Gottfried: "It's A Really Nice Win"

RALEIGH, N.C. -- NC State head coach Mark Gottfried met with the media after the win over Wake Forest.

“I think it’s a really nice win for our team. I’m proud of our team because I thought there was a point in the second half where Wake Forest made a run, and we had some foul trouble. We had some obstacles we had to overcome, and we probably could have dropped our heads a little bit, but we didn’t."

"Our guys kept competing. They played extremely hard."

"Obviously, Cat was the difference maker today. He did a tremendous job and played at a high, high level."

"I thought we got some big baskets from Maverick and big baskets from Caleb in the first half. Malik had a couple that were very timely. This was a great team win for us. Probably not our best defensive game obviously, but we stepped up and made some shots. We had defensive stops late in the game when we had to get them, and that was probably the key for us in winning the game.”

“I think, at halftime, the only thing from my perspective was I thought we walked the ball up the floor just about every trip. Therefore, we were playing against their set defense. I thought, with Cat, if we could just really attack and get it running and push it at them, then he might have some opportunities to create some things before their defense got set up."

"I thought he was really good on the high-middle ball screens we used for him. He was just terrific there. You know he steps up and makes foul shots too, but he was a lot more aggressive with just the way he attacked the defense getting the ball up the floor. I thought it made a difference for him in how he played the second half.”

“Well, I thought a couple of things. The block was huge. The timing of the block at that point in the game was a key play for us. There was no question about that. I think, with the fouls, both teams dealt with a lot of foul trouble issues. As soon as Mitoglou got his fourth, we went right at him. We wanted to go at him to see if we could get him to pick up his fifth, which we did. That was a good thing for us, but we had to deal with something. We had a lot of guys with foul trouble. We had to overcome that. It was a tough game for both teams in that regard.”

“I think, with Cat and the emphasis this year on hand-checking on the guards, he just becomes a difficult player to guard in that regard. Today, he ended up on the foul line a lot, and we’ve had some games where he hasn’t. Especially in the middle of the floor whether it’s isolation for him or if he’s got a ball screen, in that regard, he’s gotten better and better and better at recognizing how to play from there and with his ability to get to the foul line. He’s now making the threes. He’s confident in his three point shot. He’s getting to the rim and making hard, tough shots. I thought today in the second half, he was just unbelieveable.”

“I don’t really do that, but it’s interesting for me. I really don’t ever know. He’s had this stretch, I think in the last five games, somebody told me he’s averaging about 33. I don’t know if that’s correct or not, but there are times I’m not real sure how many points he has. I know he has a lot, and I know he’s scoring, but he’s doing it pretty efficiently. We’re just in that mode where we’re ‘We’ve got to get a basket on this trip. We’ve got to get a basket on this trip.’ Whether it’s him taking it to the basket or finding somebody else, obviously he’s the catalyst. He’s the one making it happen for us. Then I get the end-of-game stat sheet, and sometimes I go, ‘Whoa. Wow. He really did have a terrific game.’ Even though you know it, you just don’t know how much sometimes.”

“Thursday was a really fun night. I was glad I was able to be there and watch it. Cat is a very beloved guy there in his hometown, and you can tell that with the fans. It’s the same way here. He’s such a likeable, popular person here. I don’t know if it carried over or not. It didn’t in the first half, but he got going in the second half. It was a good week. It was a good night on Thursday, and he backed it up with a great game. He’s playing as well as anybody in this conference for sure. We’ve got other great players, there’s no question, but it’s hard to argue that he’s not playing as good or better than anybody in our league, and he’s doing it every single night. He’s just been terrific.”

“It’s a quick turnaround for us obviously to play Saturday then Monday. They do too. They play at Duke today, so it’s hard for both teams. In a quick turnaround, there are some principles you can try to prepare for, but obviously we don’t have three or four days of practice to really get ourselves ready. Hopefully, by this point in the season, you’ve seen most everything. You’ve played against a lot of different styles, and that can help us maybe on Monday night. It’s going to be a difficult game. They’re very good. We know that, but it’s a quick turnaround for them too. They have to get ready to play us quickly as well.”

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