MEDIA DAY: Mark Gottfried

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

Mark Gottfried Press Conference (AUDIO)

"I think we're a very unproven team. We've got a lot of unproven players that need to make a major step forward."

"When you have an unproven team with a lot of players who have potential, that makes it kind of fun. It's fun to see what this group can become. We're excited about that."

"I'm excited about our young guys. We have seven freshmen and sophomores who have a great opportunity."

"I think we're a team that has to replace maybe the best scorer in all of college basketball last year, T.J. Warren. That's difficult to do, but we have some guys who collectively want to step up and show that they can do some things at this level."

"I'm excited about it, our players are excited, and they are anxious to start."

"Our schedule has a made a difference as far as us being selected to play in the NCAA Tournament. The league is going to be as deep and as good as it's been in a long time."

"It's time to throw it in the air, go to practice every day and get better."

"When you look at our team, you can go piece by piece."

"I believe in Cat Barber, but it's time for him to step up to another level."

"You look at all our interior guys... for the most part they had moments, they did things well, but now they are expected to do much more. They've got to do much more."

"They are unproven at the level they need to be at."

"Cody and Caleb, both guys can figure in for us playing."

"Trevor Lacey is new to this league... he needs to prove that he's one of the premier guards in the ACC."

"Last year we had the luxury of having a player like T.J. Warren bail you out of tough situations... get you a basket."

"BeeJay has done a really nice job, he's lost between 50 and 60 pounds. That's only step one. Now it gives him a chance to become a good player. At 350 pounds he had no chance... now it gives him a chance to start the process."

"That's not the end-all, that doesn't mean he's ready to dominate the ACC... he's an unproven player. The fact that's lighter helps him."

"His stamina should be better, his conditioning should be better, and I think he can still lose another 15-20 pounds. Now we can really start with him to improve as a player."

"We have to be better defensively to help ourselves win. It was a point of emphasis this summer. You still want to be a really good offensive team. We're not going to be a team that plays the game in the 50s every night, but we can still be better defensively than we have in the past."

"I think [Trevor Lacey] has a great basketball mind, he's very unselfish. I think he enjoys passing as much as he does scoring. The ball moves when he's involved in the play."

"I really like that he's one of the players that, because he understands how to play, it gives the coach a great feeling of trust in him."

"I think he has a chance to be special. He has a great feel for how to play."

"Winning is important to him. His teams have always won. Those are some great attributes to have as a player."

"Now he has to learn how to be a true lead guard and a quarterback. [Barber] is listening... learning how to get the ball to guys in the right places."

"It's time for him to take that next big step as far as his play as a point guard."

"I do think Trevor has tried to lean on Ralston somewhat."

"Collectively that group of interior players should be better offensively for us."

"Desmond now has a year under his belt as a junior college player... all those guys need to take one big step forward."

"You can see a team that should be balanced scoring. I don't know that this team should have to rely on one guy to score."

"This year's team should be a lot more balanced."

"Competing against one another every day always makes them better."

"Desmond had a really good summer... he can be a terrific defender... I think he understands what he has to do to help us win. I'm excited for him. I hope he has a great year this year as a senior."

"It will take [Caleb Martin] some time. We were very conservative with him during his workouts."

"He hasn't played with our players a ton... it's not something he can't overcome. We start practice Monday and he'll be full-go."


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