MEDIA DAY: Mark Gottfried

RALEIGH, N.C. -- NC State head coach Mark Gottfried met with the media to discuss the upcoming basketball season.

Mark Gottfried Press Conference

"I'm excited about this time of the year... we're always excited, it doesn't matter what kind of team you're going to have."

"It's that time of the year. The weather is starting to get a little cooler and we're going to start to hear bouncing basketballs."

"I was really concerned [about Rodney Purvis]. I had no idea how it would turn out, but I always felt like the right thing was that he would be eligible to play."

"I was excited when it panned out that way."

"We practiced the morning we left for Spain and we literally pulled away right out here and he sat out here and kind of waved as the buses pulled off. It was sad. It was a sad day."

"I thought that was tough."

"I don't know that he is behind a great deal. He was allowed to practice with us, but from an opportunity to blend in with these guys, he didn't get that where T.J. and Tyler did."

"I think the older players are excited about the new guys. I think they feel those young players can help, help them."

"As far as our chemistry... that's a process that develops."

"Our team is different than a year ago."

"The blend so far has been pretty good with the old and the new."

"They have to handle it well. They've got to understand to be a great team the price is high."

"It's no different than last year. We were picked near the bottom and that's not something we paid too much attention to last year. That's not something we can pay attention to this year. The only thing that counts is how hard you work each day and how well you do your job each day."

"Can our players truly grasp that? We'll find out."

"Everybody can beat anybody on a given night, and the difference between the top teams and the bottom teams int his league, the gap is not that great."

"I'll go around town and people say, 'Coach we had a great year last year.' The truth of the matter is it wasn't a great year. It was a great finish, we had a really fun finish and it was exceptional for our group. But, our year wasn't great, it was just okay."

"I think in general our program has to take another step."

"There is a process that has to take place and we're still in it."

"[T.J. Warren] may say [he always wanted to go to NC State] now but he held the cards close to his chest."

"I think there was a time with he and Rodney both, although he's different, he loved NC State, but NC State wasn't the fashionable option there for a while. I thought Orlando Early did a great job with both of those two guys in convincing them that we are going to get good. You don't have to go to one of these other name schools. You can get everything you want right there."

"I think [T.J. Warren's] ability to score... maybe it confirmed what I knew about him... he has the ability to make baskets. He was able to do that [in Spain], in the midst of having sometimes four veteran players on the floor with him. It didn't stop him at all. He just kept getting it done."

"I think [Calvin Leslie] grew a lot, I think he matured a lot. I think, from when I got here in April, and then you go through October and November in the beginning of practice, there were kind of stages. That early part in April, May, June, then that early part of practice when he was still trying to figure us out and learning how to practice harder, pay attention better and to do things the right way in practice and in games. I thought in his last 10 or 15 games, I thought he played as well as any forward in the nation."

"He's a stubborn guy... it's like pushing a mule every now and then to get done what you want done, but to his credit he is learning how to become a great player."

"I certainly would've liked to be sitting here with a veteran senior, 22 minutes per game guy that was fairly reliable. I think that loss is bigger than most people anticipated. Between Jordan and Thomas, and maybe even T.J. some... T.J. may have to play inside... we have to replace that. DeShawn surprised us when he decided to transfer, and I think he was a key guy for us last year in our rotation of seven."

"I think that we will be ranked high, but the truth of the matter is I'm not really sure that we've earned that yet. So, I think you've got to be careful to not get caught up in some of those things."

"I think [Richard Howell] was the third-leading rebounder in the league last year, and I think he's going to have a great year. I think he's, physically in the best shape he's ever been in. I think mentally he's probably as good as he's ever been."

"With Richard, if you actually look at Richard's numbers, production and factor in how many games he was in foul trouble... early fouls or three fouls in the first half... there were so many games where he had to sit on the bench for long stretches with foul trouble. If he can eliminate some of that, it completely changes his game. He was effective even by being burdened all the time. I think that's an area that if he improves, you'll see another whole level of production from him."

"I think [Howell] is a pretty steady guy."

"I want to see him stay on the floor longer this year. Period. Most of that is foul trouble."

"It's big. I'm always amazed around here. I used to do press conferences like this in Alabama where close family and friends are the only people there. It's a little different deal here in North Carolina."

"It's a great league. I love this league. It's a great basketball league... I tell the guys we're recruiting that it's a privilege to be in this league."

"It's fun. I read the paper. I don't live under a rock. I'm normal and watch TV and all that. I think all of that is fun, but I also have been around long enough to realize that after all that fun jibber-jabber you've got to go play. You've got to work."

"Knowing every day with C.J. Williams, what you had in practice and games is something that we all start to take for granted. He might not get 18 points but he's not going to get zero either."

"We're excited, I'm excited, we feel like we signed some really good players, but we did have a team that had some older veteran guys."

"I think all four of these guys that have played a lot have to give our team leadership. I think, at times, they have and, at other times, they could be a lot better. I don't think it's going to be one guy. Those four guys need to be the steady Eddie's every day. They need to come in here and be the hardest workers in the gym, they need to lead by example. They've been through the wars, they've experienced some success and it's kind of on them to set the tone every day."

"There will be times where [Lewis and Brown] play together."

"I think part of the deal with Calvin isn't just improving his shooting but improving his shot selection. That's why he went from 43% to 54% this year."

"I think Lorenzo Brown is as good as any point guard in the nation. Period. I've seen the list of all of them, I watch college basketball every night, and I wouldn't trade him for anybody. I think in one year, he has made that kind of improvement. He's taken a step that's been monumental."

"If you take Tom Brady out they are not the same team. Drew Brees, if he doesn't play the Saints probably... well they aren't good anyways, but without him they'd be really bad."

"I think we can become a good defensive team."

"We'll get there. We're like a lot of teams. We've got interchangeable parts, and can guard different ways."

"You've got two Hall of Fame guys down the street and they are phenomenal communicators. That's why they are good."

"At the end of the day, you want them to hear what you are trying to teach."

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