Abu: "This Is A Really Competitive League"

RALEIGH, N.C. -- NC State junior forward Abdul-Malik Abu discusses the upcoming game against Boston College.

How was today?
Today's practice was good. We got better. That's the goal everyday you know, to go out here, compete, and just to get better.

How much did you talk about yesterday's game?
We adjusted as we should but we focused on Boston College and moving forward.

Is that one of the things you learned as an older player in this league? You got to have a real short memory?
Yeah, definitely. You can never get too high, you can never get too low. This is a really competitive league. Everything counts as one. Regardless if you lose by a lot, win by a lot, or whatever the outcome is. All these games are one and we're just trying to tally up the wins.

How much have you and the other veteran players had to talk to the freshman who are probably experiencing thoughts like that for the first time on this level, figuring out that they got to get over it that fast, and get ready for the next game?
Yeah. I mean that was a big part of today too. Just, you know, not mostly Coach G, but as players in our locker room. We have a good relationship. We just try to tell the young guys, "Hey look. Short term memory. Let's get on to the next one and let's finish out this season."

Coach spent a lot of time on Sunday in the first half of the take-away screaming for you guys to run the offense. I'm guessing you spent a lot of time on that in practice today too.
Yeah, man. That's something we spend a lot of time everyday, that just lets our players go out there and execute it.

Malik you played on a team a couple years ago that started playing really well on the road. What do you think separates those teams that do well on the road, and those maybe who don't?
The biggest separation from winning on the road is just staying poised. Determination and just playing through a lot of things. Whether it's a call you don't agree with, fans ... you've just got to play it through and just focus on the ultimate goal, and that's to win.

You excited about heading home to play Boston?
Yeah, I'm really excited. I have a lot of family there, I'm going to get to see my parents, so it's going to be a good time.

How anxious are you guys to get back on the court?
We're anxious as we are for every game. We're blessed to be in a situation where we get to play out our best abilities in front of thousands of fans. It's always a happy feeling when we get out there.

What stands out about Boston College ... they beat the pants off of Syracuse and they turned a 25-point game against Duke into a 6-point one?
Boston College is a good team and it's a team that we're not sleeping on. We respect all the teams in the ACC because we feel like this is the best conference in the country. We have to go out there and handle business like we would any other team.

Being from there, did you get any interest from them, did they give you a lot of consideration when you were going up?
Definitely. They recruited me. They recruited a lot of the inner-city kids from Boston. It was tough not to stay home but I felt like I could do some bigger and better things elsewhere.

You being around out there, it's such a pro-sports town ... how difficult is it for them to get any kind of notoriety with that?
I mean, it's tough. They're competing with the Celtics, the Patriots, the Red Socks. In my generation I got to see three titles from all our major sports, even the Bruins. We're spoiled, so it's kind of tough to compete with. They're still appreciated in their own way.

What do you miss most about just Boston life in general, as opposed to here in Raleigh?
I'd say it's just different. Living in the city, things are just more fast-paced, there's a lot going on. Raleigh's spaced out, it's quiet. A lot of time to think and reflect.

You said don't get too high, don't get too low, but isn't that kind of what happened after Virginia Tech? As a team.
As a team?

Yeah, "Oh, we scored 100 points. Look how great we are, we won by 25 points."
Yeah, I feel like we got ... we felt as good as anybody would after beating a ranked team by 25 at your home court. I don't feel like that affected our mentality going into the UNC game. I feel like during the UNC game we hurt ourselves a lot, and there was a lot ... after watching the tape, there was a lot of mistakes that we made that made that what it was, you know what I'm saying?

That's what the main focus is in practice today, is to limit our mistakes and compete with a team. If we get beat, we want to say at the end of the day, "They were better today." We don't want to look back at it and say, "We should have fixed this," or "We should have done this better," so that's what we're working on today.


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