UNC-NCSU: Monte Towe Quotes (w/audio)

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. --- Filling in for head coach Sidney Lowe, NC State assistant coach Monte Towe addressed the media following the game. Read and listen to what he had to say…

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Opening Statement:
"I'm really sorry I'm here under these circumstances, but I'm here. Give North Carolina a lot of credit. They're a very good basketball team. I thought in the second half [North Carolina] did a great job of scoring in transition, which we did a good job of shutting down in the first half, and inside I thought they hurt us a lot, particularly in the second half. Give [North Carolina] credit. Like I said they're a very good basketball team. I thought our kids played very well the first half. Obviously with Coach [Sidney] Lowe not being there the second half, I think it affected all of us.

"We didn't play as well as we needed to to have a chance to win the game. Give North Carolina credit for that. They were very good with their defense. They got a lot of transition in the second half and the post people went inside and that really hurt us in the second half. I thought Engin [Atsur] had a great first half. Our concern was that we were getting a lot of good stuff from him, but we needed to get some offense from some of our other guys. We tried to get that in the second half, but we didn't turn it over and didn't play well enough on the offensive end to get a win. I think the reason why we had some success in Raleigh was on the offensive end and why we had some success here tonight in the first half was our offense was really good. When our offense went bad in the second half it certainly didn't help our chances of winning the game."

On the coaches, staff and players' knowledge of Head Coach Sidney Lowe's condition:
"I was on the road recruiting yesterday and got back at about 2 o'clock this afternoon. When I got to practice he told me he wasn't feeling good. There's been some flu going around and some things like that. I hope that's what it is. I hope he's back with us tomorrow. I knew he wasn't feeling good. During the course of the first half he seemed like he was OK and then at halftime he didn't feel good at all. We all hope and pray that he's back out there tomorrow."

On how aware the players were of Coach Lowe's condition:
"You'd have to ask them. I'm sure they sensed that when I came to talk to them instead of Coach Lowe that something was up. We just told them that we were probably going to have to do without him the second half and that he wasn't feeling good. That's basically all I know at this point that he wasn't feeling good. I think the word was that he wanted to try and come back out on the floor. The medical people didn't think it was a good idea for him to do that."

On how the players responded to Coach Lowe's absence in the second half:
"I thought they were affected. I've had one other situation in my career like that and I'm sorry to say it was about the same result. To lose your head coach during the middle of the game is kind of unique. I think the players sensed that he wasn't feeling good. I really couldn't tell them anything different except that he wasn't feeling good. I kept trying to stress to them that we had a basketball game. Coach [Roy] Williams, I talked to him at halftime, he was very concerned also. We had way too many turnovers. I give Carolina's defense credit for a lot of that. I think their defense played really good the whole game. It took its toll on us more in the second half than it did in the first half. I think in the first half we survived it because of Engin [Atsur] having such a great individual performance. In the second half, it probably amongst other things, their defense took its toll on us."

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