Teleconference: Mark Gottfried

NC State head coach Mark Gottfried fielded questions from the media on his weekly teleconference.

Opening Statement:
Well, any time you win a game, you feel a little better about yourselves. I'm sure we feel better today after yesterday's win at Clemson. I think we also realize we have a long way to go. We have to reintegrate Lorenzo back into how we play, get everybody else on the same page.

This week where we don't play till Saturday probably comes at a good time for us.

I wanted to ask you about reintegrating Lorenzo. Does Tyler Lewis' role change from what you saw from all the minutes he got to play when Lorenzo was out? Do you go forward using him differently than you might have before?
I think so. I think that he earned the right to play. He's been very reliable. He's played pretty effective. We obviously need all of our guys. We only have eight scholarship guys. They all need to contribute and play. But I definitely think that Tyler has earned the right to play.

Y'all have lost several heart-breaking games in the ACC. To win one like you did after the close losses, does that change a mindset of a team in late-game situations? Does it give you confidence that maybe wasn't there?
I'm not sure because I think our team was pretty confident. We had two games where it was I don't want to see a freak play, but it was a tip-in with less than one second, 0.9. Sometimes it's the way the ball bounces.

I don't know that we had a lack of confidence. Certainly when you win, that certainly helps, but I'm not sure that's that big of a deal.

Is there a key to, as you say, reintegrating a guy? Is it more getting him to doing the things he was doing or everybody adjusting to him being back in the lineup?
I think just adjusting. Also, like I mentioned before, Tyler played so well when he was out, I don't want to just put Tyler back on the bench and play him four to eight minutes a game again. I think he's proven that he can help us some, too.

Like I said, you want to get Rodney and T.J. playing very well, Jordan as well off the bench sometimes, and also Tyler. We need to put that together.

In the cases of Rodney and T.J., are they hitting a freshman wall this time of year in February? Anything that you can see in particular?
No. I think yesterday's game was a unique game because of some matchups. I thought Tyler played well in the first half there. We went with Tyler more. There's been other games where both Rodney and T.J. have played more in the second half.

I don't know that that's going to be a pattern for us. Those guys have played awfully well this year.

Will we see much of a Tyler Lewis, Lorenzo Brown backcourt at times?
At times, yeah. We'll see.

Lorenzo started his career as a wing guard. Is he as comfortable in that role now?
Yeah, he's a point guard. There's nothing wrong with having two point guards on the floor at the same time. Lorenzo can score. There's sometimes things you gain in the break, those types of things. We'll just kind of see as we move forward.

But, yeah, I think they can play together very nicely.

You have about a week off. Is it coming at a good time for you?
Well, I don't know. You never plan it. You don't control when the week comes. Whenever it happens, you have to try to take advantage of it.

I do think for us, it's the middle of February. We got to be awfully good down the stretch. This does give us some time to mentally get refreshed, maybe take another day off this week that you normally wouldn't have, just get a little bit of rest.

I think it does probably for us come at a good time.

Basketball is a game of streaks in games, team gets hot for four or five minutes. Is it like that in a season, too? You had a 10-game winning streak, were playing great. Some is dictated by the schedule. You were on a great roll, then hit a little rough patch. Do seasons have streaks like games do? Do you see that as a coach?
Sometimes. Not always. And things happen throughout a season. It's a long period of time. You have injuries that affect your team. You may have stretches where your schedule becomes very difficult.

There's a lot of things that happen throughout a season. I do think that's part of it. I think if you want to be a good team, you have to be able to withstand those type of things, obviously not have too many lulls.

But it's hard to go from November the 9th till the second weekend in March where you're always playing at a high, high level. That's difficult for all teams.

Obviously you want to time it so when you get to March, that's when you're playing well. You did that last year. You were on the upswing going into post-season. Is there any way to calculate that? Do you downplay emotions mid-season to save it for March?
No. I think if a coach had the corner on that market, you could bottle it and sell it. There is no magic dust that you put on your team at the end to make them play better. Sometimes it's the team's personality. Sometimes it's where your team is. Last year our backs were against the wall there with four games to go. They responded.

There's just so many different factors. I don't know there's one or two things a coach can do to magically make his team play well at the end. We'd all like that, but we're not good enough to orchestrate that every time.

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