Gottfried: "It's A Veteran Team"

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

Opening Statement:
We think this is a great opportunity for us.

I've said it for a long time, I think Miami has somewhat flown under the radar nationally as one of the best teams in the country.

What stands out is their age and experience. They don't rely on any young players or inexperienced players.

It's a veteran team that seems to be playing this year with a tremendous amount of purpose and maybe a chip on their shoulder from not making the tournament last year. All these guys are back, so I've liked their team for a long time.

We know we've got a big challenge and at the same time I think our guys, after the other night at Virginia, are anxious to get back on the floor.

Update on Lorenzo Brown's injury:
I still don't know a lot. He obviously didn't practice yesterday, and he got treatment all day yesterday and this morning.

We did take him to get X-rays just to be sure there wasn't anything more serious, which there isn't, and that's good news.

I don't have a great idea about what's going to happen tomorrow. I'm a little bit in the unknown as well. I think we'll see how he feels tomorrow. The probability, in my mind, for him to be recovered enough to cut and move and sprint and jump, is pretty slim.

We have to prepare as if he's not going to play. Then we'll see and go from there.

How have you handled practice with Rodney and Tyler:
We had yesterday and then we'll have today. I have a tremendous amount of confidence in Tyler and Rodney. I think they both are going to do well. I thought they did very well the other night, on the road in a tough environment... being asked to play in a much different role then both of them had pretty much all year long.

It wasn't easy for either one of them, and they both did well.

Part of sports is injuries and if you have them you need to find a way to overcome them. I think those two guys will do very well.

Have you seen Tyler improve?
A lot of times what happens is if someone like Tyler hasn't played a lot, it's easy to focus on them and what he isn't doing. The truth of the matter is with Lorenzo playing there isn't a lot of minutes to get there anyways.

I've got faith in Tyler. I think he's a really good player, and I think he's anxious to get more of an opportunity. I thought he played well the other night. I thought he did a nice job. He'll be ready.

Thoughts on rotation:
We've only got eight scholarship guys. If we have to play our walk-ons we'll play them. If Lorenzo doesn't play that means we're down to seven. If it's seven we have then they need to be ready to play.

Injuries affect everybody in sports. Look at the Redskins, if RG3 doesn't get hurt, they could still be playing, who knows?

It's a part of life. You've got to deal with it, you've got to keep fighting and find away to make sure the team doesn't take a step back. That's our job, that's my job. We've got to get our team ready to play with who we have available. Period.

Thoughts on facing adversity:
Things happen in life and you have to respond to it. Our team has to respond right now. We have to respond to the fact that we've lost three road games by one, two, and three points... regardless of Lorenzo's situation.

We've got to respond in a positive way to the challenge of playing an undefeated in the team that is really good.

We have to respond to how we're going to play if Lorenzo can't play, and he may not play for a while. It could be a week. Who knows? That's a part of life and it's our job to handle it.

Thoughts on Miami:
They have size inside. Three legitimate, big, strong, capable post players. I think Larkin is playing as well as anybody as a point guard. His speed, his quickness, his three-point shooting ability. He's taken his game to another level.

You've got Scott, a veteran, four-year starter. You've got McKinney Jones who is a fifth-year senior that is the other wing. This is a team that is built for a lot of success. They all jump out at you really.

Thoughts on Virginia game:
We put ourselves in a position to win.

Our players have played hard. They've showed toughness and character. We're right there, we just haven't got over the hump a couple of times. That's frustrating, but at the same time we've been right there and just come up short.

I don't have any concern that our guys aren't going to play hard and compete.

Miami's defense:
They are very good defensively, and we're going to have to execute our offense. I think on the road, we've got in late-game situations and haven't scored. I think you have to keep scoring late in games.

We have to continue executing our offense late in games against a very good defensive team. We're not going to change the way we play, whether Lorenzo plays or not. We're going to try and run and push it and create fastbreak opportunities.

We have to attack them. In the two games we had with them last year I thought we did a pretty good job of that. Our bigs got inside, got to the rim, and got to the foul line. That's part of what we have to do again. We have to keep being who we are and make sure we keep getting better.

Thoughts on Leslie's play versus Virginia:
I thought Calvin was great. I thought he played really hard. I thought he competed really hard, in light of the fact that he hadn't practiced the day before. Even that afternoon he was feeling really weak... I wasn't sure. I really didn't know how much energy he'd have in the tank.

I thought he played through it, played hard. But, I think he's done that most of the time. I felt good about how he played.

Howell's passing against Virginia:
I thought Richard was tuned in offensively to how we wanted to attack the double-teams. I thought he made great passes.

More on Brown:
He's in a walking boot. I think his spirits are okay. He's a pretty mature guy. He wants to play desperately, but all athletes know if they can or can't.

I'm not going to endanger him and try to play when he's not 100%. I'm not going to do that. I wouldn't do that to him or our team, and I think that could end up hurting everything. He wants to play, but we've got to be smart about it.

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