Gottfried: "We Have To Get Ready"

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

Opening Statement:
We have to get ready for another game. We're disappointed... had a tough, emotional loss last night.

In this league you can't hang your head very long. You've got to be ready to play. We're going to be excited to play Clemson next.

We're getting ready to move on and mentally get ourselves ready for the next game.

You've played Duke and Virginia at this point. I saw you play Virginia well for 35 minutes or so. Can you give your impression of that matchup?
I'm going to put on my ESPN analyst cap for you on this one.

Two teams that are potentially Final Four teams. I think both of them are. Both are capable of maybe winning the national championship.

The one difference, Duke has Okafor and he makes everything different because he commands so much attention in how you want to guard him.

I think Virginia, they are a hard team to beat because the don't beat themselves. They aren't going to make defensive mistakes or have poor rotations on defense... take ill-advised shots. You have to beat them. You have to step up and make some really good plays.

I do think Okafor makes a difference for Duke. That guy is unique... not very many of him.

It will be a great basketball game.

Since the Pitt game Kyle Washington has stepped up his game. How do you evaluate what he gives right now?
A lot of time what happens is that sophomore year you gain some confidence. He's played in enough games right now and has a good feel... he's developing very well.

Offensively, he's a confident guy. He can score around the rim and now he's knocking down a 15, 17-footer really good.

He plays so hard. He's a great competitor. I think he's developing really well.

Same question on Abu... between those two they give you scorers behind Lacey and Turner.
I think both of them are starting to score more. Malik is the one guy that has taken great strides and a lot of it is confidence. So many times young players come in and are in a hurry.. going so fast.

Sometimes it's getting comfortable, relaxing, and you play at a high level. He's gaining confidence in his scoring and ability to get to the rim. He's done a nice job. He's improving for a freshman.

Possessions continue to go down and scoring is at a premium in college basketball. Do you think the slow pace is a problem?
No, I really don't. Last night we had a game with Notre dame where both teams went up and down pretty good.

I think it's game-by-game. I think it's coaching style. I've heard a lot of people talk about how we have so much technology at our finger tips, and I think there is some truth to that.

I think the scouting has gone through the roof where you almost know every tendency... every play, out-of-bounds play, every set... whether a guy likes to dribble to his right, left, one-handed, two-handed... it's unbelievable.

I think that has slowed the game down a little bit offensively, but I don't think college basketball is in any place of despair or scoring numbers. I think people make a little too much out of all that stuff.

The game is a great game to watch.

Go through our league... the fan attendance is unbelievable. I'm just not a guy ready to press 911 on this.

Do you think those rules have addressed physical play... have they had a consequence?
Not really. I think in November a year ago every time we bumped somebody there was a foul called but that's gone by the wayside.

We're back to where we were. College basketball is a very physical game. I'm not looking at the game like we're in some place of despair at all.

Your three-point shooting is down in the last four games.
I think because we shot it so well early teams are paying more attention to it. They are closing out to our shooters a little quicker and putting bigger defenders on our perimeter guys. I do think there's been an affect on that... I do.

I don't know if that's 100% of the reason. Sometimes you make or miss them. It's kind of like my golf game. I can go and play better than I really am, but over time I am who I am and it gets to where it's supposed to be... my handicap.

I do think we've been defended a little better because of how well we shot it early on.

A lot of your three-point shooting comes from two guys, Turner or Lacey. How much would it help to find a third guy?
It would be wonderful.

Caleb Martin is a guy who has shot it well for us at times. He hasn't made a ton of them. Last night he made two three's, which is good.

It definitely would help, no question.


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