A lot of build up entering the season opener. What will it be like for you?
Actually my first game was really it for me. This game really is no different. The first opportunity to step on the floor as a coach here at NC State... it was quite an interesting and exciting time. Now that I've done it, it's really no different. We prepared for that game just like we've done for this game.
Coach, talk about how it is to establish a program.
That might be a difficult question to answer because it probably varies from coach to coach. Establishing a prgogram, we've been established. NC State, our basketball program has been established.
As far as my era here, we're trying to go out and compete and represent our school... try to win games and do it in the right fashion, with some class and some dignity. We know it's a tough challenge in the ACC, but this is what it is here. This is the basketball mecca, I think, in college basketball. Obviously, depending what happens in your program, it sort of takes on I guess a life of its own.
NC State is the program. It's not Sidney Lowe. It's NC State's program, and that's the way I approach it.
Thoughts on exhibition play:
I think we've played very unselfish, very unselfish basketball. Guys like Courtney Fells, who we know at times can really go off and make shots for us, really moved the ball around extremely well. He went and he got rebounds, he got steals, he played defense. Brandon Costner, he rebounded, he played defense, just very unselfish.
The fact that we were able to turn it up at times in the ball game on the defensive end, that impressed. We would rather have that going all the time because we know that's something you can do every game, but I've been impressed with the fact that when we've needed to we've got it done.
Thoughts on Gavin Grant:
I think what you're seeing is his versatility right now, his ability to play really three positions. That's 3,2, and 1, which he's had to do for us. That's something he's capable of doing. Can he do it for 40 minutes all year round? That still remains to be seen, but certainly in times when you need him.
It gives you an advantage there because of his size. We ran a couple of sets for him at that posiition where he was abole to take advantage of that. I think his skills, his talent, is really unlimited. He can put it on the floor, he can shoot from outside, he can pass the basketball. I think right now we're starting to see some of that.
He's always on the attack... there are going to be times when he might make a play that I may not agree with, but I know it's going to be an aggressive play. The nice thing about it is when he makes a mistake he turns and acknowledges it right away.
It's like a new point guard, teaching a guy how to play that position. He's got ballhandling skills, but to play that position it takes more than that. I would say 70% of it is thinking the game, and I think that's where he's making his biggest adjustment because the other areas he is pretty good at.
Thoughts on Ben McCauley:
I've been very pleased with Ben. He comes to work everyday, he comes to practice everyday. He's out there busting his tail. He's defending, he's rebounding, he's running the floor. He's doing everything I've asked of him. He's done a tremendous job for us.
Thoughts on Bryan Nieman:
Having not seen him play, my experiences with him in practice was all I could go on. He practices hard... I'm happy for Bryan that the work he's put in, at least in these two ball games, has paid off for him. He's just done everything we've asked him to do, and I think maybe he sees the opportunity as well.
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