Herb Sendek and Ilian Evtimov (10:07)
NC STATE HEAD COACH HERB SENDEK
SENDEK: Certainly, we want to congratulate Wake Forest. They're really playing outstanding basketball. I thought they were especially good today. They were physical. Eric Williams did a tremendous job in the paint; we really didn't have any good counter for his tremendous presence down low. A lot of things revolved around his ability to be dominant inside.
Our guys obviously have had a tough patch here at the end of the year and a lot of attention has been drawn to that part of our season. I don't want that to take away from the fact that this team has played outstanding basketball and really enjoyed a heck of a season. So now our challenge is to rest up a little bit and regroup and prepare for the tournament next week. That's where our focus is going to be.
Our guys are still doing some really good things. In some cases we've played excellent basketball during this stretch. We've overcome some adversity with some health issues and hopefully we'll continue to heal and get better as we move forward into next week. We have a good group of guys who have consistently worked really hard. I can't tell you how hard they've worked in practice and how well they've prepared. It's not as if the focus or the intent isn't there. I really admire the way that they just keep coming and working hard. When you do that you put yourself in position to have a chance. And we've played against some excellent basketball teams. Let's give them some credit.
On how your confidence grows as you continue to advance in the ACC Tournament
SENDEK: I think you certainly can get on a roll, you can catch fire. Each day though, except for today obviously, you play a team who has also won a game, so that feeling grows on both sides.
On trying to get the ball inside early
SENDEK: Much to the surprise of many, we don't go into the game trying to predetermine where our shots are going to come from and how many are going to come from each area on the court. So much of that is a function of the defense and how they're playing us. When people are taking 3s, that doesn't mean our mindset isn't to go inside. It's not one or the other like that. It's important that we have balance and we do both, go inside, that we dribble penetrate, that we have all the fundamental concepts of an offense.
NC STATE SENIOR ILIAN EVTIMOV
On Wake Forest's perimeter defense
EVTIMOV: We know going into the game that Wake Forest tries to take away the 3. Therefore, we want to penetrate, go by their guys, make them play more help-oriented defense, and later on we will have more opportunities to shoot 3s. We do one thing to set them up to do another. That's the great part of our offense. Whatever we do, we're going to counter with something else later.
On getting things turned around for the NCAA Tournament
EVTIMOV: I just know that I have great teammates and they inspire me to try and get as healthy as possible. I try and do as many things as I can, within my control, during this period where I haven't been able to practice. I just want to give everything I have to the team and contribute in any way that I can contribute. That's part of adversity - somebody going down and somebody else stepping up. I think Gavin Grant has been playing great for us. We just need to have more guys playing well.
EVTIMOV: It's a new season starting next week. Everyone is going to be 0-and-0. It's one and done and if we have the right mindset, we're going to advance.
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