Gottfried: "We Have Great Kids"

RALEIGH, N.C. -- NC State head coach Mark Gottfried met with the media after the loss to Notre Dame.

Opening Statement:
That's a good Notre Dame team. The reason they are good is they shoot it so well and they play like a veteran team.  My hat is off to Notre Dame. Mike's done a great job with his team.

We're disappointed, no one is in to moral victories, but I saw some fight today... I saw some fight, some spirit. I think we got a little bit of that back. I'm really proud of our young guys... it's been a tough couple of days, no doubt about it.  Tough for them, and that can go either way. I thought they came out and showed great spirit.

We're a play here or there. Right before half it was a six or seven-point game and we have a couple of plays where guys don't know what they are doing or not executing and they get a couple of shots and it goes to 13. How many times has that happened this year? It's kind of been the story.

We executed... I think we shot 64% in the second half, they shot 41. The difference was the three-point shooting, Beachem more than anybody.  

I'm proud of my team. We have to move on... I saw a team in the locker room that can do some damage in Brooklyn, the tournament, if we just keep our spirit alive.

Three-point shots... coach Brey said they played good perimeter defense.
I thought we had some good looks too and just missed them, really did.  Maverick had some good looks, Terry did early, Dennis did early. Who knows?  Their defense or us missing. We had some good looks and missed them. 

Sometimes you still have to make shots. We can talk about all this stuff, but you have to make shots when you're open.  We had some chances. On the flipside, they did and that was pretty much the difference of the game. That's what separates them this year, their ability to do that. 

They're a veteran, old team and that's what good teams do.

What were your emotions like when you had to talk to your players after learning about the firing?
Well, it's hard to be honest. It's not an easy thing. It's difficult. I can disagree with Debbie, but that's okay. I work for somebody. It's just like we all do, we all have a boss. Once I got over that, my job is to still lead our team.

Life's hard, things happen. I need to be an example for how I respond. Tough things happen.   My whole focus that day and today is our players. That's all it's about. I want those guys to have success. We got close today but just couldn't get it done.

During the game you're not thinking about next year or are their moments like driving where it can be surreal?
I'm a human being guys. I'm real just like if someone told you they aren't bringing you back in a month, you'll start to wonder what's next.  I do.

I want to coach. I look at our run at Alabama, Murray State, and here. I'm proud of some things that happened here. Amazing things happened here... unbelievable, fun things.  

Disappointing too. I'm going to roll on when that time comes, but right now I want to see if I can help these guys somehow... just a little more to get over the hump and have some success on the way out.

These guys fought today... I thought they showed spirit, toughness, and will. 

We're going to keep fighting. Our guys showed that today. I was proud of them.

What does it mean to you that they responded and fought the way they did?
We have great kids. Their futures are bright, really bright, because of their character.

We don't have a guy on our team that I ever worry about going out and doing something that embarrasses NC State University. They are good kids, good young guys, and I'm proud of the way they responded today.

This has been a hard couple of days for everybody, them too. I'm proud of them for that.

If NC State was to be offered an invitation to the NIT would you accept that?
Absolutely play. 100%.  It's not even a question for me. The guys would want to play, we'll play. We'll see what happens.

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