Gottfried: "Nice Win Today"

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

Opening Statement:
I thought a lot of good things today and two or three things probably jump out. I thought 25 assists on 34 made field goals was really important.  I thought we moved the ball really well.   We knew we were going to play against a matchup-type zone, they do a good job with that, but I thought our ball movement really helped us get good shots.  I thought everybody moved it pretty well.

Dennis was terrific obviously, nine assists, but outside of him, everybody moved it really well.

We held them to 36% shooting. I think our defense is getting better. I like that. They ended up taking 42 3's and only made 11 of them, but they are going to make a few, we had a few breakdowns, but overall, not bad there.

We had five guys in double figures... a number of guys scoring the ball.  Terry was terrific, making three's, and I think that opened everything up, gave us some confidence.

Nice win today. Fairfield is a good team. In their league, I think they'll do well. They can score the ball, they can really score it.

Terry seems to have blossomed over the last couple of games.  Can you talk about that?
Well, I think he has a lot of confidence. Terry plays with great confidence every day in practice, and his teammates really believe in him too... they hunt for him, find him.   He's making big shots for us and defending well for us. He's doing a lot of things for our team.

If you're a perimeter player and know a team will zone you most of the game, he's hunting for that three-point shot and made some early which gave him great confidence starting the game.

What are your thoughts on Malik's play?
Better today.  Malik hadn't played well, and today he was better. He did a nice job. He was one rebound away from a double-double.  He's concentrated around the rim, got the ball in the basket, made the mid-range jump shot.

We have to get him back to playing a little bit better... today was a good game for Malik.

Expand on Henderson... is he a leader this year and should get more publicity?
I think Terry is a leader. When he does talk, people do respect and listen. That's important.  He's older, he's a fifth-year player, and he knows that.

He's had a great start to the year.

Have you seen progression against the zone from the way you played earlier in the season?
Boston zoned us pretty much the entire game, and we moved the ball pretty well, we just didn't make as many shots.  Today I thought we moved it pretty good, and when you make shots, everything looks better.

We'll see all kind of things. Teams see now with Dennis that they are going to get their defense back to try and clog up the lanes, you'll see some zone here and there. We're a team like today that has shown we can play against both.

Today we moved it well and stepped up and made shots. That helps.

Malik was in the low-post today and was effective. Does having Yurtseven in the high-post put him down there or was he more looking to get down there?
Great observation.  I think probably both. One of the things we thought inside with Fairfield is they played behind and got their hands in the air, wasn't a great shot-blocking team. 

We thought we could get the ball right at the basket, jump over them, and score. That was kind of our gameplan. Malik knew that. We talked about it the last couple of days.

I do think with Omer in there, he's such a great passer, it opens up the low-post, guys on the perimeter... he seems to move that thing really well from there.  He'll get more comfortable there too, and that will be a big plus for our team, as Omer gets comfortable. I think Malik, everybody, will benefit from the way he passes the ball.

You got nine guys with double-digit minutes today.
We're going to try and play guys and defend better. I think the depth will help our defense more than anything. I think they understand that they have to play hard, play well, especially defensively, no lapses, or somebody else is ready to play.

That will help us become a better team. I like the way we're getting everybody in there now and I think we have guys who have played really well to this point. Like Markell, I'm trying to find  more minutes for him because he's played so good this year. Maverick, gotta find more minutes for him, all those guys.

But that depends on how they play because other guys are playing well too.

What is it about Terry that you trust him against a top scorer that you face?
I think Terry is one of the smartest defenders we've had here, to be honest.  He picks everything up, picks up the scouting report, knows how to defend, he sees it really well defensively.  He's been our helper at the rim, rotates back out... he's like a clinic sometimes defensively when you watch the tape. He's a valuable guy for us and has had a great start this year.

Malik talked about that you haven't done anything yet... still have a lot to accomplish. Talk about that.
I think it's a great thing that Malik said that. They want to prove a lot. They want to do great things. They are honest with where they are.  

Our last two games, we have everybody now in there, we're scoring better, defending better... but they understand at some point we have to beat somebody.  You have to accomplish something.  I believe they think in their mind they are going to. They are realistic with where we are, know we have to get better and stay together... remain unselfish, and if we do that, good things can happen for us this year.


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