Gottfried: "They Are A Good Team"

RALEIGH, N.C. -- NC State head coach Mark Gottfried met with the media to discuss the upcoming game against Virginia Tech.

Mark Gottfried

We tried to take advantage of it so hopefully it helped us. We were able to take a couple of days off, which was nice."

"We also had some pretty good practices. We've tried not to really kill our guys this week. We balanced it with some time off."

"From here forward we don't have any stretches left like this... those experienced periods off. It's time to play. Time for our guys to step up. Hopefully we're fresh, physically, and mentally, and ready to go as we move forward."

"I think if you're a player, the one thing you have to be careful of is to actually listen to everybody, every night, on TV. You'll go crazy, absolutely nuts because it's so fluid and it changes so much."

"As a player, the only thing you can do is concentrate on being the best you can be and play at the highest level."

"I've told our guys that you earn your way into the tournament. For us, that's all our players need to worry about."

"Hopefully we can play our best here at the end."

"I don't think we're in position to overlook anybody. We're not that team by any stretch. We've stubbed our toe enough this year."

"In our league, anybody can beat anybody on a given night."

"We want to play our best regardless of who we're playing. We talk about being at your best at the end of the year, regardless of the opponent."

"Ralston has been good. The one thing that has happened with the couple of breaks that we've had here is it's probably helped him. He was the one guy that I felt maybe with some soreness in his knees.... just looked a little fatigued to me. He's looked a lot better."

"Hopefully that will carry over to the games. I do think the extended breaks have helped Ralston, maybe more than anyone else on our team."

"I think it's hard to start freshmen wherever you play them because it's hard for them mentally to understand what it takes every single night. But they are getting great experience... kind of thrown into the fire."

" I think [Abu] has made a big jump from the beginning of the year to now."

"I expect him to have a big finish this year, a great summer, and a great year next year."

"We just have to play good... you take one at a time. We have to play well now. We've been up-and-down, all over the board. We know it. It's time for NC State to be more consistent and play better."

"Hopefully we can put consecutive nights together where we really do a good job down the stretch."

"I think he came back from that week or ten days on another level... he's certainly playing at a high level."

"He's certainly, in my opinion, played as good as anybody at the guard position in the league over the last four or five games. He's been terrific."

"They play really hard. They are hard to play against, they are going to play four guards. They are quick and shoot the three, all those types of things."

"They've been very competitive."

"They are a good team. Buzz is doing a great job."

"For us it's going to be a challenge."

"I think Lennard gives us definitely some defense and rebounding. He also gives us a good feel in there for how to adapt. Even though he individually may not be scoring a lot of points I think he helps our team score better. For right now, that's the route we're going to go."

"He played great at Louisville. He did a great job defending the ball screens, dribble hand-offs... and we're going to see a lot of that tomorrow... similar."

"I do think we defended them really well. Lennard had something to do with that."

"Even last year in practice he loved the step-back... his leg comes in the air... the nice thing was in the redshirt year, watching him practice everyday, I really got to see it more to where I got more comfortable with it. When we first started with him I wanted to take it away... I wanted him to go straight up-and-down on every shot, on-balance."

"We all started to see he makes that shot a lot... I still like the on-balance shot better, but he has a chance to make that shot than maybe some other people."

"For him to figure out how to get his shot off in a one-on-one situation he's become very good at that."

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