Lowe: 'It's a Big Day for Gavin'

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.

Comparing freshmen Kyle Singler to J.J. Hickson:
I think they've both done a great job for their teams being freshmen. They're playing well. They're two young men, sometimes you don't look at them as freshmen when you see what they're doing for their teams. Other times, they make a freshman mistake. I don't think either team would be where they are today if it weren't for those two players and what they bring to the table. Obviously Singler and his ability to shoot the basketball and put pressure on big guys by putting the ball on the floor, but more than anything his basketball IQ helps out. … J.J., his work ethic. He works hard, he's determined, he does extra work and I think both of those guys have that determination in them and both are doing a great job.

On his team's defense:
A couple of times we just allowed too much penetration. And tomorrow we're playing a team that has three guys, sometimes four with Singler, that can put it on the floor and get to the basket. We can't allow a lot of dribble penetration. That's an area that we need to be good at tomorrow.

On if his starting lineup will change:
No. You know I said that was awful, and it was an awful start because of offense and defense. We couldn't make a shot and we weren't getting stops. Certain guys came off the bench and got us back into it and then guys who were starting came off the bench and got us back into it.

On what he's seen with Trevor Ferguson:
Everyday he's working in practice, everday. He's doing what he's doing in the games, he's scoring, coming off screens, making easy passes. He doesn't make mistakes. He understands assignments. Now early he wasn't involved in the rotation with Dennis [Horner] coming [back] and trying to keep at least one of our veteran guys – Gavin [Grant] or Courtney [Fells] – in the game at all times. Right now he's worked his way in there, he has continued to work hard. He's comes early and gets his shots in to get extra work, he might stay late after others leave. … He's earned it.

On Gavin's last home game:
It's a big day for him. It's a big day for Gavin. He won't talk about it but he's been fighting through this thing, he's had a problem with his knee but he hasn't cried about it. … He's working as hard as he can right now to get through it and I just hope he can go out on a good note. I'm sure the fans will be saluting him as he says farewell in his last game here. It's been interesting and fun to coach him. He's a little more relaxed than people know. He loves to smile. You may hear things he might say publicly and you watch him play sometimes but he's a kid. He loves to smile. He's fun to be around.

On Coack K trying to get win No. 800 on Saturday:
It's incredible. You look at what he's done over there, he's done a lot, not just for Duke but for basketball in general. And I hate to say this about Coach K, but to think that this is a guy who after his first or second year they were ready to run out of there. They were ready to get rid of him now and here he is, Hall of Fame and everything else, 800 wins and it just goes to show.

Are you preaching patience?
No I'm not. I was talking about Coach K. I'm just saying he knew the road he took and what he's done over there with that university. That's a lot of wins. You've got to admire someone that's done that.

On if he wants to hold off Coach K's milestone:
I really do but I know K's not feeling that way … K's a competitor. You watch players but you also watch coaches, not just when you're playing him but when they're coaching against you but I watch all coaches and you can tell he's a competitor. He's probably ready, I'm sure he's not thinking about it, but he's probably ready to get it on Saturday and hopefully we can hold that off right now. I'll celebrate with him when he gets it but not just against us.

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