Gottfried: "We Have To Bounce Back"

NC State head coach Mark Gottfried fielded questions from the media on the ACC's weekly teleconference.

Opening Statement:
We have to bounce back obviously. We had a tough game with Duke Saturday, but I think we'll play a Georgia Tech team that's probably in my five years in the ACC their best team.

Brian [Gregory] has put together a team with a lot of upperclassmen, transfers... they are veterans. They are obviously a lot better so we need to make sure we're ready to play.

100%.

I'm curious... the Martin Twins, they've obviously played together for so long. Do they have a sense of what the other guy is going to do?  
I think they play well together.  I do think they have a great feel for playing together and trying to help each other. If one is penetrating the other seems to find a way to get open or vice versa.  I do sense some of that.

Off the court, do you have trouble telling them apart?  What's it like for you when they don't have their jerseys on.
Everybody does here and there, but I've been around them a long time, and it's much easier for me now to tell the two of them apart, just by looking at their faces.  That was even tough for me early on, but the more you're around them you can figure out who is who.

Do you have any more info on Cat Barber's knee?
Not a lot today.  It will be a wait-and-see in the next probably 24-48 hours. I don't anticipate him practicing [on Monday], but we'll kind of monitor him over the next few days.

BeeJay Anya seems to be struggling on the offensive end. Is it something people are doing to him?
I think he just has to keep continuing to improve.  He's never been a great scorer here for us, and we think he can score more. He has to work hardrer to get the ball, get open... create opportunities for himself with offensive rebounds. 

He just needs to step his game up to another level. I don't think there are things the other teams are doing. I don't think they are keying on him at all.  He just has to get better.

A lot of your scoring is coming from the perimeter and Abu has had some good offensive games.  Would you like more balance?  Or are you just what you are?
We'd love to have more balance, and we need more scoring from our interior guys. This team needs more offensive production, especially from BeeJay and Lennard inside.  There is no question about it.

Against Duke it seemed like Freeman caught the ball with space and didn't look to score.  Would you like for him to score more?
I'd like him to score a little more, but he also made some really nice passes from the middle of the floor. He needs to be an offensive threat as well.

If Cat can't go against Georgia Tech, how would you handle the point guard spot without him?
Cody would play the point.

When you see the ACC... the teams, does it seem surprising to you how topsy-turvy it is?
I think, this is my fifth year and there is no question the league is deeper and more balanced than any year I've been in the league.

If you look at the last two or three years, Georgia Tech is much better, Clemson is much better, Virginia Tech is much better, Wake Forest is much better. If you look at the league, the teams that haven't been in the NCAA Tournament are greatly improved, and the teams that have been to the tournament are playing great as well.

It just seems the league is as deep as it [has been].

What were your keys to defending Pittsburgh?
I don't know if there were any one or two great keys. Overall we had our best defensive night. They probably contributed to that by missing some open shots, but I do think we defended and put a body on somebody and rebounded the ball better than we had most nights.

A lot of people are asking what is wrong with the Wolfpack.  What do you feel this team is doing right that you could get back on track?
I think we've done a lot of things well.  We just haven't done enough to have a lot to show for it, and that's been frustrating for our guys.

Against Duke we moved the ball as well as we've moved it all year long. We had 19 assists, scored 78 points, and could have easily scored more than that.  I don't think Cat Barber over the last ten minutes made a basket.

We've defended better, we've rebounded better. We've also played really good teams too. For us it's a matter of continuing to stay with it and keep improving.


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