Gottfried: Booker, Jennings a Concern

RALEIGH, N.C. -- NC State head coach Mark Gottfried met with the media to discuss the upcoming game against Clemson.

"It was a tough loss at Maryland, and we're playing a team that I think is very good and much improved from last year."

"Wehn you talk about Clemson, the first thing is Booker and Jennings, two seniors inside that are very productive. I think Booker is having a great year, and Jennings is shooting the three well for a forward. They are going to pose all kinds of problems for us."

"For us mentally, make sure we bounce back and have great energy. That's going to be a big key for us on Sunday."

"I think Lorenzo is playing well. I thought he did a lot of good things for our team the other night when we needed him too... overall he's played pretty well and we've talked about it a lot. I thought he had a slow start to the year... I think he's been a lot more consistent lately night in and night out. I think he's played pretty good."

"I thought early he pressed a lot, was trying to do too much. He's eliminated a lot of turnovers and is running our team well. He's made big shots at key times. He's doing a lot of things right for us."

"I think you always have to anticipate everybody else's best game."

"I don't think that anybody on our team really thinks a lot about that too much... especially during the games."

"Maryland was getting the ball in the paint too often. We felt the zone would eliminate some of that. We like to play man-to-man defense."

"We'll see from game-to-game. I think there is a feel in each game... I think our players have a lot of belief in our man-to-man defense as well."

"Len's length does bother you. He's long, and he's quick off the floor. I think the game became really physical, both ways, and I think both teams struggled to score. Both percentages were in the low 30s. It was a Big Ten game all of a sudden. It was a wrestling match."

"I thought we played really hard. We just struggled at times."

"We responded, we battled back, and we put ourselves in a position to win. I thought we really battled hard."

"I think our guys will be ready to compete."

"We are who we are. We've got to find ways to attack them on offense."

"Alex Len is quicker than a lot of us give him credit for... it's probably why he's being projected as a top-5, 10 pick in the draft. Not a lot of guys like him."

"As a former guy who sat in that seat. It's easy to make a suggestion and your suggestion is always right, as mine were when I worked for ESPN. I had every answer."

"The difficult thing with the ball out on the side with five seconds to go is the offense is going to shoot it quick. They may shoot it with four, three, or two, because they are down one. The score is not tied and they could shoot it fast."

"The danger you have there, if you tell your players to foul in that position, and the offensive player grabs the ball and turns it into a shot and somehow you walk out of there with a shooting foul, you've not put the team that was behind on the foul line. Everybody then, those people who have all those answers, they would be quiet like a church mouse if that happened."

"It's difficult when the ball is 94-feet away from the basket or at the halfcourt line."

"If you are going to foul with 5.2 on the clock, you've got to foul fast because you're not going to foul at two or one because then you will foul the shooter. They are going to shoot the ball, they are not going to hold it.. Now if the ball is heading to the basket like it was and you foul them, they get the ball out underneath. They have an out-of-bounds play that they are comfortable with. So, sometimes you can help your opponent.

"The truth of the matter is, on that particular play, Pe'Shon Howard took an off-balance, awful shot, an airball. What you want to have. The tough thing is the airball went right in front of the basket, which was perfect for Len. If that ball hiits the rim, hits the backboard, if he shoots it a little higher where it has to bounce in the air... it ended up a perfect storm for them."

"It's easy to sit over there and be brilliant. It's easy. I did it for two years. I was brilliant too."

"NC State won a national championship on an airball. It happens. It was an airball. If that ball hits the rim, if it bounces off the rim... .9, the game probably ends. It just kind of fell into a perfect place for them. That happens in life too."

"I thought we handled it correctly. We just didn't get a stop with five seconds to go. That's the bottomline."

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