REACTION: Gottfried Talks NCAAs

RALEIGH, N.C. -- NC State head coach Mark Gottfried discussed the Wolfpack's NCAA bid with the media this evening.

Mark Gottfried

"Even though I had a pretty good feeling that we were in, I was still nervous."

"There wasn't as much drama this year as in the past."

"I'm excited for our players, and I'm excited that we've been able to get back to the tournament. It's been with a lot of different types of teams. After losing T.J. last year, Jordan, and Tyler, we had three starters that we lost."

"I'm proud of our group this year... the distance they've come from the beginning of the season until now."

"It's exciting for our players."

"Even last year when we went to Dayton we were excited to go."

"It's much different this year."

"LSU is very, very talented and very well-coached. We are going to need some days here to get ready to play."

"At the end of the day, everybody that is in the tournament is deserving. Everybody has earned the right to be there. I don't think there's a team in the field that's not deserving."

"We've got a very tough, challenging first game with LSU against a very, very athletic team."

We're playing a team that's very talented. It's nice that people say nice things, but we have to be ready to play, that's the bottom line... and to play our best."

"Keith [Hornsby], he played awfully well against us when he played against UNC Asheville and he even considered coming here when he was making the decision to transfer. I was happy to see him go to LSU because of their coach, Johnny Jones, a good friend of mine... we know him a little bit, we know his game. Great shooter, great athlete, and that will be interesting because we know him pretty good."

"Johnny was my assistant at Alabama for a year before he went to North Texas State... he got the North Texas State job from my staff. He played for Dale Brown and then coached with Dale Brown for many years. He's an excellent coach, one of the best guys I've ever worked with, one of the most knowledgeable guys I've ever worked with. I know him very well."

"We all want him to play, I want him to play, and more than that we want to make sure he's okay. That's the most important thing. He came back, he was thoroughly checked out by all our doctors. He was cleared."

"We practiced today, and he was really good. He shot the ball well in practice. He was quick and the old Cat. It's important for our team. You look back at the Pittsburgh game and he was as good as any guard in the country."

"It's interesting because on one hand we all understand how talented Kentucky is this year and how good they are, but on the other hand there's a part where you'd like to play him and take a crack at the best."

"For us right now, the only thing we're focused in on is LSU. That's what it needs to be. Our players understand it, and we're going to keep our attention right where it needs to be and that's on the LSU Tigers."

"I'm disappointed for Miami. I know the committee does a great job, and I look at some teams that don't have wins at Duke, at Syracuse, and at Pittsburgh. They went 10-8 in what I think is the best league in the country. I thought that Miami was certainly a NCAA Tournament team."

"I'm glad of the seeding that we all got, it's probably pretty accurate, but I wish Miami would have got a chance to play. I thought they were deserving."

"With Lennard, he's been really important and the biggest thing is our team plays better when he's in the game."

"I thought his year at Oak Hill really helped him."

"I haven't decided all that yet. We're going to start watching tape tonight. I've actually already watched about a half of their last game, and I think over tonight and tomorrow morning we'll all watch three, four or five of their games and we'll make some decisions."

"Martin and Mickey inside, two really highly-recruited, very talented guys. We'll have our hands full with those two... two of maybe the most athletic forwards we'll have played all year."

"LSU played them great and lost to them by two. Obviously I thought Johnny did a great job getting his team ready for that game. That gets your attention. We've watched teams get beat badly by Kentucky and they didn't do it."

"I thought LSU had a great year. I followed them pretty closely all throughout the year because of their coach, and that's one of those teams that until right now, I've been pulling for them, cheering for LSU. They've done a great job. Obviously they are very deserving to play."


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