VIDEO: Gottfried Talks Virgin Islands Trip

RALEIGH, N.C. -- NC State head coach Mark Gottfried met with the media to discuss the upcoming tournament in the Virgin Islands.

I don't think Maverick practiced today, but what does that mean for his prospects?
Well I think with Maverick it's going to be day to day. We're going to kind of keep evaluating him. We're not going to obviously let him participate until he's 100% cleared by the doctors, so he did not practice today.

I think truthfully it's just going to be day by day. We'll see how he is tomorrow. He is planning on taking the trip with us. We're going to have to just wait and see each day and how he progresses.

If he doesn't play, how much does that hurt the depth of this team?
Well I think anytime you've got a starter that plays or not plays it effects your team, but I think our guys have the attitude that if we're down one somebody else better step up. That's kind of one thing I talk about, you play through everything, play through injuries. You got to play through somebody not playing and that's just part of basketball. We've got enough guys that they need to be ready to play.

You talked about it, but if you score 86 points without really many 3-pointers, one 3-pointer...
Yeah and I'll tell you, I watched the tape and we did a lot of things well offensively. The fact that we did score 86 with only making one 3 was really a good sign, so hopefully we'll be a team that's going to make some more 3-point shots throughout each and every game.

I gather with you guys, Ted against St. Francis didn't come as much of a surprise to everybody, so how satisfying was it to seem him do that for you?
Well I was happy for Ted and he was really anxious to play obviously. One thing he does every day is he rebounds the ball and plays really hard. He's like every freshman, he's learning, learning what you're doing, but he's got a high motor and I think everybody saw it the other night. He's got great energy and that always gives you a chance when you play like that, so he did a nice job.

I mean has he been at all different this week knowing that practice is ...
Well he's got pep in his step you know. He's ready to go and he's kind of like that every day though to be honest. I mean he's one of those guys that comes in here every day ready to practice, so he's done a good job.

Will he get to go on the trip?
We'll see. Hopefully.

What do you know about Montana?
Well they're pretty good. Last two years in a row Montana's went 14-4 in the league back to back, so 28-8 in the conference last two years and a lot of the same players back. They've added a really good player in Ahmaad Rorie. I actually watched him in high school a couple times and really liked him then. Signed with Oregon. Played for Oregon. They're good. I mean this is a good basketball team. We need to play on the very first time.

Then the field itself, the other teams in there?
Well I think you know obviously Creighton is a team that gets everybody's attention. The fact that they're a pre-season top 25 in some of the polls. Ole Miss I think is going to be really good. St. Joe's is going to be good. We just got to make sure we're ready to play.

Is Montana a very guard heavy, perimeter oriented?
3-point shooting is their strength. They put four 3-point shooters on the floor all the time. We got to make sure we defend the 3-point line. That's something we've been doing since day one this year. It's something that's been an emphasis for us is that we want to be better defensively behind the 3-point line, run guys off the line, and make them make hard 2's. We're going to get tested with what we're trying to accomplish. This is going to be a good test for us.

You love watching college basketball. Were you the type of guy that's watching UMass - Old Miss or Creighton - Wisconsin tonight?
I'll be watching some tape probably on Montana, but I'll be watching them all.

When you were playing at Alabama and you played somebody like Montana in the third game of the season, would coach Flip even know anything about ... is that how far basketball has changed?
Well they did a good job scouting, but I just think now days there's good players everywhere. Probably more than there was before. I've always said this too, when I coached at UCLA for 7 years, in the Western part of the United States, you know west of the Mississippi, there's not a lot of schools compared to east of the Mississippi, so a lot of times in the west you've got players that play on teams like Montana, who are really good players.

They may not have been recruited to the PAC 12, but you know east of the Mississippi that guy gets recruited by the A-10, and Conference USA, and everybody. Then west of the Mississippi you know in the WCC, the Big West, Mountain West, you guys you end up with some really good players, so this is a good team we've got to play.

Dennis... how did he handle his first weekend?
He did good. You know he wants to win. He likes winning. I think he feels like he could play better, but he's got such a good competitive spirit I think he'll be dying to play come Friday night.

Could you tell if there's any one area that he's unhappy with?
Not necessary. I just think he places a lot of expectations on himself too. You know there is a transition coming through every step up the latter. He's going to have a transition period, but he's such a good competitor he'll find a way.

Is it just reacting to what the defense is trying to take away from him?
Little bit. I think team's are loading up on him, you know, right off the bat and that's part of learning how to play at every level up the stage. They have loaded up I think defensively trying to eliminate some of his penetration, but he'll just let the game come to him and good things are going to happen for him.


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