2014 ACC Tournament Teleconference: Coach Moore
March 3, 2014
RALEIGH, N.C. – Just a few days prior to the 2014 Atlantic Coast Conference Tournament, NC State head coach Wes Moore answered questions from the media in the pre-tournament teleconference.
NC State (24-6, 11-5 ACC) secured a No. 4 seed at the tournament and will open play in Greensboro on Friday, March 7 at 11 a.m. The Wolfpack will play either Virginia Tech, Clemson, or Syracuse.
I’m proud of their consistency. We’ve had to battle and scratch for every win but we’ve won the games that we needed to win to stay in that top four spot. We’ve obviously suffered some tough injuries here in the last week or two, but the kids have held it together.
We come into the tournament still searching a little bit as to how we want to adjust due to the injuries but at the same time excited about the opportunity.
Again, I’m pleased that we were able to get the double bye and hopefully we can go into the tournament rested and ready to play.
On how the injuries late in the season are affecting the team
Miah Spencer is a freshman that’s doing an outstanding job and putting up great numbers, but it was nice having her come off the bench. Now she’s thrown into a starting role and it hurts us in terms of depth. Miah would do a great job of giving us a lift either with a defensive steal or knocking down a big three when she would come into the game. You miss that; you miss that extra lift or plug of momentum.
About Kiki (Lakeesa) Daniel, her playing time may not have been as much as it should have been because it’s hard to take Markeisha Gatling off the court, but Kiki played extremely well when she went in there. She gave us a lot of length off the bench. Her ability to score and rebound on the offensive end and then also to contest the shot on the defensive end (was important).
Now, again, we have a freshman in Jenn (Jennifer) Mathurin who has to kind of fill that role.
It’s taken a little bit of time but we were able to come up with some good wins right after the injuries. The loss to Notre Dame, that’s happened to everyone that’s played Notre Dame. This is what it is and we’ve just got to keep adjusting and hopefully these kids can all step up in their new roles and we can keep rolling.
On if the team’s incredible success has been a surprise
I’ve been blessed. These kids have given me everything they’ve got. They’ve had great attitudes. Again, I hate it for Myisha and Kiki; I hate it for them individually. The ACL is a dreadful thing in women’s basketball. Unfortunately, that’s the way life is. When you get knocked down, you’ve got to get back up. These kids have done that all year long, so I don’t expect anything differently.
I’m extremely proud of being in that top four and receiving the double bye. The kids deserve a lot of accolades for that.
On what his team “bought into” this season
I think that was the big thing. Believing that they could win and being willing to work for it and not point fingers or get down on one another, but stick with it and keep grinding.
There’s been so many times this season in some of these big wins—in particular over ranked opponents—when we’ve been down double digits and they could have very easily just said “hey, this isn’t going to happen today,” but they kept battling back.
Like I said, that’s what I hope will carry through this weekend. They’re a close group: you’ve got the six seniors who see two of their teammates go down and it’s been an emotional week or two. I hope we can regroup like they have all year and come back up off the mat and give it a shot in Greensboro.
VIEW: A word cloud of Coach Moore's teleconference