Gottfried: "You Better Learn Quick"

CORAL GABLES, FL -- NC State head coach Mark Gottfried answered questions from the Wolfpack's radio crew after the loss at Miami.

You had so many players playing an ACC game for the first time on the road... what are some of the things they'll learn?
There's a lot of things to learn. We'll break the tape down and go from there.

Defensively we weren't very good on the perimeter. They drove it right by us. The things we talked about with our team, we didn't do a very good job of containing the basketball.  

Like our game with Illinois, we got away from running our offense and tried to make tough, hard one-on-one type plays.  That's not going to win for you. It's not going to win in this league, and the guys have to learn that.  Sometimes you have to learn the hard way.

We have to do a lot better job.  A lot of guys are playing their first time around the ACC, that can't be an excuse for us. We have to do a lot better job.  We have to execute our offense better, defend better, not get beat off the dribble so much... I bet we had three or four free throw blockout situations where they missed a foul shot.  

Those things can't happen for you... they can't happen at all. Disappointing for our team, and we have to figure out how to get re-grouped for our next game.

You only had two fastbreak points. How big of a factor was that?
I thought it was big. We walked the ball up the floor, that's not something I want to do. We have to get the ball up-and-down the floor more... we couldn't get in the flow. 

That's disappointing because the game became a game where we walked the ball up the floor,we  played against their halfcourt defense, and the game probably was played at the tempo they wanted to have.  It was a slow, methodical tempo... that's not how we wanted to play.  We probably played right into their hands in that regard.

Their post players were doing a good job of getting around Omer in the post. Do you think he saw a more physical brand than he's seen?
Yes, I think so. He's a freshman with great expectations around him, but he's going to learn.  Today was a great opportunity [to learn]... he got the ball right around the rim at the start of the game. He has to take it up strong and dunk the ball. He went up tenderly and they smacked it off the backboard.

At this level, you better learn quick. To win in this league you need discipline defensively, contain your guy and play fundamentally sound... offensively, your offense will help you if you run it. We got away from it too many times today.

We shot 38% from the field and I'd like to say a lot of it was their great defense, some of it was, but some of it was our impatience too... not to get the ball to the other side of the floor, have more patience and run what we run.

It was a learning experience for our guys and you better learn quick in this game.

Miami seemed focused on making Dennis give up the ball and he seemed frustrated. Is that part of it?
Yes and everyone else has film too.  They watch, scout, prepare, get ready and practice. Everybody else has a gameplan. They weren't going to allow him to get in the paint, even if that meant they had to leave a guy for three or four seconds until he gave the ball up.  That's a part of us running our offense better, getting it out of his hands. It will come back to him and those types of things.

It was a learning experience, and they did a good job of doing the things they wanted to do.


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