Locker Room Report: Mark Gottfried

RALEIGH, N.C. -- NC State head coach Mark Gottfried met with the media following the loss to Virginia.

Mark Gottfried

Opening Statement:
I think the first thought for me is I am extremely proud of my team. I thought we played very hard and we played well enough to win, outside of some chances we had offensively and we didn't score. We had a layup to tie it. We had a couple other opportunities where the ball didn't go in. I'm extremely proud of my team.

We are not far off. We are close. We are close. It is a play here, a play there, that certainly changes everything.

Obviously, they are very good--even without Anderson. They are just a poised, very mature team that doesn't get rattled. You have got to give those guys a lot of credit. They are upperclassmen and they play like it.

We are going to get regrouped and move on but I am proud of my team. I like how we are competing. We are just short, a hair short here and there.

On Virginia's offensive rebounding:
It is big and what happened a lot of times is we are doubling in the post and as we rotated it forces the guards sometimes to be in there one-on-one with their other post player. I think we took away some post moves and some one-on-one opportunities in the post, and probably what we gave away then was some offensive rebounding.

We talked about that being a key and our guards had to do a better job rebounding but so does our big guys. We had some opportunities to get some rebounds and didn't. We stood around there watching it one or two times and that wasn't good enough.

On ramifications of upcoming games following the loss:
I think every game is massively important. We know it. We don't have our head in the sand. We have put ourselves behind in a great way and now we have got to figure out a way to finish in a flurry.

We know where we are. We have got very difficult games. It doesn't get any easier. The schedule is not going to get any easier but one thing we are not going to do pout and make excuses, blame others. We are going to get better. That is the bottom line. It has got to be our objective.

On Abu dealing with the loss of life of his friends:
I just talked to him and asked him if he was okay. He said he was okay. I think this morning, early, the first thought obviously there was the unknown of what happened. Because of his faith I think even my first thought was, you don't know if someone out there is targeting somebody of that faith. That was the scary part for me early this morning when I first heard and for Malik--he is a high-profile guy right here.

I think once we learned the circumstances of actually what happened, obviously very sad, very tragic. And Malik, he was hurting but I thought--he said he wanted to play. He knew those people very well, went to their wedding.

So again, very sad and so unnecessary.I thought he did fine.

On Ralston Turner:
Tough game. He struggled. Fifth-year senior, late in the year. I know he is kind of nursing a sore knee. I am trying to hold him out of practice as much as I can.

What happens a lot of times is it is difficult to be sharp when you don't practice. It gets to the point where how much do you practice because your knee swells up. So it is kind of a fine line there. It is hard to stay sharp as a player.

So we are going to have to figure that one out here in the next couple of weeks, what to do with Ralston. He has struggled. He struggled tonight. Obviously, we need him to make some shots. He goes two-for-nine, 0-for-six from three... that is going to be hard for us.

On Flagrant One call of Caleb:
Momentum is clearly in our favor after Bee Jay's dunk, then we get the flagrant foul on Caleb, I have watched the tape. I have great respect for the crew, but I disagree with the call. I thought Caleb was trying to avoid running into him, he lowered his shoulder only because he was trying to move to his left to get out of the way.

We go from being down one to down five. In a game of this magnitude, at that point in the game, that is just huge. It is monumental.

I am allowed to disagree. I have already watched it, so I am clear in what I am saying, and I do not think that was a flagrant one in my opinion. That's my opinion. Bryan Kersey, I think he is one of the top-five officials in the nation. He saw it a little bit differently.

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