TRANSCRIPT: NC State Press Conference

GREENSBORO, N.C. -- Mark Gottfried and Jordan Vandenberg met with the media following the loss to Duke.

COACH GOTTFRIED: Start off and say, you know, this is a tough one for us. My guys are really disappointed. They really believed we could win, and they played with great courage, I thought. We played really hard. We competed, and we just came up a little short.

I thought maybe we got tired in the second half. We didn't seem as fresh as we have been. The three point shooting, I thought, was a difference. They stepped up and made a number of them and we couldn't seem to make any.

Happens like that, and I still think there's something special left for this team, wherever that may be. I'm really proud of our guys. We're really disappointed but really proud.

Mark, obviously, the committee judges these things over the whole season. You have to feel like the way your team is playing now, there is no question you deserve to be in the NCAA tournament.
I think so, but I don't have a vote. I think when you look at teams, you've got to look at a lot of things and I learned the hard way back in, I think it was 2001, didn't schedule very good in the non league and we learned our lesson.

Even with this team, we lost all that we lost last year and played a really good non conference schedule. Could have lightened it up. I didn't think that was the right thing to do. I wanted to do what the committee has asked us to do. The selection committee has asked you to play a tough non conference schedule, take your team on the road, which we did at Cincinnati our second game. Went to Tennessee and won.

I think our league is a great league. I hope that we don't get penalized with our record in the league when you play in a great league like ours. I certainly think the committee I've talked to a number of members different years, not this year. I trust them. I do. I hope they really take a good look at our team and see how much better we are than we were at the beginning.

To win at Pitt late in the year, beat Syracuse. Honestly, if you win at Pitt, beat Syracuse, beat Duke, hell, you're about a Final Four team by then. It's hard to ask of anybody. We showed we certainly believe in the field of 68.

Jordan, Coach talked about how you guys might have gotten tired in the second half. Did you feel like the legs were starting to go?
If so, at what point did they start feeling heavier and did that start kicking in?
I don't think that's the case. We played hard. We came up short. There was no fatigue in us, really, even though we played two games all right. You can't blame it on playing games. That's what we're here to do.

We're not going to sit here and say we were tired, that's why we lost. We missed a couple of defensive plays and came up just short. We looked after the ball. I can't ask anything more from my teammates. Sure, we were a little tired, but it has nothing to do with the fact that we lost today.

Mark, what did you see on their defensive strategy on T.J. in the second half?
They tried to full front deny him, deny his catch, eliminate his touches. They made it hard for him to catch the ball, and it became hard for him to get it where he wanted to get it. They did a great job of switching when they needed to switch and denying when they needed to deny. They made the game a little bit harder for him than some other teams have.

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