Gottfried: "I'm Proud Of Our Team"

RALEIGH, N.C. -- NC State head coach Mark Gottfried met with the media to discuss the Pack's upset of No. 1 Duke on Saturday afternoon.

Mark Gottfried

"First thing that jumps out to me is the difference in how we rebounded the ball in the second half. I thought probably more than everything was the overriding factor that helped us win the game. Obviously, Duke without Ryan is short handed."

"I understand that. They played awfully well, even without him. The guys for them stepped up, but I'm proud of our team. I think from the first half to the second half did and unbelievably better job of defending them without giving them a second shot."

"It was a collective effort, but Richard Howell. I told him after the game that was a grown man game. He controlled the backboard and he made his mind up that he was going to get every rebound. We had a timeout when I challenged the guys, I said ‘Is anyone else going to get one,' and Richard said don't worry about it coach, I'll get them all. For the most part that was his attitude and that was a big factor for us."

"I can't remember which timeout it was. The thing with their team, and with us, is that when you play in November and December good team that challenge you, it's not the first time we've been in the situation where we have to execute our offense under some duress. You have to understand how important it is to get a defensive shut out and rebound. November and December carries over from now until early January, because we've been in games like that. I thought our guys accepted the challenge. We knew it wasn't going to be easy. They were fighting and battling. It was one of those where mentally you've got to say ‘I'm going to get it done.' They're not going away. They never did and they're not going down. I thought our guys mentally showed a lot of toughness."

"Here's what I like about the team right now, and again we've got to get ready to play on Wednesday at Maryland, what's happening is that our younger players are figuring out along with our older players, how our team needs to play to be effective. I know he got hurt late in the game, I hope that he's ok. With Seth, I don't know exactly what happened. But, the majority of the game even though he had 22, I thought Rodney and T.J. were fresh. We wanted to keep a fresh body on him the whole game. Those two guys, for young players, they did a very good job. Seth made tough shots, he made some, but they're learning. The young guys are kind of learning how to blend in with our older guys. Our team is much more together from that perspective than we were early on, even in Puerto Rico."

"C.J. was unbelievable. I believe in the second half he made his mind up down the stretch offensively. He was nearly unguardable. They did a good job a couple of times. Made his foul shots, made a free throw line jumper, got to the rim a couple of times. Plumlee had a heck of a block one time, but Calvin went right back at him the next play. Showed a lot of resiliency on his part just to go right back at the rim. I thought offensively he was pretty good."

"I really don't get into it. I know that's probably not the answer everyone wants to hear and it's sincere when I say it. We have 18 conference games. We're going to enjoy this tonight, our players should, but we've got to get ready to play on the road at Maryland. There's 18 opportunities in our league. It's a really good game against a really good program and really good team, no question. We need to find a way to get past that mentally on Monday and get ready to hit the road. That's the nature of this league. You can add them up at the end a lot of different ways and figure out how you're going to get the most wins. It was a good win for our program. I don't know that it validates anything, I don't' really get into all of that. I'm just happy for our players today."

"Here's what you've got to bank on right now, and the fact that we have four veteran players, they get it. They understand it. We lost four in a row at one time last year and we were a game away from putting a fork in us. We were just about cooked. But, we didn't. Those four guys collectively need to find that kind of leadership within our ranks. It won't be easy on Wednesday. There are no easy wins, there just aren't in this league. Hopefully, the fact that we have some veteran players helps with that."

"That was fun too. It was fun for our guys. Our crowd was unreal. Our students started getting out there at four o'clock last night and this morning. I'm happy for our fans, I really am. My hope is that we can continue to deliver, because we've got a passionate fan base and they love their teams. Not just our team, all of the Wolfpack teams. We've got great fans. Your hope is that you can keep getting better. It's fun for everybody. Our crowd was a lift today. It got loud in there, really loud."

"Not much. Our message was more of you better get yourself ready to be in a war. Because they're good, and they play hard. They're not going to go away. I think also, in this kind of game, you've got to be able to withstand your runs. You get excited because we score six or more in a row or their runs, which they're going to make some. Just have poise and keep playing and not get all up and down, lets just stay solid. Our guys did a good job of that."

"Not really, he's had to guard some perimeter guys. What I liked about him today was he had active hands and he used his length. He's a little tall there, and it's a little tougher to score. Rodney has shouldered most of that with better perimeter players guarding, I thought T.J. did a good job. He really did a good job today. He can continue to get better there."

"The biggest part that helped us was Calvin and Richard. Those two didn't end up in foul trouble. I think there was a point where Richard came out in the second half and kept saying I've got to get him out, then I kept saying to myself ‘I ain't taking him out.' He stayed in the game. I got to use every timeout because he was rebounding the ball. But the fact that they weren't in foul trouble was big for our team. We said it multiple times. Richard played a lot of minutes. You could see at the end of the game how he becomes a factor with the rebounding and defensive things he does. If he's sitting over there with four, we're a little more vulnerable. I think it was big that those guys stayed out of foul trouble."

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