Lowe Talks Duke

RALEIGH, N.C. -- NC State's Sidney Lowe met with the media today to discuss the game against Duke. Here is a sample of what the Wolfpack head coach had to say.

On if a veteran like Gavin Grant can help the younger guys prepare for the Cameron Indoor Stadium environment:
"We thought about that, it's going to be an experience for those guys, no question about it. We hope Gavin can shed some light on it in terms of what to expect and not get too wrapped up in the fans because they're there. They're loud and they're great. They support their team and they know they're important to the way they play, and they certainly try to get in the heads of the other teams and sometimes they do that. Our guys are just going to have to concentrate, block that stuff out and show some poise while they're over there."

On what impressed him the most with the win over Florida State:
"Our toughness. Both physically and mentally. Making those plays when we had to, making those stops, diving for loose balls, guys not relaxing at all. That stands out in my mind – the fact we were playing tough basketball. They came back at us and tried to put it on us and we responded to the challenge."

On if he had stressed the importance of playing another conference rival in Duke:
"At this point, if I have to tell them then they haven't been listening. Anytime you're playing in the same conference of another school and they're right down the road, those are big games. The four schools down here and the three in the triangle, it's always big. When Carolina plays Duke it's big, Carolina plays State, State plays Duke, it doesn't matter. It's big, it's exciting. I think that's why the fans are the way they are, because they feel the same thing. I don't think I should have to tell them that, I think they should know that."

On if there's any extra motivation trying to win back-to-back road games:
"We're playing against a very, very good basketball team and a very tough environment. You certainly want to say things and get your guys excited and pumped up to play. But again, if you can't get motivated for this game then there's a problem. Coach V, coach Sloan didn't have to get us motivated to play Wake or Duke or Carolina. It just didn't happen. They didn't need to do that. If you don't understand that, if you don't feel that, then you're in the wrong place. You're not understanding what it means to everyone around here whether you're a Duke fan, a State fan, a Carolina fan or a Wake fan. If you don't embrace that and take that challenge, you don't want to be here, you don't want to play at N.C. State."

On if the experiences at Clemson and Carolina will help guys like Hickson and Gonzalez:
"They certainly understand it better. If they think back to the environment at Carolina and think about how they felt, whether they were nervous, trying too hard, moving too fast, they'll use that to make the adjustment tomorrow night and understand you have to be under control and poised. There's pressure there to make the right decisions. I think they'd be more comfortable. We've been at Carolina, at Clemson, we've had some tough games at home. Again, it's another environment but I think they'll be OK. I think they understand now what they have to do."

On the importance of the forwards not turning the ball over:
"Crucial. In fact, yesterday in practice I had to stop and I made that point to our threes fours and fives. They can't lead us in turnovers. When they lead us in turnovers that hurts us a great deal. They don't handle the ball enough to lead us in turnovers. What has been poor decision-making, trying to do too much, or not being strong enough with the basketball. We can't do that over there. Your point guards, they're going to have a couple just because of the pressure, but we can't have three, four and five leading us in turnovers."

On the importance of getting the ball inside:
"[Duke] understands as well as any team in the country who they are. By that I mean they know they're not big inside so they fight you, they front you, they trap you and then they force you to make the right decisions every time and a lot of teams can't do that. It's important that we're patient with it. That we're patient, move the ball around, continue to move inside, don't force it but you have to be strong with it. We certainly have to look to go there and if it's not there right away we have move the ball around and be strong with it and again, don't turn it over."

On how much time he spent working with the point guards in practice once Farnold Degand went down:
"We spent a lot of time with them. It's more just conversations, talking about the game, talking about the thought process and what they're trying to do. And I talk a lot to them about control. Just about being in control, being a leader and understanding that they're the captain out there basically and whatever they say goes. Just to not listen to the other guys, it's really not important. They're supposed to listen to you. If they make a call, it's not wrong, it's the call that they make so now we just need to execute it. Just trying to give them that confidence that it's on them. They can do whatever as far as making decisions and calls they make And then obviously in practice sometimes we have to stop and look at their reads and make sure they understand the different options they have with the basketball."

On if starting the ACC in two harsh environments is paying off for the point guards:
"I guess since those games are over I can say yeah. I wouldn't have said that before. It could have helped them because if you look at them whether it was the first two games of the ACC season or the last two, playing at Carolina and at Clemson was going to be tough. So maybe it was good to let them get a feel for it early and hopefully it's helped. I think it's helped."

On what about Duke (namely DeMarcus Nelson and Greg Paulus) he admires the most:
"I just like good basketball. I like good, tough, smart basketball players and I think those two guys are. Nelson's been around for awhile and Paulus is a little fiery guy. He doesn't take stuff off from anyone. Sometimes you have guys like that who you don't really like but you admire because you don't want to play against them. I like the way they approach the game, they're no nonsense, they talk, they're just fun to watch play. They're not fun to play against but they're fun to watch. As a basketball coach you admire guys who play the game the right way and play with passion."

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