Gottfried: "They Defend You Well"

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

Opening Statement:
Well, it's a quick turnaround for us, getting back late the other night from New York an a Tuesday game. We're excited to get back on the plane today and head down to Clemson for tomorrow.

I think they are a really good basketball team. They are much improved and Brad has done a phenomenal job. They defend you well and offensively [K.J.] McDaniels has risen to be one of the best players in the league.

We have to get ourselves ready to play.

When it comes to morale can you do something to get the guys back up after a loss like that?
Not really. For us, it's not how you approach it the next day but more how you approach it all year. It's the message we try to send all year... you have to bound back and play through all kind of obstacles. You can play your way or win your way into the NCAA Tournament there's really not another solution. So you have to be ready every night. We talk about that a lot.

It's more about what you're talking about all the time. That's what will help you bounce back from tough games or a big win if you have a quick-turnaround game. There are so many things that go into that.

Kyle's game, how much was that him bouncing back from UNC and Miami?
Probably some of that, it was. He was anxious to get back on track, but he's also improving. He's getting better. That's what happens sometimes when you're a freshman. You might have a nice game like that at Syracuse and some struggles before that or after that... the hardest thing for young players is to be consistent every night.

That's something that comes with experience. It's not uncommon for any freshman to be up-and-down.

One thing about Kyle is that guy has great energy everyday. Phenomenal energy every single day so good things are going to happen for him.

His attitude is always so positive. Interesting player, you don't see that much anymore... always cheering, energetic.
He does. There are times in timeouts when he has so much, the other players, not so much trying to tone him down, but it's like, "Kyle, just take a deep breath."

He does have great energy, and I like it about him. He has a great spirit and a great attitude everyday. He's that guy that in practice you never feel like you have to say, "Kyle, you have to go harder in practice." That doesn't happen often for him, and when you do that you build those good habits, and good things will happen like they did for him the other night.

Does the fact that this game may get an ACC Tournament bye or impact the NCAA pecking order, does that play into the game?
A little bit yes, and it's something I think we'll mention to the team, but I don't know that the team is focused in on that.

This is one of those games here in a couple of weeks you look back and it may determine some things. We played Maryland and Florida State once each, and we have wins that may help us at some point. In that regard, yes, but as far as a great motivator, I don't think it's that.

K.J. McDaniels has become a very dynamic player. Can you talk about his development?
It's very impressive. His improvement in such a short period of time is something we don't see a lot.

The absence of Booker and Jennings opened the door for him to emerge. Clemson needed somebody to step forward offensively, so the avenue for him to do it was there. The opportunity to play, score more, be featured more in the offense.

It's been tremendously impressive. He's taken his opportunity and done everything you've asked a guy to do with it.

You had a streak of five road games in six games. How tough is that?
Well, at the end of the day we have to play nine at home and nine on the road. That's how we look at it. I don't get so caught up in the trend.

It is hard sometimes, especially if you have a number of consecutive road games, but you try to treat each as an individual game and not group it together.

At the end of the day we'll all play nine on the road and nine at home. That's the way we approach it.

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