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    Post Game Guotes - NC State vs Florida State

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    March 10, 2005

    NC State head coach Herb Sendek
    I told our men after the game that I was tremendously proud of them for the way that they bounced back this week. I think it was a direct reflection of their great character - the way that they approached this game with focus, quiet determination and a real sense of purpose. From that standpoint, I couldn't be prouder of a group of guys.

    These two guys (Ilian Evtimov and Julius Hodge) were sensational. I can't tell you how many things that they did both on and off the court tonight to propel our team to victory. And these two guys have been sensational all throughout their careers and have meant so much to our program. It's been a real privilege to coach these guys. They are just great competitors and they really stepped up today in a great way.

    (On the upcoming rematch with Wake Forest)
    We set the record straight on Monday that we were playing Florida State. Any other approach would not have worked. The idea is to advance and we were fortunate to do that today. Our guys did a great job of understanding who we were playing and now we'll move forward and prepare for Wake Forest.

    (On the status of Tony Bethel)
    I don't have a lot of details at this time, but he pulled his groin on that first play of the second half and we'll just have to wait and see how he responds (to treatment) before tomorrow's game. I don't have a definitive answer for that.

    (On the performance of Engin Atsur)
    Engin has had a terrific season. I think a lot of times, and I've said this before, but for some reason, he flies under the radar. He is a terrific player. He seems to give our team whatever we need. He found a way to get nine rebounds tonight when we were a little smaller than usual (without the services of injured center Jordan Collins). And he's just a winner. The thing I love about Engin the most is that he's a consummate team player. There is not one selfish molecule in his body. He is all about the other guy, all about the team and he is just a great guy to have on your squad.



    NC State junior forward Ilian Evtimov
    I thought that Florida State showed what the ACC is all about ... it's never over until it's over. We just found a way to win. We put ourselves in a good position to win by giving ourselves a 14 point lead in the first half.

    NC State senior guard Julius Hodge
    It was a great win this afternoon. Everybody did their part. We had some injury problems today so we needed everybody who was on the court to make their minutes important and very effective to the team. You look at the stat sheet and see Engin (Atsur) has nine rebounds, so he definitely stepped up for us and played big. Gavin (Grant) came in the game and made some big free throws and Cam (Bennerman) was huge for us. He made big shots when we needed them and we did a good job against a very good Florida State team.

    (On the Wolfpack's increased chances of making the NCAA Tournament)
    We just continue to play well and win big games like we did this afternoon. We knew coming into this game today that we needed to win so it feels good to get it. Hopefully that improves our chances. All we can do is continue to play basketball, play great defense and show off our pearly whites (flashes smile).

    NC State junior forward Cameron Bennerman
    (On how FSU cut the lead late in the game) Maryland and (North) Carolina are the only two teams that have really pressed us this year. I was surprised that they (FSU) were doing that. We talked about it some ... that we wanted to do that to them a little bit. They pressed us and they got some steals and that is how they trimmed it down.

    NC State sophomore guard Engin Atsur
    (On the importance of jumping out to an early lead) Florida State has had tough games all season and we know that they're a great team. At the start we were ready to go, which helped us get the lead and that helped us win the game. But, we should have stayed with it and not let them come back.

    (On match up with Wake)
    We are not thinking about it as revenge. We just want to go out there and play hard no matter who we're playing. Of course, it is going to be a good game and we are looking forward to it.

    Florida State head coach Leonard Hamilton
    North Carolina State made some very good adjustments since the last time we played. They were extremely savvy at penetrating and getting (Ilian) Evtimov a lot more involved early. Unfortunately for us, they hit those early looks. Once again, we dug a hole for ourselves. It was very difficult for us to dig out. They did a very good job with their sagging man-to-man. We had become so accustomed to so many teams in our league pressing us. It seemed that sagging man-to-man made us very tentative. To their credit, they did a very good job defending and creating a great deal of indecision for our youngsters.

    On NC State playing with more energy
    They were extremely patient on offense. They run the kind of offense where you can't overplay very much ... if you do, you will give up a number of back-door plays. On this particular game they did a good job of finding the guys that were open and who were making shots. On our offensive end they did a good job of backing off. We are not experienced enough right now to solve that. We became very tentative. That is something which really disappointed me.

    On struggles of Von Wafer
    Sometimes when you are developing as a player you go through periods where things just don't seem to go right for you. He has gone through one of those periods. When your leading scorer falls into a situation like that you have to find other ways to compensate for that. We developed into a team that went the way our leading scorer went. We have not developed other guys who can pick up the slack. That is something we need to work on in the off-season. I feel we have guys on our team that can develop in those areas. We need to be the kind of team that does not rely on one particular player.

    Florida State senior forward Anthony Richardson
    They came out at the beginning of the game and really jumped on us. We did not get into an offensive rhythm. We were not sticking to our defensive principles and gave them a lot of open shots. We made a surge at the end, but it was too little, too late.

    Florida State senior forward Adam Waleskowski
    They got out to a good start and were knocking down a lot of shots. We could not get any energy on either side of the floor. We were not doing much on offense and got away from what we had planned. In the second half we made a couple of adjustments and came back. Coach made some changes and got some guys in the game that brought us back.

    Sophomore guard Von Wafer
    (On today's loss to NC State)
    It was a very tough game. We got behind in the beginning and just tried to fight back but just weren't able to pull it out. I was frustrated when sometimes we would have a little mental lapse here and there that cost us because I know we're better than that.

    Freshman guard Jason Rich
    (On getting behind early)
    They came out ready to play. I think we got good shots and they weren't falling early and it took away from our defensive intensity and make us lackadaisical. We played lackluster in the first half and it continued into the second and it just got too late to pick it up.

    (On their comeback attempt)
    We pressed them a little bit and got a few steals and a few buckets and kind of got the momentum going a little bit. I felt that we had a great chance to come back but it didn't work out that way.

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