Pack In Spain: Q&A With Mark Gottfried
Aug. 12, 2012
GoPack.com sat down with NC State men's basketball coach Mark Gottfried for a Q&A session to get his viewpoint on variety of topics from the Wolfpack's Spanish exhibition tour.
Are you surprised at how well Lorenzo Brown has played considering he just had knee surgery in July?
Mark Gottfried: "I am pleasantly surprised. I've tried to rely on our doctors, who felt it was good for him to play because it helps with his rehabilitation. He was four and half weeks out from the surgery and the next step was to do some things (to test it) on his knee. I've talked to him regularly and he feels good. More than anything his conditioning is a little behind, so the games have actually helped that. He's played really well and it's been good for him to take the next step as part of his rehab to play (in the regular season)."
T.J. Warren has played well through the first three games of this tour. How do keep outside expectations in check and keep T.J.'s growth as a player moving forward?
MG: "I don't worry about any expectations. I think he has done a nice job scoring the ball. With every player, there are always things you still have to improve on, which he falls into that category as well. When we recruited T.J., we knew he had the ability to put the ball in the basket, but he can get better offensively. We're going to continue to challenge him everyday with defense, rebounding and learning our system. The interesting thing is he's scoring a lot of points and I haven't run a play for him yet. He just has a knack for it."
The officiating here has been different than what you're accustomed to in the United States. Has that affected what you're trying to teach or accomplish on this trip?
MG: "I think the biggest thing with the officiating here is its just different. Different than what we're used to. Sometimes there is contact, which we think is incidental and you should play through it and they put an emphasis on calling those things. So we have to adapt to the officiating here and we have fouled too much. That's not a major issue for me because I know when we go back home we're back to the same style that we're used to, but it has made it interesting here.
Is the quick turnaround between games something that can be helpful for this team in terms of postseason play like the ACC Tournament?
MG: "I think it helps. More than anything the biggest area where this trip helps is you have an opportunity as a staff to evaluate your team as to who should do what and how we should play. We learn a lot about the new guys, even the veteran guys. Lorenzo has been much better, even than a year ago. Scott (Wood) has improved. Calvin (Leslie) has improved. Richard (Howell) has improved. We look at the younger guys and it gives us a chance to have a guy like Tyler Lewis and T.J. and see how exactly they do fit in. That's where the advantage of this trip. We're so much farther ahead now than were we would be without the practices and games than if we didn't come."
How much of what you're doing over here is new or how much of is it re-enforcing the ins and outs of how your system works?
MG: There is very little new from last year. We believe in our system. We think our system is a great way to play and I want to see the veteran players take it to another level. At the same time in teaching the younger guys, this is a good jumpstart for them. Its more refining the things we already do without trying to do a whole of different things.
How do you think the team's chemistry is coming along?
MG: "I think it's really good and that's another by-product of being on a trip like this is to have your team spend time together. Whether it's on the long flights or going to a show like we did the other night or just hanging by the pool for a little bit. It puts your guys in a relaxed environment together which it certainly helps."