Locker Room Report: NC State

PITTSBURGH, PA -- Several NC State's players met with the media after the win over Villanova.

BeeJay Anya

"I felt as though our size was going to bother them a lot, offensively and defensively. We went out there and we tried to exploit the matchups, and tried to throw high-low passes to our bigs. We executed; on defense we tried to use our length down there to make them force tough twos.

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Abdul-Malik Abu

"It’s something we’ve always had in us; as a front court player you take responsibility rebounding. Whenever we can do positive things and have good numbers it always benefits out team. That’s something we’re accustomed to, just try to go out there and help. It’s a good sign that everything is coming full circle, along with good guard play and good forward play.”

"We just had to keep making free throws, and keep getting stops. Defense was everything in the game, from the beginning. As long as we went out there and go defensive stops anything is possible.”

"Dez Lee is the heart of this team. He’s our brother. We listen to everything he says, and he’s the spirit of our team.”

Cat Barber

“They press, and they like to get you in the corner; coach was telling me to get to the middle of the court because it’s hard to trap me in the middle of the court. He just told me to get into the middle and create something, and we were able to get past it.”

"Dez [Lee] came off the bench, I think he’s the real MVP of the game with him scoring and defending.”

"I think Malik [Abdul Abu], Lennard [Freeman], Kyle [Washington] and Beejay [Anya] did a terrific job. Lennard and Malik both got double-doubles; Malik was a monster on the glass, Lennard too. I’m proud of those guys, they fought with us the whole game.”

"They talk about their guards a lot, but our bigs were just terrific to help us play through. They did a good job of protecting the rim, and protecting the glass.”

Trevor Lacey

"We knew they’d go four guards at some point. Coached challenged them, when they went small like that, to dominate the glass and take advantage of the opportunities. They’ve been growing every game and they stepped up, and played big for us; when everyone is contributing like that we’re a hard team to beat.”

"Coming into this game we felt like we could compete with anybody. We had a little extra boost as far as motivation with the way people were saying we couldn’t beat them or that we’re not good enough, and that we couldn’t beat them on our best day. So we had some extra motivation to come out and show that we are a good team an and compete with them.”

"Their attitude [Dez Lee and Cody Martin] has been great. They could’ve been negative and gave up on this team but they’ve been ready every night. When he [Lee] comes out there he’s just takes our energy to another level and we just try to match his intensity.”

Ralston Turner

"We couldn’t have done it without Dez [Lee]. He has hung in there all year, he hasn’t played a lot, but when we need him he contributes.”

"One thing coach Gottfried said at practice in Raleigh was that our schedule prepared us for these moments. We’ve had tough games this year; we’ve had games where we’ve had to win them down the stretch, and today I thought we were prepared for that moment.”

"It’s incredible; I’ve always watched it on TV, but never have had a chance to be a part of it. It’s definitely exciting, but at the same time we want to keep going.”

"There was one point in time when people were calling us an NIT team. There was a time in conference play when we were 5-7 and we had a tough stretch coming up. People were kind of closing the door on us, but we fought, we scratched and we clawed; we have ourselves a chance, we got in gear, and once you get in the tournament anything can happen.”

Lennard Freeman

"It felt really good because we knew they were a guard oriented team. We’re kind of a guard-oriented team too, so we knew that we had to come out and play well to give our team the best chance of winning.

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"It felt good personally for me because it was my last two schools. I still talk to most of the players now and I knew if I they would’ve texted me and said,

"You should’ve come to Villanova,” so we had to get it done today.”

Dez Lee

"I give all the credit to my teammates; if it wasn’t for them I wouldn’t be able to do what I did today, or the other night. Them keeping me positive, and being there for me, has helped me get through this and helped me get to this moment.”

"It’s really nice; I’m a senior, so I get to play again and get another chance. I’m just happy right now. I’m proud and blessed to have another shot at it, and I’m not going home.”

"My teammates told me to be me, play mistake free and be you; don’t worry about us. When I got in I was just being me and attacking, getting in the paint and driving. I’m pressuring on defense and defending, being active out there and get my hand on any loose ball. Just trying to do everything, and just trying to get my hand on the game.”


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