Gottfried: "It's Really Exciting"

RALEIGH, N.C. -- NC State's Mark Gottfried met with the media to discuss preparing for Louisville.

Mark Gottfried

"I think when you get to this point, everybody that's left has earned the right to be there and are really good."

"We have a great challenge. We have to play a team that we've already beat once, and that's kind of the hurdle for us. We have to get over that hurdle and beat a team twice, a good team, and do it in the Sweet Sixteen."

"Regardless of who else is in that region, we're focused on one team, and that's Louisville. It's going to be a big challenge for us on Friday night."

"I don't think there's any question. I do feel like our guys believe that. I do think they are a different team without Chris Jones, and I think they've learned how to play without him. Rozier has become an aggressive scorer and Blackshear is doing the same."

"They've figured it out... how to play and play well without a guy like Jones, but I also think we're a little bit different. I think we're a little bit better and we're defending really well right now."

"That's going to be the challenge for us. How well will we be able to guard them on Friday night?"

"I think it helps that we've played them, but they've played us too, so they know us. Both coaches will go back... we will, I'm sure Rick will, you'll watch the tape. You'll figure out some things you did well and maybe some things you didn't do so well and make some adjustments."

"We have to be prepared for anything that they may do."

"It's really exciting, and it's one thing for our players to make sure they stay focused in on playing the game. It's different than it was ten years ago with the Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook. It's easy to get caught up in all the praise at times. Our guys have to do a great job of understanding how we got here and what we have to do to advance."

"They need to make sure they are focused in."

"He's in the Hall of Fame for a reason. They don't just hand out invitations because they like a guy. He's one of the best coaches our game has ever seen."

"I think he's a master at making some adjustments and we have to be prepared for those things."

"I'm excited for him. I tell guys all the time, that's your job and that's why you're here. It's been hard for him this year. We've played Caleb and Cody at times instead of him. I thought he had some really good practices prior to the last two games and I thought he deserved a chance."

"Defensively he was good, and he made some shots."

"I felt like in that game, defensively, he was going to bring some things to the table. I tell our guys all the time, when you play well, usually you'll play more. Play well, play more. It's real simple. He played well, and at that point in time he deserved to get more minutes."

"Our guys understand. They want to win, but at the same time they were happy for Desmond... they like him and believe he can contribute."

"With the number of the teams in each league you're going to end up in this situation... we're playing against a really good team that just so happens to be from our league."

"It's part of the turf now with the mega conferences... it's inevitable."

"With Lennard, since that game we've played pretty well. He helps our teams confidence in a lot of different ways, whether it's defense, rebounding, or helping us execute our offense."

"The good news is right now, all four of those interior guys are all helping us in different ways. You have the LSU game, and you think of the spark Kyle gave us."

"Right now we're getting good play out of all four of those guys. I think that's important for our team."

"I think it validates what we, as coaches, feel in this league. This is a great league with great depth. We're at the Sweet Sixteen point in the tournament and I'm going to still go back and say why wasn't Miami in the tournament?"

"You look around there. You have some teams in the Big 12 that were 8-10. Here's Miami, 10-8 in our league with a 20-point win at Duke. People talk about the eye test, I'm wondering who's eyes were on that game? I watched it. They were awfully good."

"The fact that our teams have survived to this point does say something about the quality of basketball in our league this year."

"You have to win, you have to prove it."

"I would say it's parity and also you have more teams that schedule tougher. There was a time years ago where if you had 20 wins you felt like you'd get in the tournament. Now it comes down to who you schedule."

"In our league, it's tough with 18 games in the ACC. Some of it is the competition level and some of it is parity. I think it says there's a lot of good teams around the country. It's not just those teams that hang around the top ten all year long."

"You can take a nap. I usually take a nap in there and get refreshed. They are longer."

"I give myself a little more time. Usually I huddle up with my staff and listen to suggestions and comments."

"I do think it allows teams to play a shorter bench at times because your better players get more rest. It's easier to make it through 38-39 minutes in a game than in the regular season."

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