Locker Room Report: Sendek Quotables

<b>RALEIGH, N.C. --</B> NC State head coach Herb Sendek met the media following tonight's St. Augustine's win and here's a sampler of what he had to say.

Improvements from the first game:
I didn't think we got off to a great start, but I liked the fact that our guys battled back from that. I think our spirit and togetherness has been pretty good so far. Guys are really pulling for each other and looking for each other.

You can see improvement as each week goes by, but we've got a long way to go.

Were you disappointed in the rebounding numbers?
Yes, very much so. We did a poor job on the backboards tonight, and it's something we've been emphasizing in practice. They really took it to us on the offensive glass.

Were you expecting to have Ilian back this early?
Honestly, I did not know what to expect. I stopped trying to anticipate because we kept getting new information that changed expectations. I let it go and was determined to welcome him back when he was ready to go. I think he went an hour yesterday and we were prepared to play him twenty minutes, but he played 14 minutes. After the TV timeout we decided to ice him down.

He indicated his timing would be better this time around. Is that something you sensed?
Yes. I haven't detected any problems with his timing or rhythm where as a year ago I did. It was probably into the latter stages of January before he had his basketball senses back last year. I think he's picked up right where you'd want him to be.

Thoughts on defense:
We just didn't protect the paint the way that we needed to. We got whistled for some fouls that we didn't need to commit. We just allowed ourselves to get too isolated and we've got to do a much better job of helping each other. I think the guys' effort was pretty good, but we've got to tighten some things up there.

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