AUDIO; Pack Players Talk Kansas

RALEIGH, N.C. -- Several NC State players met with the media after Tuesday's practice at the Dail Center.

C.J. Leslie

"[Winning] means a lot, and it's a really big stage. There is a lot of excitement about this tournament, and we're in it, we have a chance."

"I didn't know [Coach Gottfried] too well, I didn't know his background. He seemed like a great guy, and I talked to him, and I liked what he said and we had planned for me."

"The first time [he called me Calvin], I didn't really think anything of it, I thought he was saying it just to be funny. But when he kept saying it, he gave me the reason why. It was fine with me. He was just saying it's a new start, he just talked about different stuff and went on from there."

"It's one of those things that falls in place little by little. It was one of those things that clicked when it clicked."

"I'm looking forward to [playing against Thomas Robinson]. He's a great player and it should be a good matchup."

"I talk to [Debbie Yow] a lot and she's one of those people that's in my ear constantly, just about small things. It was one of those moments that I shared with her and she shared with me. We're on the same page, I just think overall she's a great lady if you understand her."

Richard Howell

"I could be compared to [Carmelo Anthony], but I think I've turned into Dennis Rodman."

"I've always had quick hands, and it's definitely hurting me now. I have to play defense in this game with my hands up because I have to stay on the court with Kansas' size and strength."

"Sure, if that's what you want to say. I'm kind of happy Duke lost, but I wish it would have been UNC instead of Duke. That's one team that we definitely want to get back, we feel like they got away with two games on us. We definitely want that rematch, but it's one game at a time."

Lorenzo Brown

"I just want to play, I'm not trying to worry about history and what goes on in the past. I'm just ready for the now."

"I love playing up and down games, it gets our flow going with the type of offense we have. As long as everyone else likes it, I like it."

Scott Wood

"We're playing well, I think all it is really is who gets hot at the end of the year and we're one of the teams that has gotten going. Some of it might be luck of the draw, who you play, things like that."

"They are a really good team, they have a lot of history, they're well coached. They have great players and possibly the player of the year. It will be a good matchup for us, but I think we have to get it done on the defensive end first.

"[Richard Howell] missed a shot at the top of the key and I told him it was because he didn't say 'Melo.' Whenever he shoots the basketball he always says 'Melo.' He's trying to be a little bit more humble, too."

C.J. Williams

"I watched Kansas a lot. Tough task, they were up there with the number one seeds and they aren't a number one seed but they are still a really great team. Thomas Robinson is a man on the inside and Tyshaun Taylor has definitely improved a lot. You can go all the way down the line. Individually, they are really good, and as a team, they play well together."

"I'm definitely going to carry over my aggressiveness. I hadn't been shooting the ball much over the last 10 or so games. Guys were coming up to me telling me to take shots, why stop now. My teammates definitely talked to me about it and wanted me to be aggressive."

"Our game at home against UNC, when we felt like we played well enough to win the game. Carolina made more plays than we did, but we felt like we played well enough to win. We were in the game the whole game and then to play them again in the ACC Tournament and lose by two points. You never want to lose, but you can kind of take things out of a loss and turn it into something else. That built a little more confidence. We knew that we were right there all year and we just had to get over that hump. I believe we did that when we played those games."

Alex Johnson

"We just picked up momentum in the ACC Tournament and it's carried over into the NCAA Tournament."

"[Coach] has told us to stay grounded. It's amazing how many fans have responded to us, patting us on the back, but the job is not done yet. Until we get another banner and hold up that national championship, the job is not done yet. We still have to win on Friday, we still have to win on Sunday."

"A couple of people have asked me to dance. I've told everyone I'm not dancing until we get a national championship."

"Even though we wanted to win that Duke game, I felt like the Duke game helped us and prepared us. We were up 20 and I don't think anybody on the team thought we could go up 20 on Duke. That pretty much solidified the thought that we could play with anybody in the country. That was the message to take away from that game."

"From the ACC Tournament, we took them down to the wire, but I thought we had an opportunity to put them away and we just didn't capitalize on it. We're learning from that we did a good job closing out Georgetown and took care of San Diego State. We just have to keep pushing."

"This is the best time for it to come. We want to use this as a milestone and stepping stone. He said he wanted us to be playing our best in February and March, and this is the best basketball we've played. He thinks we can play better, and I think so too."


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