Gottfried: "We Have A Lot To Play For"

RALEIGH, N.C. -- NC State's Mark Gottfried met with the media to discuss the ACC Tournament.

Mark Gottfried

"We have a lot to play for. Obviously there is a championship on the line, and we'd like to have a chance to compete for that."

"I don't assume anything as far as the NCAA Tournament. We have to play our way into the NCAA Tournament, and if you can do that you're also playing for seeding in the NCAA Tournament."

"More than anything you want your team to be at its best toward the end and we've been playing pretty well. Hopefully this is the year we can compete hard and sooner or later, at some point, we want to win a championship. That's why you're going. That's where our mindset is."

"I'm not sure. I'm not on the committee, but I think that anybody that gets in the tournament... you can certainly improve your position, whether it's one, two, or three [seed] lines."

"If we can win the ACC championship it would change things dramatically. I think there's a lot that could happen for our team."

"We stubbed our toe at Boston College, but we had a three-game road stretch where we were at Carolina, at Boston College, and at Clemson, and we came out of it 2-1. It probably wasn't the 2-1 mos people thought we'd have, but we came out of that stretch pretty good."

"I think we can play a lot better. We're defending pretty good and at times offensively we've been inconsistent... we have spurts where we play well, shoot the ball well."

"I think we're a much better defensive team now than when we were in November or December."

"We felt like [Cat] was the guy, if he started playing better it could take our team to another level. Really him and BeeJay, those were the two guys in November and December who had to take a big step forward. Cat has, and BeeJay has as well."

"It's completely changed things for him."

"I challenge BeeJay about everyday. He's probably real tired of me, and that's fine. Maybe that was the only time publicly that I've done that. He has to take a huge step in his commitment to his body. I think we're seeing glimpses, parts, of maybe what could become really great, but it's not there yet. That's going to come with a commitment to his body."

"I watched Richard Howell when I got the job and he was 280-something pounds. He was really just a guy. Just a chubby, undersized, not very good player to be quite honest. He got down to about 240, 245 and became a first-team All-ACC guy, led this league in rebounding. I see BeeJay as a similar guy. He needs to get from where he is now to 20 or 30 pounds lighter, and muscular. I do that everyday... everyday he and I talk about it. Hopefully it's going to register at some point."

"I walk in here everyday and I look up here and I see ACC championship banners... we're here to win championships. Our guys get to play for a ring, play for an opportunity to cut the nets down... we have to play very well to do that."

"Pitt's playing different guys really. Jeter is playing a lot more for them, and Artis has become a really good player in the league."

"I think they are a lot different, but I think we are different too. That was a long time ago, that game in early January."

"I watched their game against North Carolina this morning, and they just pounded them... they absolutely pounded those guys."

"I do agree that you need great guard play, especially to advance in the tournament. I think it starts with Cat."

"Once Cat changed his game and stepped his game up it gave us a new look."

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