Gottfried: UConn Is A Very Talented Team

RALEIGH, N.C. -- NC State head coach Mark Gottfried met with the media today to discuss next week's game against Connecticut.

"It's going to be a great opportunity for us again to play on a national stage in Madison Square Garden against a great program like UConn. So, I think our guys will be very excited about it."

"Napier and Boatright at the guards are very talented and DeAndre Daniels is somebody that we looked at that we really liked. He's a very talented guy as well."

"They seem to be a guard-oriented team that is really quick."

"I think Kevin Ollie is trying to instill that in teams. They are really getting up in guys, getting after them. That will be maybe a little different than we've seen."

"I think those guys are excited about Kevin coaching them. They want to play well and hard for him."

"As you watch them, different guys are playing different minutes in some games... I think like a lot of us he's trying to figure out exactly how they should play and who should play, those type of things."

"When we watch them, I think they are very talented... a very talented team."

"They have to guard us, but we will have a hard time guarding [Boatright]. He's small, he's quick, he's little. Scott Wood probably gets the first assignment on him but different guys will guard him throughout the game. He's a tough player to defend and I think Napier is a tough player to defend."

"I did like T.J. in the game. I think he obviously scored the ball well and efficient again. He's so efficient... he's shooting 70% this season."

"We've got to get Rodney even more involved offensively. Because he's not starting I don't want him to back away from his aggressiveness."

"Our school is unique in this event because Jim Valvano coached here. I went to the guys at adidas this summer and talked to them about possibly creating something unique for this one night."

"They came up with the design which I thought was really good. When I first saw it I thought it was really cool."

"For us, when you look around the country, a lot of people will be watching, recruits will be watching. We're trying to do things that set us apart, and that night is going to be a fun night because of all the things."

"Pam Valvano is going to fly with us up. I'm excited that she accepted the invitation to fly with our team, and I think it's a privilege for us to be in that game. I think that's a big deal for NC State. I'm glad that we are invited."

"We're going up there to win. It's a business trip for us. That's our mindset."

"I don't know if she will speak to the team, but I want the guys to know who she is."

"When we watched the tape, our close-outs weren't nearly as good. We were so interested in taking away a 3-point shot that we're closing out so hard that we got beat off the dribble and that hurt us sometimes."

"We seem to be pretty good in stopping somebody going one way, and when we change directions we're not nearly as good."

"Collectively all those 'my bads' and we're in trouble. It was a point of emphasis yesterday and I thought our guys were better in practice."

"Offensively, we shoot 57% from the field with very few fastbreaks. We really didn't get our break going because they were scoring. We did some things pretty good offensively."

"I thought the issue in that game was our defense more than anything else."

"I want [C.J. Leslie] to be aggressive and play with a lot of heart which I thought he did. I really thought he played hard."

"Sometimes your record may not be as glamorous, but the goal is to make sure you're getting better."

"I also was somewhat encouraged. There were some things that we learned about our team."

"You've got to get to the point where you are winning those marquee games."

"When you look at Richard's fouls, he's getting two, sometimes three a game where he is just swiping at the ball. It's just a matter of having more discipline."

"When he plays 28 to 32 minutes I think we're a different team."

"When it comes to recruiting, I think it's my job and our job as a staff, to paint a picture of what our program is going to look like when you're in it. How is this going to look for you? Are we going to win? Are we going to be a top 20 team? Can we play in a Final Four?"

"We have history, but for us, it's my job to sell that this is what this picture will look like, and then I have to convince you of that."

"Good players don't want to play with a bunch of bad players. They want to win."

"At the end of the day with recruiting it still comes down to somebody has to trust you with their child."

"We've got a lot to sell here too, which has been great for us."

"Every job is different, and I was at a place where football is dominant."

"I think a lot of teams in this state like the blue team, the light blue team, and they've been doing it for a long time, and we've got to change that. They are good, and I've said it to Roy."

"I coached at UCLA and in southern California, we felt like, and this isn't always true, but we always had a saying where there are some kids we can get in southern California with a ten cent phone call. I can just pick up the phone, call them and offer them and we're going to get them."

"We're the other guy now. I'm like the guy at USC fighting against UCLA. I'm in a little bit different position, but that is part of the turf and you've got to slug it out and fight the best that you can. It's good healthy competition. That's a part of getting good... that's just the way that it is."

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