Gottfried: FSU A Huge Challenge

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

Opening Statement:
We've got a big challenge Wednesday with Florida State. I think they are one of the better teams in our league. An athletic team, they defend well, and they are shooting the three really well.

We had a couple of nice wins and our team is gaining confidence, but we have a huge challenge on Wednesday.

Impressions of Georgia Tech:
Brian is doing a great job. When they lost Robert Carter it put them in a very difficult place. He has them playing really hard and really well. We feel fortunate to be able to beat them.

It's not easy when you lose a player like Robert Carter mid-year. Everything changes for your team... how you want to score, how you're substituting, roles change. That's a different thing for a team to adjust to.

Ralston Turner seemed to have a good game occasionally earlier in the year and now he's developing into a consistent scorer. What has changed?
I think he's a lot more confident. He had a couple of injuries early on. He had hurt his hand at one point in time and that lingered for a while. Then he rolled his ankle and that lingered for a while too. He has had some bad luck as far as that goes.

I think he's fairly healthy now and he also realizes that our team is in need of his three-point shot at times so he has a lot of confidence with that.

What do you think that win without T.J. has done for the rest of the players on your team?
I think our players know that we need T.J., but they also learned that they can play too. They know they can and have great confidence in themselves, but to win a game without the leading ACC scorer tells them that they can be effective with or without him. There is great confidence that came with that.

At the end of the day they do want him out there and want him to be good and healthy, all those things.

Address the resiliency of your team.... coming off three straight losses, two by 30+ points. You bounce back last week with two conference wins.
It's very gratifying. I don't know that I'm surprised.

One thing about our young group is they have great energy everyday. Even after those tough losses we came right back into the gym. There wasn't any player moping around... pouting.

Our guys came right back with energy... wanted to correct the problems and have more competitiveness. When your team is that way you know you have a chance. It doesn't guarantee you anything, but at least you know they aren't going to go south. I've liked that so far about our group.

Injury update on T.J. Warren and Lennard Freeman:
They are probably close. What happens when you have an ankle injury in January or February is it's sometimes hard to get it back to 100% where you don't have any pain at all. You just don't have that much time off.

I think they both are in the 90% range... certainly good enough to play.

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