Gottfried: "We Have A Long Way To Go"

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

Mark Gottfried

"I think we've had a really good spring with our program and into the summer, as far as the guys that were here, how hard they worked."

"We have everyone here now in Summer Session II, all our freshmen have arrived and transfers"

"We have an opportunity to now make some strides over the next couple of months with our team."

"I think we have a long way to go. Our program is certainly in transition, but at the same time, we are excited about where we can get to one day. How quick that is? I don't know, but we'll see."

"They are eager and willing to go full speed ahead and learn and get in the weight room."

"There are a lot of positive things that can come out of them being here in the summer."

"With Cat [Barber]... he's very talented guy that is extremely quick that we're really excited about. Right now, the most important thing is for him to get situated in school, get his classes started, really learn what college life is like academically."

"Learning what is expected of him on the court, in the weight room with our strength and conditioning... we can begin to work with a guy like Cat, offensive things, defensive things that we want to teach him. I think he's going to be an awfully good player over time."

"I think even in the pick-up games that our guys have played, the word is that he and Tyler really feed off each other and like playing together. We'll see how all that works out. We're excited about both of those two guys."

"You've got Tyler, T.J., Jordan Vandenberg, and Ralston Turner didn't play last year but he was here... those four guys have been asked to be the leaders every day in every aspect of our program."

"I can see Tyler Lewis already beginning to emerge as a guy that is willing to step forward and be out front."

"They are going to take pride in how our program operates. They are going to be responsible for setting the tone this year."

"I think it's important to Tyler, Ralston, T.J., and Jordan. That's been the theme."

"When you sign a junior college kid at this level, most of the time that first year is transition... if you can get one great year out of a junior college player we're lucky.

"I think that Desmond [Lee] will come in ready to go. He's an older person, he's 23 years old right now, and brings maturity from that perspective to our team. As far as how much guys play and who is in what role. I would anticipate him being a pretty big part this year of what happens with our team."

"We have to be better defensively, period. I think that starts now. We have to be a lot better. We're going to spend more time defensively than we have in the past and collectively as a group we have to get a lot better there."

"You have these new guys that we're excited about."

"I understand we have a long ways to go to be competitive, but we're excited about it."

"With T.J., we want to see him just as interested in his defense and rebounding as he is scoring. We want him to have a better grasp of our offense. He's in a completely different role this year. His team is going to need him to be good in every area, every night."

"He's a little taller, he's already trimmed his body up. He's starting to look a lot leaner, and fitter. Now with him it's about developing the other areas of his game."

"It's going to be our job as a coaching staff to make sure those other guys develop to where we don't have to rely on just T.J. Warren to score." "I go to the grocery store and the guy at the grocery store says, "hang in there coach.. it's going to be a long year for you."

"For me, I want to find a way to get to the NCAA Tournament every single year."

"We've put together a very aggressive, competitive non-conference schedule... if we're fortunate enough to get good, I want to be in a position to get in the tournament."

"Every year is different. I think it's going to be really kind of fun to get these guys in the gym. They are walking in with no idea of what's expected of them right now."

"I think Ralston is going to be a very solid player in the ACC, which he was in the SEC. He's one of these young guys that you'd hav ea hard time finding anybody that would breathe a negative word about him."

"He took advantage of a redshirt year as well as you can."

"He's a wing player. He's 6'7 and got a lot stronger. He's worked on his three-point shot a lot this year and we're hoping it carries over. He brings an element of character to our team that we're all excited about."

"I think our guards are going to be a lot further along."

"We don't have a post player that has contributed in a significant manner. Jordan Vandenberg has a little bit at times... T.J. Warren may have to play more forward for us than he has in the past."

"At the end of the season this year I put Jordan on the scales at 286, which was just entirely too heavy. He's about 262 right now, and if he's not at 250 when we start practice he won't have a locker... he's got some work to do because we need him to be good. He has to step forward as a fifth-year senior and get serious about improving and being ready to contribute. But, he's on his way."

"I'm a believer in our system and how we play. I believe we're going to get up the floor a lot. We're going to be a quicker team, but a much different team."

"What this team doesn't have right now is the proven scorers. Can we get that out of this group? We'll find out."

"I was disappointed in the draft. I thought Lorenzo would get picked higher... Calvin was all over the board. I had some teams show a lot of interest and some teams show none... With today's day of just two rounds, I think it can work out well for all of those guys."

"I believe Calvin can be a very good NBA player. I do think he'll make New York's roster, and I think he'll play for them this year."

"He wasn't a guy anybody predicted would be a first-team All-ACC player as a senior... for him he'll knock the doors down with the Nuggets. I think it's familiar territory for Richard."

"We had a really bad first half against Temple... when I look back nobody is harder on themselves than I am on me. I'm always trying to figure out what I could have done diferently or better to make that team make a deeper run in the tournament."

"We could have been better defensively. We had some young guys that had a hard time blending in. We had an injury to Lorenzo that probably changed some things from an 11-7 record to 12-6 or maybe 13-5."

"It's not the players that you miss on that hurt your program, it's the players that you sign that aren't good enough that hurt your program."

"We have 10 guys on scholarship today and one of those will be a guy that sits out this year. We have nine scholarship players." "Traditionally for me it's 7, 8, or 9 [man rotation]. If the No. 8 or No. 9 guys are really good, I'm going to play them. If they're not, I won't. I'm going to play who helps us win."

"I think our guys understand that most people are going to consider us to be pretty bad. They get that. They hear it, but we have a confident group."

All three young players are much different." "BeeJay Anya has a lot of potential. He has to lose a lot of weight, we have to do a great job of getting him in shape. His Jenny Craig program has started immediately. He'll be doing commercials for Weight Watchers here soon, but he has a long ways to go."

"Kyle Washington has a lot of potential."

"Lennard Freeman is a big, burly team player who will take charges and rebound."

"They are all different, but I think they all have potential."

"Duke, they potentially have the first and second picks in next year's draft in their two wing players in Rodney Hood and Jabari Parker... yeah [Andrew Wiggins] is probably first. So they have the second and third."

"Those two players are that good. I have to think back in my mind to who potentially had that on both positions on the wing, and that doesn't include the other veteran players they have coming back. I can't imagine anybody else being picked first in the country, other than Duke."

"I think North Carolina, Roy has done a great job recruiting the last couple of years to where they have a lot of pieces that are really talented at every position. Those two teams are going to be really high..."

"There is a lot of attention around Jabari Parker, wait until you see Rodney Hood. He's that good. They are loaded. It's that simple. We'll all have a great time trying to get ready for that."

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