Gottfried: "Tuesday Is Important"

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

Opening Statement:
Well, you always feel better after you've won a game so we feel a little bit better after winning at Georgia Tech.

We're playing a team in Wake Forest that is playing much better now than they did earlier in the year when we played them.

I think we're facing an entirely different group with Danny's team. I think they've got a lot better, and they are playing better. Codi Miller-McIntyre may be playing as well as any guard in the league right now.

They are obviously much different, much better, and we understand it's going to be a difficult task.

Since it's a while since you played them, can you take much away?
There are always things to take away, things that may have worked well for us or didn't work well. Maybe things they tried to take away... there are always things you're looking at from the previous game.

I really do think they are a lot different. Earlier in the year they weren't getting as much from Devin Thomas as they are now. He's playing a lot better. As I said, Codi Miller-McIntyre is playing at a high level. [Konstantinos] Mitoglu is making shots for them, and he's becoming a better player, as he should as a freshman.

There are always things you pick and choose, but you understand it's a different game. New coach, it may have been the eighth or ninth game for them, so they are much more familiar now with what Danny is trying to accomplish and much further along.

Do you feel like you may have extra life after the win over Georgia Tech on a last-second shot?
I think so. We'll see. Sometimes you feel like you're walking into the wind and sometimes you feel like you've got the wind at your back. It's just the way momentum is in sports.

When you have a game finish like we did, there are certainly some positives to build on. Now there are some negatives like our defensive rebounding, but a lot of positives. We hung in there. We found a way to win a difficult road game for us. It gives you some confidence as you get ready to play the next game.

We'll find out. It's a good question. This team needs to find some positive things happen for them, and I think the finish, obviously Trevor's shot, was a great thing for our team.

You challenged Cat Barber before that game. I'm sure you were pleased with how he played.
I thought that was maybe his best game in a year and a half here at NC State. I really liked the seven assists with the one turnover. He may not get that every night or 23 points.

My message with Cat is to cut it loose. I think he's played somewhat close to the vest. He's trying to run our offense, but I think in the process he's become a little conservative.

I want him to cut it loose. If you're going to make a mistake make it full-speed ahead. Let's go. Be aggressive and try to utilize his speed, quickness, and ability to penetrate.

In that game he stepped up and made some big three-point shots as well, but I hope he can continue that.

BeeJay Anya... how do you evaluate his game right now?
I think he has to get better. He's obviously battled his weight here and that's been frustrating, so he can certainly help our team. He needs to help our team. He has to be more productive day-in and day-out.

Does he need to be a major contributor?
I see BeeJay at 275 pounds, a more agile, in great shape post player. I think he, without a doubt, makes a tremendous difference on our team and probably this season, but he's not there.

We've got to do the best job we can, and we have to continue to help him. He has to come to a point where he truly wants that for himself and when that happens there is the potential to see a guy that can really make a difference and possibly be one of the better big men in this league.

How do you explain some of the wide margins, either for or against you, early in games?
I don't know that I have the answer to that. If I did, I'd make sure we didn't at least get down like in the Clemson game. Sometimes it's just the way the game unfolds.

Early in the game there is so much time left either way. Like in the Clemson game it seemed like we were down 100 and cut it to three. Then we've had games where we've been ahead and the other teams have cut it.

Early in the game, I don't know if there's one specific thing that creates that, good or bad in a positive or negative way.

Does that setup the way the game is going to play out?
When you're down like we were in the Clemson game that's much different... that was a pretty large hole.

I think your team can get down but with the three-point shot now, two or three possessions and that margin can disappear or if you're ahead or behind it can affect the game in so many ways.

If it's late in the game when you're battling the clock, gut early in the game, I don't know. Sometimes you're playing really well or the other team isn't making shots. There's many different things in the game that can affect that.

You've played 10 league games and you'll play Tuesday before a break.
Tuesday is important for a lot of reasons.

There's the conference race, NCAA Tournament hopes, but you're making a good point. We have an opportunity to get a little bit of rest after Tuesday, and we get a break on the weekend, which is different than a weekday.

Guys don't have a class on Saturday or Sunday so that gives you a chance to get your legs back under you or get away for a day or two... you can take some time off and get your team refreshed.

This game with Wake becomes important because if you can play well Tuesday you can have a nice break to get geared up for a late charge.


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