Gottfried: "They Played Great"

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. -- NC State head coach Mark Gottfried met with the media following the loss to Wake Forest.

Mark Gottfried

On whether the comeback after being down by 24 points wore out his team:
I don’t think so. I think we could have played a little bit longer. We actually needed a few more minutes on the clock. I thought we played hard all the way to the wire and even on the last turnover, with nine seconds [left] they miss a foul shot.

We’ve got to take it right to the rim, down four, and see if we can get a quick two. [Then] take the ball out, we had one timeout left for that play, but we turned it over. Our guys, I don’t think they ran out of gas. I thought they played really hard. We just had too big of a hill to climb.

Have you ever had a team [this] Jekyll-and-Hyde?
We can be great, and we can be bad. We are kind of all over the board. I have coached a long time now and I’ve had teams, especially young teams, that do that. The consistent part of the game is tough.

Just like [Abu] tonight. I don’t think Malik could have a tougher night than he had tonight. He has been really playing well and tonight he was really bad. He will bounce back and sometimes that happens when you’re banking on a lot of young guys like we are. We’ve been all over the board.

Even within the game, we can be great and we can be bad. We are going to grow up and we are going to keep growing up and take it from there.

On Cat Barber:
He is playing awfully well. He did it the other night, our last game. He is shooting the three with confidence right now. Our team is kind of one of those teams, we went through a stretch where Trevor and Ralston were scoring a lot and Cat was struggling, Malik scores better. Here comes Cat and Ralston struggles. We can’t get it all together very many nights.

But Cat’s play the last two games have been terrific. I thought he did a good job. Codi Miller-McIntyre is a really, really good player; I mean a terrific player. He is strong, he is tough to guard. Cat, I thought, physically he is under-matched at times against him. He did a nice job and gave it a great effort. Cat is doing a nice job for our group.

On play of frontcourt:
They’ve got to be more productive. We settle for jump shots. We didn’t take it strong to the basket. Defensively, [Devin] Thomas posts up right there deep around the rim a couple of times. Malik had the ball three or four times right around the rim and he can’t find a way to get it in the basket and I understand that he is a freshman but we just have to be better than that. That hurt us. We just didn’t play [well], especially inside.

On Wake Forest’s shooting threes in first half, [Which team is responsible?]:
I think it is a little bit of both. First of all, you always look at yourself first and say, "God we must have been terrible." Some of it is us, some of it is them. They stepped up and made just shot after shot after shot. It was amazing.

They made nine threes, they only made one in the second half, and we talked about it at halftime. Obviously, now you are nine threes behind. They shot it well.

As much as I’d like to, in my mind, beat up my own team, I want to give credit to them. They played great. I have watched every tape, every game they played. That might be the best half of basketball, that first half that they’ve played. I don’t know if Danny would say that or not, but it certainly seemed that way to me. I am not sure they have played better than that. That was as good as I have seen them play [and] shoot the ball. [I’ve] got to give credit to those guys.

On whether a four-guard set would be considered for a starting lineup:
Yeah, maybe, but it is tough defensively too. It depends on who you’re playing against and how you’re going to guard somebody.

We’ve traditionally played with two big guys and with the way Wake plays Mitoglou and even Leonard sometimes, it puts us at a little bit of a disadvantage. Because we have got a forward chasing those guys around the three-point line.

Now the answer is if you go down on offense and punish them, then it is good. But if you are bad offensively and you are at a disadvantage defensively, it is time to make a change. That is what we did at half. I said, "I am not playing that anymore. I have seen enough of that."

We will see. We will look at it.

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