Quotables: Mark Gottfried

Alabama head coach Mark Gottfried met with the media to discuss Wednesday's game against NC State. Here is a sample of what he had to say.

On N.C. State:
"I think it's going to be a great challenge for us to go on the road. I think our guys are anxious to go on the road. They want to go on the road and play a very good North Carolina State team. So we've got a full plate. I think they're very, very good, and we need to play well."

On Ronald Steele:
"I'd like to know sooner than game time. We'll see how he does today and tomorrow in practice. We'll see if he's got any bounce in his step. Obviously this is a great intersectional game with North Carolina State. I know he wants to play very, very badly. But I'll watch him. We'll evaluate him and hopefully make a decision on Wednesday. I don't know that we'll make one prior to Wednesday, but we'll take a look and see how he does Monday and Tuesday."

On N.C. State's depth:
"I'll tell you what's happened is, they're short on their numbers. They're not a deep team. But the six or seven guys they have playing I think have really gelled well together. They can pass it. They can shoot it. They moved (Gavin) Grant to the point guard position. He's a 6-6 ½ point guard and they'll post him up some. They've got an interior player, an inside guy in (Brandon) Costner that steps out and makes three's, so that poses some problems. So they've done a great job with their team this year."

On his observations of Grant at the point:
"The first thing is a lot of times---and I think it's a reflection with Sidney Lowe being so experienced in the NBA-a lot of times the NBA guys will take a bigger NBA perimeter player like him and convert him into being a point guard. And I know with (Engin) Atsur out that they've had to do that, and they've done a great job with it. He's playing very well. He poses a lot of match up problems for teams because of his size. They've posted him up inside which makes him dangerous there. There's no question they've taken advantage of what he can bring to the table and they've utilized him."

On preparing game plans with/without Steele in lineup:
"It's been hard. It's just like today. Today is a good example. I think if Ron Steele plays our match ups are a little different than if Brandon Hollinger plays. Brandon is a lot smaller than Gavin Grant, obviously, so not knowing right now who's going to guard who or how you really approach it, you know it affects you a little bit today and tomorrow. The positive side of that, just like the games, I think our team is a lot more confident in Brandon running the point. He's stepped in there and done a nice job and Mikhail Torrance has as well. So you get some positives there. But we've just had so much, so many practice days where we don't know who's going to be out there. Just like right now, I don't know if Ron is going to practice (today) yet or not. We'll have to see how he loosens up and if he can do anything. And if he can't we'll just wait and see once we get in there. Hopefully at some point in time that'll get behind us. We'll get to where we've got everybody practicing every day, but until then we've just got to do the best job we can."

On Steele's conditioning if there's any drop off from missing practice and play:
"A little bit, but not nearly like games and practices. I don't think you ever get into great basketball shape until you're playing in games consistently. Even practice is different than games. So he's going to be behind a little bit. But, again, hopefully it won't be long and he'll be healthy."

On Hollinger's response to running the point:
"I think he's done a nice job. I'm glad we have him, I promise you that. He's played pretty steady. He understands our offense. He understands defensively what we want to do. When we try to run some specific things offensively, he knows where we want to go with the ball. So he's been a guy that's filled in, I think, very, very well. But I think he would also be the first one to tell you he's looking forward to Ron getting back in there as well."

On Jermareo Davidson missing a week of practice then having game he did vs. USM:
"He had a great game. I wish he'd have had one more blocked shot so he'd have had the triple double, but he played very well. He had a lot of energy, lots of emotion. He had a bounce in his step which I thought was great. He was certainly fresh after not doing much all week. But he played at a high level against Southern Mississippi."

On preparing for N.C. State since it has a new coach, on whether he reviews last year's game vs. the Wolfpack:
"I won't watch last year's tape. I always do but they have different players playing for the most part and a different system, so I don't know that would help us a whole lot from a year ago. They've got some other guys who have filled in, stepped in. They're playing very different than they did a year ago. I think they've done a good job. They're limited, I think, with their depth, but I think they've managed it pretty well and played pretty well."

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