Gottfried: "We'll Be Ready"

RALEIGH, N.C. -- NC State head coach Mark Gottfried met with the media to discuss his team and Virginia Tech.

Mark Gottfried

"I think when you get into February every game you play has real significance. This is an important game for us."

"When you look at their record, it's not very glamorous, but when you look at each game they are competitive in each game."

"Erick Green has been as good as anybody in our conference, and he has emerged into an elite player. He's got better and they go to him a lot, so we'll have our hands full with Erick."

"This is a team that is obviously very dangerous. We have to play well."

"I don't think [Lorenzo Brown] is 100%, but I do think this week was good because it's allowed him a little more time to rest and recover. He's practiced some. We've been selective with what he's done in practice."

"I don't think he's 100% yet, but I think he's closer than what he was."

"It's nothing a few wins won't cure. You've got to win. I thought that was an important game at Clemson, and I do think it changes how you feel about yourself.... we have lost some close games and gut-wrenching finishes. It was important for us to get out of Clemson with a win."

"We took Monday and Tuesday [off]. Very rarely during the year do you have an opportunity to get two days."

"We had academic stuff to do Sunday. We had a lot of academic stuff to do Monday and Tuesday so it just worked out best for us to have an opportunity to get our legs back up under us."

"I think Wednesday and Thursday we had two really good practices."

"We're not playing a lot of guys, short bench. I thought mentally and physically taking another day there was good for us."

"I think our players are at a place mentally where they know that we need to play and we need to play to our potential. We need to be the best we can be right now. I talk to our team about being their best in February and March."

"That's the goal for us. Let's play to be our best right now."

"I sat our three freshmen down and told them they are unbelievably valuable to our team right now, and all three deserve to play significant minutes. At the same time, we do have four older players that have been in this situation, in the tournament, and have advanced in the tournament. It may be different from game-to-game. It may be on a given night one of the three plays more than the other. They have to accept that. They have to understand that the most important thing is us winning."

"It's a feel, game-by-game. I've talked to them about it and understand it clearly. Rodney and T.J. are happy for Tyler. They like Tyler and saw that he played well."

"Most freshmen, they just don't know what's coming just yet."

"One, I think they've done a nice job of finding ways to go to [Erick Green]. He obviously has a confidence in his mind and a knowledge that he has the green light, which changes the way a player plays. He brings the ball in the break and if you don't stop him he's looking to score quick, so he has the ball in his hands. I think he's got better. When you watch him, he's really improved. I don't think last year he could have averaged 25 points a game."

"He scores a lot of points at a very efficient rate... he's been a very efficient player."

"I think we'll be ready defensively to try and contain him."

"I think our game in college basketball is tremendously more physical than it used to be. It's a gradual thing... all you've got to do is go grab the tape from the mid-90s, 80s and watch it. You'll say, 'Wow. There's very little contact.' It's a physical game."

"I think that Lorenzo, he just keeps getting better and improving. It's one of the things I really hated when he rolled his ankle... he was playing at a high, high level. He was really playing well and anytime you have an injury right in the middle it knocks you off a little bit."

"He's just kept getting better for us. He's better at running a team, learning when to attack the basket and when not to, and he's got so much poise... I hope he can get back to where he was, 100% and not thinking about [the injury]."

"Richard is a guy that his teammates respect him, guys in the league respect him, other coaches respect him. It's hard not to respect him because of how hard he plays. That's the ultimate compliment you can give a player, that he competes every single game. Very few nights I can say Richard didn't play very hard tonight. That's not happening with him. Any success that he's had or is having, it's hard not being excited for that guy. He's earned it."

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