Oct 10, 2012
Raleigh, N.C. — NC State’s basketball season kicks off Friday and despite high expectations head coach Mark Gottfried says there are still a lot of questions to work through.
“I think it’s fun, the excitement, the anticipation. I think our guys need to enjoy that. But at the same time you can’t drink the Kool-Aid to where you start getting so caught up in that that you forget what you have to do to become a good team,” Gottfried told Adam Gold and Joe Ovies on 99.9FM The Fan Tuesday. “We understand that we have to work very hard this year to get better.”
The Wolfpack team accomplished a Sweet Sixteen finish last season and landed one of the top recruiting classes in the nation this year. But the team lost three key players in CJ Williams, Alex Johnson and DeShawn Painter and Gottfried says that changes the team completely.
“Last year is last year, that’s over, done, great finished, fun, a play or two away from the Elite Eight. That was great. This is a completely different animal now,” said Gottfried.
We’ve got four who I think are really good players and they need to step up and be those guys. They have to get these young guys to buy in and come along with them.”
Last year’s team progressed over the season playing their best basketball in February and March, when it really matters. This year will be much of the same as the freshmen, Tyler Lewis, Rodney Purvis and TJ Warren, learn just how much work is required to play at the collegiate level.
“These young guys, they’re like all young guys, they don’t really understand. They probably don’t really understand what it’s like to win on the road they don’t know how truly hard our practices are going to be. They don’t understand how to defend and to pay attention to a scouting report and take things away. And all those things are things they’re going to have to learn,” said Gottfried. “Our young guys have to come on and they have to learn quickly. It’s all about how you finish.”
Leadership from the four older players – Lorenzo Brown, CJ Leslie, Scott Wood and Richard Howell – will be key in bringing the freshmen up to speed.
“I think collectively they can lead. I don’t know if there is just one guy that is a natural verbal guy, but I don’t know if you have to have that either,” said Gottfried.
Those four experienced guys they’ve been through the wars, they understand how to win on the road, and they’ve won on the road. They have to be leaders just by example each day.”
Primetime with the Pack kicks off fall practice and like any team, Gottfried will start to really figure out how the team needs to play, how he needs to substitute and what their rotations are going to be.
“It’s a process every year,” said Gottfried. “Last year again that was an enjoyable experience but now it’s time to get this group to reach their potential.”
We shall see! We shall see!You won't beat UNC and you won't beat Duke, but Coach Lutz will have his guys ready.- Posted by CAROLINA43
I take seeing all the Krapple hill post as the biggest compliment we in Wolfpack nation can receive. They have nothing better to do, because the Krapple hill athletics and academics are in the RED, Wolfpack Red. Beeeyyyooooooccchhhessss!- Posted by jacamoe