Lowe Wants Pack to Play Hard

Raleigh, N.C. – At his press conference Friday, Sidney Lowe discussed the upcoming game against Virginia Tech, point guard Farnold Degand's injury situation, and much more.

Can you talk about the success you've had against Virginia Tech and how you can continue that?
I'm hoping it's just one of those things where certain teams just match up well with certain other teams…It's hard to describe why, in the past we've matched up well with them. They are a little different this year in that they have a big three that can really score some points, but we're hoping we can continue that.

It's going to be extremely tough, we know that. We want to just come out and play as hard as we can and hopefully we'll get a win.

You've had success against them inside in the past, do you think you may go with the big lineup in this game?
We're still looking at if Tracy is healthy. If he's healthy, we might look to go back to the big lineup again. They can go big across their front line. We made the adjustment that last ball game because their team was smaller. We could look at going to the big lineup again.

Is Tracy Smith not healthy?
He's been having some problems with his knee, his right knee. He took yesterday off, actually, to give it another day off.

Do you expect him to play?
Yes I do.

Can you talk about your situation at point guard right now? Farnold started and played only three minutes the other night [against NC Central] and you said Gonzalez has played well in practice, Mays hit a game winning shot for you recently, and Degand had played pretty well for a couple weeks. What are you looking at right now?
As someone put it to me the other day, it's a three-headed monster over there. I think what we've had is we haven't had one guy to step up and dominate the position. They all three are capable of bringing something to the table any given night.

But we haven't had that one that has been consistent throughout and dominate the position to where they are the starter and you know they are the starter…I look at practice quite a bit in terms of who is playing well.

We talked about Javi and how well he had been playing in practice, and that translated into the ball game.

You have a stretch in conference play here where four of your next six games are on the road and one of the home games is against Wake Forest. How do you confront such a demanding schedule?
You just take it one at a time. You try to get that one and move from there. There are certain things we're going to have to do well. We're really going to need our three guys, our three key guys, to play well for us.

They're going to have to play well, no question about it. And then [we need] some solid play taking care of the basketball and making sure we get into our stuff. And then our defense is going to need to be strong. We're playing against teams that can obviously score the ball…If we can get a couple in a row and have some momentum going further then we should be okay.

What is C.J. Williams' situation? He didn't play at all last game while some of your walk-ons did. Where is he at for you right now?
C.J. is just continuing to work. Where we're at right now in getting that rotation to where we want it, [and] Courtney being back at two is a factor, obviously.

But C.J. is doing well. He's working hard in practice. He's got a lot of time here. He's going to be instrumental in our future, no question about it. He's a very good basketball player. He's young, so he's learning everything right now. But his time will come.

Was Farnold not fully healthy against North Carolina Central?
Yes. He actually had a class or something that day that he had to do some running in and it affected him that night in the ball game.

Does his knee hurt him, or is it more of a psychological thing where he doesn't trust his knee?
It's a pain thing. It's sore. It limits his movement, his quickness, his lateral movement more than anything. If you don't have that, it's hard to defend. The thing about that, he can take a day or two off and come back and be okay. It's almost like if there's too much work on it will wear it down and it's sore, but if he gets time off he'll be okay.

Without J.J. Hickson, you don't have many shot blockers on this team. How important will it be to play position defense in the post against Virginia Tech?
It's very important. We have to play position and be able to draw those charges. You put a foul on them and you get the ball, there's two positive things coming from that…I think it's better than a blocked shot if you can get in there and take a charge. We're going to get our opportunities on Sunday because they're very aggressive and go to the basket. We just have to be in the right position and be willing to step in there.


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