Notebook: Pack Prepares to Face Davidson

Raleigh, N.C. – Men's basketball coach Sidney Lowe held a press conference today at the Weisiger Brown complex in preparation for this weekend's matchup against No. 22 Davidson. Here are some major comments from today's meeting with the media.

After missing time during the last few days due to knee tendinitis in his knee, junior guard Farnold Degand should be back in action for Saturday's matchup with Davidson. Lowe said Gonzalez should start with Degand coming off the bench.

"Farnold has practiced the last couple of days and looked pretty good. He looked OK. He's still not 100 percent yet or close to that but he doesn't have any pain so that's a good thing. Lowe said the key for Degand now is to shake off the rust of not playing in a few days.

"Now he needs to get back his timing again. Being patient and allowing things to come to him as opposed to maybe forcing it and maybe trying to do the things that he can do when he's really healthy. He's got to really be careful with that."

"I'm not sure how many minutes, but I do expect [Farnold] to play. We'll work out today and see how Farnold is today."

Lowe said Degand's injured knee is the same knee he injured last season, but the tendinitis is not in the same area of the ACL injury.

"It's the same leg but it's not really the knee. It's not up front; it's actually something on the side almost in the back. It's a result of some of the tissue they took out from back there to use for his surgery so it's very tender back there and I think it got bumped and that's what caused the injury. It's the same leg, but it's not the ACL that's bothering him."

Lowe said the experience Javi Gonzalez gained last year has helped him already this year.

"I think he's obviously better prepared because he's aware of what to expect having gone through it last year as a freshman. He's also more comfortable with running our stuff. I think he knows his teammates a little better and I think he's playing with a lot more confidence," Lowe said. "That's still not where it's going to be by the time he leaves here. Javi is a talented young man and I think right now he's focusing on playing the point guard position and getting people involved and doing things."

Lowe said having Gonzalez and Degand together should help out the dynamics of the Pack.

"That gives us a great advantage just in terms of quickness and having two guys in there that can really handle the basketball and put it on the floor. We're trying push it up the floor anyway so that gives us that speed as well."

Coach Lowe said the defensive plan does not necessarily change for Davidson just because of Stephen Curry's threat to score from anywhere on the court.

"I don't think you change your defense I think you just have to be more aware. You have to be solid. Mentally you can't have a breakdown because [Curry] can burn you," Lowe said. "You have to try to stay fresh because he's constantly moving to get open. No shot is a bad shot and when you're playing against a guy like that you can't afford to relax."

Lowe said it will also be important for State to not forget about the rest of the Wildcats.

"We can't forget about the other guys. They have guys that can score the ball. They played against a team that doubled Curry the entire ball game and they still won by almost 30 points," he said. "We have to be solid. We have to make every shot tough. There are always times you have to make adjustments but that's not something we can talk about right now."

Lowe said the team is continuing to develop on the offensive side of the ball. He said he hopes the inside play will keep improving.

"We're still trying to establish ourselves inside out pretty much throughout the year so far. That's really how we like to play. I don't tell out guys not to take outside shots but it's not my ideal world to come out and take the first five or six shots as threes," Lowe said. "If it's inside out and we're open then that's different."

State's matchup with Davidson will be the first of many opportunities this season for the Pack to play ranked teams. The ACC should provide plenty more chances to play some of the nation's best competition. Lowe said playing Davidson this early in the year should help down the road.

"It definitely, at this point, won't tell us our destiny or the outcome of our year but I think it's a good game for use to see where we are," Lowe said. "We're playing against a nationally ranked team. We're playing against a team with a great player. A team that plays hard, a team that executes. You have to play hard to beat this team because they just don't seem to have bad games so we have to play well. This is a great test."

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