Lowe: Delaney Sets the Tone for Virginia Tech

NC State head coach Sidney Lowe fielded questions from the media during his weekly teleconference. Lowe talked about the status of Farnold Degand, discussed the upcoming game against Virginia Tech, and much more.

Opening Statement:
We just came off of a tough loss to Georgia Tech. I thought our kids did a great job of fighting and getting back in that ballgame and really having a chance to win it.

It's been tough, but the kids have continued to play hard. We're going to see if we can get us a win at home.

What is up with Farnold Degand? He didn't play against Georgia Tech.
He got knee'd in the thigh in practice. It swole up on him at 1:30 in the morning. The trainer had to go and get him and work on him.

He did not practice [Monday]. He shot some free throws, but he couldn't go up-and-down. It's really day-to-day right now.

You said you were upset with the end; with the shot by Julius. Have you ever walked off the court without talking to the opposing coach before?
No, I've never done that before in my life. I feel bad that I did that. Certainly no disrespect, in fact before I met with the media I went to Georgia Tech's locker room and congratulated Paul and apologized to Paul which was important for me to do.

The situation, it was the heat of the moment. Your kids worked their tail off to get back in the game, and have a chance there. I felt that we should have maybe been on the line, shooting to tie or win the ballgame... I just got caught up.

But no, I've never reacted that way, ever.

When things went right for you against Duke and FSU, what were the keys?
One of the things is that we shot the ball... we shot the ball well. That has been a major problem here lately... not making shots.

I think with execution, the guys have done a good job with execution and getting those looks. It's just been unfortunate that we didn't make shots.

When we played Duke, we had several guys clicking and we shot a real good percentage. Probably the last five or six ballgames maybe, we're just not shooting well. We're hitting a lull where we really go cold.

That's been the biggest difference. Defensively, we've been okay. Sometimes the defense just wears down. When you miss shots, teams are running at you so much.

It's kind of like football, if your defense stays on the field long enough they are going to wear down and the percentages will go up for the other team. I think that's what has happened. We haven't put the ball in the hole enough to slow people down, and the shooting percentages have gone up some for them.

Virginia Tech, more often than not, in recent years has been a victory for you guys. Does this team have the components to make it a good matchup for you on Wednesday?
The matchups were maybe good for us before, but their matchups are very tough right now.

I think they have, [Malcolm] Delaney could be the best, one of the top guards in the country. No question about that. He just causes so many problems for you.

Any guy that can score 30 points and get 20 of them from the free throw line as a guard.. is absolutely amazing. He certainly makes them go.

Dorenzo Hudson has been big for them shooting the basketball, which we knew he could do that. [Jeff] Allen, obviously what he does for them, passing, scoring.

They just play hard. They really feed off each other, and Delaney sets the tone for them. I don't know if the matchups are good for us. Those matchups are tough for anybody.

Who could you compare Malcolm Delaney to and what do you think sets him apart?
I think maybe the part of him going to the line so much. It's not often you see a guard shoot that many free throws. It's been something... he did the same thing last year in terms of getting to the line so often.

There are guards that quick who can shoot the ball as well, but his ability to get to the free throw line is a tough thing to deal with. Not only is he getting free shots, but he's also putting a foul on your team and your players... it can be devastating to your team if you're fouling him.

I think he sets himself apart in that area from any guard we've faced in the four years I've been here. I don't know if there have been many guards in a while that goes to the line as much as he does.

What was your motivation to put Richard Howell and Josh Davis into the starting lineup?
Richard has been playing well for us. He's been doing a good job for us when he's in the ballgame, coming off the bench, and in practice he was playing really, really well. We needed some help on the boards and he's provided that for us. He had been doing it when he came in the game off the bench.

Farnold Degand was hurt, Farnold couldn't go. I was thinking more on the defensive end and rebounding so we put Josh Davis in at the three and moved Scott Wood to the two. As far as rebounding goes, I think that helped us. We beat a team on the boards that is pretty strong. Georgia Tech is big and athletic, and we really pounded them on the boards.

That was the thinking behind it, but it really came from Farnold being hurt, not being able to go, was the Josh Davis decision.

Do you think that will affect Dennis Horner because he had a good game off the bench?
That's a good thing. You know? Sometimes that's what it takes for guys to wake up and be ready to go. When you get those opportunities you have to take advantage of it.

Starting is a privilege. Often times, I don't meant his with our guys I'm saying just in general, sometimes people get a starting position and get complacent because they think they are just going to start.

It seems to be a lot easier to get the starting position than to keep it because of the focus of which you're trying to do and work so you don't do the same things.

If Dennis is going to continue doing what he did there, certainly that's going to help our team and we'll move forward from there.

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