Gottfried: Big Weekend For A Lot Of Reasons

RALEIGH, N.C. -- Mark Gottfried talks with the media with the Wolfpack preparing to play North Carolina.

Opening Statement:
I think our guys will be anxious to play, regardless of our opponent. I think the fact that North Carolina is our next opponent, I think our guys will be more than ready to play.

I think yesterday we had a great day of practice. Hopefully we can carry that into this weekend.

Big weekend for a lot of reasons. Hopefully it will go well.

Thoughts on Team Meeting:
I think a lot of teams, I don't think it was that significant. Guys sit down and talk a lot of times. Sometimes I think that is healthy.

I'm not one of those that thinks a team meeting always solves every problem. I'm not sure how much of a meeting... more our guys just talking about our team.

I do like the fact that our guys care a lot. They do care, and that's a good thing.

Were you in the meeting?
I'm always with my team. We sit down and talk about a lot of things throughout the year. I'm always in on those.

Thoughts on De Thaey/Warren Twitter incident. Was it the focus of the team meeting?
I don't know, maybe a little bit. More than anything, our discussions had to do with how we played, specifically in the second half.

How we play. Not that kind of stuff, not so much.

Did you talk to T.J.?
Sure I did. It's the world we live in sometimes... you learn the hard way. Things travel fast and quick. That's something we did talk about and you move on from there.

Any Twitter bans?
No. I think that Twitter, Facebook, it's a part of learning how to be responsible.

I have five children. I've told my own children to be careful what they tweet. They sometimes tweet before they think.

I think it's a part of learning the world you live in. Sometimes you learn the hard way.

Defensively, you were not happy with the second half. What can you clean up?
A lot of things happened in the second half.

We didn't block out, they got a lot of rebound baskets. I think we were tentative because of our foul trouble, and I think it affected how aggressive we were. We had way too many drive bys, just kind of swinging at air and not moving our feet.

We had a couple of situations where we didn't rotate back and have a safety back. It was a myriad of things that didn't happen in the first half and really didn't happen a lot of times this year.

That was a tough second half for us. We certainly didn't play nearly as well defensively as we could and should have.

Even in our zone we weren't very aggressive. We were still passive. As they got the ball around the rim we were shying away from the play as opposed to really going and aggressively trying to keep somebody from scoring.

You've got to give Wake credit. They saw we were in foul trouble and went right at us... they did a good job there.

On his team's mindset:
They have to be mentally prepared to play every single night. I think they will be prepared. I think the silver lining, even after the other night, which was frustrating... it was a frustrating night for us.

As I step away from it, I think our Oklahoma State loss, we got beat. Outside of that game, we're a tough out. We've been a tough out. Michigan had to play, and it was on their home floor. We were in a position to win at Maryland. Now we're in a position to win at Wake.

Those three teams have had to play to beat us, and we've contributed a lot. We've not been a team that has just been getting beat soundly each and every night. That's the good news. Our guys for the most part have played awfully well this year.

Three of the four teams that beat us have had to play. Like Wake, they played. Give them credit. They played in the second half, and it's still an 86-84 game. We've got shots right around the rim, a wide open shot here, foul shots. We've got chances late in the game to probably change the outcome.

That's the good news. We just have to make sure we're a good team for 40 minutes every night.

Thoughts on North Carolina:
They are still big, but it's a different type of big. Bullock has really stepped forward for them. McAdoo now has matured because those other guys are not there. He is now the guy you go to inside as opposed to being the third option or fourth option inside.

I think they are a quicker team than they were a year ago. They are different, a lot different than they were last year.

Does it change how you attack them inside without Zeller or Henson?
Not really. I think that when we play we like to go inside anyways.

I don't know that there is any one or two things specific for that. We're just trying to go to our strengths and do the things that we do well, and play off that.

Thoughts on James McAdoo:
He's a terrific 10, 12-foot shooter... very good around the rim. He seems a lot more aggressive. He's taken on the responsibility of being one of the hardest-working players on the floor.

When I watch him I sense more urgency from him than I did early on. He's rebounding the ball well, he's defending better, hes getting a couple of steals where he turns them into fastbreak layups.

Thoughts on how important it is to defensive rebound:
It's important every game. Just like against Wake it was important. We learned the hard way how important that was. We need to make sure we don't let them get second shots.

They are a good rebounding team. At times, I think we are a really good rebounding team, but we've got to be a better rebounding team for longer periods of time.

Thoughts on Marcus Paige and matching up with Lorenzo Brown:
I like Paige. I like his quickness when I watch him, and he shoots the ball pretty well. For a freshman he's doing a great job. Sometimes we forget that about him, that he is young.

He's played pretty well this year. I think Lorenzo has played awfully well too. Whether it's Paige or Strickland, or however they decide to guard us.

I think Lorenzo needs to play like he's played. I think he got a little bit out of control in the Wake game, but it was out of effort to make a play. I think he's played well. That should be a good matchup. Lorenzo has played against some good guards all year long.

Pack Pride Top Stories