Post-Game Quotes: Herb Sendek

<B>Orlando, Florida -- </b>Wolfpack Head Basketball Coach Herb Sendek talks about Friday's win over UL-Lafayette.

Head Coach Herb Sendek
Opening Statement ...
"Well, the good news is that we won. All week long, we said that this was going to be a challenging game. Many of the analysts and pundits said that they wouldn't be surprised if NC State went home after the first round.

"Did we play as well as we would have liked? Obviously not. Louisiana-Lafayette is a good team. Everybody knows that. If you look at their scores and cover how they went through the season that shouldn't be a surprise. I was really proud of the way our guys found a way to grind it out on a night when we really didn't get any extra points for artistic beauty."

On Louisiana-Lafayette's scoring drought at the end of the 1st half ...
"I was really happy that they didn't hit a field goal for eight and a half minutes. To hold that team for that long without a field goal, having watched them on tape all week and know how they can score-I think is a heck of a testament to our guys' fortitude on defense."

On converting down the stretch ...
"Part of that storyline is that they were behind and were fouling us. So that number may be a little skewed from that standpoint. We've been a team that has been able to do a good job at the free throw line all season. That's one of our team strengths. Today that played to our advantage. We were 20 of 24 from the line."

On putting the game away ...
"The idea here is to advance as far as you can. Watching all the games yesterday, there were a lot that weren't easy. I think we're all well-versed in how many good teams there are in this tournament."

On Scooter Sherrill's health ...
"Scooter was probably available today if we really needed him. On an emergency basis, he could have done something, but he's not ready to play like he did before he got hurt. He's still some distance away from being as healthy as he ideally needs to be. We hope he heals as quickly as possible."

On the effect of the coach vs. what's in a player ...
"The credit goes to our guys. We have a very high character quotient on our basketball team. We may not always play well or be at our best, but I never question their intentions. There hearts are always in the right place."

On freshman Engin Atsur ...
"He's had a really good freshman year. He may have flown under the national radar screen, but as a freshman he has started for us just about all season. He's had some huge games for our basketball team. He's a really solid player that we count on a great deal. He made one really big basket that stands out in my mind down the home stretch, late in the second half."

On 3-pointers by Marcus Melvin ...
"Spread the word on Marcus. He's had a great season. He does everything for us. I think he's one of the best players in the country. If anything, he doesn't get enough recognition for the way he defends. This year, he's really established himself as an outstanding rebounder. One thing he's really been known for all along is his versatility on offense -- the way he can score inside and out and handles the ball for a man his size."


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