Gottfried: "We'll Improve"

RALEIGH, N.C. -- NC State head coach Mark Gottfried met with the media to discuss the win over Boston University.

Opening Statement:
I think there are times we can be better, but our guys continue to learn that you have to be solid, fundamental, not gamble, and not do things defensively to give the other teams advantages.

I still feel we can play better... our guys feel that way too.

We have to get Malik playing better. He's had great opportunities in there, and he's a really good player, and we have to figure that one out so he can have confidence around the rim.

We had to battle some foul trouble. Terry, playing against the zone without Maverick, is probably the one guy you don't want to see in foul trouble. It makes the game a little harder.  He stepped up and made a couple of big ones there for us.

They took the lead and we had a great run, jumped up to a 16-point lead, and we have to figure out how to extend it. Some of that was missed foul shots. I think we had three front-end of 1-and-1s we missed. That puts a lot of pressure on your defense when you give points away at the line like that.

Overall, it's a good win. We have a week where we can get a lot of practice in and get ready to play next weekend.

You mention free throws, is concentration or focus a thing a young team has to figure out with that?
I'm guessing like you are I think.  You have to step up and make foul shots. Darius has to get a little better, and Markell I think is a good foul shooter. Some of that may be nerves as a young player, but you have to make them... especially front-ends.  We've got those.

Guys won't make every foul shot, that's not my expectation, but you can't give away that many opportunities at the foul line. It makes the game too hard when you do that.

With Maverick out have you been drawing more plays for Terry or Torin at the 3-point line?
I don't think it's more plays we've been designing, I think that Dennis did a good job finding Terry a couple of times, he knocked down a couple, as did Torin. Markell knocked down a big one in front of our bench.

We had pretty good ball movement int he second half with the four guards. 

I thought the opening part of the game we had two bigs in the game and we really moved the ball well. Got some good shots against the zone and scored at it pretty good.  Then we got in foul trouble, Ted had foul trouble, and I thought we got some pretty good looks with the four guards.

I think we moved the ball well, found each other, and got some good shots.

If I gave you a Magic Wand where you can defend pick-and-roll anyway that you want. What do you want? Do you want to hedge?
It's different every time. It's different on who you're playing and you've got to be able to defend it more than one way.

We had a couple of times where guys came off at Darius and Ted, and I know they are young, but I'm not using young as an excuse.  You have to guard it better.  

They did none of the above. Of all your choices, they picked none. An A, B, or C answer and they picked D. So we have to figure it out and get better at it.

Again, I thought there were some pretty good stretches defensively.  We opened the game up really good and in the second half when we made the run I thought we were really good defensively. What this team has to do is do it for 40 minutes. On one hand we're getting better, but we still have a great deal of improvement in my opinion.

Your panic level... you're still a super positive guy.
We won the game Joe.  Come on man.  We had four freshmen on the floor at one time today.  There were four. I wish I could have a Magic Wand and make them all juniors and seniors, but they're not.  They are going to learn, and the best way is to get right in the fire, just like they are doing right now.

I'd love to blow everybody out by 20 or 25 points. That would be wonderful.  We have a young team that will get better and get better everyday. We'll figure it out.  You have a lot of inexperience on the floor. We'll improve.

I just saw Illinois beat VCU... pretty good win.  I know everybody thinks they are a crappy team. They ain't bad.  Loyola just beat San Diego State today. They ain't bad either.

Our young guys are going to get better, but we do have a lot of young ones out there and they are going to grow up fast.
Markell Johnson... your take on his performance.

The second half was pretty good. I thought he made some big shots, some big plays. Defensively his ball pressure was good. 

He still has to do some things. He had a turnover late, he missed a couple of foul shots, which I think he's a good foul shooter. He just has to take a deep breath. Overall, he played pretty good. 

Great on-ball defender for us, he's learning.  He got an offensive foul the Cat Barber way, an on-ball charge, which is nice to see with his quick feet. He's getting better. He's done a nice job.

Your thoughts on Torin's job on the boards?
Great.  He rebounded the ball, and had some big offensive rebounds. He made foul shots tonight.  He did a nice job, had a good game.

He still got a beat a few times and has to get better there, but overall, I thought he played really well.

Is Dorn slowly becoming the most consistent player on the team so far?
I don't know if he's slowly becoming. I think he's been very consistent, every night. 

I think we have a lot of guys who've played pretty good, but he's doing a lot of things for our team.  He does a lot of different things, whether it's getting a rebound, making a big pass, or helping us beat the press, he makes foul shots.  He does a lot of big things for  us.


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