Gottfried: "We Had No Energy"

LOUISVILLE, KY -- NC State head coach Mark Gottfried spoke with the Wolfpack's radio crew after the loss at Louisville.

Thoughts on Donovan Mitchell's fast start...
I thought he played really well... Mitchell played terrific. I thought their team played well, and they obviously played a lot better than we did.

We had no energy. Zero. It's frustrating.  I tried everything I could in the last couple of days to get us off the mat a little bit, and we came out and seemed lifeless. We had no zip. Couldn't make an open shot, couldn't make foul shots.  We had a couple of layups. 

Defensively we seemed slow to the ball... slow to go get a rebound. We were slow in every aspect of the game. I'm not sure you can play the game any slower than we were.  We just had no energy, no zip.

It was frustrating for me as the coach. We have to learn... we had a nice win and came out and had nothing in the tank, and that's not acceptable.

State needs Dennis Smith to play well. Louisville sold out to stop him. Do you feel they wore him down?
Not necessarily.  I don't know that they did anything spectacular. I don't want to take anything away from them, but I just thought that Dennis struggled. He didn't have any zip.

The Dennis Smith that we saw a couple of days ago and we've seen this year, he had very little of that.  It wasn't just him. Maverick was slow, Terry was slow, Malik was slow, Omer was slow. I could go down the line. 

We had no zip. We had no zip in our huddles. We just seemed that we didn't have very much in the tank. Dennis struggled, and he's had spectacular games all year, but today we couldn't get him going... couldn't get our whole team going.

You started in a matchup zone and Mitchell was making shots, and they could get offensive rebounds. Were you searching for things to figure out?
We tried everything.  It wasn't our zone, it wasn't our man. We could have box-and-one'd... it didn't.  The X's and O's part of the game was irrelevant to me.  It was how much energy and how slow we were, with no zip.  

The answer wasn't let's do this or that... the answer was we have to play with more energy, and we couldn't generate it. We tried and at halftime I thought we'd come out in the second half with a little more. We seemed to be playing with cement boots on. We couldn't move.

It was a frustrating day for us.

My No. 1 key was the defensive rebounding and winning the war on the glass. That was one area you did compete today. What did you think of the rebounding?
It was okay. I don't want to sound like a broken record because those things matter, but unless you have some energy, it doesn't matter how many rebounds you get. You have to play, and we have to play with a lot more zip than we played with today.  Hopefully we can flush that out of our system.  It's frustrating after the game we had at Duke, but we were slow to everything. 

I'm not sure that we could play slower than we did today in just about every phase of the game. We did get a couple of nice rebounds and had a couple of stops here and there defensively.

We started the game off and everything was a jumpshot. We made a couple and everything was a jumpshot, we didn't get anything around the rim. Then around the 10-minute mark we started getting the ball to the basket better, got to the foul line, and created some things at the rim.  Even that was a chore.

I think we just wanted to find the easiest route today, and that's frustrating.

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