Locker Room Report: Mark Gottfried

RALEIGH, N.C. -- NC State head coach Mark Gottfried met with the media following the win over Boston College.

Mark Gottfried

Tell about the way you closed the game tonight:
One thing we've talked about the last couple of weeks is finishing the games better. We have to finish better because we've had some games where we haven't and we just have to finish better. Executing our press attack when we know they are going to foul us. Stepping up to the line and making the shot. Have a defensive understanding with these late-game situations. We did much better today then we have been.

TJ has been great all year obviously with 36, 41, and then today. Is there something different that he has done recently?
I don't know that there's any one thing. Here is the most important thing about TJ that I've learned having coached. He wants to win. And you know, in his mind he's not being selfish when he feels like he's the best option. Now you saw late in the game I thought it was important and crucial when they ran another guy at him and he found Desmond for three, found Tyler for a big shot.

You know, he gave the ball up when he had to because he wants to win. He's trying to make winning plays and what more can you ask of a guy than that? His efficiency has just been off the charts.

Does TJ make opportunities for himself as well as anybody that you have seen?
He makes opportunities and I think one thing about TJ is that he has amazing hands. You notice it on offensive rebounds or on rebounds period. When the ball touches his hands he gets it. Same thing if it's a loose ball like in the frontcourt. He is racing it down. Once he touches it, he's got it you know?

It's an amazing thing. He also has that unique ability to find ways to get the ball in the basket when he's gotten fouled. I love the fact today we got it to him out in the open floor, he attacked it in the break, and he either scored or got to the foul line. Especially late, I thought that was important. He's just been aggressive. We need him to be aggressive. We need guys to step up and make shots. For us to win those things all have to happen.

Are you happy where you're at right now going into Greensboro?
We are the team in my mind that has the "near miss" label on us. We've had two or three games where we have missed closely. They would have changed this whole thing. The reality is that we are not there. On one hand when you look at what we have lost to last year, and you know 80% of our scoring and those kind of things compared to this group, they have been pretty good. They have been pretty resilient. They bounce back. They are learning. We still have a lot of times when we have three freshmen, two sophomores, and all that stuff on the floor and we've taken some good steps.

I used to work for ESPN. I had all the answers. I'm looking around and seeing teams who are 9-9 and who have an automatic bid. The ACC is a pretty good league.

I'm trying to figure out why a team who is 9-9 in the Big Ten is an "automatic made it" team? This is a great league for our guys to have taken the steps they have to get here. I think that says a lot about our future. I'm excited about it."

There's been a lot of talk about TJ as ACC POY, how do you define the ACC POY in your opinion?
I mean what more does a guy have to do? Sometimes people vote early, and then hope they can get it back. But come on. I mean you have to be kidding me.

This guy, TJ Warren, is absolutely deserving of it. And you know, there are other great players. Jabari Parker is a great player. Tyler Ennis and CJ Fair. Virginia has some good players. But TJ Warren has pushed himself way out there in my opinion, and we will see what happens but I haven't seen someone who has done what he has done when his team is winning in a long time.

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