AUDIO + QUOTES: NC State Press Conference

WASHINGTON, DC -- NC State's Mark Gottfried and Cat Barber met with the media after the loss to Duke.

AUDIO: Mark Gottfried, Cat Barber Press Conference

COACH GOTTFRIED: Well, I think that was a heck of a basketball game, great college basketball game. I've had a lot of teams. I've been head coach for a good while now. I've had teams that's won more games in a season, but I'm not sure I've ever been as proud of a team. I told them that I'm extremely proud.

We got a group of guys that never quit. They kept coming. They kept trying. We come up a play or two short. But their effort was amazing to me.

We had chances probably where we could have laid down. We didn't. Our guys had to battle through a lot of issues. Cody was limping around. Lennard is limping around. Cat was hurting. Maverick is limping at timeouts, holding his foot. But, boy, our guys just kept coming. I couldn't be prouder of a group of guys.

Duke stepped up and made some good shots. They made some big ones, tough ones. Got to give them credit. But so did we. So did we. That was kind of like a prize fight going at each other, they're scoring, we're scoring. I think it was a heck of a college basketball game.

I'm extremely proud of my team right now.

Coach, on the last possession about 30 seconds to go, what were you trying to do there?
COACH GOTTFRIED: Well, we ran Maverick off our baseline screenplay, our corner play, they defended it pretty good. I thought Cat made the right decisions. There's still enough time, even though we're down three. He made the right decision, penetrated, dropped it off.

We got to be able to catch the ball right there and score it about 11 seconds to go. If we score it there, we cut it to 1. We have a timeout left. We can foul. They have to make a foul shot.

Cat made a heck of a play, penetrated and dropped it right off there. We just got to be able to score that ball, cut it to 1.

Maverick was our first option. But when he wasn't open, Cat made a great play.

Coach, that was the highest-scoring game by two teams in 21 years. What was it like to be part of that? What generated the fast tempo?
COACH GOTTFRIED: I don't know if there's any one thing. You have two teams that know each other pretty good.

Even at halftime we're saying they have to guard them a little better, and they're probably saying, We got to guard NC State a little better. Both teams were good, making shots. Both teams played with great confidence.

I don't know if there's any one thing.

I do believe it's a great college basketball game. Good athletes on the floor. Good players going at one another. Great college basketball game. Unfortunately for us we just came up a little shy.

Cat, after you had the arm sleeve on, what adjustments did you have to make? Do you feel snake bitten with the injuries you had playing Duke in your career?
CAT BARBER: Yeah, it's crazy. It's like I always get hurt when I play Duke. I can't use that as an excuse. Put the sleeve on, go back out there and play. It is what it is.

Did it affect your game?
CAT BARBER: No, not for real.

Mark, you talked about this team. In terms of NIT or CBI, any talk about that?
COACH GOTTFRIED: We'll see. We'll wait and see. That's a decision that we'll make.

I think the most important thing right now for us is we need to go get healed up a little bit. We're in timeouts. Lennard is limping all over the floor. It's like a MASH unit in there. Cody, he sprained his ankle a little bit early. I know Cat is hurting, but he's not going to use that as an excuse. Maverick. We got to get healthy. Then we can make a decision what's best for us to do right now as we go forward.

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