who they were going to have play those minutes, and they took a step forward. They got better.

Looking at Georgia Tech's first performance against NC State:
We watched the tape again today, and it was about he fourth time I watched it. It doesn't get any better, each time I watch it.

They were really good. They played well. They made big shot after big shot after big shot. We mishandled the ball, missed layups, missed shots. We struggled that day.

We need to go over there to Atlanta this week with an unbelievable mindset and see if we can turn this thing around.

You guys were in an offensive funk for a few games, but it seemed a lot of the guys clicked in the Wake Forest game.
I agree. I think what also happened is the game was more suited to the way our guys have been used to playing, which is up-and-down.

Both the Virginia and Boston College games were slow-paced games. Boston College [especially]... they held the ball and worked the clock... it was much harder for us to get a running game going.

Against Wake Forest, it was much different. We got a lot of points in the break, got out and ran, and it kind of loosened things up. Now we were a little better in halfcourt because we had some easy baskets in the break, but you've got to be able to win different ways.

The takeaway from the week was at the end of the Boston College game we were able to execute in a slow-paced game, and then at the end of the Wake Forest game we did the same thing. We still were able to execute in the halfcourt even though the game was a different style of game. That was a positive for the week.

Lorenzo Brown and Alex Johnson had 13 assists and just three turnovers against Wake Forest. You've also been playing them together.
We made that decision a while back. What we do with Alex is he'll stay in through the rotation of Scott and C.J. Williams going out. It pushes Lorenzo to the off-guard for a few minutes, and that has been good.

I still think Alex can play a lot better. He had a great day today in practice, probably his best day in a while. We've got to get Alex's energy, defensive intensity, and decision making a little bit better right now.

He maybe hasn't played as well the last couple of weeks as he did earlier. That's going to be a key for us over the next month.

Thoughts on Scott Wood's presence offensively opening up the floor.
There is no question and you see it in different ways. When he runs the floor in the break really hard he usually draws a man out to the line with him.

Then in the halfcourt if you're a post player on the same side as him you're going to get very little help from his man.

What I liked about Scott the other day is his screening was better. He set screens better which allowed him to get open more because it's hard to help when he is a screener, it's hard to be a help defender.

He's a tall, slender guy, and I thought at times earlier in the year he was setting the screens where he was erect, straight up and down. He's light, guys were bumping and pushing him off his center of gravity to set a screen. He has his knees bent, he's more fundamentally sound and it frees him up as well.

He affects the game in a lot of different ways.

Scott went to the locker room to get his ankle taped and came back out and hit three-straight three-pointers.
Our trainer did a great job didn't he?

Thoughts on perimeter defense:
It's still an issue for us. We have to be more consistent with how we defend on the perimeter. I think that has been more frustrating.

If you go back to the Georgia Tech game they also banked in three three-pointers... but we have be much better there. It's an area of concern for this game.

Thoughts on Richard Howell's screening ability:
It is unbelievable. He is really good. He's a wide, strong guy anyways so as the defenders try to come through a screen or trailing Scott or C.J. Williams, Richard is so strong. He does a good job of getting his knees bent and body down low.

It's really an unselfish thing to do in the game of basketball. When you have guys that understand how important it is to get guys open for a shot... I think he has done a terrific job with that.

One thing with Richard that I have liked this year is he is really a smart basketball player. We all say he fouls sometimes, which he does, but he is a good passer, good screener, and makes good decisions.

Sometimes he tries to do too much with the ball, but he is a good, skilled guy and I think in our offense with what we are doing it enables him to do a lot of things well.

I think our offense and our system has really helped him this year.

Thoughts on offense:
We don't run a lot of plays. Our offense is a read offense. We'll do some certain things, but where the ball goes determines what we will do next.

That is where our players have improved. They are understanding quickly... we're getting to where we can do it quicker, better.

How is recruiting coming along for next season?
We're excited. We have three guys signed in Tyler Lewis, Rodney Purvis, and T.J. Warren. All three guys have had great years this year.

We're still recruiting, working on some other guys. Those guys we can't mention their names, but hopefully we are not done with this class.

The three guys that are coming in I think will all have an impact next year.

How much recruiting can go on during this time of the year?
A lot.

We are recruiting all of the time on the phone or whether we are going out to watch games. We have guys out tonight watching high school games. I'll go out throughout the year.

We're going to recruit hard and that is something we feel like we are not going to take our foot off the pedal at all.


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