Gottfried: "I Had A Good Feeling"

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

Opening Statement:
Let me start off by saying I'm really, really proud of my team.  I just couldn't be more proud.

We've taken a few hits obviously, and I think it shows a lot about character after you take a few hits to come and win a game like this here.

I thought our guys dug down deep. Dennis made some sensational plays, but I thought a lot of guys stepped up and made big plays for us. It was a team win, and a lot of guys contributed.

I'm thrilled for my team. It gives us a little confidence now moving forward, and I'm still learning about my team.  I'm still trying to figure my team out, who needs to play, but our guys did a great job.

I'm very proud.

What led to you going with Kapita today and what did you think of how he played?
There's an old saying, "Have a hunch, bet a bunch."  I just had a hunch.

He needs to play. He's done a good job. He missed a lot of games early and he's kind of been behind, but I felt like he deserves a chance. 

I made the decision to bring him off the bench first, really that was some of BeeJay's minutes, and I thought he came in and gave us a great lift. He played really well in just about every phase of the game.

I'm still learning about our team. I wish I had the guy from day one, I don't, but we'll do the best we can. I thought Ted came in and gave us great minutes.

Could you see this coming from Dennis, especially after what happened in Chapel Hill?
I think Dennis is a tremendous competitor.  He's a fierce competitor. He wants to win every time.

I think the game at Carolina hurt him bad. I think the fact that we lost some games hurt him  bad. There's a lot of pressure on him... a lot of pressure.

He's just like me, we're learning our team. He's a freshman point guard learning all about our personnel. We haven't had everyone from day one and that's not easy for a point guard, plus a freshman point guard.

He kind of has that look in his eye sometimes where you can tell he's going to play at a high level. He pretty much has for us most of the time this year.

Today I thought he was spectacular.

When did you see that look in his eye?
It was really yesterday. This tells you something about him and our team. We get beat by Wake and we're grumpy.  I can understand the Wolfpack fans are grumpy, but we're grumpy too, all of us.

Dennis came ready yesterday, but they all did.  We came over here and practiced last night and guys were listening, guys were encouraging each other.  Dennis was... as a coach, it makes you feel good that your team isn't pouting the next day. They bounce back and they are ready for the next challenge.

I had a good feeling about today. You never know, but I had a good feeling.

How much has he had to balance when to take over and get players involved?
It's hard. He's used to being able to just dominate most games.  Teams have done a lot of things to try and slow him down, so he's learning.

You have to remember and I have to remind myself that he's a young guy. He's sensitive like everybody and wants to win, wants to compete, wants to do well.

He was just terrific.

Talk about the sequence at the end of the first half.
It was really important... Dennis made a big three and it gave us a little lift going in.

In the second half we corrected some problems. First half they got in the paint too often. They are so good at dribble penetration and attacking the paint, and I thought in the second half, especially the first five minutes, we did a good job of not letting the ball get in there so much.

End of the first half and start of the second half were so important for our team.

Malik gave you 36 minutes...
I thought Malik was great. Dennis gave him some good passes and he finished it.  He did such a great job.

I'd like to say I'm proud of my team because this is a big win for us, but my dad's back there, Joe Gottfried. My father's here, what a moment for us. To share it with my dad, I'm extremely thankful for that as well.

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