Gottfried: "We Just Have To Get Better"

RALEIGH, N.C. -- NC State head coach Mark Gottfried met with the media to discuss the upcoming game against Appalachian State.

You have played nine games but does it feel like the season is starting?
I think there is a little bit of a feel like this is kind of a new beginning. I think most teams have been whole since the beginning. I think we are starting to feel as a team that we are getting a lot more pieces together.

Maverick has a couple of good days now, he has a game under his belt. Ted seems to be getting more comfortable. Omer is just excited right now. He is excited to play and I think his teammates are excited for him.

We are going to go through a period right now where we wish we would have back in November but it is what it is and we have got to get ourselves whole and ready and figure out how we really need to play and this is a good time for us to do that.

What adjustments will Omer have to make?
I think there are a lot of adjustments that Omer will have to make. We forget two things: One, he is an international player that has played in the FIBA system and he is a freshman. He is young. He is going to have a learning curve like every other freshman in America.

It would have been great for him to only sit out a couple of games but it is what it is. I keep telling myself and my staff that I have got to be patient too because I kind of want him to be a finished product on Day One. That is not going to happen. It is going to take a little bit of time.

What are your expectations?
I think with Omer we just need to get him in and get him going and get him comfortable to play.

He's learning American basketball like some international players do... it's not going to happen over night.

How crucial was Anya’s game Saturday?
I told our guys the best thing is there is competition at a lot of different spots on the floor. Competition, I think, is going to make our team better.

I thought it was very important the way BeeJay played the other night. One thing I was really proud of with BeeJay was he had some games where he didn’t play a lot and his attitude was never negative. He was positive every day in practice and I think he wants to contribute any way possible.

We have to make sure everyone has a good mindset... we had two competitive practices back-to-back.  The guys went at each other pretty hard.

Are you happy that you get Yurtseven before conference play?
Personally I was not very happy with the decision. When the decision is made you have got to accept the decision and move on. Certainly for him and for our team, we are at the beginning right now.

We can be a different team in January and February than we were early November just because of all the pieces we have. We have got to make the best of it and I think our guys are excited to get Omer in there. 

I know Dennis is excited for him to jump in there and play.  I think it's all going to end up being really good for him.

What do you specifically want to see from him?
I'd love for Omer to have a great game scoring and rebounding, all those things. We've watched him closely and know what he's capable of doing and what he can become throughout the year.

I hope he gets comfortable quick. He needs to get comfortable with his teammates and comfortable with the environment.

The way he passes the ball, he can score inside, he makes jumpshots, he can rebound the ball for his size. There's so many things he can do.  We just have to get him to where he feels comfortable about how he fits in.

Is there one specific thing you want to see?
I don't know if there's one thing.   I think we're certainly trying to win the game and however that plays out, whether it's a lot of minutes for him or a few, we'll see.

I just want to get him comfortable, to where he feels good on the floor and I think every game it will grow from there.

Are you concerned with the close wins?
I'm not concerned with that. I think we can get a lot better in a lot of areas. We can get better defensively. I think we took a major step forward in our last game with that.

There were times we were very young and will be very young at a lot of positions. We just have to get better... better at working our offense, getting good shots, better at defending, better at rebounding... all those things. We're far from a finished product and I think we're a team with a lot of room to grow.

How much do you see Omer playing?
I think it depends on how he plays too. I know he's a very good player, but he like everyone else has to play well. Part of that is getting comfortable on the floor

I don't have a set thing in my mind... 20 minutes, 15, or 30.  Nothing set in my mind, get him in, get him comfortable, let him grow.

Our number one job is we better win the game, and the next game after that.  Integrating him in, getting Ted more experience, getting Maverick back to where he's comfortable. We have a lot of those with our team right now so we have to make sure we keep getting better every day.

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