Gottfried: "That's What They Do"

RALEIGH, N.C. -- NC State head coach Mark Gottfried discusses today's game against Miami.

Your first time getting a team for the second time this year, how does that dynamic change your approach?
We have a game to look at, obviously our first game to figure out what things we did well and not well, to things they tried to do and things they were successful at. You also look at their last three or four games, can you put it all together?

But it does give you a little better feel that you've played a team one time and the fact that we've lost to them once. Should be extra incentive for our guys to get that one back. That's kind of our ... where we are mentally with it.

Has Miami gone to more small ball?
A little bit. But I think with Miami, right now, they're doing a good job when they've played well. Putting the ball on the deck and driving hard to the rim. They are attacking the basket, they're trying to beat teams off the dribble, left and right. That's been a weakness of ours and we gotta do make sure tomorrow that's not something that becomes a real factor.

That's what they do. They do it pretty good. When they've done it really well, they've played very well.

Is it hard to keep Ja'Quan Newton out of the lane? With all those ball screens?
There's a lot of them. I don't know if it's just him. I think it's all of them, together right now. They're all putting on the deck pretty good, even their forwards, catching the ball around the free throw line, they're putting it on the deck and going hard to the basket as well. That's where we have to make sure we do a good job.

Any updates on Shaun and Torin?
Shaun is still out. He is in the concussion protocol. I think Torin is feeling a lot better today, so it'll be nice to get Torin back when he is able to play.

Is that a game, the Miami game, that Dennis might have learned from, in terms of he may have tried to do too much with his own scoring, whereas he's had some other games like Wednesday, where he really, really shared the ball?
Yeah, I don't know if I would look at it like that. I just think that as the year has gone on he's learned a lot, he's seen a lot. Every coach, I think has had a different philosophy on trying to do something to contain him a little bit. We had a game down there where we couldn't make a basket for a long period of time and we had the ball right around the rim a number of times, still couldn't get it in the bucket. Sometimes that happens.

I think Dennis will be ready to play, he's played very well and played differently and played very well a lot of time. I think he will be ready to go tomorrow.

They've had two games in the past couple weeks where they haven't played a good 40 minutes, but they've played a fantastic first 20 minutes against Florida State and against Duke...
I just think that this a hard league. I don't know, if there is any rhyme or reason or any absolute thing you can point to that makes a team play better in the first half or second half. I just really don't. I just think our league this year is that deep of good teams. They're one of them. Miami is one of them to me. That's a really good team.

You said before, this season you thought Dennis was the best point guard in the country.  Obviously there's a few good ones, do you still feel like he stacks up with those others... particularly the kids in his class?
No question. I think Dennis Smith is the guy. If I was an NBA team, I wouldn't pass on him. I would not pass on that guy. I think he has that kind of future. He can be a guy he can build your franchise around. I've told a number of people in the NBA that already. Careful if you pass on that guy, I think he's going to be that good.


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